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    Spelling Failure

    I'm quizzing my kids on their spelling words for the year, using the review sections of Spelling Workout B and C, not that they are nearly finished with the books. They are getting less than half correct. Do I have them redo the entire book next year? Drill all summer and start the next level?

    #2
    Re: Spelling Failure

    Could you share how far they are in the books right now? What lesson are they on?

    And just so that I am not making any assumptions....you are quizzing them on sections they have already done, right?

    Off the top of my head, I would say the review lessons are doing their job - pointing out that the lessons that your kids need to work on a bit more for them to hold the patterns in long term memory. If it were me, I would take a bit of time to work some more on the lessons that are troublesome, going back to each rule and working with it again to make more progress.

    But another question I have is how are you doing your spelling lessons? If you share what your routine is, maybe we can offer some pointers that have helped our kids learn the patterns better. (Michelle T is awesome at Spelling suggestions!)

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
    DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 7.5
    DD, 5.5
    +DS+
    DS, 18 months

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Spelling Failure

      They are both on Lesson 32- my 8yo seems to be a natural speller and rattles off his words for the week quickly...but obviously didn't retain them! He spelled three of twenty words correctly doing review for Lessons 19-23. He doesn't work as hard as he could.

      My 10yo I am more concerned about. She makes flashcards and runs through them. She does all the activities in the workbook (except proofreading). She writes the words out five times each. She knew less than half the words from Lessons 13-17. She is also having trouble remembering math facts and operations. She also made zero progress on her standardized test this year and tested on a second grade level although she is at the end of 4th grade. I'm actually holding her back in many writing activities because I'm worried that she will see the misspelled words and they will become part of her visual memory.

      At this point I'm thinking about having her repeat this word list, but using Traditional Spelling, or switching to All About Spelling because it seems to work for everyone (or does it just have a great advertising team?)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Spelling Failure

        Originally posted by robomom11 View Post

        My 10yo I am more concerned about. She makes flashcards and runs through them. She does all the activities in the workbook (except proofreading). She writes the words out five times each. She knew less than half the words from Lessons 13-17. She is also having trouble remembering math facts and operations. She also made zero progress on her standardized test this year and tested on a second grade level although she is at the end of 4th grade. I'm actually holding her back in many writing activities because I'm worried that she will see the misspelled words and they will become part of her visual memory.

        At this point I'm thinking about having her repeat this word list, but using Traditional Spelling, or switching to All About Spelling because it seems to work for everyone (or does it just have a great advertising team?)
        You might want to consider posting over on the simply classical forum. Cheryl Swope and some of the moms over there may be able to provide better direction for your daughter. I believe their plans for phonics and spelling include ideas for multi-sensory activities. I have never been the biggest fan of SWO, but it does have many that do well with it. Your son should probably review words from previous lessons more frequently than the MP schedule. I actually don't remember MP scheduling any review on previously words except for the review lessons at the end of the year. There is nothing miraculous about All About Spelling, but that is what I use for my youngest two. I like that it moves much more slowly than SWO and keeps everything completely phonetic for longer, but many common words aren't phonetic so they don't get introduced until later. I found that it has helped my oldest two boys with their reading as well. I like how their rules are presented...I find them worded in a more straightforward manner than most spelling programs, I like the review box for word cards as well as the reminders to use them, I like that they have kids read through word lists with the spelling pattern studied for visual memory, and I like the fact that the dictation sentences provided only use words/patterns learned in previous lessons. All of these things could be incorporated into what you are already using, especially if you are already making flashcards.

        If you are talking about a lack of progress on standardized tests for spelling, my children have never done well on those. I don't believe that the students at Highlands Latin even take that section during standardized testing. If the core sections of math and reading show lack of progress that would be more concerning to me.
        Dorinda

        For 2019-2020
        DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
        DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
        DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
        DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Spelling Failure

          I pulled out SWO B (daughter will do it next year) and looked at the lessons your son had trouble with. Much of those are words that are not simple “sound them out” because you have sh/wh words, contractions, and r-controlled verbs, plus some vowel teams, too. It may be that he does not remember those well from his phonics study and therefore is not applying them to spelling. One thing you could try is when you present the words at the beginning of the week, use different colored ink for the phonetic units so he can see those patterns more easily. You could have him practice them that way on a white board during the week to help as well.

          Which also might be something to help your daughter as well. Since she likes to make flash cards anyway, you could get her a couple of colors of sharpies to write them on her cards with the phonetic pieces in different colored ink.

          I don’t have a copy of book C right now, so I can’t check that specifically, but is that review lesson the main one she had trouble with? Or was it all of them up to there?

          Also, do you have them drill their words orally each day? I make sure they say each word and spell it three times before writing it for practice every day. (Say, spell, say, spell, say spell, write) And then I quiz them orally too. There is something important about seeing it, speaking it, and hearing it in order that helps those patterns sink into the brain better. Andrew Pudewa has an old talk on the IEW website about “Spelling and the Brain” that I heard years ago and it’s really good (hopefully it’s still there). Gives credence to the way students used to learn spelling, which was mostly oral.

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          Last edited by KF2000; 06-12-2018, 07:45 AM.
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Spelling Failure

            [QUOTE=KF2000;72443I make sure they say each word and spell it three times before writing it for practice every day. (Say, spell, say, spell, say spell, write) And then I quiz them orally too. There is something important about seeing it, speaking it, and hearing it in order that helps those patterns sink into the brain better. Andrew Pudewa has an old talk on the IEW website about “Spelling and the Brain” that I heard years ago and it’s really good (hopefully it’s still there). Gives credence to the way students used to learn spelling, which was mostly oral.

            AMDG,
            Sarah[/QUOTE]

            I will try this method. I loved that talk about spelling and the brain and wanted to get Phonetic Zoo just for that reason....but my 10yo couldn't pass the placement test. She did bad in all areas of her yearly test. She is using Math U See, so she missed anything higher than single digit multiplication; but also many others that she should be able to do. She is my most frustrating kid. Very sweet and caring, but not making any academic improvements. I'm wondering if I should have her tested for learning disabilities, but my husband doesn't think having a label will make any difference.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Spelling Failure

              Originally posted by robomom11 View Post
              I'm wondering if I should have her tested for learning disabilities, but my husband doesn't think having a label will make any difference.
              I hear you on this. However, what makes a difference is how you teach her. She just might need modifications, and testing will show her strengths and weaknesses. However, you will have a better understanding of her need for modifications with the testing. I do encourage you to post over on Special Needs. Cheryl Swope is very encouraging and helpful! Your daughter may benefit from Traditional Spelling 1, which is scheduled in SC4.

              I am still mulling over AAS or Traditional Spelling. AAS does move more slowly, and I enjoyed that through Level 1 and 2. That being said, I have really been studying Level 3 and 4 and even that is a bit confusing, I think. They introduce a phonics topic, but then the spelling words are not on that phonics lesson. They appear a few lessons later. Traditional spelling does have more than 1 phonetic concept taught at the same time. which concerns me. I may have to break them up week by week and separate them. However, comparing the lists in AAS and Traditional Spelling 1, my daughter will need to complete AAS 3&4 to be in the same place as the end of Traditional Spelling 1. So, I have decided if it takes us longer than 1 school year to do Traditional Spelling 1, then so be it. (it would take longer than a school year to complete AAS 3&4).

              The method Sarah has outlined above is discussed in the Traditional Spelling, along with markings and color coding. Another choice might be the spelling from SC3. SC Spelling Book 2. It introduces a few additional multi-sensory components that would be a good "warm up" to Traditional Spelling 1. My daughter had a rough time at the beginning of the year with the "words to know" (common words, non phonetic), but the tips in the manual really helped her through them.
              Christine

              (2019/2020)
              DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
              DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
              DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

              Previous Years
              DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
              DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
              DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Spelling Failure

                Originally posted by robomom11 View Post
                I will try this method. I loved that talk about spelling and the brain and wanted to get Phonetic Zoo just for that reason....but my 10yo couldn't pass the placement test. She did bad in all areas of her yearly test. She is using Math U See, so she missed anything higher than single digit multiplication; but also many others that she should be able to do. She is my most frustrating kid. Very sweet and caring, but not making any academic improvements. I'm wondering if I should have her tested for learning disabilities, but my husband doesn't think having a label will make any difference.
                What level of MUS is she in? And what sorts of drill are you doing, and how often? There is so much understanding kids gain at these young ages simply by regular, consistent, daily effort at learning math facts. Much of what kids need to know is based on understanding, which just comes gradually and you can’t rush it. This is why I love Rod and Staff so much. You don’t think you are doing that much other than drill and practice as you are doing it, but it’s like a soaker hose that saturates them, gradually building better understanding. I know MUS has usually been known for being light on drill, and that may be what is holding her back from really retaining info and building understanding.

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                DS, 16
                DD, 14
                DD, 12
                DD, 10
                DD, 7.5
                DD, 5.5
                +DS+
                DS, 18 months

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Spelling Failure

                  You have received many good ideas here. Her age, coupled with the lack of progression you described leads me to believe there is possibly an underlying explanation for her difficulties. For this reason I would definitely post on the SC website mentioned above to get Cheryl Swope's opinion. Looking over the lessons in Book C, which include spellings of y, h-digraphs, more advanced consonant digraphs, and three letter consonant blends coupled with advanced vowel teams can be challenging if you are not completing all the suggested elements within the lessons (say, spell, say and writing the words each day for example.) Typical second graders, who are following the MP reading and thus receiving phonics lessons there as well, should to fine with these lessons. Since you said you are completing all the recommended activities, adding a more thorough auditory component as Sarah outlined coupled with color-coding words as in Traditional Spelling would be helpful to enhance your review lessons.

                  Though I am not diagnosing, it sounds as if there could be some dyslexia at play. I totally understanding not wanting to label a child, but we do want to know the best way to teach them. Traditional methods are not always successful, in fact they can be completely frustrating and lead to a child feeling as if they lack in everything related to school when in fact students with dyslexia are very creative and bright. They just need different, specific methods of instruction. An alternate explanation could be she just isn't focusing on what she is doing. I have seen this too. Students score well on the spelling test but spell those same words incorrectly when writing in another subject. Only you can answer if it is a lack of focus or an ability challenge.

                  I do suggest you use the summer to work on retention of spelling. Whether you do this with say, spell, say, writing the words each day, highlighting phonetic chunks within the words and working through the lessons again OR using an alternate program (I suggest working through Traditional Spelling beginning with Level II), spelling should be continued over the summer. Spelling is for mastery and since this is our goal, if you use SWO again, try to pare down the list so there aren't as many spellings to learn. Have the phonic flashcard or index card with the phonograms in isolation on display for the week. Read other words with the phonograms for visual imprinting. Do plenty of reading with those words in lists and within sentences. Additionally, have her correct all misspellings when she writes in other areas. So, for any literatue guide or other workbook writing of comprehension sentences she should probably still be in the modelling stage where you write her answer on a board then she copies, just until her spelling catches up a bit.

                  My brain is blurry because I need to eat some lunch, but if I think of something else, I will add it later! Sarah and Christine have learned all my tricks by this point!

                  Blessings,
                  Michelle T

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