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My son will be in 6th grade in the fall. This was our first year of homeschooling. Overall, it has gone well. So much less stress than PS!

 

He needs serious help with writing. He hates the physical act of writing. However, he will not type, so writing it is. He needs to learn how to write good sentences, paragraphs, and eventually a simple essay or report. I have emphasized to him over and over that 6th grade WILL have more writing and he will have to do it. (I eased off this year and we did many things orally to help with the adjustment to homeschool and decrease meltdowns as he was going through some medication changes.)

 

Right now the only non math writing he does are the two sentences required for EM Daily Language review and an occasional sentence in Nancy Larson Science. He seems to have trouble spelling, but has no problem identifying misspelled words or incorrectly used homophones. He is good with punctuation.

 

Is the a gentle, gradual writing program that has worked for your child with HFA? My only requirement is that it needs to be secular or easily secularized.

 

Thanks in advance.

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He is definitely does not have dysgraphia. Subject interest has only a mild effect on enthusiasm. I have considered Dragon Naturally Speaking, but would like to try a gentle writing program first.  Thanks for your response!

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I borrowed a copy of Teach Me Language by Sabrina Freeman for a while last year.  I think I remember it had a section on writing.  I got some good ideas from it, from other sections, I was not really looking at the ideas for writing. 

 

It was written or co-written (iirc) by a woman who wanted to help her daughter with HFA. 

 

It is something I think is a possibility for my son in the future. 

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One suggestion I heard about (but haven't had the chance to try) is using 6 traits writing, but only focusing on 1 or 2 traits at a time.

 

We also had a fantastic experience with R&S Grammar & Comp. I used it a year behind. They do a great job of breaking down writing into simple steps.

 

ETA: I think you could secularize the R&S curric. by altering any sentences you found objectionable. I did that on a few occasions and it was pretty easy.

 

I've also considered trying IEW and Kilgallon, but I don't know how gentle they are.

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IEW with Fix-It Grammar (new version).  DVDs help the parent and the student.  Everything is built up incrementally.  I highly recommend both for a struggling writer (although there are many great programs out there).

 

 If he truly hates the physical act of writing and struggles with writing, are you absolutely certain he does not have dysgraphia? Have you had him assessed by a qualified tester?  What are his specific struggles with writing?

 

I ask because there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding dysgraphia.  Some people think it only means really bad handwriting. Dysgraphia doesn't automatically mean illegible handwriting, although that can be one of the visible issues. There are many who have fairly decent handwriting that would still get a dysgraphia diagnosis. Perhaps this link might help?

 

http://www.ldonline.org/article/12770/

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Love BraveWriter materials! They are very supportive, easy to customize and assume your kids is starting at a place of not wanting to write. So I use lots of her stuff (free writes, the writers jungle etc) but her assignments don't work for me, so I set my own assignments based on the things below. 

 

I like the writing instruction in R+S. My oldest, on the spectrum, loves to write, but dd8 does NOT, so we'll start R+S a year behind next year for her. She's done lots of free-writing, copy book and such up to this point. I find R+S pretty religious, and I'm a practicing Christian, but you may be able to adapt what you need. Often about 1/2 the sentences will reference the bible, the other will be about the farm, the animals, nature, and such.

 

I've also started using the Progymnasmata with my oldest. This is a series of exercises used to teach speaking and writing in classical times. I didn't love all the workbooks, so I went to:

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Progymnasmata-Textbooks-Composition-Greco-Roman-Alexander/dp/B00POF49JE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430532609&sr=8-1&keywords=progymnasmata

 

which translates some basic texts on how to use these exercises from the Greek. They are actually pretty straightforward, and really quite clever for engaging the argumentative, high energy middle schooler. There are discussions on Socrates sex life (an image I really did not want :-}) and writing an argument about how terrible a person really is! (You get to start with their grandparents and work your way down from there.) Totally archaic and not PC but something a bit different. 

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Momto2Ns-

 

Can you tell me about the religious content in WA? How much is there and what is it like? Could a secular homeschooler use it? Thanks.

 

No, it has been too long since I've used it. I don't remember there being any religious content, but I could be totally wrong. I just did a quick look at Christianbook.com. They have a decent sample and it is exactly as I remember it. I don't think it would be a problem for a secular homeschooler, but I still reserve the right to have a completely flawed memory :).

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My HFA isn't that old yet, but would copywork be useful, just to build stamina? Also, IMO, kids should learn to type as well before they graduate high school. Which is still ages away, but 6th grade isn't too early. Since I don't know why your son hates writing I can't comment much more.

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