I will be starting my dd9 with prepared dictation next school year (gr. 4). She has done minimal spelling practice but is a good reader. Will the Spelling Wisdom book 1 be adequate spelling instruction for her? Should she be having some sort of teaching on spelling rules or tricks or learning words in groups (ie. Words that all use the same consanant blend or that all follow the same rule, that type of thing). I was also wondering if she should be doing other “wordy” type activities starting at this age. Such as alphabetizing, dictionary skills, etc. If this should be done now, how do I do it in a CM way?
I welcome all seasoned veterans advice!
The Spelling Wisdom book should be good for spelling. It will not teach alphabetizing and dictionary skills, however. You can do those sorts of things as you have time and need. You could have her alphabetize your spices, a party invitation list, etc. As you notice areas in your home that need organization, it is a good time to bring the children in to do some of that. It is good thinking skills and often uses word skills like alphabetizing and catagorizing. The children then start seeing the needs in their home and their ability to meet those needs through their academics. And it starts to answer that age old question, “What am I ever going to use this stuff for?”
Dictionary has been done in our home as needed. The children will not typically take the time to use the dictionary because they prefer to blow through their assignments (we’re working on that), but I will often take it out and hand it to one of the children when we come across new words. As I come across words in their writing that are not correct, we have a little exercise that we use to learn them (which is not cm, but it works for us), plus I use that as an opportunity to teach some rules. Also, when they ask how to spell a word, I will typically (not always because time is limited sometimes) give them the rule, if there is one, and then ask them how they think they should spell it based on that rule. Sometimes, the word they want to spell is a rule breaker and so I will give them the rule anyway and we shake our heads at the silliness of the English language.
I spent A LOT of $$ on a highly recommended spelling/reading/writing program that was just too tedious for us. It has all the sounds and spelling rules and special notebooks-great if you have a child super interested in that sort of thing.
Then I remembered we own Spelling Wisdom! So I recently started using it for our spelling/writing.
I print out a page (I have the pdf format, yeah!) and simply have the children copy the lesson on the same page. Right now the lessons are about one sentence. So I print one out per day, 5 sheets per week that then get filed in a notebook.
On two of the sheets, I run them back through the printer and print the verse of the week for them to copy. (I’m using the SCM Scripture Verse Packs). A few words are erased, so they have to look up the verse in their Bible to fill in the missing word. Once the words are filled in, they copy it below – all on the same sheet.
We aren’t doing dictation simply because right now it works best for them to be independent in their work (sorry Sonya)! Son 11, daughter 8. First year homeschooling.missceegeeParticipant
A friend and I are working on a supplement for the Spelling Wisdom books that will give a small amount of practice with spelling rules and the like to go along with the prepared dictation. I’m hopeful it will be just the right amount to go along w/ SW.
Thanks for the advice so far!
misscegee, that sounds like a big project! The spelling wisdom books are pretty large! May I ask, how are you going about it? Is it something like worksheets that teach a rule pertaining to certain lessons in SW? Are you working on this because you have found that the SW books are not quite enough on their own and that some help with rules etc. is needed? I am not a horrible speller, but not the greatest either. I am not sure that I would be able to put a supplemental program together like that and have it actually work.
Any other thought, advice, suggestions on this are welcome!
@Linabean – When finished, I will share it here. I hope to finish Book 1 in the next couple of weeks. The reason that my friend, Heather, and I are doing this is that we both taught our kids to read using varying forms of Writing Road to Reading and Spell to Write and Read. The rules make sense to us and our kids, though I’ve no doubt that the method of prepared dictation on its own works for very many kids. Anyway, both of those programs and the variants that we’ve used are tedious and I have four kids – no way that was going to work. I found All About Spelling which is great and we’ve had success, but I love prepared dictation using the wonderful literature. So, we decided to marry the ideas. The exercises will be very brief focusing on only a couple of things per SW exercise. I do not plan to teach the rule, though I will probably have a reference list of rules as part of it. Watch the forum for the next few weeks and I should, Lord willing, have it finished.
Wow! Thank you! I will definitely be watching for this….no pressure! ; )
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