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Please walk me through spelling and logic decisions?

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#1 momma2three


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:26 PM

My spelling curriculum isn't working out.  I've been doing lots of searches here, and it seems like many people swear by either Spelling Workout, or All About Spelling.  Spelling Workout looks dry, but inexpensive.  All About Spelling looks more interesting, but parent-intensive, and expensive.  


She's a pretty strong reader (for a 1st grader, at least), but an absolutely abysmal speller... I know it's early to be saying that, but I swear she spells worse now than she did 6 months ago!  She wrote a whole paragraph the other day using "wea" for "we" consistently.  I expected her to be a good speller because she's such an avid reader, so I didn't put much thought into a spelling program.


So I'd love it if someone could recommend one program over the other (or some other program, if you just want to complicate my life even more!).  But I'd also appreciate it if someone could tell me a bit more about just what makes an effective spelling program.


And my second conundrum... logic.  She loves games like that, and finished the workbook I got her in about 2 days, so I'd like to get more.  Lollipop Logic says it's for grades k-2, but it looks really easy.  Should I do it anyway, or jump to Logic Safari?  Or should I use the Critical Thinking Company books instead?  The one she had was from them.  I'm also interested in any other suggestions... secular, please.

#2 nansk


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:07 PM

I will just suggest what we use for spelling, although I don't have experience with that sort of spelling mistake. We use Spell To Write And Read (SWR) which is a Spalding spin-off. It teaches phonograms and spelling rules, and includes dictation, which I think helps a lot with imprinting the correct spelling on the student's mind. Also, SWR hits all learning modes (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) so it works for all kinds of learners.


Spelling Workout won't give you that aspect. AAS is similar to SWR in that sense, although the word list and sequence is different (and slower).


I would suggest looking at Spalding, SWR, AAS, The Logic of English, and Spelling Plus. All of these teach some spelling rules, have the student spelling the most commonly used words, and include dictation.


ETA: SWR includes some dictation sentences that are about god and the bible. I just substitute my own sentences for those. Spalding, AAS, LoE and Spelling Plus are secular.



Lollipop Logic is really easy. My dd did Primarily Logic and now I have Logic Safari 1 and 2 for her. After that, I will get the Logic Liftoff series.


CTC logic books are quite expensive, and imho, not value for money. Look at Prufrock Press and Tin Man Press books instead.


Hope that helps.

#3 Stars


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:17 PM

We are using Spelling Workout. My son is twenty-something lessons into the A book.



It teaches proofreaders' marks.  I think this is a valuable skill, and my child enjoys finding and marking the errors.


It's a manageable lesson size per day for us.  Spelling skills are important to me, so I don't think three workbook pages are too much.


The list words for each week all use the same spelling form, like -a_e for long-a. 




It has the spelling list printed on each page, and I just don't think a kid is really learning to spell a word if he or she is just copying from the list on each exercise.  I have to sit next to my son and cover the list while he does the lesson.


The spelling rule for each list doesn't explicitly state, "The long-a sound in these words is made by the silent e on the end".  It just says something along the lines of "Listen for the long-a sound in cake.  What sound do you hear in lake and fake?" I have to point out the rule.


The last section of most lessons directs the child to compose a few sentences on a topic like statues or favorite games, but the spaces provided are never long enough for more than one sentence or so.  My son finds this very frustrating.


No tests scheduled, and only one review lesson per several lessons.  On the last school day of every week, I test on all the spelling lists we covered that week.  This has ranged from twelve to twenty-four words at a time.


Also, it is a lot of handwriting, which you may view as a pro or as a con.  I am overall a little disappointed in it, but my son has not misspelled a word on a test yet.  Either he is a so-called natural speller or the Spelling Workout program is effectively teaching him.  I plan to finish books A and B because I already bought them.  I hope that after completing B, I'll be able to judge its efficacy better.



ETA:  Today we started the long-o lesson, and I found that the words on that list are not all spelled using the same rule.  Three of them use "oa", one uses "oe", two use "-o_e" and then there are "both" and "fold".  The workbook grouped the words together in the exercises by different type but made no explanation.  Ds had more trouble with these words than any so far; however, he was able to spell them correctly at the supper table later.  Sorry this post is so long.  I just wanted to be helpfully thorough.

#4 momma2three


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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:23 AM

Thanks for the advice!


We currently use a spelling-by-dictation method, and I just don't think it's working.  I think she just needs more rote practice, of copying the words over and over.  Which is exactly the opposite of what I was going for originally!  I'm also, honestly, not able to spend that much money, especially since she already knows how to read.


And thanks for the information about Spelling Workout.  My DD doesn't mind handwriting, and I actually like how later books switch to cursive.  I am a little surprised that it doesn't teach "rules," but I have read conflicting advice on that.  And so many people do swear by Spelling Workout.

#5 RootAnn


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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

While Spell to Write and Read uses dictation to give the words to kids, it isn't 'spelling-by-dictation' that is used via Dictation Day By Day, for example. Here's how the dictation is done in SWR. Here's three words from the first section with a 4 or 5 yr old. (Logic of English spells things out to the teacher more - forgive my pun. They have a series of free teaching videos on YouTube if you want to spend some time watching. LoE is more expensive, but some people use the download for the first part of the program to see how they like it for less $.)


If SWR is too expensive, Writing Road to Reading is pretty darn inexpensive. It requires you to spend some quality time with the manual before starting.

#6 MerryAtHope


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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:56 PM

Good spellers are usually good readers, but the opposite isn't necessarily true. Lots of good readers are poor spellers. I haven't used Spelling Workout but did try several other things before we ended up with AAS. I like that it teaches concepts incrementally, the built-in review that we can customize to what they need (no busy-work but extra review where needed), and that it teaches a variety of strategies. It does take time, but it's only 15-20 minutes a day. I held off on getting it for almost a year because of price, but one day I decided, it's less than I spend on math each year, and we use spelling as much (if not more) than we use our math skills. For us it's been worth it.


Hope you find what works for you! Merry :-)