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About ElizabethB

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    Apprentice Bee Keeper

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    Christian since 1997, Volunteer Phonics Tutor since 1994, Homeschool Mom since 2007
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    Wherever the Air Force sends us
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    Reading, Teaching Phonics, Rollerblading
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  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I have been reading your work on the Phonics Page and Don Potter's work on his website. I have been trying to work through his copy of Webster's Spelling Book but I need some advice. Until recently, I have been using Logic of English. It gave my kids a good start but my oldest (9 yr) is struggling with three syllable + words and has serious trouble spelling. My 7 yr old is a good beginning reader but I am hesitant to keep going with LOE because of DS's issues. Also, I have a 5 yr old eager to read but I just am discouraged at this point. I started using Webster but in reading some of the other posts it seems the kids don't really progress in spelling? Should I use Phonics Pathways with all of them? I hate to bring my 9 yr old down to one syllable words again but I don't know where to start. I have spent too much money skipping around. 

    In reading your other posts I see you talk about your Syllables Spell Success program. Should I start my 9 and 7 on that and hope that the spelling also improves their reading? I know you wrote elsewhere that it incorporates the syllabary. I am looking for clear guidelines and Webster's didn't offer that. 

    Any help you can give would be very appreciated. I am discouraged at this point and don't know what to do. 

    Thank you,


  2. If your speech therapist can do some PA exercises and give you PA homework, that would help a lot. Take the PAST test and get the whole book if any level is failed, great book, an amazing amount of Phonemic Awareness activities, they go to a very high level. Test: … Book, also has more versions of the test along with PA exercises and nonsense words:
  3. Yes, Read, Write, Type is great! Links to free OG resources from M A Rooney Foundation, other good links:
  4. My son gained several spelling grade levels when we changed from weekly to daily, he was behind a grade or two before that, the daily work for a year caught him up.
  5. No grammar, it is just spelling, the spelling book has each of those lists on a page with rules next to it, the dictation book is sentences with the words and a few suggestions about how to use the dictation book. My son did better retaining spelling when we worked on spelling 10 minutes a day and also added in words he missed in regular writing while working through Spelling Plus, my daughter needed a lot less spelling instruction, we did weekly and she was fine.
  6. Here is a handout from her website that shows all the lists in the book and a few spelling ideas:
  7. I would try Apples and Pears. Also, you could try Spelling Plus and Spelling dictation in combo, the dictation sentences run slightly behind, rule/pattern but with companion dictation book to make sure that there is carry over, easy to implement. Dictation: She has some free Bible based dictation sentences online and also a few from literature:
  8. Yes, the book is well worth the money, very helpful for my students who have phonemic awareness problems, and easy to implement, I agree. Also, not too much really, especially for how many drills you get and some of the proceeds support the Reading League, a good organization.
  9. As a vision screen, I like to test a group of 25 nonsense words at 36 point font vs. 12 point font. There could be vision problems beyond that, but most of my students who have trouble do better with 36 point font. Here is a symptom checklist, you need a COVD doctor, there are things that can happen like poor tracking or convergence, that a normal eye doctor will miss. Here are groups of 25 words to use a screen, compare accuracy and speed. Reading/Resources/ExtraNonsenseWords.pdf
  10. Learning Challenges board, repost there. Start with giving the PAST test, test at end, do 1 version, do not tell student anything about sounds or sound placement in words, just repeat sentences if student does not hear. Get the full book from the reading league if fails any section, well worth the $. Development/Webinars/Handouts/Excerpts from Equipped for Reading Success.pdf I would also give the tests at the end of my syllables page. What did you use to teach reading? Reading/syllablesspellsu.html Here is my dyslexia page: Reading/dyslexia.html Get the book Reading in the Brain, here are his videos:
  11. I was going through my webpage and updating links and I was thinking about my Leigh print makes English as phonetic as Italian or Spanish and dyslexic students in those languages have a lot less trouble. Maybe you could try it with your youngest two? Some of the books may be able to be printed in higher quality now from Google books and Internet Archive, when I put my page up there was not as many scanned books in Leigh Print out there. Reading/leighprint.html In what normally took 18 months to 2 years, they were able to teach in 6 months to normal students, you would still have extra time but the efficiency might help you still. It transferred to normal print well with normal students, I'm not sure how the transition would go with you, but the potential upside is good.
  12. I would check all their reading grade levels and work through my syllables lessons if they are not at least 1 grade above their current grade levels, test at end of my syllables page, the quick screen reading grade level test. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html
  13. Read, Write, Type works on spelling and typing at the same time. It is a bit young but very helpful and she will be able to do it on her own. Start with the Read, Write, Type level and complete it before progressing to the next level, and you may or may not want the Wordy Querty level, I've not used it myself and don't know how good it is. I like to have my students stop all outside reading for a month or two, too, but you can also do extra nonsense words to help if you continue outside reading. I work on word lists and nonsense words until the guessing stops. If you stop outside reading, it helps break the guessing habit. A few extra minutes of nonsense words daily can help slow down what you're losing from doing outside reading--the outside reading encourages the guessing in several ways: 1. Most sentences have at least 50% sight words, which many students have been taught to guess or have learned to guess from seeing them over and over and this triggers the guessing habit. 2. If they have not been taught all the phonics they need to sound out anything and are not reading with 100% accuracy at the level of the text they are reading, at least a few of the words will be guessed, especially when there is context to guess from. 3. The nature of sentences and stories encourages guessing from context.
  14. I would quickly work through my syllables lessons first, they work on nonsense words and cover everything...Barton is very slow. Again, free, if you do a lesson a day it will take 2 weeks to learn everything you need to know to sound out anything. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html Also, did you do the Barton pre-test? If you have a phonemic awareness problem, the phonics will work a lot better if you address that first. You can take that and the PAST, here is the the PAST, if any part is failed, get the full Kilpatrick book, here is an excerpt with several versions of the test at the end: Development/Webinars/Handouts/Excerpts from Equipped for Reading Success.pdf The book has hundreds of pages of phonemic awareness exercises and also has pages of nonsense words, very useful.
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