Some people leave the womb with a natural inclination toward spelling. For others, spelling is a lifelong struggle. I have children in both categories. With my natural spellers, I don’t think it mattered what curriculum I used. Spelling made sense to them. With my poor speller, who also struggled with dyslexia, well, let’s just say I spent a pretty penny searching for a solution.
After years of trying everything under the sun, I fell upon a set of instructions in Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschool Series. I realized at that moment that the methods used in all the other curricula were only reinforcing bad spelling for my struggling speller.
After using Charlotte Mason’s methodology for one week, my child could spell words I never thought he’d master. I’d finally found the spelling solution I had been looking for!
Completely sold, I decided to create an eBook that teaches this methodology and gives you the tools to begin using it with your struggling speller.
You see, a child learns to spell by taking a picture of the word and imprinting the picture into his mind. Some children do this naturally, while others need to be taught how. Charlotte Mason was adamant that a child never gaze upon a misspelling when learning a new word. The chance to memorize the wrong spelling is too great. Yet, this is how all the other spelling curricula taught spelling—by letting students spell the words incorrectly, thereby cementing the misspelling in their mind’s eyes, before correcting them. The child should be exposed to the correct spelling, and study the word until he can close his eyes and see the word perfectly. Only then should the child be allowed to write the word.
I’ve outlined Charlotte Mason’s methodology below. You can use it to help your child memorize the most frequently used words in the English language. I recommend teaching the 500 most commonly used words.
First, print the words on index cards. Next, select the first 40 cards from the stack (beginning with the word “the”). Have the child work on a set number of cards from the stack for 15 minutes each day using this method:
It’s important to limit the spelling sessions to 15 minutes.
- Study the word.
- Spell it out loud while looking at the word.
- Imagine taking a picture of the word to imprint it in your mind.
- Close your eyes and imagine the word.
- Study it again, drawing the word in the air with your finger.
- Spell it out loud once while looking at it and once without looking at it.
- Look at the word again before writing it.
- Turn the card over and write the word from memory. If it’s written wrong, immediately cover the word and study it again before rewriting.
After the child has studied all the words, give him a test. Have him write each word as you say it. If he gets it wrong, immediately cover it up and show him the correct spelling.
After the 40 words are solidly learned, dictate random sentences using words from the list so the child can experience spelling the words in the context of writing.
Continue teaching stacks of 40 words. When testing, include the words previously learned. As the list gets longer, break up the spelling test into several sessions.
Continue this method until all the words are learned. To further spelling mastery you can purchase a more advanced spelling program or continue to teach spelling using copywork and dictation.
I hope you find this to be the solution to all your spelling needs!
If you would like to receive my Spelling Solutions PDF which explains this method and includes the 250 most common words in the English language, simply sign up for my newsletter and you will receive a link to download the Spelling Solutions ebook. It can be effectively completed on the computer or it can be printed.
If you have already signed up for my newsletter, contact me and I’ll send you the link to the PDF.
Click on the link to learn more about Charlotte Mason’s methodologies