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His spelling is horrific!!!

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I am truly at a loss with my oldest - he will be in 6th grade next year.  We do AAS and he does fairly well during lessons / dictation.  He reads a TON. We just finished annual testing and I almost fainted when I saw his answers.

So, what do I do?  Again, for reference, I didn't grow up in US and we didn't have "spelling" as a subject.  I didn't know ANY spelling rules until I opened AAS to teach the kids and I spell fairly well, but I have no idea how that happened, so...

ANY ideas, suggestions, thoughts??

ETA:  just to be clear, I wasn't THAT surprised by his test results bc when he is writing not during his spelling lessons, his spelling is pretty bad.  But he missed some very simple words on the test....like "carpet".  He thought it was "carpit"

Edited by SereneHome

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I have a daughter with dysgraphia, and her spelling was atrocious. She started to get it in 4th grade with AAS after many different programs that failed, but it wasn't until we used Apples and Pears that she caught on enough to figure out a word closely enough to let spellcheck work. She will never be a great speller, but it's ok now (she's a high school junior).

 

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50 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

ETA:  just to be clear, I wasn't THAT surprised by his test results bc when he is writing not during his spelling lessons, his spelling is pretty bad.  But he missed some very simple words on the test....like "carpet".  He thought it was "carpit" 

 

Well, that's how we say it, and it's not a word he's likely to have had to write very often, or even one he's read very often. My perspective is skewed, but that particular error wouldn't make me think "Wow, what bad spelling!" in a 6th grader.

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59 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Well, that's how we say it, and it's not a word he's likely to have had to write very often, or even one he's read very often. My perspective is skewed, but that particular error wouldn't make me think "Wow, what bad spelling!" in a 6th grader.

Well, if it was the only word, I wouldn't blink an eye, but he got 12 words wrong out of 30.  That made me pause. 

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I see it now. And I presume this more or less accurately reports the amount of errors when he is writing, right?

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2 hours ago, beckyjo said:

I have a daughter with dysgraphia, and her spelling was atrocious. She started to get it in 4th grade with AAS after many different programs that failed, but it wasn't until we used Apples and Pears that she caught on enough to figure out a word closely enough to let spellcheck work. She will never be a great speller, but it's ok now (she's a high school junior).

 

DD10 does not have dysgraphia as far as I know but her spelling was also pretty bad.  Spalding knock-off methods (like AAS) did not work, regular spelling workbooks were more than useless and dictation was just not enough without putting in tons of time into learning the words that she struggled with (though we still do dictation for other purposes).  Apples & Pears worked like a charm.  Like beckyjo's DD, she won't ever win a spelling bee but I now have hope that she will at least be able to spell most of the time in her day to day writing and at least get close enough to look up the word in a dictionary or be able to use spell check.  I wrote a review of A&P here about how it works and why in case you're interested.

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What is his spelling like when he writes?  That is the only thing you should be concerned about.

I wouldn't ditch AAS (and if he's on level wouldn't he be almost done?), but if you're concerned, you might want to add something like Sequential Spelling.

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Was the spelling portion of annual testing a multiple choice test? A multiple choice spelling test is very different from other spelling activities. One of my DD’s is a struggling speller and the other is a natural speller. Multiple choice spelling tests did not reflect either of their abilities accurately.

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We worked intensively on spelling with my younger until he was 15. At that point he was only misspelling 10% of all words he used in his writing, and we switched to correcting and learning words as he wrote.  Some kids just have it tough.  He gets it from my dad, who carried a spelling list in his pocket until he was 35. Back then, there was no spell check and spelling was an indicator of education, so he had to just keep working on it over multiple decades.  

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My 2nd DS was an atrocious speller. I've told this story before on these boards, but he once spelled the same simple word wrong in 3 different ways in 1 paragraph! 🙄 No spelling program I tried worked, so I threw up my hands and gave up and told him he's going to have to have a good editor and heavily rely on spell check. He's now a senior and while he's still not a great speller, he's tons better than he was and his written work is fine. Sometimes it just takes a little maturity.

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My rising 6th grader is a terrible speller. I try to remember that her sister was the same until about 6th/7th grade, and to stay the course with Apples & Pears...but yeah, it's shockingly bad...

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On June 21, 2019 at 5:42 PM, SereneHome said:

Well, if it was the only word, I wouldn't blink an eye, but he got 12 words wrong out of 30.

SWR includes a bunch of spelling diagnostic tests. You might run another test before you conclude too much. This was on a standardized test? Who administered it? Was he tired and in need of a break? Was there noise or distraction? Was he hungry? 

Some kids just have to work at it more than others. My dd had crunchy spelling, read well, and I was like see she's dyslexic. Well actually she does have one allele (heterozygous) for a known dyslexia gene. But in her case she had extremely poor visual memory (a developmental vision problem, needed VT) and was just crunchy. After the VT her visual memory improved and we went through everything again.

To me, the error in carpit/carpet is a combo of how you say it regionally and visual memory. He either hasn't seen it much or didn't remember what it looked like. So it's always good to have the dc's vision checked, sure. And I would find another spelling diagnostic to get more info on exactly where he is. There could be more going on, sure. Sometimes spelling is the way dyslexia most becomes apparent on kids, as they'll seem to read fine. But I would just start conservatively, running another (free) tool, looking for the patterns to his spelling errors, and getting his vision checked, hopefully by a developmental optometrist.

Does he have any other issues with the sound/speech connection, difficulty understanding in background noise, difficulty with rhyming or phonological processing skills?

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