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 Post subject: creative writing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:03 pm 
My son's ( Year 5 ) Achilles heel is English (not unsual for boys , I suppose). We organised the tutor , which we are very happy with, though I must say that trying to do all homework on time is the task that requires huge discipline not as much from my son , but me and my husband. One of the weekly tasks includes writing the story , which cannot be shorter than one page A4 and a bit. ..and this really gets us.
My son goes through the tests willingly achieving good results , but when it comes to writing.....You can imagine!! It involves the whole family and totally ruins our weekends!! We give our son quite a lot of support and the results are good, but I have a feeling that he becomes too dependant on us. How much support should be given to him while writing?
With our support he learns how the proper story should look, what elemets to include and so on.., but on the other hand they are not completely his own work (though he sometimes thinks that). Any advice?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
Read this great thread and post by Mike

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=1104&highlight=

You might have seen it already but if you haven't ,it's very helpful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:10 am 
I think that there are three parts to this. One is the creative writing; the next is the grammar, spelling and punctuation; and the third is the mechanics of writing.

My Year 6 daughter really enjoys writing, and normally has a story on the go. She does this on the computer. They also use computers a lot at the Advanced Learning Centre that she goes to weekly.

Although writing longhand is an issue that does needs to be faced from the point of view of exams, I think that there is a case for doing some of the drafting of homework on the computer. Obviously start with some handwritten notes. However, if handwriting is poor then proof reading drafts is difficult. Work through drafts on the computer, proofread these, and then do a final handwritten version to practise handwriting and to hand in for marking.

We have followed a similar procedure with Year 10 daughter's homework at times; including subjects such as History (now dropped , thank goodness!!). School has accepted word-processed homework for essay topics.

Regarding being own work, when Year 10 daughter was in Year 7 there were a couple of occasions early on when work handed in was more my work than hers, but I felt that she needed to be given an example of what was needed. If she didn't know where to start, she wasn't going to learn how to go about it in the future without some help.


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 Post subject: esseys
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:09 am 
Thank you to Jah and Laid back son worrried mum. Very valuable remarks. After 4 months of tutoring and hard work I can see considerable improvement. He passed his last English assesment in school as 4a , which is fine , I suppose, for Year 5. Still though it worries me that it takes so much time to produce an essey at home. Sometimes up to 5 hours (including planning, drafts and re-writing). !!!!!! Maybe we are trying to bring it too close to perfection!?? It is absolutely exhausting, especially that the weather is getting better and for us, being sporty, otdoor types, suffering is becoming unbearable :)!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:12 am 
My son would sit for an hour writing and only produce half a page! I was aware that he would need to write at least an A4 page in half an hour for his 11plus so I set him a task of trying to get as far down the page as he could in 45 minutes and tehn reduced the time until he was producing almost a page in half hour.
Each weekend the whole family sat down with 3 essay titles, decided on one, and we all wrote a piece for half hour. We then read each others out and suggested ways of improving the stories.
It showed me how difficult it is! And also how one week I could produce something pretty good and the next week it might be rubbish.
Half an hour of your time is not much to give. It's not something I looked forward to but he absolutely never complained as we were all doing it, not just him. It was a lot less traumatic than trying to get him to sit down on his own! and it was 'kinda' fun in a way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:31 am 
I agree that everyone having a go can be a useful thing to do. Also try round-robin story telling. We used to do this when I was a child when on holiday with no TV!! My father and my older sister were best, and always managed to retrieve the story from where my younger sister had left it.

Youngest person selects 3 items they want included in story eg elephants, hot air balloons and Christmas, and then off you go!


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