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smoore530

Spelling curriculum for a natural speller

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My daughter is in 4th grade and just finished Spelling Workout C. She really dislikes it and would like to change curricula. She is also a natural speller. Any recommendations for a program that works well for a natural speller and isn’t very teacher intensive. (AAS is out because my dyslexic 12 year-old uses it and she would pass him up in a flash.)  From my research thus far, I’m looking at Spellwell, Sequential Spelling, Soaring with Spelling, Christian Liberty’s Building Spelling Skills, and Spelling Wisdom. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks. 

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Are you sure your daughter actually needs a spelling curriculum? Why not just have her write, and use any spelling mistakes in her writing for learning opportunities? Natural spellers often don't need anything more than that. Maybe her time would be better spent focusing on something else?

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19 hours ago, smoore530 said:

My daughter is in 4th grade and just finished Spelling Workout C. She really dislikes it and would like to change curricula. She is also a natural speller. Any recommendations for a program that works well for a natural speller and isn’t very teacher intensive. (AAS is out because my dyslexic 12 year-old uses it and she would pass him up in a flash.)  From my research thus far, I’m looking at Spellwell, Sequential Spelling, Soaring with Spelling, Christian Liberty’s Building Spelling Skills, and Spelling Wisdom. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks. 

I am in a similar situation. My son is very able to see a word and remember it and my older one is dyslexic and can't really spell much of anything 😞

I bought AAS 1 for him, not thinking about it, and she's just starting AAS 3. If I went at his true pace he'd surpass her. But what I THINK I'm going to do, since I already have it, is just do one lesson a day, and not every day. Then have him work on something else, like sight words/common words, the other days. 

 

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For a natural I would just find a list of "Commonly Misspelled Words" and have them do spelling activities based on words from that list and let spelling be a very minor subject for them.

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3 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

Are you sure your daughter actually needs a spelling curriculum? Why not just have her write, and use any spelling mistakes in her writing for learning opportunities? Natural spellers often don't need anything more than that. Maybe her time would be better spent focusing on something else?


I agree with this.  I don't plan on doing any formal spelling with my strong speller who is about the same age.  

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Spelling curriculum is mostly a waste of time for natural spellers.

Put the time into something the child will learn from, not something that will be busywork for them. Free reading would be a great use of the time formerly dedicated to spelling.

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My natural speller requested a spelling curriculum a couple of times. I would buy her something, we would use it for a while, and eventually we would both admit that it was adding absolutely nothing to our day or her long-term education and we would shelve it.

there are spelling bee prep materials out there, including online programs, if she would be interested in that.

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39 minutes ago, maize said:

Spelling curriculum is mostly a waste of time for natural spellers.

Put the time into something the child will learn from, not something that will be busywork for them.

I agree with avoiding busywork in favor of putting time into things that are worth learning from, but I think that some spelling curricula *can* be worthwhile even for natural spellers.  Namely, spelling curricula that focus on teaching the patterns and logic behind spelling.  Yeah, it's "not necessary" in the sense they will likely spell fine without it, but it's nevertheless something worth learning.  It's the same reason behind teaching grammar even to those who have an innate intuitive grasp of grammar: sure, they probably will write well enough without it, but learning how things are put together is innately rewarding and inherently worth doing.

Signed: a natural speller who ended up with exceptionally non-natural-spelling kids.  Even when I oh-so-naively assumed my kids would naturally absorb spelling from their no-doubt-copious reading, I always planned to hit spelling from both the phonetic side and the morphographic side, because I thought it was a thing worth learning.  And now having indeed done spelling from both angles (so. much. spelling, to kids who desperately needed every bit of it and then some), I'm quite pleased with the knowledge I've gained, as well.  It *is* worth learning.  (And the benefit of being a natural speller is that you could probably learn it in a quarter of the time.)

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23 minutes ago, forty-two said:

 

I agree with avoiding busywork in favor of putting time into things that are worth learning from, but I think that some spelling curricula *can* be worthwhile even for natural spellers.  Namely, spelling curricula that focus on teaching the patterns and logic behind spelling.  Yeah, it's "not necessary" in the sense they will likely spell fine without it, but it's nevertheless something worth learning.  It's the same reason behind teaching grammar even to those who have an innate intuitive grasp of grammar: sure, they probably will write well enough without it, but learning how things are put together is innately rewarding and inherently worth doing.

Signed: a natural speller who ended up with exceptionally non-natural-spelling kids.  Even when I oh-so-naively assumed my kids would naturally absorb spelling from their no-doubt-copious reading, I always planned to hit spelling from both the phonetic side and the morphographic side, because I thought it was a thing worth learning.  And now having indeed done spelling from both angles (so. much. spelling, to kids who desperately needed every bit of it and then some), I'm quite pleased with the knowledge I've gained, as well.  It *is* worth learning.  (And the benefit of being a natural speller is that you could probably learn it in a quarter of the time.)

I would actually love a book that simply explained the basic structures of spelling in English in a way that would be approacheable to kids. I haven't found such a book yet.

I'm not a natural speller, and while I agree that those of my kids who are could benefit from more structured understanding it's something I think they could spend a handful of hours on one year, not worth working through years of spelling programs. Not worth my time to make them work through years of spelling programs.

I have yet to find a grammar program that I think truly worthwhile either.

It's not that these things have no value, but that they come with an opportunity cost. To me, there are an endless number of things with more value than lots of time spent on spelling and grammar for kids who pick those things up naturally. It's time they could spend learning a foreign language, or practicing an instrument, or playing imaginatively with siblings.

Spelling programs for a kid who doesn't need them are just way low on my priority list. 

Edited by maize

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I would actually love a book that simply explained the basic structures of spelling in English in a way that would be approacheable to kids. I haven't found such a book yet.

I'm not a natural speller, and while I agree that those of my kids who are could benefit from more structured understanding it's something I think they could spend a handful of hours on one year, not worth working through years of spelling programs. Not worth my time to make them work through years of spelling programs.

I have yet to find a grammar program that I think truly worthwhile either.

It's not that these things have no value, but that they come with an opportunity cost. To me, there are an endless number of things with more value than lots of time spent on spelling and grammar for kids who pick those things up naturally. It's time they could spend learning a foreign language, or practicing an instrument, or playing imaginatively with siblings.

Spelling programs for a kid who doesn't need them are just way low on my priority list. 

While I completely agree with you on spelling, I disagree on grammar. My son was a natural at everything LA, except spelling. We still did grammar, but in a very concise, focused way, completing Analytical Grammar in one year during middle school. He hated it at the time, but has thanked me many times over the years for making him do it. (We did it together with me barely able to keep up marking the sentences as he rapidly orally diagrammed them, then immediately checking each one before moving on to the next one). He think it helped immensely with both writing, especially in all of his college honors humanities classes, and foreign language study, and is now a complete grammar nerd.

However, I agree that grammar done poorly for many years, as I experienced in grades 1-10, is an almost complete and utter waste of time. Hence my strong desire to do it differently with my son.

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I have a natural speller in 2nd grade and we just write and correct mistakes along the way. We might do more official spelling and grammar at some point, but for now, this works.

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