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#1 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:06 PM

There appear to be a lot of NEW things going on at Spalding. There are videos now, and they are on sale.

I now have both the kindergarten and 2nd grade teacher's manuals, but I think I have the 1st editions and there is now a 2nd edition? I see something on the website about the new teacher manuals being aligned to their new readers.

I just received the 6th edition of the main manual. The cursive handwriting is DEFINITELY improved! I strongly recommend getting a hold of the 6th edition manual, if JUST for the handwriting instructions.

I don't think anyone here has been doing Spalding, as Spalding suggests? Everyone is piecing and tweaking? I wonder if that is about to change now.

#2 MyLittleBears

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

Hunter, thought you might be interested....LOE has their new cursive book out. You can view a lot of the sample pages on the website. :D

#3 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:51 PM

LOE's handwriting is D'Nealian, Right? I'm stupefied at that choice :confused: The handwriting was the deciding factor that kept me from purchasing LOE. Combined with the loss of an indexed full word list, to be able to look misspelled words up in, I was unimpressed to say the least.

I'm in love with Spalding's new handwriting instructions. The 5th edition was the best available at the time, but the 6th edition is truly classic.

It all starts with the handwriting. A student who cannot write is crippled, as badly as one who cannot read, because it eventually prevents them from making further progress in reading.

I realized last night while tutoring, that is was a mistake to jump straight into cursive with my student. She is struggling with handwriting issues that would have been better addressed in manuscript.

When you work one on one, right in the face, of a struggling student you notice subtle things you would never observe, looking at a student's paper hours later. From now on I recommend in GENERAL, that all young and remedial students be started with the manuscript letters, NOT with cursive. I do not believe cursive first will save time, or produce better long term writing. Too much of the manuscript letters are buried under the cursive ESPECIALLY in the Spalding font. It's subtle stuff that hard to define and explain, but...I just have noticed trends, letter after letter, of the same problems, that wouldn't be happening if the manuscript letters had already been mastered.

Also it would be better for the remedial student to have the manuscript notebook pages to copy EXACTLY. It would give them more independance and the ability to practice at home.

#4 MyLittleBears

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:59 PM

I don't believe they specify it as D'Nealian. I think it is just most lowercase letters begining on the baseline, same as cursive first but with better explainations. They do recommend starting with cursive, though same as SWR.

Also, I teaches words in order of frequency found in literature rather than order of difficulty (extended Ayers list). IMHO this makes more sense. LOE teaches how to read and decode 98% of all english words plus all their derivatives. You get the teacher training as you go rather than on the side, with the scripted format and you get the "ahha" moment sooner than with the other programs. The ayers list can easily be used as a follow up once the 104 tools of reading and spelling are already learned or you can use any list really and just apply all the rules.

Edited by MyLittleBears, 28 March 2012 - 03:13 PM.


#5 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

I don't believe they specify it as D'Nealian. I think it is just most lowercase letters begining on the baseline, same as cursive first but with better explainations. They do recommend starting with cursive, though same as SWR.


Hmm..it looks even more D'Nealian than Cursive First.

Not just because of this student, that I am currently working with so intensely, but also things I have observed over 2 decades in teaching many "normal", gifted, LD and 2E children, I have stopped being wishy washy about the cursive first thing. Cursive first CAN work with many students, but for the ones that it matters most with, I STRONGLY advocate manuscript first, now. I'v been staying neutral all year, just telling the pros and cons, but I've come to a conclusion. In GENERAL I can no longer stay neutral. I have an opinion now :-) And a strong one.

#6 mommymilkies

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

What is LOE?

#7 Ellie

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

I shall probably have to purchase the 6th edition. :-)

Thanks for the review. :)

#8 didadeewiththree

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

What is LOE?


Logic of English

http://www.logicofenglish.com/

#9 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

I shall probably have to purchase the 6th edition. :-)

Thanks for the review. :)


Ellie, do you have the 1st or 2nd edition teacher's manuals? I know you don't use them, but I'm just curious which ones they sent you, and if you know much about the differences.

Do you have the new readers? I don't often like secular phonics readers, but these ones look okay, and not what I expected. The animal readers contain a lot of information that is covered in nitty gritty parts of the Bible. I'd be very curious to hear reviews of the readers by ultra conservative moms of all of the big 3 religions.

#10 nansk

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:52 PM

I teaches words in order of frequency found in literature rather than order of difficulty (extended Ayers list).


I think the Extended Ayers list is words in order of frequency found in literature, not order of difficulty.

all of the big 3 religions


Which are they? Just curious.

#11 LoveBaby

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:30 PM

Hunter,

After reading WRTR 4th edition and seeing the difference in handwriting, I think I tend to agree with you that manuscript taught the Spalding way makes more sense than cursive first.

I know when I talked to Mrs. Beers about it she strongly felt that manuscript should be taught first.

After having taught my 3rd son manuscript the way that it was taught in Phonics Road (which is identical to Spalding as far as I can tell), I think it is an excellent way to teach handwriting. He has gorgeous handwriting, very rarely has any reversals at all and can write quickly. I can see that the way Spalding/PR teaches it will make it easy for him to transition to cursive with little trouble.

How I wish, wish, wish that I had known of either Spalding or Phonics Road when I had first started teaching my children language arts!!

#12 stm4him

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:35 PM

I am so glad this was brought up. I am thinking through all of this now.

With my oldest I started teaching her how to write manuscript letters at 4 1/2 and we just used a write on wipe-off thing with simple stroke instructions. We didn't even get all the way through the letters before I started her on Cursive First. It took us almost all year to learn her letters that way so we didn't get much learning to read done, but she is also my special needs child so maybe that had something to do with it. Overall I liked the method but it did take A LOT of time.

My second child couldn't even make a curve with his hand when he was 4 so I worked with him all throughout preschool and kindergarten just getting his hand to be able to make the basic strokes. I forget the name of the program I used. I did some of the large motor activities from HWOT with both of them but didn't teach them that method of writing. With him I used mostly tracing workbooks from Rod and Staff and Memoria Press after that. He is 7 and I haven't taught him cursive yet. I also used the Phonics Museum with him and tried to teach him the letters with D'Nealian and it was a disaster so I backed up and did the regular manuscript and he did much better. Now he is learning D'Nealian b/c I think it is a pretty lettering but when I dictate sentences to him he is allowed to use whichever of the fonts he prefers as long as it is neat and correctly spaced. He usually chooses the traditional manuscript font.

My third child was trying to teach himself to write the letters really early so I did the R&S preschool workbooks with him this year. His handwriting is pretty good. We are going to start LOE this summer (just doing the a-z phonograms and intro work so he can work with his siblings next year) and I was debating whether or not to teach him cursive now that he knows manuscript. I think what I've decided is that I'll do one letter per week handwriting with my whole crew next year. I'll review the strokes for TWRTR manuscript, D'Nealian, and LOE's cursive and allow those who know to review and those who don't to learn and when they get it they get it. I want to work on the habit of 'perfect execution" of only a few letters instead of tons of the same letter over and over I think.

My fourth child is going to start the a-z phonograms in the fall. I will get to start fresh with her. I'm planning to teach her manuscript first the Spalding way and see how that goes. In K she can start D'Nealian with The Phonics Museum workbook (which I use only to reinforce the Spalding method and phonological awareness as well as reading comprehension with the primers....I don't use the lessons) and then she can move into cursive as she is ready by watching me teach it to the olders and giving her the salt box and the sandpaper letters. I like D'Nealian b/c of how pretty it is but I definitely think it is not appropriate as a beginning writing style and while I like the idea of moving into cursive as soon as possible I agree that cursive isn't necessarily best taught first. We'll see how my guinea pig number 4 goes next year!

#13 LoveBaby

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:23 PM

We'll see how my guinea pig number 4 goes next year!


:lol:

Until I started homeschooling, I always thought that being a guinea pig meant that there was a first, and only, person to experiment on.

Now I realize that I do in fact have 5 guinea pigs...maybe I'll get it right by the time I help homeschool my grandkids?! :D

#14 Colleen in NS

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

I just received the 6th edition of the main manual. The cursive handwriting is DEFINITELY improved! I strongly recommend getting a hold of the 6th edition manual, if JUST for the handwriting instructions.


I might just have to order this into my library and have a look. I did see that they had a 6th ed. out, but I didn't know what the changes were.

#15 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:30 PM

Which are they? Just curious.


Judaism, Islam, Christianity. All of the Abraham offshoots. I'm just curious what any ultra conservative moms think about the new readers. They don't at all look like typical modern PS readers. All the traditional style character training and hoof talk in the samples, caught my attention.

#16 LutheranGirl

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:49 PM

Judaism, Islam, Christianity. All of the Abraham offshoots. I'm just curious what any ultra conservative moms think about the new readers. They don't at all look like typical modern PS readers. All the traditional style character training and hoof talk in the samples, caught my attention.


Honestly, the whole idea of "readers" seems very contrary to what Spalding taught. She thought kids should be reading "real" books as soon as possible. Just my two cents.

#17 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:53 PM

We must remember that what is pretty made by a computer, will not necessarily be pretty made by a real live child.

I studied some more of 4th, 5th, 6th editions and K and 2nd TMs, and did some more tutoring tonight.

I cannot recommend bringing D'Nealian into the picture at all. The cursive needs to be layered onto the manuscript, not the other way around. Some children are artistic enough to do calligraphy instead of handwriting, but expecting all children to make art, while trying to compose is setting many of them up for failure. Spacing, height, shape, connectors, thinking of the letter ahead before finishing the one being worked on, all at the same time as trying to work on spelling and content and grammar. It's just all too much.

I'm realizing that to write on regular lines, without the middle dotted line, a student must first do the circle and line exercises. It's not enough even to start with manuscript. The circle and line exercises is where the student will learn sizing and spacing. This is imperative to begin the manuscript, I think.

I'm starting over with my student. She is so anxious to learn cursive, as she has felt bad for decades that she never learned it, but...she is chained to special paper right now and staggering under too many new things. I believe we can be back on track in about 2 weeks, if we go all the way back to circles and lines. This really does remind me of potty training. If you don't want to spend years in trainers, then you gotta stop everything and be a little uncomfortable for a few days.

#18 Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:54 PM

Honestly, the whole idea of "readers" seems very contrary to what Spalding taught. She thought kids should be reading "real" books as soon as possible. Just my two cents.


I was just reading this tonight in the 4th edition! But what really is Go Dog Go!? I'm trying to figure all this out. The editions seem to be quite different when you jump from 4th to 6th :-0 I mean like...split personality different! I'll say more in the morning.

Edited by Hunter, 28 March 2012 - 11:58 PM.


#19 besroma

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:40 AM

I am so glad this was brought up. I am thinking through all of this now.


:iagree: Thanks, Hunter!

#20 CLBMom

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:59 AM

I am finding this thread extremely interesting. I'm starting hsing in the fall with my 3dc. Handwriting is a big issue in my home. Myself, dh & ds10 have TERRIBLE handwriting. We all have to print ,our cursive is not legible.I plan on working on ds10 handwriting but I'm not sure how yet. Dd8 prints better then any of us but is just starting cursive so we shall see. Ds4 is not ready for formal handwriting although k4 is pushing it. He is showing signs of having the same issues as his older brother. Also I obviously will be teaching ds4 to read. He is still working on his basic letter sounds right now. Then one final struggle is ds10 and his spelling, or lack there of. He reads above grade level and was a good speller till last year in 4th grade. It has progressively gotten worse. I've told the teachers that I really think he is missing something, that there is a learning gap. They just think he needs to study harder. Studying spelling with him always brings us both to tears and he is lucky to get a 50 on the test. This is at a private school, which one big reason I'm bringing him home. Any suggestions? Both Spalding and LOE look wonderful, but cost way too much to buy it all "just to try". If I could find something to help ds10 I'm willing to invest that money and if it could be used for ds4 as well, that would be awesome:D

#21 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:58 AM

I was just reading this tonight in the 4th edition! But what really is Go Dog Go!?


It's my understanding that the Dr. Seuss books like that were basically "readers". They're certainly not "real books" like some of the better picture books out there.

As far as handwriting goes... I've been dealing with this conundrum of manuscript vs. cursive for DS2. Here's the thing... I don't think he's ready for cursive. When he tries to write manuscript, it looks pretty decent and readable. When he tries to write cursive, the lines/curves that are supposed to backtrack over each other aren't on top of each other correctly, and it makes it completely unreadable. I think manuscript would be a better way to go for him. However... He WANTS to learn cursive, and he's taking his manuscript letters (which he hasn't formally learned them all yet) and trying to connect them to make them cursive! So what is a mother to do in this situation? Ugh!

Then there is my 2nd grader who knows manuscript well and is ready for cursive, but I feel like I'm taking him back to the beginning with his writing, and he's worked SO hard to get to where he is now. He still has to think about letter formation in manuscript sometimes, and he still has reversals on occasion. I really should have started him on cursive last year when he came home doing all his manuscript letters bottom up. I remediated him and taught him correct formation (he'd been taught correctly in school, but the teacher can't watch all 17 kids individually as they write each letter!). My son can't do original writing yet because he has no confidence or ease in his ability to form the letters and spell the words. He is excellent with copywork and dictation (if he's studied the words that he doesn't know how to spell), and he's the perfect candidate for SWB's writing philosophy, so we're doing that of course. But I try to figure out how to fit in cursive, and I just think we're going to be majorly backtracking if I require he do everything in cursive. It's like I'm taking him back to how to write any letters, ya know? That's why I was originally thinking I might do manuscript with DS2 and then immediately in K (he's PreK4 now) teach cursive... so we don't get to 2nd or 3rd grade and suddenly have to relearn how to write at the same time that writing in manuscript has finally gotten easy. :tongue_smilie:

Ugh!

Pulling out my WRTR again to look at the handwriting again... Wasn't the manuscript in there ball and stick? That's what DS1 was taught in school, and it caused a lot of reversals. He still reverses those letters (will be 8 in a few months). DS2 currently mixes 'b' and 'd' in reading (he's likely a visual thinker like my dad, and I just learned yesterday that my dad is a little bit dyslexic - never knew that!). We haven't done enough writing to know whether he'll reverse in writing or not. I'm mostly focusing on reading right now, but he's in the writing section of Dancing Bears (one more lesson of that to go, then we'll be mostly reading each day), and it's tracing an italic-type font... which he tries to connect those letters sometimes. :tongue_smilie:

#22 LoveBaby

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:11 AM

Spalding handwriting isn't ball and stick at all, that is why it makes such a nice transition to cursive. Except for a couple of letters (k,x) the student never picks up his pencil to complete the letter. Y is taught with a curved formation, rather than starting like an "x" so even it will be easy to move into a cursive "y".

#23 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:20 AM

Ellie, do you have the 1st or 2nd edition teacher's manuals? I know you don't use them, but I'm just curious which ones they sent you, and if you know much about the differences.

Do you have the new readers? I don't often like secular phonics readers, but these ones look okay, and not what I expected. The animal readers contain a lot of information that is covered in nitty gritty parts of the Bible. I'd be very curious to hear reviews of the readers by ultra conservative moms of all of the big 3 religions.

I have the first edition teacher guides. I have not seen the new ones.

Yes, I have the readers. I'll have to read through them again to see if I think there's anything objectionable. Nothing jumps out at me from memory.

#24 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:30 AM

Honestly, the whole idea of "readers" seems very contrary to what Spalding taught. She thought kids should be reading "real" books as soon as possible. Just my two cents.

The readers (which, you understand, were written and published after Mrs. Spalding's death) work with the writing lessons; children learn the difference between narrative, informative, and narrative-informative books and writing. Level 1 books are narrative; Level 2 are informative; Level 3 are informative-narrative.

Ok...I just read through "Leaning About Cows." I don't see anything objectionable.

In Spalding's reading lessons, there is a great deal of discussion with the children. It isn't all about comprehension; it's about literary analysis, sentence construction, and grammar. And since each book, from the beginning, contains words that don't just have short vowels or single syllables, they are more interesting than other vocabulary-controlled basal readers.

And the children still read good trade books. These readers are specifically used during class time in very specific, guided ways.

Which is not to say that the readers are required. At home, I did not do the reading lessons. I did spelling, and took dc to the library and let them have at it. :-) Alas, not all parents will make the effort to see that their children have access to good books. My best guess is that trained Spalding teachers still have copies of good trade books in their classrooms in addition to the readers.

IOW, having the readers is not necessary to teaching children to read and spell well. I still recommend just the manual, the phonogram cards, and the Spelling Assessment Manual. :)

#25 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:33 AM

I am finding this thread extremely interesting. I'm starting hsing in the fall with my 3dc. Handwriting is a big issue in my home. Myself, dh & ds10 have TERRIBLE handwriting. We all have to print ,our cursive is not legible.I plan on working on ds10 handwriting but I'm not sure how yet. Dd8 prints better then any of us but is just starting cursive so we shall see. Ds4 is not ready for formal handwriting although k4 is pushing it. He is showing signs of having the same issues as his older brother. Also I obviously will be teaching ds4 to read. He is still working on his basic letter sounds right now. Then one final struggle is ds10 and his spelling, or lack there of. He reads above grade level and was a good speller till last year in 4th grade. It has progressively gotten worse. I've told the teachers that I really think he is missing something, that there is a learning gap. They just think he needs to study harder. Studying spelling with him always brings us both to tears and he is lucky to get a 50 on the test. This is at a private school, which one big reason I'm bringing him home. Any suggestions? Both Spalding and LOE look wonderful, but cost way too much to buy it all "just to try". If I could find something to help ds10 I'm willing to invest that money and if it could be used for ds4 as well, that would be awesome:D

All you need is the manual (WRTR) and the phonogram cards. You don't need the teacher guides, the readers, the extra cards, none of that stuff. The Spelling Assessment Manual is good because it helps you, well, assess your dc's progress :-) but it is optional.

#26 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:49 AM

My youngest son was never able to compose by hand. He could only compose on the computer because handwriting and spelling were never mastered. He was literally crippled.

I have become a big believer in a slower start to formal academics to allow more time to master the basics. I'm still buried in a mound of books, and know where I'm leaning, but need to sit and process for awhile, but I'm finding myself more and more using the Waldorf timetable for introducing language arts topics. 1st grade starts at 7 and even that year is mostly read alouds. The children are not writing sentences till 8. I'm not sure when all the outlining and paragraphs and essays start, but not until the child can write, draw and knit with ease, and knows how to sit still for extended periods of time and LISTEN. There is nothing like teaching a student who is developmentally ready and has all the prerequisites in place. You present the new idea and they basically figure it out themselves while you watch. It's exciting instead of painful, and they feel like they own the new skill, because they felt themselves figuring it out themselves, ahead of what you were saying.

For remediation with WRTR I recommend the Super Sentences approach for comp/grammar, during the transition time.

I don't recommend pushing a student ahead who cannot easily handwrite, even if they are 6 or 40.

Some little girls can handle the accelerated pace that has become the norm here in the USA. MOST little boys cannot. It's an insane pace that defies normal child development. So then everyone looks for shortcuts and adaptions to facilitate pushing children through a developmentally inappropriate scope and sequence.

#27 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:09 AM

I wasn't worried about the readers being objectionable, but more...are they worthy of being used, if you know what I mean. And I just have this curiosity of what the ultra conservatives think. Not expecting offense, but more is there anything in there that they LIKED. There is a lot of character training and animal focus and I'm curious about the theme of the entire general year.

I can see they are used to teach intensive reading comprehension practices, which I am leaning towards adopting, and have been reading about from a variety of publishers.

When I sit and read the 4th and 6th edition side by side, the 6th edition sounds like an infomercial. It's off-putting and makes me distrust introducing the TMs and Readers. I feel...taken advantaged of, and as if maybe I'm being shammed. I distrust expensive curricula. Time and time again, Ive found expensive curricula to be a sham, that draws me in with fright and false promises and tries to hold on to me by overcomplicating a simple process and tying me to a endless line of work that stretches on for years.

I have always taught reading and literature almost exclusively from the Bible. Not always because I've been religious, but cause...I don't know why. It's just something I always end out back doing even when I have had NO faith at all and was exploring alternate religions and spirituality.

So, I don't think the new readers will work for me, no matter how good they are. I just don't have time for them. I think the McCalls books are enough to model the reading strategies that are too hard to teach from the Bible and to use to access progress. I've been reading about Lexile levels (not in Spading) and I think all that is unnecessary if the McCalls are used.

I'm one of those people who uses "write to learn" so as I'm writing this. No, I won't be using the readers, for sure.

#28 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

Ok, I looked at the WRTR handwriting instruction again. Not ball and stick. Good! Phew! I'll give it a try. I could probably run DS1 through it and then jump off from that to cursive fairly easily. I like the way those letters are formed, for the most part.

Not sure if DS2 will let me teach him manuscript first. Sigh. He's really into cursive right now. But maybe I can tell him that we'll learn cursive as soon as he gets his manuscript letters down pat. :tongue_smilie: His fine motor control is MUCH better than DS1's, so I think writing will come easily for him once he is taught the letters.

#29 lovelearnandlive

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:41 AM

I like the readers, but I don't think they are better than other good readers out there. Honestly, I think the pace of the readers is too fast if you are following the K manual. Four new phonograms are introduced with each reader, and you are supposed to use a new reader each week. They jump right into blending also. Most other reader series start with CVC words, then work on blending, and then start adding multi-letter phonograms. I found my dd5 was frustrated with the pace. Sure, she was able to sound the words out with my guidance, but it shouldn't take a 5 year old an hour to sound her way through a book ;). I am supplementing these readers with my HOP readers and AAR readers, which introduce new concepts at a more gradual pace. I will still usethe Spalding readers, but we will probably only master the first set of 8 readers this year. Once she know all the phonograms like the back of her hand and is blending reasonably well, we'll move onto the other sets.

I wouldn't call the Spalding readers "literature." they are cute stories/informational reads, and use more complex words than other beginning readers. That's it.

#30 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

Ok, I looked at the WRTR handwriting instruction again. Not ball and stick. Good! Phew! I'll give it a try. I could probably run DS1 through it and then jump off from that to cursive fairly easily. I like the way those letters are formed, for the most part.

Factoid of the day: The term "ball and stick" was invented by Scott Foresman, publishers of D'Nelian, to make traditional manuscript sound less appealing than its own new product. :)

#31 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

I like the readers, but I don't think they are better than other good readers out there. Honestly, I think the pace of the readers is too fast if you are following the K manual. Four new phonograms are introduced with each reader, and you are supposed to use a new reader each week. They jump right into blending also. Most other reader series start with CVC words, then work on blending, and then start adding multi-letter phonograms. I found my dd5 was frustrated with the pace. Sure, she was able to sound the words out with my guidance, but it shouldn't take a 5 year old an hour to sound her way through a book ;). I am supplementing these readers with my HOP readers and AAR readers, which introduce new concepts at a more gradual pace. I will still usethe Spalding readers, but we will probably only master the first set of 8 readers this year. Once she know all the phonograms like the back of her hand and is blending reasonably well, we'll move onto the other sets.

I wouldn't call the Spalding readers "literature." they are cute stories/informational reads, and use more complex words than other beginning readers. That's it.

Spalding doesn't teach "blending." And since Spalding teaches all the sounds of all the vowels from the beginning, and any rules which might apply (such as Rule 4), requiring children to read only CVC words would be counterproductive.

The Spalding readers were not written when I was doing Spalding, but we didn't start with any kind of reading lesson until the dc had finished writing the words to Section I of the Extended Ayres List (and before beginning the spelling words, the dc had learned the first 54 phonograms). At that point we started with Ten Apples Up on Top.

#32 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

Factoid of the day: The term "ball and stick" was invented by Scott Foresman, publishers of D'Nelian, to make traditional manuscript sound less appealing than its own new product. :)


:lol: Well, it IS unappealing, but it doesn't appear to be what Spalding is teaching, so I'm good. :D

My son was taught in school to do a bat and then a ball (two separate drawings - not continuous!) for a 'b', and a ball, then a bat (again, two separate drawings) for a 'd'. This was sooooooo confusing to him! How can you remember "bat then ball for 'b', ball then bat for 'd'"?!? There is nothing about those sayings that prevents them from flipping the ball and bat in their heads.

I will go through the Spalding instructions with my son. Perhaps the mouth movement will also help him remember it. He usually catches his reversals, but they're still there. It drives HIM nuts.

#33 lorisuewho

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:16 AM

Factoid of the day: The term "ball and stick" was invented by Scott Foresman, publishers of D'Nelian, to make traditional manuscript sound less appealing than its own new product. :)



Interesting! :001_smile:

#34 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:34 AM

Show your son the graphic of the cursive lying on top of the manuscript. Explain to him that I tried to skip putting the manuscript letters under the cursive with an adult, and it has only slowed her down and frustrated her. Learning THIS manuscript is PART of learning the cursive, NOT another form of writing.

Start with the circles and lines. Do NOT skip this! Make sure he is able to write on regular lined paper, before introducing the manuscript letters. There are 3 steps to consistent cursive writing, and consistency is the key to speed and attractiveness. We cannot master something that is not consistent and precise. The 3 steps are necessary to making the letters the right SIZE and SHAPE and SLANT. It is true that an average adult, in 3 hours can DRASTICALLY improve their cursive handwriting, by jumping straight into the cursive lessons, but for children and remedial students who never learned cursive, they must not start with the cursive, especially if you want them to use REGULAR paper.

My brain is functioning so much better than it was even a few months ago, but today I'm noticing I'm struggling to remember, and put all that I'm reading now into context of what I haven't properly remembered. I'm going to need to reread all of this again. All 3 manuals, word for word. There are holes and loss of context. But...for now, hoping that I'm not forgetting anything major...my immediate concerns are:

Spalding seems to be growing more complicated and more expensive. Romalda wanted "all" children to have access to her curricula. I'm not sure if the 6th edition is usable on it's own, even for just the spelling, never mind the rest of the language arts. I'm not sure if the integrated language arts is going to crowd out the most important parts, the handwriting and the spelling. I wonder if test scores will fall with the new "improved" Spalding. Lower income families cannot afford the New Spalding, and I wonder what Romalda would have thought of that.

At this point I have to recommend purchasing all 3 editions, 4th, 5th, 6th. At this point, until I do more research, the only manual that I can MAYBE recommend is the 1st edition kindergarten. I'm still not sure if it is helping or overcomplicating. My brain is overheating and clearing missing vital information, and letting me know that I might not be seeing things in context enough to be coming to accurate conclusions.

So for the PM that came to me about the kindergarten manual. I'm finding it to be an interesting reference, but I don't think I will be using it. I think the 2nd edition will be so tightly aligned to the readers which I have decided NOT to use, that it will be even less usable as a reference book.

I don't like to invest so much of my--and my students--time in something that is tied too tightly to expensive and specific materials. On the other hand, I am willing to invest HUGE amounts of time in something that teaches a student to create a notebook, that they in turn can teach another student with. If it can't go notebook to notebook...well...it's not as interesting to me.

Edited by Hunter, 29 March 2012 - 11:40 AM.


#35 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:56 AM

Show your son the graphic of the cursive lying on top of the manuscript. Explain to him that I tried to skip putting the manuscript letters under the cursive with an adult, and it has only slowed her down and frustrated her. Learning THIS manuscript is PART of learning the cursive, NOT another form of writing.

Start with the circles and lines. Do NOT skip this! Make sure he is able to write on regular lined paper, before introducing the manuscript letters. There are 3 steps to consistent cursive writing, and consistency is the key to speed and attractiveness. We cannot master something that is not consistent and precise. The 3 steps are necessary to making the letters the right SIZE and SHAPE and SLANT. It is true that an average adult, in 3 hours can DRASTICALLY improve their cursive handwriting, by jumping straight into the cursive lessons, but for children and remedial students who never learned cursive, they must not start with the cursive, especially if you want them to use REGULAR paper.


Thank you for this! Hopefully I can get this child to wait a bit on the cursive. He's only 5 and doesn't always understand my explanations (he's not the abstract thinker that my older son was at that age). But maybe I can show him the goal and tell him that he needs to learn the manuscript to get to the cursive. I do like that idea!

My oldest would be happy to never bother with cursive. He wanted to do GDI cursive, which we tried, but boy does it get confusing with the joins that CHANGE based on what letters are being joined! He chose GDI because he could read it without learning it though. Basically, he didn't know how to read regular cursive, so he chose a font that he could read instead of choosing to learn the one he couldn't read. Well, he needs to read traditional cursive, so I'm teaching traditional cursive, and then if he wants to teach himself GDI, he can knock himself out.

So do you recommend any specific resources for teaching Spalding handwriting? I've seen clock face stamps, clock face posters, etc. The 5 year old does not yet know how to read a clock, so I'll need something available for him to refer to. ;) I am using the 4th edition of WRTR. Picked it up for $8. :D

#36 CLBMom

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:14 PM

When I sit and read the 4th and 6th edition side by side, the 6th edition sounds like an infomercial. It's off-putting and makes me distrust introducing the TMs and Readers. I feel...taken advantaged of, and as if maybe I'm being shammed. I distrust expensive curricula. Time and time again, Ive found expensive curricula to be a sham, that draws me in with fright and false promises and tries to hold on to me by overcomplicating a simple process and tying me to a endless line of work that stretches on for years.


So if I was to buy one, which edition? The last few seem to be pretty easy to come by.

#37 LoveBaby

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:37 PM

Thank you for this! Hopefully I can get this child to wait a bit on the cursive. He's only 5 and doesn't always understand my explanations (he's not the abstract thinker that my older son was at that age). But maybe I can show him the goal and tell him that he needs to learn the manuscript to get to the cursive. I do like that idea!

My oldest would be happy to never bother with cursive. He wanted to do GDI cursive, which we tried, but boy does it get confusing with the joins that CHANGE based on what letters are being joined! He chose GDI because he could read it without learning it though. Basically, he didn't know how to read regular cursive, so he chose a font that he could read instead of choosing to learn the one he couldn't read. Well, he needs to read traditional cursive, so I'm teaching traditional cursive, and then if he wants to teach himself GDI, he can knock himself out.

So do you recommend any specific resources for teaching Spalding handwriting? I've seen clock face stamps, clock face posters, etc. The 5 year old does not yet know how to read a clock, so I'll need something available for him to refer to. ;) I am using the 4th edition of WRTR. Picked it up for $8. :D

I love these SmartPal things: http://www.swrtraining.com/id63.html

I bought mine at my local school supply store. I had the clock face reference sheet in my PR materials. They work great for practicing before puttings things in a notebook.

#38 Colleen in NS

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

So do you recommend any specific resources for teaching Spalding handwriting? I've seen clock face stamps, clock face posters, etc. The 5 year old does not yet know how to read a clock, so I'll need something available for him to refer to. ;) I am using the 4th edition of WRTR. Picked it up for $8. :D


How about a regular ole' wall clock? I bought one, for my daughter to look at while doing printing practice, for a dollar at a thrift store. When I tutored kids a few years ago, I'd just draw a clock on the chalkboard, and use that to demonstrate and let them trace their fingers over.

I taught myself (after my Spalding-trained mother got me started) with the 4th ed.. Hunter is scaring me with this 6th ed. :D I've looked at the WRTR website a few times over the years, and have been turned off by all the expensive stuff they sell. I have to agree with Ellie - all you need is the manual and phonogram cards. I don't even have a spelling assessment manual, but my mother gave me a Morrison-McCall spelling test to use. All that other stuff just blows my mind. Too tightly-controlled or something. And my mother doesn't think that Mrs. Spalding would be impressed. She trained under her and stayed at her house for the two-week training period, back in the 80s, so she got to know her a bit.

#39 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:57 PM

If people are only going to buy one book it should be the 6th. I believe handwriting is even more important that spelling. The handwriting in the 6th edition is "classic" as I have decided to label it. A student who is struggling to connect or form letters cannot concentrate on even a spelling test, never mind real writing, or taking written notes.

I have all 3 books spread out on the floor and am comparing them page by page as fast as I can.

I notice the phonograms are taught in a different order in the 4th, from the 5th and 6th.

I think the parts of speech tables in the 5th are missing in the 6th and replaced by a $25.00 piece of software, sigh!

The 5th edition models just the first 3 comprehension mental actions and uses a narrative of a tomboy in a tree. The 6th edition uses an informative piece about Ben Franklin's bifocals that models all 5 actions, and a piece about windmills in the Netherlands that models the first 3. The 6th is better, but the 5th is a welcome supplement. I'm tickled pink grateful to have both. This is going to be a BIG part of my tutoring. These reading comprehension strategies are critical for remedial students, as they do NOT figure out how to do them on their own. And the fantastic thing about these strategies is that they can be taught orally.

Students are exhausted and sometimes in tears and sweating after the spelling and handwriting. I need to move them into a whole different room or area and change positions. I've taken to reading to students to calm them down. These are people with a lot of past failure and high stakes to remediate quickly.They are emotional about all this.

So we can move to a comfortable spot without a table or the torture instruments displayed. These learners have been forced to rely on their auditory skills when they failed to learn to read and write. This is a fantastic bridge to later reading comprehension of text.

Once we learn the techniques we can model them on any text. To practice, we could work through pieces of text here together, labeling the strategies and actions on the types of writing we like to use with students most. I think that would be even more useful than buying videos or signing up for courses that teach us to use the readers.

The 4th edition has been essential of me to get a big picture of the changes in the program. Once a few of us have posted about that, and produced outlines of the old scheduling, as Ellie already has, I think people will do fine without the 4th. Or you can borrow a copy from the library and take notes. It's just one chapter and a few odd pages.

I'll continue to post blow by blow comparisons. First I need to go across the city and run a few errands though. There is a world outside Spalding and TWTM :-) This is all good though, because it gives me something to intensely study when my anxiety gets out of control. Intense study is my best distraction technique. You all are great to chat with :-) You all ground me, knowing you are here day and night, talking pretty much about the same ultrasafe topics. Very little drama. And when there is drama, it's so surreal it's hysterical and hard not to laugh no matter how ugly things gets.

Edited by Hunter, 29 March 2012 - 02:01 PM.


#40 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

The 6th edition Ayer's list includes a bit more information in the 3rd column, otherwise seems to be identical to the 5th.

As I'm reading the 6th edition, it is constantly referring me to very specific parts of the TMs. Since I have 2 of them, my first reaction is to sigh in relief and quickly go to that section, only to first be disappointed in what I read, and then happy that I don't need these awkward expensive critters.

That's all for now :-)

#41 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:02 PM

So Hunter, do they go into a lot more detail about the cursive handwriting in the 6th edition than in the 4th? They really say very little about the cursive in the 4th. They show how it connects to the manuscript, and they show samples of the letters, but leave you kind of on your own to figure out how to make them. Now I *can* do that, and that's fine, but if there is more instruction on how to tell the student (who hasn't written cursive before) how to do it, even better. ;)

I made some clock face paper today (5/8" lines) and had DS1 practice the clock face letters. He enjoyed it! :D He's my math geek, so the numbers on the clock may be very helpful for him. I also explained the mouth thing for 'b' and 'd' (but we didn't write a 'b' today... I'm following directions and teaching it separately from 'd' ;) ). DS2 is on a trip with DH, so I didn't get to try it out with him yet. I'd need to go much slower with him, obviously.

Something else I plan to do with DS1 is the Writing 8 exercises that OhElizabeth mentioned in another thread recently. They looked like they might be helpful, and they'd probably fit in well with Spalding style manuscript anyway.

#42 Ellie

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:12 PM

I also explained the mouth thing for 'b' and 'd' (but we didn't write a 'b' today... I'm following directions and teaching it separately from 'd' ;) ).

Oh, good...you didn't teach them together. :)

I've never found it necessary to use any explanations other than the specific Spalding directions for writing b and d:

b is a tall letter with a short part. It begins with a line (the tall part) and ends with a circle (the short part).

d is a short letter with a tall part. It begins with a circle (the short part) and ends with a line (the tall part).

#43 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:16 PM

The cursive instructions in the 5th are a little bit better than the 4th and the instructions in edition 6 are AWESOME. There is a COMPLETE script for EVERY letter :-) It was ALL I hoped for and more than I expected. It's my dream instructions.

Now with all the doo dads that Spalding is putting out, I sure do wish they would put out a computer font. I do not need it to teach handwriting, but it would be nice to create worksheets and notes and whatever in the familiar font that matches the child's handwriting.

#44 boscopup

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

The cursive instructions in the 5th are a little bit better than the 4th and the instructions in edition 6 are AWESOME. There is a COMPLETE script for EVERY letter :-) It was ALL I hoped for and more than I expected. It's my dream instructions.

Now with all the doo dads that Spalding is putting out, I sure do wish they would put out a computer font. I do not need it to teach handwriting, but it would be nice to create worksheets and notes and whatever in the familiar font that matches the child's handwriting.


Adding to my "to buy" list this year. :D

I would love a computer font too. It's nice to do copywork with the same font the child is using, so they see a good example of it.

#45 Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:33 PM

Adding to my "to buy" list this year. :D

I would love a computer font too. It's nice to do copywork with the same font the child is using, so they see a good example of it.


I've found that when a student LOOKS at an example of handwriting, they stop focusing on the script and that handwriting worsens instead of improves--that is when you are using a script based curriculum.

I learned with Cursive First NOT to use the worksheets and computer font. Seriously it does NOT help :-0

But when NOT teaching a handwriting lesson, I think seeing the formation of the letters reinforces the font in the child's mind. Also it's just nice to see the familiar.

#46 abrightmom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:28 AM

At this point I have to recommend purchasing all 3 editions, 4th, 5th, 6th.


Hunter,

In a nutshell, what does each edition contain that I need to implement WRTR?

6th has the glorious handwriting instruction. I've gleaned that but somehow missed the specifics in the 4th and 5th.

I strongly desire to use this approach with my kids but darn it if the manual WrTR doesnt completely overwhelm me. I end up in tears with it. I want the Spalding method but I find the manual to be so dang complicated! I feel so stupid that I cant just grab the phonogram cards and after reading thru the manual a couple times (which I did; 5th ed.) start teaching. There is a disconnect for me. :(

We just dropped The Reading Lesson :glare: and I've had Phonics Road pangs again. I start getting twitchy at the thought of watching the DVDs but as I am reading and studying right now (LOE, WRtR, AAS) those Rule Tunes start playing in my head.

Logic of English looks good to me because it is scripted and clear. I think that the WRtR manual is ridiculous. If the method is superior than why have so many editions of the manual and have to buy each one to piece together a way to use a simple, highly effective method? Grrrrrr. Why can't it be as simple as Ellie says it is?:confused:

I want structure, phonograms, rules, and penmanship and a sequence to follow. How do I get that from those WRtR manuals without so much stress?

Edited by abrightmom, 30 March 2012 - 10:33 AM.


#47 Hunter

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:11 PM

Hunter's "wrong" but easy way to start Spalding.

You have the 5th right? Rip it apart.

Put all the handwriting pages in one pile.

Put Syllable Division, Spelling Rules, Phonograms pages 213-227 and the marking rules page 45(?) into another pile.

Put Ayers list and the Ayer's index into another pile.


Put everything else away for now.

3 hole punch the pages. 3 hole punch 6 sheets of card stock. Create 3 teacher manuals with brass fasteners: Handwriting, Spelling Rules, Spelling List.

Forget about doing this "right". Spalding recommends reviewing and rewriting everything every year as a review, so everything we do "wrong" this Spring can be trash, and has nothing to do with next year.

Teach just the alphabet sounds and handwriting. Start the spelling list. Explain rules and add multi letter phonograms as you go along.

Forget about creating student notebooks for this year. Just teach handwriting and make spelling LISTS.

When a child misspells a word in their other school lessons, use the index to find the word in the Ayer's list, and look up the spelling rules for the word.

That's what I did. Now I'm going back and trying to do it "right", and add in the other integrated topics.

#48 lindsrae

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:25 PM

Hunter,

In a nutshell, what does each edition contain that I need to implement WRTR?

6th has the glorious handwriting instruction. I've gleaned that but somehow missed the specifics in the 4th and 5th.

I strongly desire to use this approach with my kids but darn it if the manual WrTR doesnt completely overwhelm me. I end up in tears with it. I want the Spalding method but I find the manual to be so dang complicated! I feel so stupid that I cant just grab the phonogram cards and after reading thru the manual a couple times (which I did; 5th ed.) start teaching. There is a disconnect for me. :(

We just dropped The Reading Lesson :glare: and I've had Phonics Road pangs again. I start getting twitchy at the thought of watching the DVDs but as I am reading and studying right now (LOE, WRtR, AAS) those Rule Tunes start playing in my head.

Logic of English looks good to me because it is scripted and clear. I think that the WRtR manual is ridiculous. If the method is superior than why have so many editions of the manual and have to buy each one to piece together a way to use a simple, highly effective method? Grrrrrr. Why can't it be as simple as Ellie says it is?:confused:

I want structure, phonograms, rules, and penmanship and a sequence to follow. How do I get that from those WRtR manuals without so much stress?


THIS is EXACTLY how I feel! After we started PR 1, I found WRTR, 5th edition. Reading it really helped me understand "why" Mrs. Beers seemed so...anal (ahem) about things she was teaching. The thing that is a missing piece in PR is the why! Mrs. Beers explains in detail HOW to do it, but I wished I had understood the why so that I would have been more of a stickler about the letter formation and use of the phonogram sounds for spelling. I have also been reading Understanding the Logic of English, and lightbulbs have been coming on with that too. But I think I keep coming back to PR because WRTR is NOT clear to me, and I think LOE curriculum would be different enough to confuse my DD and make her frustrated, just as she is finding her stride with (first-grade level) spelling.

I've read all the threads about why the DVDs in PR...but I wish there was just a manual!!!

#49 abrightmom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

THIS is EXACTLY how I feel! After we started PR 1, I found WRTR, 5th edition. Reading it really helped me understand "why" Mrs. Beers seemed so...anal (ahem) about things she was teaching. The thing that is a missing piece in PR is the why! Mrs. Beers explains in detail HOW to do it, but I wished I had understood the why so that I would have been more of a stickler about the letter formation and use of the phonogram sounds for spelling. I have also been reading Understanding the Logic of English, and lightbulbs have been coming on with that too. But I think I keep coming back to PR because WRTR is NOT clear to me, and I think LOE curriculum would be different enough to confuse my DD and make her frustrated, just as she is finding her stride with (first-grade level) spelling.

I've read all the threads about why the DVDs in PR...but I wish there was just a manual!!!


Well, it is comforting to know that I am not alone. :001_smile: I NEVER thought I'd say this but I might go back to PR with my daughter. She is at the ideal stage for it. It flopped here before mainly because I was trying to wade through all of that material to bring my son up to speed. Grrrrrrr. It was so expensive and I bought and sold it more than once.

Believe it or not my husband is not opposed to going back to it. But, Logic of English is appealing to me. I'm reading her book right now and it makes perfect sense to me. Why wouldn't the Essentials program work? It is scripted and it looks like it is VERY organized with a lot of support in the text.

Why do you think LOE would confuse your daughter?

#50 abrightmom

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:35 PM

Hunter's "wrong" but easy way to start Spalding.

You have the 5th right? Rip it apart.

Put all the handwriting pages in one pile.

Put Syllable Division, Spelling Rules, Phonograms pages 213-227 and the marking rules page 45(?) into another pile.

Put Ayers list and the Ayer's index into another pile.


Put everything else away for now.

3 hole punch the pages. 3 hole punch 6 sheets of card stock. Create 3 teacher manuals with brass fasteners: Handwriting, Spelling Rules, Spelling List.

Forget about doing this "right". Spalding recommends reviewing and rewriting everything every year as a review, so everything we do "wrong" this Spring can be trash, and has nothing to do with next year.

Teach just the alphabet sounds and handwriting. Start the spelling list. Explain rules and add multi letter phonograms as you go along.

Forget about creating student notebooks for this year. Just teach handwriting and make spelling LISTS.

When a child misspells a word in their other school lessons, use the index to find the word in the Ayer's list, and look up the spelling rules for the word.

That's what I did. Now I'm going back and trying to do it "right", and add in the other integrated topics.

Hunter,

This is a GREAT idea. Honestly. It is brilliant. I'm going to ponder it as I'm working through this Spalding nightmare that has PLAGUED me for two years. When I can spend a few minutes I'll look through my 5th edition and see if pulling out those pages and separating them into self-made guides would work for me.

All I know is I must teach reading and spelling with phonograms. I've tried other ways and they don't work. I really liked The Reading Lesson until it had me "teach" my daughter to read the word "they" as a sight word. :confused: In my world that is stupid and I was left tongue tied when we began to read that word. It makes a lot more sense to me that she would know the phonograms 'th' and 'ey' and put them together.

Hunter, You are a treasure! Thanks for sharing all that you've learned and for using the time God has given you to LEARN and TEACH. :001_smile:


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