Jump to content

Menu

phonics/spelling/writing for a struggling 2nd grader


lilajoy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

I would really appreciate some feedback and guidance. My 8-year-old son is in 2nd grade and reads fluently (on a 4th or 5th grade level), but his writing is abysmal. His spelling is atrocious, he's sloppy, he doesn't have good writing mechanics, and his writing is choppy and stilted (no transition words, etc.). I know he's still young, but I really want to nip this early and turn it around now. 

 

I want to find a good writing program for him, and I also want something for phonics. Since my husband and I both work full-time, we will be doing this work with him mostly on weekends and over the summer. 

 

For phonics, I was thinking of Explode the Code (maybe starting at Book 4 or 5?) or Plaid Phonics (Book B or C?). Has anyone used these programs with an older child? Are there any other phonics programs or books I might consider? It doesn't need to be a reading program, just strictly phonics and spelling/grammar. 

 

For writing, I would like something that is easy-to-follow, not too overwhelming, yet that steadily builds up skills and stamina. My son is resistant to writing, so something engaging would be ideal -- but effectiveness is the most important thing. Any and all recommendations appreciated.

 

Thank you! 

Edited by lilajoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I would really appreciate some feedback and guidance. My 8-year-old son is in 2nd grade and reads fluently (on a 4th or 5th grade level), but his writing is abysmal. His spelling is atrocious, he's sloppy, he doesn't have good writing mechanics, and his writing is choppy and stilted (no transition words, etc.). I know he's still young, but I really want to nip this early and turn it around now.

 

I want to find a good writing program for him, and I also want something for phonics. Since my husband and I both work full-time, we will be doing this work with him mostly on weekends and over the summer.

 

For phonics, I was thinking of Explode the Code (maybe starting at Book 4 or 5?) or Plaid Phonics (Book B or C?). Has anyone used these programs with an older child? Are there any other phonics programs or books I might consider? It doesn't need to be a reading program, just strictly phonics and spelling/grammar.

 

For writing, I would like something that is easy-to-follow, not too overwhelming, yet that steadily builds up skills and stamina. My son is resistant to writing, so something engaging would be ideal -- but effectiveness is the most important thing. Any and all recommendations appreciated.

 

Thank you!

For a struggling speller, I don't think Plaid Phonics or ETC will likely work. I also have a 2nd grader who reads well-beyond grade level, but struggles with spelling and thus writing. The only thing that has helped/is helping is All About Spelling. Explicit, rules-based phonics instruction is the key. For us, the mechanics (beginning capitalization, ending punctuation, complete thoughts, etc.) are being taught/reinforced via the dictation sentences in AAS. We're now in Level 3 and have begun the Writing Station activities for more writing practice. In addition, were using Writing With Ease 2. It seems to be a good combo. My DD has made a lot of progress in the year since I realized she had a problem/began remediating her. Good luck with your son.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would consider All About Spelling as well, since it will cover both bases for you. It's a complete phonics program, so it will fill in any gaps, plus it has a gradual writing progression that's really helpful for building up stamina in reluctant writers. It uses dictation and starts with short phrases, then progresses to sentences that gradually get longer. In Level 3, it adds a Writing Station activity where the student writes sentences using a given list of words (and sometimes the words seem to relate and my kids would make a little story or vignette with them--even my very pencil-allergic son would do this.) After AAS 3, students have mastered about a thousand words and have been writing dictations and sentences for awhile, which makes the transition to a writing program easier at that point. My kids were older when we started, and we were able to get through levels 1, 2, and most of 3 that first year, so you can make a lot of progress. It does require you to work one on one with the student for 15-20 minutes a day, but I found it was time worth spending. Best wishes as you look for what will help your son! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I would really appreciate some feedback and guidance. My 8-year-old son is in 2nd grade and reads fluently (on a 4th or 5th grade level), but his writing is abysmal. His spelling is atrocious, he's sloppy, he doesn't have good writing mechanics, and his writing is choppy and stilted (no transition words, etc.). I know he's still young, but I really want to nip this early and turn it around now. 

 

I want to find a good writing program for him, and I also want something for phonics. Since my husband and I both work full-time, we will be doing this work with him mostly on weekends and over the summer. 

 

For phonics, I was thinking of Explode the Code (maybe starting at Book 4 or 5?) or Plaid Phonics (Book B or C?). Has anyone used these programs with an older child? Are there any other phonics programs or books I might consider? It doesn't need to be a reading program, just strictly phonics and spelling/grammar. 

 

For writing, I would like something that is easy-to-follow, not too overwhelming, yet that steadily builds up skills and stamina. My son is resistant to writing, so something engaging would be ideal -- but effectiveness is the most important thing. Any and all recommendations appreciated.

 

Thank you! 

 

Spalding. AAS, Logic of English, Spell to Write and Read, and several others all have their roots in Spalding, so why not start there? :-)

 

Spalding teaches children to read by teaching them to spell, and it works just as well with children who already know how to read. It covers reading, spelling, penmanship, capitalization and punctuation, and simple writing. All you need is a one-time purchase of the manual (Writing Road to Reading) and a set of phonogram cards, and you're good to go.

 

And I would expect a child so young to have choppy and stilted writing. :-) After you do through Spalding once, then I would recommend Writing Strands, Level 3.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to encourage you that you're doing an awesome job. :). My own boys also had the Reading down pat but writing and spelling was really bad... all of them really did grow into great writers. And I used different writing for each of them! (I'm a curriculum hound)

Anyway, slow and steady really does win the race. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would probably look into The Good And The Beautiful. There's a free download option (or you can buy a print copy) but all of that is integrated and builds steadily.

 

For handwriting the best method I've found is copy work. We started with a single letter on a mini chalkboard that laid flat on the table. I'd write a letter, he'd copy it. We'd talk about starting point, ending point, formation and then he'd try again. Then he'd make three, circle the best one and tell me why it was the best. That was it for the day. The goal was to get him to focus on the details and slow down. The chalk provided resistance. After a while we moved to words, then simple sentences. Finally we started a handwriting book (cursive) and set a timer for the amount of work each day. The goal was not to finish a page, but to work steadily for ten minutes. We can always come back to the page. We can't always fix rushed bad habits.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...