More invented spelling
Friday, November 17, 2006
As regular blog readers may be aware of, I am not too happy with the curriculum at Mr P's school. I hate Chicago/Everyday Math, and I hate their "invented spelling". I love his teacher, she is truly gifted, but my son is repeatedly bringing home classwork that is misspelled, letters backward, etc. He is in first grade, but thanks to homeschooling and private school, reads well above most of his peers. I've brought this up with his teacher before, and she assured me that when the class is writing in their journals, she does correct them verbally; however, their journals are *their* works, and she does not require that they actually change anything in it.

Today, he brought this home. There is no grade, comments, or correction on it, front or back.

Notice that he spelled "crack" correctly, but "cracker" wrong. There are a few nonsense words (Ckape, crake), a few misspelled words (cracer, dall) and one word that doesn't fit at all (day). No one bothered to tell him that.

I understand it was displayed in the classroom along with the other children's work. He also brought home a pumpkin on which he wrote "I hate you", again with no comment, correction, or indication the school told him this was inappropriate. Well, until he brought it home! *grin* They're not real in to "value judgements", I guess.

He brought home another project, which was displayed in the hallway next to his classroom for all to see, that said "I wan to learn". No one helped him hear that final /t/ sound in "want", or encouraged him to do his best work for the display. Another paper, also brought home today (apparently they are cleaning out their cubbies) had short /u/ words. It included the word underpants (inappropriate, in my opinion, and crude for a boy to write on a project to be viewed in mixed company, but I'm a throwback Victorian) and the words "thum" and "fus". No need for the instructor to mention silent letters, apparently!

How is he going to learn to spell, punctuate, and use good grammar if no one will correct his work? I realize the school's policy is "invented spelling" to encourage children that they can do it and boost their confidence. But you can't expect students to learn the English language in a vacuum, without someone teaching them spelling, punctuation, and word usage.

I think it's futile to give children a false sense of self esteem based on fuzzy feelings, instead of actual achievement, and I wonder how fast their confidence will crash when they are grown and not literate enough to spell.

Tags: Family Life, Homeschooling, Mama Says
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 11/17/2006 08:33:00 AM | Permalink | |