You will probably receive as many different guidelines as there are people on this board:-) But I'll start off the discussion with my opinion.TammyB wrote:Those of you who have been on this board for a while have read posts from me in the past about the struggles I have had in teaching my oldest writing skills. We are continuing to struggle this year, and I have found myself really thinking and praying about how to proceed.
What would be extremely helpful to me is a set of guidelines or benchmarks to follow. Ideally these guidelines would deal with these types of issues:
1. How much copywork should a child be doing at each elementary grade level?
2. How much original writing should a child be doing at various grade levels?
3. What about dictation? Should a second grader be able to write two sentences at a time from dictation? What about a third and fourth grader? Should dictation be done daily?
I have got to get some concrete goals in mind so that I know what I am working toward. Anyone care to discuss this with me? Thanks,
I appreciate where you are...I have been there. It is so hard to know if you are doing things "right". As a mom of four kids, I have had the benefit of seeing things work out over time. Remember the ultimate goal - for us, it is children who communicate effectively (including through writing) and reason well. They have 12 years to get there!
You really need to gauge it for your own child. If they hate to write, the important thing is doing something daily, and keeping it palatable. If they aren't very good readers and spellers, then dictation can be a brain-draining process. Keep it short. Copywork for 5 minutes, with beautiful handwriting and careful work, is so much better than 15 minutes of fighting with your child just because of someone else's guidelines.
Original writing is as simple as a letter to grandma. Original writing is COMPOSING. And composing doesn't need to be done on paper. So if your child is struggling with the fine motor skill of handwriting, creative ideas are not going to flow easily from her brain onto paper. Fortunately, you don't need paper to teach good writing. You need discussion, ideas, reading good writing, etc. Talk about the taste, smell, feel of the weather outside today; describe in detail the deer grazing in the backyard or the bird at the feeder. If it had a name, what would you give it? Can you create a story about why it is here right now and what it might be thinking and doing. All this is preparation for creative writing, without the fight of putting pencil to paper.
Remind yourself that you have a full 12 years of schooling to teach them what you want to teach them, and we don't have to keep on the same schedule as the schools. Sometimes we'll be ahead of grade level, sometimes we'll be behind. But we a tailoring schooling yearly for our own individual children.