DS6 has a excellent visual memory. He went from phonics to chapter books within six months in his kindy year. Once he sees a word - he can re-call it. He doesn't need repetition which is why mainstream school was often boring for him. I felt that learning to spell may happen just as quickly as learning to read and didn't want to waste time with explanations and excercises that were unnecessary. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money if they were only going to be used for a short time.
Learning to spell...........
I thought his ability to read would mean that spelling would also be a breeze. I was wrong.
Ever since DS6 could hold a crayon he has been writing stories. I never had the heart to discourage his eagerness by correcting his handwriting or spelling. Unfortunately, this is where he developed some bad habits. He continues to spell some words phonetically like he did when he was younger and now these incorrectly spelt words are firmly established in his visual memory.
I bought Sequential Spelling secondhand from another homeschooler. It was cheap and because it was inexpensive I figured we could just and try and see how we go. If it didn't work then we would put it aside and try something new.
Thankfully, it worked!
The idea is that children learn to recognise patterns of spelling in the English language without the complicated and confusing explanations. I don't often consider the role of homophones when I'm enjoying a good book. And I don't re-call the last time someone asked me if I've enjoyed any good synonyms lately? I'm not entirely convinced that the confusing rules and terminology is helpful for young children learning to spell.
This is why I love sequential spelling!
It also comes with teaching notes at the beginning of the book to help you get started!
So why does it work so well for us?
Firstly, my son doesn't need much repetition. It's also simple - just grab the book, some paper and a white board with some coloured markers and away you go! I also love that the results are immediate. After the fourth day, my son was writing stories and spelling words like 'beginning' correctly. It was exciting to see and rewarding for him.
The only thing I find a bit frustrating is that it often includes words that are extremely uncommon such as 'lout' or 'clouted'. I'm not convinced some of the words even exist. You should hear me trying to put them in a sentence!
I've been really happy with sequential spelling and will continue to use it. I even purchased the next 2 books from Chariot press on sale just in case we continue through the whole program. There are 7 books in total and they now have it available on DVD which we may consider in the future.
Sequential Spelling - it works for us!