Okay, so I've been talking about the stages of writing and how to help a unique learner who just doesn't want to write.
This learner most likely has dysgraphia, which is...in essence...a dyslexia for writing.
Even if your child or student doesn't have dysgraphia, there's a huge possibility that writing is difficult, that you're having battles over it. That's why I shared so many tips for helping those first two stages of helping your unique learner learn to write without tantrums and tears.
Those first two stages are motor skills and perceptual skills. And, I shared how there's a hierarchy to learning - how you have to have these first two stages in place before you get to that third and last stage - processing information.
This one is tough, I can't lie.
It's a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional skill. That's why I did a quick recap. I didn't want to bore you to tears!
I just wanted to make sure those first two stages are in place before we move on.
Okay...so a reluctant writer or unique learner can't process all the information necessary for writing. There are too many steps we're asking for that child to take. It's asking her to run a marathon with her legs tied together.
It's overwhelming, and that's when you get the meltdowns...the excuses. The tears. The avoidance tactics.
So...we have to take some of that pressure off the student. We have to break the skills down. And here it is...the tip that makes a huge difference for unique learners.
Instead of just assignment the student a vague writing assignment, you'll get a picture of something that interests the child.
My son was the most unique learner you'd ever meet, and writing was his Waterloo! We had battles like you wouldn't believe until I figured out to start breaking the steps down for him.
I copied a picture of a moto-cross racer and told him to write what he sees.
Write What He Sees!
This last part is the crux of all of this.
You must lower your standards at first and tell your child or student to just write what is there - what can be seen.
That's the first step to helping your child process writing information.
We use this activity at the Harp Learning Institute and Harp Learning Academy every day with our reluctant writers and it works every time.
Even teens are relieved to just write what they see in the picture and having the picture of high interest helps immensely!
If your child or student struggles to write and you've filled in those first two crucial stages, then print out a picture and tell your child to write what she sees.
You'll be amazed at the difference. Your unique learner will be agreeable about the whole writing process because the pressure is off and there's only one thing to think about. (Also, you've added in those first two stages, so writing in general is getting easier.)
But here are the magic words that will make a difference in your unique learner's writing life.
Write What is Seen!
Nothing else...just writing what is seen. Be careful to not add anything else at this stage. It will overwhelm your reluctant writer and you'll be back at tantrum time!
More later on processing information.
Remember...there's a hierarchy to learning and we have a long stretch ahead of us. But it can be done!