Homeschooling Help:
My Child Can't Write

Come and get some homeschooling help and reassurance that you are not alone. 

One of the delights of home school is that we can all support each other and you'll find answers here from a whole range of homeschooling families.

trouble with writing - get some home school help

Reluctant Writers

When you're homeschooling, the responsibility for teaching your child can get overwhelming at times.

We all know how hard it is when your child isn't reaching their supposed Grade level.

What will other people think?

One of the commonest worries I get asked about is what to do if your child won't write.

I thought I'd share a typical question with you (name withheld) and then we would all benefit from the homeschooling help only other homeschoolers can offer.

This is just one of the questions you'll find answered in my free e-book:

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writing problems question from homeschool Mom

Homeschooling Help

This is what my Facebook fans say:

"He's 4, he doesn't need to know how to write at this age. As long as he's practicing his fine motor skills through other means he should be fine. My son hated reading until a year ago. He's 9 now. When they see us or other children doing something they don't like, they become curious and get interested (not always but most of the time. At least from experience). Give him time. Leave pencils and paper out (designated area if you have one) and he might just pick up and start writing on his own." ~ Sadaf

"That's the beauty of home education - children DON'T HAVE to do anything, no-one tells them what they should be doing at any point in time so they take their time and learn at their own pace. Writing at four is NOT a common thing. I'm fairly convinced that those who said children should be able to write at such an early age (or more generally, follow an age-tied curriculum), had no idea what a "child" actually is, what it's made of or what its purpose is :)) Until your child's brain develops enough myeline around those cells responsible for certain actions, it's pointless and quite harmful to expect them to perform those actions - they simply have no control over their body! And, as many would agree, children develop different interests at different age, the worst thing we as parents could do would probably be comparing our children to others' to see where ours are "lagging behind"! My eldest could read from the age of 4, he can now read and write in two languages (he's nearly , but my God, try and make him write a letter or read as much as two words!! ))) But I'm hopeful ))) So all in all, relax and go with the flow, the time will come and you'll think of these your fears as silly and absolutely groundless! And good luck!" ~ Leyli

"Let him fingerpaint, "Paint" with shaving foam on mirrors, use an etch-a-sketch,and do arts and crafts ( cutting and drawing) to help with eye hand coordination. After a while , make a game by seeing if he can copy what you draw or paint with your finger in the foam or paint. Always praise, don't be picky on his looking like your shapes, letters, smiley faces, etc. ( You can also pour some sand in a shallow, clear tray for finger tracing of numbers and letters. Place a picture under the tray, let him choose which picture he wants.....Don't forget to include his name!) ~Have fun" ~ Tracie

we love homeschooling because

"Just enjoy his company, and play together. He will learn when he feels the need. No rush what so ever. If he sees u write then he may want to as well. Savior every minute of your time with him." ~ Haidar

"Just let him draw, color and trace. Leave the writing for now." ~ Toscar

"Yep. Just relax. My 20 year old didn't read until 5th grade and it wasn't from lack of effort. She cried over writing. Today she's a college student with A's, and her penmanship is LOVELY! Relax. It happens when it happens and every kid is different. Encourage "fun" art projects without the stress of "failing". No worries. Enjoy this age as much as you can!" ~ Lynn (G)

"I say don't push him, he will learn to write when he is ready, 4 is very young, its only because schools and governments tell us they have to do this that and the other by insanely young ages that we think they have to. It'll come when he is ready." ~ Emma

"If he is not interested in writing, it is because he is a four year-old and that is not what he is interested in. Leave the writing for later. Is he able to pick up small things, like Cheerios, in a pincer grasp? If so, just leave him be. Let him be a small child. There is no good reason to force writing so young. If he cannot pick up small things: cereal, marbles, et cetera, then perhaps there is a fine motor issue and you should see the doctor about an evaluation. Really, though, 4 is very young." ~ Michelle

"The beauty of home schooling is letting your child do it when they are ready not when government say he will soon do it when he's ready," ~ Jaymie

"Does he like painting? This is a good activity just to strengthen the muscles in his hand for when he's ready to write." ~ Helena

"Start the Handwriting without tears program. The program starts with fun "games" "activities" before actual writing." ~ Kelly

"Four is so young my son (who was in school) didn't read until he was 8, they were stressed I was chilled I knew he would get there, he loved to be read to and his brain just wasn't ready for all that stuff, now at 12 his head is always in a book! My daughter learnt at 4 and my next one is 5 and has no interest in learning how to why bother when the stories sound so good when read by others. As long as they have books around them and see the value of reading they will get there all in there own sweet way. Enjoy him for all the things he is doing now relax and he will follow." ~ Bevwin

"Agree...4 yo is still young,plenty of time to catch up...focus more on fine motor skills and get him draw what he likes a lot..freely as he wishes..can also start with his own name & writing for a purpose eg. write ingredients before cooking, things he wants to buy at shop etc.... not just typical writing worksheets..which my 4yo also refused to do." ~ Ummuaunyadny

Grades don't measure intelligence and age doesn't define maturity

"I know it's difficult to do but please don't worry... He'll write when he feels ready. In the meantime why not draw shapes dot- to -dot style and get him to join them up to find out what the picture is. Use lots of interesting media, for example: why not get a tray and a light covering of sand and draw shapes in that. If you want to keep a record of his journey, take pics of his sand shapes so you can both look over again together. Also let him draw shapes for you to guess. Before you know it the letters will begin to form in no time at all. Hope this helps. Also another cool idea is to make shapes and eventually letters out of playdough." xx~ Lynn (T-A)

My Homeschooling Help

Thank you to everyone here who has taken the time to give some home school help.

I think it's great we can help each other like this and there are some brilliant suggestions here as well as lots of reassurance. Thank you so much.

The only thing I would add to the advice here is that there is research to show that boys can find fine motor skills harder than girls; certainly my son William proves the point!

I don't think he really wrote properly until he was getting up to high school age and he's still pretty hard to tempt to write even now!

I've written a few pages on my site with ideas to help reluctant writers in case that helps anyone else:

kids creative writing tips

It's this sort of homeschooling help which can make all the difference when you're teaching your child at home.

story writing worksheets

Homeschool Helper E-Book

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You'll find this question and many others answered in my free Homeschooling Help e-book.

You can also click here for more homeschooling help to answer one of the commonest homeschool problems: What do you do when you child won't do any school work?

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Homeschooling Help › Writing

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