Can someone go into a bit of detail how you use this?
I am currently giving my children their page and we read it together. I then ask them about any words they think they will need to study. We underline those words and then they are sent on their way to study the passage. They then come to me when they are ready. This could be the same day or a a few days later.
My issue is that I am finding they are still missing quite a bit even with a couple of days of studying. Do you have a certain way that you teach them to study the words?
Any suggestions?Sonya ShaferModerator
Great question. There should be a little section in the Introduction of the book that talks about How to Study a Word (or something like that). But I’ll try to explain here for everybody too 🙂
Charlotte’s approach was basically visual. You would write the word to be studied on the blackboard and look at how it was put together. The child would look at its various features until she could close her eyes and see it spelled correctly. (Kind of the same approach as picture study.) You might erase portions of it and see if the child could remember the missing letters, working your way down to erasing the entire word.
For some of our children who have different learning styles, not just visual, you could also have the child say the letters aloud, reading the word’s spelling several times as he studies it (auditory). Or he might trace each letter on the tabletop with his finger as he looks at the word (tactile). Or he might do all three at once: look at the letters and say them aloud as he traces them on the tabletop with his finger.
In any of the above cases, make sure the child is looking at the word and working with it spelled correctly until he is sure he knows it. You don’t want him guessing at the spelling during this process.
Once he is sure he knows the word(s), double check them before dictating the passage. You may even want to break the passage into smaller portions, if needed. Oh, and the goal is to have only three or four words in the passage that he doesn’t know how to spell. Any more than that and you’re probably using a passage that is too advanced for right now. You don’t want to discourage him or frustrate him. Three or four words is just enough to challenge him along with the capitalization and punctuation he’s studying in the passage. Does that make sense? You would either want to back up to easier passages or wait a few more weeks/months until he has seen more words in his reading.
At this point, you may want to do the studying together until they get the hang of what to do. Once they are pretty confident and show good progress with the studying, you can go back to sending them on their way to study independently.
Hope this helps!CindySParticipant
We use Spelling Wisdom similarly to Sonya’s description. We do, however, collect words that are still missed in a small notebook plus words from other writing assignments and words the child just wants to know how to spell. They read from this list daily and then we randomly choose some to ‘call out’ for spelling drills each week. The words added to the list rarely exceed 12 words each week and so the child can whiz through many lists in less than 10 minutes.
I’m a little confused because in all of my research about Charlotte Mason, I have not found reference to a spelling curriculum. It was my understanding that you corrected spelling as a child learned to write. Am I doing this wrong? I don’t want my daughter (7) to be missing out on something I should be teaching her. Help!
Faith 🙂Sonya ShaferModerator
Hi, Faith –
In Volume 1, pages 240-243, Charlotte described the prepared dictation technique for teaching spelling. Spelling Wisdom is a collection of dictation exercises that can be used as Charlotte outlined. If you use all five books, you will have covered the 6,000 most frequently used words in the English language (plus several thousand others, of course).
Don’t panic, though. Charlotte didn’t start using this technique until the child was about 9 or 10 years old, so you’re just fine! 🙂hvfth99Member
Thank you, Sonya! I’m new to all of this within the last few months, and I want to make sure that I am following all of the guidelines so my daughter doesn’t get behind. Sometimes it’s so hard to keep up with all of the different techniques and “curriculum.” This forum is really helping, though, and has answered so many of my questions! Thank you so much for offering it!
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