We love Charlotte’s concept of using prepared dictation to teach spelling, but at the same time it’s hard to let go of the security of those most-frequently-used word lists. So here’s an idea we’re working on: combine the two into a series of dictation exercises that include the most frequently used words in the English language.

Here are some specifics:

  • Use selected passages from classic literature, Scripture, poetry, historic documents, biographies, etc.;
  • Incorporate a variety of topics to go along with Miss Mason’s love of a broad education;
  • Provide an index of words used and in which exercises;
  • Make the dictation exercises increasingly longer and with more difficult words as the student progresses through them;
  • Make sure several thousand of the most frequently used words in the English language are covered in the exercises.

What do you think of the idea? We would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Update as of 3/2/06: This series of books is now available. Take a look at Spelling Wisdom!


  1. What a great idea! By the way, we love your Book of the Centuries. Thanks a million! Paula in North Dakota

  2. Hi, sounds great! But I find I use my spelling list more for vocabulary development than spelling. Can you incorporate vocabulary in that?

    • Hi, Susan. This approach should lend itself quite nicely to vocabulary development since it uses the words in context in sentences.

  3. I think it’s a perfect idea – surprised no one’s come up with it yet! Hope you’re done with it soon!

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