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Spelling

10 Feb

I’m still waiting for my copy of Latin Centered Curriculum to arrive. I ordered it ages 3 days ago and it still hasn’t shipped out. I can’t wait to get reading!

I’ve decided to drop spelling from our lessons for now. I was walking home from the post office today (by myself, so I was able to have some internal dialogue…at lease I hope it was internal…sometimes my lips move when I’m doing that and Esa asks me who I’m talking to) and it occurred to me that Esa is quite likely to forget what he’s learned in spelling because apart from copy work, he’s not doing much writing. How is he supposed to retain what’s been covered if he’s not practising it? I’m not about to add yet more writing to his day; he’s doing plenty (too much with spelling, I sometimes think).

And then I asked myself the more important question: Does he actually need to be able to spell properly now?

No.

What he needs to be able to do now is read, develop math skills, and lay the foundations for writing with narration and copy work (which he’s been dreading lately and rushing through because of all the writing) . Next year, when we’re doing dictation and more independent writing, he’ll need to be able to spell. I also think that with an additional year to mature,  read, and  do copy work, spelling will be easier (not that it’s been all that difficult…Esa’s doing really well with Sequential Spelling) and more meaningful.

I’ve just realised something, though. It won’t be an additional year …we’re over half way through first grade! I keep forgetting that…it still feels like we just started sometimes. 🙂 Second grade will be here in about 6 months. Well, we’ll see where we are in 6 months. By then we’ll be done with phonics instruction, so adding spelling will be a natural step forward.

I’m also dropping Shakespeare as a “subject.” I’m going to put Stories from Shakespeare on the storybook shelf and just enjoy it when we want. The same with Dickens.

I’m also going to have a good think about our other subjects and consider whether anything else can be dropped. I don’t like our manic schedule. I don’t like short lessons (with the exception of a few things, like handwriting). Esa likes to get stuck into things. He has a good attention span and enjoys and retains more when he has the chance to really focus on something. I don’t want to hurry up so we can get it all done.

It’s not about ticking boxes, it’s about learning and enjoying.

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3 responses to “Spelling

  1. UmmKhadijah

    February 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Assalamu ‘alaykum,

    Yes, I agree, I can’t stand rushing through it all, which sometimes happens with us, as we only really have the morning to get through everything. It’s nice for us and them to actually enjoy this homeschooling experience! 🙂

     
  2. Jennifer

    February 11, 2010 at 1:36 am

    My son is in the first grade at Highlands Latin School which is the school associated with Memoria Press. We’ve had a couple of bad snow days here which is probably why your book hasn’t shipped yet.

    Just a note on how they address spelling in case you’re interested. They have 15 spelling words each week. The words come from a combination of their phonics rule they’re working on and the book they are reading. They are not random words for the subject of spelling. The emphasis is not on the spelling of the words, but on the reading of them. If they can spell them they can read them and vice versa. I think about half the class gets 100% on the spelling test each week. If they miss a word, they have to copy it 3 times. That’s the end of that and they move on.

    Our second grade car pool friend said they will have a first grad spelling bee at the end of the year, but I haven’t heard anything about it.

     
    • whimsyway

      February 11, 2010 at 8:16 am

      I’ve ordered my copy from the Book Depository since I’m in the UK…and it’s still not shipped…grrr! 🙂 Thanks for the info on spelling. 🙂

       

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