Spelling Wisdom and Using Language Well

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  • Jessica Chou

    I used both books for my 10 year old son last year, but I really used them as a copy work/transcription exercise mixed with all the questions from ULW as grammar instruction. I am realizing that he does need more spelling help and am confused as to how to structure this going forward. Do I use the passages as a spelling exercise until he knows the spelling and have him copy them into a separate notebook? And do I then have him use that same passage to copy again as a grammar exercise? If so, would it best to do it every day with different focus each day? Also something occurred to me that spelling is corrected in dictation so shouldn’t I be dictating the passages for that? And is the grammar/copywork transciption? That is how he did it last year.

    Hoping for some words to help me clarify this. I think I am making it too complicated in my mind but as the start of school creeps up I also fight against anxiety of “missing” something.

    Thank you!



    Sonya Shafer

    If you are using ULW1, the first half of the book has the student transcribing the passage, rather than writing it from memory as dictation. Once you get to about exercise 72 or so, the lessons will transition to dictation for the rest of the book. You will follow the instructions in the ULW1 student book: (1) read the SW1 passage; (2) answer the English usage, capitalization, punctuation, etc. questions given; (3) then study the passage (or a portion of it) to prepare for dictation.

    Feel free to start with assigning only one sentence from the passage to be prepared for dictation. Once your son feels comfortable and confident with the process, you can work your way up to two sentences. But there is no hurry.

    If your son needs extra time to study the dictation passage, you can have him spend a short study time each day in preparation. So for example, he might read the passage and answer the questions on Monday, after which you can tell him which sentence he needs to study for dictation. Give him a few minutes to study the words he doesn’t know. If he says he is ready, you could go ahead and spot check then dictate right then. If he doesn’t feel ready on Monday, give him a few minutes to study again on Tuesday and see if he’s ready for dictation then. Same for the second lesson that week: give him more than one day of study to prepare if he needs it.

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