The Struggles With Writing

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?

9 thoughts on “The Struggles With Writing”

  1. I don’t want to come across like I know anything, but what handwriting curriculum do you use? We are using Handwriting Without Tears. If Elisha learns better in seeing things in a creative way (pictures), this may help him. I say that because HWT approach may peak his interest. Just a thought. I know what you mean about not liking labels. Good luck finding what works. I like that you keep a stress free approach. =) A
    .-= Aislynn Holt´s last blog ..To Co-op or Not to Co-op that is the question =-.

    1. Hi Aislynn,

      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

      Unfortunately , HWT caused lots of tears around our house. It just did not work. Elisha’s printing is actually very good, but he tires very easily. Moses, on the other hand, still struggles with printing so others can read it.

      We have been using A Reason For Handwriting this year, but may switch over to a program that our OT gave us. I have to pull it out and look again to see if it would be a good match for where they are at right now.

      I really don’t like labels. Stress free is the name of the game around here.


    1. Hi Avalon,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. We have used Spelling City and really like it – but – we find it hard to balance three children and the computer when it comes to school work. Most of our regular school work is not on the computer. I did really like it though.


  2. Sorry to hear that. My husband joked what if it did cause tears? Hmmm… Well, I do hope you end up finding something great.
    .-= Aislynn Holt´s last blog ..To Co-op or Not to Co-op that is the question =-.

    1. Hi Aislynn,

      I am not to worried about it. What I am looking for is a one stroke printing course. I don’t know if such a thing exists or not, but i am looking for it. It would be where each letter only takes one stroke. My oldest son wants something like that. I am looking.


  3. Honey, thank you for sharing what is probably a common struggle. I do not personally work with these issues but I can imagine that they are very challenging not only you, the homeschool parent, but also the child. Handwriting issues are often associated with Autism. Last year I came across this article and shared it with my sister who has a son with Asperger Autism – – and while it didn’t provide a lot of answers it helped my sister to just know she was not alone in this struggle.

    If anyone can figure out how to help their child succeed, I know it’s you. You are doing such an awesome job as as homeschool mom and I appreciate your honesty and thank you for all the resources you share as you work to find things that your kids like.

    My best to you,
    .-= Sara @ Saving For Someday´s last blog ..Glee: Where Music and Sarcasm Meet to Make A Point =-.

    1. Hi Sara,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. That article was very good. Thank you for sharing it with me.

      I plan on doing more research after we finish out this school year.

      It is not easy to talk about the areas where your children (or you) struggle, especially when you don’t have any answers. As soon as I have some answers or resources, I will pass them along.


  4. Just came across this post on your site. I too think my son has dysgraphia. We have struggled with handwriting to the point that he almost refuses to do it. It is a battle. Thanks for the comments on and HWT. I thought about that one but I can see that it may not be for us.

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