13 October 2009

Spelling Discouragement.

Elf has a little trouble spelling. He'll study and study and study and study. Oh MY will he study.

He's finally, after three years of homeschooling, gotten to the point where he no longer spells "dozz" for "does." Now it's "dose." Arg. Ok! But it's progress.

It isn't the spelling list. There is no magical curriculum that is going to make it easy for the Elf. I think he's an awesome reader, and he does well in math, but I'm just going to do the best I can with him in spelling and call it good. I think there is only so much the best spelling teacher can do with certain students. I love the kid... but there it is.

One of the spelling words this week was the name of a book in the Bible. It also happened to be Elf's name. "Whew!" I thought. "Finally, some easy points for Elf on the test!" But he got it wrong. And then, after more studying, writing the words out, blah blah blah, he got it wrong on the retest. Double Arg!

I'm going to admit right here that had the kid gone to public school, that's one thing he'd have learned better than here at home. At home, this little guy has been signing all his worksheets "Elf" for the last three years. That, or putting a tiny, tiny dot in the corner of his paper and saying that that was a detailed picture of him. You just can't argue with that sort of logic.

Mean Old Mom (Or just MOM for short) will probably be requiring that one writes one's full legal name on worksheets occasionally. In other news... Elf and Emperor have lived here their whole lives, but have forgotten their address and phone number. I swear I cannot make this stuff up.

Update: Elf's spelling troubles with his name are over!! I *brilliantly* showed him (short version of name) + u + elf spells his name if he removes the F. So it really spells that "U" are an elf. We take the F away to disguise exactly how elfie he really is... Yes, someone is very obsessed still with being the elf. I have caught him more than once trying to wear the elf outfit to church under his clothes. :]


  1. I'm sure you have tried this, but was about phonics? I was a terrible speller, but it really helped me. My mother thought my spelling would keep me out of college--seriously. I think at some point you have to put it aside and hope that he will catch on later. Loved the Mean Old Mom bit.

  2. I don't think it's the homeschooling. When I was substitute teaching I discussed spelling with a group of teachers at lunch once. I mentioned that out of four I have one that spells effortlessly (Jeremiah), two that do "okay" and one that can't spell to save his life (Daniel). They assured me that some kids just "don't get it" as easily as others.

    I've done it both ways--using Spelling Power (good curriculum, easy to use, reusable) and simply correcting as we go (and simply drilling them on the words that they miss more than once). For my "okay" spellers I feel like we're better off with the second method. But Daniel needed the remedial help of regular drilling.

  3. I second the vote for Spelling Power. Also, I think there's a spelling gene, and some get it, some don't. My dh? Does.not.have.it. Me? Ask me to spell anything... :)

    Thank you for being so transparent. I am envious of your homeschooling abilities, and it's encouraging to know that you have the same difficulties I do. :) Wait, that didn't sound right. Do you know what I mean?

  4. Hang in there! I was a pretty bad speller myself. Once I started writing a lot, I got a bit better.

    And, just to point this out again: I struggled with reading through college. It was hard for me.


  5. A couple of thoughts that may help ~ slowly! lol Playdough. Roll the playdough into snakes & form the letters of each spelling word. Multi~sensory & good for hands on learners. You can do the same thing with sweet cookie dough & eat your words!

    For visuals using different coloured pencils for learning each word sometimes helps ~ especially if you spell smaller words inside larger words a different colour. Yeah, I know, time consuming. I'm lucky in that Ditz has always spelt well but people are more forgiving of poor spellers that bad mathamaticians & it's math we have issues with. *sigh*

  6. Doesn't help that the English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn...Try Spanish where reading phonetically what's written actually works!


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