Amazing maths, appalling writing?

(20 Posts)
MmeMorrible Tue 25-Mar-14 10:17:33

DS has a natural affinity for maths & science. I don't remember ever teaching him his numbers, he just knew them. He's now in Y2 and school have said he is 'off the scale' in terms of maths ability. He's also a very confident free reader, able to read pretty much anything he likes and enjoys his reading. Spelling is good, doesn't really have to learn them, just seems to know them and gets full marks every week. He's one of those kids that looks at things differently and makes interesting observations that catch you out and asks questions about the world that DH and I often struggle to answer.

But his writing is awful, big and really untidy. The sentences he makes when he actually put pencil to paper are good. They are well constructed and make good use of his extensive vocabulary and loves the 'rules' aspect of punctuation but honestly, its very hard to read. Letters are mostly well formed, but not of even size and jumping about rather than sitting on the line. Spacing is an issue, we have worked hard this year on spacing between words, rather than a long line of letters but now it's patchy e.g. A capital letter, big gap then rest of the word.

Does anyone else have a child that's struggling with writing but racing ahead in other areas??

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 25-Mar-14 13:22:23

This was my DD in year 2. Now she is in year 5 she has beautiful writing, something clicked in year 4 or maybe the element of competition to be one of the first to get a pen licence worked for her.

VegasIsBest Tue 25-Mar-14 13:30:42

My son is the same. Diagnosed with dyspraxia aged about 12. Works mainly on a laptop now and his school work is transformed.

Partridge Tue 25-Mar-14 13:34:59

Another one with a kid who has dcd (dyspraxia) and sounds identical. He was getting very frustrated trying to translate his ideas into handwriting. Just gone down the alpha smart route (yr3).

neolara Tue 25-Mar-14 13:35:53

I would get him to do a lot of things to develop his fine motor skills in general e.g. hama beads, lego, cutting and sticking etc. Then also more handwriting type things such as dot to dots, copying patterns. There must be handwriting practise books out there somewhere. I guess that if he is very on the ball, sitting down to copy lines and patterns repetitively, (which is sort of what he will have to do to get better control at handwriting) is probably going to be very, very dull for him.

MmeMorrible Wed 26-Mar-14 21:32:30

Thanks all. Reassuring to hear that other DCs have picked up in by Y5. His fine motor skills are pretty good, he's always loved doing hama beads & jigsaws with lots of pieces so his dexterity is quite good. He's just never been into drawing or writing so I suppose he really needs more pencil time and plenty of practice.

Will keep monitoring the situation and make sure we keep up with writing over the Easter hols.

LostInWales Thu 27-Mar-14 22:07:02

You could have been writing about my DS3! He is so far ahead with reading and his maths has been tested and the HT said she has never seen results like it but his writing, it's just appalling, all over the place, never on the line, never the same size one letter to the next. Is worry about him. I am really interested that posters have said dyspraxia, DS1 was diagnosed with dyspraxia in years 3/4 and he is the same, now in secondary and a 'high flyer' in science according to school who are wringing their hands as unless his handwriting improves a hell of a lot they think it will impact his english GCSE result and mean he won't get into a good university to do science at a top level. (Not that that bothers me, he will do what he does and as long as he is happy I don't care, there is more to education than the years between 14-21! It does bother the school though). The only thing is that DS3 is also properly brilliant at football, had a major club interested in him sort of good (God I am not normally a boaster honestly, just trying to paint a picture of my conundrum of a manic 7 year old!) so I don't think he could possibly be dyspraxic, probably the opposite IYSWIM or can he be sporty and yet have dyspraxic traits for small motor stuff? Sorry essay, just I came on to puzzle about my boy and find the OP has written exactly what I was going to say.

OP is your child hilarious to be around but also pretty hard work?

pippop1 Sun 30-Mar-14 21:36:31

Have you had his eyesight checked? Worth doing just in case.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 30-Mar-14 22:40:14

LostInWales - my mum was told the school were seriously worried her handwriting was so bad she would fail the 11+ even though she was the brightest child they had ever entered. She passed and continued to have terrible writing until she went to teacher training college. She had to learn some standard writing style which I have forgotten the name of now (at least I think that was what she said - they did some special handwriting thing anyway) and has very very neat writing now. most bizarre.

my writing has always been awful and DD1's is terrible.

Colour2 Mon 31-Mar-14 00:32:37

Sounds a lot like my DD. She hated writing and didn't see the point in colouring.
She would put a squiggle of colour to represent what it should be.
Never would she colour up to the lines.
Finds any repetitive task totally tedious.
Gifted in maths and science, but found English "hard".

Grammar was easy as it was logic.
Comprehension was difficult for her.
Factual essays were much easier than imagination.

Teachers described her as lazy as she didn't write enough.
We think she was/is a perfectionist who didn't want to do something that she wasn't excellent at.

We got her a tutor for English who focused on her writing and comprehension.
She has beautiful writing now.
It took several years, but she managed to get level 5 English in her Y6 SATS.
Finds English easier now than she did.
Has always read masses and has always been well ahead of her age.

My nephew who is also gifted in Maths and Science didn't have any extra tutoring and is struggling a lot in Y7 with his workload.

iseenodust Mon 31-Mar-14 12:02:36

DS never liked colouring/drawing etc but his motor skills are fine. His handwriting however is so dreadful that on one occasion he couldn't read back notes he had written. On a change of school at the beginning of yr5 they put him back on writing whole lines of just one letter. It's still horrible and lacking in any kind of uniformity but they've let him move on to a pen now. School considers him gifted in Maths & English.

hillyhilly Mon 31-Mar-14 12:06:47

My ds is very similar, he started school able read (largely self taught he just sort of picked it up), count and take away but had not yet decided hitch hand to write with and therefore was unable to write at all. Now in Y1 he has recently transformed his writing by focussing on doing joined up writing. For him it keeps things together and similarly sized.
Both he as his sister I suspect are mildly dyspraxic as they have quite poor balance and coordination but his school runs a gross motor skills workshop which he attends which I believe has also helped.

storynanny Mon 31-Mar-14 12:07:58

Sounds just like my middle son. He now has a first class degree, works in USA filming and still has appalling handwriting! At university he even won a prize for writing a play script. Don't worry.
By the way I agree with the poster who said get his eyes checked. My son needed glasses from aged 8. Didn't help his handwriting though but everyone is different.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 31-Mar-14 12:10:38

Would he draw simple graphs or other visual mathematical puzzles (make patterns)? Might mean more to him than writing but its still pen practise.

Disclaimer: don't have a 7yo do don't know what topics he will be up to.

storynanny Mon 31-Mar-14 12:11:17

I did not write that post to boast, just to make you aware that g and t children don't necessarily have beautiful handwriting. A teaching colleague once told me that my middle son was the only truly g and t child they had through the school for ten years and probably the worst handwriter they had ever had!

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 31-Mar-14 13:36:34

that is a good point storynanny. I think my DD's problem is she has so many ideas and is concentrating on those and getting them down on paper before she forgets them that her handwriting suffers as a result.

My DS is the same, Y7, way ahead of his peers in maths, science, sport etc. but anything he needs to write for...
He'll write the absolute minimum, huge letters, erratic spacing, crossings out all over the place. He doesn't care how it looks. I've been working with him on improving his handwriting and it's slowly paying off. He can now write much faster while keeping it neat, and is finding it easier to write while focusing on content rather than letter formation.

QuiteQuietly Mon 31-Mar-14 14:12:05

What sorts of lines does he have in his writing books? DS2 has had awful handwriting, but this earlier this term was given a new book that had narrow feint instead of no lines or fat gaps. Within a few weeks, his handwriting has transformed - still a mess, but much more readable, and he has started using spaces between the words off his own bat. He only had the narrow book because they had run out of the usual ones, but his teacher is changing all his books over as it has made such an unexpected improvement. Having to carefully cram all the words in has also slowed him down so he makes fewer daft mistakes in the rush to get it all down on paper.

sashh Mon 31-Mar-14 15:49:29

Get his eyes checked, then check for dyslexia (if you can) y" is really quite young at it might just improve.

dalziel1 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:02:53

Add slow writing to the list and you have just described Ds1, who was diagnosed with dysgraphia when he reached y6. between Y2 and Y6, I followed every excuse in the book:-
- just a bit messy
- needs to apply himself more
- boys can be slower
- just relax and it will come right eventually

If there is something wrong, the earlier it is diagnosed the better for both dealing with it and your child will avoid the angst that comes later when the writing still lags behind.

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