by Clare Schmitt
One of our moms recently asked this question: “My son is in the 4th grade and seems to have trouble writing the paragraphs he is assigned. I try to help him, but sometimes think I may be doing too much. For example, the outlines – I often find myself writing the outline for him, and then having him write the paragraph from that. Is this more harm than good ?”
Our counselors tell me this is a question they get a lot. Here is their response, in case you were wondering, too. (I wasn’t sure of the answer, myself).
“Often younger students have difficulty putting their words on paper. It is expected that these writing assignments (both paragraph and book report) will be teacher directed at first. Basically what you are doing with him is modeling. After working through an assignment with full assistance then you can cut back on one portion of it to allow him to practice that part of the process. In the early stages of writing it is not a matter of giving too much help. There are other supplemental books in Seton’s catalog that might assist you but if you keep going over the process in the same manner he should in time be able to take over the assignment. Sometimes breaking it down into smaller pieces and focusing on one thing at a time will help.
With learning any new skill a person needs practice. Just because a child cannot ride a bike on the first try does not mean that he will never be able to. It just means that mom needs to be at his side balancing for a time. In a sense writing skills need the same support.”
Great response, don’t you think?
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