Spelling is the one subject that I am not completely happy with the way I am teaching it, so I have been changing things up lately in an attempt to find something that works well for us. Actually, teaching spelling in First Grade isn't being a pure follower of Charlotte Mason's teachings, but since I learned to spell in a way very similar to what Charlotte Mason recommended, yet am a horrible speller, I decided to veer off the Charlotte Mason path a bit for this one.
Last year, and the beginning of this year, I taught spelling by having Anna go through a list of common English words, studying them ten at a time with flash cards, and then writing them on the marker board. This seemed to be going okay in terms of ease for me and not too much grumbling from her, but she didn't seem to be retaining the words she was learning that well, so I went looking for something better. On the Internet of course. What would I do without the Internet? Several sites I found say that teaching spelling by memorizing lists isn't the best way, as lists are easily learned, and forgotten. (Ah-ha!) These sites recommended "wall words" as a teaching tool. So, what are wall words? Turns out they can be flash cards, (This made me happy, as I am rather fond of my homemade flash cards.) but instead of using them for just rote memorization, you use them to play games, sort, write sentences that use as many of them as possible, etc.
Now the way I teach spelling is to rack my brain every day for fun ways to use my wall words, aka flash cards. Anna is having more fun, but what I really need is a system. I have a tentative one forming, but was missing an activity for one day. Now I have it. A spelling word, word finder puzzle. It's fun, and you really have to think about the way a word is spelled in order to find it. The best thing is that I found a site that will put a puzzle together for you in a matter of seconds. Of course I found it right after I had already created a puzzle using a graph spread sheet, but oh well. This will really come in handy next week!
Here is the link for those who may wish to know. puzzlemaker