For the past 2 years it has been a non-stop battle as I have tried to come up with different approaches to conquer this problem. So I thought surely there must be something out there, some course I could order for him to do that would help.
At first I found systems that I had already been using, without success. Then in my search I stumbled upon "Jump In: A workbook for reluctant and eager writers". As I looked at the samples online I got really excited by what I saw. Not only was it written in fun terminology with step by step building blocks, but it is also written for middle schoolers who have had trouble writing. That way I did not have to start him on a course geared for elementary children that might seem silly to him.
There is a student workbook (Jump In) that they work in & then it also comes with the parents/teacher manual called "The Lifeguard's Locker". In the parents manual are these great 10 minute plunges for your kids to do.
The 10 minute plunges are a writing assignment for your child & you give them a choice of topics. For example in week one the topics are: 1) You have just created a new dessert. Name it and write a short description of it for the menu. 2) "I just can't stand..." 3) "I'll never go there again!" (what happened and why you won't go back) 4) Kryptonite made Superman weak. What is your kryptonite?
These choices are interesting & imaginative to help promote creativity. Plus these writings are not graded! No checking spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. Just get them to write! Then at the end of the week they get to choose their favorite one & then at that time they rewrite it in correct form.
The first week my son struggled a little but this week he sat & wrote a great report in just 5 minutes! I wanted him to do the full 10 minutes so he went back to writing & added some more sentences to it. I was so happy & proud of him.
So if you have a middle schooler who has trouble writing or who LOVES to write, this is a great course. It is produced by Apologia Press, but I purchased mine from http://www.rainbowresource.com/. They seem to have the best selection & prices for this.