View Full Version : Spelling issues

04-06-2014, 12:57 AM
DD is almost 7, and we are 2/3 of the way through AAS Level 3. This is the one subject she gives me grief over. Heavy sighs, whining and the like. It is worst when we start, and usually lets up once we are underway, although she will ask things like, "How many more??" We are able to cover a lesson in two days, so we don't do it every day. I suppose maybe a shorter time over more days is something to consider... Anyway, she is probably a pretty natural speller - she catches on quickly. But I love that AAS gives her tools, and I know she uses them. I think it is a great program, and she is definitely learning from it. I think we are at the right level - not too easy or too hard. I am thinking about next year, and I don't know if we should continue with AAS and just push through the whinies? Try a different program? Drop formal spelling altogether and let her come by it naturally with copy work and reading? I've asked her a couple times, and she rather begrudgingly says I should get level 4 for next year. I don't want a fight over it, but I also don't want to get down the road and find she needed the rest of the rules/tools she is learning in AAS. Thoughts?

Oh, we largely gave up the tiles at her request, and she writes on the whiteboard instead.

04-06-2014, 01:13 AM
If she spells okay naturally and hates it, I'd drop it.

My reasonable speller is a couple lessons from being done with AAS 5. If he ever wanted to drop it, I'd probably drop it. I never would have gotten it just for him, but his brother needed it desperately and I realized it would be easy peasy for him to try it and run through it as well for the reasons you're saying. Because it's a relatively easy subject for him and we usually only do about 15-20 mins a day, I think he sort of enjoys it. He loves the writing station and likes to write really weird ones.

If you keep going, I think you know what you need to do - cut the time on it and possibly also cut some of the pieces. For my natural speller, we usually don't do every sentence unless he seems to need it. And we don't always review the cards (actually, I ditched the cards as well as the tiles). How long do you spend on it at once now?

04-06-2014, 01:34 AM
Writing Station was just introduced a few lessons ago, and she does seem to like that. The first day takes the longest, because we do the new teaching, the words and maybe 4 sentences. I don't know how long that takes us, maybe 25-30 minutes? The next day I dictate the words again, and do the rest of the sentences - maybe 15-20 minutes. I use the tiles for new teaching, but she doesn;t use them for spelling the words at all. We rarely review the cards. I don't use them on a regular basis, but I go in and move them from "future" to "review" periodically, and we take a week off from the regular lessons every so often and speed through the review cards. We did that this week - we had a 2.5 inch stack, and we did a bit every day. We ended up with .5 back in review, and most of those weren't the spelling words, but all the other cards.
Thanks for the advice. I'll try cutting back on some and see if that helps as we finish up level 3. I do tend to follow the script.

04-06-2014, 01:37 AM
Try setting a timer. If she's flying through it that quickly, then set it for just ten minutes and see what you get through. We don't usually use the timer now, but when Mushroom was first starting AAS, we did use it and he needed it so he'd know that it was going to be quick. That helped with the whining.

Btw, writing station is by far the biggest time suck in AAS for us. Mushroom always knocks it out as fast as possible because he's not a good speller, but BalletBoy has been known to take the writing station words to the next room and emerge half an hour or so later with a three page story in his comp book.

04-06-2014, 06:45 PM
That is a good idea. Then she will know that we just stop after 10 minutes.

So far my approach to Writing Station is to have her write the words, and then she makes up sentences that use them, but I don't ask her to write them. It is like a challenge for her to see how many of the words she can squeeze into one silly sentence. If we cut back on the dictation sentences, maybe I will have her write her writing station sentences. I would love to get to the point where she writes stories with them! Lately she has been doing "set-ups" with her Playmobil and dollhouse furniture, etc. She loves to show those off and tell us about them, so I am encouraging her to write about them. We haven't gotten past 2 or three sentences in Friday Freewrites either. I keep reminding myself that she isn't even 7 yet, and there is no rush. She reads voraciously, she is read to for hours each day, she has very imaginative play - the writing will come.

04-14-2014, 07:37 AM
I agree with farrar re perhaps dropping it. At least for now. My son's Asperger's affected him to the extent that typical spelling patterns did not work for him, although he could memorise words extremely easily. Only problem was because he wasn't able to learn the patterns, he forgot how to spell newly-learned words once he wasn't going over them for a test.

So if your DD is able to learn the patterns easily, that's a great start. Perhaps you can go over the rules of words she misspells in her writing, so it's more of a targeted lesson than one that seems to be unrelated to anything. After all, she's seven, and she needs to see the reason why she's doing certain tasks; at such a young age, many children find it difficult to justify doing certain lessons if they see no tangible outcome.

04-21-2014, 06:39 AM
I feel there's no point going ahead with it if she's not comfortable with it. After all, learning isn't meant to be drudgery of any kind, it should be fun. And if it is proving to be quite the opposite, we need to change the way we teach.

04-30-2014, 09:02 PM
My second grader hated spelling and wasn't good at it. The more I tried, the more he resisted. So I stopped doing spelling lists and all that in the fall, and just had him do one Spelling Workout lesson per week. Since I haven't been hounding him about spelling all year, I decided to step it up a bit and bought spelling flashcards (with pictures). He loves them?! I think the earlier issues were due to the fact that he wasn't such a strong reader at the beginning of the year. But now his reading is quite strong and spelling is coming more naturally. Spelling is so much easier if you read a lot. Painless, but just took time and maturity.

05-02-2014, 06:36 PM
We went with shorter lessons over more days for a week, and it helped. Then this week during one of her brother's AAR lessons, she asked if Ziggy could help me with her AAS lessons. So this week we have done shorter lessons and the zebra puppet dictates, asks questions, or whatever I can do the fit him in. She is now BEGGING for spelling every day! (And it turns out Ziggy has a bit of potty humor!) ;) So fits of laughter drag the lessons out longer than they need to go, but everyone is happy and little brother doesn't want to miss spelling. We did it one night before bed, and hubby wasn't sure we should be calling it school, what with all the fun being had.