Flashback to when our oldest daughter was in elementary school. We would drill that week’s list of spelling words, over and over until she could spell her list. Then forward a bit to homeschooling our oldest son. Spelling was not his strong point and we had special ways to learn and practice his spelling words. (I just did a quick web search and golly, there’s a wealth of info of teaching the right-brained child that wasn’t available then.) All the while giving them grammatical tips that help to spell words. Today, they are good spellers. Fast forward to this week. I am sitting at the bar, kitchen bar, with Mr. Bubblewrap going over his spelling words for the week. This time I am teaching a bit different. With technology, spell checks, etc. even bad spellers can write a decent letter, report, etc.
However, I am more concerned if they know what the words mean. All of our ninos came to us behind on so many varying levels. A biggie was their vocabulary and comprehension or a lack thereof. Sure the older ones could read chapter books, BUT seriously only understood 50% of what they were reading. A lot of life will pass then right on by at that rate. Chief Potato found reading out loud to me quite a chore. However, we do see the positive results in most of the kids.
My point? Sure, knowing how to spell is good, but knowing what the words you’re spelling mean is so much more important. We still go over the how-to-spell and the grammar side of spelling, but with less emphasis on those and more on their meanings.