Friday, October 31, 2014

Spelling Success by Using 2 Curriculums

I know it because I am using 3 spelling programs to help my struggling speeller.
After doing Abeka Spelling for 1.5 years I realized my little guy hadn't mastered 'phonics' or sound recognition. I had to do a 'triage' of sorts. I wanted a fast and effective way to teach him to spell or decode words - but I loved the long and challenging spelling list used with Abeka.
The trick: How do I do both?
Teach decoding of words to a kid that has weak phonics skills.
Give that kid challenging word list to keep him interested?
Also - have him LEARN SPELLING IN DIFFERENT WAYS SO HE DOESN'T REALIZE he is taking the same subject 3 times a day?
Number 1

This program using 'chunking'. We liked that there is (1) no testing (2) no wordlist to remember (3) just read and copy. First you read the passage to your kid. Then they highlight the vowel chunks, constantant chunks etc, then they write it. This runs for 4 days, no test, and on day for it's read, highlight chunks and then full dictation where you count the number of words written correctly. After 3 weeks of this my little guy was getting all the words correct by day 4!
Number 2

This is another 'chunking' program. This comes with our without a DVD/CD for you to put in the computer. I used the DVD/CD so Speed Racer could do this independently. This method is (1) a different word list daily that build on the lesson before (2) no studying (3) a 'test' daily on words the kid doesn't know (4) after writing the word 'incorrectly' the child crosses it out and re-writes it the correct way. Then viola' you are done after about 5-10 minutes.

Number 3

Traditional Spelling program with huge (did I say huge?) wordlist to memorize. I had him copy these words 1 time a day. Initially, in 4th grade he would write them 2 times a day, then put them in, create flashcards and try to memorize the words. He failed most of his spelling test. So I had cut his list in half. It didn't really help though. So.... after using the Number 1 and Number 2 programs, I decided to just have him copy his list from Abeka 1 time a day. After 2 weeks. Did you hear me just 2 weeks! I gave him a test in Abeka after he'd been doing the 'chunking' spelling programs above. Without studying the kid got 80% or higher on his Abeka test!

SUCCESS! Using 3 Spelling programs.

but I LOVE

MEMBEAN.COM  - tackles spelling and vocabulary

BLENDING CURRICULUM can create the PERFECT one for your kid.
 This week we've been busy! Of course we always seem so.

Overall we had shortened work days since my older son who goes to College nearby was suffering from the flu. So, my husband and I went to check on him and give him meds for 2 days. It put an axe in our homeschool day since we homeschool mostly in the evenings when we are home from work.

I was off work on Friday so had to work a longer day earlier in the week to compensate since I'm a full-time worker, but have the flexibility to work my hours how I need to.

Tiger Lilly took her Composition CLEP test. She got registered at Community College (Yippee!) while we were there testing and I had her take the Accuplacer Test (college placement test) because it was free. She scored on College Level in both Math and English. Therefore, she can start both her English and Math tracks without any remedial courses! Woot! Yay homeschooling!

Other than her week of testing, she did squeeze in some work. She finished her last course and American Literature course. This will spurn her focused studies in hopes of passing the Humanities and American Literature CLEPs in December and January. Also, she touched on her Abeka subjects (Algebra 2, Chemistry, Physics, US History) but skipped (Econ, American Gov't this week).

She also had a cheer competition this Sunday past. They won the competition at 1st place! Now we'll be preparing for another competition at a local amusement park.

Speed Racer is on track and constantly asking for more material to challenge him. However, he tends to rush through things when he gets bored. He finished his online writing course with Sandiego Scribblers. I'm working on inserting a Latin Based Vocabulary program called Word Up! by Compass Classroom this coming week.

He and his new buddy he met from a homeschool event I coordinated through our local homeschool group, went to TigerCon this weekend. We followed up with a visit to a Comic Book Store's Halloween celebration giveaway and my son was on cloud 9.


Meals. This week I planned meals pretty well. I only need four for the week since Friday is our pizza night. Saturday is Chinese. Only one crockpot meal was planned.

Cleaning. Eh? The basement where the kids do their work is probably the cleanest place in my house. Clothes washing (mine specifically is way behind) is piling up. The kids clean the kitchen nightly. Decluttering of the main floor is needed. I'd like to paint my living room but I think my husband would have a fit if I asked him at this time. However, I'm planning on treating myself to a new room color with the new year.

Work & Life Balance. Work has been great. I'm working on a new challenging project and was able to put in extra hours on Monday (thanks to my homehelper Rose) so I could be off work this Friday. I did treat myself to a lunch out with former co-workers which was nice. This is one of the benefits of working outside the home - I get outside the home to chat with other adults, lol!

Lesson Planning. This is ever changing but my system is slipping. I didn't get around to this until Sunday which is way too late. I had to make some adjustments as I just realized that the kids online English classes were ending.

Rest. Well...I got off to a bad start. I only got 4 hours sleep on Monday and Tuesday nights because I went to drop of cold medicine to my older kids who are in college. Wednesday I grabbed a power nap and dove in bed at 10pm (thanks to hubby taking over evening homeschooling). The rest of the week I got back into my rythm and since I had Friday off I got to sleep in til 9am, a lot later than my 4am wake up time.


  1. Sounds like a great week! I have thought of adding a second spelling program to our program. I like how you incorporated more than one.

  2. Sometimes it takes creative and combination of curriculum to get results! I have struggling spellers too. My daughter, 7th grade, suddenly GETS spelling now! It's like some kind of light turned on over the summer! But my 4th grader is working through 1st grade spelling (on-line program). I hope to fill in gaps and get him through 3rd grade this year...I am interested in how you juggle working and homeschooling. I am searching for a part-time job and wonder how I will do it all. (I am also a single parent.) I hope everyone is feeling better!