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I've been looking into spelling programs for my 6yo to begin next fall. He has apraxia (severe speech disorder) and I don't think spelling is going to come easily to him. At first, I was looking into AAS because it seemed very thorough and intensive, but then I repeatedly came across WRTR as I researched it. I've purchased the WRTR book, but it hasn't arrived yet. It seems that many people love it, but that it takes a while to understand the text and requires many re-reads. Is this something that I will be able to implement with only the manual and flashcards? I can't afford the lesson plans and extras on their web-site, so I'd love to be able to do it with just the manual and cards.

 

Has anyone done this program with a child with speech problems? What do I do with sounds he has difficulty pronouncing, like s, s blends, sh, ch, and r's? We are currently using phonics pathways for reading, and he does great the simple words, but we have hit a wall with long vowels and multisyllable words. Not much progress has been made this year because he needs to be reminded at each long vowel word. Since he has already begun reading, will it be confusing for him to switch to a new method?

 

Thanks

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To teach Spalding, you only need the manual and a set of phonogram cards (Spalding is the method; WRTR is the manual).

 

When you're beginning to learn something new, wouldn't you expect to have to study the manual? That's what you do when you want to teach Spalding: you study the manual by reading it multiple times.

 

The teacher guides are not necessary for homeschoolers.

 

I have not done Spalding with children who have speech issues. Sorry.

 

I would expect Spalding to solve the issues you mention, though (having to be reminded at each long vowel world, and struggling with multi-syllable words).

 

There will be a period of adjustment for him, but I suspect there will be more "OOOO!" moments than not. :-)

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I had to read the manual a few times and ask a bunch of questions here but after a few initial bumps, it is a very simple, open and go program with just the manual, the cards, a pencil, and paper.

 

I have no experience with speech issues but Spalding, done correctly, is very multi-modal. If he can hear the sound correctly and write it correctly maybe that will help him get over not being able to produce the sound correctly?

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I am echoing the other posters sentiments here, my son had issues saying the correct sound for 'th' and while implementing the Spalding method, it have gotten better. Not fixed but he distinctly hears it better and tries to say it clearer and fix it in his everyday speaking. I helped someone with more experience will be able to give you specifics.

 

However, after reading the manual and really diving in with the program, I am very satisfied in our progress thus far.

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I got my copy of WRTR (sixth edition) last night and have spent some time reading it last night and today. Wow, it really isn't laid out in a way to make it simple or easy to follow. Every other paragraph ends in see so-and-so in the Kindergarten Through Sixth-Grade Teacher Guides. I wish it had sample of what a day's lesson would look like.

 

When you introduce the the phonograms and their different sounds, do you explain at that time why and when the different sounds are used? Or do you wait until you come to a word that those sounds are used in? For example, when teaching the phonogram /e/, do I simply teach that /e/ says e and ee (can't type the symbols for those). Then, when I teach the word me, is that when I explain that e says ee at the end of a syllable? Then, if me is the first word taught for spelling, and it uses the 4th spelling rule, do I just teach the spelling rules as they are needed in the words?

 

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but that's it for now.

 

Thanks

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My ds had some serious speech issues when he was younger. I had started using SWR (a Spalding spin-off) about the time he started speech therapy. My ds's problems were not so serious as apraxia, but he did have some auditory processing issues that required some auditory training. My understanding of apraxia, though, is that it is a motor-planning issue and does not affect the dc's ability to hear the sounds correctly.

 

With the Spalding approach, it is not necessary for a child to be able to correctly produce the phonogram sounds. In fact, it is completely normal for children to have difficulty with certain sounds up to about 8yo without needing therapy. If you are not sure if your dc can hear the sounds correctly, I would ask the speech therapist to check.

 

Your goal in these programs is for the dc to write the phonograms when he hears them. (My ds5 still cannot say all of the phonogram sounds, but he can write them.) Being able to say them is an intermediary step. Saying them helps the teacher assess how well the child is learning them, but saying them correctly is not necessary to either reading or spelling, as long as the child is hearing them correctly. You would generally ask typical students to say the phonograms as they write them, because verbalizing helps the dc to remember. I don't know whether this technique will work with an apraxic student or not. You will need to work with your speech therapist to see if and how you can adjust the program to address the special needs of your ds.

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I got my copy of WRTR (sixth edition) last night and have spent some time reading it last night and today. Wow, it really isn't laid out in a way to make it simple or easy to follow. Every other paragraph ends in see so-and-so in the Kindergarten Through Sixth-Grade Teacher Guides. I wish it had sample of what a day's lesson would look like.

 

I'm going to have to break down and get a sixth edition so I can see if it's really necessary to have the teacher guide or not. Hmph.

 

When you introduce the the phonograms and their different sounds, do you explain at that time why and when the different sounds are used? Or do you wait until you come to a word that those sounds are used in? For example, when teaching the phonogram /e/, do I simply teach that /e/ says e and ee (can't type the symbols for those). Then, when I teach the word me, is that when I explain that e says ee at the end of a syllable? Then, if me is the first word taught for spelling, and it uses the 4th spelling rule, do I just teach the spelling rules as they are needed in the words?

 

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but that's it for now.

 

Thanks

 

When you teach a phonogram, you just teach the sounds that it makes (although for some of them, I include the rule, as in the single-letter phonogram c: "/k/ /s/ c followed by e, i or y says /s/). When you teach the word "me," you follow the script :-) You say /m/ then /e/, he underlines the e, then you tell the child Rule 4, and he writes R4 next to the word. Then you say (and eventually, he says it with you) "A, e, o and u usually say their second sounds at the end of a short word or syllable."

 

Some rules you talk about briefly before they are used in the spelling words, but the dc don't have to memorize them; that will happen naturally over time.

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Thanks for all your replies. I've been dragging this book around with me for the last couple of days, and think I have the general idea behind it. Now it doesn't seem too complicated and I'm starting to think that I'm probably missing something. The book says this will take a sizable amount of time to implement, but I don't see how it could possibly take that much time. But then, I don't plan on incorporating all the writing portions beyond the basics of capitilization and punctuation, and so on.

 

So far, it sounds like I need to:

  1. introduce the sounds of the first 45 phonograms and learn how to write them
  2. review the phonograms orally 4x/daily
  3. written phonogram review daily
  4. begin writing words in notebook after first 45 phonograms are learned and just follow the script given with each new word to teach the appropriate rule
  5. And while he is mastering the first 45, I should be introducing what syllables, vowels, and consonants are and demonstrate why and how to mark words. Also, preteach relevant rules before dictating words into the notebook.

Is that how it's done?

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Thanks for all your replies. I've been dragging this book around with me for the last couple of days, and think I have the general idea behind it. Now it doesn't seem too complicated and I'm starting to think that I'm probably missing something. The book says this will take a sizable amount of time to implement, but I don't see how it could possibly take that much time. But then, I don't plan on incorporating all the writing portions beyond the basics of capitilization and punctuation, and so on.

 

So far, it sounds like I need to:

  1. introduce the sounds of the first 45 phonograms and learn how to write them
  2. review the phonograms orally 4x/daily
  3. written phonogram review daily
  4. begin writing words in notebook after first 45 phonograms are learned and just follow the script given with each new word to teach the appropriate rule
  5. And while he is mastering the first 45, I should be introducing what syllables, vowels, and consonants are and demonstrate why and how to mark words. Also, preteach relevant rules before dictating words into the notebook.

Is that how it's done?

 

If you were teaching a classroom full of children, yes, it would take a sizeable amount of time. But you're not, so it won't. :-)

 

1. Yes.

2. Um...you do oral and written review of the phonograms daily. Not sure what you're thinking with "4x/daily."

3. See #2.

4. Yes.

5. Not sure how to answer. You don't teach syllables and whatnot until you are teaching the words in the Extended Ayres List. You don't teach the markings until you are teaching the words. If your dc is old enough to do the rule pages, that's when you discuss vowels and consonants, because your dc is actually writing them. You teach the markings when you actually teach and analyze the words.

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Thanks, Ellie. You're so kind to keep answering my questions. What this book needs is a section where the steps in the program are carefully laid out. They need to show what is done daily and in what order to progress. I don't need lesson plans, but a general daily and long term plan would be great.

 

As for the part about the 4x/day, somewhere in the book, it says it's better to drill 4x/day for 2 min. each, than in one 8 minute review session. Perhaps the 6th edition is different, but it says that while beginners of any age are mastering the first 45 phonograms, to preteach identifying syllables, vowels, consonants, and to demonstrate the marking system.

 

I'm going to give the book another read-through this weekend and see if I can grasp it all.

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