Image by lauradahl via FlickrI homeschool my 12-yr-old. He has grown up in the computer age and is extremely electronically intelligent as are most children his age. He would rather spend hours researching and looking up topical information on the internet then sitting down listening to me lecture him and trying to "teach" him.
One of my blog friends (and I apologize now because I don't remember which one it was so I can't give you credit) - anywho, she posted about a couple of spelling programs she uses online. I took a look at those several months ago and introduced them to Dakota and they have worked wonderful for us! Perfect fit and completely free! So I wanted to share them with any of my homeschooling friends out there in case you were interested.
My older kids and I all learned to read the phonics way. That is the only way I know how to sound out words, teach reading, etc. After 8 years of homeschooling Dakota and many of the early years unsuccessfully trying phonics with him I soon realized that not everybody learns that way. He just doesn't get it. Now we concentrate on going through list of words. In my opinion this is definitely not the best way to learn but he IS learning so we keep trudging on. This first website I'm going to share with you helped us immensely with our lists -
1000 Most Common Words in the English Language - this is broken down into three groups. We started with the 2nd group because he knew how to spell all the words in the 1st group already. I started with the A's and called out words to him asking him to spell them. We went right down the list until he misspelled 10. Once he had reached 10 misspelled words - those were his spelling words to work on until he had memorized them.
Teach Me, Play A Game, Test Me - Spelling City - I then take those 10 misspelled words and plug them into this website. Then Dakota is on his own. He can use those words and play games, make sentences, a computer voice will call out each word and he has to spell it and once he thinks he is ready he can take a test. When he is done with his test, the computer grades it, shows him which words he got wrong and the correct way to spell them. Then he prints it out and brings it to me. We normally work on the same word list for about 3 days because I make him write them out one day and make sentences one day. He enjoys both of these websites a lot.