My daughter is going to 3rd grade and is still having trouble with writing. She can not make an accurate sentence and shuts down when becoming frustrated. For example she would write " I love my mom. She is nice. I like her a lot." That would be a paragraph for her. Not only that she mixes her b's and d's up a lot and her numbers are always backwards. I have been told this is just a phase but she will be in 3rd grade in one week and I personally think this is a problem. Should I be concerned?
Your child always had tons of friends. Birthday party invitations arrived for children you never heard her mention. She had best friends at soccer, in her classroom, in the neighborhood. She was even friends with—yuck—boys.
Now she has one best friend. And she wants to be with that friend all the time. What changed? She entered 3rd grade.
“That was the year my child spent more time dealing with her social life than [with] schoolwork, family, and activities all put together,” recalls Tracy Davis, a former 3rd grade teacher whose daughter is now in 5th grade in Jackson, Miss. “She was all about the best friend.”
Students in 3rd grade are gaining confidence, making their own decisions, and figuring out where they fit within their school community. There is no single description of a 3rd grader; kids develop at different paces. While some stick closely to a favorite playmate, others remain happy to spend time with lots of friends.
But 3rd graders in general do share similar traits as they shed their little-kid selves in favor of a more independent persona. This stage can present challenges for parents, who see their child listening more intently to his buddies than to his family—a child who thinks he has everything figured out and who suddenly views schoolwork as an intrusion on his social time.
Writing is really a very difficult task - it asks children to do many things all at the same time. Think of what to say, write out each letter, put spaces in, spell each word, punctuate and then do it all again with the next sentence. It's not uncommon for even third graders to write some letters and numbers backwards. It usually is developmental and usually does go away.
Your daughter would benefit from a teacher who understands that this is developmental. Typing/word processing would take care of this problem and eventually your daughter will be expected to type all of her assignments.
In the meantime, it can help a child to have a 'scribe' - they can speak their thoughts to someone typing for them and at the end they look at what they've said and say, "I can say all that?!" It gives them confidence. Children can come to feel that because writing is hard for them that they really don't have to anything to say. Scribing for them at times can help them to realize they do have something to say and eventually their writing will catch up with their thoughts.
There are also very good dictation programs out there now - that very accurately will type for your daughter when she speaks and there's a free app that does the same and works very well even for a child's voice.