Dictation isn't hard enough!

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  • mama_nickles

    I have a rising 6th grader who is an advanced reader (11th grade level?) and does great at spelling. We have been dictation using passages from his reading this year and it hasn’t been very challenging for him. He seems to have issues with specific spelling words (especially double letters or not). Is there something I should be doing differently to keep him challenged? I know there is Spelling Wisdom, but he really prefers passages from his books. Obviously most of his books aren’t at an 11th grade level (due to content/maturity). Do I need to pick longer passages? We have only been doing it once a week and he seems kind of bored by it.


    I have customized my 8th grader’s dictation passage by identifying misspellings in his written narrations.  While I did not mark up his writing in red ink, I did note these words on a list for myself.  I have made up sentences using those words in a passage of my own to use for dictation.  We do use Spelling Wisdom and they have an index for words appearing in the passages.  So we have found passages containing the spelling word or words this way.  They also have a bibliography of books used for the passages.  So you could assign reading from this list and then match up the dictation passages to his book, using Spelling Wisdom out of order.  If you have a kindle with the books he is reading or has read, you can do a search for your spelling word within your kindle ebooks.  Probably other e-readers have this option too.  Then give him passages for copywork/dictation from books he has read which contain the spelling words.

    We generally work with two passages for copywork and dictation per week, for the past three to four years.  It is a discipline.


    Arrow or Boomerang from Bravewriter?  Those have prepared dictation passages for specific books, and I’ve found the punctuation to be quite challenging in some of them.

    Otherwise maybe you could just work through a list of the 100 most misspelled words?

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