View Full Version : Yet Another Dictation Thread ...

09-09-2009, 05:00 AM
Our 9-year-old has been a very late reader and his spelling leaves much to be desired - never mind his penmanship :eek:. He's asking for more dictation, which, is a good sign ;).
I've been looking at some of the recent dictation threads. All of you have great tips. Heather, I really like your blog.
I've always liked the Beechick/CM/more gentle approach.
I like easy and uncomplicated.
I once read the following from another homeschooling mom.
Dictation should be viewed as a learning activity, not as a test of knowledge, so you should try and make it so they get it right. Never let your child misspell words because he will remember the misspelling, not the correction.
Let him pre-read the passage, and make a list of words he thinks he is unsure of.
Then you can give the dictation, after the child has seen it AND been allowed to make a so-called "cheat sheet".
During the dictation, remind him every time he needs to use a capital, a comma, or is forming a letter incorrectly. You tell him to rub it out and get it correct, so there are no errors to correct at the end.

I like this approach, but although it worked on dd (who no longer really needs dictation), the cheat sheet method described above hasn't helped our ds. His spelling is still very poor.

What do you think of the following approach? This is based on the Spelling Wisdom book that someone linked in one of the threads.
1. MONDAY - Show him the passage/sentences/paragraph.
2. Have him identify words he can't spell.
3. Have him spend as long as is necessary (usually a few days) practicing the challenging words.
4. THURSDAY/FRIDAY/WHENEVER HE'S READY - give him the dictation.
5. Cover any misspellings with a small sticky or cross it out.
6. Have him study any misspelled words.
When he's ready, have him write the corrected words on the stickies.

Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

09-09-2009, 09:02 AM
When they have lots of problems with spelling, I like to use the dictation sentence/passage as copywork first. So instead of just showing him on Monday, also have him copy it correctly. Then on the following days, have him practice the harder words and punctuation. Make sure there aren't too many challenging words per dictation though so he experiences success--try to use sentences that are at his spelling level, not his reading level which may be much higher.

09-09-2009, 02:47 PM
Yes, I did it similar to that but adding copy the passage on Monday.

09-10-2009, 02:46 AM
Cindy and Dawn, thank you. :group:

09-10-2009, 12:04 PM
i just started dictation this year with my daughter. she'll be 8 in a few weeks. i use the "draw-write-now" books. i use a schedule adapted by what nancy suggested to me a few weeks back. my dd isn't a great speller, but this approach has been painless, effective, and kinda fun! here's the blog post i submitted yesterday regarding it:


i also love heather's approach & plan to incorporate that more down the road:)