23 October 2011
Measuring spelling ability and teaching spelling
We have used the McGuffey Readers in our homeschool for over 20 years and continue still. In the little book I have titled The Parent-Teacher Guide for The Original McGuffey Readers we learn that spelling doesn't necessarily have to be taught as a separate subject but weaved in through their daily reading and writing.
First off, to measure a child's ability to spell you can use the Ayres measuring scale found here. It is a wonderful tool to access your child's performance in spelling. In teaching spelling I have found it effective for my children to keep a spelling word journal. Either they oversee it or I do depending on ability. Here's how it works. When a child asks how to spell a particular word I spell it for them but I also record the word in the spelling journal. Also, their words can be taken from their dictation work, writing, and reading. When you tally up 10 or 15 words then it is a good time to have them study the words and prepare for a test using their own misspelled words. Charlotte Mason suggests a way to study words which is simple and effective. Have the child look at the word as if it were a picture. Say it, spell it, take a photo of it in the mind and then close eyes to picture it in the mind. I have my kids do this and with their eyes closed and I have them spell it over a few times in their mind and look at the word again. Most of the time they are correct and manage to remember the spelling in the future.