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Need suggestions - 4th grade writing


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My 4th grade ds doesn't do much writing (creative or otherwise) except what he does to fill in answers on worksheets and with WWE 3.


Tonight at Scouts my ds was asked to write up a menu for his favorite healthy meal, and he froze. Eventually, with a LOT of prompting from my dh, and requests for spelling help, he got something down on paper. The others in his Den wrote out quite a bit more than they were asked for and did not struggle.


My dh was embarrassed and concerned that our 9 yo can't write.


Can you give me some suggestions on how/where to add in more writing, but not overwhelm him? I think he lacks confidence since he doesn't get much practice. I feel awful that I have neglected him in this way.

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Are you looking for a curriculum or just some writing activities?


I will go with the "don't stress him out" mentioned and just give a few ideas that have worked for us.

- take pictures of your ds doing an activity (cooking, yard work, scout activity, some neat art project...something he was really engaged in). Take at least 4-5 photos and give them to him. Have him write what he was doing in each photo and then sequence them, make corrections, copy into paragraph form and add a catchy opening sentence.

- I would have him do the same recipe activity at home that he did at scouts. Try to have him do it without worrying about the spelling, etc. Trust me, those other boys had spelling/grammar errors in their writing, too...your Dh just didn't see that since they aren't used to asking for assistance the way your ds is.

- does your ds play any computer/video games? Maybe he can write out the steps of explaining how to get to some cool feature in the game. He could even do it while playing and pausing to make it more fun.

- write sentences explaining his responsibilities at home.


Hang in there!




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My ds would have been the same way at age 9. I think some kids just don't write as well as others until later. Today at age 14 my ds is in public school and has to write constantly and doing fine with it. My point, don't stress he will get there. With my 9 year old dd I am using a book called Writing Skills Book 1 by Diana Hanbury King. It is from Educators Publishing Service. I bought it from Rainbow Resource. They have examples if you want to check it out. They also have a Book A( pre- book 1) and Book 2. It only takes her a few minutes a day to complete. At the beginning of the book they only work on sentences and then it moves to topic sentences and supporting sentences. Then they move into paragraphs. It is very step by step and not at all overwhelming. I sometimes break an exercise down into a couple of days or have her do every other sentence because they have them writing a lot of sentences in some of the exercises. I am very pleased with this book. Or you could do Brave Writer ideas where they just have to write for 10 minutes on anything. It can be a list or story or whatever. It doesn't have to be complete sentences. They just put words on the paper. At some time later you could choose one of these topics and have him write on that. HTH



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i had a similar experience with my 9 year old in sunday school. i was assisting in my dd's class and they were doing written Q&A with the curriculum. this was very simple stuff and totally age appropriate imho. everyone was fine with this, except my daughter. she looked pretty lost honestly & couldn't think of what to write. plus, she was unsure about spelling some words (even though she could have looked in her bible). after seeking advice, i finally realized she just wasn't used to this approach at all. we had always approached Q&A through discussion & we had no time constraints in needing to move onto the next question (obviously since we homeschool). honestly, i've changed how we do writing now to expose her to more of what is expected from her in sunday school and/or other classes. we incorporate written Q&A now, and we also have more involved writing assignments (aside from narration & dictation). anyway, this is working well for us. hugs.

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I have had the same problem. My son is 8 nearly 9 and until three days ago it was a struggle to get him to write anything. He is bright and very logical but struggles with spelling and writing. We are doing FLL2 and WWE2. I have just started Writing Strands as I felt he needed to do more writing. Three days ago, it was as if the floodgates opened. He decided he was going to write a story on his own accord and he produced a beautiful story, one A4 page long with fairly complex sentence structure and correct grammar (most of it). I really think he just wasn't ready and needed the skills that he is learning in WWE and WS. I think it takes time to build up these skills.


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Wow! Thanks for all the thoughtful replies! You have given me some great ideas and some things to think about. I agree that WWE moves slower than I would like on writing. We are a bit behind in it. He "should" be in WWE 4. And yes, I will listen to SWB's lectures on writing. Good idea!


It's probably true that he isn't used to that format - and froze under the pressure of possibly getting it "wrong" in front of others. Also, he is an introvert - a strong one. That likely played into this too.


I am calming down a bit now. But my dh was very upset and concerned last night. I don't think he will let this go as he himself is an excellent writer. Also, all the kids in my son's Den are PS kids. Dh would like to believe that our kids are doing just as well, if not better. :tongue_smilie:


This morning I asked my two oldest boys to write a short essay on what they enjoy about Christmas. Ds (age 9) did O.K. For some reason, he was really concerned about spelling. I told him not to worry about that and to just write. We went over it later and corrected his two errors.


Thanks again for your help!!

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