So my DS will be in 3rd grade next year. I have gone back and forth a bit about LA for next year, especially spelling wisdom as prepared dictation. I thought CM recommended waiting until age 10 to do prepared dictation, but then I look at the curriculum guide and see that if you want to finish all the 5 spelling wisdom books at 2 years each, you need to start in 3rd grade. How important is it to finish all of them? Has anyone actually used them at this pace and can share about it? I was looking online and found that the Harmony Fine Arts mom said she uses I believe book 4 with her high school sons. Thoughts? For what it’s worth, he is a young 3rd grader, and a voracious reader but pretty lousy at spelling so far! I think it’s worth a try to try SW in the fall, but don’t want to feel like I am “falling behind” if he can only do one lesson a week or if we have to set it aside for awhile.
I think we may only get through four books, but the pace may pick up later. I don’t see how I could be any further along though because he is where he needs to be, in the middle of book 1 in grade 5. We started in grade 4 with one per week. Now he does two per week. I think it is best to start the child when they are ready and at the right book and lesson. We have recently started skipping a few passages, too, because he already knows how to spell all the words in that exercise.TristanParticipant
I typed out a long response yesterday and the forum went down. Sigh. So here is the short version. I don’t plan to finish all the books, but have all of them in digital format. Right now I have 3 children using Spelling Wisdom and quite a few more to go. Some will only make it through a few books while others may make it through all of them, I take it on a child by child basis.HollySParticipant
I also wouldn’t worry about finishing it or “falling behind”. The last couple levels are really advanced, well beyond the average high school student. If they did need the challenge of the upper levels, you could always skip ahead to where the program fits them best.mama_nicklesParticipant
So how do I determine if he’s ready to start or not? Just try it?
Well, in the free curriculum guide, Sonya recommends they do transcription with SW in 3rd grade for the first half of the book and then dictation for grade 4. I have not personally done it that way though. I just started him when I thought he was ready, and gradually. I think he was age 10 or close to age 10 when we started it. I do have concerns if they are learning the spelling as well with transcription as they do with dictation. It probably depends on the child. And you could let them know they need to be sure to know how to spell them. You could pull out some of the new words for them to work on more, and possibly test on those words once every week or two.
When we first started in grade 4, he would spend 3 days on one passage. And we got through 1 per week. Day 1 is to read and discuss and transcription copywork. Day 2 is to study the passage again and practice spelling words. Day 3 is dictation.
Here is how we now do dictation in grade 5, covering 2 per week:
Day 1, read the passage out loud to mom. Discuss meaning, grammar, etc. Pull out new words to work on for spelling. Write those words at the bottom of the page and he does copywork (transcription) and writes the spelling words three times each. This is all done on the left side of a 2 page spread of a spiral notebook.
Day 2, Study the passage and spelling words. When ready, give to mom for dictation on the right side of the 2 page spread in the spiral notebook with Day 1 work turned to the back. I do not check his work until he is finished, but he usually gets it right. It is too difficult if there are more than 3 new words to learn, or if they miss a lot on the dictation. I grade for capitals and punctuations too. If he misses a spelling, I put that word on the next spelling list to practice some more. I expect to give a decent amount at a time to him and not have to repeat myself much, because I expect him to be that familiar with it and to pay attention well. When we get to longer exercises, I will give dictation on only part of it, but expect him to be prepared for all of it. And some will use the computer so the student can type it.
This article may help you better decide what your child is ready for:
Here is another thread on the topic, which you may find helpful:
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