I think that when it comes to teaching Language Arts, I am a creature of habit. I have used the same curriculum for almost the entire duration of our 12 homeschooling years. We just finished up our spring break, which was the entire month of April. School started for us again on Monday, and we’re rolling right along.
I had to face the fact that I needed to change D1’s spelling curriculum, and it makes me…. uncomfortable. I have used the same program for so many years, but now I am seeing D1, who is 9 now, is NOT doing well with it. When the girls were his age, we switched from The WISE Guide for Spelling to Excellence in Spelling: The Phonetic Zoo.
D1 was a very high-need foster baby at the time, and I just could NOT do spelling with them like I had before. The WISE Guide takes time to teach, but PZ is on audio CD and it freed me up to take care of the baby. That was my first thought, to get PZ again and give it a go… but I’m just not sure it will work with him. We have been using SpellingCity.com with our WG lists, but it just isn’t getting through with him.
What I don’t want:
- An expensive, leveled curriculum that I have to purchase every year.
- Any program that teaches a million “exceptions”, because there really aren’t that many.
- Another program that takes forever to learn how to teach, and huge amounts of time TO teach it.
For now, I am giving Sequential Spelling another go. I tried it at the beginning of the school year, for about a week, with both boys. We quit it very quickly because it wasn’t working for them together. D2 couldn’t handle the pace and variations of words because he didn’t have the phonics down yet. I am still working on phonics with him via The WISE Guide. D1 is a different story. What I am seeing now is that he needs to learn how to build words. We started using Sequential Spelling 1 again on Monday, and so far things are going well. He is enjoying it, and is picking up the spelling patterns and endings fairly easily. This wasn’t the case back in September.
This is all new territory for me. The words aren’t repeated and practiced for four days, with a test on the fifth day. The base word is introduced on the first day, with a few words built from it, and then on day two, more words are built using those. The logic behind it makes sense to me and to him, so for now we will see how it goes. Since I already owned the book, I’m really hoping it does work out, because I don’t want to try to find something else this late in the school year.