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Spelling

Here is a sort of 'jump of post' from what I wrote about "Giving Grades". Amity, asked about spelling. Her children are having trouble spelling, so what do you do?



Caleb, is in 3rd grade and Brent is in 2nd grade both are using The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading Level 1. I like that this program does not use the word 'grade' but instead uses the word 'level' because so many children are at different levels in spelling. One can be reading at a 5th grade level but still have a hard time with spelling and be more at a 2nd grade level.
One of the many joys of homeschooling is we can cater to the needs of our children.


Joshua, for instance reads at a 6th grade level but has difficulty with spelling. If you want to put a grade level on his spelling it would be at a third grade level. We are currently using Spell to Write & Read. Another program that does not put 'grades' on their program.

Regarding 'giving grades', I do not give Josh an "F" for spelling because he spells at a third grade level. That would be pretty discouraging. Instead I am working with him, where he is at. This year we are spending lots of time going over the 70 phonograms and 28 rules. Once he masters the phonograms and rules (which won't happen over night) it will help him see that our English language is not as complicated as it seems. Once he understand the English language I believe his spelling will improve.

Many programs today from what I  have seen (and this is my opinion) teach partial phonics. They don't give you all the tools you need to understand how to spell. I tried and have looked at many spelling programs and although they do teach phonics they don't teach the 'why' we spell a word a certain way.

In fact 'I' am learning things that I was never taught in public school. The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading as well as Spell to Write & Read both are eye openers for me. I'm having many 'light' bulb moments and many questions that I have had about spelling being answered.

Annette, is one of those students who can read above her grade level and can spell fairly well. When we were using a traditional spelling program she always got a 98% or higher on her weekly test. She is a natural speller in a sense that she can look at a word study it for a while and remember how to spell it, but what about a word she hasn't seen? What if she is writing a letter and wants to use a word she hasn't come across in her 'spelling' book. This is were I think the difference is regarding a traditional approach and really learning those 70 phonograms and rules. Sure she can ace a test but what good is it if she can't figure out how to spell a word she hasn't been tested on?

Okay, so I got a bit side-tracked from Amity's question. To answer her question I would find out where they are at and go from there. Even if you have to go a few grade levels below. With spelling, have them learn those phonograms and rules.

My two middle children are spelling much better than what Josh could at their age and I believe it's because we are using The Phonics Road which is based on the Spalding method. One thing I have learned is spelling does take 'mom' time. I have skimped on this in the past. Thinking that spelling was connected to reading. If they can read they can spell. Maybe if you have a natural speller but if not it pays to take the time. Even if you have to put other subjects like history & science on the back-burner for a while. You can always use read aloud time or audio books for those subjects in the early grades.

I would suggest googling Orton-Gillingham and Spalding to find programs that teach their method regarding the phonograms and rules. I know Barton Reading & Spelling is another program that is based on Orton-Gillingham.

2 comments

  1. Hee..hee...Thanks for dedicating a whole post to me ~smile~ Great tips!! I really wanted to try The phonics road to reading ...I just might order it in a couple of weeks....

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  2. Amity, The Phonics Road, may seem a bit intimidating at first. Especially because it's not scripted. Mrs. Beers teaches from the dvds. They are like your TM. At first I didn't like that aspect of PR but now I love it because you can hear all the sounds and how you should teach the 'think-to-spell'.
    It does take some getting use to but once you know the ropes ;) it's not so hard.
    I plan to right a post about PR. It just takes me so long to write review (thought to paper).
    Hope my post helped some.

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