Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Monday, January 2, 2012

Only 5 Spelling Tests a Year! (Can we do that?)

(FYI...this is my first of several "Virtual Curriculum Fair" posts.  This week two dozen (including yours truly) homeschoolers are joining together to share with you some aspects of our Language Arts curriculum.  I could go on and on and ON about how I love Sonlight LA program, but decided today to just talk about one tiny part today....spelling)



     I would like to share with you a small part of our homeschool Language Arts program, spelling.  We use the "Sequential Spelling" program.  (We use Sonlight Curriculum, and it is what they recommend.)  I love it because it is simple, inexpensive and IT WORKS!!  There are seven levels.  The numbers of these levels do not correspond with a grade level.  My 5th grader is finishing up level 2 and will be moving to level 3 in a week or so.  My 7th grader is finishing up level 4.  You can read more about the spelling program here, on the Sonlight website. 

     We REALLY do only have 5 spelling tests per year, but then again---we sort of have one everyday!  Let me explain.  Students are given 25 new words a day.  There are four sets of words which continue to build upon one or more word patterns. By the end of four days (and 100 words) of "testing", your child should know those words/word patterns.  Each day you give your child 25 words.  You call out one word at a time, and your child writes the word on his/her paper.  (They do NOT study the words ahead of time!)  After EACH word, you write the word, and then your child studies how you spelled the word and corrects his/her spelling of the word (if needed).  It has been suggested by the book that you write in a different color of pen the word pattern.  You can see below how we did our lesson today:

Mom's paper

You can see how I wrote in red the repetitive word patterns.  This is a great visual to aid in his learning. My older (7thgrade) son prefers his words to be written all in one color.  I say, "Whatever works best!"

My son's paper from Sequential Spelling 2, lesson 160
He received a "100" because he spelled all the words correctly the first time, or caught his mistake(s) after looking at how
I spelled the word.  This method really teaches my children to look for details, and they are "studying" spelling words this way without even knwoing it!!  (These words were the last in the set of four.  Before spelling "belling" for example, he had spelled "bell", "bells" and "belled" in the preceding lessons.  These seem like simple words, but the theory here is to build upon the small base words to much larger words in a progressive, straightforward way. 

This is my son's test he took today.  He did not study at all before hand.  This is just a review of the word patterns he has learned.  My boys almost always make an "A"  Once they may have made a B+, but never below that.  Needless to say, I really believe this program works!  (They have also enjoyed doing well in a local spelling bee!)  You will notice my son did miss one word, so I just talked to him about the mistake, and he wrote the word 5 times. 

A few personal notes about how we do things....

*We usually do 50 words per lesson, because we don't always get to do spelling everyday.  It saves time in the long run, since we already have our book/paper  ready for spelling.  We do one lesson on the front of the page, and one on the back. 

*There a lot of words in this spelling curriculum that even I do not know the meaning of (and some I've never heard of).  I keep a dictionary handy so that if needed, we can have a vocabulary lesson,too.

*Spelling is carried over into our writing assignments, which we have everyday.  Once a week my children are given a dictation, where correct spelling is also required.

Check out the "Virtual Curriculum Fair" button to visit other homeschoolers and see what they are doing in Language Arts!!  (Or check out the links below!)




















Susan said...

This is a great post, thank you for sharing how Sequential Spelling works with the Virtual Curriculum Fair. :0)

Modest Mama said...

This looks like an amazing program! I am totally impressed!

Cindy @ Fenced in Family said...

I've considered Sequential Spelling in the past and didn't know exactly how it worked. Thanks for explaining the program so well.