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My oldest has always been a good writer/speller so dictation has come easy to her and we even started in Grade 3. My second oldest is pretty average, can spell age appropriate words if asked but since I am not doing dictation with her yet, not exactly sure how well she can. My third child is gifted(reads well, math beyond his age) but lags behind in handwriting. We are uaing Delightful reading for him actually more as a spelling curriculum because it seems like he can read well but isn’t picking up on spelling(narrations are also pretty bad but this post is about spelling). I’ve gotten him to try and slow down in reading but I’m just curious if I should try All About Spelling for him before we start dictation in 3/4th grade? Or something else?sarah2106Participant
My children’s spelling and writing did not really improve until 6th grade even with dictation. For my kids what I found is that they had to start to really care about spelling and how their writing looked. They could read and write, even do dictation, but slowing down to spell is a different skill. Their brain was often working faster than they could write so things would be misspelled.
I have always struggled with spelling (I found an old electronic dictionary on eBay that is amazing!). When little my mom had to get creative, I was homeschooled as were my siblings but how my mind processed spelling was not like my siblings, haha. Phonics only brought me to tears, memorizing all the rules and exceptions was so hard for me and made no sense, but with time and patience spelling improved. As an adult what has helped me more than anything is reading aloud to my own kids. Reading aloud is such a different set of skills than reading to myself. Reading aloud forces me to slow down and read every word and seeing and speaking the word really helps the word “stick.” Reading to myself my brain can skip words and comprehension still high but the words do not “stick.” Reading out loud has helped my spelling so much!
So all that to say, for my kids I stuck with reading aloud and spelling and a mix of encouragement and patience. We switched to Spelling U See because I liked the mix of phonics and dictation, a little bit of both worlds, and the passages have been appropriate length and ability. My 3rd grader can do the dictation quite well but if he spells on his own, writing something down, it is quite messy and less than half the words are correct, but I know with time he will improve so I am not concerned.
You know your student best, but I find that if I like a curriculum choice and am patient for results, it often works out for my kids because I am wanting to use it. With straight dictation I struggled with getting it done with quality and consistency, but Spelling U See was a better fit for me, so we were better at being consistant and started sering results. Consistency is the key to any curriculum choice.
Thanks for your input! I am a natural speller myself so I wasn’t sure if something like that would be helpful but I will continue with copywork and we might just wait even longer to start dictation with him.Karen SmithModerator
Copywork is also used for spelling. Occasionally, tell your child that after he completes his copywork you will choose a word or two for him to spell orally. Make sure that he understands that he should carefully notice how the words in his copywork selection are spelled. Choose words you know he knows how to spell at first to build his confidence. After he is comfortable with the process, then you can challenge him a bit with a word he might not know how to spell. If he hesitates with the spelling, allow him to look at the word as he spells it. This process is one step in training your child to notice the spellings of words.
The next step, transcription, is introduced around 3rd grade when handwriting is established, meaning that he no longer has to think about how to form each letter. Transcription is copywork that is written on a separate sheet of paper. The child still sees the model to be copied, but is not writing directly under the words being copied.
After transcription comes dictation. Now the child must study the words, then write them as they are dictated without seeing them.Tamara BellModerator
I’d love to second Karen’s recommendation to make sure you are pulling 1-2 words from your son’s copywork. I did not fully understand Charlotte’s method (we are all continually learning aren’t we?) when I began utilizing copywork and failed to ask my children HOW words were spelled. It has had a lasting negative effect with my daughter who is not a “natural” speller.
Thank you for all the tips!
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