More help with writing success

More help with writing success

So, we have been working on those writing skills that seem to plague so many students these days. Today I want to add another step.

By now, we have strengthened motor skills and have practiced writing by using your words instead of the student’s.  Now it’s time for the student to write.

Find a picture that the student is interested in.  If your child loves motorcycles, then simply find a picture of a motorcycle.  There are many free sites that offer pictures.  Just be careful that you don’t violate an artist’s copyright.

After you find a picture, have your child look at it and write what he/she sees.  That’s it. You don’t have to get into any descriptive sentences, paragraph production, grammar, spelling, or anything else.

If the student grumbles that he/she doesn’t know what to right, try to help.  Ask, “What color is the motorcycle?”  Of course, the student will say, “It is red.”    You can think of other questions; just make sure that it is in a literal sense.  Reluctant writers get too confused on all of the variables that take place when writing and usually end up saying, “I’m thinking,” and the next thing you know twenty minutes have passed, and the student hasn’t written a thing.

After prompting the student, say, “Write, I see a red motorcycle.”  If the student asks for help with spelling or punctuation, then give it but don’t offer it unless asked.  Start with one sentence and then build up to five.  Don’t judge the content at this point, and don’t pick at any mistakes.

Simply celebrate that the student is writing on his/her own, and know that in time you can get into paragraph development and the other mechanics of good writing.  The start is getting the student to write his/her own words without a fight or fuss.

Like most academics, writing is a step-by-step process, and by breaking down those steps into bite sized pieces, learning success can be met.

Happy writing,


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