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#1 of 32 Old 05-30-2013, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 7 year old is well on his way to being a fluent reader. He loves to read and spends a good bit of time reading everyday.  He hasn't been that interested in writing and so we don't do much there unless he decides to write himself.  Part of the problem is, he gets upset when he spells words wrong.  I explained a million times that, at his age he is just supposed to write using "invented" spelling -- the way the word sounds to him -- and I can read it.  BUT after I read his writing, he always asks "Are the words written the right way?" and I tell him again about how at his age... blah blah.  

 

THEN he insists on knowing which words are not right and goes on to get pretty upset about the fact that he didn't spell them right.  The other day, he huge meltdown and repeatedly asked how I learned to spell and how he could too.  He just doesn't get that it is something he will slowly learn.  His immediate expectation of perfection does really get in the way!  Another problem is, his vocabulary is fairly large so he is not using words like cat, dog his writing.  He wants to write the way he thinks -- big words and all.  Yikes! I really don't think he needs to worry much about writing but here we are.  

 

So Mamas, how did your kids learn to spell?  Did you teach them directly?  When did it click?  Also, when did your kids get into writing?  I don't remember how I learned to spell/write and I am a heavy spell check user!  I might be wrong but I honestly don't think he needs to write in any serious manner at his age (7)?  Is it wrong for me to think it will come later through the tons of reading he is doing?

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#2 of 32 Old 05-30-2013, 11:07 PM
 
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Clearly he's looking for how to spell, not why he's not supposed to spell, or not supposed to want to spell. Answer his questions calmly, without judgment, so he knows this is normal. Use a dictionary or spell check to look up the words you're not certain about. And don't worry about when others started spelling. The point of homeschooling is to be able to adapt to each child's unique interests.
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#3 of 32 Old 05-30-2013, 11:15 PM
 
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That's pretty much the way my kids learn to spell. They ask, I (or Papa or Grandma) tell them how to spell it. That plus reading is all; I've never sat them down for any sort of lesson in spelling. I think my now-11yo started the same way and at the same age as your son, BTW, and she's an excellent speller. smile.gif
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#4 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's pretty much the way my kids learn to spell. They ask, I (or Papa or Grandma) tell them how to spell it. That plus reading is all; I've never sat them down for any sort of lesson in spelling. I think my now-11yo started the same way and at the same age as your son, BTW, and she's an excellent speller. smile.gif

 

Good to know smile.gif.  I think, in addition, I will go over some of the rules with him so that he knows them.  I might write them out on a poster and put them up somewhere.  

 

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Clearly he's looking for how to spell, not why he's not supposed to spell, or not supposed to want to spell. Answer his questions calmly, without judgment, so he knows this is normal. Use a dictionary or spell check to look up the words you're not certain about. And don't worry about when others started spelling. The point of homeschooling is to be able to adapt to each child's unique interests.

 

I do answer his questions calmly and without judgment.  If it is not clear in my first post, the only reason why I tell him about "invented" spelling being fine is so that he doesn't get upset when he finds out how many words he spelled wrong (which often is quiet a bit because he uses big words).  I am trying to get him to understand that no one starts out as a perfect speller and spelling mistakes are fine!  Right now, he writes, he realizes he has gotten a lot of words wrong and then has a meltdown about not being able to spell.  

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#5 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 01:22 AM
 
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My 7 year old is well on his way to being a fluent reader. He loves to read and spends a good bit of time reading everyday.  He hasn't been that interested in writing and so we don't do much there unless he decides to write himself.  Part of the problem is, he gets upset when he spells words wrong.  I explained a million times that, at his age he is just supposed to write using "invented" spelling -- the way the word sounds to him -- and I can read it.  BUT after I read his writing, he always asks "Are the words written the right way?" and I tell him again about how at his age... blah blah.

THEN he insists on knowing which words are not right and goes on to get pretty upset about the fact that he didn't spell them right.  The other day, he huge meltdown and repeatedly asked how I learned to spell and how he could too.  He just doesn't get that it is something he will slowly learn.  His immediate expectation of perfection does really get in the way!  Another problem is, his vocabulary is fairly large so he is not using words like cat, dog his writing.  He wants to write the way he thinks -- big words and all.  Yikes! I really don't think he needs to worry much about writing but here we are.  


So Mamas, how did your kids learn to spell?  Did you teach them directly?  When did it click?  Also, when did your kids get into writing?  I don't remember how I learned to spell/write and I am a heavy spell check user!  I might be wrong but I honestly don't think he needs to write in any serious manner at his age (7)?  Is it wrong for me to think it will come later through the tons of reading he is doing?

Why do you tell him he should only be focused on invented spelling? if I were him, I'd be frustrated, too. I realize that inventive spelling is (wrongly) taught in many schools, but a child asking to be taught how to spell, IMHO, should be taught how to spell. There are a number of curricula out there to help. If he's asking, he wants to know. All About Spelling, Spell to Write and Read, Spelling Workout, The ABC's and All Their Tricks are just a few items that could help.
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#6 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do you tell him he should only be focused on invented spelling? if I were him, I'd be frustrated, too. I realize that inventive spelling is (wrongly) taught in many schools, but a child asking to be taught how to spell, IMHO, should be taught how to spell. There are a number of curricula out there to help. If he's asking, he wants to know. All About Spelling, Spell to Write and Read, Spelling Workout, The ABC's and All Their Tricks are just a few items that could help.

 

I guess my post is not clear.  I help him correct his writing and I point out to him correct spelling when he wants to know.  I teach him when he asks to be taught.  I have even gone as far as printing out a spelling workbook for him for him to work on.  So I am not preventing him from learning to spell.  I am horrified that my post comes off as if I am saying that!  

 

The problem is he gets really upset and has a huge melt downs every time he sees that he has spelled a significant amount of words wrong.  I am trying to make him feel better and generally trying to save him from feeling crushed when I talk to him about invented spelling.  This is because, from past experience, I know he is going to get upset when I do tell him a lot of his words are spelled wrong.  He gets intensely disappointed in himself when he misspells.  

 

He wants to be a perfect speller and he wants to be that now.  No mistakes in his writing.  I don't see a way of getting him there outside of reading and correcting his writing and going over spelling rules with him or taking up spelling lessons -- which I will happily do.  Becoming a good speller is a process, not something that happens overnight.  In the mean time, I hate to see my son feel like he is a terrible writer because he can't spell his words right.  

 

I came here trying to figure out how other people's kids learned to spell and maybe for sharing of experiences from others.  

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#7 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 04:58 AM
 
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Probably the single thing that most helped my DD feel better about her writing (when she was a couple of years older than your son) was showing her sample student writing responses from our state's standardized reading test.  It was a revelation and a relief to her to see how poorly some kids her age were able to write.

 

If I were you, I'd Google "first grade writing samples" and show some of what you find to your son.  Here's an example: http://www.readingrockets.org/looking_at_writing/first_grade/writing_sample_1/

 

How did my kids learn to spell?  One of them is also 7 and so far he's learned just from reading a lot and from asking me to how to spell things.  He generally prefers to ask me how something is spelled rather than using invented spelling, but fortunately he doesn't seem too bothered if he does spell something wrong.  DD is 10, and I haven't done a whole lot more explicit spelling teaching with her, but I have done a bit.  Mostly I've taken the approach of noticing the mistakes she makes in writing and if the mistakes indicate there's a rule she needs to know, explaining the rule.  Or if there is a common word she consistently gets wrong, showing her how to spell it and having her write some practice sentences using it.  I'd say she's a medium-good speller.

 

When did they get into writing?  Well, they both say they hate it, so maybe the answer is that they haven't yet.  (Though DD is actually reasonably good at it, and is writing a longish thing now that she seems to find satisfying to work on.)  And maybe that means I'm doing something very wrong and my example should not be followed.  But I do think it's helpful to practice the physical act of writing, and to get started on that fairly early.  I often ask my 7 year old to write one sentence.  That's about the limit of what he can do without freaking out about how I'm torturing him and it's too hard.  I don't think he needs to do any serious writing at his age, but I think if he doesn't start accumulating enough practice time to make it more automatic he could end up as a 10 year old who's mentally ready to do some serious writing but physically struggling to get the words down.  He also does some writing on the computer, which he much prefers, and it's easier for him to write slightly longer things that way.  Maybe nowadays that's all kids really need to know how to do, but I'm too old to accept that idea easily.

 

I learned how to spell pretty much entirely through reading.  We had spelling lists and so forth at school, but I didn't really need any of that.  Occasionally I would spell something wrong, but once it was pointed out I would remember the correct spelling forever.

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#8 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 07:22 AM
 
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Does he type much? Sounds like he might enjoy spell-check for how quickly and conveniently it deals with the "Is it wrong, and if so what's the right way?" aspect. Even as an adult, I feel like the automatic red underlines have made me a much better speller. (Granted, I can still never get "conveniently" on the first try.)

 

Spelling-based games might give him practice (memorizing some words, witnessing patterns), but on the other hand, it might cause his current ability level to become more frustrating to him.

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#9 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Both the girls enjoy writing lists, and neither like the idea of invented spelling.  So, I spend a good chunk of the day telling them how to spell things.  The lists are based off of their horse books, so much of it is copy work, and they are noticing the spelling (well, kind of, they still ask me an awful lot).  Anyway, the copywork helps focus not just on the comprehension, but really on the words themselves.  It is too easy when we read well to not really notice how words are spelled.

 

Sometimes they want me to give them 3-word spelling tests, or whatever.  It's been a couple months since the last time they asked.

 

Again, though, they dislike invented spelling.  While it is normal for kids to use it, I haven't met the kid that doesn't care.  So, while my attitude is that invented spelling is perfectly OK, they don't agree--and dd2 is surprisingly perfectionist about spelling.  She is normally the girl who isn't bound by any sense of perfectionism, and usually dives in with gusto without any regard to getting something just right.  But I guess that trait isn't consistent.  Anyway, I wonder if teachers like invented spelling more than kids do?  Perhaps we see kids inventing spelling, and think they are OK with it, so we encourage and teach it in classrooms?  Is this a mistake?  Are we misinterpreting this entirely?

 

Partly, your son is just going to have to power through this phase.  Clearly, he is not satisfied with the answers you are giving him with what is age appropriate.  So, onward and through!  I like to make sure my girls are regularly reminded about the capricious quality of English.  I have been know to say something snarky about that dude 300 years ago who decided that silent e's belong at the end of words, because his sense of aesthetic wouldn't allow a word to end with an "l".  I tell them the history about words like "plough" and "plow", and how spelling came late to English.  The many dialects screwed up spelling attempts, and, like I said, a lot of our spelling and grammar was standardized on the whim of folks like Jonathon Swift.  For centuries, people invented spelling as they went.  It's fun to read the old texts and guess what the people must have sounded like to arrive at such spellings.  If your son is curious, it might be fun to find history books related to English and the history of spelling and grammar.  In fact, I'm interested in what's out there as well.....

 

It's unfortunate that your attempts to reassure your son wind up backfiring.  It is so frustrating!  English spelling is so hard, and so often makes little sense.  there are very few rules that don't have glaring exceptions.  It's tough.


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#10 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 08:42 AM
 
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Would he be ok with doing his writing with you within earshot so he can just ask as he goes along? Or if he has computer access he could look up stuff he's not sure of before he commits it to paper.
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#11 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 09:14 AM
 
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I understand. My kids have avoided writing at times because they were fixated on correct spelling, being perfectionists and all. Their own high standards were their worst enemies at times. That's partly because of temperament, but also partly because their frame of reference for writing was all the amazing published books they were reading. They wanted to be able to write like that!

 

I agree with Daffodil. A little dose of "this is what's normal for kids your age" may help him relax his own expectations for himself to more realistic levels. A couple of times I googled "2nd grade spelling list" and showed my kids what kids their age in school were studying in order to learn to spell. The words were usually laughably simple for them. "If you were learning spelling in school, you would be given words like these on Monday, and would practice spelling them accurately for four days, and then on Friday you'd have a test to see if you could do them." They'd look at listed words like trail, river, why, round and sail and feel somewhat more charitably about their own efforts to spell words like throughout and propeller. 

 

I have not taught spelling to my kids at all. I've answered their questions when they arose. All four have become good spellers, though there was a 1-3 year lag after they became fluent readers until the spelling aptitude really kicked in. Yesterday my 10-year-old corrected our homeschool liaison teacher on the word "enrolment," explaining that it only has one L. redface.gif I expect he'll mark her down as "exceeding expectations for Grade 4 spelling" on his report.

 

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#12 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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Sorry about the misunderstanding. I hope you aren't too annoyed.

My son didn't care about spelling, and learned only when he started typing his own documents on WordPad, which has no spell check. Then he had to check the spelling somewhere else, like at the library. At that point he was motivated to learn how to spell, so that less time was spent editing. That doesn't help you, I'd guess, since your son is younger than mine was. Good luck!
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For us, spelling seemed to just click in into place on its own, at 8-ish, after a few years of reading but not much writing. Honestly, I think Minecraft did it. I suspect that my son could spell "teleport" and "spawn zombie" before the standard first grade spelling words. Once he knew a bunch of words from repeatedly typing them, he seemed to internalize the rules of spelling and started to notice, comment on and learn the exceptions to the rules. He just turned 9 and spells quite well now. I haven't taught him other than to answer lots of "how do you spell..." questions. Spell checker is nice too, as it lets him write independently and correct his own mistakes. 


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I suspect that my son could spell "teleport" and "spawn zombie" before the standard first grade spelling words.  

 

LOL, I remember watching my then-6-year-old ds touch-typing "pepperoni pizza" over and over again, at least 50 wpm, as a cheat code for extra food in the original Age of Empires game. 

 

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#15 of 32 Old 05-31-2013, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand. My kids have avoided writing at times because they were fixated on correct spelling, being perfectionists and all. Their own high standards were their worst enemies at times. That's partly because of temperament, but also partly because their frame of reference for writing was all the amazing published books they were reading. They wanted to be able to write like that!

 

Yes! Exactly!  When we go through my child's writing to correct the spelling, he actually haggles with me! He argues that his spelling is right and explains why he thinks that.  Then, he wants proof that mine is right.  This is for every single word! I mean... WHAT?!  LOL.  

 

Love that your daughter is confident enough to correct her teacher.  It sounds like she is an exceptional speller smile.gif

 

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My son didn't care about spelling, and learned only when he started typing his own documents on WordPad, which has no spell check. Then he had to check the spelling somewhere else, like at the library. At that point he was motivated to learn how to spell, so that less time was spent editing. That doesn't help you, I'd guess, since your son is younger than mine was. Good luck!

 

It does help to hear other people's experiences including yours because it shows the many, diverse ways kids arrive at learning something.  I find it fascinating.  Thanks for sharing smile.gif

 

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For us, spelling seemed to just click in into place on its own, at 8-ish, after a few years of reading but not much writing. Honestly, I think Minecraft did it. I suspect that my son could spell "teleport" and "spawn zombie" before the standard first grade spelling words. Once he knew a bunch of words from repeatedly typing them, he seemed to internalize the rules of spelling and started to notice, comment on and learn the exceptions to the rules. He just turned 9 and spells quite well now. I haven't taught him other than to answer lots of "how do you spell..." questions. Spell checker is nice too, as it lets him write independently and correct his own mistakes. 

 

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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Does he type much? Sounds like he might enjoy spell-check for how quickly and conveniently it deals with the "Is it wrong, and if so what's the right way?" aspect. Even as an adult, I feel like the automatic red underlines have made me a much better speller. (Granted, I can still never get "conveniently" on the first try.)

 

Spelling-based games might give him practice (memorizing some words, witnessing patterns), but on the other hand, it might cause his current ability level to become more frustrating to him.

 

 

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Would he be ok with doing his writing with you within earshot so he can just ask as he goes along? Or if he has computer access he could look up stuff he's not sure of before he commits it to paper.

 

Strangely, he has shown zero interest in the computer.  Maybe it is because he uses the iPad heavily.  We don't have desktop PCs either, just laptops.  But yeah, zero interest.  

 

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Partly, your son is just going to have to power through this phase.  Clearly, he is not satisfied with the answers you are giving him with what is age appropriate.  So, onward and through! .... If your son is curious, it might be fun to find history books related to English and the history of spelling and grammar.  In fact, I'm interested in what's out there as well.....

 

Yes, I think I will just let him work out his frustration while reassuring him.  But the whole invented spelling is okay thing is NOT working.  So time to let that go and do something else. Sometimes it is like I get stuck too and around and around the bend we go!  Also, he would be fascinated by the history behind the language.  He loves that kind of stuff.  Thanks for the suggestion!  

 
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Probably the single thing that most helped my DD feel better about her writing (when she was a couple of years older than your son) was showing her sample student writing responses from our state's standardized reading test.  It was a revelation and a relief to her to see how poorly some kids her age were able to write.

 

If I were you, I'd Google "first grade writing samples" and show some of what you find to your son.  Here's an example: http://www.readingrockets.org/looking_at_writing/first_grade/writing_sample_1/

 

 

Thank you for the suggestion of showing him samples.  I followed that link and showed him the sample and waited for an aha! moment.  He looked and then said "I don't care if other kids are writing this way. It is not the way I want to write!!!"  And I went -- hahaha, okie dokie!  BUT then a funny thing happened.  I think it worked in some way because we ended up talking more about the process of learning to spell and the time it takes to learn, etc.  Somehow, having seen the sample, he was more willing to talk about it without being angry or frustrated and he seemed to actually listen to me.  So thanks for that!  

===

 

All of you guys, thank you for responding to this thread.  It is really nice to hear about other parent's experiences.  It really helps smile.gif

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#16 of 32 Old 06-01-2013, 03:40 AM
 
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When my son told me that the way the word was spelled was 'wrong', I agreed that it was not sensible. Then, as, I think, SweetSilver suggested, I would talk about where the word came from, etc. It helped that I started by finding something to agree about, before discussing anything else.

For a time, I typed on the computer while my son dictated. That also helped with the spelling issue, and he saw the benefit of using the computer. But my son refused to write with pencil and paper, though. To this day, his writing and printing are atrocious!! He just can't stay still long enough to get things down on paper. But he *types* faster than seems humanly possible!
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#17 of 32 Old 06-01-2013, 07:52 AM
 
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This all reminds me of good old toddlerhood, and all the frustration that came from not understanding they aren't able to *just do* what they see done with the same skill and outcome.  This really is the same thing, minus the flailing legs and no-skid-sock-adorned feet.  


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#18 of 32 Old 06-02-2013, 12:22 AM
 
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I guess my post is not clear.  I help him correct his writing and I point out to him correct spelling when he wants to know.  I teach him when he asks to be taught.  I have even gone as far as printing out a spelling workbook for him for him to work on.  So I am not preventing him from learning to spell.  I am horrified that my post comes off as if I am saying that!   

I'm sorry if I sounded harsh. It just sounds like he would benefit from a spelling program.
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#19 of 32 Old 06-02-2013, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This all reminds me of good old toddlerhood, and all the frustration that came from not understanding they aren't able to *just do* what they see done with the same skill and outcome.  This really is the same thing, minus the flailing legs and no-skid-sock-adorned feet.  

 

Haha! Yeah, exactly! Except now we have the scowling face and a fisted hand ....

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#20 of 32 Old 06-02-2013, 09:40 PM
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Since he is clearly wanting to spell correctly, I highly suggest All About Spelling.  I have used several programs; they all have their good/bad points, but AAS is my favorite by far.  It isn't super expensive, is multi-sensory, and makes sense. 

 

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#21 of 32 Old 06-03-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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I think you need to consider what sort of learner your child is.

 

I am a visual learner and I have always been an excellent speller. I learned to read early and I enjoyed it so I read a lot. Basically, after encountering words so often in my reading I was able to memorize what they "looked like". When I would try to spell a word I simply visualized the word in my mind and spelled it out loud as if I were reading it off a page. Visual learners who read regularly are generally good at spelling. 

 

Auditory learners learn to spell differently and they may have more of a struggle because they are thinking about how a word *sounds* which, in the English language, will generally lead you astray. ;-)  Such kids probably do better with phonics-style reading programs. 


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#22 of 32 Old 06-03-2013, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Piglet68 View Post

I think you need to consider what sort of learner your child is.

 

I am a visual learner and I have always been an excellent speller. I learned to read early and I enjoyed it so I read a lot. Basically, after encountering words so often in my reading I was able to memorize what they "looked like". When I would try to spell a word I simply visualized the word in my mind and spelled it out loud as if I were reading it off a page. Visual learners who read regularly are generally good at spelling. 

 

Auditory learners learn to spell differently and they may have more of a struggle because they are thinking about how a word *sounds* which, in the English language, will generally lead you astray. ;-)  Such kids probably do better with phonics-style reading programs. 

I agree with this point.  I read early and loved it.  I read all the time.  While I wasn't terrible at spelling, I did need to sound out a word.  I am not a visual person in that I can't visualize much.  I learn from seeing a lot, but I definitely can't visualize a word in order to spell it.  Perhaps that is why I love AAS so much.  It explains things (as much as possible) and has a visual element with the tiles, etc.  Mostly though, just because a child reads early or is a strong reader doesn't mean that they will become a strong speller. 

 

Amy


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#23 of 32 Old 06-03-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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There are no rules regarding spelling and reading, in my opinion. I was an early reader, a sight reader, and was a good speller in school. I could memorize the list for the weekly quiz or periodic test, and let it fade as the words were not used. Some words I only learned to spell recently, or maybe relearned. Either way, I know they'll slip away if they don't get used enough. Boy, am I grateful for spellcheck!
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#24 of 32 Old 06-03-2013, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Auditory learners learn to spell differently and they may have more of a struggle because they are thinking about how a word *sounds* which, in the English language, will generally lead you astray. ;-)  Such kids probably do better with phonics-style reading programs. 

 

I think he may be more of an auditory learner but I am not sure.  He did phonics and he reads pretty well.  I think he needs more experience as a reader though. 

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While I wasn't terrible at spelling, I did need to sound out a word.  I am not a visual person in that I can't visualize much.  I learn from seeing a lot, but I definitely can't visualize a word in order to spell it.  Perhaps that is why I love AAS so much.  It explains things (as much as possible) and has a visual element with the tiles, etc.  Mostly though, just because a child reads early or is a strong reader doesn't mean that they will become a strong speller. 

 

Amy

 

I am gonna have to check out AAS.  Thanks for the recommendation! 

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#25 of 32 Old 06-03-2013, 09:36 PM
 
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I'll be honest and say I didn't read all of the responses so sorry if this is a repeat.

 

One way to help him build confidence in his own spelling is to work off of words that he DOES KNOW. Like, if he's trying to spell 'balloon,' support him by breaking it into sound-parts, basically syllables. If he isn't familiar with syllables then step back and 'clap' out lots of words he knows and practice identifying syllables first. This is a great time to also assess if he can HEAR the different syllables. Many times kids' hearing problems are uncovered with reading/spelling struggles. 

 

Okay, back to what I was saying. As he identifies syllables, have him write them down. 

B

Ba- (He might get the b-a or not, at least he should get the 'b.') Ask if he can spell 'ball.'

Ball

Ball-oon has a double vowel and might be tricky. Help him brainstorm other words that sound like 'oon' and see if he can spell any of them. Moon? If he tries 'on' talk about how that is the word 'on' like 'on top' and he;s tryign for a longer ooooo sound.

 

Basically, my point is that some words can be spelled if you think of similar word parts that you DO know and then piece together. A great book and spelling strategy I used when teaching spelling in 2nd grade elementary school was something like 'Words Their Way.' It's all about using smaller words and building on to them.

 

 

 

A whole other idea is to use grid paper to rote-practice spelling words with, it helps kids SEE how longer words/more letters and sounds combine to spell a word. You write the word like it was on stairs.

 

B

Bu

But

Butt

Butte

Butter

Butterf

Butterfl

Butterfly

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#26 of 32 Old 06-05-2013, 09:46 AM
 
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I hope I don't sound patronising, and like I'm stating the obvious - it maybe useful to notice when your son makes mistakes (at other times), and in a supportive way - reinforce the messages that it's ok/making mistakes are the way we learn.

Point out when you make a mistake and give similar messages...laugh at yourself perhaps.  There is a bigger learning curve, great opportunity to develop life skills e.g. resilience. 

 

I also agree with Amy that a reading programme might help.  My daughter was a reluctant reader, so a friend recommended Leaders are Readers, which provided language classes to help with Chloe's reading and writing.  They made me feel like I was not dealing with the issue on my own and their resources were great.  You might find a similar facility in your area....hope this helps.
 

 

Neen

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#27 of 32 Old 06-07-2013, 08:19 PM
 
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What helped over here with that was researching the history and evolution of the English language.

 

A lot of words that are spelled "incorrectly" according to phonetic rules used to be pronounced the way they're spelled. Understanding that aspect of written English, especially combined with a thorough discussion about dialects (UK vs America vs Australia, and dialects within the US, which often vary widely even within US neighborhoods from household to household) helped my kid chill out about spelling and just decide to learn the spelling word by word without anxiety.

 

I'm pretty sure my kid was freaking out over the "WHY?" aspect of spelling. Once he got his answer, he was cool with it. He was able to grok that he had no way of knowing how people 400 years ago spoke and pronounced words.

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#28 of 32 Old 06-08-2013, 06:52 PM
 
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We discuss words and look things up when DD has the urge, but for when she wants to write, I just got her a dictionary and taught her how to look words up. That way she can check words she isn't sure about but can still write on her own. I don't know about your DS, but though she likes to share when she's done, she likes to be able to write on her own. She just wants it all to be right, too. Also, she retains information best when she finds it herself and immediately utilizes it. 

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#29 of 32 Old 06-09-2013, 08:04 AM
 
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I borrowed a stack of books from the library about the history of spelling and some of English.  The first I'm reading is "Righting the Mother Tongue" by David Wolman.  Here's a footnoted quote:

 

"Before the late Middle English period, receive, for example, can be found as receve, rassaif, recyve, receyf, and in no less than forty other iterations.  People can be found as peple, pepel, pepulle...... etc."

 

All this was complicated by the scribes, still influenced by French letters and sounds, so English words such as cwen became queen, cwic became quick, cwellan became quell, scip became ship.

 

What a mess!  And a powerful argument for "invented spelling", even though your son isn't buying it--nearly every scribe was reinventing the spelling of a word every time he wrote it.  I still haven't stumbled on why the hell people ended up spelled that way.  Unfortunately for your son, English spelling, even though standardized, is still rather arbitrary, the settled spelling simply agreed upon at some point.  It is a fascinating history, and one that will at least put his struggles into perspective.


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#30 of 32 Old 06-09-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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OK, got to the part about "people".  Crazy stuff.  What a mess!


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