Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spelling- A Free Resource to Augment an Individualized Spelling Program

As I get further and further into my homeschooling experience I tend to kind of step back more and not jump into buying all those new programs that I used to hurry up and pick up before.
I now find that we do much better with a more individualized spelling program. To augment this approach Spelling Connections (grades 1-8) free program found online really can work very well for many children.
This spelling site is one of those sites where it can be used in many different ways and makes you kind of step back and realize, perhaps purchasing a "spelling program" may not be needed after all~ working a program like this one along with an individualized Spelling List is many times all that may be needed for a child's spelling The program and can also be used for cursive writing, Spanish and reading practice as well. 

What might an individualized spelling program look like ?  

I keep a journal of all of our subjects we work. I have talked about my daily journals I write in and this helps me stay up to date with any areas we may have to go over again, trouble spots to pull resources for or also in this case, for any mis-spelled words that I may want to add to their individualized spelling list. 

The uniqueness about an ISL ( Individualized Spelling List ) is that it works at the child's level. When we purchase workbooks or spelling programs, we can take the placement tests speak with the publishers, etc., to find out "where to begin". Many times you will hear "best to start at the beginning because our program builds upon itself with spelling rules and other skills". Hmm, well perhaps the beginning isn't actually where they need to begin, then what? you end up with time wasted on busy work, on words they already know and rules they don't even need to know to spell a word.  I think at times we forget or don't like to admit publishers "are" in the business of selling their books/workbook programs~ we fail sometimes to recognize that our own needs may not always be in their best interest.  So that is where WE come in. 

Creating a ISL from your child's writings, whether it be from a daily journal, written narrations, copywork, dictation, whatever work they have done where you see they have gotten a word wrong.. this is a word that is added to an individualized spelling list. 

Working on a particular word in several ways is helpful and I have talked and listed many things in previous posts. (We tend to use PG and some OG based methods while working on our words along with RB style methods as well.)  These ISL lists can be very valuable because it is directly geared to the child and their needs and abilities. 

I have actually worked both kind of methods in teaching spelling and without a doubt ISL approach has benefited the struggling learner and also the gifted child ( natural speller) as well. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey trace...i'm blog surfing and you're one of the waves! ha! LOL I like what you've done here. :D
~Jen B

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