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Here is my situation:

 

1st grader, soon to be 2nd, reading at a 6th grade level, but spelling is TERRIBLE.  I mean, really, really, really bad.  Not like, "Oh, he's only seven, give him time" bad, but like "Gee, that's really bad" bad. 

 

I have a 5yo who will be going into K.  She does her copywork well (10-15 word sentence or so), is reading in the McGuffey Primer, 2-3 days per lesson.  I tried Phonics Pathways with her, and still pull it out on occasion, but it was all in one ear and out the other with her.  McGuffey seems to go a bit better, as we stick with one lesson until she's got it down.  I am afraid it is causing her to start sight reading though. 

 

I am trying to decide if adding LoE Essentials to our "morning time" (group work) would benefit them both.  I would do the phonograms and spelling rule/list with both, then go a bit deeper with the older kid. 

 

My questions:

 

- Would this be a good fit for combining (in part) these two kids and needs?

 

- Is the workbook a necessary part of this curriculum, or can it be done directly from the TM and flashcards on a whiteboard?

 

- Have you really found that this is a program that can be repeated for several years for added benefit, or has that not been the case for you? 

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You might want to consider LoE foundations. You could go through A double time, and then do B at one lesson a day. I use it with my almost 2nd grader and soon to be Ker together. It is a lot of fun.

 

I also have essentials which I had started using with my 1st grader. It was so good I decided to switch to foundations and do that with both my girls. My 1st grader is a bit of a struggling reader. But my younger daughter is a natural reader. Foundations has been great for her be use even though she can read she is still learning a lot!

 

Essentials would also work, but it isn't as much fun, though it still is fun. There would have to be quite a bit of modification for your Ker, and that might make it too slow for your older.

 

I really didn't need the essentials workbook for my 1st grader. You can definitely get by without it. But I do think it would be nice for an older child. The Foundations workbooks are quite helpful. You would really only need 1 though. The games can be shared, and the other activities can be done together, or you older might skip them.

 

Foundations would be hard to go through more than once. But there is a lot of meat in the Essentials lessons. So especially with the advanced spelling lists I could see using it for 2 years. I have yet to use them over obviously but with my 1st grader I was doing only about 1/2 of one lesson a week. (She was not a reader though). I was skipping most of the grammar and composition part of the lessons. I plan to go back to essentials for my will be 2nd grader once we finish Foundations at the end of the calendar year. Then go back through it again for third grade with the advanced spelling lists.

 

Hopefully this makes sense. To sum up. If you want to do them both together I would suggest foundations (it would be perfect for your Ker and fine for your 2nd grader) For just your 2nd grader you could easily use essentials, probably don't need the workbook. Of course you could include you Ker with your 2nd grader on the phonograms and rules in essentials, but it might not work very well for her.

 

Hope this helps :)

 

I love LoE BTW. It is really worth it. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just spoke to the LoE representative at the HEAV convention this weekend (we talked for almost half an hour) and I am going to use this for both my kids next year.  He did say that until 8 years old, you should use the "Foundations".  "Essentials" is for 8-adult. 
 

Like you, I have a DD (6th grade) farrrrrr ahead of her grade level in reading/reading comprehension, but the grammar, spelling, and punctuation leave a lot to be desired.  She improved her performance in these areas this first year of homeschooling by breaking bad public school habits such as inventive spelling and poor editing in her writing, but I think for me to get her any further as far as improvement in spelling/grammar goes, I will need to remediate, and so I bought the entire "Essentials" curriculum this weekend.  It looks fantastic!  I intend to use it with her and her brother (4th grade next year) so that he doesn't have her spelling issues when he gets older.

You might want to consider LoE foundations. You could go through A double time, and then do B at one lesson a day. I use it with my almost 2nd grader and soon to be Ker together. It is a lot of fun.

I also have essentials which I had started using with my 1st grader. It was so good I decided to switch to foundations and do that with both my girls. My 1st grader is a bit of a struggling reader. But my younger daughter is a natural reader. Foundations has been great for her be use even though she can read she is still learning a lot!

Essentials would also work, but it isn't as much fun, though it still is fun. There would have to be quite a bit of modification for your Ker, and that might make it too slow for your older.

I really didn't need the essentials workbook for my 1st grader. You can definitely get by without it. But I do think it would be nice for an older child. The Foundations workbooks are quite helpful. You would really only need 1 though. The games can be shared, and the other activities can be done together, or you older might skip them.

Foundations would be hard to go through more than once. But there is a lot of meat in the Essentials lessons. So especially with the advanced spelling lists I could see using it for 2 years. I have yet to use them over obviously but with my 1st grader I was doing only about 1/2 of one lesson a week. (She was not a reader though). I was skipping most of the grammar and composition part of the lessons. I plan to go back to essentials for my will be 2nd grader once we finish Foundations at the end of the calendar year. Then go back through it again for third grade with the advanced spelling lists.

Hopefully this makes sense. To sum up. If you want to do them both together I would suggest foundations (it would be perfect for your Ker and fine for your 2nd grader) For just your 2nd grader you could easily use essentials, probably don't need the workbook. Of course you could include you Ker with your 2nd grader on the phonograms and rules in essentials, but it might not work very well for her.

Hope this helps :)

I love LoE BTW. It is really worth it. :)

 

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His spelling is supposed to be bad! Yes, even if he's reading at a 6th grade level. When he has been reading a 6th+ grade level for LONGER, his spelling will most likely improve on it's own. And if it doesn't, you are going to put in a LOT of time and reap little or anything back by attacking this head on.

 

Spelling is the thing we accomplish least payback for teaching. Studies say that we accomplish nothing.

 

I don't like this! It makes me mad. I want to be in control. I want to be able to fix student spelling. I'm a bit of a control freak.

 

Traditionally spelling is not started until 3rd grade or later. Ruth Beechick says grade 4. She says they need to have seen lots and lots of print for years first.

 

Spalding schools that teach language arts for a full 3 hours a day and have very trained and unusually diligent teachers, report only 1-2 year gains in spelling. And understand that it's not just the SPELLING instruction the children are getting more and better of; It's also more READING.

 

I'd buy or borrow a copy of The Three R's from the library and read the sections on spelling. If that doesn't sound right to you, I'd hunt down and purchase WRTR 4th and give that a go. Good luck and :grouphug: and whatever you do, don't spend more time and money than you have to spare on spelling.

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His spelling is supposed to be bad! Yes, even if he's reading at a 6th grade level. When he has been reading a 6th+ grade level for LONGER, his spelling will most likely improve on it's own. And if it doesn't, you are going to put in a LOT of time and reap little or anything back by attacking this head on.

 

Spelling is the thing we accomplish least payback for teaching. Studies say that we accomplish nothing.

 

I don't like this! It makes me mad. I want to be in control. I want to be able to fix student spelling. I'm a bit of a control freak.

 

Traditionally spelling is not started until 3rd grade or later. Ruth Beechick says grade 4. She says they need to have seen lots and lots of print for years first.

 

Spalding schools that teach language arts for a full 3 hours a day and have very trained and unusually diligent teachers, report only 1-2 year gains in spelling. And understand that it's not just the SPELLING instruction the children are getting more and better of; It's also more READING.

 

I'd buy or borrow a copy of The Three R's from the library and read the sections on spelling. If that doesn't sound right to you, I'd hunt down and purchase WRTR 4th and give that a go. Good luck and :grouphug: and whatever you do, don't spend more time and money than you have to spare on spelling.

 

I love you Hunter.  :-)  I feel, instinctively, that you are right- spelling simply takes time, and doing nothing will be just as effective as doing something about it at this stage.  But what do I do about invented spelling?  If he were only "inventing" one word in a sentence, I would have no problem correcting this and having him re-write, but he is literally spelling the grand majority of his words wrong.  I would like to not discourage him, as he tends to be a very willing and prolific writer by circling every single word in red, lol.  But I hear so much about how invented spelling is a "bad habit" and hard to break once it takes hold. 

 

WHAT DO I DO???  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Here's a sample from last week.  Note that I actually wrote "Squeezy" and "Alps" on the whiteboard for him, Squeezy is his imaginary rabbit...  In parentheses are translations...  lol. 

 

Wuns upn a tim livd a rabet.  Hos nam was Squeese (His name was Squeezy).  Eliot was olwees with him.  To day, Squeezy was visutig carut cite (visiting Carrot City).  he thot ha fun it wud be t go on a mawnten (He thought how fun it would be to go on a mountain) so he went to the Alps.  he climde and climd entel (climbed and climbed until) he cam to a cav (cave).  Eliot was wored (worried).  Squeezy sad hed (said he'd) be at hom by 1ocloc.

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Well, I don't assign writing at this point. Of course i do not discourage writing. But I assign copywork for "writing" and encourage lots and lots of READING.

 

If a child LOVED writing, and WANTED me to help, I would fix the spellings in the above passage and have him recopy it. Or I'd encourage him to orally tell me his stories and write them down for him to copy. I'm not sure about later copies, but my first edition of TWTM does a good job of explaining this stage of writing.

 

I consider that passage just where I would HOPE, but not expect, a first grader to be writing. I'd be one happy momma.

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Well, I don't assign writing at this point. Of course i do not discourage writing. But I assign copywork for "writing" and encourage lots and lots of READING.

 

If a child LOVED writing, and WANTED me to help, I would fix the spellings in the above passage and have him recopy it. Or I'd encourage him to orally tell me his stories and write them down for him to copy. I'm not sure about later copies, but my first edition of TWTM does a good job of explaining this stage of writing.

 

I consider that passage just where I would HOPE, but not expect, a first grader to be writing. I'd be one happy momma.

 

Most of his writing is copywork (English) and dictation (French, which involves intensive spelling/phonics instruction as we go through each sentence).  He really likes Friday Freewrites though, so we do those. 

 

I will occasionally scribe/type for him, but it's just hard with so many little ones running around.  :-) 

 

I really appreciate your insight, I am going to have to think about this a bit.  It will not take much to push me away from the ledge of structured spelling in 2nd.  I could certainly imagine 2nd grade being THE READING YEAR, where my main goal is simply to develop a love of reading.  Sigh.  Do you feel the weight falling from my shoulders?  lol! 

 

I think I get carried away with an asynchronous child- advanced math, advanced grammar, very advanced reading...  but spells like a 7yo.  Ha! 

 

Thank you so much for sharing your experienced knowledge! 

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This is just the FIRST area where he will not be gifted in EVERYTHING. You may even uncover some LDs as you move along. You might want to write in lipstick on the bathroom mirror that synchronicity probaly isn't going to happen. Aiming for synchronicity can cause a lot of problems. I really messed up in this area. I was  young mom. It was the 90s. I didn't know better. I messed up, though.

 

I agree with the idea of a reading year. Have you noticed how many of the moms here come from academic lite situations, but read, read read. Reading is the best eqializer there is and great for asynchronous kids.

 

And have him run. I don't understand all the research but walking/running, knitting, and any rhythm using both sides of the body builds and heals and calms and organizes brains.

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Has he had a thorough English phonics course? My oldest did much better once he started learning explicit phonics. While age helps, his early learning to read on his own caused him to not get an explicit phonics course, and that lack of phonics hurt his spelling. As he learns phonics, his spelling improves. All that reading helps him recognize misspelled words, but it doesn't help him spell them correctly in original writing.

 

I'm dubious about research into spelling programs. What methods were being used in that research? If Spalding gives a 1-2 year gain in spelling, that's pretty significant in elementary. A first grader spelling like a 3rd grader? I'd be thrilled! A 3rd grader spelling like a 5th grader? Again, wonderful! If my oldest had gotten ahead in spelling like that, it would have made writing a whole lot easier! I'm not seeing how doing spelling is a waste of time with those results? And what if you don't do spelling and the child ends up a middle schooler, still unable to spell? That's when you should be focusing on writing, not spelling. I'd rather put the time in during elementary to get my kids spelling well so they can write in middle school. I regret never doing a full phonics course with my oldest. The spelling mistakes he makes are directly related to things I haven't taught him yet in phonics. He's am advanced reader, but reading alone does NOT always make a good speller. This year, 5th grade, we're going through a full phonics course, focusing on spelling. I've found that he does very well being taught to spell. He just doesn't figure out spelling on his own, despite all the hours of reading he does every day.

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Here's a sample from last week.  Note that I actually wrote "Squeezy" and "Alps" on the whiteboard for him, Squeezy is his imaginary rabbit...  In parentheses are translations...  lol. 

 

Wuns upn a tim livd a rabet.  Hos nam was Squeese (His name was Squeezy).  Eliot was olwees with him.  To day, Squeezy was visutig carut cite (visiting Carrot City).  he thot ha fun it wud be t go on a mawnten (He thought how fun it would be to go on a mountain) so he went to the Alps.  he climde and climd entel (climbed and climbed until) he cam to a cav (cave).  Eliot was wored (worried).  Squeezy sad hed (said he'd) be at hom by 1ocloc.

 

This is a hill *I* would die on, although possibly not for a 7yo, because I would expect most 7yos to be spelling funny. :D

 

My method of choice is Spalding. At his age, "only" a one- or two-year gain puts him ahead of things, yes? :-) So you buy the manual (Writing Road to Reading) and a set of flash cards and you are good to go, forever.

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Has he had a thorough English phonics course? My oldest did much better once he started learning explicit phonics. While age helps, his early learning to read on his own caused him to not get an explicit phonics course, and that lack of phonics hurt his spelling. As he learns phonics, his spelling improves. All that reading helps him recognize misspelled words, but it doesn't help him spell them correctly in original writing.

 

I'm dubious about research into spelling programs. What methods were being used in that research? If Spalding gives a 1-2 year gain in spelling, that's pretty significant in elementary. A first grader spelling like a 3rd grader? I'd be thrilled! A 3rd grader spelling like a 5th grader? Again, wonderful! If my oldest had gotten ahead in spelling like that, it would have made writing a whole lot easier! I'm not seeing how doing spelling is a waste of time with those results? And what if you don't do spelling and the child ends up a middle schooler, still unable to spell? That's when you should be focusing on writing, not spelling. I'd rather put the time in during elementary to get my kids spelling well so they can write in middle school. I regret never doing a full phonics course with my oldest. The spelling mistakes he makes are directly related to things I haven't taught him yet in phonics. He's am advanced reader, but reading alone does NOT always make a good speller. This year, 5th grade, we're going through a full phonics course, focusing on spelling. I've found that he does very well being taught to spell. He just doesn't figure out spelling on his own, despite all the hours of reading he does every day.

 

We used Phonics Pathways in K4/K5, and by about 2/3 through, he just stopped making more than 1-2 errors in his McGuffey reader passages, so I dropped PP and we just read through the McGuffey readers.  He is reading the 3rd reader fluently, but I don't want to jump to the 4th, so we just do one passage from McG 3 per day, along with his free reading. 

 

Looking at the passage above, the spelling mistake that really irk me are the words missing their final e to make the vowel long.  He should at least know that rule!!!  A dropped letter "upn" for upon bothers me less, because I feel like that is just part of the process of getting transcription down. 

 

As per my original post, I was thinking of doing LoE Essentials with both kids, but not going "crazy" with it- 15 minutes a day, where the focus for dd5 would be reading and focus for ds7 would be writing.  I feel like if I could combine them, I wouldn't feel the time was wasted, as dd5's reading is beginning to take off, but she definitely has holes in her phonics.  PP just didn't really work for her, and while going through McGuffey primer is going fine, the phonics there are implicit rather than explicit, so I want to make sure she is getting explicit phonics as well. 

 

I DO worry when I see posts such as "My middle schooler can't spell!", because I do assume most kids on here are pretty big readers, so why hasn't their spelling caught up?  But if there is a way to "catch up" spelling in one school year in 5th grade, then I'd rather do that than spend years on spelling for minimal gains all through elementary.  

 

Sigh.  I'm ordering Essentials anyway, because the 5yo is going to fast for Foundations, and I guess we'll see if that exposure helps the 7yo or not!  lol.  But I hope to avoid the whole list/test thing. 

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As per my original post, I was thinking of doing LoE Essentials with both kids, but not going "crazy" with it- 15 minutes a day, where the focus for dd5 would be reading and focus for ds7 would be writing.  I feel like if I could combine them, I wouldn't feel the time was wasted, as dd5's reading is beginning to take off, but she definitely has holes in her phonics.  PP just didn't really work for her, and while going through McGuffey primer is going fine, the phonics there are implicit rather than explicit, so I want to make sure she is getting explicit phonics as well. 

 

 

You could easily teach them together with Spalding, as they would be doing the same thing (although your 7yo would be able to do more spelling words per week. You'd start them together each day, then let the 5yo have a break while you continue with the 7yo. Easy peasy.)

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Some people have strong visual skills. They see words and remember them. They just do it. 

 

Other people do not learn to spell well by just LOOKING at words.

 

ANY skill that is learned without being taught is learned FAST. The children who are continuing to learn without being taught move ahead of those requiring instruction at an exponential rate. Those who can, move ahead so much more quickly than those who can't. This has nothing to do with what instructors are doing.

 

Any program that is only 1-2 years ahead, that prioritized 3 hours of LA instruction, and has dedicated and high trained teachers is NOT comparable to the average classroom that is not teaching phonics at all, has only 1 hour a day of LA instruction, and has at least some poorly trained and undedicated teachers. JUST dedication usually results in 1-2 years gains; that is why homeschooling is so affective. Add to that highly trained instructors and 3 times as much time on task. I'm not impressed with Spalding's self-published brag statistics, and with their newer program I expect that those statistics are dropping, not growing.

 

Now, I do like WRTR 4th. It's an well written program. It's ONE way of doing things. And I think a very SMALL subset of children will benefit from this program more than just any randomly chosen phonics program. But for general instruction, WRTR/LOE and others is often not going to produce the gains to warrant the amount of money and time spent on them. Of course some kids are going to improve their spelling  the years they are using it. They would have improved even with no spelling at all. They would have improved with any phonics instruction. Sadly, some would have improved more with another program or more time spent just reading.

 

Also remember that just because a little is a little good, doesn't mean a lot is a lot good. Of course students benefit from a little phonics instruction. But as more and more phonics is taught, there is less and less return for time and money devoted to that study. We often get 90% of benefit from 10% instruction, and as we instruct more, we begin to form a bell curve where at the end we are only getting 10% return for 90% of instruction.

 

And worse yet, when we are force feeding that huge volume of material, we are burning students out and taking up so much of their time that they stop self-instructing and LOSE those benefits.

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I DO worry when I see posts such as "My middle schooler can't spell!", because I do assume most kids on here are pretty big readers, so why hasn't their spelling caught up?  But if there is a way to "catch up" spelling in one school year in 5th grade, then I'd rather do that than spend years on spelling for minimal gains all through elementary.  

 

 

 

Some poorly spelling 5th Graders will NEVER catch up to the 5th grader with strong visual skills and there is nothing YOU can do about that. :grouphug: YOU cannot make up for that gap in natural ability. You don't have the power to do that.

 

With a LOT of work and a LOT of money to can NARROW the gap, but at what expense?

 

Just be careful. Be wise about what you do. Be humble. Be realistic.

 

I don't like this! I am OCD, and have made a hobby out of studying phonics, and want to be in control, and I want to be the savior that swoops in with my perfect phonics curriculum. Life doesn't work like that, though. I'm just not that powerful.

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Hunter, you have completely lost me. :lol:

 

I'm not at all seeing how what you're saying relates to a homeschool mom wanting to teach her child to spell, when the kid really can't spell at all and hasn't had a complete phonics course. I'd also like to see the studies to which you're referring. I'm sure typical public school spelling lists are just about useless, but that's not what we're talking about here, so I don't see how a study on that would at all apply. It only tells you that randomly picking words out of thin air and not teaching phonics is probably a bad way to go for many kids. :tongue_smilie:

 

Monica, my oldest will not be just getting spelling in 5th grade and be good for life. He has had phonics/spelling here and there over the last few years. The things he has been taught, he spells well. The things he has not been taught, he does not spell well. So his problem is that we've never FINISHED PHONICS. He's had some basics, but hasn't even hit some of the phonograms at all. He can read at a very high level and has for the last few years, but that does not translate to spelling. Reading and spelling are two different things. Good spellers can read well, but good readers don't necessarily spell well. Many students need to be taught to spell. I don't buy what Hunter's saying, or maybe I'm not understanding what she's saying. I don't think your child will magically start spelling correctly when he's older. Most "natural spellers" do so from a young age. My youngest may be a natural speller. He can spell very well for a just-turned-5 year old. He spells better than your son currently does. So my natural speller might be able to go through school without explicit spelling instruction (we're going to do spelling anyway - using it to cover the phonics he hasn't been explicitly taught for reading, since he's reading well). A 7 year old with as many basic spelling mistakes as in your son's sample probably isn't going to magically start spelling correctly. Now a Spalding/LOE/etc. type route may or may not work. He may end up needing a morphograph type spelling (Apples & Pears). But I think something will be needed, and I think covering basic phonics is a good start.

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I guess the advantage I see of having a program like Spalding or LoE is that it gives some common vocabulary for discussing spelling.  For example, I could point to a word misspelled such as "hav" and say, "Remember, English words don't end in U, V, or I" (or whatever that rule is...) and then expect him to not look at me like I'm an alien and even possibly know how to fix it. 

 

 

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Hunter, you have completely lost me. :lol:

 

I'm not at all seeing how what you're saying relates to a homeschool mom wanting to teach her child to spell, when the kid really can't spell at all and hasn't had a complete phonics course. I'd also like to see the studies to which you're referring. I'm sure typical public school spelling lists are just about useless, but that's not what we're talking about here, so I don't see how a study on that would at all apply. It only tells you that randomly picking words out of thin air and not teaching phonics is probably a bad way to go for many kids. :tongue_smilie:

 

Monica, my oldest will not be just getting spelling in 5th grade and be good for life. He has had phonics/spelling here and there over the last few years. The things he has been taught, he spells well. The things he has not been taught, he does not spell well. So his problem is that we've never FINISHED PHONICS. He's had some basics, but hasn't even hit some of the phonograms at all. He can read at a very high level and has for the last few years, but that does not translate to spelling. Reading and spelling are two different things. Good spellers can read well, but good readers don't necessarily spell well. Many students need to be taught to spell. I don't buy what Hunter's saying, or maybe I'm not understanding what she's saying. I don't think your child will magically start spelling correctly when he's older. Most "natural spellers" do so from a young age. My youngest may be a natural speller. He can spell very well for a just-turned-5 year old. He spells better than your son currently does. So my natural speller might be able to go through school without explicit spelling instruction (we're going to do spelling anyway - using it to cover the phonics he hasn't been explicitly taught for reading, since he's reading well). A 7 year old with as many basic spelling mistakes as in your son's sample probably isn't going to magically start spelling correctly. Now a Spalding/LOE/etc. type route may or may not work. He may end up needing a morphograph type spelling (Apples & Pears). But I think something will be needed, and I think covering basic phonics is a good start.

 

Yes, I would probably be LESS concerned if 5yoDD wasn't spelling about as well as ds.  lol.  He did correctly write "I hate math!" on the bottom of his math page today though.  :-) 

 

I will look at Apples and Pears, I am not familiar with this one.  But I think I will just get a copy of Essentials and work through it for a year and see where things are going from there.  I will say he is better with his French spelling than his English from the hard-core dictation we do, but it is a bit soul-killing to teach for me...  lol.  And his French spelling is still not great by any means... 

 

I will try to think of this coming year as an explicit phonics year, and go through it all again with a stronger spelling focus a year later.  And also just keep my fingers crossed... 

 

 

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Hunter, you have completely lost me. :lol:

 

I'm not at all seeing how what you're saying relates to a homeschool mom wanting to teach her child to spell, when the kid really can't spell at all and hasn't had a complete phonics course. I'd also like to see the studies to which you're referring. I'm sure typical public school spelling lists are just about useless, but that's not what we're talking about here, so I don't see how a study on that would at all apply. It only tells you that randomly picking words out of thin air and not teaching phonics is probably a bad way to go for many kids. :tongue_smilie:

 

Monica, my oldest will not be just getting spelling in 5th grade and be good for life. He has had phonics/spelling here and there over the last few years. The things he has been taught, he spells well. The things he has not been taught, he does not spell well. So his problem is that we've never FINISHED PHONICS. He's had some basics, but hasn't even hit some of the phonograms at all. He can read at a very high level and has for the last few years, but that does not translate to spelling. Reading and spelling are two different things. Good spellers can read well, but good readers don't necessarily spell well. Many students need to be taught to spell. I don't buy what Hunter's saying, or maybe I'm not understanding what she's saying. I don't think your child will magically start spelling correctly when he's older. Most "natural spellers" do so from a young age. My youngest may be a natural speller. He can spell very well for a just-turned-5 year old. He spells better than your son currently does. So my natural speller might be able to go through school without explicit spelling instruction (we're going to do spelling anyway - using it to cover the phonics he hasn't been explicitly taught for reading, since he's reading well). A 7 year old with as many basic spelling mistakes as in your son's sample probably isn't going to magically start spelling correctly. Now a Spalding/LOE/etc. type route may or may not work. He may end up needing a morphograph type spelling (Apples & Pears). But I think something will be needed, and I think covering basic phonics is a good start.

 

 

But phonics and spelling are not the same. Even if he had "finished" phonics, he still might have poor spelling skills. It is why Spalding and its spin-offs/look-alikes are so successful: they teach children to read by teaching them to spell.

 

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We use Foundations for both my kids. My 8 yr old 2nd grader is flying through it and we are working just a little more slowly for my youngest.

 

The writing sample you posted, OP, is exactly what my oldest wrote and spelled like in the weeks before Xmas. In January we started Foundations and he is already spelling much more sensibly, and reading far better than he was pre-January. He has always had issues with language and he is not gifted or particularly blessed when it comes to spelling and reading abilities - but he IS remembering the spelling rules and he is applying them all throughout his day.

 

I almost fully credit LoE with my son's improvements in language - improvements that have spanned now across all of our schoolwork as his confidence has grown.

 

He's nearly done with Foundations and is ready and excited to start Essentials in the Fall.

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My 6 year old spells just like the example the OP gave. Except when we are working on a spelling lesson. He does fine when I'm dictating a spelling word to him, or gently correcting a mistake, he'll see it and be able to fix it. But when writing on his own, everything goes right out of his brain and it's back to the "invented" spelling. 

 

I'm slowly seeing improvement however using Spalding. (Is LOE a Spalding spin-off?)

 

Also I would say to drop dictation and focus on just copywork and explicit spelling lessons. I wouldn't really ask a young child to work on a dictation passage that still needed that level of help with spelling. 

 

Sequential Spelling is awesome too btw!!!! He may need more work with seeing the patterns over just learning spelling rules. 

 

I also agree that reading isn't necessarily  going to fix the issue. In the OP's example I could clearly see how the child did have an understanding of phonics. He was spelling what he heard. My ds does the same...it takes time and daily spelling practice and work to be able to get to the point of remembering this stuff. Started early! No way would I wait until 3rd or even 4th grade to start spelling. 

 

My only main concern in the example was using various different spellings for the same word. I would expect to see the same misspelling. He could be reaching. Trying to memorize the whole word, trying to remember a rule? I would also suggest a spelling program that works with patterns could help as well. Especially since he is a reader. Sequential Spelling would get you where you want to be.

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I guess the advantage I see of having a program like Spalding or LoE is that it gives some common vocabulary for discussing spelling.  For example, I could point to a word misspelled such as "hav" and say, "Remember, English words don't end in U, V, or I" (or whatever that rule is...) and then expect him to not look at me like I'm an alien and even possibly know how to fix it. 

 

Yes! Especially for a logically-minded kiddo. But I haven't needed a whole program yet -- I actually get just as much traction out of the book Uncovering the Logic of English and using it to "unpack" his weekly public school spelling list or whatever. My son's spelling has improved drastically this year and I truly feel it's about 75-25 between remembering rules and visually recalling that certain words are meant to have extra 'e's in them or whatever.

 

But SWB points out that being able to spell for spelling class and being able to spell in the context of writing, takes a certain amount of cross-subject synthesis. The kind of abstraction skill you expect in "logic stage" kids. These spheres (and punctuation, etc.) are expected to remain distinct for most kids for a while yet. Don't panic that he's not spelling perfectly, rejoice that he is writing so verbosely! That's terrific!

 

I still plan to do a O-G spelling, ramping up in second grade, and haven't decided whether to go with the rest of AAS or jump ship for LoE. I really like MCT for grammar so I don't need that part of Essentials, and both my kids can already read the last reading list in the book, so I worry that it'll be overkill to get that whole huge reading/grammar/spelling program just for spelling. I don't know.

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But phonics and spelling are not the same. Even if he had "finished" phonics, he still might have poor spelling skills. It is why Spalding and its spin-offs/look-alikes are so successful: they teach children to read by teaching them to spell.

 

When I say "phonics", I mean the phonograms and rules and such used for both reading and spelling. Obviously, some memorization will have to take place to know which phonogram to use, but having never learned all the phonograms, he doesn't know what the options are. He doesn't think about those things as he reads.

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I've mentioned several things that all deserve a thread of their own. I have a severe migraine that did not improve with 4 Advil. I was all set to go to an appointment, but almost fainted while getting ready to go. So, I'm home, but my vision is so blurred, I'm going to have to wait to get back to this.

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I've mentioned several things that all deserve a thread of their own. I have a severe migraine that did not improve with 4 Advil. I was all set to go to an appointment, but almost fainted while getting ready to go. So, I'm home, but my vision is so blurred, I'm going to have to wait to get back to this.

 

As a fellow migraine sufferer, I hope you are feeling better soon!  I've been mad ever since Excedrin discontinued Excedrin Tension formula.  I used to bring back several bottles every time I visited the US. 

 

And please DO get back to us...  I am so fascinated and horrified by this spelling question!!! 

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Just to comment about dictation- we only do dictation in French, as it's "the official way" kids learn to write in French, classically speaking.  He does apply the phonograms he learns in French to his French writing, the tricky thing is knowing what silent letters belong at the end of 75% of the words...  lol.  The techniques for teaching those silent letters are learned through the dictation exercises, things like looking for related words, word families, what sounds are heard when the feminine e is added, etc, etc...  French exhausts me.  LOL.   

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I guess the advantage I see of having a program like Spalding or LoE is that it gives some common vocabulary for discussing spelling.  For example, I could point to a word misspelled such as "hav" and say, "Remember, English words don't end in U, V, or I" (or whatever that rule is...) and then expect him to not look at me like I'm an alien and even possibly know how to fix it. 

 

I saw this thread earlier this morning and was going to post something almost identical to this before I ran out of time and had to run out the door.   My DD has made huge gains in spelling in two years of using LoE.  Maybe she would have made those gains in other programs, but I am not sure.  Her spelling looked a lot like the sample you posted when she was toward the end of 2nd grade, and that was after making diligent efforts during 1st and 2nd with other programs.   I am not sure that my soon-to-be-2nd grade DS is as naturally horrible at spelling as she is, but I agree that having a common way of explaining how/why a word is spelled using words and phonograms is super helpful.   If DS7 makes that mistake of letting a word end in V, I can often just say to him, "What rule did you miss with that word?", and then he will find the mistake himself. 

 

I struggled with spelling for years, and what really helped me was to learn to type and see my mistakes "corrected" over and over again by auto-correct/spell check.  But I was already midway through high school at that point and I had somehow learned enough spelling to be able to at least pick out the correct word choice from a list.  :-)

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When I say "phonics", I mean the phonograms and rules and such used for both reading and spelling. Obviously, some memorization will have to take place to know which phonogram to use, but having never learned all the phonograms, he doesn't know what the options are. He doesn't think about those things as he reads.

 

But the rules for both reading/phonics and spelling are *different.* And most phonics methods don't teach "phonograms" the way Spalding does. And a child can learn all the phonograms, but if he has not gone on to analyze words the way Spalding does, he will still not know which phonogram to use (and it's far more than memorizing).

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I think the most successful spelling program is one MOM likes to teach and that doesn't overwhelm her in any way–financially, prep work, daily presentation, her understanding it and being able to master it.

 

Some moms can afford O-G, and because they are now personally at a rhetoric stage level themselves and have reached the stage where they can apply the rules, they are comfortable enough to provide the student with repetition and consistency. Not all, but many grammar stage students cannot apply the rules yet. They can parrot them, but not apply. But they benefit from recopying the word over and over. MOM had a vocabulary to use, even if the student wasn't able to directly and fully benefit from that shared vocabulary. He dutifully does what she says and learns that WORD.

 

I've had students, and talked to other tutors with students that NEED to copy patterns and charts. Jumping straight into O-G leaves them frustrated and unhelped. Too many rules, and too much expectation of mastery before they are capable. It's like being hit with a tidal wave for some of them.  O-G isn't always the cure-all, and isn't always better than cheaper and easier to teach programs. It's ONE good way, but no mom should over-extend herself to purchase and teach it.

 

I'm jumping around again and hopping from subject to subject. I'm sorry. I'm done tying again for now, though.

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Here is my situation:

 

1st grader, soon to be 2nd, reading at a 6th grade level, but spelling is TERRIBLE.  I mean, really, really, really bad.  Not like, "Oh, he's only seven, give him time" bad, but like "Gee, that's really bad" bad. 

 

I have a 5yo who will be going into K.  She does her copywork well (10-15 word sentence or so), is reading in the McGuffey Primer, 2-3 days per lesson.  I tried Phonics Pathways with her, and still pull it out on occasion, but it was all in one ear and out the other with her.  McGuffey seems to go a bit better, as we stick with one lesson until she's got it down.  I am afraid it is causing her to start sight reading though. 

 

I am trying to decide if adding LoE Essentials to our "morning time" (group work) would benefit them both.  I would do the phonograms and spelling rule/list with both, then go a bit deeper with the older kid. 

 

My questions:

 

- Would this be a good fit for combining (in part) these two kids and needs?

 

- Is the workbook a necessary part of this curriculum, or can it be done directly from the TM and flashcards on a whiteboard?

 

- Have you really found that this is a program that can be repeated for several years for added benefit, or has that not been the case for you? 

 

Monica,

If you decide to go with LOE, you might think about getting the pdf of the workbook if you're only doing the spelling part of Essentials.  Then you can just print off the pages you need for two children.  I have used Essentials just for the spelling and some of the vocabulary.  I have also used Foundations A and B with my daughter.  I would definitely buy the phonogram cards.  There are lots of fun games to use in Essentials to review the phonograms so you might think about buying the game cards too (you need 2-3 sets).  The new ones are really nice, phonogram nice and big in the center and smaller one in the corner for hand held games.  There is now a reader available to use with Essentials.  It's a pdf/ebook right now that you buy online for $15.  The stories go along in the sequence of how the phonograms are taught in Essentials.  You will want to read the introduction in the instructor's manual very carefully and actually start your instruction there with all the phonemic awareness activities and learning the A-Z phonograms.  The introduction is a gold mine of information.  I can't remember now, but I think I spent a couple of weeks just on lessons based on the introduction.

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My experience with Spalding was that my child learned to see words as chunks of phonograms and not as random letters. This fundamentally changed my son's ability to learn spelling from reading and to internalize spelling.

 

That said, I can't handle Spalding on a day-to-day basis, but Logic of English is going alright.

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P.S.  If you are going to do the games, you will need the game book too.  Essentials references the games to play in lessons but does not describe them.  I have read on the forums some people don't like doing the games, so if that's you, you don't need the game book.  But the games are what help the children to master the phonograms. 

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I do wonder how much time has to do with it. My son didAAS1 in k/6yo and AAS2 in 1st/7 with no noticeable effect on his writing, even rules that he supposedly knew. This year 2nd/8, his spelling was bad, but we didn't really do spelling at all. I did encourage him to copy his handwriting word for word, rather than letter by letter, but we probably only did this 3x a week. And a couple times I gave him 2-3 words to copy that I'd seen him misspell. He has done a lot of reading. Just this week I notice he is spelling things in his own notes correctly. Words like hallway and heavy, that he definitely couldn't spell at the beginning of the school year.

 

Eta: I do like knowing the rules, for me they are interesting. I do mention them to my kids, casually, but do not require them to memorize them. Maybe all moms should sit down and do WRTR and then we will be knowledgeable about phonics to teach our kids. Lol.

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OK, instinctively, I also think you are right about the bolded.  But I am terrified that my kids were phonics-deficient from public school and am afraid to sit on my duff and do *nothing*.  It isn't helped by the fact that I don't remember being that bad a speller when I was that age. 

 

 

His spelling is supposed to be bad! Yes, even if he's reading at a 6th grade level. When he has been reading a 6th+ grade level for LONGER, his spelling will most likely improve on it's own. And if it doesn't, you are going to put in a LOT of time and reap little or anything back by attacking this head on.

 

Spelling is the thing we accomplish least payback for teaching. Studies say that we accomplish nothing.

 

I don't like this! It makes me mad. I want to be in control. I want to be able to fix student spelling. I'm a bit of a control freak.

 

Traditionally spelling is not started until 3rd grade or later. Ruth Beechick says grade 4. She says they need to have seen lots and lots of print for years first.

 

Spalding schools that teach language arts for a full 3 hours a day and have very trained and unusually diligent teachers, report only 1-2 year gains in spelling. And understand that it's not just the SPELLING instruction the children are getting more and better of; It's also more READING.

 

I'd buy or borrow a copy of The Three R's from the library and read the sections on spelling. If that doesn't sound right to you, I'd hunt down and purchase WRTR 4th and give that a go. Good luck and :grouphug: and whatever you do, don't spend more time and money than you have to spare on spelling.

 

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Which phonics course are you using?

Has he had a thorough English phonics course? My oldest did much better once he started learning explicit phonics. While age helps, his early learning to read on his own caused him to not get an explicit phonics course, and that lack of phonics hurt his spelling. As he learns phonics, his spelling improves. All that reading helps him recognize misspelled words, but it doesn't help him spell them correctly in original writing.

I'm dubious about research into spelling programs. What methods were being used in that research? If Spalding gives a 1-2 year gain in spelling, that's pretty significant in elementary. A first grader spelling like a 3rd grader? I'd be thrilled! A 3rd grader spelling like a 5th grader? Again, wonderful! If my oldest had gotten ahead in spelling like that, it would have made writing a whole lot easier! I'm not seeing how doing spelling is a waste of time with those results? And what if you don't do spelling and the child ends up a middle schooler, still unable to spell? That's when you should be focusing on writing, not spelling. I'd rather put the time in during elementary to get my kids spelling well so they can write in middle school. I regret never doing a full phonics course with my oldest. The spelling mistakes he makes are directly related to things I haven't taught him yet in phonics. He's am advanced reader, but reading alone does NOT always make a good speller. This year, 5th grade, we're going through a full phonics course, focusing on spelling. I've found that he does very well being taught to spell. He just doesn't figure out spelling on his own, despite all the hours of reading he does every day.

 

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Which phonics course are you using?

We're going to start LOE Essentials in a couple weeks. Looking it over, I think I won't completely die of boredom like I did with Spalding. :lol: Plus I think my 7 year old will like it better. I plan to run the 5 and 7 year old together (5 year old is stronger at reading/writing, so him keeping up won't be a problem). I'll take my 5th grader through it at a faster pace. All 3 can play games together (I got the games book but made my own game cards).

 

I think this will be a good fit for oldest and youngest. Not sure about middle. If it's not a good fit for him, I'll put him back in R&S Phonics and Reading, which has worked well for reading. He just doesn't spell much yet (except his name and "cat"... his stories are all lots of "cat cat cat" :lol:). I think LOE would kill two birds with one stone for him - reading and spelling. He's also a very logical kid, so a program that explains "why" is good for him, and LOE's phonograms will make more sense to him than Spalding's did (he totally could not get over the 'y' saying /i/ thing in Spalding... I tried! Plus he has trouble remembering a word he has just sounded out a minute before, so memorizing a bunch of think to spell words ending in 'y' is WAY too complicated for him when he could just remember a simple rule that multisyllable words ending in an /E/ sound are usually spelled 'y' and sometimes 'ey').

 

LOE may or may not help my 7 year old's spelling. He may need something like Apples & Pears (which I own :lol:) or Sequential Spelling. I think it will at least benefit his reading though, and if it helps his spelling too, great! The other two kids will likely spell better with it, knowing their learning habits. And I think I'll be able to stand teaching it, which is incredibly important. ;)

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As soon as I read this thread, my brain feels scrambled, and I can't figure out how to get ALL my thoughts on this subject into just a few organized paragraphs. And it doesn't help  that I still can't see the keyboard or the screen very well. I'm going to have to TRY to do something about glasses again. Something that sounds so simple is NOT for ME, though.  :banghead:   :willy_nilly:  :confused1:  :cursing:

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I think both "sides" are right here. A couple years ago I listened to an hour long radio interview with a linguist. They spent several minutes talking about spelling. He said that the research shows that good spellers will be good spellers and bad spellers will be bad spellers no matter what teachers do. He recommended that poor spellers (at the high school age) keep a "top 100" list of words that they frequently misspell.

 

But I do not think that means that LOE would not benefit your child. He might make a huge jump in spelling with explicit instruction. (It just doesn't guarantee that he will some day be a great speller) If you have the $$ and the time, I would give it a try. I suspect spelling will click very quickly for him. OTOH, if the $$ or the time is a stretch, I would not feel at all bad holding off for a year.

 

His story is great for a first grader and his spelling really isn't that bad. He is using a lot of words that would not be covered until 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade in many programs, so it shouldn't be surprising that he hasn't figured out how to spell them. :)

 

 

 

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My experience with Spalding was that my child learned to see words as chunks of phonograms and not as random letters. This fundamentally changed my son's ability to learn spelling from reading and to internalize spelling.

 

That said, I can't handle Spalding on a day-to-day basis, but Logic of English is going alright.

 

I feel the same way about Spalding and Sequential Spelling. 

 

I think both "sides" are right here. A couple years ago I listened to an hour long radio interview with a linguist. They spent several minutes talking about spelling. He said that the research shows that good spellers will be good spellers and bad spellers will be bad spellers no matter what teachers do. He recommended that poor spellers (at the high school age) keep a "top 100" list of words that they frequently misspell.

 

But I do not think that means that LOE would not benefit your child. He might make a huge jump in spelling with explicit instruction. (It just doesn't guarantee that he will some day be a great speller) If you have the $$ and the time, I would give it a try. I suspect spelling will click very quickly for him. OTOH, if the $$ or the time is a stretch, I would not feel at all bad holding off for a year.

 

His story is great for a first grader and his spelling really isn't that bad. He is using a lot of words that would not be covered until 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade in many programs, so it shouldn't be surprising that he hasn't figured out how to spell them. :)

 

I have just never agreed with the idea that there are people who will be poor spellers no matter what. Spelling is a skill, like any other, that can be practiced and perfected. Knowing how to read/write/spell ones natural language is a necessity. And there's a way to get everybody there. 

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I taught Spalding in a school environment, and I think it is a phenomenal program.  But at home, it was a total bust for both of my kids.  My first was reading well far before she could handle the writing (fine motor due to being young).  She freaked out trying to remember and apply all of the rules.  Actually, I take that back.  Spalding worked decently for her when she was in 3rd grade, but before that it just generated constant panic attacks.  We did AAS 1-3 with her, using the white board/ moveable letters, with a great deal of success.  In 3rd grade she was finally able to handle Spalding.  I had taught her the phonograms and mentioned the appropriate rules as we came across applicable words in reading/ spelling in an informal way prior to formally using it in 3rd grade.  And Spalding wasn't a miracle even then.

 

My second child, with significant LD's, just couldn't do it.  We spent 3 yrs trying to learn the phonograms, and they weren't sticking.  She was finally reading a bit above grade level, but spelling and writing just were not happening.  This year she started Wilson tutoring with a specialist once a week.  We practiced with a workbook during the week, but Apples and Pears (along with repeatedly stating the Spalding rules) is what has made the most difference.  She still has a LONG way to go, but she has improved a lot, which is way more than she's done in the past. 

 

I think at seven, that passage is developmentally appropriate, especially given that he is also working on French and another set of rules.  I'd focus on the silent e rule and do some focused work there.  LoE Foundations isn't going to hurt and might be a good place to start, but I wouldn't panic yet. 

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None of us expect all children to be gymnasts. We accept that some children are tumblers and others are not. Sure, spelling is more important than tumbling, but that doesn't change the fact that there are natural spellers as well people that are NOT. If we try and get a person to the ability of the natural, we can do more damage than good. We need to proceed with caution and without guilt.

 

There is a LOT of pressure on moms to bring spelling strugglers up to the level of gifted and natural spellers. An unrealistic and distracting and sometimes harmful amount of pressure. Also, a lot of misinformation is being handed around, some of it started by the authors of spelling curricula.

 

O-G helps SOME Dyslexics READ better. O-G is far LESS successful at improving Dyslexic SPELLING, than reading. I think there were studies quoted in the  O-G manual, that spelling results are far below reading results.

 

English is complex. Yes, there is some logic to it, but it's rules layered on rules, with exceptions explained by even more rules. The children who are likely to struggle with spelling, are also the ones least likely to be able to apply or even understand the rules.

 

The fact that something is important doesn't make it easy to learn or teach.

 

Spelling is a great divider. It's terrifying to watch the natural spellers move exponentially ahead of your child. If your child is otherwise gifted, sometimes you can teach them tricks and way to compensate, and remain competitive if competitiveness is your goal. In too many cases vast amounts of resources are wasted to accomplish little other than making a child feel awful, and mom burnt out.

 

And for all students, they benefit by a base of seeing print, and copying print, before being expected to spell. There is a reason it's traditional to start spelling later than reading. Busy teachers in multi-aged classrooms couldn't afford to waste their time. Vintage texts often warn about starting spelling too early. Yes, if you just wait, the reading approach ends out in the natural spellers being far ahead of the strugglers and it can look like precious time was wasted for the struggler. Not so, in most cases. They too needed time to see print, to start doing THEIR best and now try to spell the words they have been seeing. Of course they are "behind" the natural! And many will never catch up. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. That is the way of life. And it's not mom's fault.

 

Have you ever seen a really ugly baby, that a mom is always fussing over trying to make her look prettier, to the point she is dressed uncomfortably and unable to play normally? Yes, everyone can see if your kid can't spell and if your baby is ugly. If we love them we accept them for who they are and help them navigate this mean world from a place of wholeness and balance and calmness. Of course if we can maintain balance AND still teach them a few compensating tricks, we will. But we need to not go overboard or believe false promises written by great rhetorics.

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This is what I bought.  It looks pretty thorough.  I'll follow the program, but not quite as directed; it asks for 2 lessons a week, but that will be fast for my kids, so we'll do 1 lesson a week and supplement with something else (not sure what yet).  Not sure it will be effective because I am really still not completely sure that my kids are pathetically phonics-deficient, but it certainly won't hurt.  Language is so hard for me to evaluate and teach; I am most insecure in that arena because I still really don't know the nitty-gritty of how my children were taught to read in public school.  It doesn't help that I am a natural speller and punctuator (is that even a word?) and can't understand why DD finds it such a thorn in her side. 

We're going to start LOE Essentials in a couple weeks. Looking it over, I think I won't completely die of boredom like I did with Spalding. :lol: Plus I think my 7 year old will like it better. I plan to run the 5 and 7 year old together (5 year old is stronger at reading/writing, so him keeping up won't be a problem). I'll take my 5th grader through it at a faster pace. All 3 can play games together (I got the games book but made my own game cards).

I think this will be a good fit for oldest and youngest. Not sure about middle. If it's not a good fit for him, I'll put him back in R&S Phonics and Reading, which has worked well for reading. He just doesn't spell much yet (except his name and "cat"... his stories are all lots of "cat cat cat" :lol:). I think LOE would kill two birds with one stone for him - reading and spelling. He's also a very logical kid, so a program that explains "why" is good for him, and LOE's phonograms will make more sense to him than Spalding's did (he totally could not get over the 'y' saying /i/ thing in Spalding... I tried! Plus he has trouble remembering a word he has just sounded out a minute before, so memorizing a bunch of think to spell words ending in 'y' is WAY too complicated for him when he could just remember a simple rule that multisyllable words ending in an /E/ sound are usually spelled 'y' and sometimes 'ey').

LOE may or may not help my 7 year old's spelling. He may need something like Apples & Pears (which I own :lol:) or Sequential Spelling. I think it will at least benefit his reading though, and if it helps his spelling too, great! The other two kids will likely spell better with it, knowing their learning habits. And I think I'll be able to stand teaching it, which is incredibly important. ;)

 

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Hunter, no one here said they were expecting their kids to participate in spelling bees (the gymnasts of spelling). We're wanting our kids to be able to write such that other people can read their work and most common words are spelled correctly. I don't think that's too much to ask of an average child.

 

And the tumbler will never have a chance to be a gymnast if the basic moves aren't taught. I'm a tumbler. I could never even do a cart wheel. But you know what? No one ever taught me how. No one ever worked with me to build up strength toward one. They just left me to figure it out on my own, and I never did. Meanwhile, my middle son is practicing cart wheels in karate, and he is getting closer and closer to doing one. I think he will be able to eventually. Likewise, I intend to practice with my children and teach them spelling, instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own. I'm not aiming for spelling bee contestants. I'm aiming for normal, educated adults, able to write a letter to someone without horribly embarrassing spelling mistakes.

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I think spelling bees are equivalent to elite gymnastics. We are still thinking we should ask our children to all spell as well as high school and college level competitive gymnasts, and I think that is unrealistic.

 

The defense is that it's important. Yes, it is, but…English is a VERY difficult language to spell and and to find the logic, we have to get to rules like, "English words don't end in i". Well, a first grader doesn't know that spaghetti and ski are not English words. All this "logic" goes right over their heads, in many cases, and especially those students that are the poorest spellers.

 

I think we are underestimating how hard it is for average and even many gifted children to spell, and also to learn the phonograms, and even more so to be able to APPLY the phonograms and rules to real writing situations.

 

Again, I am not happy about this. I want to be able to study my WRTR 4th until it falls apart. It's a thing of beauty. As a whole it's the best of all the attempts to do the same. It has helped me with MY spelling. BUT and it's a HUGE but, but I don't think taking the time to teach this system is worth it for some of my students. There won't be the payback that I received by self-educating it with it at THIS stage of my life. And to be truthful, I think I would have improved MY spelling even more if I'd done nothing but study Susan Anthony's free spelling lists, and a reviewed a couple of the most basic rules.

 

I'm not against O-G spelling programs. But I am against the confusing and exaggerated claims of what the average mom can expect by shelling out a few hundred dollars and countless hours self-educating and teaching. These programs are a HUGE money and time sucker! I love that the O-G manual is realistic and truthful about the payback of O-G programs. O-G is a tool that is useful but limited.

 

Charter schools are known for students testing a year or two ahead of regular PS students no matter what their curriculum and methods. When a charter school field tests a method/curriculum, it next needs to be tested in a control group to be able to narrow down what results are entirely a result of the method, and what is extra time on task, dedicated teachers, and students that sought out a charter school.

 

I will use Spalding 4th with certain students if I think it's worth it to do so with THAT student. Others I will use How to Tutor/Beechick/Susan Anthony. Some I might not tackle their spelling at all, and will work on other things that I expect greater pay back for them. The same with Saxon. I'll use it with some and not others. If everything burnt down and I had to rebuy all my curriculum and I suddenly received a relative's 4 children to school, two of whom where terrible spellers, despite knowing O-G, I'd very likely not buy or teach O-G to them, at least for the first year.

 

Hammers are great tools. But they can do more harm than good when used incorrectly. Reducing time spent reading to drill and drill and drill the phonograms with a student that has poor rote memory skills is like using a hammer at the wrong time.

 

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OP, I just wanted to add that LOE is an excellent program and very thourough.  We started this year with Essentials with my second grader who is an advanced reader (7.5 grade reading level currently), but a weak speller.  He was in public school and did not learn to read or spell through a spalding/OG type program.  But that is exactly what he needed.  Even though I think LOE is a great curriculum, it moved too slow through the phonograms and spelling rules for our needs.  He needed to learn the phonogram and rules up front and then apply them to his spelling while working on spelling lists and his other writings.  So, we are now using Reading Lessons Through Literature.  It is simpler for me to implement, can be paced better, and is less expensive.  My son uses a comp notebook for his spelling words and we use a whiteboard.  We have the LOE phonogram flash cards and game book.  You could make your own cards as well.  We also use the LOE phonogram App.  I have watched all the LOE training videos.  Once we finish level 3 of RLTL, I will only work on spelling through prepared dictation.  What I gleaned from what Hunter is saying is that you do not need to spend a ton of time or money on a spelling curriculum in order to build a good spelling foundation.  That is how I feel at least.  Teach them the phonograms and spelling rules and re-enfore those by repetition through spelling list and eventually through dictation and any other writing.  

 

I also use RLTL with my 6 year old girls.  They are on different spelling lists, but since we work through all the phonograms together, we are all able to review the phonograms together and play phonogram/spelling games together.  My girls started with LOE foundations A and while we had fun with it, I did not feel the need to spend that much time and money on a spelling program for them.  Plus, LOE essentials is a full LA curriculum (light on writing) and you are paying for an entire LA curriculum.  Again, LOE is a great program that has worked for many families, but I just wanted to share a little our needs and experiences with you.

 

As far as inventive spelling in his free writing, that is tough for us too.  Mostly for my girls.  THey love to write and write all the time.  When they write stories,etc., I scribe for them almost always.  When they write short notes, I help them spell using our phonograms and rules, always.  If they write something without my help, I may point out a few mistakes, but I don't make them correct those mistakes.  It is balance for me to not kill their love of writing with the my strong belief that they incorrect spelling imprints on the brain.  

 

One more thing, I am willing to bet he knows how to spell more of those words correctly if he gave himself the cognitive function to spell them.  But he was more concerned about forming his thoughts, holding them in his mind, and then getting them on the page than he was about spelling.  I believe that is why it not only takes learning spelling rules and phonograms, but time for development to "put it all together"  if that makes sense?  I am very new to homeschooling, so you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt.  THere are some very experienced people on here who have given you great advise.  

 

Hope it helps some.  

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What I think is interesting about an O-G method based program is you can go in from the spelling angle and improve both an older child's reading AND spelling skills.  I think of it as filling in the swiss cheese holes in skill areas.  If you're using the program for spelling, you are also going back and helping the child to actually read through words.  Particularly if your child came from public school (or was taught by a public school teacher, ahem, me for my oldest), you can undo those bad habits of looking at a word's beginning letter, guessing, looking at pictures etc and actually teach them to read through a word using phonograms, spelling rules, and syllabication.  With my oldest, I use Essentials to remediate very poor spelling (but good reader).  It has improved his ability to read multi-syllabic words; particularly lessons 36-39 of Essentials were critical.  I might move those lessons up if I use Essentials in tutoring.  Right now I use Foundations for my 3rd child and don't expect to work her through Essentials.

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We're going to start LOE Essentials in a couple weeks. Looking it over, I think I won't completely die of boredom like I did with Spalding. :lol: Plus I think my 7 year old will like it better. I plan to run the 5 and 7 year old together (5 year old is stronger at reading/writing, so him keeping up won't be a problem). I'll take my 5th grader through it at a faster pace. All 3 can play games together (I got the games book but made my own game cards).

 

I think this will be a good fit for oldest and youngest. Not sure about middle. If it's not a good fit for him, I'll put him back in R&S Phonics and Reading, which has worked well for reading. He just doesn't spell much yet (except his name and "cat"... his stories are all lots of "cat cat cat" :lol:). I think LOE would kill two birds with one stone for him - reading and spelling. He's also a very logical kid, so a program that explains "why" is good for him, and LOE's phonograms will make more sense to him than Spalding's did (he totally could not get over the 'y' saying /i/ thing in Spalding... I tried! Plus he has trouble remembering a word he has just sounded out a minute before, so memorizing a bunch of think to spell words ending in 'y' is WAY too complicated for him when he could just remember a simple rule that multisyllable words ending in an /E/ sound are usually spelled 'y' and sometimes 'ey').

 

LOE may or may not help my 7 year old's spelling. He may need something like Apples & Pears (which I own :lol:) or Sequential Spelling. I think it will at least benefit his reading though, and if it helps his spelling too, great! The other two kids will likely spell better with it, knowing their learning habits. And I think I'll be able to stand teaching it, which is incredibly important. ;)

 

boscopup-- I want to hear how LOE goes with teaching 3 children BOYS  :), especially being that yours are about the same ages as mine!

 

Pam

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Hunter, there are many ways to teach spelling. Phonograms/rules are not the only way. I think some kids do well with those, and some kids do better looking at patterns and learning morphographs.

 

I believe average students can learn to spell decently, just like they can learn to read decently. They may not all need or even do well with O-G methods, but O-G is not the only method out there. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Give students a chance to learn to spell by teaching them if they need it. Don't force the non-natural speller to go through life looking uneducated by withholding spelling instruction! I just don't see the logic in that suggestion, and I think it's a dangerous suggestion.

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