*your informed, considered opinion, that is
Victoria, nearing 6 1/2, is a fine reader, and once again I have dodged a bullet. I have no idea how to teach a child to read, I am suspicious of phonics except for children who are struggling to read, and I have no experience.
She cannot spell. At all. With Violet, I have never done any spelling work, formal or informal. I guess the Word Within the Word is as close as we come, but she has some kind of supernatural instinct for spelling, and always has.
I have often heard that you should not correct young children’s spelling, as that experimental spelling is part of their language learning process.
Victoria would like to be able to write. She enjoys writing letters and wants to write stories, and is somewhat hindered by her inability to spell. That is, she is quite asynchronous in her language abilities — her expression and her reading are far beyond her spelling. That does not always bother her, but sometimes it does.
So, do I intervene? And how?
I am wondering about doing some kind of simple spelling practice, but then leaving the rest of her writing alone, unless she asks for a specific spelling for something she is writing.
Were she in school doing “language arts” at some level approximating her current reading level, she would definitely be doing spelling. Then again, I think Violet had spelling words in kindergarten — which was interesting, because some of the kids could barely write. So school practices are not the most helpful guide!
I have always had a vague belief that reading is the best kind of spelling lesson — and that is probably true.
But what do you think? If you are going to do some kind of specific spelling work, when and how do you start?