A first sentence

A first sentence

Some of you may have read my post from last week about our first family portrait as seen through Monkey’s eyes.  It’s one of those pictures that will definitely make it to Monkey’s Memory Box.  We had a note from school the week before last telling us that the children would start getting homework from last week.  They each received a scrapbook which would come home on a Friday night with a task to be returned to school the following Tuesday.

Last weekend the scrapbook was obviously a novelty and the task was easily completed. Cut out a series of winter themed objects and stick them in your scrapbook in order of size. Monkey enjoyed the task and it was completed quickly.  I knew we wouldn’t always be so lucky!

I had hoped we’d get a few weeks before writing (AKA Monkey’s worst nightmare) became part of the task.  Sadly this wasn’t the case.  This weekend’s task was to draw a dinosaur, label it (I’m presuming that means name it??) and write something about it.  Blimey, this was going to be tough for my little man.  Yes, he loves dinosaurs, but drawing them is another matter.  He likes me to draw them and he colours them in.  Then we get on to the writing issue.  The boy who can’t really even write his name properly.  He has very little interest in writing – full stop.

How to tackle this task?  As soon as I read it out to Monkey he started getting upset.  I want you to draw it Mummy.  No Monkey you need to draw it for me this time.  Why don’t we pick one of your dinosaurs and you can copy him.  Uum, ok, and off he went in search of a Diplodocus.  I got some colouring pencils out and Monkey actually draw something mildly resembling his dinosaur.  Great job, well done!  What are you going to call him? Fredosaurus Mummy.  Ok, try to sound that out then and work out how to spell it.  We got to Fred and then he’d lost interest.  Ok, never mind.  Let’s turn the page in your scrapbook and write something about him.  What do you want to write?  (I will remain calm, we will get something down on paper, we will!).

I don’t want to do it Mummy, I can’t do it!!  I really think you can, let’s just try it.  I tell you what, if you can try to write a sentence then you can have one of the blueberry muffins we made earlier.  You will have earned it, but you must try.

Monkey’s school use Read Write Inc for Phonics and I bought the cards that accompany the scheme some time ago so we could encourage Monkey at home too.  Each letter card also shows how to form the letter when writing.  So, I got the cards out and hoped they would help make the task a little less daunting for him.

What would you like to say about your dinosaur?  He is a lovely dinosaur.  Ok, well you need to write that down in your book then.  You know what ‘he’ looks like don’t you – it’s one of your rotten reds.  We found the right letter cards and to my surprise and joy, Monkey wrote the word down.  We worked through the rest of the sentence with me helping Monkey to sound the words out and then work out how to write the words down on paper.

He did so well, this is the little boy who struggles to write his own name, let alone anything else.  We were told at our Phonics workshop not to worry about spellings, but to concentrate on sounds.  We had a first sentence, and I was so proud of him.  It took a lot of effort but he did it.

A first sentence

Can I have my cake now Mummy?  Yes you can!  Well done little man.  So am I bad for using cake to get the job done?  I don’t know, but I also don’t think he would even have tried without that incentive.  Now he’s conquered that obstacle I’m hoping it won’t seem so daunting for him next time.  Slowly, slowly, as with everything, my little Monkey goes at his own pace with everything.  Why should writing be any different.



33 thoughts on “A first sentence

  1. Well done Monkey. The cards sound like they’re a good idea.

    I have a feeling that N will be just like Monkey on the writing side. There are some girls at nursery who’re writing birthday cards – the whole lot and legibly, while N will write an N, and the rest of his name if he feels like it and copying me a letter at a time. Didn’t think about how hard it would be giving him a long name to learn! He likes doing Ns in a joined up row over and over again to make ‘shopping lists’, but anything else is highly unlikely. Just not fussed. Hoping that school will be able to interest him a bit more.

  2. Oh that’s such a lovely ‘first’ to achieve, his first Written sentence and I think his writing is pretty good! Oh I’ve used bribes with Mademoiselle to encourage her to get started and once she became confident enough to enjoy the feeling of achievement the bribes soon dropped off!!
    Well you Monkey & well done you for being so patient!!xx

  3. Well done Monkey! You must be so proud. My son was very reluctant to write,it took a lot of time and patience but he got there in his own time. Small steps and plenty of incentives is the way to go x #magicmoments

  4. We are having a hard time with reading and writing. It frustrates me a lot and yes I am using chocolates and cake to bribe my son to practice as he really need some motivation.

    Well done to Monkey for this one. As an adult there are so many things that I am scared of and I cant do them for fear of failing. Monkey and kids are so inspiring in this aspect.


  5. Aww, well done! It can be so intimidating for them when they first start writing but once they get confidence it does get easier. #whatsthestory

  6. Well done Monkey, that’s a fantastic step forward. And, I think incentives are needed at times, I certainly use them 🙂 Small steps is the way to go, once it isn’t so daunting, he will be off x #whatsthestory

  7. Well done Monkey! Miss C is learning to read just now. Sometimes I have to hold back my frustration when she doesn’t try but it must be hard for them learning to read and write for themselves. I might try cake too!

  8. Well done Monkey and well done you, incentivising to write is no bad thing, boys often don’t take to writing, several of mine are still reluctant writers, it is all in their head and they will happily talk about anything but writing it is another matter. Its the same with reading, some enjoy it and for others it is hard work and a little incentive is worth it. #Whatsthestory

  9. Well done Monkey! It can be challenging can’t it. E is still not overly keen on writing and we had a complete meltdown this weekend trying to get him to do his homework!

  10. Well done Monkey – what a proud mummy moment for you. Those phonics cards sound like a great idea and I would have used cake as an incentive too! 🙂

  11. Aw, how fantastic, he did brilliantly well! Starting to write is so hard and such a big hurdle, well done Monkey! #MiniCreations

  12. Aww bless him and well done Monkey! I don’t think there is anything wrong with using cake as an incentive as it clearly helped! Well done to you as well as Monkey! Xx

  13. Well done Monkey, lovely writing.
    It can be so tricky to get a reluctant little one to get motivated for a task and there’s nothing wrong with an incentive. (I’m allowing myself one after I’ve done my reading and commenting ;))
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

  14. Lucas says – Well Done Monkey. This is fab work. Looking forward to seeing how you progress. We use the same reading programme at our school and I think it’s really fun and a good way to learn.
    The Mother says – We’re using Read Write Inc at Lucas’s school. As a governor I’ve taken particular interest in how pupils react to learning this way. Monkey is a fab example of what most pupils think of it and I think it’s a great way to get kids reading. Well Done Monkey – you’ve gone a grand job 🙂
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations. Sorry for the delay but there’s been problems with broadband this week,

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