Sunday, December 12, 2010

Planning Spelling Instruction

“This is what happens if you fail your spelling lessons at school!”

I’ve never purchased a spelling program, but rather always made up my own spelling program.  If you feel you need the structure of a spelling program you may want to purchase a curriculum or spelling workbooks. But if that is not in your budget or you don’t find ones that you are happy with, why not make your own?
There are many approaches to setting up a homeschool spelling program.
  • The simplest way is to grab a spelling list (or choose words from subjects your child is studying –history, grammar, math, science, etc.) and go.
  • You can give a pretest (optional--I don't grade these), assign fun ways to practice the words throughout the week, and then test student at the end of the week. Be sure to review the words on a regular basis as they can be easily forgotten.
  • You can do spelling 5 days a week, 3 days a week or whatever.......

Below is a sample weekly spelling plan.............
Sample Weekly Spelling Plan
  Monday/Day 1
1. Give student a pre-test (optional)
2.  For each misspelled word, write the correct spelling out a specified number of times.  You may have student practice all words during the week or just the words that student missed.  Also have student record the word for future review.*
3. Discuss spelling/phonics concept
4. Sorting activity. Have student sort the words based upon some specification (words that start with a certain letter, have the target phonics sound in the beginning, in the end, start with a vowel, are nouns, etc.
5. Put the words in alphabetical order.
Tuesday/Day 2
Play Riddle Game. Give student a riddle whose answer is one of the spelling words. Student must write the correct word. OR choose other spelling activity from spelling activity list.
Write each word in a sentence. Try to use grammar concepts that you are studying this week in your sentence.
Wednesday/Day 3
Do a practice an activity from the activity list.
Thursday/Day 4
Proofreading Activity with the spelling words.
and/or choose another spelling activity
Friday/Day 5
Final test 
Include all words and a few sentences with those words for dictation as the test.
Record missed words in a running log*. Review these words frequently.
*Right now, I just have my kids keep a running log on the back pages of their spiral spelling notebooks.
Our spelling really varies. Some kids need the whole week to work on the words and some just need one day. 
Over at the TJ blog, here is an “updated” version of what our spelling program looks. I have since made some changes (such as using an activity list rather than the cards), but we still retain many of the things in it.

Other sources for information about setting up your own program:
Homeschool Spelling the Charlotte Mason Way: Prepared Dictation

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