A couple of years ago I was completely freaking out because my daughter didn’t write. Not only did she not write creatively, but she didn’t write mechanically either. By that I mean, she would not create written paragraphs or papers, and she didn’t actually put pen to paper.
I felt that it was vitally important for her to write. Not only was she not keeping up with grade level writing assignments, but I felt like a total failure because writing is what I do for a living. Surely I could teach one growing, intelligent, literate child to write. Yet she just didn’t write.
I was expressing my stress about this to a fellow homeschooling mom and her very sage advice was, “Maybe she is just not ready…give her time, after all, you are a homeschooler, be flexible.”
Still I stressed over my daughter’s lack of writing. I considered getting her an online writing tutor. Then I realized that it was pointless to engage a tutor when my daughter wasn’t even pretending to write.
Finally, I backed off, and just quit putting pressure on her about writing. I made adaptive technologies like voice recognition software available to her. We worked on spelling, and grammar. We learned the steps in the writing process, even though she still didn’t create.
We just kept moving forward with her language arts studies, and had her create “oral” papers, where she needed to construct a decent paragraph verbally, while I took dictation.
All of those other language arts lessons were not a waste of time. Finally it all clicked into place and suddenly she was a writer. She has several books started, some on the word processor, one by voice recognition, and I think two books started in composition notebooks (handwritten!).
I guess the lesson that I learned was that children will learn in their own time. It wasn’t time for her to write yet, and then suddenly, it was her time. As homeschoolers we have the luxury of not only being flexible, but also of allowing our children to develop at their own pace.
If you are having trouble with your child in a certain subject, you might try backing off for a little while. Take the pressure off and work on other things. Then when you do go back to that subject there will be less stress and the subject will be fresh again! And if you need to spend a little time doing something else, consider educational videos to fill the time. They are still learning!