I'm kidding, of course. Spelling is important. Even though spell check is here to stay.
Last year, our first year of homeschooling, I didn't teach spelling at all to my daughter. I know, I know. I'm horrible. The reason I didn't teach spelling is I didn't know how.
What? You taught school for 11 years! How could you not know how to teach spelling? Well, that's just it. I knew how NOT to teach spelling. The old 14-words-and-a-test-on-Friday method that we used in public school was simply not effective. The reason I know this is because I tested my third graders one year. I found a test that gave you a grade level for each child's spelling ability. At the end of 4th grade, I gave the same test to the same group of kids. Guess what? Not one single student had improved a grade level at all. Those who already knew all the words on Monday got A's, those who didn't got less and some students studied all week so they could pass only to forget the words as soon as Friday was done.
So, effective? Not so much.
And I want to believe that copywork and dictation alone will teach my child to spell...but I'm doubtful when I see her writing. Some children? Yes. But my child? Hmm--not sure.
Now, let me tell you my other experience. After I was no longer a classroom teacher, I was the "Dyslexia Specialist" on our campus for 2 years. Which is funny because my training was very limited. That "specialist" part on my nametag might have been stretching it a bit. During the two years I taught, however, I did pick up a lot of information.
So THIS year I was determined to add spelling to our homeschool curriculum. I researched, looked around, asked other moms what they use, and went to our local homeschool bookstore. So many things I found looked just like public school spelling. They were cute, colorful and looked pretty fun to a nerd like me. But spelling comes very easily for me.
I know my daughter. I knew she could expertly complete every one of those weekly activities for her spelling list and still not pass the test on Friday. I wasn't even sure I wanted a list and test format kind of spelling.
Then I found something different. I was so scared to buy it because it wasn't at the store and I couldn't put my hands on it. But it really, really looked good. It's called All About Spelling* and I finally got up the nerve to buy it after asking around at The Homeschool Lounge. Only a few folks responded to my inquiry so I think many people have not heard of this curriculum.
Well, I am SO glad I bought it. And I'm glad I listened to those moms at The Homeschool Lounge who told me to start with Level 1. It is a bit easy for my daughter so far, but I suspect the end of the book will be stuff she really needs to know before we move on to Level 2. And get this: it's completely NON-CONSUMABLE so I can just save my Level 1 materials to use with Little Bit in a few years. Love that! Also, my sister is a dyslexia teacher and has learned way more than me about it. She looked at it and said it it so much of what she uses for her struggling middle school students. It's the basics they didn't get but needed while they were doing their 14-words-and-a-test on Friday!
I am so far really enjoying the curriculum we chose for this year. If you want to know what else we are using, I posted about it here.
So, how is your curriculum working out for you so far?
*I'm an affiliate--click my All About Spelling link in this post!