Behavior & Learning in School/writing in school


I have 6.5 year son who is in first standard in India. In his school, I get consistent complaints about his writing. He is not writing in his class. I observed him, when I work with him on one-to-one, her writes. However, if I leave him alone then he stops. In the school as well, he doesnt write. Do you have any suggestions on how to address his problem?

Hello Amrutraj,
I am assuming that you are referring to creative writing and not just to penmanship. (as in writing his name) This problem is not unusual for young children. The only solution at your son's age is to start slowly.  Do not have him write anything that is too lengthy. I found that a few sentences work well.  If you cut out a picture from a magazine (such as a dinosaur or something else that he might be interested in), ask him to write a few sentences about what it looks like.  Or you could just give him the topic and let him write a few sentences and then draw a picture of what he wrote.  That worked well with the children I worked with.  The drawing is almost like a "reward" for the sentences.  Making a card for someone special is also a good idea to get your son to write.  He can write a few sentences on the inside and then decorate the outside with glitter, crayons, markers, etc.  These are some activities you can try at home.  
I am not sure what the teacher expects in terms of writing activities from a 6.5 year old.  If it is ideas that he is lacking, brainstorming is always helpful.  For example, I would give the class a topic such as "Spiders".  The class would tell me what they know about spiders and I would write the ideas on the blackboard.  From those ideas, they would be able to write about the topic.  Just be sure that there is a topic sentence, a middle and an ending if your son is writing about a topic.  As I said, I'm not sure if the teacher expects just sentences or an actual story.  Use the brainstorming idea for a story.  There is also an approach called the 4 square approach for writing.  I would divide a piece of paper into 4 squares.  At the top of the first square goes the main idea or topic of the story.  In the next 2 squares go details and in the last square goes the ending.  You could either brainstorm or write sentences and draw in each box.  
Keeping a journal is also a good way to get your child to write.  Let him stay up 5 minutes past his bedtime to write a few sentences in a notebook about what he did today.
Don't get too frustrated with the writing.  Boys, especially, seem to shy away from language arts.  They usually lean toward the sciences.  If you can, find his interest and work that into a writing activity but don't push too hard.  The idea is to make it fun so that he will want to do it.  
I hope I have helped a little bit.  Best of luck.  I wish your son much success in school!
Lynn McDermott
Reading Specialist

Behavior & Learning in School

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Lynn McDermott


I am a retired reading specialist. I taught reading to children in grades 1-4 for 32 years. I can answer any questions from parents or educators about problems children may be having learning to read. I can also offer some ideas to educators, parents and tutors for teaching children how to become successful readers.


I worked with small groups of children in a public elementary school setting. I have also worked with and trained teachers in the field of reading. I have also done one-to-one tutoring in the field of reading.

I have written for a few teacher magazines including "The Mailbox" and "The Bookbag."

My undergraduate degree is in English and my Master's degree is in Reading with Emphasis on Learning Disabilities.

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