Ridiculously poor spelling in my 12yo... Thoughts/input please - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 36 Old 09-22-2010, 01:14 PM
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we feel that the words themselves are more powerful than possible misspellings.


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#32 of 36 Old 09-22-2010, 09:31 PM
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My son, 11, is also a poor speller. However, he is taking Spanish this year and has homework on the computer, where he has to type the answer in Spanish correctly, including the accents. He's learning Spanish spelling fast because of the repetition and the instant feedback, and because the computer keeps giving you the same words until you spell them correctly several times. The first few lessons took over an hour each. Now he usualy finishes in 20 minutes or so.

Makes me think we should have had some sort of English spelling program like this: maybe the computer could "say" the word and the child could type it. Together with learning the "rules" of spelling (which are so funky in English!), this might have really helped.

We've settled into this with English spelling: as long as you can recognize when words don't look right, and will look them up in a dictionary for things you are going to hand in, I don't really care too much. He uses a small "word finder" dictionary in class--it just has the words, not definitions, so it is more compact and faster to look up words. Eventually he'll be typing most things and will be able to use spell check.
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#33 of 36 Old 09-24-2010, 01:31 PM
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To the OP: my 12 year old sounds very much like your dd. I had her evaluated a couple of years ago and the doc found my dd had no phoenitical awareness- and she attended a school that taught phonics! Since my dd goes to a very traditional school, spelling is taught and graded. She can learn the words for the test, but she won't remember them later on.

One thing I have noticed is that her poor spelling is starting to affect her writing; she doesn't want to use words she can't spell, and this inhibits her expression of ideas. Not to mention her papers look positively awful before editing.

There is a program called FasttForWord that the doc recommended. I have noticed that many elementary schools are starting to use it with great results. DH was laid off, so the cost was prohibitive to us. We work with her quite a bit and many times I will have her dictate her papers to me and I will type them. If your dd is not bothered by it, then I would not be either. Mine is and so we work on it.

The doc did say my dd is a basic average student, which I have always known. But she is an incredible athlete with a strong work ethic. He also said that if she was in a different type of school, her 'problem" may not have really stood out. But she is in a school where all the kids do really well. 90% of the class getting 100s on tests is the norm. My dd loves her school, her teachers help us out, and her friends love studying with her, so we see no reason to change. We all have to adapt at times!
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#34 of 36 Old 09-26-2010, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by its_betty View Post
He's learning Spanish spelling fast because of the repetition and the instant feedback, and because the computer keeps giving you the same words until you spell them correctly several times..
Spanish is a much more phonetic language, so spelling just makes so much more sense. My friend lives in a bilingual household and insists that her kids learn to read in English first. She says Spanish is a breeze afterward and she's afraid if they learn in Spanish first they will never want to work at English. LOL
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#35 of 36 Old 09-27-2010, 12:13 AM
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Well, I am a horrid speller. I have gotten better over the years, though. And this is why. BECAUSE OF spell checkers.

I have found that if I turn off the "auto correct" and just type, it shows me all my mistakes. THEN, I go back and figure out the mistakes, what I did wrong, and how to do it correctly. I was amazed at how much it has helped my spelling. Before I began typing like this (and having instant "wrong" notices) I would make spelling mistakes at least each sentence.

Now, I find that I have paragraphs upon paragraphs at times with no mistakes at all. So, spell checkers are not such a bad thing after all, if they are used as an education tool.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#36 of 36 Old 09-29-2010, 09:27 AM
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Even though I was always an A student in English, I was and still am a horrible speller. I think in my case I did not have a good foundation. I went to very bad schools until middle school.

Also, now it has become more pronounced because I have learned several languages and lived abroad spending many years of my life with people who did not speak English as their first language. I am also the type of person who prefers to converse and understand rather than get all the spelling and grammar perfect.

Although I do not believe that education should be all about memorisation, I do think that repetition and drills are good for things like spelling and multiplication tables. I see that in my son. In 3rd and 4th grade they had spelling words every week. My own spelling improved just by going over the words with my son, writing them out and saying the letters out loud over and over again. I never did this type of thing as a kid! In 5th and 6th grade his teachers no longer had spelling quizzes and I see that he has not learned to spell new words properly.

So now in middle school we are back to going over a few words each day.
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