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What's wrong with CLE Spelling?


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Hi.  I'm doing some research for next school year.  My DD6 will be in second grade next year.  For first grade language arts we used FLL1, WWE1, Zaner-Bloser Handwriting 1 & then had a really hard time with spelling.  A Reason for Spelling was too easy and had too much busywork.  We tried K-12 reader and the words were the right level but it had no guidance.  I am a natural speller and don't really know any spelling rules, but I would like her to know them.  I need hand holding in this regard.  We're trying out AAS, which I know will be too easy but may be what I'm looking for as far as spelling.


Anyway, I'm finding that having all these pieces for Language Arts, just isn't working for us.  We manage to do FLL but are way behind in WWE because we just don't get to it each day.  We're doing ok with handwriting.  It all feels disjointed.  I don't think it's the curriculum... it's definitely us (or maybe, just me).


What I'm thinking of doing is CLE LA 2 next year which would cover just about everything.  I feel like writing could be covered through the content areas fairly well.  I've noticed, however, that many people skip the spelling but I am not finding any clear reason as to why.  I've looked over the samples and the words look appropriate for grade level and I see that they include spelling rules.  Am I missing some glaring issue?   I'm not opposed to doing a different spelling program, but I want to understand why I would need to first.  Anyone with experience want to explain? 



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The only reason we skip the spelling is that we have been doing Spelling Workout for years. My older kids do it, and I only started CLE with my middle daughter (child number 4). So, just for the sake of continuity I started her on Spelling Workout. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with CLE spelling.

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I never used the second grade level. We did use the first grade level, but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember details about the spelling. It does spend a lot of time on having students mark long and short vowels. Too much time on that, in my opinion. I remember a lot of time being spent on whether to add -s or -es to make a plural.


For grades five and up, the spelling is just a list of words with a loose connection, such as words about bread and baking, or words about farming, etc.

Spelling by theme was not a good way for my kids to learn. They needed to see patterns and learn spelling rules. At least at the higher levels, no spelling rules were taught.

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What everyone else said. My oldest needed a spelling program that was heavy on rules. We used All About Spelling. Teaching him spelling was painful.


My youngest spells naturally. It's easy for him. He did AAS with the oldest when the oldest went through it, but now that the oldest is done, I let my youngest stop explicit spelling lessons and have him do the CLE spelling. I'm not even sure he needs to do the spelling part of CLE, honestly, because he just seems to get how to spell naturally. (What a relief!).


I hope never to have to teach another person how to read or spell ever again in my life. Though I have a really cool white streak of hair in the middle of my forehead for my efforts. I look like Rouge from Xmen. :)


If you kids aren't natural spellers, then don't use CLE for spelling. I never knew that there were all sorts of spelling rules out there, because I'm a natural speller. It was eye-opening to find out some of the methods behind the madness that is spelling in English. If your kids aren't natural spellers, quickly find a program for them. I waited a long time for my oldest and it led to years of struggle and tears and bad feelings about spelling/writing.

Edited by Garga
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