Spelling - Do I need this for a good speller?

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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kellybell
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Spelling - Do I need this for a good speller?

Unread post by kellybell » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:27 am

Jenn in NC wrote:Good morning everybody. :)

Most of you probably know we have made the switch in the last couple of years to almost all of the mfw recommendations. My one holdout has been Spelling Power. When it comes down to it I just don't want to "test" several kids every day. But last Friday my ds8 failed his spelling test that he had studied for all week using a highly recommended, highly rated program (won't mention the name to protect the innocent). So I told him to go and study the words he missed, but this time do it Spelling Power style (he wrote the words on tactile surfaces, things like that). Maybe he spent 10 minutes on those words. Next day, gave him the test again. He aced it. So needless to say, I am ordering Spelling Power.

I wanted to ask -- my oldest can really spell almost anything he has ever read, and he reads at late high school level. He is ten. Does he still need to have a formal spelling program? I am thinking of ditching this part of his day because he is always wanting to spend so long on WS and ILL, and getting rid of spelling would free up a little time for him. (I am not making him spend a long time on WS/ILL; he wants to. I have to make him stop. I mean, at some point, the child does need to eat. Play. Things like that.)

Ok. That's all for now. Thanks :)
I don't really see the problem in NOT teaching spelling to a 10 yo that can spell quite well. Perhaps, in place of a formal spelling program, you can keep a close eye on his writing. If he DOES misspell something, have him write it on an index card or in a spelling notebook (a spiral notebook with a few pages dedicated to each letter of the alphabet -- the final product would be like a dictionary). Perhaps once a month, quiz him on the words in this notebook or on the index cards. Why teach what they can already do?
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Lainie
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Unread post by Lainie » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:47 pm

Hi Jenn,
My 10 y.o. tested in at Level K and SP only goes up to Level K so I kinda went into a panic. Once I calmed down and let the Lord speak to me, I realized that is was a good thing and one thing that I didn't to worry about.

That said, I actually do SP with her. I do it for two reasons. First, even though she is a great speller with a great, big vocabulary I have noticed there are a few words that she has memorized how to spell incorrectly. Going over the spelling rules and all the review tests has been great to reinforce the proper spelling of all the words. The second reason I go through the process with her is she has struggles in writing and a little in math. Not huge issues but she doesn't breeze through them. Doing the spelling power especially on a tough day helps her feel successful and getting through each new list provides a sense of accomplishment that she needs to have. On days that we are really busy it's nice to know I don't "have" to do spelling with her but since it only takes 5-10 of time it's a nice way to reinforce spelling AND since I make up our sentences, it's also I nice way to reinforce something we learned that day/ week or a scripture story or verse.

All in all it has been nice for her even though she doesn't technically "need it".
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

Have completed 1st, entire 5 year cycle, and all high school! Whoo hoo!
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Jenn in NC
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Unread post by Jenn in NC » Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:00 am

Kelly I like your idea about just watching his writing. There certainly is enough of it. And knowing he will eventually be tested on it will be very motivational for him.
Lainie wrote:Doing the spelling power especially on a tough day helps her feel successful and getting through each new list provides a sense of accomplishment that she needs to have.
You know that is an interesting take on this whole issue. My oldest does so well with so many things that I don't think he lacks that sense of success and accomplishment you were talking about... but my next oldest does need that. (He was the one who failed that spelling test a week ago that prompted all this.) He struggles with a lot of academic kinds of things. I am glad you said what you did -- I am going to keep it in mind for my 8yo. Thanks!

Thanks. Don't know what I'd do without you all. :)
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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donutmom
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Spelling Power

Unread post by donutmom » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:46 pm

ddwoods wrote:Our daughter is 3rd grade and is an awesome speller. I don't want to get something that will crush that.

What did you end up with [for spelling]?

Thanks,
Darlene
Darlene,
I'll just tell you what program I did for my oldest--who is a natural speller. Nothing.

I tried a spelling program in 2nd grade, but gave up half way through the year (should have sooner) when he was only missing one word every few weeks on the pre-test. It just seemed like a waste of time--he was bored, would rather do math (and believe me, that wasn't an option he'd quickly choose!!).

So instead, we kept a running list of words that he misspelled on any of his writing and would regularly review them. We added vocabulary, too. He was reading well, so was coming across some good words of which he didn't know the meanings. So we kept a section of his notebook to record those & write the definitions. And we'd add any other interesting words that he had from science or history or whatever.

I felt I "had" to do spelling, even though my child was not struggling in that area. I talked to a gal who does home school curriculum consultations, and she recommended skipping the spelling and doing vocab instead. I used a vocab program the next year, but felt that it was irrelevant--like I felt myself doing vocab in school. You learn these words out of a list. So we opted to keeping our own list, and I've found those words cropping up into his speech and writing (unlike the words from the vocab program).

I know that the above is not what you were asking, but I wanted to share our experience. I'm sure you'll get some great recommendations. I just thought I'd give you another perspective and food for thought. The great thing with home schooling is tailoring the education to each child. I have the opposite situation with my second child, so "heigh-ho, heigh-oh, it's off for spelling curriculum we go". (Which by the way, I found one through these wonderful gals recommendations!!)

Dee

TriciaMR
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Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:01 pm

We've used three spelling programs. If your kid is a natural speller, I would start with Spelling Power.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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ddwoods
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Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by ddwoods » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:19 pm

Thanks Dee! That really does help. I catch myself getting all caught up in the "have to have a set curriculum" phase that I forget the true purpose of homeschooling at times.
Darlene, wife of Jack, mother of KJ (8) and BJ (28) as of 6-2009
Grade 1-My Father's World
Grade 2-Adventures in My Father's World
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Julie in MN
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Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:06 am

ddwoods wrote: Our daughter is 3rd grade and is an awesome speller. I don't want to get something that will crush that.
I wanted to agree that for kids who are natural spellers, sometimes spelling programs become unnecessary for a while. I have SP and have always given my ds the placement test at the beginning & end of each year, but otherwise we didn't do spelling from 3rd through 6th because he would have been spelling words that he had no clue how to use!

Now in 7th I re-introduced spelling by having him work on his 7th grade science words, which are extensive and seem useful to know (inertia, kinetic, fluorescent, and so forth).

Just a heads-up in case you end up in that category.
Julie

Posted Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:34 pm by Julie in MN
As for spelling, I skipped it from 3rd through 6th grades. I've heard David Hazell say they've done the same with their good speller. I found that my good speller tested so high that spelling programs had him working on words he was clueless about, so it was not useful for him. However, he did use English From The Roots Up with CTG & RTR, and that gave him some increased spelling skills with the Latin & Greek-based words.

Once he hit 7th grade, I had him spell words in his science program, since his vocabulary was expanding there. If I had taught him these words in 3rd grade, they would have had little meaning or usefulness, but by 7th grade those were good words to work on. Science words often have those Latin & Greek roots, so they have unique spelling properties.

For good spellers especially, I think vocabulary level and spelling are tightly linked. If they already can spell all the words in their vocabulary (words they say as well as words they are reading), then they probably don't need to spend time on spelling. But if you spend time expanding their vocab, then you may reach a point where they need to work on spelling those new words.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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kellybell
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Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by kellybell » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:59 am

I also agree with the no curriculum approach for spelling and know many people doing that. They keep track of misspelled words and teach those. It works.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Amy C.
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Re: Spelling Power

Unread post by Amy C. » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:24 am

I don't know if you are a member of a homeschool group that has a library or not, but the homeschool group that I am a member of has a lending library. However, my state homeschool convention came up before I got a copy so I just bit the bullet and bought it with my MFW purchase. I do have three children that I hope to use it with (if it works well for us). That is how I justified buying it new - three children through high school. I have heard good things about it from other homeschool mothers within my group that are using it. If it does not work well for us and I can't resell it, I could donate it to my homeschool group lending library to give them more copies to have for others to check it out. ;) . That is the way I look at it.

Just some thoughts!
Amy C.

cbollin

spelling power - when do you quit?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:16 am

ddroberts4 wrote:At what point do you stop using Spelling Power? My 11 and 13 year olds just started level J which is the last level. They are both very good spellers. Is it necessary to do level J or is it time to stop?

Thanks,
Dianna
If my kids were that good, I'd stop spelling instruction. I'd keep looking for what spelling mistakes do they regularly make in their writing and focus on those needs.
So unless they are writing regularly with words at the J level, you don't need to finish the book. ;) if they are participating in spelling bees, then you'd use the materials from the spelling bee organization. right? maybe not. I don't know. My kids aren't that skilled.

Once they hit jr. high -- some kids no longer need direct phonics/spelling instruction. So good job mom! You did a great job with them!

-crystal

DS4home
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Re: spelling power - when do you quit?

Unread post by DS4home » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:35 am

I'll tip the teeter totter in the other direction :-) When my oldest dd was in that place and trying to tell me that she didn't need spelling anymore, my response was yes you do. She is an excellent speller, but I told her we were going to finish the book. The spelling lists go through 12th grade (supposedly), but if she finished early then she would be done. In other words, I wouldn't go out and find another spelling book with more lists for her or anything like that.

I was also needing to work on some character issues in the area of humility with my oldest, so it was good at times for her to see that, NO she really didn't know EVERYTHING yet ;) The words in the last section of SP are tough! I think there is some merrit to keep going through them. In the back of my mind I am thinking surely it will be of some help with upper level literature and college level work and such. Maybe :~ ..... Maybe I just wanted the upper hand and made her go through it all just because....

And she did finish earlier than 12th grade, so now she gloats that she doesn't have to do spelling anymore, and we are STILL working on character.... 8|
cbollin wrote:another consideration:
If there is value in doing the J list on Spelling power in order to help with help upper literature or college, then wouldn't it make more sense to wait to come back to that list in 11th or 12th grade when those words will have more meaning and application rather than using them at age 11 and 13 as just spelling words?
-crystal
That's a good thought Crystal, and I would add now that my dd wasn't 13 when she was nearing the end of the book. I believe she was around 10th grade (?). I pulled the book off my shelf, and I'm seeing the last list is labeled Level K. In glancing through some of the section tests, I didn't actually see many words that would need a definition, they just seem to be trickier words to spell (Level J). Level K is the one I am remembering had a handful of words that I almost didn't know how to pronounce &) There is a list with word ending of 'ance' and 'ence' that my dd kept mixing up on a couple of the words. And then there were the unusual words like, rheumatism and idiosyncrasy, that would need some definition at my house! But those are in Level K.

Crystal's comment made some sense considering your kids' ages, and made me remember when we were there. Anyway, I also did some of what Julie was talking about. We used some of those science words too.

Dawn
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Julie in MN
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Re: spelling power - when do you quit?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:06 am

My son didn't do spelling from 3rd through 6th grades. We'd test each year at the beginning and end, and he still made progress each year. He was up near the end of SP - I'd have to look it up to remember the exact level. David Hazell was in agreement with me on this, if that makes a difference :) One of the problems was similar to what Crystal is saying - the words were not matching the vocabulary he was using, so they didn't have meaning to him. It might make a difference if you had an avid reader on your hands, who was encountering advanced words regularly.

In 7th grade, we re-started spelling alongside new vocabulary. We started out using his science vocab for spelling. Those were new words for him, so it was both vocab & spelling. It was quite laid back, but it was a good thing to set aside some time. He made some of the connections to Greek & Latin roots he'd studied back in CTG & RTR, and learned some new things, too. Literature also took a step up in his case, especially in 8th grade, and there are great words in literature. So you can use the words in Progeny Press or just go back to Spelling Power and you'll probably see the words are becoming useful at this age.

That was my "system."
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Cyndi (AZ)
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spelling or just busy work?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:59 am

wsterk wrote:My son will be in 6th grade and is a very good speller. In his writing he usually has no spelling errors. He loves anything to do with words... spelling bees, scrabble, banangrams, dictionaries etc.. So my question is what do I do with him in spelling? I feel like it is just busy seat work for him. I have only homeschooled 2 years and we did R&S spelling. (liked the simplicity, consumable, etc. and SP seemed overwhelming to me at the time) I liked RandS, but wondered if any of you have encountered this same thing and did you do something different? Thanks, wendy
In my opinion and experience, it's just busy work. You can quit teaching Spelling as a separate subject. If he comes across a new vocabulary word in his daily studies, then have him write it down and make sure he knows how to spell it and what it means.
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LSH in MS
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Re: spelling or just busy work?

Unread post by LSH in MS » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:08 pm

I would just use a vocabulary program with him or word root study.
Lori

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TriciaMR
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Is Spelling Power necessary?/LA advice

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:48 am

mom2threeBoys wrote:I realize this book can be used for years, but we are having First Year of homeschooling sticker shock and trying to minimize it ;). We want to use the first grade curriculum for our first grader next year and ECC for our 4th grader.

He is a pretty strong speller when it comes to spelling lists he has had from school. I think he would benefit most from correcting his own misspelled words. I have looked at a couple different LA programs and keep coming back to MFW's suggestions...they are the experts and know what will go with their program best, right? But I am wondering if we could skip the spelling program to start and add it in if needed. I am sure we will want it for our middle son when he starts second grade. But for our first year, could ILL and WS be enough? I am not sold on the 1900 style writings in ILL, but I do like what I have seen of WS. I have also considered LLATL. But I fear there will be redundancy between that and ECC. I am stumped on LA, and I minored in English in college! Lol!
Yes, I think ILL and WS are great.

I like your idea of finding spelling words from his mistakes in his school work. A free option for spelling is spellingcity dot com. It has a free side and a paying side. Might be more what you are looking for. Also, some people continue on with Spelling by Sound and Structure.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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MelissaB
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Re: Is Spelling Power necessary?/LA advice

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:30 pm

Yes, agreeing w/ Trish. We started SP 2 years into MFW, and love it. But, like you, the initial cost was difficult that first year. That said, it has been really nice to go 3 years without having to purchase any spelling curriculum for either of our girls.

I think your idea to select their spelling words from the curriculum is an excellent one. !? :) Once they can spell the word correctly, you can remove the word from their list, which is a lot like SP.

We've used the website SpellingCity, as well. The free portion of the site is really sufficient. It's kind of like MFW's "Basic" & "Deluxe" options. ;)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
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"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Julie in MN
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Re: Is Spelling Power necessary?/LA advice

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:34 am

I brought my son home to school in 3rd grade and I had Spelling Power but I never really used it with him because he could spell. I tested him with the book at the beginning and end of each year, and he always showed progress.

When he got in 7th grade, he started meeting words he had never used and none of his friends used. I started making a list of his science vocab, maybe some Progeny Press words, etc., and he did spelling sometimes with those.

He's in 12th grade now and spelling is still fine. I don't think every student needs spelling. If they're testing into words they don't even know, and words they won't be meeting in their schoolwork yet, then you might wait until they catch up to their spelling level.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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MelissaB
Posts: 368
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Re: Is Spelling Power necessary?/LA advice

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:30 am

Julie in MN wrote: I don't think every student needs spelling. If they're testing into words they don't even know, and words they won't be meeting in their schoolwork yet, then you might wait until they catch up to their spelling level.
Julie
That's really good wisdom. I haven't considered this before, but I think you're right, Julie.

Reconsidering how we're doing things ... Thanks, Julie. :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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