We do not believe there is just one way to teach any topic, including spelling. Children deserve to learn in the way that is easiest and most comfortable for them. The education of the young should never focus on the adults' goals or convenience but on the needs and abilities of the children.
Our program closely aligns with the goals and methods of Structured Literacy. The most important elements of our program are:
- Language must be learned holistically; spelling, reading, grammar and writing all reinforce each other in learning and none can be slighted without weakening the others.
- Language must be learned in a multi-sensory environment, coordinating hearing with seeing, speech with writing.
- The goal of language instruction is mastery, what is called automaticity in Structured Literacy. Children need to develop their language skills to the point where decoding does not slow or hinder comprehension.
- Children cannot be expected to learn deductively, that is by being given abstract rules from which they are expected to extrapolate answers to new challenges.
- Instruction must be guided daily by an informed authority who reviews performance and adjusts.
- Learning of spelling is critical to a child's acquisition of literacy.
- Learning spelling improves a child's reading.
- Learning spelling builds a child's confidence for writing.
- Learning spelling builds vocabulary.
- The learning of grammar is crucial to the development of a child's ability to communicate in writing and reading.