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copywork dictation questions


choirfarm
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Ok, copywork has always been easy for my girl. She could copy anything, but of course she couldn't read so she had no idea what it said!!! She really didn't take off reading until January ( right after she turned 8). Now that she is reading fluently, I have really started having her write a lot more and she hates it. Though she has finally quit complaining. For spelling workout, you have to write a little paragraph with the words. She wants me to spell every word for her except the spelling words to make sure she gets them correct.

 

Also, we started cursive last spring and she learned all the letters last spring. So now she is copying something in cursive every day. I discovered that she cannot read it. She has no idea what she is copying. I just copy the shapes mom, I don't know what it says. If I give her the sentences in printing, then she can read it. How can I get her to read in cursive??

 

We are doing WWE2. The copywork is easy. She summarizes well and can answer the questions easily. The problem is dictation. She wants me to spell every word for her almost. She misspells them if I do not... I know SWB said to spell words for them, but... Here is a dictation ex: The ponies arrived on the island in the summer. Soon winter came, and snow covered the grass.

 

So... how do you spell ponies, mom? Well, how would you spell pony..oh with a y..so how do you make it plural? by adding ies. Yes.. Mom, can you say the sentence again. I do. How do you spell arrived? What were the sentences? How do you spell island? summer? winter? covered? etc. And of course as we concentrate on the spelling she forgets the sentences!!

 

And her own summaries are even worse. Her sentences are great but are filled with words she doesn't know how to spell. And we are supposed to dictate them to her??? I'm just not sure I'm doing this correctly.

 

Christine

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I'm no expert and I don't know what others would say about this, but I would either, 1) make the sentences you dictate MUCH easier and shorter until she becomes more confident, or 2) stop the dictation altogether for a month or two and concentrate on phonics, spelling, and reading out loud together. Just because she can read printing fluently doesn't mean she can write it...the skills are totally different (decoding and encoding).

 

Just my thoughts. Good luck!

 

Pam

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My almost 10 year old son does the same thing. You have to shorten the sentence to the point that she can remember it, and ask you how to spell words. Also, remember to first say the sentence and make your dd repeat it back to you. Until she can repeat it back to you perfectly, keep practicing it. Then, after you spell a word for her, and she says, "Mom can you repeat the sentence?" You say, "Wait, think about it. What was the sentence?" You need to help her access her visual memory. This is the skill you are trying to teach anyway--to help her hold words in her head.

 

As far as her own summaries, I assume you mean that she is writing down her own narrations? If that's the case, you might spell words for her when she asks for help. If she doesn't ask for help and spells words wrong, I would just work through a few corrections with her. For example, my ds spelled the words first and heaven incorrectly in something he wrote yesterday. At dinner, I said, "Son, how do you spell first?" He repeated exactly what he wrote "FRIST". I said, "Think about that, you spelled "frist". Is that what you wanted to spell? "Oh, no," he said. Then after he thought about it, he could spell it right. With heaven, I had to just tell him how to spell it. I suppose if he spelled a lot of words incorrectly, I would only choose a few that I thought he should be able to spell, and discuss those with him. I wouldn't want to discourage him from writing in the first place.

 

HTH

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As far as her own summaries, I assume you mean that she is writing down her own narrations? If that's the case, you might spell words for her when she asks for help. If she doesn't ask for help and spells words wrong, I would just work through a few corrections with her. For example, my ds spelled the words first and heaven incorrectly in something he wrote yesterday. At dinner, I said, "Son, how do you spell first?" He repeated exactly what he wrote "FRIST". I said, "Think about that, you spelled "frist". Is that what you wanted to spell? "Oh, no," he said. Then after he thought about it, he could spell it right. With heaven, I had to just tell him how to spell it. I suppose if he spelled a lot of words incorrectly, I would only choose a few that I thought he should be able to spell, and discuss those with him. I wouldn't want to discourage him from writing in the first place.

 

HTH

 

Well, on day 3 and 4...or is is 4 and 5, anyway you read a selection, then they summarize it and you write it down for them. Then you dictate that to them. She doesn't know how to spell most of the words she tells me. They are too advanced. That is one thing I worry about a little with the Apologia notebook. I end up dumbing down what she says into a simple sentence she can spell!!!

 

Christine

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Well, on day 3 and 4...or is is 4 and 5, anyway you read a selection, then they summarize it and you write it down for them. Then you dictate that to them. She doesn't know how to spell most of the words she tells me. They are too advanced. That is one thing I worry about a little with the Apologia notebook. I end up dumbing down what she says into a simple sentence she can spell!!!

 

Christine

 

I think if my child were giving me great vocabulary words but couldn't spell them and dictating that to back to them was too much of a struggle, I would't use that for their dictation. I think your thoughts are here are good, and I wonder what SWB would answer to this one. It seems as though this would be a common problem--a child's vocabulary could certainly exceed their ability to spell those words. I generally dictate a sentence to my ds that I know he can handle. Mmm... I hope others will chime in here with their thoughts.

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