As a child, I attended Catholic school. I distinctly remember spelling. We had a book with ten words a week. We had to write each word ten times, use each word in a sentence, do some kind of wordplay with the words and finally take a test. I recall writing the numbers 1-10 in my spelling journal and copying each letter ten times (ie-shirt, 1. s, 2. s, 3. s,….1.sh, 2.sh, 3. sh…). I rarely actually wrote the word out in full ten times (ie-1. shirt, 2. shirt, 3. shirt….). I also rarely (if ever) scored a 10/10 on the quiz. To this day, I struggle with spelling. Thus, I want my children’s spelling experience to be different.
I thought from the beginning that we needed a multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham based program. We started with All About Spelling. We learned the spelling rules. The kids did terrific with spelling while we were spelling. The program did not seem to carry over into daily writing. Next we tried Apples and Pears. Initially, everyone LOVED the daily work and the spelling carried over into daily work. Unfortunately, everyone tired of the curriculum pretty quickly. (Although, I still like it.) Last year and this year, my older two kids used Phonetic Zoo. Again, initially they loved it but they quickly got bored with it.
So what to do? Well, my oldest mentioned last week how much reading books and copy work helps him with his spelling. Doesn’t that just say it all? He works with a dyslexic brain, as do I. He has just over the past year started reading for enjoyment. My daughter, a ferocious reader, has never struggled with spelling.
Now I have to make the decision for next year. My gut is to play a lot of scrabble, read, do copy work, read, and maybe continue to read.