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Not a Homeschooler, BUT..... *Update*

Posted by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM
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I do try to continue and reinforce what ds is learning in school when he's home too. DS is 6, in kindergarten, and has ADHD (non medicated. we chose what we felt worked best for us) He is having some trouble with his writing skills-- proper letter formation, sentence structure (spacing and actual composition. they're working on writing more complex sentences) Anyway, I'm having the hardest time getting him to practice writing at home like his teachers have suggested. I've seen the activities they do at school and try to do the same at home, but it almost always ends with both of us frustrated and him in tears from frustration. Can anyone give me some ideas to help him practice and improve these skills? Thanks :)

** I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the great advice. I have been trying pretty much everything suggested, and he is now improving AND the improvement is starting to become consistent (I think). Yes, it is just kindergarten, but this school really pushes writing skills and reading (which he is above grade level on- yay :)  ) I did stop extra work after school, and now just do a few worksheets throughout the day on weekends and school breaks (we're on spring break now) unless he asks to do them, which he does sometimes. That has helped the tantrums and tears considerably. I also see now how the fine motor skills were playing a part because I've noticed these improvements in writing are coming along the same time of him really mastering shoe tying (that was a long hard road too). Anyway, to show you all the progress that's been made

This was Sept/Oct- the spacing on this was good. Normally, it would be a bit more jumbled. But, letter sizing, some letters backwards, etc. Spelling, aside from their sight words, they aren't too worried about.

This is just a few weeks ago- More legible, still size and minor spacing issues sometimes.

This is after all of your wonderful suggestions- "proper" letter formation, and nothing more than very minor shakiness. His teacher saw this as well and she and I have both told him how great this is and how we know he can do this all the time. :)

by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM
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by Welcome Squad on Mar. 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM
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That's a bit hard as that is a big skill that some kids are just not quite ready for... and pushing a little guy to do more after he's already spent 6+ hours in school may, in fact make him more resistant.

I'd spend more time with "fun" sneaky ways to practice such as writing a letter to grandma or sending a card to a friend. Do this on a Saturday afternoon rather than after a whole day of school so he finds writing fun and not tedious work.
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by Helping Hands on Mar. 21, 2013 at 6:29 PM
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You could do art lessons, sometimes painting his letters with a brush while doing a picture can help.  You can write a story with him where you write a sentence and he writes the next of what happens.  You can write the letters he needs to practice with a highlight marker and then have him go over your highlighted letters with pencil.

Or you can get a handwriting curriculum for him to work with at home like: Handwriting without Tears

by Guidance on Mar. 21, 2013 at 6:57 PM
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Maybe start by telling him a story. Just as you get to a good part ask him, "What do you think happens next?" Have him write a few sentences about that.

by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM
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 We use Handwriting without Tears.  The kids like it.

by Testing the waters on Mar. 22, 2013 at 7:20 AM

Thanks for some great suggestions ladies! I'm going to look into the HW without tears curriculum (especially with summer break coming quickly) And I will try out the other suggestions as well. So far, we have been trying journaling (just a sentence or two with a picture), printed worksheets, a dry erase workbook, and me giving him a word to use in a sentence (helps with his sight words as well) Most often, he doesn't want to sit still long enough to do it or I get the 'my teacher didn't say I have to so I don't want to' argument. If he starts making a mistake or can't figure out what he wants to say in a sentence or how to spell a word, he gets really frustrated and upset. Thanks again, and I'm always open to more ideas if anyone else wants to weigh in :)

by Helping Hands on Mar. 22, 2013 at 8:29 AM
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My boys have ADHD. They are now unmedicated now that we homeschool.

After a full day of school, asking him to do more is asking a lot. This is true for any child, but it's particularly true for a child with ADHD. If you want to do it after school, my advice wuold be to let him run and play outside first. Maybe let him play outside, do dinner and bath, and 15-20 minutes before bed, have him do some handwriting. That would serve 2 purposes: it gets some of that energy that's been building in school out of him, and doing it so close to bedtime gives him a definite end time ("I'll be done in 15-20 minutes because I have to go to bed so Mom won't make me keep doing this").

I also would look for things that he would consider really fun for his writing. A letter to Grandma, a short story about his favorite superhero, even a short story about Spongebob, if that's his thing. Writing with him is good. A competition to see who can write more neatly might encourage him to take his time and try to improve - you could offer a small prize to the winner, maybe his favorite candy or a cool new pencil or something like that.

Maybe he could copy something for you. You could tell him you can't read ____ online because the type is too small, and ask him to write it down for you so you can read it. Make it something short, but the idea that he's "helping" you might encourage him to try harder and really work at it.

Remember, too, short spurts. Kids with ADHD have short attention spans and high energy. Trying to get him to sit still for an hour to work straight through is like trying to cuddle with an alligator. Do 15-20 minute sessions, take a 15-20 minute break, and repeat until everything that needs to be done is done.

by Welcome Squad on Mar. 23, 2013 at 10:42 PM
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I agree with the others - do it on a Saturday or a day off of school.  But make it fun or with an incentive.  Write a letter to grandma, or to a sports star if he has one, or a movie star or heck even just to his favorite cartoon character.

Help him see that writing neatly is important.  Write him a letter really sloppy where he can't decipher what you wrote, then really neatly so he can read the "fun" message you wrote him.

You can play restaurant and have him help write the menu.  Ask him to help you write the grocery list, maybe even let him put a treat on there for him.  Have him write a birthday wish list. Have him address  the envelope when you mail that letter to grandma.

Good luck.  Handwriting is the toughest part for us as well - it's hard to make something boring fun. 

by Welcome Squad on Mar. 24, 2013 at 12:46 AM
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My son LOVES HWT! It's a multi sensory approach. Some of the stuff, new on the HWT website can be expensive, but check eBay. You can get good bargains there.

Quoting Pukalani79:

 We use Handwriting without Tears.  The kids like it.

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by Welcome Squad on Mar. 24, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I don't homeschool (yet) either.  But I do work in kindergarten.  To be honest, we are pushing most of the kids and they aren't ready for it.

I would suggest instead of trying to do what they do at school, make it fun.  What does he like?  My kids LOVE legos, so to practice writing a letter, they wrote to the Lego company (and got a response!)  You can tell him he can write to them (or whoever) but he has to do nice writing, with good spacing and good sentences.  Maybe he will be a little excited to see that his writing is useful in some way.

He can also help by writing grocery lists for you.  He can make a list of chores he has to do.  He can write letters to family far away (or find a penpal, maybe someone else on CM has a 6 yo that hates to write and would like to have a friend far away to write to).

When my son was in first grade he wrote a book with his friend.  It was some crazy alien adventure story, but they hand wrote each "chapter" (each chapter was like a page lol) but as much as he didn't like to write, if it was something he enjoyed he would be more apt to do it.

Hope that helps :)

by on Mar. 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

that's what we use :)

Quoting Pukalani79:

 We use Handwriting without Tears.  The kids like it.

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