We have struggles with writing at our house. Two of our five children struggle with writing. Our ten year old Elisha struggles with penmanship and creative writing; while our eight year old Moses struggles with penmanship and spelling.
Elisha has struggled with printing since he was little. He has Autism and ADHD. I am amazed at the leaps and bounds that this child has made since he was first diagnosed almost 5 years ago. This boy is bright. He retains just about everything that he hears, sees, and reads. In kindergarten, he was testing at a high school level in some of his subjects.
Even though Elisha is approaching grade five, he still cannot print more than a couple of sentences at a time without fatigue. Most of our work is done together in a quiet space, away from the noise of the rest of the kids. A great portion of his work is oral and I scribe what he cannot write.
His printing has improved dramatically from when he was little. He actually has very legible and beautiful printing, but it is exhausting and stressful for him to print. Last year we decided to lower his requirements for printing and it is working wonderfully (most days).
We have an awesome OT and Elisha has an IEP that limits the amount of writing that he is actually required to do. We spent this year focusing on strengthening his fine motor abilities. He has been enjoying activities such as K’nex, Lego, chop sticks, typing, and other fine motor activities.
Moses does not have a diagnoses, but he has struggled with penmanship and spelling among other things. Moses’ struggles seem to be different than Elisha’s.
Moses still prints upper and lower case letters intermingled. He often prints the wrong letters, or the right letters in the wrong direction and says that his brain made him do it (in all sincerity). His printing is difficult to read and inconsistent in size and form. Often he will print entirely the wrong word.
His struggles with spelling are interesting. He can copy words if they are placed beside the paper he is copying onto. He cannot sound out words to spell them, but he can read.
Moses also struggles with understanding and following directions. Directions often need to be broken down into smaller parts and repeated more than once to actually be something that he can follow.
I found an interesting little paragraph while doing some research one day. It talked about dysgraphia. I had heard of this before, but needed to do more research. I am looking into this as a possible diagnoses for some of the issues that Moses is having right now.
Whether or not we pursue a diagnoses (I really dislike labels), I will be looking at ways we can adapt our homeschool for him next year to better meet his needs.
Moses really has an amazing ability to tell stories and is very creative. I want to help him this coming year with his phonics, spelling, reading, and writing so that he can get those stories out.
We make adaptations to fit our family because it works. Every family has different struggles. Right now, we struggle with writing (printing, spelling, etc). We take a very low key, stress free approach to the subject and take our time.
What things do you struggle with in your homeschool?