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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD (8yrs.) is having a hard time with spelling.
We have never used any type of curric. for spelling. She just wasn't into it the time we tried spelling curric. Its been a couple years since then. Instead, we've done other things to learn to spell like play scrabble, write letters to pen pals and family, mad libs ect. but these seem to not really "help" her spelling skills. She is a great reader, well above her grade but can't spell
Even a simple word like kite, is a struggle. How can i help her with this? I am willing to try a spelling curriculum again if its more than just worksheets and tests. Anybody know of a good curriculum for visual learners?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by Hera View Post

How is spelling difficulty affecting her life right now?
I have notice that as she is getting older, she is starting to become more independent and frustrated. Where as, she use to just ask me how to spell something and I would tell her. Now she is trying to sound out words without my help and becomes frustrated. I think it started when she joined a group called "sunbeams". Its like girl scouts minus the cookie sales. She loves going but I know some of the girls there give her slack because she is home schooled. She LOVES to write, especially comics, and I hate seeing her become frustrated with one of her passions.
 

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At what level is she reading? If about 3rd grade or up, I'd recommend checking out Sequential Spelling. The program is designed for dyslexics, but is excellent for visual learners as well. The first week or two is available for download, as well as instructions for how to use the program. There's no pressure and because the words are corrected as you go, every day's list ends up perfect. We use a whiteboard with about 6 colours of markers. The student response book is not necessary; you can easily make up sheets yourself.
 

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Is she able to get pretty close? I'm thinking, if she could type words into Word, then she could use the spell check. I do similar stuff with google too, searching for something and then seeing if it asks me "did you mean ___ "

You said she was independent, so that seems like something that she could do on her own. I think the Spelling Power book is pretty good, lots of word lists and it doesn't take a lot of time, but she has to want to take spelling tests which can get old pretty fast.
 

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Long story, but there's a point
: When my son was about 9 or so, we went to a speech therapist to have him tested for auditory discrimination problems. The reason was that he was having a hard time remembering simple sequences he heard. For instance, I was in the bathtub once when I called out into the other room and asked him to go into the living room and turn on the heat - and find the book so we could read it when I got out. He couldn't remember all that - I had to repeat them a few times: "Three things - go to the living room, turn on the heat, find the book." He felt overwhelmed, but finally, he was able to repeat them, and started off. At that point, I said, "Oh, would you turn the light off in that room as you leave..." Well, that did it - he was really frustrated: "OH NO! Now you've got me all confused - I can't remember all that!" I was a little freaked out, wondering what in the world was going on.

I mentioned it to another mom at park day that week, and she said that was a sign of auditory discrimination problems - processing information that comes in by auditory input - her son had similar problems. Next thing you know, we're at the speech therapist's office getting him tested. The test was done with colored blocks; and I can't recall the details of how it worked, but it had to do with placing the colored blocks so as to represent sounds in sequence. I was surprised to see him using his left hand and lining them up from right to left up on a diagonal rather than using his right hand to move them from left to right along a horizontal line. It occurred to me that he hadn't made the connection of the sounds of the letters moving from left to right as you spell. Even though he could read fine, he hadn't had a knack for spelling. He was diagnosed with auditory discrimination deficit (not because of the right to left thing, but the rest of it), and went through the Auditory Discrimination in Depth program - it has to do with the way the sounds feel in the mouth as they're formed, and it's something that a lot of schools were using at the time in order to cover the kinesthetic learners in the classroom. To this day, I honestly don't know if he really had auditory discrimination problems - it was at all as clear as the vision skill problems, and I sort of had the feeling that the diagnosis is overly applied.

But he did learn some things about spelling from it, and he actually never had problems after that. I'm not at all saying that your daughter might need speech therapy or the ADD program - but that there may be some similarly unexpected but little thing that's preventing her from getting the hang of how it works. Determining her strongest learning style and trying to find ways of utilizing it more fully would help though.

I just Googled for a link to the ADD program, by the way, and found conflicting reports of how effective studies have found it to be.

But the part that I thought probably helped him was the part that went over some simple rules of how spelling works. He didn't do paperwork or writing or memorizing words or anything like that, but he seemed to catch the hang of it somehow. Other than participation in that program, he never formally studied spelling, but is an excellent speller today - and he mostly got that way from the use of his spell checker while using his computer and from a lot of reading during his teens.

My husband, by the way, has always been an atrocious speller, even though he was always a voracious reader and extremely intelligent. On my side, my father and his siblings were always the stars of the spelling bees - it came natural to all of them, and it always came natural to me.

Well, lots of rambling, but I hope there might have been something of help there somewhere...
Lillian
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hera View Post
Is she able to get pretty close? I'm thinking, if she could type words into Word, then she could use the spell check. I do similar stuff with google too, searching for something and then seeing if it asks me "did you mean ___ "
That was an amazing teaching tool for my son and lots of others I've heard of! There were fewer and fewer errors picked up by the spell checker each time. - Lillian
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hera View Post
Is she able to get pretty close? I'm thinking, if she could type words into Word, then she could use the spell check. I do similar stuff with google too, searching for something and then seeing if it asks me "did you mean ___ "
You know, they have those little hand held spell checkers at borders. Im going to go pick one up. She might like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
At what level is she reading? If about 3rd grade or up, I'd recommend checking out Sequential Spelling. The program is designed for dyslexics, but is excellent for visual learners as well. The first week or two is available for download, as well as instructions for how to use the program. There's no pressure and because the words are corrected as you go, every day's list ends up perfect. We use a whiteboard with about 6 colours of markers. The student response book is not necessary; you can easily make up sheets yourself.
Thanks! I downloaded the first week to give it a try.
 

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Not a homeschooler, but I'm dyslexic and I could read okay but never spell


Definatly recommend one of those franklin hand spell / dictionary thingys. People who have trouble spelling often have trouble with the dictionary too. I also had a spelling dictionary in the days before the electronics. No definations, just spelling. Less distracting.

Really, if she likes to write I would just continue to encourage her to spell the best she can and move on. Stopping to look up stuff will hurt her creative writing. It will frustrate her and hurt the flow. Trust me. The best thing you can do for her is to reinforce that some people have more trouble with spelling, and the important thing is to get the idea down on paper, she can always fix it later. I also HIGHLY reccomend this series if you use reference books. I used it as a teacher, but still refer to it as an adult

http://www.amazon.com/Write-Source-2...3364510&sr=8-2

That is the book we used for middle school, but it sounds like the right level for your dd. It's colorful and shows how to write just about anything from historical fiction to a grocery list (well I'm not sure if there is a grocery list in there, but lots of stuff
). It reinforces the process, from storyboarding / rough drafting through editing. It's a wonderful reference. There is also a grammar and spelling appendix in the back I think, and some other neat facts like states and capitals and presidents and other stuff. My copy is back in Israel so I can't check all the details, but I highly reccomend it for any writer
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hip_mama View Post
Thanks! I downloaded the first week to give it a try.
Just a word of warning: the parent is the key with Sequential Spelling. Be careful not to use words like "wrong" or "mistake." It's not uncommon to hear about children getting to Lesson 60 before their real life spelling noticeably improves. There are a number of ways to do it, but this is what we do: I read the word and use it in a few sentences, (depending on how many meanings it has), DD1 writes it, and I have her help me build the word on the whiteboard. Even if she didn't spell the word correctly on the paper, she still will have helped me build at least part of the word. We then discuss homophones, if any, and I write a silly sentence using all the homophones (she loves this). She's then responsible for comparing the two words and making any necessary changes. On to the next word.
 

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I would help her get into the practice of making spelling checks part of her editing process. That is, she writes something the first time focusing on how she wants to say it, not on the mechanics so much. Then, she can edit. If she's writing something for her own amusement, spelling shouldn't really be an issue. Something she wants to show others she can edit and re-write, the second time copying with corrections.

As for a curriculum, have you looked at Spelling Power? It was designed by/for homeschoolers. It has optional software, but all you really need is the core book. The basic lessons are made to take 10-15 min., including a checkup test once a week (to see which words on the list she actually needs to practice--they don't waste time practicing with words you can already spell), practice writing the words correctly, and activities to reinforce them (lots of ideas for activities are included in the book and the software has more). As words are mastered, they drop off the list and new ones are added.

In one of my obsessive curriculum researching phases I came across this and plan to buy it when we're ready for a spelling curriculum.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees View Post
At what level is she reading? If about 3rd grade or up, I'd recommend checking out Sequential Spelling. The program is designed for dyslexics, but is excellent for visual learners as well. The first week or two is available for download, as well as instructions for how to use the program. There's no pressure and because the words are corrected as you go, every day's list ends up perfect. We use a whiteboard with about 6 colours of markers. The student response book is not necessary; you can easily make up sheets yourself.

I was going to suggest this one too, my grandson has problems spelling yet reads really well, they have a free trial lesson on their web page, and it amazed me how quickly they pick things up, he went from spelling 'in' to 'beginning' in about 15 mins, www.avko.org - it's actually cheaper to buy the spelling books on the sonlight web site
 

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I mentioned Spelling Power too, but after reading what the pp said about not saying "wrong" or "mistake" I realized what the problem with that program is. Basically, in order to figure out what to study, you have to take a spelling quiz on words you've never tried to spell before. If they're easy, you can spell them, but if they are challenging you get them wrong and have to go through a ten step study sheet exercise. It sets you up to make mistakes on a test all the time, which is kind of lame.

I do like the word lists, though. It's almost worth it just to have them to use in other ways.
 
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