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Writing curriculum with emphasis on spelling


Manhattan_Mom

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Posting here because I have an 8yo with a very advanced vocabulary and a strong aversion to writing.  I'm looking for a strong curriculum that will provide a thorough, rigorous foundation in the basics of spelling, grammar and writing.  

 

We can spend an hour or so per day on this. A text with a good workbook would be ideal.  I'm especially interested in anything that is part of a series (so we can continue into essay writing).

 

We did Explode the Code for phonics and loved it.

 

Many thanks!

 

 

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I don't have any real curriculum advice, I'm sorry, but I wanted to pop in and say that I was in a similar situation with my daughter, who is now 10.

 

She has a huge vocabulary but really hated having to write.

 

Here's what we did:

 

- writing games - keeping it fun and with me alongside her doing it also

 

- keeping the mechanics and sub-skills quite separate from the writing itself. What I mean is that if we were doing a writing game like 'fortunately, unfortunately', I'd bite my tongue and not correct ANY spelling, grammar etc. In that context I was aiming for enjoyment and building confidence. 

 

- if I noticed a mistake in spelling/grammar/punctuation, I'd address that separately and at a different time. We have massive bathroom mirrors and we use whiteboard markers and make lists on there as a family. Not that long ago, we were all listing as many words as possible that break the 'i before e' rule. 

 

- trying to find real purpose for writing and not just because Mum said so or because the next page in the book says so. Real purpose makes a huge difference to my daughter.

 

 

Obviously, each child is different and responds to different strategies. Workbooks are an absolute fail here. Just thought I'd share a bit of what we do instead. Hope that helps in some way.

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My 8-year-old is using Wordly Wise for spelling/vocabulary.  Most of the words are not new to him, but there is more analysis of the word structure done.
However, we try to keep writing as a very separate thing.  He tend to be a perfectionist, and sometimes you just need to get the ideas down on paper even if you can't spell all the words.

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Knowing my daughter was starting school this year (aged 8) I just had her write - she could write anything she liked (and I had introduced many forms of writing to her). As long as she wrote for a time period I was happy. Then I would get her to read it back to me and correct the errors SHE found (not the ones I did.) She still hates writing, but she copes at school. I tried to praise something each time - a word she spelled correctly, use of good vocabulary, getting punctuation correct, good imagery, using short sentences or long sentences depending on mood... even if the writing was very poor and she knew it, we could always find something to praise. Getting her to praise her own work also helped as she was quite aware when it was not up to standard and praising her own dismal work sometimes helped her to improve the next piece. This child of mine is a bit rebellious about schoolwork though - so what works with her will never work with my younger child.

 

Some of what she wrote was in defiance at having to write at all - those pieces I closed my eyes to and just knew that she was exercising her writing hand and learning to get some words down more quickly than she was used to. She will now write letters to grandparents and friends whereas there was no chance she would have done that earlier this year.

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Not a curriculum, but I have found the best way to advance spelling, grammar, and mechanics is through dictation.  All the skills are integrated which works very well for a holistic learner.  The main problem is that *you* need to be strong enough to teach the material as it comes up. But because it is in context, the learning is very rapid compared to all piecemeal curriculum I have used. I still do 30 minutes of dictation with my younger son everyday.

 

 

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