Friday, August 31, 2012

Sequential Spelling

We all love Sequential Spelling! I grudgingly did Spelling Workout all through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade with DD9. It just wasn't very inspiring and felt like a lot of busywork. The advantage was that I could just hand her the book and have her do most of the work independently. Spelling Workout requires more parent time, but the approach is so elegantly simple that I love doing it.

Each day in Sequential Spelling is simply a spelling "test." Over a couple of weeks the student builds up to 25 words per day on the "test." You just read the words (with a sentence for context), the student writes them down, you reveal the proper spelling for the word (explaining any phonics rules if needed), and if they wrote it down incorrectly, they immediately rewrite the word correctly. That's it! The first set of words is based on the phoneme "in." From there it goes to pin, tin, etc. Then sin, pin, spin, etc. By the end of week 1, the student can easily spell the word "beginning" because of the logical progression of the words. And the spellings really stick with them!

At first I had DD6, DS7, and DD9 all doing the program. (They recommend that no matter how far along you are in spelling it's best to start with book one.) DD6 was doing all right, but it took her a lot longer to write the words down. It works fine to have the other two kids together. At first I thought that I would just do the spelling lists separately with DD6, but in the end I decided to just start her with it in 2nd grade. She's doing Explode the Code and phonics lessons at the same time, so I think she doesn't really need to do spelling right now. I think spelling is really optional for first grade anyway. So, this is one of the big surprises for our learning year. I'm so happy we're all enjoying it!

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