Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekend Focus -- Spelling

This weekend, I am focusing on the Spell to Write and Read program. It takes some looking at in order to get it in one's head enough to actually use it. On the other hand, I like the approach. It totally makes sense to me. Not so much the details of how to do it as simply the approach.

Most teachers a century or so ago recommended SHORT phonics drills once or more a day and this is the approach I tend to take -- "stealth drills".

The other thing many teachers recommended in the past was using letter and word blocks or cards rather than waiting till the child is able to write well in order to teach reading. Most of my children were ready to read far before they could control a pencil well so it makes sense to me.

I think I'm going to start working slowly through the book with Paddy and Aidan (separately, I think) about twice a week. The rest of the time I will continue to have Aidan compose and reread journals, but I may try to incorporate some of the words he is learning from SWR into what I write for him to read.

Paddy -- hmm, he is reading quite a bit though silently. I think he really only needs the occasional spelling/phonics reinforcement in order to have more diversity in his word attack skills.

I usually have Aidan write several times a week (he actually ASKS to do that, so it's more of a matter of me being open to letting him write in my notebook). Paddy doesn't do much writing. Well, actually, he does write. He types. Hmm, have to think about whether drawing would serve the purpose better than handwriting right now.

Charlotte Mason talks about spelling in the context of learning to read for younger children.
For older children (who can already read) she thinks that dictation should largely take the place of formal spelling lessons.

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