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The writing conundrum

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I had my oldest take the DORA this afternoon. She scored rather high across the board, except for her spelling. It was a full 3 years behind her lowest scores at only mid-second grade. She is halfway through AAS 3 and does pretty well with the words that follow the rules she has studied. Being a perfectionist, she pauses/flips out when asked to spell a word that she does not know. She does some inventive spelling.


I'm wondering if I'm hindering her by not requiring her to write as much as a public-schooled child. I know that seeing words written and the act of writing can help kids remember how words are spelled. She sees PLENTY of written words. Unfortunately, however, her writing stamina is low. She tired out and starts complaining after writing two or three sentences.


Does WWE 2 require more writing than 1? Should I get her SWO and have her quickly move through the first book?


I'm probably reading more into this than I should...

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From what I saw when I toured a local 3rd grade classroom, PS writing tends to push quantity very much over quality. Seriously, I don't know how the teacher can manage to read all 32 kids' worth without wanting to poke her eyes out with a stick!


I am personally focused on getting my kids to do smaller amounts of quality writing rather than several paragraphs' worth of rubbish. WWE is an excellent program and if your DD is also doing the dictation exercises in AAS, she's getting lots of good practice.

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My DD is a bit younger and we haven't taken any tests, but she is also much more advanced in reading and math than she is in writing and spelling and also does not have the stamina to write more than about a sentence. She will however write lists that would be slightly longer than a sentence. I do spelling with her by dictation so she is used to writing a single sentence that way and I have found that since she started I can gradually increase the length of that sentence and on the odd occassion give her two sentences. I know this is more than WWE would expect of her at her level so I may at some point start her on WWE2 instead of doing WWE1 but I have not looked at it closely enough to know if that would work.


If you want to increase the amount she writes I would first make sure that she is holding her pencil properly and sitting properly as this alone can cause them to tire when writing. Then expect writing daily rather than just a few times a week even if you do copywork for this writing and finally increase the length of what she is writing gradually - only a few words at a time but realise that this is not a fast process.


As for spelling I would just keep going - I have looked at many first grade spelling lists and what is expected in one list is very different from what is expected in another (even when they are phonetically based) AAS seems to be a good program and will get your DD there and I think once you start doing dictation in WWE2 it will also improve more rapidly.

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