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 Post subject: Advice needed.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:51 pm
Posts: 39
All through my DD junior school she seems to have made little progress with her writing. She left infant school witha 2A and now half way through year 5 she as at a level 3B. She does not appear to be a concern is in top set and doing everything she is asked.
Could the reason why she is not flagged up as making little progess be that on her first day at junior school she was assessed as a level 1B! And if they work from that level then she would be seen as making huge progress.
I just keep being told not to worry and i feel that I am a nuisance going in and asking again about this.
Also her reading level is 4B so a whole level above her writing. I feel she is fairly bright,well behaved,does her homework to a good standard with my support and is just plodding along not being taken any notice of.
There have been strategies in place to boost literacy in the school like a class where the children who had not made progress were placed together and given help and other children get taken out in small groups for literacy booster classes,my daughter does not seem to have qualified for either of these,but if they used their own tset results from entry to juniors then she would look as though she is progressing.
What can I do other that pay for help myself?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I have sent you a pm.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:34 am 
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Hi i know this is cheeky but i have a son with exactly the same problem. His is top sets for maths is a free reader and doing very well in everything and is on target to take 11+ however his handwriting is not the neatest and he is not the quickest writer, but you can read it without any difficulty at all. His teacher actually said, " it simply is not normal!" which put my nose out of joint slightly but hey ho i am no expert. Subsequently his teacher has put him on a program called Write from the start: Unique Programme to Develop the Fine Motor and Perceptual Skills Necessary for Effective Handwriting by Ion Teodorescu and Lois Addy. He is supposed to do 10 minutes a day but just seams to fast track through it at a rate of knots. I am so worried that my sons writing is not normal - as he apparently needs neat writing for the english part of the 11+ is that true? Anyway is there anything else i can do - or any direction i can be pointed in - I am at my witts end only for the reason that my sons confidence has dipped so very much since starting this programme - as he cannot see the point of drawing lots of lines although i keep assuring him its to help and practise makes perfect, and his teacher just wants to help. My son is 10 and has no medical conditions at all, any ideas would be so greatly appreciated thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Handwriting is not given many marks - only a few out of 100!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: Bucks
Hi Bon Bon

As a mum of a 12/13 year old boy I have to say, I think it's a boy thing. However.....I also know that if they don't appreciate nice writing/presentation at this age, they don't suddenly learn to present well aged say 16, especially with computer-typed work becoming more and more the norm.

My son puts a lot of effort into some of his written work, it really is good - but, when he asks me to read through it, I have tried to explain that I can't read it as fluently as I would like, because I am sussing out some of the words and what a shame and also how will an examiner feel if there are say 3 or 4 children with similar handwriting, might they give up reading the whole piece if it is really unpleasing to the eye (I have to hope not or we are in big trouble :lol: ).

We are getting there and whenever he gets a party invite/thank you note from a friend we make a point of looking at the handwriting and if it is nicely presented he does make a comment about how nice it looks (probably to shut me up) so we are making headway - he knows what looks good.

I can only suggest you do the same, huge praise for the content, idea and constructive criticism for the presentation/writing ('oh you'll have to do the whole lot aqain' is often on the tip of my tongue :roll: ).

Perhaps ask him to write a 10 word sentence in his absolute best writing so you can see what standard he is capable of over a short distance and then use that (assuming it was ok) as a template for other work that is not so well done.

Good luck, I think we/you need to persevere, I think it is important, so lots of bribery and praise for a nice piece of work where they have used a ruler to underline, have used a pen which has not run out of ink half way through or a blunt pencil, no smudges etc.

As for the exercises the school are asking him to complete, it sounds drastic and also makes him different which isn't often a great idea. But teachers on the forum might be more familiar with it and be able to explain its benefits??

Ambridge x


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
my son's handwriting is appalling too.

Have you tried mazes for improving his fine motor skills? keeping within the lines as he traces the way through.

You can also get pens which create teh right grip. They are made by stabilo I think and they have a left and right handed version. In sonme cases using a fountain pen helps handwriting as it slows the writer down


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Posts: 4660
To have nice handwriting is a wonderful thing.

I have always envied people with nice handwriting - mine has always been incredibly scuffy, no matter how hard I try!

One thing I have noticed is I personally prefer to have a (what I term) big fat ball on my biro (shocking, I know - they say write with an ink pen but even that I ruined :cry: ). If given a thin one my handwriting becomes even worse (if that were possible.).

Just a word of caution too though:

My hubby has wonderful handwriting - he really does. It's a joy to look at and people comment on it (in fact most people assume it's a woman's hand if they don't know who's written it - they don't suggest that to his face though - he's a 6ft 4" ex rugby player :lol: ) but it's tooooooo flowery/curly which can be just as hard to read as scruffy handwriting.

So please, don't go too overboard on it!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
Jeanb, I have a very similar story to yours only in Maths. My daughter, Aug birthday so young for year group, did very badly in her KS1 sats. She was given a 1A for maths. At the time I felt that this was not representative of her abilities but the teacher must know best, afterall she was the professional and I'm just a mum.

When I eventally got to see the teacher to speak of my concerns, I was really just dismissed as an overanxious parent who, because one child is at grammar, that's where I wanted the other. Hmm, wasn't impressed.

I took measures into my own hands. I felt that my daughter was very immature and not ready for formal learning and tests. I told the teachers that it would come when she was ready. I employed a tutor who worked wonders with her and increased her self confidence. Her grades in all areas shot up.

But as soon as progress started to be made, the school thought I was pushing her too hard and that as she was of below average intelligence I should be content with that progress.

And now in year 5 - one of the babies, remember, - the teacher has finally acknowledged that my daugther is above average and she has just been given an individual level 5 homework book to work from (all the kids in the class have these and they are levelled to each child).

By the end of this year my child is on track to achieve at least a 4A and possibly a 5. This is not something that could have been predicted from the KS1 results that were give to me years ago. One teacher also said to me that as she has progressed 2 whole levels already in the juniors, I should be satisfied with that! I can't tell you what my reply was!!!

As I type this, my daughter is upstairs working on a practise 11+ maths paper. She has become mature, confident and wants to have a go at sitting the 11+ this September.

Hope this story helps.


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