Wednesday, January 13, 2016

16 Spelling Words

I have been noticing that Natalie is so much happier now that we are doing more traditional work with her. School is easy and there are no quarrels. It's more like what she is used to... and she is comfortable. She enjoys having the open-ended creative writing MLB instead of having to summarize what she is learning each day, and she comes up with new ideas for it all the time. I think that any educational method tries to do what's best for children, and I'm not going to do anything that will harm her. And although I wish I could give her all the Waldorf she missed out on, trying to cram it all into her 8th grade year probably isn't practical. We just need a balance between what's comfortable for her and what stretches her. So we will try to find that each month as we go along. And do as much of the beautiful respectful hands-on Waldorf work as we can.

It's frustrating to have not been there for your child the entire time. It's frustrating to find that there are gaps. Leah doesn't know her multiplication tables. Natalie sometimes gets left and right confused. And they both have trouble spelling simple words. More than that, they don't capitalize the beginning of their sentences or most proper nouns, skip apostrophes in contractions, and leave off ending punctuation. I never would think we would still be dealing with this in middle school! But we are so I just need to focus on what they need. Left from right? Hokey pokey and Twister can be part of family time. Form drawing, i.e. 2nd grade mirrored forms, comes into play here too, and we are working on braided forms so we can alternate. More P.E. is needed. Spelling? Daily spelling is no crime. I wonder sometimes if we accidentally over-simplify the Waldorf method in our minds when we just think circle time, main lesson, heart, hands ... and, ok, the school day is done. Middle school is different. Jamie York talks in his middle school math book about afternoon math lessons for further practice several times a week. So, okay, it doesn't have to look the way it did when they were little. And Torin Finser specifically writes that his 6th grade class wanted school to look more traditional and rejected anything "Waldorf-ized." So that made me feel better too. We will have daily spelling this week and every times I find one of these words misspelled in a rough draft we will practice them again.

Here's our list:

  • to
  • too
  • there
  • their
  • they're
  • of
  • off
  • then
  • than
  • its
  • it's
  • where
  • were
  • though
  • through
  • with

Of course, I have lots of other books on my shelf which I can check for remedial suggestions or games & movement.

I also highly recommend the Resource Teacher's Developmental Exercise Manual, which is available at the Waldorf Books website.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Don't make it too easy for them! It's useful -- but challenging -- to make the test longer.

It is really helpful when children confuse similar words to repeat them more than once in your spelling practice. Number the page from 1 to 20 and use a variety of sentences where they have to really LISTEN for which "their / there / they're" is called for. Otherwise, your child could get the right spelling simply by using the process of elimination and figuring out which word hasn't yet been covered.

Or make it really tricky by not using one of the words at all!