Topic | Spelling whoas

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  • Misty

    Here it goes, anyone who has read any of my posts know I am not good at spelling and my grammar is atrocious (used talk to text just to spell that word on my phone) :-).  My dh on the other hand has great spelling and his grammar is great.  His mom actually use to work at a publishing company proof reading so go figure.  I want my kids to spell well, too.

    I have 7 kiddos (16 to 4)  I don’t believe that you need to start spelling in 1st grade but I don’t have a grade that I feel they do need to start.  I grew up on lists and obviously it didn’t work for me.  I used AAS for my 1st three for 3 years and liked it but they were bored (all grasp spelling quickly) so we moved on to Sequential Spelling.  This is going well for them, although a bit time consuming on my part.  Also, I really don’t know if they are learning/retaining it?

    So a couple things – 1.  any suggestions for a less teacher involved spelling that will continue to challenge them (any of them)? 2. Is it just spelling has to be so teacher involved? 3. when do you start to work on spelling as an actual lesson? 4. Do I suck it up and just dig out the AAS again for the younger ones?  The older ones did learn a lot from the rules so why am I just being such a reluctant momma?

    It’s not that I’m against helping them but at least for my oldest they would much rather run off and do their lessons independently then sit with me.  Also, for what ever reason math has hit a road block with 3 of the kids in the upper levels and I am needed more for that 1-on-1 time.

    Any suggestions for spelling?  What are you all using and why? Pros/Cons  Thanks for sharing Misty


    I’m not using anything other than copywork/dictation for spelling right now, but I am intrigued by Spelling You See by the same company as MathUSee.  It does require the teacher, but the lessons look short and incorporate copywork and dictation.  There are descriptions and samples on the website.



    I meant to add a link to the website.

    I should add that spelling has always been a strength of mine.  I am also a highly visual learner, so I am wondering how learning styles affect spelling ability.  On the other hand, I am not strong with mental math but need to write out calculations to complete them properly.  My husband on the other hand can carry around all sorts of numerical data in his mind and access it accordingly.  It amazes me.  I know that has nothing to do with spelling, but again just contemplating different strengths and how we process information.  🙂


    Right brained learners who struggle with reading should wait until they are reading well to tackle formal spelling lessons.

    Left brained learners can learn to spell as they learn to read.

    Spelling is one of those subjects that we have come and gone on formal lessons.  With my natural spellers I did not use a program every year,  and stopped with 6th grade.

    For a formal program,  I would start somewhere between 2nd and 3rd grades depending on interests and abilities.

    We used Sequential Spelling for part of this year, then dropped it because of time.

    I like the idea on another post about choosing three words from their literature reading to share and practice spelling.

    The kids have made personal spelling dictionaries, but they never use them as a reference as I had hoped.

    We did a lot of spelling bees when the kids were younger.  We didn’t use lists. I picked random words, and they tried to stump me with big words. It was fun.

    I think spelling games on a weekly basis would be nice if we can find the time.






    I could be wrong, but I thought SS has CDs that could be done independently on the computer. So if that style of program works for your kids maybe they could do it solo.


    I use a combo of Spelling Wisdom from SCM twice a week, and Spelling Workout(a Well Trained Mind rec) three times a week. None of these lessons take very long. The dictation in Spelling Wisdom does of course take some time, but not a whole lot

    Spelling Workout takes very little time and my kids have been mostly independent early on. The workbooks are pretty cheap and self explanatory. I don’t make them do everything. I like that its phonics based and the word list every week is based on that weeks phonics rule(s).

    Just what has worked here:)


    I have tried to avoid using the computer as a teacher very often, but I’m a little burned out right now and my kids are having loads of fun with this on-line program.

    I limit them to ten minutes a day.  We also use prepared dictation, and for my poor spellers, I try to notice the words that they’re getting wrong in their other writing and we’ll spend a few minutes talking about the correct spelling and practice writing the word a few times.


    Thank you everyone for your input.  I’m appreciating everyone input.  I will have to continue to pray and think over where to go.  I need to stream line and this is one area that needs to be tweaked.  Going to look around at some of your suggestions!


    I’ve tried several spelling programs as well. My daughter has had more success with dictation and copy work than anything else. We did go through a quick program in 5th grade called click n spell. She flew through it in about 6 months because it starts out very basic. It’s a computer based game type program and it did help a bit.

    We tried sequential spelling, spelling work out and the natural speller. None of those things really helped and my daughter hated them. Her spelling has improved dramatically since we became more consistent with copy work and dictation.


    I’m following this and other “spelling woes” with great interest.

    A few other links I found while I pondered taking up the task of spelling instruction –

    Basic Cozy Spelling Course

    Vocabulary Can Be Fun

    Homeschool Diner


    I didn’t read all the posts but saw you said Sequential Spelling is time consuming. Are you aware there are DVD/CD (don’t know which it is considered) lessons for it? I found Level 1 on Homeschool Classifieds for $10. There are the first 8 lessons for each level (I think) on the website
    I read something that indicates you could use the book along with it, but my daughter & I just do better when I’m more hands off with that type of thing; so I’m just having her do the video lessons. We’ve just started so can’t speak strongly for retention. Maybe have them try the lessons in the link above to see if it’d be worth investing in the DVD/CD version of SS.

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