Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp. All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to Homeschooling by Subject Language Arts
Spelling Resources for Homeschoolers
by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006
Options for Complete Programs, Workbooks, Resource Books, Catch-Up Programs, and Enrichment
There are various theories behind the teaching of spelling... and there are spelling programs that align with each theory. Some focus on memorizing lists of frequently used words, some focus on learning to spell letter sounds and recognize spelling patterns, some rely on learning and using spelling rules. Some provide a combination of these approaches. All provide drill and review for memorization, but some programs include much more practice than others.
Which program you should choose, and, for that matter, whether or not you want to go with a formal program at all, depends on your child. In general, children who struggle with spelling need a more intensive program than children who pick up spelling easily. Children who really struggle with spelling, or have a spelling disability, such as dyslexia, need a specialized program with a proven track record for helping these children learn -- most (but not all) of them are based on the Orton-Gillingham Method and use a sequential, multi-sensory approach which includes extensive drill and review.
Children who can easily pick up spelling as they read and write (with maybe just a little instruction about spelling patterns and spelling rules) may be fine with a low-key spelling workbook that just covers the basics. Parents may be able to cover the basics with their child, even without purchasing a workbook or program -- just by reading together and discussing spelling, and by providing input as the child writes.
Some spelling programs include an emphasis on building vocabulary by incorporating challenging words that may be new to the child. Others include lists of words used most frequently in the English language. Some programs draw words from those that the student mis-spells in daily writing. Below are a variety of spelling programs and workbooks that many homeschoolers use, and are happy with. There are also some resources for constructing your own spelling program, rather than buying a curriculum and some that may help older students "catch-up" in spelling.. There are many other spelling programs out there, so do look around if none of these is quite what you're looking for.
Click on the names of the programs to read more about them at the publishers' websites.
SpellingCity.com -- enter your child's spelling list, and they can play games involving those words, take quizzes, or even hear the words used in a sentence, includes some standard lists by grade-level
A.Word.A.Day -- sign up for a free e-mail subscription to receive one new word every day (with definition and pronunciation)
Dunk a Duck -- hangman game for the younger crowd, a duck makes funny comments while you play and gets dunked if you lose. *Bonus* if you register (FREE) you can enter your own list of words to play with!!