My oldest daughter is 9 (turning 10 late this month) and she has been learning with CM since the start of her schooling. She is fluent in reading and her oral narrations are lovely. She began written narrations this year and they, too, are moving in the right direction. Her cursive penmanship is beautiful and next year she will begin Spencerian. Her spelling, on the other hand, is very very poor. We use Spelling Wisdom as Sonya described so well in her short instruction video, but somehow the correct spelling of the words is just not sticking. Together we prepare the passage and sometimes she does it for copywork, sometimes it we only do it orally and with tactile letter tiles, etc, with unknown words, depending on what other writing she has that day. Another day that week she briefly refreshes her memory and prepares the passage once more. She typically does the dictation passage perfectly or near perfect (exception) that day of the week of studying the word. However, when the following week comes around and I have her spell the words that were difficult for her the previous week (I do this so that I can be sure she is retaining the spelling), she *often* cannot remember how to spell them. I hope this makes sense.
I know part of this is simply time and grace, but I can see that she is becoming discouraged knowing that she has a hard time remembering the words week to week. I feel like I’ve tried so many different approaches … stuyding the word and committing it to her mind’s eye, using sand, writing in the air, standing at the white board, using letter tiles, copywork, word families and word building … I want her to feel successful and to embrace learning new words with more eagerness.
What would you suggest?Laura.boraParticipant
We switched to Sequential Spelling for my daughter, and it is really helping her. She has dyslexia, and it really seemed that no method was working. Someone suggested it, so I thought I’d give it a try, and so far we have had more progress with this than any other method! They have a free sample online, and to buy the book as a PDF was pretty cheap – about$10 I think.AngelinaParticipant
I have one child on Sequential Spelling as well. It’s working remarkably well. It brings in repetition (thus, nailing in the spelling pattern/concept) without using the same word all the time (the way traditional lists do). It uses example sentences (so there is some context), but it is essentially all about the child figuring out spelling patterns on his own. You never get the same word day after day, but variations on a pattern. The “patterns” on not as much phonics based as they are taking note of little words within longer words, and understanding how suffixes work. The “answer” (or, the correct way to spell a word) is pretty obvious (if the child paid attention the day before, that is) but you don’t study words in advance – the child works on the spot to figure it out. Again, the whole point here is that it’s a program that takes the onus off of studying, because instead the child is thinking as he goes. I’ve found it’s got merit for a child who is not “getting” spelling from studying alone.
Now, you need to be aware that SS is not really a program in line with CM methodology. Primarily (IMO) because the child is going to see – with his mind’s eye – the word spelled incorrectly every time he makes a mistake. It took me a while to accept this and give up the CM approach on spelling (for this child), but in the end, with this particular child and his incredibly short attention span for studying (and lack of retention) I realized I had to give up the way “I” wanted my child to learn and instead go with a non-CM method where at least he would retain.
Best thing is that my son is enjoying spelling again 🙂 And we actually got it on DVD, so it’s completely independent…something he loves as well. He’s becoming a great speller and he’s “doing it all by himself”. This confidence boost has been so amazing that this previously reluctant writer is now even beginning to enjoy writing!
HTH -just our experience, but moving away from studying words is what we needed. I plan to go back to spelling dictation in a few years when the basic spelling confidence is good and strong.
I’m another mom with a dyslexic child. At 9, he couldn’t have started Spelling Wisdom, ad he couldn’t manage 3 letter words. He might spell ‘ice’ as ‘iva’ or ‘asu’ or some other thing that I couldn’t see any rhyme or reason for it. And that would be after studying it.
We started All About Spelling last January. I use ANKI to schedule the reviews. The difference is amazing. We are taking it slowly – he just started level 2 – but what a difference.
My dyslexic kid was helped by All About Spelling as well. Sequential Spelling did not work for him. We found this helpful also:
And, free is good.greenebaltsParticipant
We have dyslexic children as well. Whether dyslexic or not, I’m a firm believer in the Orton Gillingham method for spelling. We are currently using All About Spelling. The dd I’m using this with turned 10 in Sept., so very similar age. Initially, I felt it was sloooowwwwww going, but we’re about 1/3 of the way through Level 3 and I feel it’s finally starting to click. One thing to note is it’s very imporatant to start AAS with Level 1 so your child learns the phonograms.
Another program that looks wonderful and may be faster for remediation is The Logic of English by Denise Eide. Whether you purchase the program or not, I would highly recommend watching her free online seminars. There is a wealth of information there. She is homeschooling mother of 4 from MN, who had struggling readers, spellers, etc. You can find the videos here…. http://www.logicofenglish.com/resources/videos
@ Erin.kate – This sounds exactly like my 5th grade daughter! She reads really well, narrates great, her cursive writing is beautiful and written narrations are getting better but this year she started catechism and I have her doing it mostly independently but when I check it the spelling is horrendous! She is spelling the similist of words wrong, like what, think, and they. I think for her part it is just not thinking or concentrating hard enough. I gave her a list of words today to study and use in sentences and I will see how she does with them. Some friends and I went through the SCM seminar last month and I remember Sonya saying to be patient and that it takes time and that over time results will happen. I am trying to stick to this even though I want to “jump ship” and go with something else to see faster results. I think I will check out some of these ideas from here to execpt I can’t get anything to pricey like AAS.
Best of Luck! (sorry I had no advice for you, just that you aren’t alone!)
I wanted to ask those of you using SS if it would help kids who are having trouble spelling words like: soon, what, and have. My daughter is a good reader but can’t spell even these simple words. She gets them wrong all the time. I don’t know what to do with her. I didn’t want to do a different spelling program but after re-reading this I have second thoughts and maybe have to also “give up” on the SCM way of doing spelling with this child. And All About Spelling really isn’t in our budget.
Is your daughter doing copywork? I have used a plethora of spelling programs, and copywork and prepared dictation go a long way towards “fixing” spelling issues. Those small sight words are best learned in the context of real sentences, I believe.
There are some great old copywork/dictation programs available in the public domain, aka FREE! My favorite is Modern Speller by Kate VanWangeren. Some other titles are Dictation Day by Day, and With Pencil and Pen. Here’s a link:
The great thing about the Modern Speller book is that it covers various levels. You can begin in first year, and go all the way up to 6th or 8th year (I forget which it is.) I also like that it highlights words that you may have difficulty with and separates them into syllables. I also LOVE that the content is character building and God-honoring. Some passages are antiquated, but those can be skipped.
The method that I would use here is to have my child copy something short every day. Discuss which words might be a problem and use it as dictation the next day, again discussing and practicing problem words. If you really wanted to focus on spelling for awhile, you could have them copy something in the morning, discuss it mid-morning, pointing out words that might be misspelled and then do it as dictation in the early afternoon. Keep it short. This whole process would only take a total of 15 minutes in a day, three 5 minute sessions.
I posted a link to some spelling rules a few months ago. If you can’t afford AAS (it IS an expensive program!) I feel that you can use those spelling rules in the same way. Concentrate on one rule at a time. You could make your own manipulatives by printing out letters in cardstock and covering them with clear contact paper. That would give you an aspect of the AAS program that might help with kinsthetic learners.TailorMadeParticipant
Don’t forget to check Homeschool Classifieds for AAS, or any other homeschool curriculum, at a much cheaper price.
I went back and read the introduction to The Modern Speller where instructions are given on how to teach the spelling lessons. Great ideas there on teaching spelling using copywork and dictation!! Don’t skip reading the intro.
One more suggestion….
I’ve been using Language Lessons Through Literature by Kathy Jo DeVore. It’s very CM. She also has a reading/spelling program available that might be useful for you. I believe it’s based on the Orton Gillingham method which would work well for dyslexics. Here’s a link to that:
Thanks for the help and links jeaninpa! I will look into this as soon as I can!suzukimomParticipant
It is possible to do AAS a lot less expensively than buying the full program…. (from someone that has the full program for levels 1 and 2… – I can’t guarantee for higher levels)
You can make the tiles yourself – creating them, printing them, laminating them. (I think I found a document with the basic ones…)
All the contents of the study cards are listed in the book. (I actually use a flashcard program for reviewing the cards anyway, so I don’t use them!)
You can download the sticker chart / certificate from their website.
I do think that higher levels have “word banks” which there isn’t any information on in the manual (I think…) – and there may be other things in higher levels….
But you could, if you make the tiles the same way, do the first couple of levels with only the lesson manual.AngelinaParticipant
Kristen…responding to your call for those on SS. This program continues to be working wonderfully here in my home for DS 9 and DS10.5 (4th and 5th grade)
For a word like “spoon”, spelling would be taught in the SS repetitive method, building on the pattern and allowing the child to figure it out, take a guess, make mistakes and learn from the mistakes. (warning, this is NOT a CM method…but my boys seemed to sleep through 2 years of copywork, remembering/applying almost zero in the way of grammar or spelling…so by 4th/5th grade we decided it was time to try something different)
First day of a pattern the child would be dictated something along the lines of – 1. moon, 2. loon, 3. soon, 4. room, If the child gets the spelling wrong, the corrected spelling is given immediately (right after they write the word) My kids have it dictated on computer, using headphones, and the correct spelling comes up on the computer screen immediately when they click the prompt – they look letter by letter at their spelling in order to write the correction on their paper) The next day the child would be dictated something along the lines of – 1. spoon, 2. broom, 3. loons 4. rooms…you get the idea. The example sentences are always different. At the third, fourth, fifth day, the pattern builds even further. For words that are completely irregular (“have” and “what” may be considered irregular, I can’t recall) such words would be included in an appropriate lesson where they sound similar to a word or group words with a completely different spelling family, in essence, putting a spotlight on the fact that it’s different and needs to be remembered as such.
Not wanting to confuse this further but I notice a mention by a poster above on the programs by Kathy Jo DeVore. I’ll comment on this because I’ve just purchased one of her programs. I have a K’er and a 1st grader who got one level through AAR before I decided I didn’t love the format. I really wanted AAR and AAS to work for us, but I found doing both of them extremely cumbersome alongside having my two eldest in 4th and 5th respectively. I’ve just downloaded Reading Lessons through Literature. This is a combo reading and spelling program (mentioned above and link is above)….so far, I am really liking what I see and can’t wait to get my younger two DC on this! The ebooks are very affordable, the phonogram workbook is optional (and you truly don’t need it…she gives detailed instructions on what to do if you’re not using her workbook…and it’s super easy) AND she allows you download and print on cardstock the phonogram flashcards FREE from her site (though you don’t even NEED to use the flashcards…). Definitely less to buy than the AAR and AAS group of products and I can tell you from my first read through it is laid out in a much simpler format. (well, for me, anyway). Most importantly, the program is designed to teach reading and spelling together, and uses dictation as a key tool.
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