Spelling

Spelling ~ LifeofJoy.meI wish I could share pictures of all of these curricula with you but most of the early ones have been loaned to my sister. :)

So all my kids were reading but spelling was not their best suit. :( I found one spelling curriculum at our homeschool support group library; I believe it was called The Natural Speller. I used it a bit but not much because it was using word groups and my experience with Brian and Hooked on Phonics (read about that here).

Next I saw Reading Relex at Mardel on clearance, so I thought we’d give that a try; all the while continuing to look online for some ideas. Reading Reflex helped some but none of us were thrilled with it. It could be very good for kinetic learners because there are “tiles” to move around and spell the words. In truth, I think my kids were really too old for this when I tried it out.

By this point in our journey, we had begun using The Student of the Word as our main curriculum. This had some instruction for spelling included so we tried that for a while. I was using some dictation but really did not understand the real way to do dictation and how it encompasses spelling. All the while, any time I heard of a spelling program while perusing my homeschooling forums, I would look into them.

Then I heard about Spell to Write and Read (which is the revised version of The Writing Road to Reading – I think.) This method made so much sense to me because the child is taught all the sounds each phoneme makes – e.g. “ck” has 3 sounds ch as in church, kkk as in character, and sh as in chef. Now remember, I  was using this with older children that already knew how to read, not teaching them to read using this curriculum. Here is a link to more information about the program. (At one time they had a yahoo group for people to investigate the curriculum but I don’t know if it still exists.)

This program teaches the child spelling rules and they create a spelling book with rules and words they study that follow those rules are added to the rule page. There is a huge teacher learning curve with this one but I really really liked it, my kids, not so much – mostly because they liked to get school work done as quickly as possible so they could get on to doing things they wanted to do. We used this program for about a year or so.

In the end, when I saw words that the children had misspelled, I had them write it correctly 10 times on notebook paper or in a composition book, so that they would cement the proper spelling in their minds (visually and muscle memory).

To be honest, on this long road to spelling proficiency, I’m not sure which of the programs “worked”. I think it could be like I once heard about reading programs . . . the one that works for you and your child is the one that you use last. Ultimately, I think it all played a roll in their development.

This is why it is hard for me to make a recommendation for any one reading or spelling program. When teaching my kids to read, my goal was to get them to where they were reading books or any other written material that they came across. I wasn’t concerned about spelling at that time because it seemed that it could take much longer to get to where they were reading books and not just readers and I needed to act while the desire was there. Today, two of my children love the dictionary app and love words and the other doesn’t seem to be hindered at all either; so I think they turned out alright.

{I do have to say that I am currently intrigued with the new programs for primary children that Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has available.}

Well, that is our journey through spelling. What a winding road! Next week I’ll talk about the curriculum I used throughout the majority of my children’s homeschooling years. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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