Spelling is a skill that we all need. It’s the first step in effective written communication. However, does that mean you have to buy a complete spelling curriculum? The answer is no. You can easily design your own homeschool spelling curriculum. The key is knowing how to collect, curate, and customize spelling word lists.
Create Spelling Lists from Phonics Lessons
Phonics and spelling go hand in hand. So, why not use phonics lesson words for spelling. Dolch sight words and word families are the perfect lists to start with DIY spelling lists. Use the same word lists you would teach your child to read. Break down the lists into weekly chunks and collate in order of difficulty.
Here are some places to find phonics based spelling lists:
Curate from Spelling Lists by Grade Level
Another approach is to use already created spelling lists for your curriculum. These are easy to find and use. You can even update or edit them for your learners if needed. The nice part about pre-made lists is that it is less work for you. Also, if you are concerned with keeping up with your child’s grade level, you will feel reassured that you are right on track. There are many places online to find spelling lists by grade level. Some are paid and some are free. Your first step should be to do a search for “spelling lists grade X” and see what you find.
Here are some sources for free lists by grade.
Collect Spelling Words From Literature and Life
Another fun way to create your spelling curriculum is from your own experiences. Choose a favorite book and select spelling words from the story. This can be done at any grade level. For younger children, the list can be based on the entire book. For older children, you can choose spelling words by chapter or section. This will make the words more relatable and relevant, especially if it is a favorite book.
In the same way, you can collect spelling lists from life experience. Every family has words that are used frequently in conversation. These make excellent words for your spelling lessons. Relevant words are easier to remember and more meaningful to study.
Here’s some ideas for where to find new spelling words:
- Family Read Alouds
- Literature Lessons
- A Favorite Book
- Vacations and Trips
- Family Business
- Frequently Misspelled Words (keep a log for each child to use for spelling lists)
Theme Based Spelling Lessons
Curating a themed list can be another fun approach. This is especially helpful if you do unit studies. Pick a theme for each month or week. Create lists of words related to that theme. You can even get the kids to help you brainstorm themes.
A few ideas to get you started:
- Favorite Toys or Games
- Unit Study
- Nature Study
- History Study
- Geographically Based
If you are looking for a fun and interactive way to memorize your new spelling lists, be sure to check out our editable spelling activity pack! Simply type in your word list and watch as each activity instantly auto-fills with your words! Click Here for Details.