Monday, August 29, 2011
A Spelling Test Homeschool Style
This is my son's spelling test for the day. He got all his spelling words right! However, he did it in his own creative way. This test would not be acceptable in a public school setting (at least none that I worked in). The words are not in the lines; they are not numbered or even going in the order I called them out. They are all decorated to portray the words. A teacher would not be pleased with this test. This test does not fit into the structured little box of school.
This test brings a smile to my face. I love that my teaching style has not squelched his creativity. I love that there are no reversals of letters and that all the words are spelled correctly (except for ah-choo, which was not a spelling word). I love that he wanted to do the next test so that he could decorate the words more. I love to see the confidence building in him for spelling. After all, the point of this spelling test was to spell the words correctly without letter reversals, not make your handwriting neat. We have a handwriting book for those skills. (Because he has mild cerebral palsy which affects his hands, his handwriting is immature.) I can give him a little space to learn in his own way. He won't be writing every word this way for the rest of his life. Or, maybe he will and be a big time logo maker for an advertising company. (My Mom majored in grapic design in college and said this is the type of assignment her classes were given to make the words become logos.) His path will be revealed in its own time. But, for now, he is loving spelling for the very first time. He claps his hands when I pull out his spelling book.
His test scores were very poor in spelling last year. Everything else was on grade level or above, so I suspected that the scores were false in some way. I asumed that it was an attitude problem due to lack of confidence. I put him in a 2nd grade spelling book that I had lying around, even though he is reading on a 6th grade level. Sure enough, he is getting all of the spelling words correct without even doing the lessons. I will let him hang out with this book for another month or two to build his confidence and then move him on to something more appropriate.