Topic | Spelling Wisdom- love it or not?

  • This topic has 9 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Anonymous.
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  • AngieG

    We’ve been doing SW for the past two years. And have yet to finish Volume 2 (same book we’ve been working through for both years).  I feel that it’s too much writing for my kids to have to write the whole passage out for copy work and also again during dictation.  While they do a pretty good job of spelling the words correctly during dictation, I wonder if there might be a better way to teach this subject. I think what I’m saying is that we aren’t really enjoying this process. Has anyone else experienced this and found somthing that just flows better for your family?  I will say that we have really enjoyed getting acquainted with different quotes and excerpts from famous people and literature!


    I love using Spelling Wisdom for copywork. It is such an amazing resource for beautiful thoughts! My daughter tries to see how much she can memorize by Friday, and then writes as much of the selection as she can without me dictating. She has always liked that kind of challenge. My son on the other hand, would find that to be torture. When it comes to dictation for him, I only use a portion of long selections, and I think that is acceptable.




    Thank you for your thoughts, Heather. Yes, all children are different! 🙂  I have two boys and one girl (all are 11- triplets).  I may try your suggestion for just doing a portion of the long selections and see if that is of benefit for us. I also agree that the thoughts are beautiful and well written. That is the reason I would like to stick with this. I just need to find a way to make it work for the long term.  Do you find that you get through a volume in 2 years as SCM says you can?


    We have not moved at that fast of a pace, because I assign just one passage/week. My oldest, now 16, will begin book 4 in the fall. It will be her senior year, so she won’t finish that volume. I am okay with wherever we end up. My 12 year old son is near the end of book 1. We will just keep plugging away.

    🙂 Heather


    With long passages, Charlotte recommended the child prepare (learn and study using whatever methods you decide upon) the entire passage, but the mom only dictate a portion to the child. It is not necessary to dictate the full passage. I would choose based on what needed the most work. 

    It is not necessary that the child use it for copywork. At 11, they are nearing the age when they could begin Commonplace books (aka Book of Mottoes), but if they still need handwriting or penmanship practice then the SW passages are great for that. One idea would be to have the child use the passage as copywork throughout the week, but set a timer for 10 minutes each day. Stop when the timer beeps and continue the next day. On Dictation day, dictate only a few sentences of the whole passage. Dictation would likely take only 15 minutes or so. 

    Here are some SCM blogs on spelling with prepared dictation using SW and one includes a video example of how to.

    Hope that helps,


    PS – Go at the pace that works for you. 



    Yes, we only dictate what the child can copy in a reasonable, age-appropriate time.  I have them prepare the entire passage, and then I pick what to dictate.  The kids are pretty good at predicting what I’ll actually dictate though.

    Personally, I think prepared dictation to be the second most powerful Charlotte Mason method, after narration.  My kids haven’t always LOVED it.  But even they have to admit how much they’ve learned from it.  I also use the passages as mini grammar and style lessons in addition to the spelling.


    There’s am excellent YouTube video of a mom demonstrating studied dictation all week with her son. It’s about ten minutes long. Excellent help. I’m not sure how to send a link though.

    Timers are good friends! 🙂

    Sara B.

    We do the same as others – if it’s a longer passage, only dictate a small portion of it.  That way my dd has to learn everything – she has no idea which portion I will dictate to her.  We do one lesson per week.  If she doesn’t do well on dictation day, I’ll give her another week.  Maybe that’s not how it’s supposed to work, but hey, her spelling is improving, so I can’t complain!  🙂  I also do not use this as copywork.  I could, but I think she’d get bored with it too quickly.


    One other thought – there is nothing that says you must finish all the Spelling Wisdom books before graduating! Each passage is giving your children growth opportunities on a regular basis. Enjoy the process!


    Love love Spelling Wisdom!

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