While I hadn’t necessarily been planning on posting very much this week…I had the night “off” from directing VBC tonight (thanks to one of my co-laborers who insisted she could run the show tonight), and writing a blog post seemed like an enjoyable way to spend a bit of my extra time.
I wrote a post a few months ago about my initial thoughts on using the Logic of English Essentials curriculum. I’m intending to post continued thoughts about LOE-E and snapshots of how we’re using the curriculum throughout the year. After a six-weeks-or-so break from all formal schoolwork, Spelling was one of the first subjects we added back in early July. We started lesson 7 today, so we’re still early on in the program.
We’re still enjoying the games:
Though I do have to say it presents a challenge that Mr. K insists on playing with us most of the time. But he barely knows his letters, much less his phonograms. I also haven’t been working a whole lot with Mr. E yet on knowing all the sounds each phonogram makes (that’s on the to-do list once we get rolling with a full school schedule in September). So, it makes for rather interesting game playing. We still have only tried phonogram games for the most part. I’d like to try some spelling word games soon.
I did make up my own game to practice choosing long A sounds. I created cards for the various ways of spelling the /long A/ sound that we studied in lesson 4:
And Miss M and Mr. E had to run and grab the card that explained why a word has a /long A/ sound as I announced each word. It was an okay, active game. I think I could do something similar with /Long O/ sound words we are now studying in lesson 7.
Logic of English has a YouTube channel. I found the recent video of LOE author Denise Eide demonstrating how to do spelling dictation to be particularly helpful. I discovered I was doing the “finger clues” for the number of letters in each phonogram incorrectly. I also had Miss M watch the video. She kept trying to tell me that I was “giving away” how to spell the words when I dictated a spelling list to her. Having only done traditional “spelling tests” in the past, she didn’t quite understand that the point of spelling dictation is really to learn words that she may not already know. Seeing the video helped her understand that I didn’t just make up some crazy way of teaching spelling words. 😉
I noticed that Miss M was having a hard time with the sounds associated with the -ng phonogram, so I created a little worksheet to help her. Mr. E used it as well:
During review lesson #5 I noticed that Miss M would hear a word ending in -ng and have a hard time deciding which vowel sound she was hearing in front of that phonogram. I was hoping that if she created a little visual to go with each sound, it might help her keep the sounds straight. We haven’t revisited those words yet to see if this helped. Writing this out reminds me that I need to do that. 🙂
Miss M asked if she could write a story with her spelling words each week. I said, “Of course!” She is pretty good about asking how to spell words she doesn’t know but wants to add to the story. She has written two stories so far — the first contained no mistakes (not counting words we haven’t worked on that she asked about first before writing down), and the second story only contained a couple of small mistakes. One mistake that was kind of funny to me was her spelling of the word “later.” She insisted several times that it must be “lader” — because that is how it sounds when she says it! I had to write down “late” and “later” before it clicked for her! Maybe “enunciation” or “articulation” is a subject we’ll have to pay more attention to in the future!
I had Miss M do a copywork page using a suggested sentence to remember the nine words where EA says /long a/:
I’m also planning on reinforcing the spelling rules throughout the year by creating copywork pages based on each rule!
Biggest thing I dislike so far:
So, no program is perfect and I knew eventually I might find something I disliked about LOE-E. I am finding I really don’t like the format of the workbook so much. Not the activities themselves — those are fine. It’s the kind of paper they are printed on and the perforations.
I’ll be honest and say that Miss M has had some moments of frustration while doing spelling dictation (though mostly before we watched the video — that really did help a lot!). And when erasing needed to happen…the thin paper the workbook is printed on ripped very easily. I think we have had no less than three out of six spelling dictation workbook pages we attempted to use ruined by ripping/holes during frustrated erasing.
And the pages really don’t stay in the workbook very well. This is all fine and good I am sure for use in schools where papers are turned in to the teacher. But I would prefer to keep a workbook together to use for review and reference and that’s just not going to happen with this workbook. I really appreciate that the cost was kept low for this massive workbook, but I think I am now feeling like I would have gladly paid more for a nice spiral bound workbook with regular paper.
I’m still mulling over my options — I might purposely pull out a lesson’s worth of pages at a time and hole punch them or use my proclick binder on them. At least they might stay together that way. It wouldn’t solve the ripping problem, but I am crossing my fingers that we’ll have fewer frustrations in the future.
I’ll plan to share another update in a month or two!