Spelling Woes

We are nearing the end of our first 9 weeks of school and it’s time to put together a progress report for our records.  This first quarter had been a little shaky at first, but it is slowly picking up steam.  With the added outside activities, I am finding it harder to get the kids to get out of the mindset of ‘hurry and get the work done’ and into the ‘do my best’ mode.  We are struggling the most with spelling.  Unfortunately, it seems whatever program we are using, they just don’t apply it to their other work.  They do pretty well when drilled with a list of words, but when I go over their work it is riddled with spelling errors.  It is quite frustrating for me because I consider myself a pretty good speller and it seems not one of my three kids inherited this ability.  We are currently using Spelling Power with mediocre results.  I have tried Wordly Wise, and Abeka in the past with the same results.  They have no trouble studying the words and spelling them correctly for tests, but often when they use them in other applications, they get creative.  When I find these imaginative spellings, I make them correct them and add them to their list of words, but again, they memorize them to pass the test and then I find the same types of errors later on.  We’ve even started a word wall with the words they consistently spell wrong.  I have researched all kinds of methods and tried all kinds of things, but I am fearful that they will not master this important skill.  They have very little problem in reading and comprehension so I know they know what the words look like.   Does anyone have any ideas that might help my woeful spellers? 

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5 Responses to Spelling Woes

  1. ReviewsbyHeidi says:

    We've used Abeka and Spelling Power in the past too. Right now, both my girls are using spelling programs by Modern Curriculum Press. We like it, but both my girls excel in spelling, so I can't really offer a good solution for you.

    How about, when they're writing something and come to a word they aren't sure how to spell, they look it up in the dictionary instead of guessing? My older daughter tends to be lazy and hates the dictionary, but I think it would be a great practice to get into.


  2. Lori says:

    Hey, Ginny,

    Seems like you're pretty diligent. I wish I could provide lots of good resources for you like you do for others. The only thing I can think of is that my sister used "Sing Spell Read, Write" with her kids, and it seems to be a really good foundation her kids have all grasped (she has three readers so far, and two are too young).

    I'm sure that your diligence will pay off.


  3. lahbluebonnet says:

    I don't know if I have help or not. My 11yos was just like this, also a great reader. The short of it is, I heard where spelling is a sequential skill that can trip good readers up, who see the whole word at once. Therefore I now do spelling auditorially with him. Every day we take a written quiz and he self checks while I spell out loud. He's supposed to study missed words by writing and spelling out loud 5x each but I don't think he does the out loud part (He's usually too busy being loud about other stuff.) However, his spelling is much improved. I think he gets the sequential aspect of it now. If you are wanting a curriculum that uses this technique, IEW has Phonetic Zoo. I just adapt the idea on our own. Hope either this helps or you find something that does. I know how discouraging that can get.



  4. SchoolinRhome says:

    I have one child that is not a good speller- by nature. She tries very hard but we both know spelling is not and never will be her strong point. She must keep working at it though. She spells her words each week (on paper) and does the lessons but I also have her spell out her list using magnetic tiles on a mag. board. She likes this and it helps (it takes time though.) I also have a rectangular wooden box with a slide top that has a small amount of sand in it. She writes each word in the sand, wipes it smooth and does another word. One other thing we occasionally do is when she writes the word she uses one color ink for all the consonants and one color for vowels. Also a good way that helps her is to write the word but break it apart into its syllables with spaces between syllables. I hope some of these help.

    Also will you be posting a calendar of Nov. writing prompts? We loved the Oct. ones!

  5. melissal89 says:

    I also have a child that struggles immensely in spelling. She too seems to do fairly well with the tests, but when applying it to everyday writing, that's a different story. It amazes me that I can look at her writing paper and ask her how to spell one of the words that she spelled wrong, and she can tell me verbally the correct spelling!

    My current thought is that perhaps it's a maturity thing. She's a good creative writer, and I think perhaps whenever she's writing she goes so fast with her thoughts she's not thinking about the spelling. I'm hoping that this will change as she grows older and practices more and more, and she'll gain the ability to do both at the same time!

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