34 answers

Second Try...Can Anyone Help Me?? 6 Yr Old Can't Write...

I need suggestions. My daughter is a very intelligent 6 year old first grader who loves reading but HATES writing. She reads like a champ, but cannot associate what she reads with writing it out. I'm not sure how to help her and I am beginning to feel like a failure to her. My husband and I have tried a reward system, we have tried to get her to practice her letters and words, and she has a quiet place to sit and work, etc.
She has been extremely stubborn since birth (Oh the things I could tell you!) and trying to make her do something is like pulling teeth! I am so worried about her; I just don't know what to do anymore. Please help. I'm curious if other Moms have had similar experiences? or advise? Fun projects? I'll take anything...

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I can't tell you all enough how thankful I am for ALL of your advise! Dyslexia runs in my husband's family, so we are going to go ahead and have her tested. His Dad has it and he was telling us about it; he thinks it would be a good idea to test her as well. We never really thought that's what it could be as we really never knew much about it. I will let you all know how it goes. Also, for all of the thoughtful ideas to make writing fun at home...we are running out to get new "supplies" as soon as we can. I think that will help make practicing fun! Again, I am grateful for all of your advise and knowledge. Thank you. Look for a note in the future if you would like to see the results of her testing. I will post them. Sincerely, T.

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Oh, boy, does that story sound familiar! My seven year old is in the same boat. Very bright, excellent reader, horrible writer. Aside from lessons at school, I have my daughter write out her own thank you notes for any gifts she may receive. Once she has completed the written part, I'll let her decorate it with stickers or glitter. It's like a reward for a job well done. And anytime I hear: "Mommy, you need to remember..." I tell her to write me a note. The key to improving writing skills is practice, practice, practice. I have also let her write out grocery store lists for me. Just try to find reasons for her to write that are rewarding to her. My daughter still doesn't enjoy writing, but her penmanship has greatly improved as well as her spelling. And when writing helps her accomplish something she wants, there's almost no complaining. Good luck!

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T.... Have you considered that she may have a slight learning disability? Intelligent children CAN have learning disabilities in one area or another and with a little help succeed in their area of difficulty. Talk with the school counselor and ask if they will test her. The stubbornness may be a part of it all, as well! A learning disability isn't horrible, just another thing we parents get to address! Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Does she like art? Maybe you can try an art project that will include letters. Or get some stencils and let her practice with those. Let her color them or put glue-glitter in them to make them attractive. Maybe even make signs to hang up around the house. It may give her a little incentive to learn how to write the words. Make a reward, like taking her to a movie she wants to see, or a favorite place to eat for every 25 words she learns to write. 6 year olds have a short attention span. The rewards have to be a little more frequent than they do when they get older.

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Well, just to give you background on my experience... I am a 42 year old mother of 11 and we home school. I know you are concerned but this is what I have learned. They all learn at different paces and at different times and she will learn when she is ready. I used to get all up tight about when my children learned what but not more!! All it did was make things very unpleasant and stressful for all of us and it did not change the ability to learn the skill in question. I currently have a 5 yr old boy who reads his 7 year old sister under the table. I started to get all uptight about it and work so hard with her and well...she just isn't ready so we reinforce what she already knows and slowly plod away at learning to read. I think sometimes it does take a pivotal point where they want to know how to do something for some special reason. Could a relative far away begin writing her and asking her to write back after a letter or two? I know my little girls love receiving letters from their Nanny. Keep trying with whatever you can but please relax and enjoy her great reading skills. It is so okay to be good at one thing and not another. By the time she is a bit older you will never know she had a late start. If it were to keep up it could mean she just needs a different approach because of her learning style and the way her mind works. There are people trained to help with that but so often it truly is nothing other than they have strengths and weakness'. I understand about he stubborn thing too...trust me. I don't have answers for that even with all my experience! If you get any good answers on that let me know!! Hope something in this will be of help to you! I will say a little prayer for your family as well! Sometimes being in the middle of it is just the hardest thing and better times are just around the corner if we can hang in there.

Sincerely,
K. B

4 moms found this helpful

Are you homeschooling her? If you are, I wouldn't sweat it. She will learn at her own pace and it will be easier if she is at home and is able to "write" about what she wants instead of what is forced upon her. You know her best so get her to think about things she really enjoys. I taught first grade, now I'm a stay at home mommy, and with the first graders I would usually write for them at first. Get a journal or just a notebook. First have her tell you stories or retell a story she already knows (this is the best really), but in her own words(sentence by sentence), or of something she really likes to talk about. You write it down and at the end you read it to her. It doesn't have to be long it can be where she would love to visit or her favorite color. Answer things like why, when, where, how, etc. to get her thinking (you don't even have to write it down at first). This age is usually all wrapped up in themselves so get her to talk about (write about) what SHE wants to. I wouldn't force her or she will just end up hating it more. It may take a while, but if she's at home she'll survive. If she's in school you'll get a lot of flack for it but I think all kids are different and learn at their own paces. However, if she's just blatantly disobeying that's a discipline issue. But I would go about it in a creative manner. Tell her she can write little books and share with the family or friends, have a tea party that celebrates the finishing of her book (something very small), or whatever she likes. Or write something together, a play or something. The possibilities are endless really. Just get very involved and try not to make it drudgery. I hope this helps. Best of luck!

4 moms found this helpful

I think there is an underlying issue with your daughter that needs to be discovered. It could be dyslexia. It is the number one reason intelligent children struggle in school. I suggest you start by going to www.brightsolutions.us. My nine year old is very intelligent and gets good grades but really suffers through school work. It turns out he is dyslexic, although the school won't acknowledge this. Dyslexia research has come so far, but unfortunately it is very misunderstood still in society and in schools. I am so relieved to know what my son's issues are now. (We also just found out...also through my own research...that my husband is dyslexic. He would have been much happier if he'd known that as a child). The school could also have an occupational therapist test your daughter. You really need to have a meeting with the counselor, vice principal, school psychiatrist, and teacher. Our school calls this an SST Meeting (student support team). Let me know if you have any questions about this that I can answer. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

I went through the same thing with my daughter when she was about that age. She loved to read but it was harder for her to write and do Math than anything else. I got with her teacher and we pushed for her to get tested through the system. It took a while but they did test her. She had what you call numerical dyslexia. She reads numbers backwards and some words. She was put in a SST program which helps kids with learning disabilties, all this is extra support for you and your child. They will give her several tests to see what see can understand and what see can't.They will either put her in a cotaught class or take her out of class for about an hour a day. She will not be in a class that is considered special ed or anything like that. She will just be out with kids that are alot like her. By the way my daughter is now in 4th grade and she is doing great. She is able to understand everything that she couldnt before.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

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My oldest son was like this! He could read anything in sight, but if you asked him to write the word, like cat, he could not do it. There is nothing stubborn about this, it is just that your daughter's brain hasn't switched on that part of her thinking yet. When I figured out that my son wasn't just trying to get out of doing school work (I homeschool my 9 children, two are adults, my youngest is 7), I backed off making him write for a while (about 9 months). What made it obvious to me that he wasn't making it up was when I had him write out a word, one letter at a time, and he could not tell what I was spelling until he finished the word. I just kept him busy doing other school subjects until he was able to do the writing. I exposed him to LOTS of books. I also had him copy poems and short stories to practice making his letters. Do not make this a big issue with your daughter, she will be fine. Not every child develops the same. BTW my son just turned 19 yesterday and is in the middle of writing his own fantasy/adventure book. Also this son had very poor fine motor skills diagnosed from the time he was an infant, and has had to work extra hard to make his handwriting clear & readable.
Hope this helps!

3 moms found this helpful

Hi T.,

I had a VERY similar experience except in reverse. My daughter could write but was having the most awful time reading. I homeschool and had worked with her for several YEARS and we just couldn't get to that next point. I felt like a failure too.(My first daughter was a whiz kid) Lydia was already diagnosed ADHD and I was terrified it was something like Autism. She was seven when I discovered the problem. I found it when I removed the chemicals from my house when my parents with dementia moved in with our family.

I immediately noticed she was calmer and more obedient. She paid more attention to me when we worked together and I had her on grade level reading within eight weeks. Her diagnosis of ADHD was also UN-diagnosed.

I'm not saying that that is definitely your daughter's problem, but I am willing to bet it is exacerbating it if your home contains normal store bought bath and body and cleaning supplies. (They out-gas and contraindicate with each other just like pharmaceuticals do.) If you have detoxed your home already then there may be something deeper, but in my case I helped my little girl out, protected my parents, got myself and my family healthier and saved money in the process.

I hope this helps. If you'd like to know more, please let me know. I'd be glad to help.

Regards,

M.

2 moms found this helpful

Oh, boy, does that story sound familiar! My seven year old is in the same boat. Very bright, excellent reader, horrible writer. Aside from lessons at school, I have my daughter write out her own thank you notes for any gifts she may receive. Once she has completed the written part, I'll let her decorate it with stickers or glitter. It's like a reward for a job well done. And anytime I hear: "Mommy, you need to remember..." I tell her to write me a note. The key to improving writing skills is practice, practice, practice. I have also let her write out grocery store lists for me. Just try to find reasons for her to write that are rewarding to her. My daughter still doesn't enjoy writing, but her penmanship has greatly improved as well as her spelling. And when writing helps her accomplish something she wants, there's almost no complaining. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

two ideas for you. I was a special education teacher in ohio and we used a program called handwriting without tears and it is great. we used it for special and regular ed kids that struggled with writing. I am sure you could type it in online and find more info.
Also if you do think there is a delay or dyslexia or soemthing, you have the right as a parent to ask for an evaluation. the school must provide this in 90 days (it may be shorter or even 120 days in sc) but you have the right to ask and recieve an evaluation. then if a delay or problem is found the can not deny services.
I wish you luck and remember to stay posistive, she needs to see that.
M. j

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