Question re pacing of ULW and SW

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  • maltajoy

    My ds8 is in third grade and we have started using Spelling Wisdom and Using Language Well. As we progress through the book, I can see that we will have to break up some of the longer passages for him. My question is this: since Using Language Well lessons are tied to the Spelling Wisdom passage, does that mean we would have to progress at the same rate in both books? I feel like Spelling Wisdom will take longer to get through but I don’t want that to necessarily impede his grammar lessons. I really, really like this approach and want to use the series all the way through, but in some ways I wonder if it would be easier if grammar was separate and then I could just progress through Spelling Wisdom slowly as he’s able to handle it. Does my question make sense? Please share your experiences or clarify if I’m not understanding correctly. I know that, ultimately, I need to go at his rate and not necessarily the suggested rate, but I’m just wondering if maybe it would be easier to keep them separate. Writing is a struggle for him.

    Karen Smith

    If he is transcribing (first half of SW 1) the Spelling Wisdom passage, you can choose a manageable portion for him to copy. You will want to choose a length that challenges him but doesn’t frustrate him. As his handwriting improves you can gradually increase the length of the portion until he is able to write the whole passage.

    When he gets to doing prepared dictation (last half of SW 1), he should study the whole passage but you will only dictate a portion to him.

    Here are our suggested dictation lengths for each Spelling Wisdom book/grade level:

    Spelling Wisdom Book 1

    Grade 3 —Assign the whole passage to be transcribed. Occasionally ask the student to verbally spell two or three words from the passage from memory.

    Grade 4 — Assign up to the whole passage. Dictate 1-2 sentences.

    Spelling Wisdom Book 2

    Grades 5 & 6 — Assign the whole passage. Dictate 2-3  sentences (grade 5) or 3-4 sentences (grade 6).

    Spelling Wisdom Book 3

    Grade 7 & 8— Assign the whole passage. Dictate up to one paragraph.

    Spelling Wisdom Book 4

    Grades 9 & 10 — Assign the whole passage. Dictate up to two paragraphs.

    Spelling Wisdom Book 5

    Grades 11 & 12 — Assign the whole passage. Dictate up to three paragraphs.


    Thank you for your response, Karen. That helps a lot!

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