Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How We Do Homeschool: Spelling and Handwriting

Seat Work

I call the first block in our schedule seat work for obvious reasons: it’s filled with most of the things that we do while sitting at the table. It really is comprised of handwriting, copywork, and spelling. We also do math at the table, but I did list that separately.


We are working through the Spelling Workout series which is a workbook. Jonathan just finished up book A and has moved to book B. I like that the lessons do review some phonics rules for words on each list. The activities are varied. I haven’t felt the need to do every single lesson. If Jonathan can spell all the words in an oral pretest, then we skip the lesson. If he misses a couple, then he does it.

He usually only spends 2-3 days on each lesson. It includes some simple writing exercises, and we are just beginning to work on some of those, but we have been skipping them all until now. I do not use the Teacher's Guide. This series is from the suggestion list in TWTM. These books are around $15 each.


We have worked through the Zaner Blouser 1st grade book, but there are still some issues with making the correct strokes. Because of that, we are currently working on specific letters. You can print out practice sheets with whatever text you want from ZB Fonts online. We’re also beginning to do copywork as a part of our Language curriculum. Other times, I just come up with my own sentence for him to copy from something we are reading or using his spelling words.

The Zaner Blouser 1st grade handwriting workbook retails for $10.99, but I paid less on Ebay, and I actually found one at a yard sale for $.25 that we use for backup and extra practice.

I did look at several different handwriting programs over Christmas break to see if any of them might better help us achieve our goals. In the end, I determined that what we had was fine, and that the main issue is just practicing the proper pathways for each letter. We’ll be using a dry erase board and the printed sheets for that for a while.

Other posts in this series:
Our Schedule
Spelling and Handwriting

English Grammar
Science and Art
Classical Conversations
A Few Random Thoughts

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