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Ds is almost 9. He reads wonderfully. He hasn't been tested as far as a level for reading goes, but can easily read NIV Bible, Harry Potter, and most books I set before him. 

His spelling has always been a struggle. I thought maybe because he has a few languages rumbling around in his head. He can spell in his second language very well, but it is very phonetic and straight forward. English is a whole nother story. 

Examples of mistakes he makes while free writing: 

fier for fire (he sounds it out as fi er) 

Famale for family

Hatetd for hated 

I have suspected dysgraphia over the years. DH was diagnosed as a child, and ds has many other signs. He does not see spaces while writing, learning handwriting was almost the death of us. His penmanship is still awful, but slowly improving. 

We used R&S spelling for 2nd and 3rd. The price and ease pulled me in. We have also used Dictation Day by Day. DDbD has really helped with all the other parts of making a sentence, but spelling is still a struggle. We go over words that he will need help with before I dictate. 

Anyways I really haven't seen much improvement. Or at least not as much as I would like. 

I don't want to spend a fortune on spelling programs. Ds is an audio learner and a hands on learner. He has done well with hands on math using c-rods. I know AAS uses tiles to add hands on, but AAS is so expensive and has so many moving parts. 

I am willing to work in spelling, make my own stuff. But I need some direction on ways to make spelling hands on and audio. Or is there a great program for the struggler. 

 

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Hello. I could be way off, but you may want to check for stealth dyslexia.  there's a test you can do online at neuro learning . com  I think. ($40?)

anyhow, one can be ahead in reading, have problems in spelling and still have stealth dyslexia. 

I am sorry, I have no suggestions for spelling programs.  I know barton and OG programs are usually suggested for dyslexic kids.  Someone else had posted something similar to this situation and Apples and Pears, a spelling program, was mentioned. 

You may get more feedback on the Learning Challenges board. 

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1 hour ago, lulalu said:

I don't want to spend a fortune on spelling programs. Ds is an audio learner and a hands on learner. He has done well with hands on math using c-rods. I know AAS uses tiles to add hands on, but AAS is so expensive and has so many moving parts. 

The spelling errors you pointed out are all phonetic, which is a good sign. He clearly understands which phonograms make which sounds, but isn’t sure when to use each one when faced with several options for a single sound. 

AAS is exactly what I would recommend. It doesn’t have to be expensive - for a 9yr old the Spelling Interactive Kits are unnecessary. All you need is the TMs (which have been around forever, so are pretty easy to acquire second-hand), the student packets ($23 per level on Rainbow Resource) & a dry-erase board. 

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This sounds EXACTLY like my 9 year old. He is an excellent reader, and an incredibly bad speller. The mistakes you mentioned are very similar to the type of mistake he would make. We struggle with even straightforward words. 
I’ll be very interested to see what advice you get!

I haven’t focused as much as I probably should...spelling is included in his language arts curriculum, so we do that and that’s about it. In the past, we had okay luck with just DK Spelling workbooks. 

I guess I haven’t worried that much about it because he seems to have the exact brain as my engineer dad and brother...they are also great readers, very strong in math and science, and can’t spell to save their lives. And knowing that he’ll probably do much of his writing in a post auto-correct world, I guess I have kind of shrugged it off. But I know it is important, and it definitely makes people doubt your intelligence, no matter how smart you are, if you can’t spell basic words! 

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2 hours ago, lulalu said:

fier for fire (he sounds it out as fi er) 

Famale for family

Hatetd for hated 

So, I'm actually curious about these misspellings. Are his phonics totally solid? Because I know that my younger kiddo would sound out famale as fam-ayl and hatetd as something confusing she couldn't say. Would he be able to sound these out and hear how they sound, or would he have trouble distinguishing that they don't sound right? Or does he not know that an e at the end makes no sound? 

I have precisely zero experience with dyslexia or dysgraphia, so I don't know if I'm way off-base. I just know that if my kid was making these mistakes, I would have her sound them out and check herself if they sounded right. 

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54 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Or does he not know that an e at the end makes no sound? 

Except for the ubiquitous instances of an e at the end saying its name: he, she, me, we, be

That list of words is short in number, but sky-high in terms of frequency. It can be hard for some kids to realize that even though they run into that spelling pattern almost every sentence, it is actually really uncommon for an e at the end of a word to say its name.

Edited by wendyroo
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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

So, I'm actually curious about these misspellings. Are his phonics totally solid? Because I know that my younger kiddo would sound out famale as fam-ayl and hatetd as something confusing she couldn't say. Would he be able to sound these out and hear how they sound, or would he have trouble distinguishing that they don't sound right? Or does he not know that an e at the end makes no sound? 

I have precisely zero experience with dyslexia or dysgraphia, so I don't know if I'm way off-base. I just know that if my kid was making these mistakes, I would have her sound them out and check herself if they sounded right. 

He doesn't read what he writes, and if he writes a story many times he can't read it to me. His phonics for reading are great, it is doing it in spelling that trips him up. When he is free writing he doesn't go slow or keep spelling in his mind while getting a story out. 

He does really well spelling when words are broken into syllables. So much larger words he can do. We spend a day a week going through Noah Webster's Syllabus and he gets those right. So he knows an open syllable will be the long sound which is why I think he keeps trying to put an e at the end instead of a y on many words. But if I point it out he can say the rule and correct it. It just isn't coming out right away first thing. 

So words like: conduct, murmur, manner, litter, limber, wager, focus, cider he gets right when split into syllables. 

 

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3 hours ago, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

The spelling errors you pointed out are all phonetic, which is a good sign. He clearly understands which phonograms make which sounds, but isn’t sure when to use each one when faced with several options for a single sound. 

AAS is exactly what I would recommend. It doesn’t have to be expensive - for a 9yr old the Spelling Interactive Kits are unnecessary. All you need is the TMs (which have been around forever, so are pretty easy to acquire second-hand), the student packets ($23 per level on Rainbow Resource) & a dry-erase board. 

I am unable to get used stuff as we are not in the States, 🥲 If I could get it for cheap I would be willing to try it, but I don't know if it will work, or if I can do stuff on my own for cheaper. 

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3 minutes ago, lulalu said:

He doesn't read what he writes, and if he writes a story many times he can't read it to me. His phonics for reading are great, it is doing it in spelling that trips him up. When he is free writing he doesn't go slow or keep spelling in his mind while getting a story out. 

He does really well spelling when words are broken into syllables. So much larger words he can do. We spend a day a week going through Noah Webster's Syllabus and he gets those right. So he knows an open syllable will be the long sound which is why I think he keeps trying to put an e at the end instead of a y on many words. But if I point it out he can say the rule and correct it. It just isn't coming out right away first thing. 

So, I don't know if this works for kids who have trouble writing (again, no experience with dysgraphia or dyslexia, although DD4 does have weird sounding out issues), but I usually teach them to read over their own words and check if it sounds right as a "first level" check. Right now, I'm teaching DD4 to visualize the word and sound it out before writing it down... 

On the other hand, if he's excited to get a story out, I might not bother him very much 🙂 . You'd have to see what makes sense. Would rewriting a new draft help, do you think? Or would that dispirit him and make him feel like he has to do too much?

I know that @lewelma said that her kids needed to learn spelling in context and not in external programs, if I'm remembering correctly. I generally do just check DD8's spelling as we go, but then she's a natural speller, and I don't know if that works for kids who have trouble. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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1 hour ago, wendyroo said:

That list of words is short in number, but sky-high in terms of frequency. It can be hard for some kids to realize that even though they run into that spelling pattern almost every sentence, it is actually really uncommon for an e at the end of a word to say its name.

I teach that explicitly, I guess. I've always had to -- neither of my kids just "noticed" it. After their short words are solid, I always teach that as a rule for longer words. 

Plus teaching the "silent e" also shows you how to spell a LOT of stuff, since you now know the trick for making vowels make the long sound near the end of the word. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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I have a 10 yo who reads just fine for whom spelling is very difficult. I tried a lot of things. Nothing seemed to help him spelling-wise. And then 2 things happened. And he has finally started making progress in spelling. He can now even realize that something he wrote isn't right for some reason (not always, but sometimes). Even better than that is he can sometimes fix those mistakes with no prompting/help from me!

So what were those 2 things that happened. One is that baby #5 joined our family and we took a few months off from spelling. I honestly think that his brain just finally matured enough to be able to start spelling. And the other thing, of course, is that I bit the bullet and bought AAS. I can't say enough good things about it. DS10 really does need the explicit rules they teach in it. FWIW, in 2 months time, he's made it through almost 2 levels. 

In fact, I think highly enough of it that I switched DD9 to it, even though she is a natural speller. I could probably never do another spelling lesson with her and she'd be fine. But, even she has picked up things from it (like when to use "ck" at the end of a word). Now, with her, I can tell her a rule, and she will be able to apply i correctly with basically no practice 99.999999% of the time.

As for having a lot of parts...it both does and doesn't. Yes, it has tiles. You could buy the app instead. But for DS10 something about having the physical tiles really helps him. Yes, there are the cards with rules on them. We don't use those. We just use the tiles and teacher book.

Again, I am so grateful I finally bought AAS for my DS10 (I suspect stealth dyslexia and/or dysgraphia). I think it will finally allow him to write things that others can read and understand!

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1 minute ago, barnwife said:

And the other thing, of course, is that I bit the bullet and bought AAS. I can't say enough good things about it. DS10 really does need the explicit rules they teach in it.

Random curiosity, and I hope this isn't too off-topic, but what rules do they teach? Any examples? 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Random curiosity, and I hope this isn't too off-topic, but what rules do they teach? Any examples? 

You know, "rules" is probably not the best word to use here (although it certainly does have some). It really just breaks spelling down step-by-step. And it gives plenty of practice for each step. But the FLOSS rule is jumping out at me (mostly because both kids have been helped by it). that is, you double the consonants f, l, and s at the end of one syllable words after a short vowel. Also, it taught when to use "ck" for the /k/ sound at the end of a one syllable word. Our oldest really needs things like that explicitly taught. And then he needs to practice just that skill before combining it with others. And AAS provides exactly that!

As for the step-by-step progression. DS recently learned the VCE pattern. There was plenty of practice for that. Then there was talk about pluralizing those words. And practice for that. 

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10 minutes ago, barnwife said:

You know, "rules" is probably not the best word to use here (although it certainly does have some). It really just breaks spelling down step-by-step. And it gives plenty of practice for each step. But the FLOSS rule is jumping out at me (mostly because both kids have been helped by it). that is, you double the consonants f, l, and s at the end of one syllable words after a short vowel. Also, it taught when to use "ck" for the /k/ sound at the end of a one syllable word. Our oldest really needs things like that explicitly taught. And then he needs to practice just that skill before combining it with others. And AAS provides exactly that!

As for the step-by-step progression. DS recently learned the VCE pattern. There was plenty of practice for that. Then there was talk about pluralizing those words. And practice for that. 

I'll have to remember this program 🙂 . So far, my kids are natural, visual spellers, and I can often synthesize the rules they don't know, anyway... but this sounds like it would be helpful and systematic for kids who don't internalize it easily. 

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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

 

I know that @lewelma said that her kids needed to learn spelling in context and not in external programs, if I'm remembering correctly. I generally do just check DD8's spelling as we go, but then she's a natural speller, and I don't know if that works for kids who have trouble. 

Good memory! Yes, my son knew all the rules and could sound words out. We had tried 7 different programs and worked diligently from the age of 7 to 12, 20 minutes every day.  But he still could not spell. Nothing was automated. In the end, he just needed to write words in the context of sentences over and over and over. So we switched to dictation where I corrected him word for word. This took 30 minutes per day for 2.5 years to get to 90% accuracy.  Now at 17, he is around 95% accuracy and he is still working to improve. 

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2 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Good memory! Yes, my son knew all the rules and could sound words out. We had tried 7 different programs and worked diligently from the age of 7 to 12, 20 minutes every day.  But he still could not spell. Nothing was automated. In the end, he just needed to write words in the context of sentences over and over and over. So we switched to dictation where I corrected him word for word. This took 30 minutes per day for 2.5 years to get to 90% accuracy.  Now at 17, he is around 95% accuracy and he is still working to improve. 

I've also had good luck working in context. 

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5 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Good memory! Yes, my son knew all the rules and could sound words out. We had tried 7 different programs and worked diligently from the age of 7 to 12, 20 minutes every day.  But he still could not spell. Nothing was automated. In the end, he just needed to write words in the context of sentences over and over and over. So we switched to dictation where I corrected him word for word. This took 30 minutes per day for 2.5 years to get to 90% accuracy.  Now at 17, he is around 95% accuracy and he is still working to improve. 

I should also mention that this can be a very slow process for some kids.  Just in case it wasn't clear, achieving 90% accuracy meant that he was still misspelling 1 in 10 words at the age of 14.5.  But this was a massive improvement. He is now at 1 in 20 words which is easy to spell check.

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I would try Logic of English Essentials Lite, it's free now online. You can get PDFs of any of her stuff you want to supplement. The stuff that isn't free is the phonograms and the reading, it's all spelling that's free. You can buy the phonograms through a PDF, I would at least get her rules summary.

https://elearning.logicofenglish.com

The title of what you would want to buy is the "phongram and spelling quick reference."

https://store.logicofenglish.com/collections/product-type-loe-staple

Edited by ElizabethB
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8 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

So, I'm actually curious about these misspellings. Are his phonics totally solid? Because I know that my younger kiddo would sound out famale as fam-ayl and hatetd as something confusing she couldn't say. Would he be able to sound these out and hear how they sound, or would he have trouble distinguishing that they don't sound right? Or does he not know that an e at the end makes no sound? 

I have precisely zero experience with dyslexia or dysgraphia, so I don't know if I'm way off-base. I just know that if my kid was making these mistakes, I would have her sound them out and check herself if they sounded right. 

It isn't only that an e at the end of a word is silent. It's one of five reasons for final silent e:

  • to make a vowel say its "long" sound (single vowel-single consonant-final silent e)
  • following u or v, because English words don't end with u or v
  • to help c and g say their "soft" sounds
  • every syllable has to have a vowel, so we use final silent e in words like "little" (we could pronounce it without the e, but every syllable has to have a vowel)
  • no job e, as in "are" or "house"

Furthermore, the vowels can say their "long" sounds at the end of a short word or syllable, as in "we."

I learned all of this, and more, from Spalding.

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6 hours ago, lulalu said:

I am unable to get used stuff as we are not in the States, 🥲 If I could get it for cheap I would be willing to try it, but I don't know if it will work, or if I can do stuff on my own for cheaper. 

Ugh, I feel you! We spent 4yrs overseas. It was amazing in many ways & I miss it terribly... but I do not miss having to pay full price + exorbitant shipping for curricula. We used to return Stateside once a year & would bring back suitcases full of books, because we could acquire them so cheaply here! 

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8 hours ago, Ellie said:

It isn't only that an e at the end of a word is silent. It's one of five reasons for final silent e:

  • to make a vowel say its "long" sound (single vowel-single consonant-final silent e)
  • following u or v, because English words don't end with u or v
  • to help c and g say their "soft" sounds
  • every syllable has to have a vowel, so we use final silent e in words like "little" (we could pronounce it without the e, but every syllable has to have a vowel)
  • no job e, as in "are" or "house"

Furthermore, the vowels can say their "long" sounds at the end of a short word or syllable, as in "we."

I learned all of this, and more, from Spalding.

Right. I know these, although I don't tend to teach them all at once...

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I skipped ahead so haven't read all the replies and have no experience with dyslexia, ect but am using R&S spelling and have similar problems with DS10. I would be thrilled if mine wrote a paper even with a gazillion misspelled words because I don't stress spelling in writing assignments (only in spelling), but instead encourage getting his thoughts onto paper. We can go back and edit later. I do stress legible penmanship, though, because the whole purpose of communication is for another person to understand what you are communicating, kwim. I keep a page taped to his desk that lists the spelling rules for him and also a copy of phonetic spellings from the inside cover of his spelling book. He uses these as a reference to correct any misspelled words I underline with my red teacher's pen. If he attempts and still gets the word wrong, we go back through it together.

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