Thursday, December 3, 2009

Can You Spell "Adorable"?

I love my children's creative spelling! It's like baby talk, though. As adorable as it is, I feel obligated to reluctantly correct it, for the sake of the child's literary future.

My seven-year-old knows quite a few sight words, but she usually relies on the rules of phonics when writing her own stories. I was amused to read her review of a new "compyouter" game. Apparently, including the sight word "you" on a recent spelling list made a big impression on her.

I have saved a box of notes addressed, "To Mom, Frum Faith". Faith is embarrassed when I show them to people. "Mom!" she exclaims indignantly. "I KNOW how to spell 'from'! I wrote those a LONG time ago!" I guess six months is a long time when you're seven.

Faithie is a prolific writer. Like her mother, she finds the sight of blank paper exciting! One of Faith's Time4Learning lessons covered the typical sound of /ing/, citing examples such as "ring", "sing", and "bring". I know my daughter was paying attention, because her next journal entry stated, "I am youzing my moms pin with the pingk ingk." It broke my heart to have to correct her spelling to read, "I am using my mom's pen with the pink ink."

As cute as they are, spelling mistakes do have to be corrected. The whole purpose of writing is communication. We aren't communicating if our readers can't understand what we've written.

My grown son received (not "recieved") a letter from a friend when he was a teen. He brought it to me, puzzled by the word "chrie" that appeared throughout. His friend had written, "I am going to chrie for that apartment I looked at and chrie living on my own again. I know I chried before, but I think I can do it this time."

Eventually, through reading the letter aloud and noticing the context in which the word was used, we began to realize his friend was "chrieing" to spell the word "try".

Being a do-it-yourself kind of gal, I rarely purchase a spelling curriculum. I find interesting words in the books my children are reading or pull misspelled words from their journals to make customized spelling lists. We've been having lots of fun practicing our words at SpellingCity. It's a free site where I can input our own spelling words or use lists that others have shared. The kids can play online games with the words. It's much more exciting than the old, "Write your spelling word five times each" method.

I remember being bored to tears over some of the assignments I was given in school, so I put quite a bit of effort into locating fun homeschooling resources for my own kids. Online learning games are usually a big hit with my family. As a homeschool mom, I can't always find an entertaining way to teach everything my children need to learn, but I really do chrie!

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