I met a lady this week who is homeschooling 2 children. One of the children is in early elementary school; the other is in 8th grade. The two boys have very different learning styles, and she is finding that the way her 8th grader learned spelling is completely different from the way her 2nd grader learns spelling.
Her older son had no problems with spelling and she didn’t have to have a complete curriculum to teach spelling. She just found spelling lists by grade, he would review them, test on them, and move on. He is a great speller and is well above grade level in that subject. And there is the problem. Her first son learned to spell painlessly. Not so with her younger son.
Her younger son has a great deal of trouble learning spelling. He does not like to write, and trying to teach him spelling from grade level lists is just not working. He doesn’t like to do conventional spelling type exercises, the ones where you group words into word families, and repeat them until you know how to spell them.
She was getting quite frustrated because she had had such an easy time with her older son in spelling. She was to the point of putting her younger son in traditional school because she didn’t see how she was going to have time to homeschool a high school student next year, and a reluctant speller.
Moms in our little group talked to her and reminded her that children learn by different methods. I assured her that my reluctant speller has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last year. Some of the things we talked about were trying different things like word games, word ladders, crossword puzzles, find a word puzzles. These seemed to work well for my daughter who didn’t like the repetitive nature of traditional spelling lessons. She didn’t mind repeating as long as it didn’t “seem” like repetition.
By the time our play date was over, she was feeling reassured, and promised to go home and try some different methods. I felt good, because I know how frustrating it can be to be in that place where you feel like you are failing your child, and I know it feels better for all concerned when you find something that works.
If you are running into a bump in the road of your homeschool journey, just remember that you might just need to change the road you are on!