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.



  1. I agree with you. So long as they are spelling them right as they are learning them what does it matter how they do it? There is time enough for neatness and order when necessary. I say give that boy a gold star for a job well done!
    Maybe he would enjoy writing his spelling words on the sidewalk with chalk for the whole world to see his artistry?

  2. Beautiful! Once again, I'm struck by the similarities between our sons. J has produced similar spelling tests and I'm always inspired by his creativity, and also reminded how that creativity would be viewed in school. With J, I also noticed more letter reversals, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not encouraging him to write more over the summer because there's some definite regression there. I imagine it won't take long for him to get back on track, though.

  3. My DD has dyslexia and this is the way she learned her spelling words when she was in private school. I would write the word on the front of a blank 3X5 card (vowels in one color and cons. in another color). She would draw a picture of what she thought of the word on the back of the card. She is a right-brained, visual learner, so this was super for her.

    Waiting for someone to unscramble the word "homeschool" so that it means we actually get to spend some time at home!
    My Attempt at Blogging

  4. I loved seeing this wonderful and creative way to spell. It brought a smile to my face. Keep up the good work mama! Things will fall into place when it is time. You are a inspiration my friend.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))

  5. It's great that he was able to not only spell the words, but showcase his creativity and have fun at the same time!