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Spelling that’s NOT AAS

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My 5th grader needs a new spelling program that she can do INDEPENDENTLY. 

Ideally I would like it to be rules based and effective (hah) but I’m open to anything. She is a terrible speller and only finishing up AAS level 2. The next one has to be independent!

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My middle child does R&S independently, but she's a decent speller. My oldest is my terrible speller, and I do Sequential Spelling with him. It's not independent, but it's quick and is actually improving his spelling.

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You might check out Spelling You See.  It's rule based, not as intensive as AAS, but not fully independent.  Or Spelling Power, where there is a list given by you and independent practice.

I'm not sure of any program that is independent and effective except maybe Phonetic Zoo. It has cds. Most programs are going to rely on an auditory component provided by the parent.

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MegaWords is mostly independent. There is some dictation required, but it's quick and not every day.

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9 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

...I'm not sure of any program that is independent and effective except maybe Phonetic Zoo... Most programs are going to rely on an auditory component provided by the parent.


This.  My experiences with homeschooling DS#2 who struggled with spelling, writing, and math, and my experiences with teaching writing to struggling writers in my homeschool co-op classes -- pretty much any subject area that a child struggles with means that for the student to clear the hurdle, they are going to need MORE time/input from a parent, teacher, or mentor/tutor -- more scaffolding, more teaching time, more 1-on-1 individualized strategies -- rather than less teacher time and figuring it out on their own independently.

re: struggling speller
Along about 6th grade, I was able to streamline our spelling a bit, spending about 15-20 minutes/day together on spelling -- about 5 min. was out loud back-and-forth oral spelling practice of the specific words on the list, and the remaining 10-15 minutes was working with words in some way (mnemonics and visual techniques to go over vowel patterns, homophones, prefixes/endings, etc.; or practicing simultaneous writing/spelling through dictation of short sentences with spelling words; or other technique). DS also spent 5-10 min/day doing 1 page of Megawords -- mostly that was done solo. (However, without the support of the together time practices and techniques, I doubt he could have progressed very far with Megawords all on his own.)

We continued doing the spelling techniques together up through about 8th grade. During high school, we were able to drop down to Megawords and out loud together spelling practice. Spelling for this DS went all the way through 12th grade. Just my experience with my specific struggling speller.

BEST of luck in finding what works best for your unique student and circumstances! 🙂 Warmest regards, Lori D.

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You can use Phonetic Zoo after AAS 3, but it might be a stretch after only level 2--you could have her try the placement test though and see how it goes.

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Another vote that totally independent spelling that's also effective is not a thing I've ever seen. Everything I've seen that is worth the time either requires you to stay on top of your student in doing the work or requires you to read out the words and dictations or both. Online programs maybe could work, but I've never seen one that seems worthwhile. Workbooks I've seen also seem like a waste of time or require you to read out the words as part of the program. I think that's the crux of it. Someone has to read the words.

Programs like Megawords can be good if a student is ready for them and motivated to improve based on patterns and root words. But that doesn't sound like this student.

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Apples and Pears is good for struggling spellers, but it is not independent. It does, however, take much less time and energy than AAS. 

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Sequential Spelling on CD Rom is as close as you are going to get with mostly independent. It is a good program. 

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I have a struggling speller as well. That is an understatement. She is an absolutely horrible speller. I tried Apples and Pears, but it was not independent and it took way too much time. I also wanted something more independent and didn’t have all the extra pieces and hands-on parts. I tried having her write the words 5 times each one day, spelling them out loud to her animals the next, writing the vowels with one color and consonants with another...all those practice things. I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter the curriculum (none that I had tried really worked). After an abysmal first half of the year in which little progress was shown, I purchased Spelling Plus and have been using their practice technique with the curriculum I already had. Oh my goodness. I don’t know why it is different than the practice I had her doing before, but she has been advancing so well! And her knowledge is actually carrying over into her other writing work (which it never did before). After the first few times of guiding her through the daily word practice she now does that independently, and it only takes a few minutes each day to dictate sentences to her. I would strongly suggest you take a look at their method. You can use their lists and pre-written dictation sentences (buying all their curriculum, or do as I do and just use their method with curriculum you already have. Next year I am going for the economical Rod and Staff with Spelling Plus practice.

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Fifth grade is old enough to start MegaWords. It's not totally independent as there are some places where the teacher needs to read a list, but most of it is independent workbook style. It teaches rules and then reinforces them. My 12 year old really likes it.

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MegaWords is not for spelling. It is for higher reading. This is important to know going in. I would not give it to a child who is struggling with either.

R&S is great albeit religious to a fault. Anyone rewrites it as secalar and I'm buying!

Have you considered Soaring with Spelling by Growing with Grammar people? I know absolutely nothing about it.

https://jackrispublishing.com/collections/soaring-with-spelling

Edited by Paradox5

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Spelling Plus.  Not totally independent, but focuses on most common 1,000 words, arranged by rule and pattern, many of the lists are in Spelling City.  

https://www.amazon.com/Spelling-Plus-Words-toward-Success/dp/187947820X

It has a companion Spelling Dictation book if she learns fine in lists but then forgets them in normal writing.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1879478218/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2

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I have two hugely struggling spellers.  The amount of research I've put into finding the perfect spelling curriculum has been ridiculous! 

We used AAS for many years, and while I love the logic and rules, it was just too mom intensive this year.

We use Rod and Staff with lots of phonics work thrown in from Classical Phonics (from MP), along with all of the skills I learned from AAS and from reading through How to Teach Spelling

I take each week from R&S and type up the rules for that week so they can see them all at once and in one place.  We go over the rules, look them up and read the lists from Classical Phonics, and some from HTTS.  We talk about the rules a bit during the week.

Daily consistency with manipulating and analyzing the words with the R&S exercises has been the best help for my girls (4th and 6th grades).

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