How much writing is appropriate for 4th grade?

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Mom2ampm, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    I really feel that writing is my dd's most disliked subject. She is not bad at it, but she doesn't like to do many required writing activities. However, she likes to go off and write in her journal or write about this or that.

    She's considered third grade now and we are doing writing daily. Some days it is just some writing worksheets from writing workbooks. Other days we write poems, theme stories, reports, etc. I have her working on how to write different types of writing as well....narrative, descriptive, how-to papers, comparisons, short reports, etc. I guess we are doing enough but I am really having to pull it out of her.

    Next year she'll be a 4th grader and I've heard this is the grade to really focus on writing. Is this true? How much does your 9/10 year old write each week? Do you have a set number of reports or writing assignments that you require? I wish I had something more to go by.

    HELP!
     
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  3. Vicky

    Vicky New Member

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    Missy,
    Instead of making her write it out let her use the computer. This age they are easy to teach the keyboard and technique. Then let her go and you will see a difference. My dd was the same way she loved to write in her journal but hated to write other things, until I let her start doing it on the computer. It is important that they know how to write on paper, but with technology the way it is and is going to become we may not have the need for paper in the future.
     
  4. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    I just want to make sure she's on the right level and doing age appropriate work. I also would love for her to be able to type using the proper typing method instead of "hunt and peck". When do kids learn this in school now? I didn't learn to until high school but that is just too late nowadays.
     
  5. She

    She New Member

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    As a kid I learned to type in the six grade on a manual typwriter so....my best guess would be that in 3rd/4th grade they are teaching them typing on the computer in ps.

    As far as writing at that level....Tina is right there but...also in the middle of A LOT mostly packing and getting ready to move BUT...I think she told me that in 4th grade they should be able to write a 5 paragraph essay.

    I also believe that she is using Classical Writing for her two oldest (9 & 11 --I believe are their ages)

    http://home.att.net/~MikeJaqua/classicalwriting.html
    http://www.lulu.com/classicalwriting/ this is the only place they seem to sell it.

    Not sure if that helped much but...maybe when she gets a chance she'll poke her head in and give you some more insight.
     
  6. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    I know Avery could learn to type easily if she so chose to but she's not interested. I would force her to if other kids were learning this in school. I would use that as my "excuse" to teach it. I know what she is supposed to be able to do at her age. I think she is "on level" so to speak. I just don't know HOW MUCH she should be writing and how much is normal in school. I know she could be a better writer, but she is not too interested in writing. I really have to squeeze out the work that I get. I use a variety of workbooks and textbooks that are for her grade level. I am exposing her to lots of examples of work, but there is not much interest.

    I looked at some samples (I'll try to post that site if I find the samples). I was surprised. I wondered if that was a typical paper for third grade. I'll go look for the samples.
     
  7. Maureen

    Maureen New Member

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    I have a 3rd grader in PS. They are still focusing on writing a paragraph. Most of her paragraphs are about things she likes so she can focus on the structure of the paragraph itself. But that's public school. If I had her home, which I will next year I would be happy with the journal writing if she focused on spelling, punctuation and structure while she was doing it!
     
  8. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I've given up teaching my girls writing. Part of the problem is that writing always came so easy for me. I just "did it", and have trouble "teaching" it. Next year, I'm going to put Rachael in a writing class. I've heard wonderful things about the guy teaching it!

    As far as typing (ie: keyboarding) goes, there's no set grade it's taught in. My husband taught it in 6th grade as part of his computer class when he was in the middle school, but only for a few weeks. He says that he had kids whose hands even then simply "didn't reach". Anytime from 4th grade on. Both my girls have used a computer keyboarding program, and Rachael especially can keyboard fairly well. Oh, and my dear DH, the computer geek, still uses the hunt-and-peck method for the most part. He's fairly quick with just two fingers!

    I do try to have my kids do some kind of journaling every day. They don't, but it's MY fault for not thinking to remind them!
     
  9. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Maureen, that is exactly what I wanted to know. Is your child having to do any sort of reports or essays for homework? We have really been working on writing a good paragraph this year as well. I just felt like we were not doing enough reports or other writing assignments. I appreciate you sharing this with us!
     
  10. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    We have two pc programs for learning to keyboard or type. I have encouraged Avery to try them. She took a look at each of them for about 10 minutes and said they were boring. One is the Garfield typing software. I thought that one would be fun for her age but she still wasn't interested. She is certainly smart enough....just does not want to take the time to actually learn it.
     
  11. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Missy, sigh.... You never know what they will or will not like, ya know? And what one kid thinks is absolutely wonderful, another will absolutely hate!

    Maureen, I hear what you're saying about journal writing. Here's my delema. I come from the train of thought that journal writing shouldn't be "graded". It's the place where the kids just put things on paper, without having to worry about sentence structure, spelling, etc. Teachers don't "correct" it. Now, I have a fourth grader this year who is the world's worse speller. Let me give you an example from where she had to write a math problem:

    Ther wher 10 stradrys in each row. Ther wher 5 rows. how menny stradrys ar ther?

    Translation: There were 10 strawberries in each row. There were 5 rows. How many strawberries are there?

    I am having her do Power Spelling this year. It is helping. REALLY!!! I also have her do copy work. I think part of her problem is that her brain moves faster than her hand, and she can't keep up. If you ask her how to spell THERE, she would tell you correctly. When she has a report of some kind to do to me, she writes it like you see above. Then I will go over it with her, making the correction. I then will type it out on the computer and she will copy it NEATLY. If it's not neat or there are too many mistakes, she wil have to copy it again. This forces her to SLOW DOWN!!! Sometimes I will have her just dictate her "report" to me. I will type it out for her, and she will again have to copy it. Sometimes she will type it out herself. She does better typing, because she has to slow down to look for each letter. Also, there's spell check!
     
  12. Syele

    Syele New Member

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    For typing.. Once they know the home rows.. there is a good online game the kids like at popcap.com

    I wouldn't let the kids play just any game at that site though cause of the chat rooms, but the typing game has sharks and pirranahas (sp?)That you have to type the words or letters on them before they get your ship.
     
  13. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Oh, I bet it's the same one they have on Real One! Rachael has played it. She really liked it, and was amazed at how fast I am with it!
     
  14. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Cool! Thanks so much Syele! Hope dd likes that game!
     
  15. Deena

    Deena New Member

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    For keyboarding we have used Typing Instructor Deluxe Edition. It's pretty fun, my kids have enjoyed it, and it DID help them advance in their typing skills!
     
  16. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    We have Mavis Beacon as well as Garfield, but she is not interested in learning right now. Do you all require things like this if your child is capable (but still not wanting to do it)? I sometimes think I'm just too weak. I give in easy.
     
  17. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    By the way, I've been posting so much this week because we are on a winter break. I had hoped to go on a mini-vacation with dh but the kids got sick. Now, I am suffering with sore throat and sinus congestion. What a fun week. Anyway, atleast I got to get online with you guys and talk.
     
  18. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Oh, Missy! I sure hope you get better! Too bad it had to happen on your "break"!
     
  19. Mom2ampm

    Mom2ampm New Member

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    Thanks Jackie!
     
  20. Northwriter

    Northwriter New Member

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    This is just my opinion, so take it or leave it: :D

    We learn to speak well and correctly by listening to others speak well and correctly. As a general rule, few people need "instruction" in how to speak grammatically correct sentences if they hear other people speaking grammatically correct sentences. Most children "catch" this skill rather than "learning" it. If they hear proper sentence patterns, they will learn to produce proper sentence patterns when they speak. They will not even be aware of what they are doing, but they will be imitating others.

    People learn to write well by reading great writing and listening to others read great writing. In the earlier grades (elementary), the most important thing for a child to do is to read widely and to listen to well-written prose and poetry. He or she must be constantly exposed to quality writing, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. Continual exposure to great writing will form patterns in the child's mind. Then, when it comes time to really start writing (middle school or later), sentences will flow naturally from those patterns established in the child's brain by what they've read or listened to.

    I think most homeschooling curriculums put way too much emphasis on writing at a young age. Kids are being asked to produce before they have the capacity to do so. Therefore, many of them feel pressured and become resistant.

    I can't quote a lot of studies, etc., to back up my argument, but I know from experience that my kids learned their writing skills from reading. My 11th grader is writing a novel now. She is a fantastic writer. Why? Certainly not because of any great writing curriculum. She has read so many great books!

    My 7th grader is developing into a good writer too because she reads constantly. I don't force her to write very much, but I see her skills developing in her writing journal.

    My 2nd grader writes very little. He reads a lot, though. I'm not going to make him write much until he's read much.

    Like I said, this is just my opinion. Some kids may respond well to writing curriculums. Mine have developed the majority of their writing skills simply by reading.
     
  21. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Northwriter, I do agree with you to a certain degree. That's one of the reasons I make Faythe do copy work. When we did a study guide to "Charlotte's Web", I included copying paragraphs from the book. She also copies Aesop's Fables and various poems.

    My mom taught me to read aloud anything I wrote. This is how I proofread it. She told me that if it sounded awkward, then there was probably a mistake and needed to be corrected. I found this to be fairly accurate...as long as the person doing the writing speaks proper English in the first place, lol!

    But I also feel that some writing needs to be done earlier than Middle School. I believe in journal writing at a young age. My youngest draws pictures and then dictates to me for his journal. Sometimes he attempts to do some of the writing himself. And I also feel there's nothing wrong with them writing a "report" for something we're doing in science or history. We generally don't do book reports, but Rachael was impressed with book reviews done by children at the local libary.
     

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