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  1. I have two kids, girl in 1st and boy in K. Last year, DD "learned" to read in PS Kindergarten. In March, when quarantine began, I started her on AAR Level 1. She has(and I have) done OK with AAR. There are lots of parts I don't particularly like (fluency sheets, anyone???), and I've adapted it to add a little more practice reading at a lower level with BOB Books, and it's not going too badly. We are will begin AAR Level 2 in about 2 weeks. But frankly, she doesn't love reading, even though she does pretty well at it. Her biggest issue is guessing the words based on the pictures (taught in PS, I presume, ARGGGHH!!) I know usually AAS starts once you begin AAR level 2. She is very interested in spelling and writing so I feel it's the proper time to move forward with that. My dilemma is a bit two-fold, I think. Firstly, I personally don't LOVE AAR and I'm worried AAS is going to be much like it...eye-gouging worksheets, and lists we'll have to plough through, etc. And yes, I know spelling really isn't all that exciting, I remember learning it myself. Secondly, after going through AAR 1 with DD, and trying AAR Pre-reading with my son, I really don't think AAR level 1 is for him. For example, he would much rather shout out answers, march around the room chanting a/A/ah, and act out c-a-t as is called for in LOE than flip paper eggs over or cut paper vegetables with a paper knife to illustrate compound words, like in AAR. He's just not into doing things with paper, or pencils. So, I'm going to try LOE with him when we finish AAR Pre after Christmas. With LOE, you learn to read and spell at the same time. I'm not sure how that's going to go with him, since he's JUST now learning his alphabet...anyway, we're going to try. My dilemma is, do I do LOE spelling with DD, while I'm doing it with DS, (which will be SUPER slow for her, since they start with "cat" "dad" and "sad"), do I just wait to do spelling with her till I MAYBE switch her over to LOE levels C/D (as I'm thinking about doing after finishing AAR level 2), or just tough it out with AAS? Or just find another spelling program altogether. Also, would there be any difficulty switching her over to LOE from AAR? That is, of course, assuming I love it for my son, which is admittedly, unknown yet. Thanks!
  2. My 12 yo son needs a good spelling program. I have chosen Spelling You See but I’m not sure if it’s the best choice for him. We are in Classical Conversations Challenge A so a program that is not simple and short will not work for us. He’s not a terrible speller. He has learned a lot of spelling simply by copying however I’m seeing that he needs better spelling instruction. I appreciate your thoughts!
  3. My six-year-old daughter is reading on what I'm estimating to be a 6th grade level. She enjoys all kinds of books and reads voraciously and easily. We quit doing any kind of phonics instruction over a year ago. However, she struggles with Spelling. We used Abeka 1 last year because we had it on hand, but she really hated it and struggled to regurgitate proper spelling even though she can read significantly harder words. My questions are: 1. Is there a spelling program I should consider for her? Could I continue with Abeka 2 for continuity and just skip the testing? 2. Should I consider not doing formal spelling instruction right now because she will eventually spell well when writing ability catches up to her reading ability? 3. Should we just do informal word studies/sorts?
  4. I'm looking into switching to another spelling program that's more independent and just read an old thread about R&S that got me thinking maybe I should make a switch since we just finished level 3 today. I'm wondering which level I should go to after going through AAS Level 3 and how it compares? Or are there any other good independent spelling programs? I haven't looked through AAS4 yet but I'm starting to feel like it's too teacher intensive than they need (though we do our own modified version.) and we already do too many other teacher intensive things. The last steps, I felt like we could have done in one or two days but maybe that's a good thing. Especially since our time is limited (we afterschool in English subjects b/c they go to school in the am in a different language) They like spelling but I' wondering if they just like AAS and also because it's short. They LOVE the writing station portion. Anyway, any experiences with either, ideas, opinions will be helpful for me to think this through.
  5. I'm looking for some extra spelling practice online for my 2nd grader. It needs to be fun and engaging and not seem like work. I don't particularly want to enter lists (like spelling city), but just want her to get some extra general practice. I am willing to purchase a program if necessary, but free would be better. We already use AAS. Thanks.
  6. Can anyone recommend a book that explains spelling rules? My son is in 3rd grade and is using Spellwell, but I would like to have a book that explains spelling rules. We used All About Spelling last year, and while I loved how they taught spelling rules, it just didn't work for us. So far I've looked at "The Everything Kids Spelling Book" and "Spelling Works". Any recommendations greatly appreciated!!
  7. My son is not a natural speller, which I discovered while using ABeka's 1st grade spelling. We switched to AAS and used levels 1-4. Then this year in 4th grade, I have him using R&S's grade 4 spelling. I needed something independent, since I have many little ones who need my time as well, and I just didn't feel I had time to devote to his spelling as well with something so teacher-intensive as AAS. However, I loved AAS and felt it worked for him. He has requested to go back to it. He doesn't like R&S so much. I don't feel he's retaining the words that he had a problem with. Most of the words he already knew, but if he didn't know them, he often still misses them. I don't like how R&S covers so many rules in one lesson, and wish they would be more focused like AAS. DS often makes mistakes in the workbook, mainly because he doesn't read directions well. So I wonder if I should keep him with it, just to help him learn to follow directions carefully and use logic! I'm really not sure if I should go back to AAS or not. It seemed to help his spelling more, but I really fear I don't have the time, and wonder if I should just stick with R&S, which is more efficient, cheaper, and still thorough (and he's not missing a lot of words on the tests, just one or two about every third week.)
  8. Ok - I'm on my 4th spelling program since we started homeschooling in 2nd grade. (All About Spelling, Spelling Power, Building Spelling Skills, Spelling City). With each, they memorize the list for the Friday "test" just fine, but what I'm finding - now that they are writing papers - is that it isn't translating to writing. They're heading into middle school and so there's an urgency to get this fixed. Any advice on approaching this subject at this point?? Thanks!
  9. We've tried All About Spelling and are currently doing Spelling Workout. Is there a spelling program out there that is between the two? I like AAS, because it teaches the rules. I like Spelling Workout because of the way each day is laid out; crossword puzzle, fill in the blank, etc. My son is currently working his way (very quickly) through SW B. I'm looking for next year, 3rd grade. Thank you in advance for your replies :)
  10. For anybody using this, I've made a PDF of little cards (8 to a page) of the words for the first 107 lessons (except those that are for memorizing a poem, etc.). I think I'll do more eventually, but we're moving pretty slowly! If anybody's not familiar with Wheeler's, it's free online because it's beyond copyright--published in 1901. I like it because it mostly uses vowel sounds and rhyming words to organize the lessons.
  11. Hi. I'm doing some research for next school year. My DD6 will be in second grade next year. For first grade language arts we used FLL1, WWE1, Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 1 & then had a really hard time with spelling. A Reason for Spelling was too easy and had too much busywork. We tried K-12 reader and the words were the right level but it had no guidance. I am a natural speller and don't really know any spelling rules, but I would like her to know them. I need hand holding in this regard. We're trying out AAS, which I know will be too easy but may be what I'm looking for as far as spelling. Anyway, I'm finding that having all these pieces for Language Arts, just isn't working for us. We manage to do FLL but are way behind in WWE because we just don't get to it each day. We're doing ok with handwriting. It all feels disjointed. I don't think it's the curriculum... it's definitely us (or maybe, just me). What I'm thinking of doing is CLE LA 2 next year which would cover just about everything. I feel like writing could be covered through the content areas fairly well. I've noticed, however, that many people skip the spelling but I am not finding any clear reason as to why. I've looked over the samples and the words look appropriate for grade level and I see that they include spelling rules. Am I missing some glaring issue? I'm not opposed to doing a different spelling program, but I want to understand why I would need to first. Anyone with experience want to explain? Thanks.
  12. I am really having a hard time deciding which spelling program to go with for my 8 year old. I originally purchased All About Spelling but I returned it because I didn't like how my son can't do it on his own. I tried Spelling You See "Jack and Jill" but my son was so bored with it because it was way too easy. So, I purchased the next level and it seems like he isn't ready for it yet. So I think I'm going to return it. Now I'm trying to find something else and I'm stuck between Rod & Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure and Spelling Workout. I want a workbook format so that my son can work on his own as much as possible and is not expensive like All About Spelling. I also have read many posts on how SYS does not go over spelling rules and that bothers me. I know TWTM suggest SW but is it any better than SSS? Is SSS any better than SW? Between the two, which would be better for a wiggly child that just want to get it over with? I am thinking SW because it is in color. Any thoughts?
  13. I have several questions that I am hoping to get some help/clarification with.I apologize in advance if this post becomes too long. This is our first year using ELTL. I am using Level 1 with my 7 year old son who is still learning to read and Level 4 with my 9 year old daughter who is a fluent reader, but terrible speller. I am also using RLTL Level 1 with both...for my son to learn to read and my daughter to help with her spelling. We are only on our second week using it and I'm just wondering if I am using the program correctly. With my so, I sit with him and read the assigned literature (for ELTL) reading, then talk him through each example. We then read the poem and fable, if there is one, and then he does the copywork. My question is, he does not enjoy most of the fables and always asks me why we are reading a poem everyday. Am I supposed to have him doing something with the poems and fables? Or just reading them to him daily, then having him narrate on the lessons that it says to do so? Does anyone skip reading the fables/poems, and if so, what do you do instead? Now, for my daughter, she does most of her ELTL lesson herself. She reads her literature assignment, does the exercises and writes in her commonplace book. My question for her is, when it comes to dictation and the condensed narrative, since she is a pretty poor speller, how would you go about doing both? So far, I've just been skipping the dictation and today, for the condensed narrative lesson, I had her just narrate to me instead of writing it all down. Is this ok to do until her spelling becomes stronger, or should I be doing something else? With RLTL, we are still just learning the phonograms. I've been going over 4 new ones a day with them both, having them review the ones we'e already learned each day, and writing them in their notebooks. And that's been it so far. It just feels like I'm missing something. Has anyone used RLTL with a struggling speller successfully, or should I supplement with a spelling program? If so, which program would you suggest? Again, I apologize for the length of the post, but appreciate any help you can offer.
  14. My oldest daughter is 9 years old. We will be using ELTL for the first time this year. This past school year, we were using R&S for Grammar and Spelling. She loves to write stories and does pretty good forming sentences and paragraphs. However, her spelling needs a lot of work. So, my questions are, should I be using a writing program as well, or will ELTL be sufficient? And, should I give ELTL a chance before supplementing with a spelling program, or should I do a little extra in this area since I know it's already a problem that needs addressed? Thanks in advance!
  15. Do you find that ELTL is complete, or do you feel the need to supplement? I bought ELTL to use with my 4th and 2nd grader next year and I was just curious if I needed to add anything else for spelling instruction? Other than that, it looks pretty good and I'm excited to give it a try.
  16. My 3rd grade son took the Stanford 10 last week. I received the results back this morning and the only thing he struggled with was Word Study Skills. I'm not sure exactly what that is as we did not practice for the test. I have a feeling he may not have understood what was being asked, but never the less, I want to make sure I'm teaching him all he needs. He has struggled in spelling this year (we use SWR) and seems to have a hard time retaining words from week to week (I always include words from past lists). Is there a spelling curriculum anyone would recommend that covers word study skills and helps students to retain spelling words? I've looked at ABeCeDarian Word Study, but I'm not sure. What about AAS? My 1st grader is a phenomenal speller because he has a photographic memory and if he has read the word, he can spell the word. The only problem with that is he doesn't want to sound out words for spelling, but just write them down. I will also have a K5 student next year so I would like to get something I could use for all of them. Should I get something just for Word Study Skills and keep SWR? I've liked the curriculum (we've done since K5 with my oldest) or is there something that would work for both? Thanks!
  17. My daughter is bad at spelling. We've been homeschooling for 3 years now and haven't done a formal spelling program. I just go over words with her as I see misspellings in her writings. But I'm thinking she needs something more. She spells words the way they sound. Any suggestions for this age?
  18. My two middle children seem to have some sort of genetic predisposition to be horrific spellers despite the many years of daily spelling workbooks. I have tried a number of spelling programs and I'm at the point where I need something truly awesome. I recently heard of a program called Spelling Mastery. If anyone has experience with this program I would be very interested in hearing how it works. I would also be interested in hearing about any programs that have worked for you, especially if your children have had spelling difficulties in the past. My kids are 10 and 12. Mild dyslexia as well as dysgraphia may be a concern. Thanks so much!
  19. After much debate, reading, and question asking we have decided to give Phonetic Zoo a try. Today is day 1. My intention is to keep updating this thread as we go along. As a background, we pulled my ds out of a private school at the end of 2nd grade. When we started homeschool in 3rd grade, spelling was the first (of many) programs we realized were not right for us. We had the spectrum spelling workbook. We researched and settled onto All About Spelling. It worked really well, spelling went from tears into our favorite subject overnight. The enthusiasm and success kept me going through book 1 and into book 2, then I hit major burn out and we just stopped. I love AAS and I am planing on using it with my dd in the fall, but prepping for 3 steps a time and the fast pace when starting with an older child was just to much for me to keep up with. We took a placement test in the fall and ds placed in second grade for spelling (but 12th for word recognition). When we took the test again at the midpoint in our year he still placed in 2nd grade for spelling (not surprising as we hadn't replaced the curriculum and hadn't done any spelling all year. I realized that we needed to get back on track with spelling, I just couldn't face it, so I started to research a non-workbook, more independent spelling program. Someone on this board suggested Phonetic Zoo. I researched, and then at the GHC convention in Long Beach I got the opportunity to talk to Andrew Pudewa about it. He took about 20 minutes talking to me about it. I got the program, and over the last few days I watched the DVD that comes with it. Spelling and the Brain is not necessary to watch before starting the program, but I highly recommend it. It is motivational, and I understand where ds was struggling. It also made me realize how I can have a child who is amazing at reading, word recognition, etc... and be preforming below level in Spelling. The instructions on the DVD are great. Andrew Pudewa takes his daughter Fiona through a lesson. He shows how to start with the flashcard together (That took us about 2 minutes), then how the student does the work independently. It was really helpful seeing just what the parent and student roles are in a program. I also listened to the first three tracks on the CD. One feature that I like is that when they are listing off the spelling words Mr. Pudewa and the other man who helped write the program (I am being forgetful at the moment) take turns and switch every 3 words. It is enough to break the monotony of the program, but not so much as to be overly busy. Today we started, just as shown on the dvd. I showed him all the parts of the program. I showed him how to use his personal cd player, where the pause button was etc... I also explained that with starting a new program using a different approach to learning might mean that it took a few days for him to get used to it. I normalized everything, explained that it was not a test, but a learning exercise, and that my only expectation of him was that he tried it. That we would work at his pace etc... I printed off the spelling form that was in the teacher manual as we are not yet using college ruled paper. He was so excited to get started, yet relaxed. He sat down, and had everything he needed and I left him to it. 18 minutes later he walks into my room, proud as a peacock with his first try done. 14 out of 15. So, after planning and day 1 I am very happy. Let me know if I left anything crucial out, I will update as we progress through if people are interested. Nicole
  20. Hello everyone, I have a 6th grader that is a wonderful reader and writer. I would even say above her grade level. I have put her in some writing classes online as a result she types all of her papers and does well. Recently we joined a coop where she hand writes sentences during class and takes notes. I've noticed that her spelling needs some work. Can you suggest a curriculum that she could use independently to improve this?
  21. My husband got a job downtown in San Fransiscos Financial area, and right now he's commuting and it's tough on him. We currently live a couple of hours South of SF. We know virtually NOTHING about any of these cities at all. I'm not thrilled about his job there, and don't like the Bay Area, but after being out of work for over a year, this was what was available. Im not sure of the pros and cons of living in the city, versus something like Alameda, other than the price difference. I also really don't know if logistically I would do well in a city. We have 2 cars, and his is a lease, so unfortunately we have to keep his, but it's an electric car and just doesn't go very far - so I want to be able to take off outside the city often, but I hear parking is extremely difficult, so not sure we could even keep mine. I'm also worried about housing. He's making 135k a year, (not enough I know for the area) and we have a 13 year old, who wants some space, but we also don't want to spend all of our money on rent. We have a lot of debt to pay off, and also traveling is a big thing for us. We just don't want to sink our money into outrageous prices for rent!! We are the type that's very creative when it comes to housing. Right now, we live full time in a 100 SF Rv so small spaces don't bother me if they can be worked with, or divisioned off. Do any of these cities have RV parks? Or tiny home living, or other creative outside the box options for cheaper rent? I also don't want to spend all my time lugging laundry, groceries, etc around a city, and to tell the truth, the Bay Area in general just doesn't appeal to me, it's so industrial looking and cold. On the other hand, we like walking, cultural things, history, architecture, we like fun things to do that are easily accessible, and good restaurants, lots to look at, etc. so it could be rather fun living in SF. Is there families that live in studios? And is there ways to put up temporary walls, so that we can still live there if that was out choice, but not pay so much for rent for a 1 or 2 bedroom apt? But tell me options for Alameda, Berkely, and Oakland. What do you love or not about these cities, and which would you choose to live in? I have no experience with any of them- and have only visited SF. He could take the BART train in to work, but does NOT want to commute by car. What would be the most ideal for cummute time? My husband could also take the ferry to work from Alameda- any personal experience with the Island itself? I would still be able to have my car living there, and have access to more stores potentially, and the housing is cheaper there, but does it feel like you're 'stuck' and is traffic bad getting on and off? Does it feel confined and too separate? What is Berkely like? I also like sun, and green spaces, and beautiful nature spots to visit, so that's also something that's important to throw in the mix. And we don't like traffic, and he really doesn't want much longer than a 25 minute commute... My daughters in 7th right now, and we aren't sure if we are homeschooling her next year or not. What areas have the best schools? And my searches are not pulling up ANY homeschool centers in the area. She wouldn't be doing any co-ops, park days, etc. but the area we live in now has charter schools, and also private homeschool centers where she can attend a few days a week. Are there not as many homeschoolers in the area? All these decisions, and we just don't know how to narrow the choices down. I'm trying to put all the pieces together with not knowing anything about the area at all, and it's such a hard decicion to live in or out of the city. My dh would prefer to live in SF because of the lifestyle, and accessibility, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. We have a couple of months to make our decision, and we don't really know what each area entails, so please give me the scoop! Thanks!
  22. My 8 year old DS was an extremely reluctant writer and it was one of reasons we came around to homeschooling. He is a voracious reader and has a fantastic vocabulary - but he is lagging in writing, grammar and spelling. By grammar I mean basics such as capitalization, punctuation and by writing I mean the ability formulating a sentence independently. He does copywork, but is still writing in manuscript. He is ready for more of a challenge...he is willing now. And I need some help in targeting our efforts as to be honest, we've wasted a fair bit of time by being inconsistent with his lessons. Really inconsistent. What I would like is something (or somethingS) with few bells and whistles - it needs to be straightforward and allow us to stay focused on skill building. He WANTS to spell and is constantly asking me to give him words to spell. He is very expressive verbally and narrates very well. We need tools that are simple and unencumbered....just for a short season, mom and son have to stop getting sidetracked by all the beautiful books!!! Can you help? Here is what we have on hand for materials: Spelling: * RLTL - but to be honest, I'm intimidated by the phonograms as it is a new system to me * Spelling Power - have started with the assessments but have not followed through Grammar & Writing: * ELTL - love it to bits, but am thinking of putting it aside for a little while so we can concentrate on some matters of grammar and handwriting in a more 'intensive' way....ELTL is slow and gentle, and sometimes I think we get too bogged down in the stories and poetry and end up passing on the 'meat' of the lessons. He reads a ton as it is - and perhaps we could keep going with the reading list, but find a targeted tool to work on grammar basics Handwriting: * HLTL - I have it but have never printed it or used it * Getty-Dubay Italic Book C (the one that transitions to cursive). It is getting used, but he is still printing. Any suggestions would be appreciated - including materials, schedule, frequency etc.
  23. I'm finishing up AAS3 with dd8 very soon and was planning on starting Phonetic Zoo, Level A. My reasoning for PZ is that it's auditory (what dd needs) and independent (what I need want). I purchased PZ and now I'm doubting. The words look hard, even though IEW and everybody else says that completion of AAS3 prepares a student for starting PZ. Although she is on the young side - middle of 2nd grade vs. 3rd grade as IEW recommends. We've really enjoyed our time with AAS, and dd was sad to learn that we won't be continuing anymore. I know that's not a reason to stick with AAS...she very well could love PZ even more... Could I complete AAS4 with her and move on after that? Is that overkill? I don't want to accelerate too fast but also want her to start having some independence. Thoughts? Anybody out there complete AAS4 and then start PZ?
  24. Hello! I'm looking for some suggestions for a new spelling course. We've used R&S since we started homeschooling (4 years now), but unfortunately, the 7th-grade book is just not working out. (I guess I should've read the description where it explains that the book's main focus is the study of Latin word elements.) Any suggestions on a similar spelling curriculum?
  25. We are 7 weeks into Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading level 2. My 7 year old son knows all of the "teams" and has a good grasp of the rules so far. He is very good at spelling words that can be sounded out and use the most common sound. However, he definitely is not remembering the words that use less common sounds or are sight words (true sight words, such as "eye"). He needs LOTS of repetition to memorize anything and even then, he usually forgets if he doesn't continue to use it a lot. Should I add more "study time" to memorize the words? I don't want to use any form of whole word but I'm afraid he can't spell common words such as there, were, was, etc... Also, he HATES reading but is slowly becoming less resistant to it as long as it is easy. Dr. Seuss books are the only ones he doesn't completely fight me about. He wants to be able to read well but he doesn't feel like he's good at it so he'd rather just hate it.
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