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help with Spelling for 6th grader


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I would like someone to critique what my son is doing this year for spelling and let me know if it sounds like it is working or if we should be doing more. This is our first year homeschooling so I am up for any and all suggestions.

For spelling my 6th grade, 12 year old son is doing 15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. He is a naturally good speller and is great at memorizing a list of words in a short period of time, only to forget a few of them by the next week. I could hand him a list of 20 words and he would tell me in 5 minutes that he is ready for the test. He would miss a few and then say, “Retest!†and then get them right. Actually, in the beginning of the school year, we really were doing 2- words a day from the Zaner Bloser 6th grade free spelling lists. I felt those words were too easy, so I changed to 7th grade. Then I had him do a test using “A Writing Road to Reading†teacher guide that gave him 50 words to spell, all increasing in the level of difficulty the higher we got up the list. He tested the past two months at a 8.4 grade level approx. and I recently tried Rod and Staff 7th grade spelling, but we both found it too hard and came across too many words that I’ve never even heard of.

So now I’m back at using the Writing Road to Reading and I just placed him where the book recommended, in level X. I give him the list on Monday of approx 16-20 words, have him copy the words from the book on his own, and Tues and Wed he creates sentences using the words, with a dictionary by his side. Then we text on Friday and he still misses a few. Is this enough for Spelling or should I look into using a different program?

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Does he understand the spelling rules? I found that I had to remediate me dd who is in 6th grade, because we never really went ove the spelling rules, we just jumped into spelling words. I have the rules from Spell to Write and Read that I use for my oys, and she is going over those daily to help her understand why words are spelled the way they are.

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Does he understand the spelling rules? I found that I had to remediate me dd who is in 6th grade, because we never really went ove the spelling rules, we just jumped into spelling words. I have the rules from Spell to Write and Read that I use for my oys, and she is going over those daily to help her understand why words are spelled the way they are.

 

Maybe I should go over these the way I do with my youngers, just to see what he does know. He has gone to public school his whole life, so it's hard for me to know how solid that foundation is. I guess I assumed too much, just knowing that he' s a good speller and that he was one of the top in his class. Maybe tmrw I will run through the phonograms with him and see how that goes. I expect to get a lot of eye rolling; as I got tonight when I asked him what /ea/ said. He told me long /e/ and /a/ and I told him he left off short sounding /e/. Maybe it's just that he hasnt done that kind of review in awhile, yet seemingly knows how to spell well. Heck, before I started to homeschool, I was also a good speller and I couldn't tell you all the phonogram sounds:)

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I would like someone to critique what my son is doing this year for spelling and let me know if it sounds like it is working or if we should be doing more. This is our first year homeschooling so I am up for any and all suggestions.

For spelling my 6th grade, 12 year old son is doing 15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. He is a naturally good speller and is great at memorizing a list of words in a short period of time, only to forget a few of them by the next week. I could hand him a list of 20 words and he would tell me in 5 minutes that he is ready for the test. He would miss a few and then say, “Retest!†and then get them right. Actually, in the beginning of the school year, we really were doing 2- words a day from the Zaner Bloser 6th grade free spelling lists. I felt those words were too easy, so I changed to 7th grade. Then I had him do a test using “A Writing Road to Reading†teacher guide that gave him 50 words to spell, all increasing in the level of difficulty the higher we got up the list. He tested the past two months at a 8.4 grade level approx. and I recently tried Rod and Staff 7th grade spelling, but we both found it too hard and came across too many words that I’ve never even heard of.

So now I’m back at using the Writing Road to Reading and I just placed him where the book recommended, in level X. I give him the list on Monday of approx 16-20 words, have him copy the words from the book on his own, and Tues and Wed he creates sentences using the words, with a dictionary by his side. Then we text on Friday and he still misses a few. Is this enough for Spelling or should I look into using a different program?

Well, the thing is that you are not using a program. Taking the words out of WRTR is not the same thing as doing the Spalding Method (Spalding is the method; WRTR is the manual).

 

I'd say either study the manual and learn how to actually do Spalding, or use Spelling by Sound and Structure and consider it a challenge for both of you. :-)

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Spelling Power

 

:iagree: it's one book for every grade level, so you only buy it once. Also, you pretest the words without ever showing him the list. The words he can really spell will be correct, the missed words are studied systematically, then tested again the next day. Also, each new word list begins with the student writing out that particular spelling rule.

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Well, the thing is that you are not using a program. Taking the words out of WRTR is not the same thing as doing the Spalding Method (Spalding is the method; WRTR is the manual).

 

I'd say either study the manual and learn how to actually do Spalding, or use Spelling by Sound and Structure and consider it a challenge for both of you. :-)

 

Is the WRTR for older grades as well? I promise Ive read through this book a million times, I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. I've even bought the teacher's guide for it, for my second/ third grader. My problem is knowing what to do when. It tells me exactly what to say and what to go over, I just don't understand in what order/schedule it should go in. I better shape up and get it working though, I don't want to shortchange my son on spelling when he has so much potential.

 

Or maybe 6th gr Rod and Staff might do....7th was pretty tough...but I like challenges myself:)

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At 12, with decent spelling skills, I think you are nearing the end of spelling with him. He's at an appropriate level; he's a natural speller, and he doesn't seem interested or motivated in learning lists (as evidenced by his 5 min. review before taking the test and still missing a few). (And I don't say that in any negative way; that's what I'd expect from a 6th grade boy.)

 

WRTR is wonderful, and X is a pretty advanced list. Unless he needs practice with copywork, sentence writing, and dictionary skills, however, his spelling work at this point seems like busy work. Is it really achieving anything?

 

I'd drop writing all together and move either into a vocabulary program or beginning Latin, if you are leaning toward that at all.

 

ETA: I see from your sig line that you are already in Latin. I'd make his day tomorrow and tell him no more spelling curriculum. Ever. :)

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At 12, with decent spelling skills, I think you are nearing the end of spelling with him. He's at an appropriate level; he's a natural speller, and he doesn't seem interested or motivated in learning lists (as evidenced by his 5 min. review before taking the test and still missing a few). (And I don't say that in any negative way; that's what I'd expect from a 6th grade boy.)

 

WRTR is wonderful, and X is a pretty advanced list. Unless he needs practice with copywork, sentence writing, and dictionary skills, however, his spelling work at this point seems like busy work. Is it really achieving anything?

 

I'd drop writing all together and move either into a vocabulary program or beginning Latin, if you are leaning toward that at all.

 

ETA: I see from your sig line that you are already in Latin. I'd make his day tomorrow and tell him no more spelling curriculum. Ever. :)

 

It does seem like too much needless busywork for him. I guess I was hoping that it would improve his vocabulary and allow him to start incorporating some of the words in his writing, but I don't see those words coming across in either way really.

 

Your right; he is unmotivated. But he loves Latin; and is now doing an hour a day of it. Yesterday he told me that he loves to translate and wishes there was more of it. He suggested re-doing a section from the last chapter 3, just for fun, which was surprisinging to me that he would even think that. Plus we are doing 8 vocab words a week with Shurley English and he is doing 3 practicce sentences which he dissects into the parts of speech. he's wonderful at that. Maybe we are doing enough? We don't seem to have time to even get to Tapestry of Grace's suggested vocab list.

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It does seem like too much needless busywork for him. I guess I was hoping that it would improve his vocabulary and allow him to start incorporating some of the words in his writing, but I don't see those words coming across in either way really.

 

Your right; he is unmotivated. But he loves Latin; and is now doing an hour a day of it. Yesterday he told me that he loves to translate and wishes there was more of it. He suggested re-doing a section from the last chapter 3, just for fun, which was surprisinging to me that he would even think that. Plus we are doing 8 vocab words a week with Shurley English and he is doing 3 practicce sentences which he dissects into the parts of speech. he's wonderful at that. Maybe we are doing enough? We don't seem to have time to even get to Tapestry of Grace's suggested vocab list.

 

My ds is 13, so I can relate to some of your challenges with your 11yo. He's doing Shurley and enjoying Latin, AND asking to translate?! Mom, it sounds like your boy is doing just fine with those things. I'd grab onto his enthusiasm right now for Latin, without pushing but just giving him extra time and finding more for him to do for as long as he's interested. Are there any fun supplements that he would enjoy? A Latin fairy tale book, or Green Eggs and Ham in Latin? Or any free online children's books? Would he like Rummy Roots?

 

Some people say that doing both grammar and Latin are not necessary, but if I had a 6th grader in this situation, I'd keep it up. It's working.

 

If you want to see him incorporate some of his vocab into his writing, perhaps he can have a handy list of his weekly Shurley vocab nearby and make it a point to use 2-3 words in whatever writing he's doing during the week. Or maybe he'd like to take those Shurley vocab words and use a dictionary (online even) to find the word origin. He may be surprised to find how many derive from Latin.

 

:001_smile:

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My ds is 13, so I can relate to some of your challenges with your 11yo. He's doing Shurley and enjoying Latin, AND asking to translate?! Mom, it sounds like your boy is doing just fine with those things. I'd grab onto his enthusiasm right now for Latin, without pushing but just giving him extra time and finding more for him to do for as long as he's interested. Are there any fun supplements that he would enjoy? A Latin fairy tale book, or Green Eggs and Ham in Latin? Or any free online children's books? Would he like Rummy Roots?

 

Some people say that doing both grammar and Latin are not necessary, but if I had a 6th grader in this situation, I'd keep it up. It's working.

 

If you want to see him incorporate some of his vocab into his writing, perhaps he can have a handy list of his weekly Shurley vocab nearby and make it a point to use 2-3 words in whatever writing he's doing during the week. Or maybe he'd like to take those Shurley vocab words and use a dictionary (online even) to find the word origin. He may be surprised to find how many derive from Latin.

 

:001_smile:

 

Thanks for all your suggestions! My son enjoyed reading what you wrote too. I'm going to look for Green Eggs and Ham in Latin for him tmrw. He wants to know he will translate with different words that are not in his book. I told him we'd figure that out and use a dictionary.

 

I quit the busywork today. In fact, we dropped our schedule that we normally do, and he did 3 hours of math and an hour of Latin Road, 2 sections,plus some free reading time. We won't do that everyday(gotta get that science and history in) but it was nice doing what we were motivated to do. I will try and do more with the vocab in Shurley too. What is rummy roots? Ill try and search for them online. Ive thought about not having him do English and Latin together but it seemed like we'd never get to prepositions or any higher up stuff if we stuck to just Latin. Also, I'm new at Latin and don't really know what Im doing, so I wanted to make sure he had all his bases covered in case I am not doing something right with the Latin, it being our first year and all. Very encouraging advice, it's nice to know someone's in the same boat that I am (having a boy around this age).:001_smile:

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