To write or not to write....that is the question.

Kelli - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My daughter absolutely hates writing...not creative writing, but the physical act of writing. If she could discuss her assignments rather than write them down she would finish her work twice as fast as she does now. She has stated that she doesn't like writing because it hurts her hands. I get writers cramp as well so I know what she means, but I know this is not the case all the time. Does anyone know of something to help with writers cramp for kids..special pencils and such? Do you think it would be harmful to let her do more of her work orally or through methods other than writing such as computer games and such?

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Tracy - posted on 08/31/2009

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I agree, that it is not the end of the world to have her do more computer based/oral discussion instead of written answers, etc. I would have her do her math in writing, then maybe one other short assignment (maybe copy work) in writing then the rest on the computer or orally. Public speaking is a very important skill as one gets older, so oral practice is great!

Also the pencil grips do help a lot!
Good Luck!

Cecelia - posted on 08/23/2009

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My son had this complaint while he was in school. He also had 5 years of OT. I had him tested and found that he has a written expression disability. He is now 13. We are using the Switched - on - Schoolhouse curriculum. He loves it! Good penmanship is nice, yet we don't have to write much anymore.

[deleted account]

Hi Kelli, How old is your daugter and what grade is she in? Maybe you should go with a computer based cirriculum, like Switched on Schoolhouse, and supplement it with a daily writing assignment. Also try a pencil grip on her pencil, my children use them and it does help make it more comfortable for them to write. Also, I see nothing wrong with her giving you the answers verbally; you can tell if she is learning just by discussing the lessons with her.

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Linda - posted on 11/28/2011

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My 11y/o daughter doesn't write much either, complains about pain. We accomodate by using an online curriculum (Time4Learning), and keyboarding practice. The other thing we use is speech recognition software. It takes a little bit of time for your child to "train" it, but it has made a world of difference in the quality of my daughter's writing. By using accomodating technology, (online curriculum, keyboarding, voice recognition) we are allowing my daughter to focus on what she needs to know, and not so much on what she can't write. Best of luck!

Sue - posted on 11/29/2009

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Teach her to type? Use big fat pens/crayons/pencils? Let her dictate and you type? How super of you to be searching for better answers rather than forcing the issue. Writing prob. isn't essential to her style of learning anyway.

College and hi-school weren't essential to mine...........In factthey were a big waste of time and money. I really should have skipped them completely and gone right into a good massage school.

I'm a kinesthetic learner. I can remember who people are, and what they've told me about their lives by touching their muscles. I've been a CMT for over 10 yrs. now, and never really made it thru any hi school math or sci. Much less Hist. or Civics. I did fairly well in Lit. and Eng. and some Fr. and Span.

I have done just fine w/ out those subjects. What I need to know to teach my son, is how to read, so that he can teach himself what he decides he needs to know.

My hubby can teach him Math n Sci.

I had probs because I was being forced to learn in the same way as all the other kids. My learning style differs. I learn best from vids, and by doing w/ my hands. I really wish that I'd been homeschooled and allowed to learn using my own learning style, but my parents were doing the best they could at the time w/ the knowledge that they had.

Your daughter is lucky to have a more adaptable mother (and father)? who care enuf to experiment w/ something that has a better chance of working for her than conformity.

Congrats to her and you and GL.

Michelle - posted on 11/27/2009

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My oldest son has Fibromyalgia and often times his hands are to sore to write very much. After discussing it with my husband we decided that any work that can be writen could be type since the hands are in a more relaxed position. My 10 yr old is now doing the same thing. Both kids can read cursive and sign their names and print. Good enough for me.

Corri - posted on 11/17/2009

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I agree with the previous poster that public speaking is a very important skill to develop, so having your daughter give oral answers on some things sounds like a great idea to me. In this age of computers we never use our penmanship skills anyway, and if it is making her dislike school then I say be flexible. I'd still make sure she was writing some things out, such as math and perhaps some kind of penmanship exercise, but part of homeschooling is making learning fun and enjoyable, and not always by the book. The most important thing is that she learns, and if she can learn better when she is not thinking about how much she hates to write, go for it! (I, by the way, have always had an aversion to pencils, and this caused many problems for me in school, so I can relate)

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2009

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My son suffers from something similar - I researched it and she could have a form of Dysgraphia - it is like dyslexia, but with the hands! What we did was have our son write certain things - focused assignments or his handwriting program - in handwriting, but the rest (book reports, essays, the like) on the computer. He can compose better there because he is not concentrating so hard on forming the actual letters. There is some info on this disorder on the internet, and there are many recommendations for it as well. Good luck!

Jean - posted on 11/04/2009

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My son (13) has a fine motor delay and has used an Alpha Smart since 1st grade. It is a stand-alone keyboard with a small screen where the work can be viewed. We've tried grips and special pens but none of them seemed to help. With the Alpha Smart, the work can be easily transferred to a computer via a USB cable. It's a tough little unit that can go just about anywhere and the memory can be expanded via SD cards. The current models also come with Palm software that can help with organization.
It's hard, however, to do Algebra (Math-U-See) on a computer so he does write this. Sometimes I still have to have him interpret his answers.
I look at how much I write and don't see it as a problem that he doesn't write much with utensils. (My friends know I really love them when they get a hand-written note from me because they know that it hurts me to write.)

[deleted account]

I personally think that the physical act of writing is a very important skill, so practice is important also.

Letting her do SOME assignments orally (or on the computer) is a good idea, but not ALL assignments. If she's writing a longer story, or essay (or something similar in nature) let her use a computer. But, if it's shorter, everyday assignments, I would have her do them by hand. Good penmanship is a nice skill to have, and practice makes perfect!

The pencil grip idea is perfect! You can put them on pencils or pens, and they come in tons of different prints and colors. I also find they make for more comfortable writing. You could also get her some 'exciting' writing tools. We just picked up a pack of gel pens for the upcoming homeschool year, and my 4.5 year old daughter (starting kindergarten) is actually excited to use them! There's a ton of different colored pens, even sparkly ones. She's sitting at the table right now practicing her letters. :o)

Good luck with everything. Just keep things simple, and do whatever works best for the two of you. :o)

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