Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spelling Workout

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz on one of the forums I visit about spelling programs. So I thought I’d post what a little more about what we use for spelling and how we use it. In the past we have used All About Spelling, which I liked, but ultimately decided that it wasn’t for us. Then, we tried Word Attack and Spelling City for a few weeks. Next we used Dictation Day by Day, which is free from Google Books. This worked well for us until I got pregnant and had surgery. It was too much work to prepare and I just didn’t have the time or the drive to continue using it, so I ordered Spelling Workout. I have to say that I wish we would have started with Spelling Workout. It’s so much easier on me and princess really enjoys the workbook style approach to spelling. That said, we add a bit to the schedule to ensure that princess is really learning the words.

Here’s how our week goes…

  • Day 1: I give princess a pretest, we do this orally or we use bananagram tiles so it’s not too much writing. She then copies all the words she missed on her sheet.Next she reads the introductory story for the lesson to me. Then we read the rule and the list together.
  • Day 2: Princess copies the rule on her sheet and copies the words she misspelled on the pretest. Then she completes the first activity for the lesson.
  • Day 3: Princess copies the words she misspelled on the pretest one more time. Then she completes the second activity page for the lesson.
  • Day 4: Princess completes the proofreading activity for the lesson. Then we alphabetize the list together. That night she goes over her spelling list on her own or with her Dad.
  • Day 5: I give princess her spelling test. We add any spelling words she missed on her trouble words sheet (more on this in a minute) and file her spelling sheet for the week in her notebook. Then we play a game of bananagrams using our own rules. Basically it’s Scrabble, but you get double points when you use one of the weeks spelling words.

Trouble Words: I got this idea from The Well-Trained Mind. Basically we take any words that princess has missed on her spelling test and write it on her trouble words sheet. We write the rule that goes along with it and then she copies it every day for the next week. I then give it to her as a bonus word on her next spelling test. If she gets it right, we put the date on her sheet, if not we carry it over to the next week.

So far, this method has been working beautifully. For the first time I’m noticing that princess is applying what she has learned in her own writing, which for me is a huge success! Plus it takes very little prep work on my part, all I have to do is print out her sheets for the week :).

ETA: I have posted templates for each of these sheets under the Free Stuff tab and over at the Elemental Science Yahoo Group, under the Other Homeschooling Helps file. There's a link to the yahoo group on the side bar.


Pursuing Wisdom said...

Can you download Spelling WOrkout!?!?!?!?! I just found out that I can download FLL AND SOTW next fall, but if I can also do SWO, that'd be BRILLIANT!

Paige said...

I wish! I haven't found a place where you can download it. I had a friend that was coming here that brought it over to me.