Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spelling- Help for the Afflicted

Not everyone has a gift for spelling. I know I struggled through grade school, but this was more likely due to the fact that I REFUSED to write those words ten times each every day! Stubborn.

So, as a homeschooling mom, I do empathize with my reluctant spellers. And although grammatical spelling is cute in first grade, it no longer holds quite the charm for say a fourth grader. I've ordered various spelling curriculums and researched different methods over the past few years. Finally have come up with one of my own. It's been relatively painless and completely free. Best of all, it's been working!

1) Using this list of the 1000 most commonly used English words, each Mondays I give my student a quiz and stop when she has misspelled 10 words. It's been a confidence booster for her to see that there are many words she already knows. These 10 words become her spelling list for the week.

What I like about this list is that it is alphabetical and is in three different levels in regards to difficulty. Currently we are working through level 2.

2) Next she enters her words at Spell City where a very calm and patient spelling teacher engages her in practices quizzes and games. There is a section where the nice lady spells the word so that it is heard and the letters appear. There is an area which has ten different games and methods for learning the words. And there is also a place for the student to be tested and scored. LOVE IT!!

3) At the end of each six weeks she takes another test over all of the words that have been learned so far. Any that are still being misspelled are then placed back on the list.

She has never been prouder and more motivated to spell. I feel like she's getting caught up to speed with the other kids and I have never been so not stressed about teaching spelling.

Find other ideas that are working over at Works for me Wednesday. Also, this along with other wonderful frugal ideas can be found at Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Friday.


Mom2fur said...

I'm actually a very good speller and have worked as an editor. I can tell you, your child's future employers will appreciate the work you are doing with her now. Good spelling will become 'second nature' to her as the years go on. It's like multiplication, or anything else--the more you do it, the better you get. (And I agree with you about the rote-learning we had as kids, writing things over and over. However, I went to Catholic school, so you can bet I never dared refuse to write anything, LOL!)

Saralyn said...

Thanks for the Spelling City link! We use Spelling Power which has a similary approach to your own. The Spelling City site looks much more exciting than the 10-step study sheet. I think we'll try it!

Sniz said...

Wow, this is such a great idea! It could work for good spellers too!

Brooke said...

Hmmm. . . that sounds like a money making spelling curriculum in the works. What a great idea! Maybe you will publish your own homeschool curriculum one day? I am all over that website. Thanks for sharing :)

Tisha said...

I had forgotten about that website, so I am glad you wrote this!! You are such a great mom and homeschooler. :)

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I bookmarked the sites - thanks! This looks like a great way to do it :) My kids would love a computer teacher for a subject!

Now...what age did you begin formal spelling?