Just curious; how frequent do most do each of these per week?
We do map drill once a week. Depending on the Spelling Wisdom passage and the child, we do 1-2 passages per week.HollySParticipant
We do the same as Sheraz.Sara MurrayParticipant
Sheraz, what do you do for map drill?
I give my daughters a labeled map of the area that we are studying. After looking at it closely for about 5-7 minutes, I give them a blank map and have them write in what they remember. Then we review what they did. All told, it takes about 15-20 minutes for the whole process.
BTW – I have a dd with APD and discovered that if I give her a list of the countries on that blank map, she can accurately label her map…before I did that she struggled to remember them, or their spelling, or the whole page sort of swam out of her focus ability. The list has helped her immensely by relieving her stress so she can focus.
Recently I started using Visits to the Middle East by SCM and we are enjoying it. I still add in extra books that I think we will enjoy and always try to a find a video from the library about the various places because it makes it more real to us.
Thanks! I can scale back on our map practice based on these. Also, I had heard somewhere that if a student has difficulty “paying attention”, more frequent dictation practice could help. Is this a true statement? I would rather go by your 1-2 days; I may be burning them out (have been doing 3-4 per week) Could doing more per week really strenghten their memory skills? I may be overdoing this…
I am not an expert, Marie, so all this is what I have experienced and learned through my reading and studying on how best to help my dd. If I am remembering your previous posts, your children are also struggling learners, right? Making my APD child do 3-4 a week would stress us out so bad that she would be unable to remember anything; short-term memory is difficult for her so we try to do lots of repitition to help her move it to the long term storage in her brain. (Diane Craft’s website might be of great benefit to you if you have not looked at it yet.)
Basically, our Spelling Wisodm week looks like this:
Day One: copywork the passage, identify our problem words. This can take about 10 minutes.
Day Two: Write out the problem words on large 5×8 index cards. We write these letters in different color patterns, usually by syllable. DD will make up a silly story involving all the letters and will decorate them accordingly so she can remember the stories as we do the dictation. After we finish the cards, we tape them to the wall in front of her place at the table, placing them above eye level and where she sees them often. According to Diane Craft, this helps them to take a picture of it in their minds (long term effect). Depending on the words, this can take 20-30 minutes.
Day Three: Review the cards and stories a couple of times, asking her to spell the words forward and backwards according to the colors she sees in her mind when she closes her eyes. When she can do that, I have her copywork the words a couple of times each, then re-write the whole passage. This usually takes 20 minutes or so.
Day Four: Copywork the whole passage, paying attention the punctuation, capitalization, and layout of the passage (poetry,etc). 10 minutes or less.
Day 5: Review the words and the passage. Take the words off the wall, dictate passage. This takes less than 10 minutes.
It works well for us because it puts the words in her mind for real. I am thinking of doing the top 100 sight words this way because she still tries to spell them phonetically. She can spell the same word four or five times in a letter and all of the spellings will be different. As a parent and teacher that makes me cringe. By putting the picture of the sight words in her mind, I think that she would be happier with her spelling. However, short-term memory cannot be forced for her. It shuts down with lots of pressure/stress so I have found this method fairly effective for her.
It is hard for me as the teacher sometimes due to outside pressures to do MORE, but I try not to let that upset our routine. She has come such a long way with this method – lists of words shut her down. In her case, less IS more and, in the end, progress is progress – be it thirty words or three hundred.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that in PS, my dd would be behind without a chance to ever catch up, she would have terrible self-esteem, and she would be so stressed that she would be miserable. The school would continue to pass her along due to age, and keep pressuring me to put her on ADD meds. At home, we have started where she was, built on that slowly but surely, let her find things that bring her joy in our school life (nature study – which incidently enhances her ability to focus on paperwork), music, art, etc.), and allows her to be happy and secure without labels or meds. She is trhiving with less is more.
This was longer than I intended, sorry. If your children are stuggling, and even behind where their peers are, I still think that slowing down to let them really get something is far more effective and important than trying to make sure that they “catch up” in the long scheme of things. Progress is progress, after all! 😉
Sheraz thank you for your detailed example; I can see now I am probably pushing too hard. Yes, both the older (14 year old son esp) are slow learners. I did find her website, and faithfully make those cards every week for both the kids. Even though they are older, they get a kick out of the goofy ‘jazzy’ things I add for the problem parts of the words! I think you diagnosed my disease; that nagging “have to get caught up” virus. I had been doing 3-4 dicttions from spelling Wisdom per week to help their listening and memory skills. Then I would gather all misspelled words from their daily writings (Spelling Wisdom, Book of Mottos, written narration, etc.)and compile word banks for each to make the cards (about 10 words per week). It would be shocking to most to see the basic words my 14 year son (and myself!) still cannot spell. I have been taking about ten per week from this combined list and making the cards to After 4-5 days of practice, we attempt a quiz. I can see your approach would work so much better; I just worried and thought I should add more words/week than the one dictation lesson might reveal (Using Book 1, no more than 3 words missed per exercise so far). I had read (from a “Higher up? “CM help page) that the ADD kids needed more dictations to help their memory skills. But I agree, and feel relieved to be reminded to slow down! I have tried to combine too many things (mapping, dictation, and spelling) to help them, when in fact I have probably overwhelmed. Thanks for the sample plan; we will start from scratch tomorrow, one map /week, one dictation to serve for memory and spelling. Do you add the sight words (a couple or so) to your Spelling Wisdom words when you practice and make the cards? What is your max. limit # cards per week?
I haven’t added the sight words yet, but I think about three a week (in addition to SW) to start with will be ample for my dd. The amount may vary for your kids. I just don’t want to overwhelm her right off the bat. That will make it so much worse!
Thanks again! Kids will be so grateful too. They fuss at me when they see me looking at SCM (dreading I may add more stuff); this time I can tell them thanks to the folks here, I can lighten their load!
Blessings to all of you here at SCM; your wisdom is a ministry to those like me who still have homeschool kinks to work out!Alicia HartParticipant
I would love to know how others set up their Spelling Wisdom notebooks? Do you just use a spiral notebook or do you photocopy each passage and have them write it in the space underneath?
One year we used notebooking pages.
This year we are using a spiral notebook with a tab divider in the back for the dication part of Spelling Wisdom.
I don’t photocopy the pages since that equals a lot of ink in my house. 😉Wings2flyParticipant
Sheraz, thank you for sharing with us the message that less is more. My ds is behind in math and we go at his pace most of the time. But I shudder to think where he would be with math at ps. He is making progress. Spelling Wisdom is new for us this year. I will try your technique. Thanks.
We use a spiral notebook with copywork/practice on the left side and dictation on the right side, so when it is flipped back on the table, he cannot see the copywork practice. We do one lesson per week in book one for grade 4.
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