Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Sign in to follow this  

My DS is in 3rd grade and will not write at all, he just sits there.

Recommended Posts

I pulled my DS from PS at the beginning of 2nd grade. His teachers were dumbfounded about how to get him to work. Obviously, their yelling fits did not work. Now we are beginning 3rd grade and he refuses to write. He will just sit there and stare at the paper till the cows come home. No amount of prodding, discipline 


I tried simple sentence copy work that pertains to science and history, nope not going to do it. He often refuses to work on a math problem if he has to rewrite the question. 


Yes, he can form all his letters and number beautifully. We did writing without tears last year.  He reads at an upper 5th-grade level and most likely quite a bit higher. He is like a dictionary at spelling and rarely makes a mistake. He knows and understands grammar quite well. On the sentences I am able to get out of him, they are formed well.


I ordered the WWE2 thinking he could start there but after reading some of the entries on the forum, I don't know.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why does he dislike writing so much?


How does he do with oral output on assignments?


Some kids hate reading--its not that they can't or that it's hard for them they just strongly dislike reading. He may feel that way about the physical act of writing.


Does he draw? Color? Trace? Is there any sort of manual output that he does regularly?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

He hates physical output in general. This year I was able to get him to try some art projects. Coloring is a no go. Drawing is somewhat acceptable but he will not attempt on his own. Notebooking is out for obvious reasons.


He literally just sits there. I watched him sit for 30 minutes because he had to rewrite 1 stinking math problem. 243 + 506 = _____ so that the numbers line up on top of each other as   243

                                                                            + 506



We were learning to round, yep he can round. He thinks its stupid so he is not going to do it. Explained it, 20-year-old brother explained, Grandfather explained. Nope, he has decided that rounding is stupid, not going to round.


I bring math up because it is the same arguments with writing. I ask for an oral narration, I would say he is 80% there. I ask for a written narration, and we sit.


Reading is very good for short chapter books; science paragraphs or sections, but novels are a no go because he thinks its stupid that it needs to be that long and he is not going to be bothered.


I am so frustrated. Do I let physical writing slip till later or do I press the matter?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be so many things. Do you think he may have physical problems with writing? Some kids have uncorrected grip problems that make writing painful (even if they're doing it well when they do it). There could be other physical, OT related issues going on. Or he could be experiencing anxiety about writing. He could be a perfectionist - perfectionism often means kids freeze up when it comes to output. He could be experiencing a lot of frustration around the fact that his input level (reading and understanding) is so much higher than his output level. That sometimes stymies kids when they're first learning to read and find the stories they're able to read too simplistic because they're listening to much more complex stories. There could be undiagnosed disgraphia or other issues at play...


I would focus on oral output for now. Do math on the white board - it both writes smoother and is so impermanent that it can be less stressful for a lot of kids. I very rarely had my kids copy any problems at that age. It's really only now that they're in middle school that I expect it sometimes, depending on the assignment.


I think you started with the right idea - simple, one sentence copywork. I'd get creative about it. Joke copywork - you write the joke, he writes the punchline (or vice versa). Things like that. And maybe it needs to be a funny combination of challenging - since he's clearly pretty bright - and simple. Like, maybe he would enjoy word puzzles (we like the ones you get with Puzzle Your Kids) - very little writing, but lots of challenge in terms of thinking. And see how he does with other small motor tasks. Can he color and stay in the lines? Can you focus on art for awhile and see how he does with pencil and paper in general? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply. There is some degree of dysgraphia at play and I have been addressing it. I watched for the perfectionist tendencies after reading your post. The perfectionist angle was in play today and after today's episode, I will pursue that angle. I started by having him do his copy work and told him to compare his writing between days to check for improvement and not to use the printed examples to compare too. I also showed him that I could not write as well as the printed version. The goal is to improve his printing, spacing etc.

We do a lot of dry erase board currently. He loves it but does not want to write on it. I didn't think it was a big deal to rewrite 1 problem, but evidently until his confidence grows I will have to modify the math workbook.


I like the idea of joke copy work. He loves to tell me silly jokes. So this could be a big hit.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I pulled my DS from PS at the beginning of 2nd grade. His teachers were dumbfounded about how to get him to work. Obviously, their yelling fits did not work.


Yeah, no. What should have happened is a Functional Behavior Assessment, and then a Behavior Intervention Plan on an IEP (and probably other evaluations and possibly other services too). Just mentioning this in case you were to ever put him back in a school.


Has he been evaluated by a developmental optometrist? Visual tracking issues could cause problems with even copywork etc. But, like others have said, it could be so many different things. Maybe try asking on the learning challenges/special needs board.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, there could be many things going on, maybe even multiple things going on at the same time.  He could be dealing with dysgraphia (which could be caused by many things including some of the following), he could have developmental vision issues (even if a normal eye exam showed he had 20/20 visual acuity), motor planning issues, perfectionism combined with other issues, etc.


Has he ever had a vision screening through an eye doctor, not just a ped screening?  Getting a screening through a COVD (developmental optometrist listed through the COVD website) could rule out any developmental vision issues while also getting a normal eye exam...or could show that this is part of the problem and he needs a full evaluation.  At least you would have more pieces to the puzzle.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hugs! I had a similar situation when I took my dysgraphic son out of public school. He was damaged from his PS experience and doing school at home didn't automatically fix the problem.


Some things that worked:

--taking a few months to decompress and let my son learn the ways he was happy learning: reading, discussing, computer work, documentaries, museums, music, science labs

--number flash cards to work out math problems with instead of paper and pencil

--switching from Saxon to Singapore math because it had way less problems per lesson but they were challenging and my son responded well to them

--math video games

--doing as much out loud as possible

--large square graph paper to line up math problems on

--accepting that fill in the blank worksheets are really a bane to my creative son (They are kind of boring and insulting to an intelligent kid if you think about it)

--giving him blank books, but not requiring him to do anything with them (eventually he asked to write a story with them and now he is a prolific writer!)

--ditching as many worksheets as possible. My son wouldn't do them, but he would do more challenging open ended assignments. So instead of a science review worksheet, I give him a piece of graph paper and her he writes out a few sentences about what he learns and draws a diagram, or makes a comic to go with his writing. 

--short lessons (look up Charlotte Mason short lessons)

--anything Charlotte Mason inspired


I enjoyed this article about homeschooling to a child's strengths, and I think it's worth a read.


You can discreetly skip the rounding lesson and subsequent review problems for awhile and go back after a few months. My son did the same thing with number lines and I was like, "Really, number lines?" A half a year later the concept fell into place and I didn't even have to teach it. 


Good luck! It's hard, but not impossible. It gets better. Pray for patience. It's OK to get behind in math. We got behind and now we are caught up finally! Just in time for pre-algebra! 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.