Topic | CM Spelling

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  • CarliB


    We are fairly new to the CM approach. What is the stance on phonics and spelling rules? I’m looking at Spelling Wisdom for my 3rd grader who learned to read fairly easily with some basic phonics instruction, but she does not apply the rules in her spelling. She uses what she knows from phonics, but applies it incorrectly in some cases (for example, spelling “work” as “werk”). I guess I’m a little confused when it comes to CM methods in this area. Thanks!

    Karen Smith

    Charlotte Mason did not teach rules for spelling. Instead, she taught her students to look carefully at how each word is spelled as they studied the passage to be used for prepared dictation (spelling in the Charlotte Mason Method).

    For 3rd grade we recommend using Spelling Wisdom Book 1 with Using Language Well Book 1. Using Language Well uses the passages in  Spelling Wisdom to teach grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and English usage. It will guide your student through learning about grammar and help to train her to carefully look at the words in the dictation lesson.

    The first half of both Spelling Wisdom Book 1 and Using Language Well Book 1 is used for 3rd grade, the second half of each book is used for 4th grade. For 3rd grade the student does transcription instead of prepared dictation. Transcription is the transition step from copywork to prepared dictation. In transcription, the student copies the passage phrase by phrase onto a separate piece of paper, rather than letter by letter directly under the passage, or model, as she did for copywork. The student still has the model to look at, but learns to write a word or short phrase at a time without having to look back at the model. Prepared dictation requires the student to study the words in the passage before the passage is dictated phrase by phrase. The student does not see the model while the passage is being dictated.

    You can find more information on spelling the CM way in these articles and videos from our Learning Library.

    Copywork, Transcription, Dictation: Language Arts, part 7 from our series of articles on Language Arts.

    The Power of Dictation series of articles.

    The Natural Progression of Language Arts video.

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