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What I am using for spelling.

Spell-to-Write and Read By Wanda Sanseri. I love this book. I'm not using the program but love the book to help me understand the English language. My four older children know most the sounds. I use to drill them every day but I no longer do this. Now I teach the sound or rules as we go along using their spelling books.

Soaring with Spelling and/or Spelling Workout. My children seem to do well with a spelling list. As we go through the spelling list, I introduce the sounds of letter combinations using what I've learned from Spell-to-Write and Read. I will also have them right the spelling rule down and place it in their notebook (starting in fall with this).

Soaring with Spelling, breaks down the lessons by days. Daily the child is to spell his list words orally. I have them say the word (cube), say each letter (c-u-b-e), then say the word again. Monday-Day 1, Tuesday-Day 2 etc. Monday, the child takes a pre-test. I like having the child take a pre-test because it lets us know what words will really need to be studied. Friday, the child takes the test. I do this a little differently then what the program suggest. First I have the child spell the word out loud. If the child spells the word correctly, they are to write the word on the right column. If the spelled in incorrectly, they are to write it on the left column, which is the correction area and as they write it I am spelling the word for them. This way they are not writing the word incorrectly.

Spelling Workout is set up differently.  There are not five days worth of work like Soaring with Spelling. What I have my children do is take a pre-test on Monday. Tuesday do the first activity and write the words twice each in their composition book. Wed. and Thurs. complete the two activity pages and write the words once, in their composition book. Friday take the test the same way as Soaring with Spelling, only they are writing in their composition book.

Currently I have three children using Soaring with Spelling and two using Spelling Workout.

I use Phonics Pathways for what I call Spelling Dictation. I am currently using this with Caleb and Brent. We are working our way through the book.  I don't have them read all the words. I go over the rule and may have them copy some of the words in their composition book. Other times, I will dictate the words or sentences.

When I dictate a sentence I do this with one child at a time. I say the sentence twice and have the child repeat it back to me. The child then starts writing the sentence. If I see them make a mistake I will have them correct it immediately. My kids will sometimes forget to add a period, use a capital letter ect. When they do this, I will say, "What does a persons name start with?" and Caleb/Brent will reply, "With a capital letter." and correct it. If it's a spelling word, I'll walk them through it by asking questions and giving hints. For example, Caleb, was having trouble writing the word 'beach'. He didn't know which 'e' to use (e, ea, ee). I hinted by telling him it was the one that made three sounds. With this hint he was able to write the word using 'ea' for the long 'E' sound.

It's taken a while for me to figure out what works with my children. Through the years I have learned with my oldest son Josh, that too many rules too fast really confuse him. He thrives with a list of words and adding in the rules or sounds.

Annette, is more of a natural speller. She rarely misses words but we continue to go over the rules as she works her way through the lists.

Caleb and Brent, I am using a combination of methods. They know most of the phonograms and we use them as we go through the list. They know many of the rules too (thanks to The Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling). I am planning to write a post about Why We Didn't Continue with The Phonics Road soon.

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