Saturday, August 10, 2013

Spelling & Vocabulary

A few days ago I posted about all the curriculum we'll be using in our upcoming school year (2013-14).  After I hit publish, I realized that I didn't answer any of the questions I'm interested in as I check out the curriculum choices of others. 

My favorite part is the review.  I want to know how the curriculum really works everyday, positive and negative, because no matter how great a curriculum is, it's never perfect.

So, I decided I'd do that.  It's much too long for one post to write about ALL our curriculum, but I can do it a little at a time and today, I thought I'd start out with Spelling & Vocabulary. 

I start my kids in Spelling when they enter 1st grade with the Spelling Workout workbook series

When I first started using it we would do a pre-test, or a cold test, on Mondays before they've even had a chance to look at the words to gauge how well they already knew them.  Then we'd work our way through the one page lesson (for the lower level workbooks), talk about the rule being taught that week and do one workbook page every day until Friday when we'd take our final test to check their progress.

Sounds easy, right?  It really is (the big plus).

But, I wanted to make sure they weren't just memorizing spelling, but learning the words so I added a little bit for Ben, my then 2nd grader (a possible negative until they reach the higher level workbooks where you do have to KNOW the meaning in order to complete the pages). 

The little bit I added I found on Homeschool Classroom (there are also some fun journaling ideas in the post) and seems simple enough that it really would go along with many different spelling curriculum like the author says.

Monday: Have your child write all their spelling words (no pre-test on unseen words).
Tuesday: Have your child write all their words again, but this time in alphabetical order.  This is one of my favorites as it was so very good for my 2nd grader to work on his alphabetizing skills.
Wednesday: Write all your words in a sentence.  Now, this doesn't mean one sentence per word, it's a call for creativity to appropriately (dictionary wise) use as many spelling words as possible per sentence.
Thursday: Pre-test
Friday: Final test for any missed words during pretest.

Makenna is entering 7th grade this year and after she finishes her last Spelling Workout workbook, she start something new, Vocabulary From Classical Roots.  We haven't used it, so I can't give a review, but I'll make sure to write about it after we've used it for a while (if you've used it, I'd love to hear about how it's working/worked in your family). 

What's your favorite Spelling curriculum?  Or do you make up your own (I'm amazed and astounded at people who take the time and effort to make their own curriculum from scratch!)?


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