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3rd Grader who has a hard time with spelling (Apples and Pears and AAS problems)


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Hi Everyone,

 

My 3rd-grade daughter has a really hard time with spelling.  

 

She has a very weak visual memory, so it is nearly impossible for her to know if a word looks right or wrong.   She also has a problem with hearing the difference between certain phonograms. (For example, she has a hard time hearing the difference between various r controlled phonograms such as /ar/ as in car and /er/ as in her.)    I have also noticed she has some speech issues when pronouncing words with the letter r in them.   (I have brought her in for speech evaluations and hearing tests repeatedly, but they always say she isn't "bad" enough to warrant speech therapy.  But I have noticed that sometimes people have a hard time understanding her when she speaks.)

 

 

Spelling history:

She completed All About Spellings levels 1-2 and part of 3.   She has memorized the rules forwards and backwards, but she doesn't always apply them to her spelling. 

 

I then switched her over to apples and pears spelling.   At first, I thought that I had found a solution with this book.   It repeats word spellings SO much that things were finally clicking.   She finished book A last year.

 

This year:

We started Apples and Pears book B this year.  She did fine with the first several lessons, but we started having problems almost immediately.   She would never pass the mastery tests and we had to repeat several sections several times before she would pass.   It was very frustrtating for her and me and sometimes she would cry when we had to erase and redo the same lessons over and over again.   :(   :(     Old words that I thought we had down began to be consistently misspelled.    (Examples of her misspellings that fall into this category:   wunt for want, truble for trouble, thay for they, kik for kick, etc.)  

 

SO---I started to build in even more review than Apples and Pears already schedules.    I kept a running list of words misspelled and started practicing them with her daily before we would start our A&P lesson. She will still spell these words incorrectly no matter how much we practice.   So I decided to shelve A&P B for awhile and do something else.  (More than anything so that we both wouldn't lose our mind repeating the same thing so many times.)

 

At this point, I pulled out my Spelling Plus book (1000 most common words sorted by grade level and 'rule')---and I went through those words starting at the easiest levels just to see what she knows.   I tried to look for any patterns so I could snuff out any weak areas in her understanding of phonics and phonograms.    Doing this revealed to me that she has a real problem with silent E words---and she has a hard time telling when a vowel should be long or short.   She often adds random silent-e's to words that shouldn't have them and forgets to add the to words that should have them.   (bake might be spelled like back for example.    or she might spell "when" as "wene")

 

SO---I pulled back out All About Spelling level 2 and we went through that this year.   We reviewed how to segment a word into sounds, we reviewed phonograms (I noticed she had forgotten quite a few) and then I retaught the silent E rule again to make a vowel long.    We practiced all of those words like CRAZY.    But I was also having to spend a significant amount of my time trying to modify All About Spelling to include enough review and visual memory exercises for her to retain stuff.   (the Apples and Pears review methods worked well for her, but she seemed to need the more straightforward phonics taught in AAS.) 

 

After doing that, I pulled Apples and Pears B back off the shelf and we did a few levels.   (Still adding in more review.)   It has again become apparent that she is at a road block with this level.   I really don't want to continue with Apples and Pears level B because I don't think moving on is the best thing for her.   

 

So, lets say I shelve Apples and Pears B for awhile.    What would you suggest I do in the meantime?   

 

Option 1:   Keep reviewing phonograms and segmenting using my All About Spelling and All About Reading materials

 

Option 2:   Keep reviewing the most common words using the Spelling Plus lists as a jumping off point.  (That might help her the most with her writing.)

 

Option 3:   Repeat Apples and Pears book A (that means spending more money on another workbook and we are on a tight budget.)   

 

Option 4:   Forget spelling for a few weeks, and have her work on copywork, etc.   (Before you pick this option, know that she could read or copy a word a billion times and not know how to spell it.   And I am only slightly exaggerating it.)   I list this option because maybe she needs time more than anything.

 

Other options???

Edited by TheAttachedMama
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I have a poor visual memory, struggled with spelling in school, and as an adult rely a lot on spell check.

 

How is her reading? Does she enjoy reading? I'd be inclined to go with lots of reading and copywork and not stress over much about spelling at this point. Typewritten copywork when I was a teen probably helped me more with spelling than anything else, that and lots of exposure and time.

Edited by maize
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She is reading on grade level....maybe a little bit above grade level.   

 

She is VERY, VERY active.  Left to her own devices, she would spend her entire day skateboarding, playing basketball, or climbing trees until she passed out from exhaustion.   So I have to actually schedule a time for her to come in and sit and read.   Earlier this year, I told her that she could read or nap in the afternoon.   She always chose to nap.   sigh.

SO--I had her come and read next to me while I read on the couch instead of sending her to a room alone.   I have observed that she can silent read for about 10-15 minutes before she starts to squirm and become distracted.   Then I have her tell me what is happening which usually refocuses her without it seeming like I am refocusing her.  (does that make sense?)  

 

Long story short, currently I have her read silently for 30 minutes per day and listen to an audiobook for 30 minutes per day.    Is that enough time?   

 

BTW--What is typewritten footwork?  

 

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I too have a third grader with poor visual memory. My two cents...

 

I think time is a factor, I noticed significant improvement in my older sons spellng after the age of 9/10. Years of reading finally made the spelling click. So I would suggest not freaking out yet. Also, even if she needs hard core phonics to learn spelling, those may not click for her till she gets to the logic stage. At that point, the rules and analyzing of spelling words become something of interest, something that explains things to them, instead of just one more thing to memorize. This was my experience with my oldest. I used AAS 1-3 with my oldest and it was a lot of work for very little return. I dropped spelling. At 9 I noticed his spelling started getting better. At 10.5 I started using RLTL with him for spelling. The rules explained and organized the stuff he already knew from reading and his spelling improved by leaps and bounds.

 

At the same time I began using RLTL and it had no effect on my 2nd grader and when we picked it up again at the beginning of this year, she just shut down and refuses to acknowledge that she knows any phonograms at all beyond a-z. I dropped it and am now using spelling you see with her. She's in the second book of the first grade level. This is copy work, but the marking/chunking the same passage every day seems to be helping the words finally sink in to get visual memory. Dictation day freaked her out at first, but after watching the videos I followed their suggestions for asking her if a misspelled word looked right, then gently suggesting she try it a different way. If I can see she's not getting it, I will make suggestions of something she can try. Sometimes she gets it, sometimes she just gets closer. But I've seen a light bulb go on with her that she can figure it out and get confidence is growing. She had just shut down and wouldn't try before.

 

Maybe you could do something similar with her, giving her copy work and picking one rule from AAS and talking about words in the passage that follow that rule. Then the next day have her see if she can find the words in that she passage that you talked about the day before. And copy it again. Repeat with the same passage all week. The next week use a different passage and talk about a different AAS rule. This would get her lots of exposure and copying of common words and keep those AAS concepts fresh. I find with poor visual memory, my daughter needs lots of repetition. And to move slowly. One rule/pattern a week is nice and slow. And in the future, next year maybe, you could pick AAS back up. Another thing suggested by SYS that I've found helpful is making sure she reads back to you what she wrote.

Edited by vaquitita
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Does your dd type? My dyslexic daughter is doing Touch Type Read and Spell. I wanted to get her typing because it was evident that after years of spelling practice she wasn't advancing, so I felt like spell check was the next best thing. We floundered through several typing programs before we found TTRS. It is a program specifically for dyslexics, and not only is she learning to type (slowly!), but she is also getting a wee bit better at spelling. I cannot recommend it enough.

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So I have to actually schedule a time for her to come in and sit and read. Earlier this year, I told her that she could read or nap in the afternoon. She always chose to nap. sigh.

I find giving them the option of reading or sleeping at bedtime to be effective. I supplied her with lots of library books that were too easy and were catered to her interests. Finding books with large type and not too much on each page was important. So yeah, she reads a lot of fluff at bedtime. Baby mouse, shark school, puppy place, Amelia bedelia. Right now it's horse diaries and Clementine. After lights out, I put on an audio book and she listens while she goes to sleep. She usually listens to the same story 2-3x in a row because she misses parts when she falls asleep. Lol. She never chooses to read during the day for fun (to much to do!), but at this point she does enjoy reading.

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If her reading is good and she's not frustrated in other areas I would do something gentle for spelling and just gently plug away, but in the end she may just end up relying on spell check.

 

my dd finished a&p C when she was in 6th grade. It helped a lot but she was so much older! :) shelve it and wait.

 

For now I would do ACE spelling and just let her work through the books at her level. After A&P we started my dd on ACE 4th grade spelling (she's in 7th) and it's really helping. She is learning, practicing writing and it's easy to use and makes sense. I would say your dd could start with 2nd or 1st grade. Move as slowly as she needs, two pages per day and don't expect perfection. :)

 

But in the end so many people just end up relying on spell

Check and that is what I foresee for my dd :)

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I also have a 3rd grade struggling speller, knows all the "rules" but doesn't apply them, very poor visual memory.

 

I gave up, for the most part. We still plug away. Sure. But I no longer push it heavily or sweat it personally. I'm waiting for maturity and/or spell check to help. It got to the point (for us) where frustration levels were so high, and it was distracting so much from other subjects, that it just wasn't worth it.

 

For what it's worth both my 3rd graders read for an hour a day (two 30 minute sessions, one "free" and one "assigned"). Sometimes the assigned is an audiobook, but it's probably 75/25.

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My DD is about to enter 4th grade (Jan-Dec) and she had a rough time with spelling last year. I am now using the Modern Speller Year 4 with her and am surprised how well she is doing with it - like your child she has always been extremely active. She is a kinaesthetic learner and I believe now that her spelling is being learnt by muscle memory more than anything else - so writing words til they become automatic which is why dictation seems to work best with her as she needs to learn to spell the word correctly amongst a whole lot of other words. I do still have to remind her how to break up words. I still help her to say the word as it is spelled and remind her occassionally to tell me the root word before she tries to spell a related word and when she chooses the wrong phonogram I still have to verbally ask her what other options she has. Recently though I have started getting her to circle where the problem could be - this can be taught as most problems are with the vowels, doubling of consonants, using s or j instead of c or g, or needing to use a different phonographic spelling (eg ph instead of f, or ur instead or er etc.) - finding out where she thinks the problem might be also tells me something about what she needs work on. 

 

It would depend what errors are most obvious - my daughter improved mostly by learning the most common words first while practicing the rules, suffixes, prefixes, consonant doubling, syllabification etc as a separate exercise only after the basic words had been mastered. And those common words probably need to be known so that they are automatic both verbally as well as in writing depending on your child's learning strengths. Then again, having heard others say things improved after 9 years of age - that is how old my daughter is now and things are improving rapidly now.

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She is reading on grade level....maybe a little bit above grade level.

 

She is VERY, VERY active. Left to her own devices, she would spend her entire day skateboarding, playing basketball, or climbing trees until she passed out from exhaustion. So I have to actually schedule a time for her to come in and sit and read. Earlier this year, I told her that she could read or nap in the afternoon. She always chose to nap. sigh.

SO--I had her come and read next to me while I read on the couch instead of sending her to a room alone. I have observed that she can silent read for about 10-15 minutes before she starts to squirm and become distracted. Then I have her tell me what is happening which usually refocuses her without it seeming like I am refocusing her. (does that make sense?)

 

Long story short, currently I have her read silently for 30 minutes per day and listen to an audiobook for 30 minutes per day. Is that enough time?

 

BTW--What is typewritten footwork?

Typewritten footwork is autocorrectese for typewritten copywork :)

 

Corrected above.

 

Yes I think 30 minutes of silent reading is fine for that age.

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My 3rd grader is a poor speller as well. We are plugging through Sequential Spelling but, in the end, the push is that I don't require my kids to write tomes and therefore the only time they practice spelling is during spelling. Somewhere round 3/4th grade they figure some of it out and cements.

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She sounds like she is dyslexic, to me. Really really hard to spell if the phonics don't make sense to you.  I would go BACK to learning to read through phonics, with AAR perhaps.   Not all kids need to learn those rules so systematically, but dyslexics genuinely do.

 

My daughter reads above grade level . but can't for the life of her figure out a word she doesn't already know..... have her read one of the AAR sample stories (try level 3, Cedric the Brave) out loud to see how handles it.  It's a cute little story anyways.

 

 

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My daughter is dyslexic. Your daughter's troubles sound like they could be dyslexia. Yes, it could be dyslexia even if she is reading on grade level. DD has excellent comprehension, so she can read a text and know what is says, even though she cannot properly decode all of the words. The fact that your daughter tires from reading suggests that it is hard work for her. 

 

You might want to google "stealth dyslexia" to see if it sounds similar to your daughter. 

 

People who are dyslexic benefit from multisensory lessons. I don't know how multisensory the programs you use are. You can either add in multisensory elements or switch to a multisensory program. You can also keep plugging away at the things you do already, but it is likely to be both frustrating and unproductive. Dyslexics need a specific kind of remediation, because their brains actually store and retrieve information differently than the typical brain.

 

My biggest suggestion would be to have her evaluated for dyslexia. Knowing her diagnosis has been empowering for DD. Once you know the root of her issues, you can better figure out how to address them.

Edited by Storygirl
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Are there any specific spelling programs for kids who have dyslexia that people can recommend?   With the exception of Barton, I think we have tried them all.  (At least the ones I know about!)   

 

 

 

She sounds like she is dyslexic, to me. Really really hard to spell if the phonics don't make sense to you.  I would go BACK to learning to read through phonics, with AAR perhaps.   Not all kids need to learn those rules so systematically, but dyslexics genuinely do.

 

My daughter reads above grade level . but can't for the life of her figure out a word she doesn't already know..... have her read one of the AAR sample stories (try level 3, Cedric the Brave) out loud to see how handles it.  It's a cute little story anyways.

 

She has already read those stories.   (She completed AAR 1-4 and the pre-level)

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Are there any specific spelling programs for kids who have dyslexia that people can recommend? With the exception of Barton, I think we have tried them all. (At least the ones I know about!)

 

 

 

 

She has already read those stories. (She completed AAR 1-4 and the pre-level)

I think your expectations need to change. My 5th grader is in A &P B. She struggles there. My severely dyslexic sons could do things like spell with "whith, whyth, withe" all on the same page of an essay in high school. If I told them to look for just with, they would probably find the mistakes, but on their own proofreading, no. We work on it until graduation, but as adults they develop coping mechanisms. They will never be good spellers.

 

(Edited to misspell. Autocorrect corrected!)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I want to qualify my above post. I know that what I am doing is what works for dyslexics. Research, get evals, etc so you know how to help her be the best her she can be. That will very likely be an individual with poor spelling but who can learn to function with it, even in a professional level career.

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The only one I know to recommend is Barton, because it is an Orton-Gillingham based program. Is there a reason you don't want to use it? There are a bunch of people on the LC boards who have experience with it who could answer your questions. (We didn't use Barton. After her diagnosis, DD tutored for a year with an O-G trained tutor and then enrolled in a private dyslexia school.)

 

Is there a way for you to hire a tutor who has trained in the O-G method? If modifying regular spelling programs is not working, you may need a different solution. I suspect that if you purchase another spelling program, you will meet with the same frustration that you have now.

 

 

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My son's issue is visual memory of words too, and it makes even spell check hard sometimes. All those rules didn't help him spell correctly, even though he mastered them. He's made improvement as he's aged, but spelling will always be a struggle. I know how discouraging it is to see words you thought were solid completely gone and tiny words misspelled so badly.

 

I used Apples and Pears older than your daughter. We stalled out at some points, and I stopped to work on issue areas or sort of wait for some more maturity while we reviewed words. We always went back to Apples and Pears because nothing worked as well here.

 

Spelling out loud forward and backward helped, and I added that to Apples and Pears.

 

Right now (post Apples and Pears) I'm using a technique I read about here. I am going to try to find it. You could try it with the 1000 words perhaps.

Here is the thread--first post. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/23896-overteaching-spelling-method/ I don't know if it's going to work long term, but I'm hopeful.

Edited by sbgrace
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Honestly, she's still very young at 3rd grade, and doesn't have a lot of reading experience yet because of her age, plus dyslexic students need tons and tons of review. I would use one of the programs that you have and adjust your expectations to know that she's going to need to go over some things a whole bunch of times. Incorporate lots of review in your approach--and I know you have been, but I mean even more. I found with one of my kids that I not only had to do daily review, but I had to add extra--with AAS, I didn't move any cards to "mastered" until it was easily remembered after a weekend. If there was any guessing or self-correcting, it stayed in daily review another week. And after it went to mastered, I reviewed the words and concepts weekly for at least 3 weeks. And if it stayed mastered after that, I put it in a monthly review. If it was still mastered in another month, THEN it went to "mastered." And there occasionally was still something that was troublesome in a mastered review later on, and it went back through the whole process again.

 

That might sound like a lot of review, but it was all part of our daily review time and didn't add any overall time to the lessons--but that's what I mean by "a lot" of review.

 

Close down the funnel of how quickly she's getting to new material, and stretch lessons over more days. Have her teach concepts back to you--if you go with AAS, let her teach them back with the letter tiles until it's easy. We used to review the new concept every day--"this week we're learning how to spell the sound of /j/ at the end of a word. Do you remember what our choices are?" and so on--walk through questions so that she's processing it all and explaining it all back and showing with the tiles. Do that until she doesn't need any prompting to teach the whole concept. Marie's report on memory really helped me adapt how I did things to meet my kids' needs. 

 

I didn't even START AAS until my oldest was in 5th grade (I hadn't found it yet then), so don't despair over how far she hasn't progressed yet. You still have a lot of time to teach spelling. Slow everything way down in whatever program you do, and make the review meet her needs.

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We will almost definitely be repeating Apples and Pears A with my very weak spelling 3rd grader (whose issues match your daughters nicely...that ability to hear sounds would help so much!).

A and P has worked for him when nothing else has, but I'm looking at B and know he won't be ready. I've decided to repeat A in the hopes that he'll develop more speed/memorize more with the repetition.

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My daughter is dyslexic. Your daughter's troubles sound like they could be dyslexia. Yes, it could be dyslexia even if she is reading on grade level. DD has excellent comprehension, so she can read a text and know what is says, even though she cannot properly decode all of the words. The fact that your daughter tires from reading suggests that it is hard work for her.

 

You might want to google "stealth dyslexia" to see if it sounds similar to your daughter.

 

People who are dyslexic benefit from multisensory lessons. I don't know how multisensory the programs you use are. You can either add in multisensory elements or switch to a multisensory program. You can also keep plugging away at the things you do already, but it is likely to be both frustrating and unproductive. Dyslexics need a specific kind of remediation, because their brains actually store and retrieve information differently than the typical brain.

 

My biggest suggestion would be to have her evaluated for dyslexia. Knowing her diagnosis has been empowering for DD. Once you know the root of her issues, you can better figure out how to address them.

Not to derail your thread op, but this sounds so much like my daughter. Her comprehension is great, but u know she figures stuff out from the context, she has a horrible time sounding out new words. I use AAR with her and it does seem to help. Tho we have to take breaks from it and let her reading stamina build up so it's not so overwhelming for her. Though if she does have stealth dyslexia, maybe those breaks are just letting her build up her compensating strategies so that AAR isn't actually teaching her phonics? Idk.

 

How do you go about getting testing? We are with a charter school, if I just ask for testing will they do it? Do you have to existing why you think they need testing? Idk what to say, she reads at grade level with great comprehension. But all along I've felt there's something different about her reading. And she requires lots and lots of repetition. She definitely struggles with phonics.

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vaquitita, DD was homeschooled until fourth grade. I always suspected dyslexia (always, from the time she was a preschooler), but didn't know how to get her tested. I knew I could ask the schools to evaluate her, but I also knew the schools would not diagnose dyslexia. We finally took her to have evaluations by a neuropsychologist recommended to me by a friend. She was found to have excellent comprehension skills -- in the 99th percentile -- but very poor phonemic skills. The NP said that although her reading skills would seem like moderate dyslexia, her phonemic disability was severe.

 

She could read a passage on grade level by that time, after great difficulty learning to read, but had trouble sounding out individual words. The NP referred to this as a "word-level reading disability" or a phonological disability. Because of her superb comprehension ability, she was able to guess at many words that she could not actually read, because she knew what word should be coming next in the text.

 

Although she could read on grade level, her tutoring -- and the remediation she gets now at school -- works on the phonemic skills she has trouble with. So she can read a fifth grade chapter book, but she is still working on building accuracy with reading and spelling vowel teams, distinguishing between "I" and "e" and so on. Her spelling is still horrid. I'm not expecting her to ever be a good speller, but we are hoping that she will improve enough that she can type accurately with spellcheck and write something by hand that is legible. I didn't feel that I could help her enough (I have other kids with different LDs and I came to feel needed others to help me teach them), so we enrolled her in a special school.

 

To get testing... Is your charter school a public school? Then request that they evaluate her. If it is a private school, the evaluation process will be done by the local public school, and you will need to submit your request to the public school (also give a copy to the charter school). By federal law, public schools MUST evaluate all students with suspected learning disabilities who live in their service area, even if they are homeschooled or attend a private school. There are federal guidelines that schools must follow, and you can look them up online. Also, ask any questions you may have over on the Learning Challenges board, because there are people who post there who are generous about sharing tips and experiences.

 

The school testing is needed in order to get her intervention help at school. You will want to find out (if you don't already know) what kind of intervention help your school offers. For dyslexia, you want tutoring from someone who is trained in Orton Gillingham methods (or some people use the Wilson method). The school testing will NOT tell you whether she has dyslexia; the school would call it Specific Disability in Reading. If you do school testing only, you would want to be sure that they run the CTOPP, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. This is the test that actually shows whether there is a phonological disability. You may be able to find a speech pathologist or educational psychologist who can run this test for you privately if the school won't run it (the school SHOULD, but some schools do a shoddy job)  which would be less expensive than getting full evaluations from a NP.  

 

We have had our children tested by both the school and NP, and see value in both processes. The benefit of the school testing is that it is FREE and can help your child get intervention in school. But the testing will not be as thorough as what you would get privately.

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Thank you for the info story girl. We are with a public charter, so maybe I'll start there. Tho now that I think of it, when she does the yearly school testing, it breaks down the various LA categories and one is phonemic awareness and she scores well in that. I'm sure that's not nearly as comprehensive tho. And maybe she's scored ok because I've used AAR with her? That's an O-G program. Lately I've been letting her read the AAR stories, but skip the fluency sheets. Those fluency sheets were always tough for her, probably because there's no context clues. She just finished level three and will begin level four soon. I think I'll slow down and do the fluency pages with her.

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vaquitita, DD was homeschooled until fourth grade. I always suspected dyslexia (always, from the time she was a preschooler), but didn't know how to get her tested. I knew I could ask the schools to evaluate her, but I also knew the schools would not diagnose dyslexia. We finally took her to have evaluations by a neuropsychologist recommended to me by a friend. She was found to have excellent comprehension skills -- in the 99th percentile -- but very poor phonemic skills. The NP said that although her reading skills would seem like moderate dyslexia, her phonemic disability was severe.

 

She could read a passage on grade level by that time, after great difficulty learning to read, but had trouble sounding out individual words. The NP referred to this as a "word-level reading disability" or a phonological disability. Because of her superb comprehension ability, she was able to guess at many words that she could not actually read, because she knew what word should be coming next in the text.

 

Although she could read on grade level, her tutoring -- and the remediation she gets now at school -- works on the phonemic skills she has trouble with. So she can read a fifth grade chapter book, but she is still working on building accuracy with reading and spelling vowel teams, distinguishing between "I" and "e" and so on. Her spelling is still horrid. I'm not expecting her to ever be a good speller, but we are hoping that she will improve enough that she can type accurately with spellcheck and write something by hand that is legible. I didn't feel that I could help her enough (I have other kids with different LDs and I came to feel needed others to help me teach them), so we enrolled her in a special school.

 

To get testing... Is your charter school a public school? Then request that they evaluate her. If it is a private school, the evaluation process will be done by the local public school, and you will need to submit your request to the public school (also give a copy to the charter school). By federal law, public schools MUST evaluate all students with suspected learning disabilities who live in their service area, even if they are homeschooled or attend a private school. There are federal guidelines that schools must follow, and you can look them up online. Also, ask any questions you may have over on the Learning Challenges board, because there are people who post there who are generous about sharing tips and experiences.

 

The school testing is needed in order to get her intervention help at school. You will want to find out (if you don't already know) what kind of intervention help your school offers. For dyslexia, you want tutoring from someone who is trained in Orton Gillingham methods (or some people use the Wilson method). The school testing will NOT tell you whether she has dyslexia; the school would call it Specific Disability in Reading. If you do school testing only, you would want to be sure that they run the CTOPP, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. This is the test that actually shows whether there is a phonological disability. You may be able to find a speech pathologist or educational psychologist who can run this test for you privately if the school won't run it (the school SHOULD, but some schools do a shoddy job)  which would be less expensive than getting full evaluations from a NP.  

 

We have had our children tested by both the school and NP, and see value in both processes. The benefit of the school testing is that it is FREE and can help your child get intervention in school. But the testing will not be as thorough as what you would get privately.

 

We just completed a battery of tests for my son--suspected dyslexia.  They came back with exactly as you say a specific learning disability in basic reading skills.  I am not sure if they gave him the CTOPP, but now I am very curious.  Thank you!

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You might look at Spelling You See. My DD is dyslexic, and had the same problems with AAS and Apples & Pears. We also tried Phonetic Zoo and it didn't work, either. SYS seems to be making a difference in spelling. She also started playing Epistory to learn typing, and it requires words to be spelled correctly, so I think that's helping a little, too, but she only just started Epistory a couple of weeks ago.

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My severely dyslexic sons could do things like spell with "whith, whyth, withe" all on the same page of an essay in high school.

!)

I was thinking about this, my daughters misspellings are pretty consistent. What she struggles with are silent e's and vowel teams. She's been using spelling you see for just a month, and I've been surprised by how well she's doing. She wants to spell all /er/ sounds as re, but after prompting to try different things till the word looked right to her, she has been getting most of the dictation right (this is after copying the same passage 3 times).

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Well, you can have this for the cost of printing, so it might be something to try.  Webster's Syllabary, available as a free newly-typed pdf from donpotter.net.

 

 http://www.donpotter.net/education_pages/spelling_books.html

 

 Oral spelling doesn't wear a person out the way writing does, and I think there is a place for each type in helping our struggling spellers.  Directions are not given for how to really use this, because it is so old, but there is a great example of this in one of the Little House books,[ is it Little Town on the Prairie or The Long Cold Winter?] where the town has a spelling bee.  Wilder talks the reader through the exact way they spelled by syllable, and we have begun incorporating that into oral spelling around here.  

 

I no longer have my third-grade struggling speller try to write new spelling words until she has followed this procedure: say, spell, say, cover and spell [check oneself].  When that is successful, she covers and writes it, then checks herself.  We are only three weeks into it, but she is starting to ask, "Mom, is this how I spell _____?" which is great, because she is starting to feel some control, I think.  It is working for her.  Time will tell whether it actually bears long-lasting fruit.

 

I have seen many, many people say that somewhere around eleven years old, all the spelling work finally paid off, that it finally kicked into gear in the child.  So, there is hope! lol

 

 

 

 

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OP, add me to the list of parents with similar-sounding children. Faith struggles constantly with spelling, yet she reads above grade level and has wonderful comprehension. She can narrate very well and is an all-around great student except when spelling is on the table. "With" can become whiht, whiht, whith, wihth, and some other combinations. We went through level 1 of AAS twice in two different years, but Level 2 was dismal after the first couple lessons. We tried A&P, but she did not care for that one at all. We did some dictation programs, but once we got beyond the CVC level words, she couldn't see or hear the different letters making their individual sounds. If I ask her to spell "dress" she can't figure out how to combine the letters to make the d and r sounds together. I can see her searching her mind frantically for the one letter that says "dr" by itself. When I gently remind her that she needs to use two letters to make that sound and draw out the "dr" so she should be able to hear both of the sounds in the correct order, she shuts down.

 

No matter the script or program, she is not currently able to get past that block and I don't know what to do. She doesn't like to write stories or to participate in any programs (like Sunday school) that might involve writing activities because she is so self-conscious of her spelling. She will be 9.5 next month and I don't know how to help her.

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If I ask her to spell "dress" she can't figure out how to combine the letters to make the d and r sounds together. I can see her searching her mind frantically for the one letter that says "dr" by itself. When I gently remind her that she needs to use two letters to make that sound and draw out the "dr" so she should be able to hear both of the sounds in the correct order, she shuts down.

 

No matter the script or program, she is not currently able to get past that block and I don't know what to do. She doesn't like to write stories or to participate in any programs (like Sunday school) that might involve writing activities because she is so self-conscious of her spelling. She will be 9.5 next month and I don't know how to help her.

 

It sounds like she might have some auditory processing issues--have you considered having her tested? You may want to ask about that on the special needs board.

 

One of mine really struggled with this, and we did lots of tile work. I would do things like this:

 

Make the word rip

 

Great! How many sounds does rip have? Let's count them: /r/ /i/ /p/. 3 sounds. (you can use tokens or counters for this, or count the letter tiles). 

 

I want to change this word to drip

 

[speak slowly and carefully (make sure the "dr" doesn't sound like a /j/ sound when you say it). Have her turn towards you and watch your mouth as you say the sounds.] 

 

I can make this word into drip by adding one letter. Do you know what letter I should add?

 

Sound it out together if you need to. /d/ /r/ /i/ /p/. 

 

I need the /d/ sound. What letter makes that sound? (the d).

 

Right! Let's add it on and read this word: drip

 

How many sounds does drip have? /d/ /r/ /i/ /p/. Four sounds. Right!

 

Beginning blends tend to be harder for kids than ending blends. How does she do with ending blends? You might work on those first. 

 

Also, some beginning blends are more difficult than others. Blends like the st in stop tend to be easier. You might try some easier ones first, and play "change the letter" with the tiles:

 

top-stop-sop-sip-slip

 

and so on. Work on this with letter tiles daily until it becomes easier for her. 

 

You might find some of the tips in this article on auditory processing helpful. 

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Hi Everyone,  just wanted to thank you again for all of the help and update this thread....

 

We decided to go back and redo All About Spelling level 2.   This is our THIRD time going through this book together in its entirety.   However, I realized that she is still having problems with some of the things taught in this level, so we are going to repeat it again.    

 

I'm trying to make the lessons as multi-sensory as possible.    

 

I ALSO decided to use ANKI to review her spelling words at the start of each lesson.   (Thanks to the person who suggested that.)   We use ANKI for so many subjects....so making a deck for spelling was very easy.   I think Merry was right that she needs even MORE review than going through flashcards and then reviewing them every lesson.    She really needs the repeated recall and review that she gets with ANKI....and with multiple children using AAS, I am happy to have a computer keep track of which words are the most difficult and how often I need to review words, etc.      

 

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When DS was younger, he closed his eyes and air wrote his spelling words in big letters. He also closed his eyes and finger spelled a word up to five times while saying each letter out loud and touching the table or sandpaper. He also clapped out words and chunked the syllables.

 

With DS, we use the say to spell technique, and then she marks the words that she struggles with. If the problems persists, we resort to all the things mentioned above. She prefers to use a portable Franklin speller when she writes.

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