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I have used, and really enjoyed, 2 different spelling programs, but in the end my kids were just not walking away with a better spelling vocabulary. That is why this year I decided to take my favorite parts of those programs and make my own.
I really enjoyed the natural writing approach to spelling in Spelling You See. I did feel that my kids were enjoying it and progressing, but they weren’t increasing their spelling vocabulary as much as I had hoped.
I also enjoyed the activity approach to A Reason for Spelling, but alas my kids were just not retaining the words they were teaching.
So this year I did a little bit of both mixed together with my own twist. Now that I have tweaked and worked all the kinks out of our new curriculum I am very happy with the results.
What I decided to do was copy a few sentences out of a book at their reading level. (For this I decided on the Read and Learn Bible by Scholastic.) Then each day (Mon. thru Thurs.) they have to copy and read those sentences. On Monday I introduce our spelling words and post them on the wall. Each day (Mon. thru Thurs.) we say-spell-say each word of the week together.
On Wednesday I have them use writing prompts where they can write their own story in addition to their spelling assignment. (You can print these from teachers pay teachers or have them use a journal notebook to create their own story each week.)
On Thursday, we add a spelling game (like this one) to review our weekly words. All words that they get wrong they have to copy 5 times. And on Friday I dictate to them the sentences they have been working on all week.
I find this is working better than any list or program we have used. I like that they are learning and retaining common words and they are doing it naturally with their writing and reading.
How about you, do you have a spelling program that you love? Share it with me in the comments below!