The Lazy Homeschooler's Guide to Spelling

You know we’ve never been the school-at-home types around here, and that certainly extends into spelling.

My own personal philosophy when it comes to spelling, after having helped four kids learn to read and then master spelling, is this:

Although reading and spelling seem to go hand in hand, most children fully grasp reading long before they’re spelling well. This is normal, and is not in any way an indication that your child will be a poor speller later on.

You can both suffer through spelling programs and curricula, but it’s not necessarily something your child needs. It’s quite likely that your child will get good at spelling at about the same age whether you use those programs or not.

(You can read the rest of the article here: 12 Ways to improve your child’s spelling)

With all of the kids, I have noticed that they learn to read well and then it is still a couple of years (minimum) before they are naturally spelling well.

With my teens, I also noted that they eventually became very good spellers with very little assistance from me — as long as I was willing to be patient (and a little bit creative in working it into life).

In the elementary years, spelling was the only subject Victoria ever scored at grade level in.  She scored far above grade level in every other subject — even math, which she claimed she hated.  And even then, she only scored at  grade level one year.  That year, we did this a couple of times and by the next year she was above grade level again.

We also do a lot of this silliness, both online (and in emails) and in homeschool journals.  It’s always worked like a charm.

And then we do random spelling, such as calling out words for the kids to spell on car rides.

Right now, we’re working on spelling with Jack.  Spelling was his only grade level subject in his last standardized test (Minnesota requires them annually, though only we see the results).  So September is spelling month.  We’ll continue on into October if he still seems to need it and is enjoying it.  If he’s tired of it by then, I’ll just deploy sneakier methods.  😉

We’re already having him play some spelling games online and trying out some spelling apps on the iPad, and I’m narrating spelling words for him to spell the same way we did with Victoria.  And I’m encouraging lots more writing (wish lists, stories, anything that comes up).  He’s already improving by leaps and bounds.

I am so glad that I haven’t been tied to daily spelling work with four kids for all of these years!  I find this so much easier for all of us.

I’m still looking for the lazy homeschooler’s answer to all those laundry piles, though.


For more on the subject, see….

20 Fun ways to practice spelling words

Dozens of free spelling games online!


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