Coffee Talk Friday: Education

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By Rebecca Teti

Fridays: Education

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Whether your children attend school or are homeschooled, this is the spot to ask questions about curricula, religious education, parent-teacher relationships, or academic concerns of any kind.

Please join us!

Rebecca Teti


  • I am looking for a great spelling program-online would be best, that people have used and really loved. I have checked out a couple, but don't know much about them. Any great ideas? It's for my 11 year old son, who was a reluctant reader, and is now reading at night, with a flashlight. I realized about a month ago that we've let spelling slip, and I want to remedy that...thanks a million!

    Posted on Apr 26th, 2013 at 9:00 AM by Katie

  • My son does the Phonetic Zoo (from IEW--Institute for Excellence in Writing) and it is an excellent program--for both of us! I do very little with it and he has to master the words before he moves on. It is a 3 level program and it will probably take 3-5 years to do but when he finishes it he probably won't have to do anymore spelling. Go to the IEW website to check it out!

    Posted on Apr 26th, 2013 at 12:12 PM by Lisa

  • My first grader uses spelling city. It even has a SAT words list, so you may want to check it out.

    Posted on Apr 26th, 2013 at 12:55 PM by Anne

  • We use both The Phonetic Zoo and Spelling City. (We've use many over the years but those and All About Spelling are my absolute favorites). You can type your own lists into Spelling City too (didn't know about the SAT lists...I'll check that out!). Depending on the child I sometimes have them take the first week and type in the lists themselves for the first 9-18 weeks.

    Posted on Apr 27th, 2013 at 8:28 AM by RealMom4Life

  • Gosh, unknown! MS in education or not...I'm so glad you aren't MY teacher because after doing all of this stuff, I would pretty much HATE writing and spelling forever! LOL!

    Posted on Apr 28th, 2013 at 5:27 PM by unknown2

  • Well, let's give credit where credit is due; Jeanne's right that using spelling words in sentences (and saying the correct pronunciation aloud) will generally be much more effective than just trying to memorize a list of spelling words alone. Not to mention that then you increase vocabulary, rather than just learn standard spelling rules.

    Posted on Apr 28th, 2013 at 11:15 PM by Anna

  • The Phonetic Zoo is one of Andrew Pudewa's (from IEW) programs. According to Mr. Pudewa the best way to learn spelling is through listening and saying each word. It's been awhile since I attended a talk of his...but his example went something like this... Mom: Spell right, as in I got the answer right. Child: rite Mom: That's very good. Many words are spelled by adding an e to the end to make the vowel long....but not this one. Try again. How else can you get the "ite" sound. Child: I don't know. Mom: Think about light, sight, Child: Oh yeah r i g h t ! Then go through a few more words and come back to this to make sure they remember. That's why the Phonetic Zoo is all auditory. Best way to learn spelling, and the absolute best way is immediate feedback from someone. That being said, I simply don't have time to sit down with each child and do this, so I try to focus on the kids who have a harder time spelling. And, every week I do sit down with each of them and talk about their list so they can see the pattern pointed out (oi vs oy, etc.)

    Posted on Apr 28th, 2013 at 11:46 PM by RealMom4Life

  • Lots of good spelling advice here! Recall, though, that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to spelling, as children have different learning styles...visual, auditory, oral, kinesthetic, etc. I loved spelling as a child & found that it came easily to me (not so much so with mathematics)...a few of our children seem to have followed with ease of spelling (they seem do better orally), others struggle a bit more with the subject (they seem to prefer written).

    Posted on Apr 29th, 2013 at 6:20 AM by Patricia