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Monday, June 17, 2019

Why I'm Making My Kids Practice Their Spelling Over Summer Break


Somehow, I have children who are old enough to read and write.

I don't know how that time came, but it's here and it's up to me and them to make sure that they practice so that they're current on what they need to know when school starts again.

This year, I found out it isn't in the school curriculum to teach the kids spelling or give them spelling tests.



Spelling Tests at School


It's such a weird concept to me because that's what we did, we took spelling tests, but when I asked some of my teacher friends if it's normal or what they thought about that in correlation to learning to read, they said that spelling actually isn't very important.

I disagree, but I'm also a writer and I cringe when I read my children's papers (Can you believe that grade school kids have to write real reports? I feel like that was a Jr. High thing.) and their spelling is incorrect.

When I asked the teacher, she said that she isn't concerned with the spelling, she's more concerned with structure and content of the papers. Again, I was baffled. Maybe it's because I learned a different way. Maybe it's because I believe that if you know how to spell a word, you'll also know how to read it. Pronouncing it out loud, however, is a different concept. I mean, c'mon! Quinoa is actually pronounced- keen-wa? What's up with that?



Summer Homework


Anywho, I'm getting off topic. 

This year, I decided to have my kids do some reading/writing homework at home. 

It probably seems mean, but those are the two subjects that my kids have had a difficult time with. Every other subject they do well in- especially math. They can add and subtract in their head so much better than I can. I guess that common core stuff isn't too bad, after all. 

I ordered several different workbooks with sight and spelling words for them to try each day. My youngest is going into Kindergarten, this year, so we're going to play some games where he traces lines or reads me his ABCs, we're even going to start him with a few sight words, too because the school expects him to know a ton of things before he even begins.

Summer Goal


My goal isn't to overwhelm them, but to incorporate some easy learning opportunities into their morning with hopes that they'll retain what they learned in school and help them learn the things that they didn't in class because of distractions or lack of opportunity. 

Spelling

Spelling is my biggest concern. I know that my kids will have access to spell check, which was one of the reasons the teacher gave me for not having weekly spelling tests, but I would like for them to know on their own.

To me, misspelling words is very embarrassing and makes me feel like a dummy. I don't want my kids to feel like that and I also don't want my future to be filled with misspelled words in books and novels because spell check missed them and no one took the time to correct them.  (Now I'm worried that this post is littered with misspellings and I'm not practicing what I'm preaching. AHHH!!!"

So, to help my children, I ordered a spelling book, but it hasn't come in, yet, so when I gave my son his spelling test, he numbered them on his own (Great problem solving!) and wrote the words that I gave him.

I'm glad that he did this on his own, but there really wasn't a rhyme or reason (is that the correct saying?) to how he wrote them out, so I came up with a printable.


For anyone who wants to use this, the first column is for the spelling words you give your child. I only chose to do ten because I didn't want to overwhelm my kids, because after all, it's still summer break. 

The next columns are for corrections, in case he/she gets his/her word wrong.

You can print the printable out using this link- Spelling Test/Correction Sheet.

I plan to give the same words ever day for a week and then swap them out for new words, unless my child is still having a difficult time remembering how to spell that word.

Hopefully, I won't have to print out this sheet every day, once that spelling book gets here. However, if it doesn't come with work sheets, I guess my printer is going to get some use. 



Conclusion


I know that it's summer time and homework seems excessive. I would have HATED having to do work over the summer.

However, I know my kids could use the extra help.

I only plan to work with them for 30 minutes a day and then have them read for another 30 minutes a day, so it's not like we're going to be using up the whole day to do this. 

They can sleep in or wake up as early as they'd like, but after eating breakfast, they'll know that they'll have to work on their homework. If they don't, they also know that they won't be able to have any television, tablet, or game system time.




30 comments:

  1. Although they might not so much enjoy it right now, they will reap the benefits. I commend you for being proactive knowing they could use some help in those areas.

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  2. It is a good thing to keep on trying to learn a little over the summer, it makes it a bit easier going back I think as you aren't completely out of practice.

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  3. It is always good to keep kids learning in the summer. I have my kids do reading and also writing.

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    1. That's great! Reading seems to be the worst subject overall at the school my kids attend. I don't know if it's how they teach it, or what, but many of the kids struggle with it.

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  4. Kids should always be learning, even in the summer. I think the best way to do it is to make it fun!

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    1. I want to find some games for them to play to help them. I think it would be easier if they weren't so far apart in age.

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  5. I don't think there is anything wrong in teaching kids during summer. Learning should never stop, it doesn't even for the adults.

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    Replies
    1. I'm always learning something new every day. :) Thanks!

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  6. I totally agree I think spelling is super important to reading and writing well. I'm glad your kids are continuing their studies!
    xoxo
    Annie

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I was so surprised when educators told me differently.

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  7. There is nothing wrong with having children participate in academic activities over the summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to read that so many agree with this! The hardest part about doing this is getting the kids to do it without arguing.

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  8. I have my daughter practice her reading and spelling in the summer. She is going into 1st grade so it isn't intense but it is important to keep them learning over the summer so they are ready for the next school year.

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    Replies
    1. We've been told by the support staff at the school (social worker, reading helpers, speech therapist) that kids, these days are expected to know so much more than we did when we were kids. We had a big reality check the last few years.

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  9. This is so important! I always spent my summers as much reading as I did outside playing. PLus it's good to still have a bit of a routine during summer.

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    1. I read the shampoo bottles and the back of cereal boxes when I was a kid and spent the rest of the time playing outside. I didn't know how to read well until I was in 3rd grade. I wasn't interested in it and I think the only reason why I like to read later on was because my grandma would say, "You love to read!" I think one day I believed it and then spent most of my time at home reading. haha.

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  10. One of my favorite things to do with my kids when they were in grade school is to practice them spelling. They enjoyed and loved it and now they are harvesting the fruit. :)

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    Replies
    1. I loved spelling tests! I did very well on them.

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  11. We have our kids continue to read, do math and some writing as well all Summer. This way they don't start off slowly in the Fall. I think we will add spelling in.

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea! It definitely will give your kids a head start.

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  12. This is great idea, yes we need to enforce the education during summer vacation too. otherwise they will forget when they go back to school.

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    1. For sure! I was always so glad that the teachers would spend a week recapping what we should have already known after we started school again.

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  13. My daughter is ow a college graduate, but when she was younger we would do fun games of spelling and she would read alot.

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    Replies
    1. I just found a words Bingo game that I forgot we had. I can't wait to break it out.

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  14. Summer holidays are fun but far too long if we actually want the stuff to stick in the kids' heads. It's great that you're having them flex their brains throughout the summer. If more people did this there wouldn't need to be a 3-month review of last year at the beginning of every new school year and our countries would be up to par with others in how much/fast children learn.

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  15. This is really cute thing. I loved this.

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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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