Topic | Spelling…..ugh

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • Cathrina

    My grade 4/5 ish boy is just SO far behind in spelling.  We’ve used Spelling wisdom from the beginning. He does study and after does do well with dictation. But in his own writing spelling is really horrible. He misses letters altogether and “tries” to sound it all out phonetically….although even that is a hit or miss.

    Grade 5 next year. What do I do?? I have way to many other kids to teach to devote an entire block of time for spelling.  So things like AAS is out.

    Should I just keep the SW dictations and plug away with the hopes it with “kick in”?

    My other kids were bad spellers too but by grade 5 they had budded into better spellers.   This kiddo has me baffled.



    I know what it’s like to have a struggling speller!   My advice would be to try not to get too discouraged.  My son didn’t make any major improvements until 8th grade (after 4 spelling programs –  including AAS, Sequential Spelling, Phonetic Zoo, Spelling Wisdom and a few attempts at traditional speller/workbook types.  It was an expensive journey, to say the least).

    In the end, what “cured” his bad spelling was simply MATURITY!  Around age 13 he started caring about school more, and started realizing that school WILL have an impact on how he’ll do in life.  He’s still on a journey, of course, but overall he now takes more pride in his work.  As a result, he’s more willing to slow down and put in the extra minutes it takes to stop and consider his spelling – and to fix it.  All those junior years – grades 3-6 – of working on spelling did very little for this kid.  All my planning and buying did nothing.  I just needed to wait for HIM to want to spell well and for him to care enough to put forth the effort.  Every child is a different personality, of course, and my situation may not apply to yours….but just wanted to say it is possible that patience, encouragement and time can cure a bad speller!

    If you do choose to opt out of a spelling program, consider using The Scholastic Dictionary of Spelling as a mainstay on his desk.  It can be used to help with daily writing assignments and is actually a very powerful little spelling tool!   MUCH better than a “real” dictionary because it contains only words used frequently in daily writing.  No definitions.  Just words.  Looking things up is a breeze  (love it!)


    I will definitely look for that dictionary, thanks! 🙂


    I’ll be honest, I would make the time for a solid program. I don’t ‘do spelling’ formally until a child has been reading well independently for a couple years because I find they tend to improve their spelling at that point on their own. I have 9 children, so far, from 10th grade down to the 1 year old. My current 6th grader was a later reader and has not become a decent speller even with several years of reading, so he IS starting a spelling program this summer. We’ll use All About Spelling – which I reviewed years ago when I was on a review group.

    Does it take time? Yes. And I’ll have 7 official students this fall, 2 preschoolers, and a child with a lot of daily medical care to do. But he is ready to address his spelling and it’s my job as a homeschool mom to make time for that. We’ll get into a good routine over the summer and that will help make the school year easier. Each child needs some 1 on 1 time with me for school – this will just be part of his each day.

    With that said, for your son’s age I would just wait unless HE is asking for help. Give him another year or two of maturity and solid reading under his belt. Then if he hasn’t started improving on his own it will be time to make spelling lessons a formal part of his day.


    I’ve seen a huge jump in spelling from grades 4 through 6 with prepared dictation.  Both my natural speller and my struggling speller have had great success with SW.  My third child is just starting to show great improvements at the end of 4th grade.  My DS took a bit longer (5th/6th).  This also seems to be when I’ve seen great improvements in their penmanship.


    Thank you Holly. I will give it another year of SW then. 🙂


    For my struggling speller, I gave up on formal spelling programs. Then around 7th grade I gave her the workbook Apples Spelling. She improved DRAMATICALLY using that alone. Then I gave her the second book as well–it too helped, but there wasn’t much need for improvement at that point.

    I’ve only just discovered SW, so didn’t use it with any of my 8 so far.

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