December 03, 2009,
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH on December 02, 2009
10 Year Old Boy- Terrible Speller... Homework/study Fights Help
My son is 10 years old... super smart kid but is a terrible speller. He has always had trouble with spelling but this year it is getting worse. We constantly fight about this. He knows he has to work hard to get good grades and sometimes he can get 100% on spelling tests but the next week... big fat F comes home. We tried grounding him for anything lower than a C (he goes to my dads every saturday and spends the day with him.... last year my dad said he couldn't come if he gets lower than a B and he stuck with that.) but this doesn't work this year because we do not get the tests back on friday anymore... sometimes we don't get them back for a few weeks just depends on when teacher has time to grade. We tried rewarding for good grades... my husband always took him to rent a video game or movie on fridays after the test came home... but again we don't get it until whenever, also they stopped renting x-box games (which is the game system my son has so that stopped working too) so we decided that instead we would put money into a jar for the purchase of a wii which my son wants really bad (he usually gets whatever he wants either by christmas, birthday or saving christmas/birthday money and buying it himself) but with the wii I said no. This time he has to earn it. Since it will be a family thing not just my sons he has to earn half the money to buy it. Which with the way we pay for grades he could have had it by the end of last school year... yet this doesn't seem to be enough to motivate him. I'm tired of fighting about this and really tired of caring about his grades more than he does.
Help. Anyway to help him become a better speller? Anyway to motavate him to want to work harder to get good grades? Anything???????? Just wanted to add something after the responses I have got... He has been tested and is not dyslexic or has ADHD/ADD anything like that. He is a great reader and can pick out a word that is misspelled because his reading is so good but can't/won't see his own mistakes in spelling or know how to correct them.
T.P. answers from Cleveland on December 03, 2009
T.P. answers from Cleveland on December 03, 2009
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J.C. answers from Cleveland on December 03, 2009
Just because he is not dyslexic and does not have ADD, does not mean that he does not have a learning disability. I recently watched F.A.T. City - a video produced by Rick Lavoie. It was a true eye opener, regarding LD children. I highly recommend you see if your library has it, or if you can find it online. His website sells it, but I think it's like $50. or so. www.ricklavoie.com
Blessings to you and your son,
S.H. answers from Fort Wayne on December 03, 2009
Some people are just bad spellers. I have a Master's Degree in Education ans spell on a 3rd grade level. There are studies going on right now as to why some people can't spell but no conclusions yet. As long as he is working on it and trying his best, let it go.
C.M. answers from Cincinnati on December 03, 2009
This sounds like my husband. While he is really smart in many areas, his spelling is atrocious. He had been tested for dyslexia and all of that. It was only the spelling that he had problems with. I had never heard of this, but they diagnosed him as having a learning disability, with regard to spelling. It may be one of those things, that no matter what you do, he is going to always struggle with spelling. I would suggest that if you feel he is really, and truly, trying on his spelling tests, that you ease up on the punishments or do away with them altogether. Make the punishments more about trying and working hard than about the final outcome and grades. Another suggestion would be to talk to the teacher. Let her know what is going on and see if she has any ideas that might help.
R.D. answers from Indianapolis on December 03, 2009
Their is a computer website, spellingcity.com, that you enter the spelling words into, and it comes up with games that the child plays on-line that helps them learn the words. My son is 7, and loves it. There are many games. My son loves playing games on the computer.
Could he be bored? If the words are too easy he may not care. When he writes stuff, does he spell the words correctly? Your letter had a key in it. As long as it is your problem, and not his, why should he worry? You have to make it his problem, and not yours. Put the consequence in place, and then don't worry about it. I know you want him to succeed, but he is the one who has to want it.
J.F. answers from Columbus on December 03, 2009
i have to agree with the folks that have already responded, some people are just really bad at spelling and in fact in my case i think it may actually be genetic. My mother can't spell at all, my father is really good at spelling, and i am somewhere inbetween. Like your son i am a great student, smart and successful, but everything i do has to be run through the spellcheck on the computer before i send it out because i just cannot spell, and no amount of punishment or rewards as a child would have changed that. I would say that as long as he is showing some amount of trying and doing well in the other subjects i would just let it go.
B.B. answers from Indianapolis on December 03, 2009
It could just be that spelling is his achilles heel. I know several people who are VERY book smart but commen-sense-stupid, or even vice-versa.
There are musicians who can sight-read but can't "play by ear" easily, and those who can "play by ear" can memorize easily but can't sight read very well.
Get a DVD called "the letter factory" - it might help somewhat in at least getting familiar with the sounds each letter makes....it might be a little "elementary", but it's a cute video. Also, get him on the computer to Starfall.com - that'll help with spelling somewhat too.
FOr what it's worth, and good luck!
S.E. answers from Cleveland on December 03, 2009
I am 33, have a masters degree and was always near top of my class and I can't spell to save my life. I get nervous when my 5 year old asks how to spell something. The point is he needs to try, but some people just don't have it. Reward the effort, not the grade.