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Paradox5

My Kids Can't Spell

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Dh is concerned and wants me to do something about it. It isn't like I don't try to teach them to spell. None have any LDs. All taught themselves to read.

 

First, I'm not a Spalding gal. SWR or the like will not be done here. I'm sorry, Ellie. It just doesn't make sense to me. I need way more hand holding than a manual and a notebook. Also, a vintage book will not be used here. I know me. I know my kids.

Below is what we have done. This is just the younger crew. I keep a 'Tried and Died' list. :)

 

R&S 2 and 3- too religious though the focus on actual phonics and no fluff was great

SWO A-C (both the newer and older versions)- fun puzzles, zero retention, fluffy

Spelling Power- a list of words doesn't cut it here.

AAS- I have bought and sold this so many times. They do not enjoy the tiles or activities.

Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary

CLE Spelling LA 100-300

MegaWords 1- the boys liked this. They need help with the more common words. They do not need reading help.

K12 Spelling 2-3- nice handbook and they love the little online game. No instruction and the activites are general like draw a picture maze with the words.

Apples and Pears- left us all scratching our heads.

 

I have considered BJU Spelling but it is $$$. Is it worth the cost? It seems a lot like a cross between R&S and CLE.

 

How far back should I start Monkey and Caboose? If you have used the new 2nd edition, would you share your thoughts?

 

Any other ideas or thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Paradox5
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Not sure how old your children are but we tried many,many things for spelling that did not work also! We now use Sequential Spelling. It has worked wonderfully and takes me five minutes a day per child (10 minutes per child if you double up the lessons for remediation/speed). I wouldn't recommend it for under third grade though- we started it in 4th. I also found studied dictation worked really well, especially for the common words that come up over and over. We used Spelling Wisdom for that before using Sequential Spelling. Both approaches had good results.

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What about Spelling You See?  Easy, gets the job done.

 

We've gone back and forth looking at Spell By Color.  I've downloaded the free first year but never got up the gumption to use it.  It has the child mark the different patterns in different colors, which I'm torn between thinking it's great or that it will confuse the child as they get farther in.  But it's free, so might be worth a shot if you're on the fence about something. http://jettedgames.com/spelling.htm

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Another Sequential Spelling user here; it worked really well. Quite a few different levels to choose from. I ordered it from RRC.

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BJU spelling is awful (and I'm a huge fan of some of their courses). The sequence is random, the explainations are bizarre, and the work is repetitive. Don't waste your money.

I know you say that your kids aren't disabled in any way, but it might be worth investing in a program like Barton that is designed for dyslexic students since they have so much trouble learning spelling.

 

 

 

 

Edited for spelling LOL

Edited by Plink

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Apples and Pears also leaves me scratching my head... but for some reason it does seem to be helping my kids' spelling.  Does any of it make sense?  No.  But at least I do see *some* forward progress.  

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I think, given their ages, I'd maybe skip a curriculum altogether and standalone word lists. Your kids are old enough that context (hey, these are the words I myself use) might help with retention. I'd probably have them maintain a spelling notebook where they would write down the words they have misspelled in their writing. Then I'd help them chunk by syllables and apply appropriate phonetic/spelling rules. I'd also consider studied dictation and word roots.

 

It's not a curriculum, though, and there is no manual that's going to tell you what to do along the way. It would make a nice personal reference when it comes time to write agaim as each kid can reference their spelling notebook for the words they are most likely to misspell which would help reinforce the correct spelling.

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I would do AAS and tell them to suck it up. The tiles and activities are there for a reason, and it isn't just to make it fun. The multi-sensory instruction helps with learning and retention. You've tried a lot of things. Clearly you've made an effort to find something they like. Maybe it just isn't going to happen. They still need to learn to spell.

 

Regarding the mention by pp of the color: I have my dd write her words with colored pencils that match the aas tiles. It slows her down and forces her to think about what she is doing instead of just rushing through. It has made a world of difference for us. She also uses the tiles before doing it on paper. She would prefer to rush through it without tiles or colored pencils, but that was getting us nowhere. I know the color is used a little differently in spell by color, but I think in general, something that requires the child to slow down and really think about the word will probably be beneficial.

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What kinds of problems are they having?  Do they have problems spelling phonetically?  AKA, can they spell by sound: hear a word, accurately break it into its sounds, and spell those sounds with a legit phonogram that *can* spell that sound (even if they chose the wrong phonogram, like 'jim' for 'gym' and 'won' for 'one' and that sort of thing)? 

Do they have problems spelling visually?  AKA, how's their visual memory for words: can they tell when a word "looks wrong"?; can they correct it to look right?; once taught, can they usually remember *which* phonogram to use in a given word? 

Different programs work on different skills, and some break skills down into smaller pieces than others - you want to match the program to your kids' strengths and weaknesses. 

 

My oldest had really wretched spelling (and she has some LDs).  She was entirely unable to spell phonetically, and despite having an excellent visual memory, she didn't visually break words into individual phonograms - saw them as whole shapes - which made her visual memory of the word really blurry.  And her spelling showed it: she'd know most of the letters and the overall shape, but she got the order wrong more often than not, since she couldn't distinguish the order of the sounds to help.  And on longer words, she had no idea of either the letters or the sounds of the middle, and so she filled in the middle with whatever letters made for a similar-looking outline, but the spelling had no phonetic relationship to the sound of the word.

 

To help with her phonetic spelling, we did work through a word list (the first 1,800 words from her phonics book), in a way that targeted her LDs.  She couldn't spell phonetically because she couldn't break words into sounds/syllables or blend sounds/syllables together into words.  So I wrote out all the words in Dekodiphukan (Decode-if-you-can) sound pictures, coded them similarly to WRTR/SWR and made a corresponding master sound-to-spelling chart, and then she sounded out the word from the sound pictures and spelled it using the chart.  She finally learned how to blend sounds and use the sound of the word to aid her in spelling.  We also did Rewards reading, which worked on breaking long words into syllables and blending syllables together into words, and that helped a lot.  (Her reading was excellent despite all this, actually - she could read any word in her spoken vocabulary.  But before we worked on building up her phonetic skills, she couldn't sound out an unfamiliar long word to save her life - guaranteed to be wrong.  But since her spoken vocabulary was so large, she only had occasional troubles that seemed like blips in what was otherwise strong reading skills.  But really, she lacked the phonemic awareness skills to read phonetically - she flunked the Barton pre-screening as a fluent reader (and that was *with* me teaching her to read with strict phonics only :svengo:).)

 

WRT her visual spelling, Spelling You See was a huge help - particularly learning SYS's color marking system (which I integrated into my sound-to-spelling chart).  It forced her to start *seeing* the individual letters of a word, in a way that was related to their sounds.  She was an excellent reader, with an excellent visual memory - once she actually paid attention to the details of a word she memorized it easily - and SYS did the trick wrt teaching her how to pay attention to the nitty-gritty details of words.  And SYS is very open-and-go :thumbup:.  We actually only did seven weeks of Level C, but it was worth it just to learn the markings (and I added in blends, as she had a hard time hearing blends).  I applied SYS markings to all her copywork and dictation for over a year - we did studied dictation for WWE, thoroughly marking it up before I had her write it from dictation.  (Placing her was hard, as SYS's placement is a combo of reading level and spelling level.  Well, her reading level was past their highest level, but her spelling level was around Level B.  I went with Level C, which worked out alright, but only because we were working on phonetic spelling elsewhere.  By Level C, SYS assumes you've mastered phonetic spelling and doesn't explicitly work on it anymore. SYS's spelling philosophy: https://spellingyousee.com/philosophy/ .)

 

Those together, over about a year and a half, got her up to garden-variety bad spelling :lol:.  This year I started Spelling Through Morphographs with her, which I love a lot.  It's mostly visual spelling (but I've added a phonetic component, having her spell new base words with sound pictures), is completely scripted, very open-and-go, and is for remedial spellers.  It makes a lot of sense to me, and it's painlessly teaching me how to teach spelling :thumbup:.  The placement test for StM tests whether you can spell phonetically (covering the same ground as the phonetic spelling parts of SYS) - it might be helpful even if you don't want to go with StM.  As a potential caution, you mentioned wrt Megawords that they needed help with the more common words.  If you're talking irregular sight word stuff, StM may or may not help there.  It teaches 512 base words - most of which count as common words - and then teaches how to add morphographs to build and spell longer words.  There are few rules, and the ones there are have to do with combining morphographs, not which phonogram to use in spelling the base words.  DD's spelling has improved so much, though.  It's pricey new, but I bought an older edition on Amazon for under $100 (for the two teacher presentation books and a student book).

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Also, you said your kids taught themselves how to read - meaning they probably weren't explicitly taught all the advanced phonograms from reading instruction.  And from your list of programs it looks like you've done mid-elementary-level spelling in a half-dozen programs - meaning they probably weren't explicitly taught all the advanced phonograms in their spelling, either.  If you look at what they've explicitly covered wrt spelling, do they spell what they've been taught well enough?  Or even after half-a-dozen attempts at 3rd grade-level spelling, they *still* can't spell at a 3rd grade level? 

 

If they can spell what they've been taught but not spell what they haven't been taught, then that sounds normal enough; you just need to settle on a program and go all the way through with it.  (My dd's spelling *was* really bad and she *did* have LDs, but honestly, I overlooked that I hadn't *explicitly* ever taught her a *lot* of phonics patterns, because she took off with reading before we got to them :doh.  So, really, some of her problems were that she couldn't spell what she hadn't been taught - which is true of most kids, kwim?  And IME it's so easy to overlook, too.)

 

But if after a half-dozen tries, they *still* can't spell what they've been explicitly taught, then that does suggest there may be more going on - that there's a *reason* they have trouble learning to spell.

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Mine does not retain word pictures. Her issues sound similar to above. We saw a special ed teacher this year for several weeks that taught us word loading techniques. We now do that with word lists and with words I have seen her miss. She also does the Thinking Tree Spelling books. There are several. We have chosen two that she works through. They are designed for right brain thinkers. She does the word pages, and I do word loading with her on the ones she has trouble getting. She did full on phonics through R&S grade 5 and it just didn't work for her. If I walk her through every word, what is the phonics rule for that? She could answer my questions and spell the word, but she didn't retain that spelling the next time on her own. With the word loading, she maintains that word picture, and her spelling is better than it's ever been. 

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What kinds of problems are they having?  Do they have problems spelling phonetically?  AKA, can they spell by sound: hear a word, accurately break it into its sounds, and spell those sounds with a legit phonogram that *can* spell that sound (even if they chose the wrong phonogram, like 'jim' for 'gym' and 'won' for 'one' and that sort of thing)? 

Do they have problems spelling visually?  AKA, how's their visual memory for words: can they tell when a word "looks wrong"?; can they correct it to look right?; once taught, can they usually remember *which* phonogram to use in a given word? 

Different programs work on different skills, and some break skills down into smaller pieces than others - you want to match the program to your kids' strengths and weaknesses. 

 

Those together, over about a year and a half, got her up to garden-variety bad spelling :lol:.  This year I started Spelling Through Morphographs with her, which I love a lot.  It's mostly visual spelling (but I've added a phonetic component, having her spell new base words with sound pictures), is completely scripted, very open-and-go, and is for remedial spellers.  It makes a lot of sense to me, and it's painlessly teaching me how to teach spelling :thumbup:.  The placement test for StM tests whether you can spell phonetically (covering the same ground as the phonetic spelling parts of SYS) - it might be helpful even if you don't want to go with StM.  As a potential caution, you mentioned wrt Megawords that they needed help with the more common words.  If you're talking irregular sight word stuff, StM may or may not help there.  It teaches 512 base words - most of which count as common words - and then teaches how to add morphographs to build and spell longer words.  There are few rules, and the ones there are have to do with combining morphographs, not which phonogram to use in spelling the base words.  DD's spelling has improved so much, though.  It's pricey new, but I bought an older edition on Amazon for under $100 (for the two teacher presentation books and a student book).

 

Not to sidetrack the thread but

 

OK, I have a bad speller. 80% of the time, her spelling is phonetic, but she will guess every wrong possible phonogram that makes the sound before she hits the right one. She misspells even very common words, and will only recognize a misspelled word about half the time (or less.) She also has a very hard time distinguishing between similar sounds. We've been working in Evan Moor Daily Spelling, but there's no real retention after the dictation at the end is done. We did ETC all the way through book 8 and she had no problems at the time. She is a very fluent reader and can sound out new words fairly well. Very visual, not at all auditory. 

 

Which would you recommend? She'll be in third grade next year. 

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My daughter needed once a month spelling. I did 2x a week spelling with my son for a few years and he was consistently one grade below with spelling. A bit over a year ago I went to daily spelling for 10 minutes a day with Spelling Plus. He did not need the dictation book, he just needed more time spent on spelling. His last DORA test a month or so ago he tested about .5 grade levels above grade level. I like the format and price and ease of use. It is by Susan C. Anthony, you can see samples and lists at her website. The words supposedly go up to a 6th grade oevel, but he was 9/10 done with the book and scored slightly above 7th grade level.

 

Some kids need the companion dictation book. The main book has rules and is arranged by rule and pattern, amd based in the 1,000 most common words.

 

She is a Christian but the book is secular.

 

http://www.susancanthony.com/bk/sp.html

 

I would also quickly work them through my multi-syllable phonics program, focusing on rules and spelling patterns, spell and read a few words of each type while going over the spelling and syllable division rules.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

If they are really good at math, they may find my phonogram percentage chart helpful.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/Phonics%20Lsns/Resources/sound%20letter%20spell1.pdf

Edited by ElizabethB
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My oldest daughter (now a senior) struggled, struggled, struggled with spelling.  DD is super smart.  She had a high reading comp and mathematical abilities from a young age.  I never figured out where the disconnect with spelling came from.  We plugged along with BJU spelling through 6th grade and then dropped spelling.  DD is a strong english kid, has won writing awards on regional and national levels, and would stay up late at night and read blogs written by writers.  Spellcheck became her BFF.  She utilized it a lot.  I haven't seen evidence of her struggling with spelling the last 2-3 years but that might just be because of spellcheck and the ability to jump over to a dictionary on her laptop?

 

Just keep plugging along and know that, in the long run, they should be ok  :grouphug:

Edited by Attolia
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First, I'm not a Spalding gal. SWR or the like will not be done here. 

Spelling Power- a list of words doesn't cut it here. 

AAS- I have bought and sold this so many times. They do not enjoy the tiles or activities.

Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary

MegaWords 

Apples and Pears- left us all scratching our heads.

:iagree:  with all of that.  They didn't work for us either.  

In addition to those programs, we also tried The Logic of English (it's actually illogical to me...too complicated).  We've tried, more than once, How to Teach Spelling with the How to Spell workbooks (I feel they need another book called How to Understand How to Teach Spelling), Sequential Spelling (worked ok for awhile...but just didn't carry over), as well as the Sequential Spelling for Adults (for an older teen a the time), If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me (yeah, right. I guess it wasn't meant to be....or it wasn't up to me, or both).  We've also unsuccessfully tried A Reason For Spelling, Spell Well, Phonetic Zoo....I'm sure there are more.  For a workbook-type spelling I'd say that SpellWell is my favorite (not to be confused with Spell Well).  I also like Delightful Dictation with Spelling.  Right now my youngest is having the most success with Spelling You See.  She was a classic case of someone who spelled phonetically....how it sounded to her.  She's progressed leaps and bounds with Spelling You See.  I have no idea why.  

Edited by BatmansWife
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BJU spelling is awful (and I'm a huge fan of some of their courses). The sequence is random, the explainations are bizarre, and the work is repetitive. Don't waste your money.

 

I know you say that your kids aren't disabled in any way, but it might be worth investing in a program like Barton that is designed for dyslexic students since they have so much trouble learning spelling.

 

 

 

 

Edited for spelling LOL

Would you mind expanding on this thought? Are you referring to the new editions? I agree the old ones were awful.

 

edited because I can't seem to remember a question ends with a question mark. :P

Edited by Paradox5

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I think, given their ages, I'd maybe skip a curriculum altogether and standalone word lists. Your kids are old enough that context (hey, these are the words I myself use) might help with retention. I'd probably have them maintain a spelling notebook where they would write down the words they have misspelled in their writing. Then I'd help them chunk by syllables and apply appropriate phonetic/spelling rules. I'd also consider studied dictation and word roots.

 

It's not a curriculum, though, and there is no manual that's going to tell you what to do along the way. It would make a nice personal reference when it comes time to write agaim as each kid can reference their spelling notebook for the words they are most likely to misspell which would help reinforce the correct spelling.

I did this with my older sons. I was so exasperated that we just kept lists. Didn't help one bit, unfortunately.

 

Warrior says the only thing he felt helped him was working through R&S Spelling 2-6 and copying out all the rules boxes when he was 17. He said it was the first time spelling actually made sense.

 

 

I'm thinking, like GUM, maybe we do need to suck it up and do a Mom directed program.

 

Is there an AAS app or program for an electronic version of the tiles? Kids can still "pull them down" and such? Would writing the tiles on a whiteboard insted work just as well?

Edited by Paradox5

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I did this with my older sons. I was so exasperated that we just kept lists. Didn't help one bit, unfortunately.

Well just keeping lists wouldn't help without also working on the rules behind why the word is spelled the way it is which is why I suggested something other than just keeping a list of the words they misspell. Otherwise, it's just another stand alone list the kid has to memorize. You're going to have to have something else to go along with it.

 

Largely, I'm with forty-two.

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I did this with my older sons. I was so exasperated that we just kept lists. Didn't help one bit, unfortunately.

 

Warrior says the only thing he felt helped him was working through R&S Spelling 2-6 and copying out all the rules boxes when he was 17. He said it was the first time spelling actually made sense.

 

 

I'm thinking, like GUM, maybe we do need to suck it up and do a Mom directed program.

 

Is there an AAS app or program for an electronic version of the tiles? Kids can still "pull them down" and such? Would writing the tiles on a whiteboard insted work just as well?

I have seen lots of posts by people who use AAS without the tiles s successfully.

 

My kids need the tiles. I made a folder office with magnetic sheets so it will follow up and gets put away with the books.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Is there an AAS app or program for an electronic version of the tiles? Kids can still "pull them down" and such? Would writing the tiles on a whiteboard insted work just as well?

Barton put out a beautiful letter tile app. The kids only have access to the tiles that they have been trained to use, and the words are pre-programmed, sp you don't need to waste your time with set-up. We use Wilson for tutoring now, but still use this app.

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Would you mind expanding on this thought? Are you referring to the new editions? I agree the old ones were awful.

 

edited because I can't seem to remember a question ends with a question mark. :P

New editions are just as bad. (We bought the full package last year, so I took another peek at it) My main issue with their program is that it isn't sequential, and the phonics rules are not taught well. They are mentioned, but not prioritized, if that makes any sense.

 

Please read this in the tone of a caring friend, not a nagging stranger on the internet: Your kids have been given multiple approaches to reading. None have worked. There are two possible causes. 1. Their instruction has been inconsistent and infrequent. 2. There are some learning disabilities involved. Just judging by how much you were willing to spend on new programs, I have a good idea of your dedication to your kids. They have not been neglected. That leaves #2.

 

Dyslexia is genetic. It is absolutely possible to have more than one child with this condition.

 

Personally, my biggest regret is not having my child evaluated for learning disabilities earlier. It would have saved us much heart-ache.

 

I encourage you to investigate whether they need a diagnosis. Your pediatrician can recommend a good testing site. We went through a neuro-psychologist, but there are other options.

 

Regardless of whether they have a diagnosed disability, your kids have proven that the pace of traditional spelling programs does not work for them. That is why I recommended Barton. It is an at-home program designed specifically for dyslexia following the results learned from the Orton-Gillingham study. Rules are presented slowly, sequentially, and explicitly, and you never add a new concept until the previous ones are mastered. The best part of any OG program (IMHO) is that students are intentionally given time to work with nonsense words to separate decoding/encoding from word-guessing.

 

ETA: it is possible to teach yourself to read and still have dyslexia - it is sometimes referred to as "stealth dyslexia"

Edited by Plink
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You need to be using Barton to use the app. Are you concerned about cleanup time or about the baby with tiny magnets? If the former, you might put the tiles in alphabetical order and charge the children with putting them away. If the latter, I had success using cookie sheets horizontally when I had a baby and toddler. You could skip the magnets and just keep the tiles on a large tray. If you do that, glue some other small piece of something (maybe balsa wood) to the back to lift it up a smidge from the surface so the kids don't spend 10 seconds trying to pick each one up.

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I know this isn't usually included in spelling program talk, but we use Words Their Way. 

 

Students spend a week studying a phonics/spelling rule. They sort the words several times during the week. It has really helped my two boys and they like it. You could start with Level 1 and move up. Cost is about $50 per level (rainbowresources) for two kids (bc I buy two student books and the teacher book for the games on the CD).

 

Here is how we use it (10 min per day):

M - cut out the words will we discuss the rule/words for the week. They sort them and we discuss what the words in each column have in common.

T - Student 1 grabs a word from their word pile (the cut-out words), Student 2 has to spell the word out loud without finding it/looking at it. Student 1 corrects student 2 and places the word on the word sort chart. They go back and forth until all words have been sorted. This way both students encounter each word twice: once when they spell it and again when they call it out.

W - Same as the day before EXCEPT they don't spell the word. Today they tell which column the student should be placed in and explains why. Ex: 'Woman' goes in the 'change vowel' column because you change the vowel to make it plural. Again each student encounters each word twice.

H - They paste the words into the sort list, complete the weekly worksheet, and come up with new words to write into the sort list. They can search in books to find the new words.

F -  Some Fridays we do a quick spell check. Every Friday they play the game for that week's sort. The games really help solidify the rules.

 

In the beginning, this took 15-20 minutes per day, but now that we have been doing it for a while, we are closer to 10-15.

 

 

BTW, I am an awful speller -- always have been and always will be. I have several published technical papers and no one is the wiser bc of technology. I actually became a better speller after I had to start typing stuff; before auto-correct when you just got the red line and had to fix it yourself. I hated that red line.

 

The most important thing is that they know the phonics rules and spelling rules. 

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You need to be using Barton to use the app. Are you concerned about cleanup time or about the baby with tiny magnets? If the former, you might put the tiles in alphabetical order and charge the children with putting them away. If the latter, I had success using cookie sheets horizontally when I had a baby and toddler. You could skip the magnets and just keep the tiles on a large tray. If you do that, glue some other small piece of something (maybe balsa wood) to the back to lift it up a smidge from the surface so the kids don't spend 10 seconds trying to pick each one up.

I store my zillions of homemade spelling tiles on cookie sheets, and it works *wonderfully*.  Having the magnets on the back of the tiles helps a lot, though, because it means they stick to the sheets and don't slide around when the sheet shifts.  But it makes for easy storage, because I just stack all the sheets together and put them on a shelf (a *high* shelf when I had a toddler) - takes up little room and everything stays put.  (Except when the toddler knocks the whole stack to the floor due to insufficient precautions ;).)  I do the actual spelling lessons on either an empty cookie sheet or on a magnetic whiteboard.

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I would do Sequential Spelling every day for 5-10 minutes.  You can significantly reduce the time it takes if you tell them when they made a mistake and orally correct them (and have them correct the word or rewrite it correctly).  Have them spell out loud as they write (you will need to do the lists with each one separately).

 

I would also do AAS to work on rules.  You don't need anything other than a whiteboard and the rule cards.  I, personally, think that the whole "multisensory" thing is just a gimmick (not specific to AAS, but in the education world in general).  Again, I would work with each child separately.

 

So SS for 5-10 minutes and AAS for about 10 minutes each day for each kid separately.

 

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Dh is concerned and wants me to do something about it. It isn't like I don't try to teach them to spell. None have any LDs. All taught themselves to read.

 

First, I'm not a Spalding gal. SWR or the like will not be done here. I'm sorry, Ellie. It just doesn't make sense to me. I need way more hand holding than a manual and a notebook. Also, a vintage book will not be used here. I know me. I know my kids.

Below is what we have done. This is just the younger crew. I keep a 'Tried and Died' list. :)

 

R&S 2 and 3- too religious though the focus on actual phonics and no fluff was great

SWO A-C (both the newer and older versions)- fun puzzles, zero retention, fluffy

Spelling Power- a list of words doesn't cut it here.

AAS- I have bought and sold this so many times. They do not enjoy the tiles or activities.

Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary

CLE Spelling LA 100-300

MegaWords 1- the boys liked this. They need help with the more common words. They do not need reading help.

K12 Spelling 2-3- nice handbook and they love the little online game. No instruction and the activites are general like draw a picture maze with the words.

Apples and Pears- left us all scratching our heads.

 

I have considered BJU Spelling but it is $$$. Is it worth the cost? It seems a lot like a cross between R&S and CLE.

 

How far back should I start Monkey and Caboose? If you have used the new 2nd edition, would you share your thoughts?

 

Any other ideas or thoughts?

 

How about thinking outside the box.  Have them work on gathering a spelling list from words they come across during their other work so they can see it in context.  This will also help with vocabulary.  Have them create their OWN list of words they can't spell among the history, etc. they do the week before.  Since you have so many spelling programs, you can use them as a source for the spelling "rule" that applies.  Also, and this is key, make sure they know what they are doing wrong with the word, for example spelling it with ie when it should be ei- and then reinforce the spelling rule.  Their job will be to create the list, practice the spelling everyday in any manner that works for them, and your only job will be to make sure they created the list and then test them at the end of the week. 

 

Honestly, I think the created spelling lists out of context of everything else just doesn't stick well for some students.

 

We started doing this with my dd who could not spell her way out of a paper bag.  Once I gave the responsibility to her, her spelling took off. 

 

:)  Good luck.  Spelling has been "one of those things" with us, too.

Hot Lava Mama

 

 

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What kinds of problems are they having? Do they have problems spelling phonetically? AKA, can they spell by sound: hear a word, accurately break it into its sounds, and spell those sounds with a legit phonogram that *can* spell that sound (even if they chose the wrong phonogram, like 'jim' for 'gym' and 'won' for 'one' and that sort of thing)?

Do they have problems spelling visually? AKA, how's their visual memory for words: can they tell when a word "looks wrong"?; can they correct it to look right?; once taught, can they usually remember *which* phonogram to use in a given word?

Different programs work on different skills, and some break skills down into smaller pieces than others - you want to match the program to your kids' strengths and weaknesses.

 

My oldest had really wretched spelling (and she has some LDs). She was entirely unable to spell phonetically, and despite having an excellent visual memory, she didn't visually break words into individual phonograms - saw them as whole shapes - which made her visual memory of the word really blurry. And her spelling showed it: she'd know most of the letters and the overall shape, but she got the order wrong more often than not, since she couldn't distinguish the order of the sounds to help. And on longer words, she had no idea of either the letters or the sounds of the middle, and so she filled in the middle with whatever letters made for a similar-looking outline, but the spelling had no phonetic relationship to the sound of the word.

 

To help with her phonetic spelling, we did work through a word list (the first 1,800 words from her phonics book), in a way that targeted her LDs. She couldn't spell phonetically because she couldn't break words into sounds/syllables or blend sounds/syllables together into words. So I wrote out all the words in Dekodiphukan (Decode-if-you-can) sound pictures, coded them similarly to WRTR/SWR and made a corresponding master sound-to-spelling chart, and then she sounded out the word from the sound pictures and spelled it using the chart. She finally learned how to blend sounds and use the sound of the word to aid her in spelling. We also did Rewards reading, which worked on breaking long words into syllables and blending syllables together into words, and that helped a lot. (Her reading was excellent despite all this, actually - she could read any word in her spoken vocabulary. But before we worked on building up her phonetic skills, she couldn't sound out an unfamiliar long word to save her life - guaranteed to be wrong. But since her spoken vocabulary was so large, she only had occasional troubles that seemed like blips in what was otherwise strong reading skills. But really, she lacked the phonemic awareness skills to read phonetically - she flunked the Barton pre-screening as a fluent reader (and that was *with* me teaching her to read with strict phonics only :svengo:).)

 

WRT her visual spelling, Spelling You See was a huge help - particularly learning SYS's color marking system (which I integrated into my sound-to-spelling chart). It forced her to start *seeing* the individual letters of a word, in a way that was related to their sounds. She was an excellent reader, with an excellent visual memory - once she actually paid attention to the details of a word she memorized it easily - and SYS did the trick wrt teaching her how to pay attention to the nitty-gritty details of words. And SYS is very open-and-go :thumbup:. We actually only did seven weeks of Level C, but it was worth it just to learn the markings (and I added in blends, as she had a hard time hearing blends). I applied SYS markings to all her copywork and dictation for over a year - we did studied dictation for WWE, thoroughly marking it up before I had her write it from dictation. (Placing her was hard, as SYS's placement is a combo of reading level and spelling level. Well, her reading level was past their highest level, but her spelling level was around Level B. I went with Level C, which worked out alright, but only because we were working on phonetic spelling elsewhere. By Level C, SYS assumes you've mastered phonetic spelling and doesn't explicitly work on it anymore. SYS's spelling philosophy: https://spellingyousee.com/philosophy/ .)

 

Those together, over about a year and a half, got her up to garden-variety bad spelling :lol:. This year I started Spelling Through Morphographs with her, which I love a lot. It's mostly visual spelling (but I've added a phonetic component, having her spell new base words with sound pictures), is completely scripted, very open-and-go, and is for remedial spellers. It makes a lot of sense to me, and it's painlessly teaching me how to teach spelling :thumbup:. The placement test for StM tests whether you can spell phonetically (covering the same ground as the phonetic spelling parts of SYS) - it might be helpful even if you don't want to go with StM. As a potential caution, you mentioned wrt Megawords that they needed help with the more common words. If you're talking irregular sight word stuff, StM may or may not help there. It teaches 512 base words - most of which count as common words - and then teaches how to add morphographs to build and spell longer words. There are few rules, and the ones there are have to do with combining morphographs, not which phonogram to use in spelling the base words. DD's spelling has improved so much, though. It's pricey new, but I bought an older edition on Amazon for under $100 (for the two teacher presentation books and a student book).

Your program sounds amazing! Would you consider selling it?

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If you're going to remediate the older ones if they skip vowels or whole syllables then I highly recommend Apples and Peara by Promethian Trust. It is a big commitment but hugely worth it.

 

If they just need a lot of extra practice then believe it or not my mildly dyslexic dd after Apples and Pears does really well with ACE Pace. It's really self teaching and colorful and the grade isn't printed anywhere so unless you tell them they won't know. My dd used the program for 5 months before asking. I explained how much she learned and that knowing shouldn't make her feel bad and she said she still wanted to know so I told her. ...otherwise she wouldn't have known.

 

She has learned hundreds of words and strengthened many many phonics lessons and for the most part it sticks.

 

It does not get any easier to teach and administer.

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Oh and sequential spelling really worked for my son and we followed that up with ACE and Calvert

 

But honestly the two I recommend for likelihood of mom not giving up and benefits being really worth it are -

ACE

Sequential spelling

 

And Apples and Pears for severe spelling problems (aka leaves vowels or entire syllables out, can't sound out certain sounds, fears spelling and writing)

Edited by Calming Tea

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I have had this issue too. My older one DS20 says to all spellers, congratulations you have a skill that has been made obsolete by spellcheck! On a real note, he can spell now. 

 

My little guy DS8 is a natural speller. Both are excellent readers. I would not force the issue, stress can do more damage. We use spellingclassroom.com the tricky 450 by grade. I let my DS8 self-pace. I require 3 modules per day x3-4days week <20 minutes. He moves along at his pace. My only requirement is that his test score must be 90% and above to move to the next list. It is free if you don't want to track otherwise I paid $20 and I can track his results. The program rewards the student with game tokens if their scores are high enough.

 

While I am not a big promoter of online learning, this has taken the monotony, tedium, and boredom out of spelling. Fun, engaging, DS is large and in charge of how much and how fast he learns.

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I tried all those too (literally, I did).  What ended up working is IEW's Phonetic Zoo.  I do not use the CD's.  I just the the main cards, and I dictate the list daily, and then go back through the words dictating the spelling afterwards (just like the cd would).  They get 100% twice, and then we move on to the next list.  Some lists take 2 days, some take 10, but either way there is mastery before we move on.  It takes about five minutes a day.  If I was you I would do each kid separately, because each child will move through the lists at different paces.  I find the jingle's and rules on the cards fairly useless, but I usually glance at them and briefly go over the rule in my own words before starting each list.  This is the only thing that has helped my dd (13).  We used many things before this...including Apples and Pears A-C.  She did great with it, but afterwards still couldn't spell.  I also think lots of reading, narrating, and copywork has really helped her

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I don't know if this will help at all but my daughter struggled with spelling all through 1st and 2nd grade. It was torture teaching her. What actually ended up working was an account I had set up for her on the website Animal Jam. They have a moderated chat and she wanted to chat with other users and was constantly asking how to spell words. Now she's in 3rd grade and she's an advanced speller. All she needed was an incentive to learn to spell and chatting on Animal Jam turned out to be that incentive. 

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Also, you said your kids taught themselves how to read - meaning they probably weren't explicitly taught all the advanced phonograms from reading instruction.  And from your list of programs it looks like you've done mid-elementary-level spelling in a half-dozen programs - meaning they probably weren't explicitly taught all the advanced phonograms in their spelling, either.  If you look at what they've explicitly covered wrt spelling, do they spell what they've been taught well enough?  Or even after half-a-dozen attempts at 3rd grade-level spelling, they *still* can't spell at a 3rd grade level? 

 

If they can spell what they've been taught but not spell what they haven't been taught, then that sounds normal enough; you just need to settle on a program and go all the way through with it.  (My dd's spelling *was* really bad and she *did* have LDs, but honestly, I overlooked that I hadn't *explicitly* ever taught her a *lot* of phonics patterns, because she took off with reading before we got to them :doh.  So, really, some of her problems were that she couldn't spell what she hadn't been taught - which is true of most kids, kwim?  And IME it's so easy to overlook, too.)

 

But if after a half-dozen tries, they *still* can't spell what they've been explicitly taught, then that does suggest there may be more going on - that there's a *reason* they have trouble learning to spell.

This, I think, is the problem. They never had the pactience to learnt he phonigrams once they figured out the 'reading code'. For example, Caboose wrote a nice paragraph about roller skating, spelled "roller skating" the entire way through. Yet he can spell more advanced words like "practice" and "destroy" correctly every time.

 

I'm thinking a spelling do-over ala AAS or something similar. I really like the looks of Words Their Way.

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I think my spelling fails list is as long as the original OP (not that this is a competition):

 

1. AAS

2. Sequential Spelling

3. Logic of English

4. R&S

5. Apples and Pears

6. Lists and Practice

7. Dictation & Copywork

 

She learned to read early, had great instruction at her Montessori school, and has been an enthusiastic and advanced reader ever since. This child is not dyslexic. I've had her thoroughly evaluated, so I can absolutely promise you. She IS dysgraphic. And she has ADHD and both of these contribute to her poor spelling. I know you say they don't have any learning disabilities, but throwing money at spelling programs may not solve your problem if there's something else going on.

 

Having said that, also remember that kids tend to not like things when they are hard. My daughter hated AAS. I dreaded spelling every day. Now that she's older, I have had a lot more experience with watching her struggle. Finding the sweet spot is hard sometimes. I call her Goldilocks. Too easy and she hates it. Too hard and it's tears and anger. Just right and we are good to go. Maybe AAS would have been a better fit if I had moved a lot slower. Who knows, it was a long time ago (first grade, so two years before I figured out that she had LDs). She made a lot of progress with Apples and Pears but she is running through Barton with my dyslexic younger daughter right now. (BTW, neither my husband nor I or any other close family member that we know of have ANY LDs, so I never suspected.)

 

 

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We use Spelling Workout, but the key for us this year has been the use of colored pencils.  Each week our DD picks 5 different colored pencils, then writes her words every day using a different color for each syllable.  She loves the visual connection between the colors and syllables.  It's the first thing we've tried that has worked; DD is 11.  Good luck.  

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I'm going to have to recommend Sequential spelling as well.

 

Both of my boys were terrible...almost horrible..dare I say embarrassing spellers and I purchased every curriculum out there and used every one I could find. None of them would work. We have been using Sequential Spelling for almost a year now and their spelling level has risen by almost 4 grade levels.

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I bought AAS. I'm committing to going through the whole program. Thank you everyone.

 

Now I just need GUM help...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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