I just finished putting together a free spelling curriculum (and also in print form) that I would love to tell you about!
As a homeschooler for 15 children over three decades, I have come across a number of spelling programs. Most consist of grade-leveled lists (with words that have little or no relation to each other) and some activities and tests. The best are phonics-based, but the core knowledge of spelling is doled out in minuscule bites and spread over a number of years (and expensive workbooks).
Thankfully, most of my children turned out to be pretty good spellers simply by following the Charlotte Mason ideas of copywork, narration and dictation.
But others still struggled. I knew I needed something that would help them identify basic rules and patterns, but I didn’t want to add more busywork to our already full days. I also knew there were moms out there with my same quandary, and I wanted a tool I could share.
So, I set out to create something that would:
- Be short and sweet–taking a year or less to lay a good foundation.
- Be ultra affordable.
Thus, by God’s grace, Splendid Spelling was born!
I was led to build a system of study out of my most beloved resources:
- Laurie White’s King Alfred’s English*
- Ethel Bouldin’s An Acorn in My Hand
- And the revised McGuffey’s Speller*
King Alfred’s English helped in understanding the crazy spellings in our language by explaining the history of where all the craziness came from. An Acorn in My Hand gives the rules in written form, and the McGuffey’s speller offers a compendium of lists organized by these rules to choose from.
I did not feel it necessary to create exhaustive lists of every word or pattern conceivable (the McGuffey’s speller already does a stellar job of this!). Instead, I felt it was better to give some of the most basic rules and patterns that would become a foundation for the rest of good spelling.
“How should I use this book?” I hear you wondering…
I’m so glad you asked! I suggest there be one lesson a week, with the first day spent going over the “secret” and the word list, the second day be a quick review with doing the activity, and the last day being the spelling “exercise.”
I have to admit, I do not like giving spelling tests. Like Mr. Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen I find them to be worse than “unavoidable delay.” So, I decided to create exercises instead. Although they look like tests, they are meant to practice the Charlotte Mason method of spelling memorization. This means a child will be able to do this on his own, with only a tiny bit of oversight on Mom’s part.
You will notice there are scissors lines on the left hand side of the upper page. These lines make up a box of sorts. Within this box is printed the “secret” discussed within the lesson. A child could cut these secrets out and put them into some sort of reference for later. This could be stapling them together into a booklet, placing them on a bulletin board, creating a “mini office” with them, using them as flash cards, etc.
In case you are in need of a visual, here is a video I have done on this system:
I hope this system blesses you and your children!
Here is the free download:
Here is the link to the published version on Amazon:
If you are in need of more practice, I suggest using the McGuffey’s revised speller, which is arranged logically, includes loads of lists, and even has a few dictation exercises.
Of course, this spelling system is better when used along with the rest of the McGuffey readers, and I have produced a number of Charlotte Mason-style “workbooks” to go along with them, which you will find out more about here.
17 thoughts on “FREE Spelling Curriculum”
Thank you Sherri! What ages?
I think the best answer for that is found in my video 🙂
Thank you so much! This is absolutely fantastic, and as usual the timing is perfect. God is good! He’s blessed me through you many times.
That makes me so happy!
The set up looks very nice…at what age/grade level would you start this at? I have a first grader who loves trying to write things just for fun, but gets frustrated because she has to ask me or her dad how to spell all the words. Would now be a good time to start this? She’s on lesson 53 of the McGuffey pictorial primmer right now.
Actually, Ethel Bouldin’s ideas were tailored for first graders, but you will want to be sensitive if it frustrates your little one, or at least modify the way it is done.
Ok, thank you! We’ll give it a try and see how it goes. We started using your grammar program and she has been doing very well with it. I’m so thankful for the resources a s encouragement. Thank you!
Glad to hear it–you are very welcome 🙂
Thank you so much for this.. I love your videos too! So helpful and have truly made me more comfortable as a homeschool mom!!
My pleasure 🙂
Wow, we really appreciate all of the work you have put into producing this. My daughter is older but I think its going to be great to go over why we spell the way we do and the ‘secrets’. The foundation she never had. Thank you so much.
Wonderful! So glad I could bless you 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing!
My pleasure 🙂
Thank you so much for all of your helpful downloads, tips and tricks. You are most definitely a Titus 2 woman for me. I have learned so much from you and hope to use your good teaching (kalodidaskalos) to train up/teach our sons!
Aww, it is absolutely my pleasure 🙂