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Old 09-05-2013, 01:43 PM
 
9 posts, read 15,059 times
Reputation: 100

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I am so frustrated because we moved to an area that is supposed to have great public schools. Kindergarten was great and the teacher was willing to let me son work on his level, at least enough to keep him from going crazy. This year was a different story, and I'm glad I found out at the beginning of the year. I tried to work with the school but I was totally shut down.

My biggest clue that there was a HUGE problem was when the teacher said there would not be any spelling lists or spelling tests. In first grade! Even prior to this, I suspected something might be a problem because of the poor quality of work that was coming home. Very different from last year.

I delved a little deeper into the spelling issue and the principal told me that kids didn't need to learn how to spell because they can just use spellcheck! He said spelling isn't even important enough to be on the report card in the upper grades. He also told me that public school cannot meet the needs of a gifted child, and that my son is ahead so I should not worry and everything would "even out by third grade."

The teacher, principal, assistant principal, and curriculum director all assured me that "word study" would teach conventional spelling of irregular words. Because I am a former teacher, I knew that it would not. I found an author who also was concerned about spelling not being explicitly taught, and I voiced my concerns. He wrote an article about us and our decision to homeschool:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...spelling-tests

Spelling was just the tip that led to opening the whole thing up. Reading and math were not ok, either. As I asked questions I kept getting more and more dismayed.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:48 PM
 
2,776 posts, read 3,596,434 times
Reputation: 2312
Spulling iz obsulete.

Seriously though, there is some truth in the principles statement; we're increasingly a purely digitally based writing system.

I really can't for the life of me remember handwriting anything in my college days or in my career. Everything used word processing programs or had some type of de facto spell check running in the background.

Even this post caught my (unintentional) typos/spelling errors.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:10 PM
 
9 posts, read 15,059 times
Reputation: 100
Spelling was just the tip of the iceberg.

I think you have dismissed spelling perhaps a bit too hastily.

The principal is your "pal." It is principal. Not principle. Spellcheck doesn't help you with that, though you posted that you thought it did.

I have had, shall we say, unsatisfactory results from employees who rely on spellcheck.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:06 PM
 
13,981 posts, read 25,962,532 times
Reputation: 39926
I am with you OP. My kids had spelling tests all through elementary school, so this is news to me. If they don't learn to spell in grade school, then when?

My son's status on FB last night was addressed to Spellcheck, along the lines of "Dear Spellcheck, by now you should have noticed those meticulously spelled scientific terms just might mean I'm a science major. Please stop auto-correcting them". He got dozens of likes for the comment.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,539 posts, read 21,265,870 times
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I've never been good at spelling. I tend to do it phonetically which only sometimes works. But I found a way to use spellcheck to learn.

I'd write a long chapter of the novel I was working on, no spellcheck at all. Then I'd run it. Each thing which was clearly not a typo was written down. Anything with more than two repeats was put on a list, properly spelled which was in front of the monitor. If I used the word I double checked the spelling.

Next chapter any word that was repeated more than once went on the list. Same deal. I also got this book, 10,000 words most likely to be misspelled. It's not a dictionary or therasus, just a list. They are easy to look up if your not sure. I lost it and haven't found another copy but will....

I still misspell things and some of the typos are fingers gone numb when typing but I try to fix the stuff I see. But not teaching spelling at all??? madness. And if my kid wasn't taught handwriting, I'd do it myself.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:24 PM
 
2,040 posts, read 2,459,935 times
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Just asking.....

Doesn't this school system have any type of "Gifted" program?

That doesn't sound like a really good school system to me.

Posted with TapaTalk
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
2,865 posts, read 3,632,658 times
Reputation: 4020
Momzuki I can see where you're coming from. Our world is changing so much!! I still hand-write letters (letters???) to pen pals overseas. I remember having to learn handwriting (cursive?) in grade school (I am told by parents at work that this is NOT taught anymore in school). And spelling, I learned more about spelling and sentence structure from reading (I am an incurable "book-a-holic"). However we did, as students, have to learn spelling and sentence structure in school. I can certainly understand your concern!! For instance my wife as a para-educator in middle school watched students using calculatoirs rather than checking their work the old fashioned way or learning math tables. I don't know what to tell you except good luck with your home-schooling. I hope that it works well for you and your children.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:54 PM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
20,126 posts, read 16,167,528 times
Reputation: 28335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momzuki View Post
I delved a little deeper into the spelling issue and the principal told me that kids didn't need to learn how to spell because they can just use spellcheck!
The sound you hear is me screaming in frustration.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Richmond VA
6,885 posts, read 7,894,421 times
Reputation: 18214
Momzuki, your instinct was correct. learning to spell is one of the foundations of learning to READ. We learn to spell as part of the process of learning to decode words, figure out what the sounds of letters make, and how they fit together into the patterns that make up our language. Duh!

Any professional educator who tries to justify NOT teaching spelling is an idiot.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: So Ca
26,735 posts, read 26,828,098 times
Reputation: 24795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momzuki View Post
the principal told me that kids didn't need to learn how to spell because they can just use spellcheck!
Wow. My oldest's elementary school principal said that very thing....back in the early 1990s. That group of kids went on to spell phonetically and once they reached middle school, they could barely write. We took our kids out of our (supposedly highly ranked) public school system after that and sent them to parochial schools.
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