Are you concerned about how slowly your child writes? Here is a very rough way to find out if they are writing as fast as their classmates.
Step One: Ask your child to write for five minutes about an easy topic like holidays they’ve been on, food or Christmas. Give them a minute or so to think, but don’t let them plan. Don’t stop the timer if they get stuck.
Step Two: Count all the words they have written and divide by 5. That will give you how many words they write per minute.
Step Three: Compare it with average output of children of the same age.
9 years: 11 or 12 words per minute
10 years: 14 or 15 wpm
11 years: 16 or 17 wpm
12 years: 18 or 19 wpm
13 years: 20 or 21 wpm
14 years: 22 or 23 wpm
15 years: 23 wpm
16-18 years: 24 wpm
19-21 years: 25 wpm
22-25 years: 25 or 26 wpm
Obviously, this doesn’t tell you why! It doesn’t consider the quality of content, handwriting, spelling, structure or how efficient their technique is. But hopefully it helps you judge whether they need some help.
Mostly writing can be easily fixed, but occasionally it needs removing from the mix. Would they benefit from learning to touch type and taking their exams on computer? Now is the perfect time to start learning.
Is it worth investigating whether they are struggling so much that they qualify for extra time, dictation software, predictive text or even a scribe? This could be via an assessor like me, via the school SENCO, via a handwriting tutor or via an occupational therapist.