Homeschool Spelling

11 Jan

imageUPDATE: few slight modifications from the earlier post…..

TJ Homeschool Spelling/Vocabulary Routine

About the Routine

This is just a simple routine I worked up for my kids…………

Spelling Lists: Any spelling list can be used, preferably a phonics/spelling rule based list (preferred over alphabetical lists); many free ones can be found over the internet (check TJ’s spelling page for links)

Right now, some of the kids study two lists per week. I typically use two thirty-six week spelling lists (from two different sources).  One list per week was too slow for the kids;  one list per day was doable for some of them, but I decided to slow things down a bit.

The same routine is followed each day to make the spelling period run more smoothly, insha Allah.

Misspelled words from the pretest are practiced via a repetitive task/closer word study, but correctly spelled words are still used in activities to boost word skills and vocabulary skills.

The activities in the routine are basic activities. They may not fit all learning style types. I use them as they are quick independent activities and work well with my kids. You may need to find activities that appeal to other types of learners. Over at the main TJ site’s spelling page, you can find more creative activities.  For us, these basic , no frill activities work, so I just stick with them.

Day 1: List 1 of the week


Purpose: To see which words student already knows how to spell so that drills and repetition can be used with those words student does not know how to spell.

  1. Pretest on first half of list; correct after each word, have student pronounce each word; discuss the meaning of each word as necessary.
  2. Correct and write misspelled words on running misspelled words list
  3. Discuss phonics/spelling rule that applies to the list (if any)


Write misspelled words 10x each or other activity to practice the misspelled words.


Choose one or more of the following activities as student can handle.  Student can choose card from pouch or they can be pre-assigned by teacher to work on specific skills as desired.


  1. Choose a word sort card and sort ALL the words from this portion of the list (not just the misspelled words) according to the card.

Word Sort Activities on cards:

Sort by phonograms, categories, parts of speech, # of letters, and #of syllables


  1. Choose a structure activity card and complete the activity using ALL the words from this portion of the list (not just the misspelled words)

Activities on structure cards:

Word Maker (make more words based upon the spelling concept); ABC order, Make any nouns possessive, make any nouns plural, change the word’s part of speech (e.g. change love to lovely (from a noun to an adjective); anagrams (see how many smaller words you can find in a spelling word); change the tense of a verb; circle the vowels in each word; identify any prefixes or suffixes, add prefixes or suffixes


  1. Choose a meaning card and complete the activity using ALL the words from this portion of the list (not just the misspelled words).

Activities on meaning cards:

Find an antonym or synonym of all the words; make a riddle up where the answer is the spelling word (or make crossword puzzle clues); find homonyms of any words; make a simile out of a word (eg. Word is quiet—- quiet as a mouse); write sentences with the words (identify the grammar concept you are currently working on (e.g. you are studying predicates, so underline the predicate of each sentence you write); look up the words in a dictionary and write the definitions; look in books or online (with permission) and find each of your spelling words, write the sentence that the spelling word appears in; given a sentence with a blank, write the correct spelling word from the list in the blank to complete the sentence.

Day 2 – Second half of  first list

Quiz on yesterday’s misspelled words (oral or written)

Repeat steps I – III for the second half of the word list.

Day 3: Steps I – III  for first half of a new word list

Day 4: Steps I – III  (starting with review of previous day’s words) for second half of current list.

Day 5: Review or make up day

(complete any unfinished word; get quizzed on all misspelled words from this week as well as words on running misspelled words list).

Activity Cards

Spelling Center

I made up a little file folder spelling center for our materials.  It has the spelling routine, the activity cards, and then I paper clipped word lists inside so that I can just grab it and start class.

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Posted by on January 11, 2010 in Spelling


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