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Writing for 8 year old (not using a curriculum)

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Any advice for bringing together a program/plan of action for an 8 year old boy, very possibly ADD. He can read fairly well. He does not write well at all. At the moment, I have him writing in his journal a couple of times a week. Most of his writing prompts include list making though rather than sentences. He can write a sentence or two, but hasn't had much practice with this. He does copywork about once a week. We go through a couple of lessons of FLL a week. He has also worked a bit on expanding simple sentences.


He just started this sentence book: http://www.amazon.com/Write-Sentence-Evan-Moor-Educational-Publisher/dp/1557996067/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426465288&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+write+a+super+sentence


I would like ideas and resources to come up with a more solid plan.


These are resources that I have and plan on gleaning some ideas from for the summer and next year:


-The Writer's Jungle

-Games for Writing

-The Complete Writer

-Some posts by 8FilltheHeart and other posters. (Thanks!!)


I know there are lots of theory type books out there, but I am definitely looking for something more accessible and easy to implement.





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If you have an 8 yo boy with ADD, I can't recommend WWE strongly enough.  I had two of these, and one without, and WWE most definitely turned my very reluctant writer into a competent, if not quick, writer of expository prose.  He is 13 now.  I found that copying, dictation and narration were all skills that took years to build up to the point where he could have an idea, form a good sentence, and write it down.  Then we took on WWS and that also has been an excellent program for him.  I so wish I had had it for my older kids!

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Two thoughts, but both are curriculum.

WWE really helped my ADD kid. He needed to learn to organize his thoughts and summarize. I wrote while he spoke.

I like the The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever for narrative work. It can be a nice balance with something like WWE.



It's a bravewriter idea, I think, but you can be a writing partner with him. Write down his thoughts, add your own, and voice your thinking process. This can work with any or no curriculum. 

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Another vote for WWE. Also, you could just pull copywork from his reading and start doing oral narrations with him then gradually have him write (or copy) the narrations a la WWE. The Complete Writer will outline it all for you. Dictation does wonders for wiggly boys.

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At the age of eight, I'd build up the copywork skills. If it were my child, I'd expect he should be copying a sentence 2-3x per week and beginning to work on short dictation sentences 1-2x per week. My older DS didn't enjoy journaling, but my older DD does so I adjusted my writing expectations for each child accordingly.


Is he reading aloud to to you every day? Ask him questions about the reading. What was it about? What happened first? What happened next? And what was next? What is most memorable about this passage?


Build up to writing as copywork one sentence every day, gradually increasing the length. Once he can do that, ask for another short sentence. If he balks, remind him he could do a ten word sentence last week, he can do two five word sentences today. Keep track of the word count if that motivates him to do just one more word.


With the birth of two children in two years, I've returned to WWE because it gets done, the sentence structure is varied and challenging, and my DD enjoys the readings. If you'd prefer your own readings, get the WWE instruction book and build up to dictation 2x per week and narration 2x per week.

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Thanks for the replies. I actually have WWE 2 and I will pull it out for now. He did go through most of the first one, but it felt lacking in some way so I let it slide. It didn't seem to capture his attention. While I am trying to figure it out on my own, I'll at least start the WWE2 to get something done consistently.

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My 8 year old has been doing oral summaries, which I write down and then dictate to her, and lots and lots of copywork.  She's recently transitioned to writing her own summaries, with support. You could absolutely do this without a curriculum. I've just found it so much easier to have prepared materials to work from!  WWE is good for this, although you don't have to follow the exact techniques in the book (i.e. you can do copywork instead of dictation with the sentences).  I am using Write From History because my dd loves history and enjoys these materials.  But the idea behind it is more Charlotte Mason/SWB and isn't curriculum-bound.  So here is another philosophy of teaching writing resource you might like:




Scroll down to read about the Charlotte Mason method for teaching writing.

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