Leaving notes to encourage writing in your homeschool is just one way to encourage reluctant writers. Children with autism tend to be just that given their difficulties with motor planning in addition to fine motor deficits. They tend to make negative episodic memories about writing. This makes them balk at formal writing activities. Dictating their assignments is another great way to encourage their learning.
Madison has always been a note person. She literally leaves notes everywhere as well as for everyone. Encouraging her writing skills has been a walk in the park. I like to leave her responses or notes in things like her dance bag or under her pillow. She always gets excited to read them . OF course, her notes are illustrated . Mine are not since I don’t have an artistic bone in my body.
Logan can take or leave them. The key with Logan is to make the note pertinent to something he is currently interested in. A note about the weather doesn’t interest him at all. A note about what’s for dinner that night or what Pokemon I caught that day at Starbucks will certainly pique his interest. The physical note part is important to him as well. He HATES the feel of pencil to paper. As in , seriously HATES it. I leave notes for him on a whiteboard attached to his door. He reads them then responds appropriately sans any art of course. He is not my creative one.
As the children have grown older, I have evolved our note taking . We’ve gone from notes all around the house and car to texts at all hours of the day and night. Each of my children has their own smartphone. They are teenagers after all. It helps when they are out in a group or with someone else to have a way to contact me if they need help. For Logan this could mean he doesn’t know how to tell the supervising adult that he is about to be car sick. True story. They figured it out when he threw up all over them. But I was on the phone with him so I knew immediately that he needed to be picked up at church . For Madison, this translates to asking me questions about her lessons that she is attempting to get done between dance classes.
Texting has opened up a whole new level of communication for them . I refuse to answer texts that have slang. Unlike when they wrote notes in their younger years, I correct their spelling as well as grammar. I will comment with corrections on their Instagram and Facebook posts. Using good spelling as well as correct grammar allows your message to be taken seriously. I want the habit of that to be so ingrained in them that being grammatically correct comes second nature to them.
Neither child ever gave a second thought to our note writing . They didn’t see it as writing class although I often used it for that especially with Logan. The key to success is to disguise it as fun. I will treasure those times of passing notes forever.