I've been adding some copy work/dictation to my dd's normal spelling program once/week (9 yo), taken out of one of her readers. I'm seeing some nice results from this...not only in her penmanship, but also her attention to detail as to how good sentences are written. I also use the passage to reinforce whatever rules she has learned so far in her English program.
Well, y'all got me interested in that Spelling Wisdom program from Simply CM. I want to know some honest opinions of it, besides what's already on their website. There are no reviews here at HSR for it. I'm intrigued by it, mostly because I know it would use a sort of a controlled list of words found in the index, most of them being commonly used words. It would give me the assurance, I think, that all of the "necessary" words are getting "covered", which is something that my structured mind needs to know. Here's what I'm wondering the most...is the language used mostly archaic, classical language spoken in a way that would be too challenging for most typical dc in the 21st century to grasp? I mean, if the purpose is for them to see these words in context, and the context is not "their" typical context of using the English language and is too challenging for them to comprehend easily, how will this make them better spellers?
My other idea is to use the dictation passages found in the HOD RtR TM that I will have coming soon, but I don't know how difficult those are and if they will "cover" the words in a systematic way or not. I like that Spelling wisdom does seem to have some more difficult passages in their 5th vol. that a high schooler could use. I suppose if the language aspect is difficult, then it could also be used as a vocab lesson as well? I like that this is only done a couple of times per week. Seems doable.
OR, I could just stick with what I'm already doing and take some passages out of their current readers. But I kind of like that index that Spelling Wisdom provides vs. randomly picking passages.
Hmm...I'm normally not a CMer, so this is a little out of my box, but I do appreciate the value of studied dictation and copy work, which can still be done even for a typical textbooker. :) I think I have a mix of CM and Ruth Beechick going right now...along with my textbooks. LOL! In fact, I think I'm a mix of everything! :) Ah! Eclectic!
OK, so thoughts on Spelling Wisdom? Or is there another program out there similar? Is this *all* you CMers do for spelling? What about the rules? Boy, am I scatter-brained tonight! LOL
My honest opinion is it looks great and I have spent some time looking at it but have not used it. I looked at it because I have one with special needs and for her I find writing and doing more copywork and dictation is the key. So more at a level that I can control looked appealing perhaps for the future with her. I will say that the HOD manual in CTC has some very challenging dictation at several levels. It is progressive in nature in difficulty and length and there is a wide range covered. I imagine HOD will follow the pattern they have and RTR will contain the same also with a broad range but the difficult end will be higher than CTC.
I would suggest starting with HOD dictation first and seeing if that would not just do the trick. If you find after using that for a month or a few weeks however long it takes you to "know" then you can look at Spelling Wisdom again. However I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at the progress your child will make with HOD dictation. My dd is a complete book worm and very advanced in reading, I would say mid to late high school level. She does the highest level dictation in CTC which looking at it in my hand and comparing it to Spelling Wisdom looks like about their level 4 which covers 9th, 10th, 11th. So I would look for RTR to have a level higher. I do not know this for a fact but HOD follows a pattern that I have found very dependable and from that dictation levels should increase in level. I would think your daughter would be well covered in that area. The lessons are not as long as Simply Charlotte Mason in CTC, however if you look at comments on their website most people are not dictating the entire long passage they provide and they are not even advocating that themselves.
SW has tons of literature excerpts. No spelling rules. My children didn't like it and became bored with the copywork. There's a similar curriculum, Simply Spelling by Shoelace Books. It does incorporate a few rules and has daily short exercises to accompany the literature pieces. Simply Spelling is for grades 3-12 where as Spelling Wisdom is broken up a bit. Between the two, I liked Simply Spelling the best but my children didn't go for either. I think children can learn just as much spelling by reading books on their level too if this format doesn't work or even use your idea of taking pieces from the books being read. My children prefer the more traditional way of learning spelling but I loved Simply Spelling. I agree with the pp, HOD may be just enough.
This post was edited on May 15, 2010 10:00 AM
Nancy, I am not now using Spelling Wisdom but will be using it with each of my dc once each hits age 10.
Looking at samples, watching the video and talking to Sonya really helped cement that it's the program I've been looking for to teach spelling. It was like one of those "ah ha" type moments when you find something you had just been hoping existed but hadn't quite found yet.
Up until age 10 we're just doing copywork. (I've tried it a different way and spelling has not gone well, after finding Spelling Wisdom is what made me decide to hold off spelling until age 10).
I plan to get the ebook versions which I think are only $15.
I think that a child being exposed to reading good quality books greatly has a positive effect on their spelling. At least that's what I've seen this year with my oldest. She is reading things I never would have imagined this year. I really love CM's style on many things,and specially on spelling/grammar.
Obviously I've not used it yet, but I did print samples and run through the set up with one of my dc, she was excited that she would be using it in the future.
Much luck to you as you decide what will work best for your family : )
Thanks for the replies, ladies. That's what I was looking for.
Water2wine (or anyone else who owns a HOD CTC TM),
Would you be willing to give me an example from the 3 different levels of CTC dictation? I may just go ahead and use their dictation instead for my older two, using the RtR manual, but that TM won't be out until August for me to see for sure. Knowing what is in the CTC TM might give me some idea of what to expect. I'm thinking it would probably be too difficult for my 9 yo. I'll probably just continue on with her ACE WB for the rules part as well as the copywork/dictation out of her readers for now.
Does HOD use some sort of system from which they get their dictation sentences from? Similar to Spelling Wisdom?
I also own ILL and am considering having her work out of that 3 times/week in addition to her ACE LA, which would also help in the copywork/dictation dept. I don't want to over do it, though. I'm just really impressed with how she seems to have responded to such a simple exercise such as copywork/dictation. It's sort of helping her to put all of the parts together in order to see the whole big picture and purpose, KWIM?
What are you using for copywork? Queens? Just curious.
Glad to hear that you seem to have found your groove in hsing your girls! I can sense your newfound peace and confindence in this new path you are on. :)
I wanted to second the recommendation to check out Simply Spelling. It's similar in concept to SW, but a little... well, more simple. ;-) We used it for two years and I'm considering it again to add that CM element to CLE.
You can find samples at:
ETA: Agreeing with the other ladies thought that HOD would likely be enough.
This post was edited on May 15, 2010 11:17 AM
I asked some CTC questions awhile back, including one about dictation. Here is the response with some samples.
Can someone give me a few samples of the dictation passages?
Here's a past thread where I typed dictation samples for Levels 2-4:
Here are some samples from Level 5, which is also included in CTC...
Let us do our duty in our shop, or
our kitchen, the market, the street, the
office, the home, just as well as if we stood
in the front rank of some great battle.
- Theodore Parker
Some day I hope you will have the
opportunity of reading Helen Hunt
Jackson's charming story or Indian life
called "Ramona". In addition to this piece
of prose, many poems have been written
about the Indians.
During Colonial days the Liberty Bell was
brought from England to Philadelphia, and
afterward the following words were
written upon it: "Proclaim liberty
throughout all the land unto all the