Spelling Counts!!

My son is in grade 2, French Immersion, and his spelling is horrid!! And I seem to be the only one who cares.

He is an avid reader, and can sound out pretty much any word he comes across in either French or English, but this does NOT translate into his writing. But that is not what bothers me. What drives me crazy, is that he doesn’t care, and his teachers don’t seem to either. I keep being told “its not important right now”.

I’m not a super strong speller, never have been, but this inventive spelling is about enough to drive me up a wall. I understand, especially as a teacher, that the theory is that if we harp too much on the kids’ spelling, that it will stifle them as writers. But isn’t there a fine line between stifling and getting it correct? As many of you know, I teach grade 8, and recently one of my students asked me how to spell the word “Language”. And the use of punctuation and capitals? Don’t even get me started! Clearly, the importance of good spelling is not being reinforced early enough!

So what to do? As parents, fighting against what the teacher says seems like a losing battle. But I’m going to keep having that battle. Call me old fashioned, but I believe spelling is important. Even 15 years in the future, our children are going to have to write without the use of a spell checker. And bad spelling makes a bad impression. Unfortunately, when I see bad spelling, I automatically get the impression that the person writing either A) doesn’t care or B) isn’t intelligent enough to get it right. These are not impressions we want people having of us, or our children!

How do/would you handle this battle? I’m going to keep fighting the good fight :)

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