09 February 2009

Natural, Earthy Spelling.

Are you a naturally wonderful speller?

I'm jinxing myself to posting a ton of spelling errors by writing this, but I don't use spelling-check machines at all. I've looked into how they work a few times, and noticed that the spell-checker hates all proper names and the hyphens and intentional international spelling I enjoy using on occasion.

Other people are totally dependent on checkers, which is odd because it seems to me that it's much, much more trouble than it's worth. But I don't think that it follows that I'm some naturally wonderful speller. I brought home a good plenty of C's and D's as a small child and was well-known for my terrible handwriting. Thankfully my parents understood and were always kind-hearted about accepting my limitations, so long as I tried my hardest.

(NOT. I just wrote that to see if my mom were reading the blog LOL. I guess I would have very mixed feelings about being homeschooled myself. If I had to deal with "report card day" every day at home, maybe public school is a blessing. Then again, if my mom taught me and saw how genuinely hard some of these subjects were for me, maybe I'd have not run away from math and scholarly reading for... um, years after college. I've learned that you spit out exactly what the teacher wants on the test, and forget the rest. Come to think of it, maybe that's a good education. Mmm, you decide what you think and let me know in the comment box. Hm...)

Anyway, I was a "krapy" speller as a kid, ok? I think that the spelling work I did from the old Scott, Foresman readers didn't really do a bit of good. I think I just grew into spelling well.

No, really. I mean that.

I use spellers with Emperor and Elf, but really, Emperor could skip this subject entirely. Often on the pretests he'll get 100%. Elf does not instinctively spell strange words like "trachea" correctly like his brother. Then again, he's nowhere near as poor a speller as G. Bless him, G spells "Russia" with THREE R's and an -sh. Really.

What I find good about using spellers is that they help the child know the correct way to spell, even if he doesn't always use it. Now I can circle "because" in his writing and just tell him to correct that mistake. I think seeing something written correctly and practicing the correct spelling helps later in writing. I don't know that it's following X curriculum and not Y. I think it's the act of practice.

I've also heard that one should NEVER allow a child to see poor spelling as this will teach the child how to spell the word incorrectly. I am not sure if I agree with this, because Emperor sees plenty of his brothers' poor spelling and seems unaffected.

We use Bob Jones third grade spelling. There are 36 units, which for *us* translates into about a year and a couple months' work. We do a unit or so every two weeks because Elf reallly has trouble in this department. There are little crosswords or fill-ins to do each week, and a dictionary page to complete about every other week. Once a week, a journal-writing exercise is called for and the children read about the history of a word (just a couple brief paragraphs).

If you homeschool, what do you use for spelling, and do you think it makes a big difference?

9 comments:

  1. I don't ~ do spelling that is. The state Distance program we were with used to give 20 words a week ~ really stupid because the words were random & had no relation to anything else & besides Ditz was a naturally good speller & it was a rare week we got a word she didn't know. Now I'm sorta going through the spelling *rules* for English rather than doing spelling lists because at Ditz's age I think that's more helpful. I tend to lose the plot with spelling but most people never notice unless they get the crossword after me & realise the reason 10 across won't go is that some idiot couldn't spell 9 down.

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  2. BAHAHAHAHAHA, you funny girl.

    My first reaction was 'Yes, I am a brilliant speller' and then I remembered you needing to correct my 'illiteration' spelling. lol.

    Sometimes if I am typing something too fast, I will spell check it, as I will do things like type speel instead of spell.

    Here, Celtic Lad is a GENIUS when it comes to spelling and Celtic Dingo struggles with it.

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  3. We don't do spelling, per se, either. Both of kids seem to be good spellers. The boy is a late bloomer in reading, but I'm always amazed at his writing. The girl is an avid reader, and a great speller. Daily, they ask me how to spell things, and that's our spelling curriculum. The girl often says, "Mama, give a word." :)

    Honestly, I think you either have the spelling gene, or you don't. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but some people just never spell well.

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  4. Ganeida, crosswords I never get because I don't know the name of celebrities and songs and stuff.

    Widdle Shamrock, now that you mention it, I'm laughing, too. But I also have done stuff like that as well. :]

    Claire, I guess spell-check has its uses, then. I would prefer a non-standard spelling world, so long as the meening of eech wurd is kleer wen yu tipe.

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  5. I used to be a good speller until I started using a computer. I cringe when I see such obvious mispellings in my writing now! Technology makes me stupid.

    I find it interesting that I always excelled in reading, writing, and spelling - I was taught phonics. My younger sister and brother learned on the whole language system, and don't really have much to show for it. No, this is by no means some comprehensive study...just my musings.

    Allison

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  6. I use a spell checker, but I think it has made me a worst speller.

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  7. I'm a very good speller. Just a terrible typist.

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  8. I do my best to pay attention to the red underline that accompanies my typing on a daily basis [smile]. I'm not a very good speller, but I have much improved over my writing career.

    Now-a-days, my problem is far more frequently the fact that I just completely miss a word--which I know is there, but my fingers forget to include--than spelling it incorrectly. Because, honestly, if I can't figure out how to spell the word, I choose a different one instead [smile].

    ~Luke

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  9. I was in honors English in high school. During my Senior year, everyone who had over a 90% in a subject got to "skip" the final exam. The only final I took all year was spelling. By nature I am a horrible speller. As an adult, I found that spelling a word correctly and writing it over and over really is helpful for me. I did this a lot when I worked as a nurse because when someone read my nursing notes I didn't want them to assume I was an idiot.

    Typing though is a different story all together. I have learned to type. (Although that was a hard earned skill too). But, when I am typing I have found that I do alot of things out of habit. I was typing the word soul the other day. And, over and over I kept typing "sould." You know like would or could. Now I know in my head that soul doesn't have a 'd' at the end. But, I guess for some reason, my fingers just believe that when it has typed 'oul' it should automatically add a 'd.'

    So, I am super, duper dependent on a spell checker.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)