Originally Posted by SweetSilver
to laugh and enjoy this phase the kids are in, and find joy in some of the surprises that kids' lack of tunnel vision brings us.
Exactly! I think that kids' spontaneous phonetic spelling mistakes are delightful. They give parents a wonderful window into how their kids are cracking the code of written language. I think that witnessing these sorts of "smart mistakes" in writing that home-learning kids are doing as part of meaningful, self-motivated writing should reassure parents. Their kids are making errors in spelling that are driven by their growing understanding of how written language is both encoded and decoded. The errors are a window into the child's learning strategies.
They're lovely, and informative. They help you see what your child has learned.
That's very different from what I think of as "invented spelling" which seems to be a term most often applied to adult-directed assigned writing where children are expected to write according to phonetic rules, as a strategy to encourage literacy development. In other words, invented spelling is [supposedly] a teaching strategy
. It's supposed to produce learning. Like any top-down teaching strategy, it's likely to be appropriate for some kids, not particularly helpful for others, and downright confusing and counter-productive for some others.
My four kids all went through a stage early in their literacy development of writing words and phrases using phonetic guesses. I found it very endearing and informative. As they got older their spelling improved naturally. None of my kids got any direct spelling instruction whatsoever, and all have turned out to be fabulous spellers. They didn't do much writing until they were well on their way into adolescence, but when they did start writing the stuff they produced was sophisticated and well-polished, and spelling errors were very unusual. I suppose they're good visual learners; they just picked up proper spelling in the course of reading. They would have found it completely silly and unhelpful to be asked to spell words aloud.
I think that when you set out to teach spelling in a top-down fashion and use a single approach for all children regardless of their needs, their motivation and their learning style, you will hit the mark beautifully with some kids, do a lot of unnecessary teaching to others who were getting it just fine without all your teaching, and you will miss the mark entirely with some kids. If there'sa kid for whom the single strategy of invented spelling misses the mark that doesn't mean the strategy is ridiculous and should never be used. It just means it doesn't work for some kids, and shouldn't be relied upon across the board.