Thursday, October 8, 2009

Writing Strategy~Planning Past the Evaluations

Once my child was evaluated for placement, it wasn't placement that concerned me, but skill sets.  What does he know and not know.  When I am aware of his weaknesses, I can work with him to improve those areas.  Planning becomes key when looking at where we want to go.  But what would planning look like for your child? Each child is going to be uniquely different, but you can decide as a homeschooler what skills you need for him to learn and when to learn them. 

When my boy was younger, about 2nd grade, I wanted him to creatively write in a journal each day.  I tried all kinds of things to get his creative juices flowing including offering a tape player for him to speak his thoughts into and letting that be his "writing." I did this so his thinking would develop independent of the motor skills of writing.

I also used copy work.  I didn't use the nice copywork sheets that are available with a saying or Scripture on the top in nice script for him to copy, but I used regular three-lined second grade paper and wrote every other line and had him copy my letters directly underneath mine.  This took up more paper and may have been more costly, but really in comparrison to purchasing copywork pages that are not lined appropriately for the young child, but more like college or wide rule notebook paper and their cost, it most likely came out the same...also there were added benefits with using this method.  It was a 'real world' practice of what I would later require of him...I didn't want to change the methods with paper type for a child already struggling! Cost wasn't as much a factor as what may help us!  Also I had him copy the Bible and other works of literature passages for practice in seeing great sentences and content.  I was making the way for a path that I hoped one day would be well trodden!

Each lesson of writing accompanied some other lesson such as history or Bible or science we were doing.  This gave great meaning for all the work, and I was very proud of his efforts and showcased them in page protectors in a three ring binder! I allowed him his place in the process of learning and to grow!

We played word games, although I don't think he ever realized this was a strategy on my part...we played Wheel of Fortune on cd game...he loved to solve the puzzle...Writing became a part of all the other things that were fun for him.  I had to find ways to keep exposing him to using his small fine muscles and to enlist that brainy memory of writing~the art of the written word. 

It could be said, I have worked him silly! In fact, if you ask him, he says that I have done just that...but we are seeing progress...and it was incramental.  It was a step at a time...

Once I figured out what he knew and didn't know, I was prepared to find unique and interesting ways (to him) to take him to a higher level...planning was key.

Write some goals.
Write steps to getting to the goals!
Write some rewards or incentives for your learner!
Evaluate what is and is not working.

Getting the evaluation can be invaluable to figuring out how to help a child who is struggling.  Accurate information such as the self test in the previous post or professional accessments can tell just what a parent is navigating through for their child.

Once this is all done and plans are made, then it's time to do them...and if you find something not working, it's time for....

We will discuss what to do when something isn't to make that...CHANGE!

No comments: