My kids groan at the mention of any writing assignment. Yet when they are excited to tell me about something that interests them they can talk and talk. So after many episodes of complaining and procrastinating when school asked them to write (even if it was just a paragraph) I knew we needed a better approach.
Once we get some momentum telling stories and talking out loud, then let’s transfer those words to paper or a computer.
Strategy #1: Get the kids to talk and the adult writes down the information
I served as a guide in the writing process. I began by reading the writing prompt or instruction to my kids. Then I ask them to tell me everything that they have to say on the topic.
Once they are finished I asked them what their first thought was in the process. They say it out loud and then I tell them to type it. (Side note: they also hate handwriting. Whether it is ADHD or dysgraphia related I do not know but we try to type as much as possible).
We repeat this process as many times as necessary for me to coax their own words out of them and onto the keyboard. Then editing becomes a matter of me asking them to read their work to themselves (out loud if necessary) and ask if each paragraph “sounds” like it connects to the next one or if they need more explanation.
Strategy #2: Have the kid use a cell phone to record voice memos of their story
Sometimes we change it up and use the voice recorder app on a cell phone to record their verbal storytelling. Then they can write or type from the recording, pausing as many times as needed. I often think their minds work faster than their hands and a big frustration of writing is capturing the ideas as quickly as they think of them.
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