LA questions regarding a 4th Grader

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  • AFthfulJrney

    My oldest daughter is 9 years old. We will be using ELTL for the first time this year. This past school year, we were using R&S for Grammar and Spelling. She loves to write stories and does pretty good forming sentences and paragraphs. However, her spelling needs a lot of work. So, my questions are, should I be using a writing program as well, or will ELTL be sufficient? And, should I give ELTL a chance before supplementing with a spelling program, or should I do a little extra in this area since I know it’s already a problem that needs addressed?

    Thanks in advance!


    ELTL is a beautiful program.  However, it is not a spelling program. If you specifically want to work on her spelling, I think you should find something to use in addition to ELTL.


    Dictation is the best spelling program out there IMO! 🙂



    We replaced ELTL’s dictation lessons with Spelling Wisdom, which you can start at age 9.  I felt like SW’s dictation passages were more thought out and liked that the passages contain the 6,ooo most frequently used words.  I have used SW with two DC now, one a natural speller and one a non-so-natural speller.  I’ve seen great results with both DC.


    I also asked this question to Kathy Jo herself, and she suggested using RLTL to teach spelling. Anyone have any experience doing this?


    I used RLTL the last half of last school year to teach spelling to my 10&8 yo kids. I liked it, they liked it. We plan to continue this year and am adding in ELTL. I found it pretty easy to use.

    Heres how we used it:

    With my 10 yo, I sat down and went over all the phonograms on the first day. He could already read all the sounds that all 75 phonograms make. After that, we reviewed ten phonograms each day (there was no need for us to review the single letters, and there are 50 multi letter phonograms so we covered them all each week. I printed a free chart available from the author).

    Basically each day was review ten phonograms, and then dictate ten words to him phonogram by phonogram, tell him how to mark each word, and briefly discuss any spelling rules that applied to the word. After a short time I could see things clicking and he started to really see how and why words were spelled a certain way. I began having him see if he could mark the word and tell me the rules that applied first, then I’d fill in anything he missed. It became a game to see if he could get them all. The spelling rules never seemed overwhelming because we only talked about 1 or 2 at a time and they were never obscure, they always applied to a word he was trying to spell.

    Last year we did one list a day, five days a week. Because he was older and half the words he could spell already. Even spelling the words he already knew how to spell was beneficial because of the markings. He completed all of book 2 and half of book 3. Next year I plan to only do RLTL twice a week. Unless I find as we do dictation in ELTL that he’s ready to just analyze words in context of his dictation. I tried that first before starting RLTL with him last year, and he was not ready for dictation.

    I used RLTL very similarly with my 8yo, only slower. She’s my late reader.

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