Thursday, 26 January 2012

Bringing up boys: the write stuff


I don’t know about you but it is hard work bringing up boys.
Exhausting.
Knackering.
They are just so difficult to get moving in every way. I am told I should just let them get on with it but if I did that I would still be waiting for them to get dressed at lunchtime and as for tidying up, well I don’t think we should go there.
The other thing I find hard?
Getting them to do homework.
Admittedly The Boy has more than his fair share of problems what with his epilepsy and now his newly diagnosed Dyslexia but the agonies I go through to get him to at least try to settle down and do homework makes me weak.
It is no wonder I hit the bottle at 6pm sharp every night!
Last term after a seriously dismal set of grades whereby it was made plain that The Boy had barely bothered to lift a pencil during school hours I decided there was only one way to go about getting everything better – practice.
He needed to practice his writing.
It was quite clear to me from looking at his effort grades in each subject that as soon as he was asked to pick up a pen and write something he switched off.
I’m not kidding when I say he was developing a phobia about writing.
Now this is a problem for me, I write for a living.
I like writing.
I’m not brilliant at it, but it pays. OK not much. But something nevertheless.
And I blog.
Writing is there for me every day.
So having a son, who can’t write, won’t write; is a problem.
My solution?
FORCE him to write a diary.
That sounds kind of harsh doesn’t it?
But it paid off.
Massively.
I didn’t physically force him to write. I just said he had to write five sentences about his day during the holidays.
Everyday.
First thing after breakfast come hell or high water or else no treats. No TV. No Riding. No DS. No …. Well you get the picture.
He kicked up a stink I can tell you.
But I stuck to my guns and he wrote.
His handwriting improved and he got his pen licence meaning that at school he could write with a pen rather than a pencil and then the other day he got a Headmaster’s Commendation for Outstanding Work in English – for his diary!
All that hard work paid off. I was so proud of him!
He’ll be celebrating with a new DS game and me? I’ll be celebrating with a well-earned glass of fizz at 6pm on Friday evening!

7 comments:

Milla said...

well done, TW, sometimes you do just have to have "because I say so" rules and then there are the things you can't force. A diary sounds a great idea, we found one the boys had done a few years ago on a summer hoiday and it brought it back so vividly (I'd tried to steer them from, "got up, played with DS, had breakfast, went to pool..."!!) My oldest hates reading, which, as a mad reader, could make me weep. They are what they are, and mine may come to it later. At least now that he is 15 he is starting to realise that the work he is doing will be for his benefit rather than some strange dictate of mine and so he applies himself much more. You can think you are in a rut for ever, and then it turns into a phase.

Zoë said...

I know that place so well - I raised two dyslexics myself! Boy didnt really read and write much til he was about 13 when he mastered making his own name legible. I home taught him through the GCSE years, only sending in his coursework as required, he did his exams in the head mistresses office (he hated the other kids so much by then)

So whats he doing now you ask? Well he is just about to complete an MA at the Royal College of Art ....

Dyslexia is often a gift (yes, really) I just kept reminding my son that people like Einstien and Galileo and Da Vinci were dyslexics.

Have a read here: http://www.dyslexia.com/bookstore/firstchapter.htm exceprts from a book that influence me significantly on how to help my boy.

Also look up Scotopic sensativity syndrome (words as ants moving on the page basically)- makes it hard to read. My son wrote a piece of software to help computer users who suffer with this as part of their dyslexia if you want a copy let me know - its free!

But on these lines, you may find certain colours are better for him than others in terms of what colour he views the world in, you can even get coloured glasses prescribed to help with such problems.

Good Luck, and well done that boy on a wonderful achievement xxx

Tattie Weasle said...

Milla - I am always telling him "Just do : don't think" in an effort to get him to put pen to paper he's getting the idea esp when I tell him it's not that I want things perfect just that I want him to try...he is getting there adn I am SO proud!
Zoe - Thank you for all this I will take a look. Wish with all my heart it was easier for hi or should I say the same as everyone else. Now I know what the problems are or at least am aware there are problems I know that soething can be done adn I keep telling him that too now we know we can make things better!

Potty Mummy said...

We're struggling with the homework too, as it happens - not because Boy #1 is dyslexic but because he's so easily distracted - but from asking around, I suspect that's many boys at his age. Hoping it's just a phase, as Milla says... Well done, in any case - you deserve that fizz!

Rob-bear said...

"Admittedly The Boy has more than his fair share of problems what with his epilepsy and now his newly diagnosed Dyslexia.

That dyslexia may be the reason why he hates school, and homework, and writing, etc. Encouraging him to overcome that will be really important. Equally important is helping him find skills which will help deal more creatively with the dyslexia. Zos may have just the link.

janerowena said...

Well done!

I had to do something similar - my son is now 16, and still hates writing, but being able to use a computer for prep, and lately having to use a laptop for everything, have made life so much easier. Of course, he still has exams to get through, but now he is able to write a little faster and fortunately has chosen subjects like Maths and Physics that don't require as much writing.

I can remember finding my daughter forging his preps for him because she couldn't bear the rows. And being delighted if he wrote more than half a page.

mrsnesbitt said...

Will try this with my nephew3 xxx

Go on you know you want to...

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