I'm a PhD candidate in literacy, language, and writing, and I've taught reading and writing for many years at elementary through graduate levels, and I agree with this:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl
Hello from a fellow whole-word reader here
. I think that avid early readers often learn words in this way. I am now an adult high school teacher with a master's degree and 10+ years of college under my belt and I still
can't spell. So learning strategies aside I think its important for her to know that not being able to easily master this skill is no reflection on her intelligence nor on the effort she puts forth (contrary to what many, many English teachers in my life have believed).
Thank goodness for spell check.
One thing that has helped me is to learn the origins or roots of words that just don't stick in my brain. If I know why
they are spelled the way that they are it helps me out tremendously. Taking Latin helped with this too. I suck at Latin (perhaps for the same reason I suck at English) but learning it really helped my spelling lol.
And to add to that, I think we actually place far too much emphasis on spelling and grammar -- testing for spelling and grammar out of context just doesn't make much sense to me. I see the detrimental impact of this in high school and college writers when their writing efficacy is so low because they are so worried about making a spelling/grammatical mistakes that they freeze up and can't write. IMO, and this is backed by literature in writing development, while spelling may be important to establish credibility and in final presentation of formal, written documents, it definitely shouldn't be the focus of learning to read/write. As Chamomile said, I know many, many very intelligent people who are great readers and writers, but are poor spellers. I make many spelling mistakes routinely, and I still consider myself a good writer. More important than spelling is being able to convey, understand, and critique messages, and spelling is a very minor part of this.
When I teach 3rd and 4th grade writing for talented and gifted students in the summers, nearly every kid I teach already has some sort of anxiety about writing -- they constantly are erasing their ideas because they think they have spelled something wrong, or interrupting their thinking to raise their hand to ask how something is spelled. If this were my daughter, I would allow her to make the mistakes, particularly in the drafting stage -- you might just get her into a routine of writing several drafts of things. On the first draft you could say to her that you can use this draft to just get your ideas down, it doesn't matter how things are spelled or if you're using capitals, commas, or periods in the right way, just get your ideas down on paper. Then, on the next draft, you could encourage her to look more closely at the spelling, using a dictionary, spell check, etc. to find one or two words that need to be fixed. I'd just encourage you again to be gentle with it, because writing is something that people are often very sensitive about and experiences with writing as young children can really impact the way we see ourselves as writers into adulthood.
ETA: This is absolutely not right that the teacher would consider holding your daughter back because of spelling. PM me if you want -- I'm happy to help you put together a case against this.