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People with experience with kids with spelling issues, please help me...(this is long)


julikins
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People with experience with kids with spelling issues, I need your help thinking this through...

 

Although I need some help figuring out what spelling program to use with my daughter, I would like to get to the root of the issue of why my 11 yr old, currently in 5th grade, daughter struggles so much with spelling.

 

Here is what I see happening: ( I am by no means a reading specialist or expert, so please forgive my feeble attempt at explaining this. Please feel free to ask any questions to clarify.)

 

I believe she probably has issues with reading. She doesn't automatically break words into syllables or sound them out correctly. I have her read aloud to me daily and she skips small words, or guesses at the words. The other day she saw the word "psychology" and said, "What is puh-see-cho-lo-gee." We've been through AAS levels 1-3 and Megawords 1. She knows all the phonograms and phonemes, knows the rules, but doesn't apply them. She consistently mispells simple words like just-jest, little-littel, poster-poaster. She adds in letters where they aren't needed, adds syllables in her words that aren't there, like border-borader. I just get the feeling like there's something going on that keeps her from hearing the difference between al and el, bid and bed. She struggles more with the short vowel sounds (hearing it in order to spell it correctly), and more with the long vowel spelling (knowing how which way to spell the long vowel sound, like when to choose e_e, ee, ea, ey, ei). I guess I'm not too clear on the why's behind things ( I have the ABC's and All Their tricks in my wishlist), but I just do it naturally, so I'm not sure how to explain them to her. It has NOT worked to say, just memorize the words. She'll spell out words phonetically, but still incorrectly, so many times she'll have all the sounds and usually in the right order, but not choose the write way to spell those sounds.

 

Besides this she struggles terribly with remember rules of grammar and punctuation as well. We've been doing R&S grammar and before that Intermediate Language Lessons, and before that FLL. So she has had some informal but quite a bit of formal grammar. She struggles terribly with the titles of things, the names of things like today we were reviewing what a pronoun, proper noun, possessive adjective (or noun), plural and preposition mean. We've been doing proper noun since 1st grade and she still only gets it right about half the time.

 

SHE IS INTELLIGENT and super creative. She does well in her other subjects. She loves to read to herself, though I often wonder how much she really comprehended. She seems to get the overall picture, but maybe not all the vocab or details. But she can memorize songs incredibly easily. She memorized the complete words to several of the School House Rock songs after having listened to them only 2 or 3 times. Every single word was perfect!

 

I've finally convinced her to write no matter how many mistakes she has in spelling, because her sentence formation is actually pretty good. She can write some very beautiful and descriptive sentences. But the other day she wrote a story that was a page and a half long, and had 47 spelling mistakes besides quite often having errors in capitalization.

 

What I think I should do: This is up for suggestions and redirection...

 

She hates studying grammar and spelling. She has been doing Megawords this year but I have not seen much improvement, except for in vocabulary. She does seem to enjoy it though. But she has not liked any grammar program I have done with her. This year she is doing Writing Strands 3 and it has improved her writing resiliance quite a lot--she write more quantity and is learning how to organize her writing much better. I have been sitting down with her more the last few weeks to go over her writing with her. This has been painful in the past because she hates seeing me point out mistakes. But we've been trying to make this constructive and I think we hit on something here.

 

I know I have to continue doing this, but to take the pain out of learning this way, I thought about doing a daily paragraph editing program, like the one from Evan Moor (we wouldn't be tearing apart something she wrote). I also thought about doing MCT, starting fresh with grammar and giving her the chance to learn to love grammar and playing with words. And I have no clear direction where to go with spelling.

  • Do I continue with Megawords and hope that through syllabication and learning the rules and maturity she'll get it.
  • I've checked out Sequential Spelling, would she learn and grow through this method of "learning through making mistakes" and learn the patterns intuitively. It makes some sense to me.
  • I've been hearing a lot about Phonetic Zoo as well. Demanding mastery of each word list, using auditory jingles to learn the rules...sounds promising.

 

I just don't know where to go from here. I want to give her the ability to overcome this, but I don't know how to lead her.

 

Please help me if you have had a struggling spelling/reader. How did you help them...

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Is there any testing you can do online? I am by no means a LD expert, just thinking out loud.

 

My older ds had spelling struggles after Abeka and Rod & Staff amd I found a book called Apples: Daily Spelling Drills for Secondary Students. Short and sweet, took him about 5-10 minutes per lesson each day. I saw improvement while he was working through that and much less frustration on both of our parts.

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I don't have much to offer because we're just starting on this path. I posted a few weeks ago about my dd8 who has weak visual memory and I know you bumped my post (thank you!) I ended up ordering Apples and Pears spelling which arrived today. I do like the way it seems to focus on incrementally visualizing and hearing words and sounds without all of the rule memorization. Your dd's issues sound similar to mine in that she just doesn't know how the word should be spelled from visualizing it in her memory.

 

I'm just picking up the book "The Mislabled Child" tomorrow at the library. If I read anything interesting, I'll let you know. I did recently read "The Dyslexic Advantage" and thought some of the resources in the appendix looked interesting. Resources like special word processing programs for kids who have a tremendously hard time spelling and writing. Dd wasn't identified as at risk for dyslexia but that book helped me see how those who have these challenges also have special giftedness beyond the reading challenges.

 

One of the things the reading specialist said when she evaluated dd was that she would probably always struggle with spelling. That made me think about when we would move away from trying to master spelling and grammar to using accommodations. Obviously we're not at that place yet but you may be. We do already accommodate by letting dd listen to books on cd that are beyond her reading level. I might, in the future, consider a special software program that could help with the writing process. From what i understand, these programs anticipate the words attempting to be spelled as well as grammar and punctuation.

 

I hope you get some helpful responses.

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I can't address everything in your post, but I also have a 10yr old DD who cannot spell for the life of her. She was tested as having a 12th grade reading level and a 2nd grade spelling level - in 4th grade. No LD's, but very bright and creative. We started Sequential Spelling this semester - with book #1, and I have definitely noticed an improvement already - whereas before she would just spell a word wrong without thought, now she stops and thinks: what is the base word? What gets added on? We did have to purchase a book of spelling rules for when she had questions about why a word was spelled a certain way - but with your phonics background in AAS, you may not need that.

 

We also started MCT this year - the Island level. Wow. She adores it, and LOVES the story. She now also understands grammar in a very concrete way - it used to just be confusing, but MCT makes it very approachable. You wouldn't have to do the whole curriculum, though. Maybe start with Grammar/Sentence/Practice Island. Neither of the first two books take long to get through at all, and you could easily move from that to the town level in one year.

 

Some think 5th grade is too old for the Island series, but my DD loved it, and she's used to much higher-level reading. She didn't think it was too kiddish at all. She even wanted to read it out loud with me, and she HATES to read anything out loud. :thumbup:

 

HTH

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Thank you for your replies. I don't know how to multi-quote, so this is a general thanks and I will do some of those assessments you all mentioned. Clemota, that is the direction I keep thinking of going with this my DD. She hasn't learned to loved language and finds it a drudgery, any form of output or studying it, but she loves to read. So I thought that MCT would be a good direction to go along with trying Sequential Spelling. I resonate with it a little more than with Phonetic Zoo, even though I think if I understood the PZ reasoning, I would like that better because of the independence factor.

 

I keep thinking though, is this a reading problem or a spelling problem, or both. Is it something else? I'm just not sure but will try those assessments to see what comes up.

 

Anyone else?

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My middle child has struggled with spelling since 1st grade. She makes a lot of mistakes similar to how you describe your daughter spells. I haven't figured out what is causing it, but I did hear of one thing that has actually helped her a bit. Every day she reads each spelling word aloud and spells each word aloud while writing the letters in the air in big letters. The week she began doing that she got her first "A" on a spelling test, instead of her usual "D" or "F." It doesn't help her apply the correct spelling rule across the board, but it does cement the correct spelling of each of those words in her head. She now gets A's and B's on her spelling tests, and the correct spelling of the words is appearing in her writing elsewhere.

 

One thing I noticed also was that her spelling workbook suddenly got neater, too...normally the pages of her lesson would be doodled and scribbled all over, with many of the words written very heavily in messy handwriting. Without even looking back at her test book I could tell which week I started having her spell her words in the air by the suddenly neat pages. I am guessing that the exercises suddenly became easier, as well.

 

I know this doesn't help you get to the root of her problem, but she can do this no matter which spelling program you use. Oh, one other tip I read as well (that I haven't tried out yet) is to make flashcards of the words that she misspells consistently, with the correct spelling of the portion that she misspells written in a different color than the rest of the word...that is supposed to make the correct spelling stand out in her mind and fix the spelling she has already internalized.

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My daughter is dyslexic and sounds EXACTLY like yours - the reading issues and the spelling issues (she also tends to skip small words, look at the word and guess, transposes when she spells, etc.

 

Spelling: Apples and Pears (it's a UK based spelling program)

Reading: I have Autumn use a dark note card to read line by line - her mistakes are less when doing this because she has fewer words/sentences/paragraphs to be confused by.

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People with experience with kids with spelling issues, I need your help thinking this through...

 

Although I need some help figuring out what spelling program to use with my daughter, I would like to get to the root of the issue of why my 11 yr old, currently in 5th grade, daughter struggles so much with spelling.

 

Here is what I see happening: ( I am by no means a reading specialist or expert, so please forgive my feeble attempt at explaining this. Please feel free to ask any questions to clarify.)

 

I believe she probably has issues with reading. She doesn't automatically break words into syllables or sound them out correctly. I have her read aloud to me daily and she skips small words, or guesses at the words. The other day she saw the word "psychology" and said, "What is puh-see-cho-lo-gee." We've been through AAS levels 1-3 and Megawords 1. She knows all the phonograms and phonemes, knows the rules, but doesn't apply them. She consistently mispells simple words like just-jest, little-littel, poster-poaster. She adds in letters where they aren't needed, adds syllables in her words that aren't there, like border-borader. I just get the feeling like there's something going on that keeps her from hearing the difference between al and el, bid and bed. She struggles more with the short vowel sounds (hearing it in order to spell it correctly), and more with the long vowel spelling (knowing how which way to spell the long vowel sound, like when to choose e_e, ee, ea, ey, ei). I guess I'm not too clear on the why's behind things ( I have the ABC's and All Their tricks in my wishlist), but I just do it naturally, so I'm not sure how to explain them to her. It has NOT worked to say, just memorize the words. She'll spell out words phonetically, but still incorrectly, so many times she'll have all the sounds and usually in the right order, but not choose the write way to spell those sounds.

 

Besides this she struggles terribly with remember rules of grammar and punctuation as well. We've been doing R&S grammar and before that Intermediate Language Lessons, and before that FLL. So she has had some informal but quite a bit of formal grammar. She struggles terribly with the titles of things, the names of things like today we were reviewing what a pronoun, proper noun, possessive adjective (or noun), plural and preposition mean. We've been doing proper noun since 1st grade and she still only gets it right about half the time.

 

SHE IS INTELLIGENT and super creative. She does well in her other subjects. She loves to read to herself, though I often wonder how much she really comprehended. She seems to get the overall picture, but maybe not all the vocab or details. But she can memorize songs incredibly easily. She memorized the complete words to several of the School House Rock songs after having listened to them only 2 or 3 times. Every single word was perfect!

 

I've finally convinced her to write no matter how many mistakes she has in spelling, because her sentence formation is actually pretty good. She can write some very beautiful and descriptive sentences. But the other day she wrote a story that was a page and a half long, and had 47 spelling mistakes besides quite often having errors in capitalization.

 

What I think I should do: This is up for suggestions and redirection...

 

She hates studying grammar and spelling. She has been doing Megawords this year but I have not seen much improvement, except for in vocabulary. She does seem to enjoy it though. But she has not liked any grammar program I have done with her. This year she is doing Writing Strands 3 and it has improved her writing resiliance quite a lot--she write more quantity and is learning how to organize her writing much better. I have been sitting down with her more the last few weeks to go over her writing with her. This has been painful in the past because she hates seeing me point out mistakes. But we've been trying to make this constructive and I think we hit on something here.

 

I know I have to continue doing this, but to take the pain out of learning this way, I thought about doing a daily paragraph editing program, like the one from Evan Moor (we wouldn't be tearing apart something she wrote). I also thought about doing MCT, starting fresh with grammar and giving her the chance to learn to love grammar and playing with words. And I have no clear direction where to go with spelling.

  • Do I continue with Megawords and hope that through syllabication and learning the rules and maturity she'll get it.
  • I've checked out Sequential Spelling, would she learn and grow through this method of "learning through making mistakes" and learn the patterns intuitively. It makes some sense to me.
  • I've been hearing a lot about Phonetic Zoo as well. Demanding mastery of each word list, using auditory jingles to learn the rules...sounds promising.

I just don't know where to go from here. I want to give her the ability to overcome this, but I don't know how to lead her.

 

Please help me if you have had a struggling spelling/reader. How did you help them...

 

WOWWWW!! Unfortunately I'm in the same place that you are so I don't have any wisdom on what to do next. But this sounds freakishly EXACTLY like my son (who is almost 10 and in 4th). Every single thing you described (which you did quite well, IMO) are things I see my son doing repeatedly and have perplexed me as well... the adding syllables where there are none (he'll write "girol" instead of "girl"), not automatically seeing the parts of words, skipping small words (e.g. of, to, a, the) in his reading, but loves reading fiction on his own... even memorizing songs very easily!! I'm telling you... weird. My son has no music training at all and he memorizes tunes & songs very easily. He also sometimes memorizes large chunks of movies that he's only seen once. My son will also mis-read some words and be convinced he is right until you argue with him a bit (e.g. he'll say "from" instead of "form"). He's a horrific speller and also forgets punctuation & capitals like you're saying. It's so frustrating because he *knows* it. He does pretty well with the proof-reading (we are doing Spelling Workout) but wouldn't naturally apply those things to his own writing when he writes it the *first time.* Though if he went back and proof-read his writing I think he is better at catching mistakes (except spelling, of course).

 

However, my son has additional issues you didn't mention like reversing numbers (writing 12 when he means twenty-one), writing "sh" instead of "ch" even though he knows the difference, writes the mirror-image of letters (b instead of d, or s backwards, etc).

 

In light of all of this, I am convinced he has a learning disability of some sort, and most likely I believe he is dyslexic (perhaps with a couple add-ons). We are currently getting him tested for dyslexia. Even if you can't do testing right now, it might help to know if she has a lot of red flags. You don't need ALL of them. For instance, my son never had any problem with rhyming words, though that is on the list. But he did/does have a problem with a ton of the other ones mentioned. Check out SusanBarton.com and she has great videos on how dyslexia works (which has nothing to do with intelligence - it's a language issue), and also warning signs. See if there are any lightbulbs and it might give you an idea of where to go with testing when you do have access to it.

 

As far as where to go with her academics right now, of course I'm not much help because I haven't made it past this hurdle myself. But I think you have some good ideas and have wondered about Phonetic Zoo myself. Because of the mastery required, plus since our kids memorize tunes/songs so easily, perhaps the jingles would work wonders? If she could place in it, that's what I think I would try at this point because it's the only program that would play on her musical strength.

 

Please update and let us know how it's going later, for those of us who are struggling with this same issue!

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Another one in the same boat. We are still struggling to find the right "fit" for grammar and spelling.

 

My DD's spelling improved a lot while we were doing A&P. I think it is really a great program for poor spellers that don't respond well to strictly rule-based programs like AAS. We are currently taking a break from A&P because my DD was getting really burnt out on it. We are doing SS right now, and it is overall also working well. Long term, I don't think we will stick with it, but it is what is working right now. I have also looked at PZ and am interested, but the mastery required might cause problems. I can see my DD getting very frustrated if she has to keep working on the same list over and over. But the program is still on my radar.

 

We are using Winston Grammar this year, which is supposed to be excellent for dyslexics. We've seen some improvement, but my DD still struggles. I have looked over and over at MCT, but it makes no sense to me. I have no idea if it will make sense to my DD. It has such a hefty price-tag that keeps me from experimenting with it.

 

As far as reading, she can read at grade level, but does skip words or substitute words. We work about 10-15 minutes each day on decoding longer words and accuracy. She also reads aloud to me each day. I don't point out everything she misses unless what she is saying doesn't make sense. Her comprehension is excellent, and I don't want to kill her love of stories by over-critiquing.

 

I hope some others chime in.

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My daughter is dyslexic and sounds EXACTLY like yours - the reading issues and the spelling issues (she also tends to skip small words, look at the word and guess, transposes when she spells, etc.

 

Spelling: Apples and Pears (it's a UK based spelling program)

Reading: I have Autumn use a dark note card to read line by line - her mistakes are less when doing this because she has fewer words/sentences/paragraphs to be confused by.

 

i was going to say the same thing..my son is dyslexic, and spelling was how we caught it. he could read a word like 'corn'..but then spell it 'cron.' i would ask him what it said (spelled cron)..and he would say corn..then i'd say sound it out, and then he would realize his error...but he never could sound things out correctly even though he knew the basic letter sounds..he is a mechanical genius (seriously)..and extremely good at math..enjoys being read to..but phonics, reading lessons were always a struggle..then spelling just blew up in our faces (he was 7)..and i knew something wasn't right..so i had him tested for dyslexia and now we're having him tutored, (scottish rite's take flight program) and he's a completely different kid..wants to read me the recipes from the cookbook i'm using..no more meltdowns either..good luck to you!

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I have a son that sounds very similar. I've wondered about dyslexia, but never pursued testing.

 

I would absolutely recommend Apples and Pears spelling. That program is one of the best things out there for dyslexic kids, IMO. It has been working very well for my son, and we are only halfway through book B. I will definitely finish all 4 books with him, and then I think that I may try Phonetic Zoo at that point. Have you seen the placement tests for PZ? There is no way that my son could've handled those words without using something else first. (Though we never did AAS.)

 

I think that the MCT is also a great idea. We've used the island level this 4th grade year, and it has been a perfect fit.

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Not sure I can help with everything, but if your dd can memorize things she hears quickly, then I believe that Phonetic Zoo would be a HUGE help to her. My dd is very much like this (catches on very quickly to things she hears) and we are switching to Phonetic Zoo for next year from AAS.

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Another thing I recently discovered with my dd. She is super musical. She too has problems memorizing the English rules, etc. Sounds very much like your dd except no problems with reading. Her weakness in Math. Anyway, I have started to let her listen to classical music when doing her school work and WOW!!! a huge change for her on many levels. Does your dd try to hum or sing at all when doing her work? If so try letting her listen to music.

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What is the method that Apples and Pears uses? Do you have a website I can look at to get a feel for the program?

 

ETA: I just saw the link, duh!

 

 

My dd doesn't have dyslexia, but we do use Apples and Pears because it works so, so well for her.

 

I did a review of the program and walked through a lesson my blog if you want to check it out.

 

Apples and Pears Spelling Review

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It sounds like either phonemic awareness or a vision problem. If she passes the phonemic awareness and can do nonsense words, I would have her get a covd vision exam. She should be able to read the nonsense words easily and should also have the same speed and amount of errors for both portions of the MWIA. (Actually, at her age, a good reader should have no errors on either portion of the MWIA II.) You want to time and record information from pages 7 and 8 of the MWIA:

 

http://www.donpotter.net/pdf/mwia.pdf

 

Here is covd vision information:

www.covd.org

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I wish I had some advice. My son....who is almost 18!....still spells horrific. It's actually been getting better. I don't have much time left to help him...and I'm thinking my last resort might be Apples & Pears. Ds also spells phonetically....yet, even gets that wrong. As was mentioned by a few others...he is very musically talented too. He's pretty much self-taught with guitar (I did pay for a few lessons earlier this year and the instructor said he already knew more than he did). He can play anything on the guitar. Recently he was in the high school talent show and performed at a few coffee house events at the high school library. This is getting off track...I just find this kind of interesting that others have mentioned this too. Anyway, recently he wrote up a sample flyer that he'd like to put around town (we haven't done this yet, not sure if we will...of course, I'd have to fix it). Here's what it said:

 

Guitar lesons for beginer & inermetit

lesons for guitar / bass guitar / harmonaca

if you wald like to know more call ___

 

I feel really bad for him that he spells like this...and people will think he's stupid and he's not. I'm sure if he ever moves out he'll be calling me on the phone all the time to ask..."how do you spell ___?"

 

 

I can't address everything in your post, but I also have a 10yr old DD who cannot spell for the life of her. She was tested as having a 12th grade reading level and a 2nd grade spelling level - in 4th grade. No LD's, but very bright and creative. We started Sequential Spelling this semester - with book #1, and I have definitely noticed an improvement already - whereas before she would just spell a word wrong without thought, now she stops and thinks: what is the base word? What gets added on? We did have to purchase a book of spelling rules for when she had questions about why a word was spelled a certain way - but with your phonics background in AAS, you may not need that.

 

We also started MCT this year - the Island level. Wow. She adores it, and LOVES the story. She now also understands grammar in a very concrete way - it used to just be confusing, but MCT makes it very approachable. You wouldn't have to do the whole curriculum, though. Maybe start with Grammar/Sentence/Practice Island. Neither of the first two books take long to get through at all, and you could easily move from that to the town level in one year.

 

Some think 5th grade is too old for the Island series, but my DD loved it, and she's used to much higher-level reading. She didn't think it was too kiddish at all. She even wanted to read it out loud with me, and she HATES to read anything out loud. :thumbup:

 

HTH

 

What book of spelling rules did you get?? I'm thinking of getting SS 1 for my dd next school year (4th)...and I'm also probably going with Grammar Island.

 

BTW, you shouldn't be Just Visiting. Stay. :001_smile:

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I've been thinking that I might need to use a separate phonics/reading and spelling/grammar program for some students. I was trying to combine phonics and spelling, but am not longer sure that is the best approach for students that need the most help.

 

I like the Alpha-Phonics charts to introduce phonics and to work on handwriting, but I'm thinking I might need to drill a different 1000 most common word list with a weekly spelling list and dictation. I don't need to drill all reading words for writing too. I think It might be best to have a narrower list of spelling words, than reading words.

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My dd doesn't have dyslexia, but we do use Apples and Pears because it works so, so well for her.

 

I did a review of the program and walked through a lesson my blog if you want to check it out.

 

Apples and Pears Spelling Review

 

Chelli, thank you for this Apples & Pears review. It was really helpful to me. I want to get this for my son, but now I wonder if I should get it for my dd too. I was going to try Sequential Spelling with her....but A&P looks like more variety & fun. It was really helpful to see the teachers manual and workbook together like you showed. Even though there are so many samples at the website, it can be hard to get a feel for how the two work together.

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Check out SusanBarton.com

 

 

Based on your comment about 'not hearing' stuff properly, I'd strongly suggest having her do the Barton pre-screening. (You'll have to do the tutor thing first, but it isn't difficult.)

It might indicate the need to do a program like LiPS first.

 

*I'm not an expert by any means.*

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Chelli, thank you for this Apples & Pears review. It was really helpful to me. I want to get this for my son, but now I wonder if I should get it for my dd too. I was going to try Sequential Spelling with her....but A&P looks like more variety & fun. It was really helpful to see the teachers manual and workbook together like you showed. Even though there are so many samples at the website, it can be hard to get a feel for how the two work together.

 

 

Thanks! I did the review like that on purpose. I felt the same way when I looked at the website, so I thought it would be a good idea to really "show" how the program works. It is a lot of fun and very intuitive for non-rules based spellers, IMO.

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I like the Alpha-Phonics charts to introduce phonics and to work on handwriting, but I'm thinking I might need to drill a different 1000 most common word list with a weekly spelling list and dictation. I don't need to drill all reading words for writing too. I think It might be best to have a narrower list of spelling words, than reading words.

 

 

I've gone to that recommendation for many of my remedial students. If they are older and/or need a lot of repetition to learn to spell, I think it is best to focus on the most frequent words for spelling. For this, I like Spelling Plus with Spelling Dictation, any student that struggles at this level will need the dictation sentences as well. It focuses on the most common 1,000 words but arranges them but pattern and teaches rules.

 

I do teach some spelling along with my phonics, but recommend these books for when their phonics is remediated but the spelling lags.

 

http://www.susancant...m/books/sp.html

 

http://www.susancant...m/books/db.html

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She sounds so much like my DD who struggles with spelling. I know she knows her phonograms. She has all of them memorized and when pointed out in isolation she can say them. I thought she was dyslexic but the psychologist said her vision skills were superior- not just her vision, but her scores on everything that required visual processing were superior. Does that rule out dyslexia? What the psych flagged, on the other hand, was her auditory processing scores. She pretty much failed all auditory based sections of the test he gave her. He wants her evaluated for auditory processing disorder but we haven't done it yet. Our insurance won't cover it and it's pricey.

 

I think she really doesn't hear what words should sound like. She puts in extra syllables because she hears them- even when I'm careful to have no accent. She can't sound things out because she's not sure what the sound is. She can't really tell the difference between sounds. She'll spell the same word 3 different ways in one paragraph and not notice. She's sounding it out, but each time it sounds out differently. The psychologist thinks even what she hears from her own self-talk in her head is muddled. She's been doing better with less oral/sounding it out instruction and more pattern and visual based lessons.

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I've gone to that recommendation for many of my remedial students. If they are older and/or need a lot of repetition to learn to spell, I think it is best to focus on the most frequent words for spelling. For this, I like Spelling Plus with Spelling Dictation, any student that struggles at this level will need the dictation sentences as well. It focuses on the most common 1,000 words but arranges them but pattern and teaches rules.

 

I do teach some spelling along with my phonics, but recommend these books for when their phonics is remediated but the spelling lags.

 

http://www.susancant...m/books/sp.html

 

http://www.susancant...m/books/db.html

 

 

Thank you for the push for Spelling Plus. I've been just toying around with the dictation book, but not fully implementing the full program. No one here has been talking about teaching phonics and spelling side by side with different programs and I just wasn't fully trusting my gut. I've been trying to streamline and reduce the number of books I buy and use. I think I need to purchase this book. I look at it every week for months now.

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She sounds so much like my DD who struggles with spelling. I know she knows her phonograms. She has all of them memorized and when pointed out in isolation she can say them. I thought she was dyslexic but the psychologist said her vision skills were superior- not just her vision, but her scores on everything that required visual processing were superior. Does that rule out dyslexia? What the psych flagged, on the other hand, was her auditory processing scores. She pretty much failed all auditory based sections of the test he gave her. He wants her evaluated for auditory processing disorder but we haven't done it yet. Our insurance won't cover it and it's pricey.

 

I think she really doesn't hear what words should sound like. She puts in extra syllables because she hears them- even when I'm careful to have no accent. She can't sound things out because she's not sure what the sound is. She can't really tell the difference between sounds. She'll spell the same word 3 different ways in one paragraph and not notice. She's sounding it out, but each time it sounds out differently. The psychologist thinks even what she hears from her own self-talk in her head is muddled. She's been doing better with less oral/sounding it out instruction and more pattern and visual based lessons.

 

Dyslexia isn't just about visual processing vs. auditory processing. Usually it is a combination of both, but I would say that poor auditory processing is the major red flag.

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She sounds so much like my DD who struggles with spelling. I know she knows her phonograms. She has all of them memorized and when pointed out in isolation she can say them. I thought she was dyslexic but the psychologist said her vision skills were superior- not just her vision, but her scores on everything that required visual processing were superior. Does that rule out dyslexia? What the psych flagged, on the other hand, was her auditory processing scores. She pretty much failed all auditory based sections of the test he gave her. He wants her evaluated for auditory processing disorder but we haven't done it yet. Our insurance won't cover it and it's pricey.

 

I think she really doesn't hear what words should sound like. She puts in extra syllables because she hears them- even when I'm careful to have no accent. She can't sound things out because she's not sure what the sound is. She can't really tell the difference between sounds. She'll spell the same word 3 different ways in one paragraph and not notice. She's sounding it out, but each time it sounds out differently. The psychologist thinks even what she hears from her own self-talk in her head is muddled. She's been doing better with less oral/sounding it out instruction and more pattern and visual based lessons.

Strong visual processing does NOT rule out dyslexia. My daughter is dyslexic and has VERY strong visual processing. She also, though, has low working memory and auditory processing problems.

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Thanks to those who have directed me to the Barton screening. I looked through some lists for dyslexia warning signs and didn't see much that my daughter identifies with, but the auditory processing is interesting. I just keep thinking, "Even if she can memorize better with music?" Is having an auditory processing disorder possible if you have a auditory learning style? It's so confusing. I'm going to do the tutor screening when my internet connection is faster this evening.

 

Thanks, also, Chelli, for your review of Apples and Pears. I'm going to do what you mentioned of trying a few lessons with my daughter online before deciding. And I need to add lots of prayer to all of this too!

 

Thanks to all of you and please let's keep up this dialogue! It's very helpful!

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I have a son like this. He is almost 14 (grade 8). We never had him tested.

 

He struggled immensely learning to read. This caused both of us a lot of frustration. He, of course, also struggled with spelling. What I found I had to do is back off him much more than what I liked. My younger son works me easily on grammar, spelling, reading etc. because these things are easy for him. My 8th grader, however, always fought these subjects. Here is our progression:

 

Reading: We worked all the way through OPGTR. It took us until 4th grade to finish the book. While learning to read he was required to read 30 min a day . At first he could read anything he wanted including comic books. Eventually I required the 30 min to be spent with book that did not have pictures because he would avoid reading and just look at the pictures.

We had to make reading time a family affair or he protest. All of us would pick a book and read for 30 min usually after dinner. At first I had to sit next to him and remind him to read. After a while he liked this reading time so much he reminded us to read. :-)

I never made him read aloud during to me as he hated this. He just struggled so much. I, however, did notice improvements slowly over time. At first he would read out loud to himself (kind of whispering); he did this less and less.

Now in grade 8, he still reads much slower than his brother, but he loves to read. And his comprehension is excellent.

 

We also always read to the boys in the evening. He used to listen to tons of very complex stories by himself.

 

Grammar: He hates Grammar. We have worked on Grammar on and off. This will be our last year of Grammar. The reality is the doesn't remember any rules at all. However, his sentences are always correct. If I ask him what a noun is he will not know. He does know how to use one in a sentence. I think that's fine.

 

Writing: Since he has always loved stories he has also always loved creating stories. Orally. Writing those stories down is a different matter. Actually writing things down has been very difficult for him; partly because he would press down too hard and partly because of all the spelling. I simply seperated writing and spelling skills as much as I could. He hated having me correct spelling errors in his science report for example. Eventually he learned to just ask me for spelling and I just told him. This worked surprisingly well. Often he would then carry on a conversation about the spelling of a particular work. We are now using WWS1. He is doing very well with it. He could not (would not) have done well with this earlier. But he can now this on his own and writes quite well. No Grammar issues. He types now. He is on his way to writing really good papers.

 

Spelling: This is the hardest one. I really haven't seen much improvement until this year. We have used Spelling Workout and stuck with it because it was the easiest to implement. He can do this himself. He really dislikes but does it. I just felt that spelling (unlike Grammar) was something that really could catch up with him. You don't want to be in front of a college class and write something on the white board and not know how to spell it. We still use Spelling Workout. He just started Book H.

 

The most important thing, we found, is consistency.

 

We always do spelling. Every day.

We always read. He reads for school. He does free reading. We still read aloud in the evening (his choice). Only sometimes does he read aloud to us. He has improved a lot.

We always write. Every day. He writes for history and science; either outlines or reports, or lab reports etc. He also works on WWS almost everyday.

 

It still takes him longer than many, however, he has improved so much so that I finally no longer worry. There is hope. Consistency is key.

 

Last but not least: We never pointed out to him that he was slow or that he should know these things already or that he was behind. We just made sure he knew that working on these skills were not optional and got it done.

 

I hope some of this rambling helps. :001_smile:

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I meant to mention this in my above post but forgot until now. It's kind of off topic, but in regards to the music thing....my son will do much better with his school work if he has music playing. At first I thought this was completely unacceptable, you don't have your cd's playing while you do school. But, then at an orientation for my dd's freshman online school the principal of the school spoke and one thing he mentioned was that he always had to have music on while he did his homework. He said if that's what your kid needs, then let him. Weird...but I felt that finally I was told that it was ok. And, it does help him a lot.

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We also have music playing all the time during school. It helps everyone stay on task. I think most people remember better to concepts associated to music and will remember lyrics more easily than spoken word. My DD with the auditory issues could not count by 5s for the longest time until we watched School House Rock. Then, she could only do it by singing the song while she counted. She also couldn't remember her address and phone number until I made up a little song for it.

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I meant to mention this in my above post but forgot until now. It's kind of off topic, but in regards to the music thing....my son will do much better with his school work if he has music playing. At first I thought this was completely unacceptable, you don't have your cd's playing while you do school. But, then at an orientation for my dd's freshman online school the principal of the school spoke and one thing he mentioned was that he always had to have music on while he did his homework. He said if that's what your kid needs, then let him. Weird...but I felt that finally I was told that it was ok. And, it does help him a lot.

I too was this way. I mean how could you concentrate when you have music playing? I know I couldn't. Our dr. was the first person to suggest that I do this for dd. I can see the stress just melt away. Our dr. also suggested that I read The Gift in You: Discovering New Life Through Gifts Hidden in Your Mind by Dr. Caroline Leaf. This helped explain while my dd did better with music playing. She explains scientifically that we all have 7 pillars in our brains that information loop through. If say the musical pillar is more dominant, then to get any info in the brain it is best to start with music. I am doing the book no justice. My library had it.

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I too was this way. I mean how could you concentrate when you have music playing? I know I couldn't. Our dr. was the first person to suggest that I do this for dd. I can see the stress just melt away. Our dr. also suggested that I read The Gift in You: Discovering New Life Through Gifts Hidden in Your Mind by Dr. Caroline Leaf. This helped explain while my dd did better with music playing. She explains scientifically that we all have 7 pillars in our brains that information loop through. If say the musical pillar is more dominant, then to get any info in the brain it is best to start with music. I am doing the book no justice. My library had it.

 

 

That's really interesting. No wonder things like States & Capitals Songs and Geography Songs work so well.

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I believe she probably has issues with reading. She doesn't automatically break words into syllables or sound them out correctly. I have her read aloud to me daily and she skips small words, or guesses at the words. The other day she saw the word "psychology" and said, "What is puh-see-cho-lo-gee."

 

Well, that particular word isn't surprising, it's a difficult word that wouldn't have been covered yet in any of the programs you have done. But when she skips or guesses at words, have her go back and try the sentences again. If her guesses change the meaning, ask her if it makes sense. You might try having her read with an index card with a viewbox for a time, to help her to focus on one word at a time. If she guesses based on a first or last letter, go to the letter tiles. Make the word, have her point to each phonogram and say the sounds, then have her gradually blend the word. If it's a multi-syllable word, have her divide it into syllables and then blend by syllable, then put the whole word together.

 

 

We've been through AAS levels 1-3 and Megawords 1. She knows all the phonograms and phonemes, knows the rules, but doesn't apply them. She consistently mispells simple words like just-jest, little-littel, poster-poaster. She adds in letters where they aren't needed, adds syllables in her words that aren't there, like border-borader.

 

When she adds in a syllable like "borader," have her read exactly what she wrote. If she still says "border," sound it out for her so that she can hear the mistake. I suspect that she has visually memorized "border" and "board," has confused the two (she thought "boarder") and reversed two letters (to arrive at "borader.") (Or, she may have read a book where someone had a "boarder" living in their home, and may have the meanings assigned to the wrong spelling).

 

With mistakes like "littel," unfortunately this has to be learned visually. Some words do end -el, but a lot more are -le. If you end up going back to AAS, or if you try something else, she's going to need a lot more review. In AAS it's easy to adapt the review to their needs with the cards, and I can help you with that. If you use another program, you could again incorporate cards or lists, whatever works for you. But she'll need to learn a pattern and focus on a few words at a time, master those, and then review them periodically to keep them mastered. My son who struggled like this needed to review a word weekly for 3 weeks after mastering it, in order to retain it long term. Also, don't assume a word is mastered if she gets it right once. She needs to get it right a few days in a row, and needs to be able to spell it quickly and easily--not stopping to think and not self-correcting. Otherwise, it needs to stay in review.

 

Poster-poaster--I think she has it mixed up with "toaster." Again, consistent review is the way to solve this kind of issue.

 

Jest-just--make sure she can clearly hear each vowel sound, and have her read exactly what she wrote. Talk about the meaning of each word. Help her to both hear and see the difference (if she watches your mouth as you slowly say each one, she should be able to see that your mouth is wider for the short E sound, and taller for the short U).

 

 

I just get the feeling like there's something going on that keeps her from hearing the difference between al and el, bid and bed. She struggles more with the short vowel sounds (hearing it in order to spell it correctly), and more with the long vowel spelling (knowing how which way to spell the long vowel sound, like when to choose e_e, ee, ea, ey, ei). I guess I'm not too clear on the why's behind things ( I have the ABC's and All Their tricks in my wishlist), but I just do it naturally, so I'm not sure how to explain them to her. It has NOT worked to say, just memorize the words. She'll spell out words phonetically, but still incorrectly, so many times she'll have all the sounds and usually in the right order, but not choose the write way to spell those sounds.

 

With the short vowel sounds, she may have an auditory processing struggle. Having her watch you as you say the sounds and the words will help those sounds become crisper for her, but you may need to really work on things--if she's not pronouncing them correctly herself, you'll have to teach her the differences or consider whether she needs outside help.

 

This short video helps with short E vs. short I, and can give you ideas of how to work on the other short sounds she confuses.

 

Also, consider whether some of this is her needing extra time for editing--a separate time to go back and try to correct her work before you look at it (maybe a separate LA time on the next day). Praise her for anything she can find and correct, and then work through the others together.

 

Things like the multiple ways to spell the long E sound--I'm not sure you've really covered these yet. In AAS, you would only have taught a few of them. Each one needs to be incrementally taught, with lots and lots of review. AAS doesn't get to some of the long E sounds until Levels 5 and 6--she'd have a lot more work on ei, ie, and so on in later levels. For the earlier ones--one thing you can tell her about e_e is that it's used very seldom--so it helps to memorize when it IS used and know the rest of the time that it's not the most common choice. For EE--I'd have her go back and read word banks daily for a week or two to solidify the most common EE words in her mind, then practice spelling them. Work through each one of these incrementally with lots of visual practice, and then lots of writing practice. If you do that with AAS, spread out the lessons over at least a week each with these. Short daily lessons are going to result in longer term retention than shorter but fewer lessons.

 

SHE IS INTELLIGENT and super creative. She does well in her other subjects. She loves to read to herself, though I often wonder how much she really comprehended. She seems to get the overall picture, but maybe not all the vocab or details. But she can memorize songs incredibly easily. She memorized the complete words to several of the School House Rock songs after having listened to them only 2 or 3 times. Every single word was perfect!

 

She does have lots of signs of dyslexia, so that's a possibility too. Intelligent & creative is very common. Many kids with dyslexia are skilled at reading by context--so, as you said, they can get the overall picture but will miss vocab and details that they skipped over. When you have her read aloud to her, you'll have to practice reading strategies for words she misreads. The blending technique that I started to describe above is detailed in the sample for AAR 1--you can see that online and begin incorporating that in your lessons with the level of words she is struggling with.

 

Anyway...continue working with her. She'll get there. I have found that direct, incremental instruction with lots of built in review is really crucial for us, so AAS has worked well here, but it takes time. Many of the mistakes you mention are things you wouldn't have taught yet, and I overlooked those or just corrected them for my kids while working on mastering the things we HAD taught. Then gradually teaching more. It took several years, but they are much better spellers now than they were in elementary school, and the time spent has been worth it. Hang in there!

 

Merry :-)

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Thank you, Merry, you are always so helpful. I need to digest everything everyone has said. I keep thinking about the auditory processing problem. Can anyone direct me to where to find more info about this, exercises I can do or anything like that to confirm whether this is it or not. She had a whole year of almost constant ear infections as a baby. Could that have affected her hearing? Or is that not the deal, it's a processing issue? I'm just not sure about all this.

 

Thanks, everyone. Been busy today, so couldn't reply until now.

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Here are a few phonemic awareness links, more later. It sounds like a phonemic awareness problem is possible.

 

http://www.appliedlearningprocesses.com/iPhone/iContentPage.aspx?PageName=CustomPage2.x

 

http://www.lindamoodbell.com/programs/lips.html

 

http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/pa/pa_what.php

 

You can test for it using the Barton pre-screening and the DORA phonemic awareness assessment, linked earlier.

 

Also, read my dyslexia page about the nature of sound and syllables, that should help you understand a bit, I will post more of an explanation later. (Starts at "The atomic nature of syllables, about 1/3 of the way down on the page.)

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/dyslexia.html

 

 

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Okay, I am trying to multi-quote and it is not working out. My DS had big spelling issues, as well...not unlike your dd, but perhaps not quite as severe, or perhaps I am forgetting. I remember that I had to stop everything to work out his spelling because he was starting to despise writing because almost nothing was spelled correctly.

 

AAS 1-3 was what saved us, and we have followed that up with the Phonetic Zoo. Another pp mentioned that your dd's ability to memorize things that she hears verbatim is why this program may be perfect for her. My ds is a very auditory learner and memorizes everything he hears as well. PZ is all done aurally, and he is blazing through it and LIKES it. I even heard him chanting one of the little memory rhymes to himself the other day, not because he had to spell a word, but because that is what he does...repeats everything he hears until it is verbatim. His spelling is quite good now--definitely not a handicap. He can pass the test in two to three tries (they have to take the spelling test on a given list daily until they get two 100's.) I highly recommend this system--you may also want to go and listen to the lecture that goes with the program on how we learn spelling. It's quite good.

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  • 1 month later...

 

What book of spelling rules did you get?? I'm thinking of getting SS 1 for my dd next school year (4th)...and I'm also probably going with Grammar Island.

 

BTW, you shouldn't be Just Visiting. Stay. :001_smile:

 

 

 

Sorry, just getting back to this thread. The rules book we use is this one . It has helped with questions that come up.

 

Interestingly, I've been thinking about switching from SS to PZ lately... more because of the rules incorporation that SS leaves out - I wonder if it would be more helpful. Otherwise the to seem very similar. On the IEW website, there's even instructions for using the program without the CD's... so I wonder how different would that be from the SS we're doing now?

 

I'd love to be more than Just Visiting...but alas, my membership title seems stuck. :confused1:

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Sorry, just getting back to this thread. The rules book we use is this one . It has helped with questions that come up.

 

Interestingly, I've been thinking about switching from SS to PZ lately... more because of the rules incorporation that SS leaves out - I wonder if it would be more helpful. Otherwise the to seem very similar. On the IEW website, there's even instructions for using the program without the CD's... so I wonder how different would that be from the SS we're doing now?

 

I'd love to be more than Just Visiting...but alas, my membership title seems stuck. :confused1:

 

Funny that that book (the decoder book) happened to be one of two that I was considering. But, then I decided to go with this one instead....because it seemed geared more to my dd's age.

 

I actually think I've decided on trying Apples & Pears now instead of SS. I keep flip flopping around...but I'm pretty sure I decided to give this one a good shot (a blog post by a member here had helped me make the decision).

 

Hmm...I wonder if you need a certain number of posts before you aren't considered Just Visiting. Keep posting and we'll find out. ;)

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My currently 18 year old dd had a terrible time learning how to read and then even more trouble with spelling. For spelling I was using How to Teach Spelling... didn't really work well for her. We tried Sequential Spelling for a bit and she really liked it but we didn't keep up with it ... it wasn't working for *me*. I then tried Apples Daily Spelling Drills for Secondary Students. This at least got done and seemed to help some.

 

Want to know what REALLY WORKED? Email and chat. When poor spelling became embarrassing to her she suddenly started to improve. So my lesson to learn here is that poor spellers should have a pen pal of some sort.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My daughter improved with going back and re-learning the 72 phonemes. I used the flashcards that rod and staff sells. I introduced one at a time, made her read it and write it, introduced little by little. Then I made up fake words with them. After that we used the dictionary to find huge words, write them on the white board and sound them out. Her Guessing decreased, and sounding out increased. Her spelling also improved a little.

 

Unfortunately, I gave away the flash cards and now she is returning to old habits. So whatever you do, plan on doing maintenance lessons to retain it.

 

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I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, but here are some ways that I have helped my kids with similar issues:

 

I believe she probably has issues with reading. She doesn't automatically break words into syllables or sound them out correctly. I have her read aloud to me daily and she skips small words, or guesses at the words. The other day she saw the word "psychology" and said, "What is puh-see-cho-lo-gee."

 

Well, "psychology" isn't surprising, the silent P is an advanced concept, and she may not have been directly taught this before. So, that one alone wouldn't throw me off. For the reading issues, some things that can help:

 

Take note of the types of words she misreads, and set aside a separate time to work on those words (later that day or the next day). Teach her how phonograms are working. Teach her how to sound them out (AAR uses a blending technique that is helpful for breaking the word guessing habit). Sometimes I just have my kids slow down and that helps, but vision therapy also really helped one of my kids. She's going to need extra help learning how to break down words syllable by syllable and sound them out, and you can talk her through this as a "reading" time each day. Model how to do it--don't try to explain it all or she'll likely get lost in the words.

 

When she reads, let her commit to a mis-reading and see if she catches it by the end of the sentence--see if she is tracking with it and what it says vs. what she is saying. If not, have her try again, or model for her if she is frustrated.

 

We've been through AAS levels 1-3 and Megawords 1. She knows all the phonograms and phonemes, knows the rules, but doesn't apply them. She consistently mispells simple words like just-jest, little-littel, poster-poaster. She adds in letters where they aren't needed, adds syllables in her words that aren't there, like border-borader. I just get the feeling like there's something going on that keeps her from hearing the difference between al and el, bid and bed.

 

First, know that there's a difference between being able to spell in a spelling program, and being able to remember spelling when she is focused on other things (like being creative, trying to remember punctuation and grammar rules etc...) This just means she is having some struggles and that spelling isn't automatic yet. This article shows specific ways to walk her through some of these and help her learn how to edit her work (likely she needs a separate editing time, even if that's her LA for the next day).

 

For "just" vs. "jest," make sure she can hear the difference in the short vowel sounds. If she can, then see if she pronounces the word correctly. She may have the wrong pronunciation attached to this word. Or, it may not be correctly pronounced in your region. If that's the case, when she studies the word, say it "normal" and say it with the pronunciation, and then have her repeat the pronunciation before she spells it. When you review later (like with the AAS cards), say it normal but have her say the pronunciation and then spell it. Don't consider a word mastered until she can give both the pronunciation and the correct spelling easily, without having to self-correct.

 

For words like little--there are many more consonant-le words than -el, -il, or -al words. I'd go to the letter tiles or to paper, show her how to divide the word, and have her circle that -le. Reading word banks of the -le words can help reinforce a visual pattern in her mind, and doing the syllable division and circling can also add a kinesthetic component, with or without letter tiles.

 

-al and -el words have not been studied yet in AAS by the end of level 3, so maybe she hasn't really been directly taught those yet?

 

She struggles more with the short vowel sounds (hearing it in order to spell it correctly),

For vowels like short E vs. short I, there's actually a name for this--the pin/pen merger. Here's a short video that shows how you can work on these sounds.

 

 

and more with the long vowel spelling (knowing how which way to spell the long vowel sound, like when to choose e_e, ee, ea, ey, ei). I guess I'm not too clear on the why's behind things

 

There are not always why's. In AAS 2, there is a note that e_e is very seldom used compared to other ways of spelling long e. But by the end of AAS 3, you still haven't gotten to a lot of the ways, so I really wouldn't expect all of those to be mastered yet. AAS specifically teaches one at a time and allows a child to have time to master that one before mixing in another one. Sometimes there are rules, sometimes they must be learned visually, and that's going to take time and study.

 

Also, kids who don't spell naturally need lots and lots of review--more than you probably expect, especially as a natural speller. Even if you move away from AAS, I would find ways to work in the review she needs to master each pattern. I like this article on the funnel concept which really helps to see how learning happens and how a child's memory is involved.

 

 

 

It has NOT worked to say, just memorize the words. She'll spell out words phonetically, but still incorrectly, so many times she'll have all the sounds and usually in the right order, but not choose the write way to spell those sounds.

 

Right, you really need to help her study and analyze the words. Different words (and parts of words) are spelled using different strategies--phonetic, rules-based, visual, and morphemic. If you do decide to continue with AAS, that will walk her through all of these and begin to transfer the responsibility to her for analyzing words and choosing which patterns are going to work (in the beginning, it just teaches the methods and tells you which one to use, but gradually the student takes over that decision-making and learns how to study new words).

 

HTH with some strategies for working with her. I think I would break things down more for her, make sure she has been explicitly taught words and methods (and don't worry about words that follow patterns she hasn't been taught yet), and make sure to include lots and lots of review. Ie, day one, teach a concept, work with it a bit. Day 2, review new teaching, work with it some more. Day 3, ask her if she remembers new concept, review as needed, work with it some more, etc... for the week. When she can teach the concept back to you and remembers it easily, then you are closer to mastery.

 

Hang in there! Merry :-)

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