Invented Spelling

I like my new school

Last year, Charlie was baffled by the idea of sounding out words and using invented spelling. Probably because the sounds and the meanings and the letters were a disorganized jumble in his brain. Or maybe his weak attention system wouldn’t let him focus long enough to figure it out.

But this year, at the beginning of October, he began Reading Recovery, a one-on-one, daily program with a reading specialist trained in Orton-Gillingham and other methods. After only a week or so in the program, I overheard him sitting on the couch willingly sounding out “I like my new school,” which he wrote all by himself! It came out as “ILGMNOSCOL.”

In that first attempt, there were no spaces between the words, and the sounds in each word ran together. But earlier this week, he sounded out Barkley, stopping on each sound to connect it to a letter: BRCLE. And all through our Christmas trip, he voluntarily sounded out names and ideas and copied words he saw while driving.

These are huge, huge jumps for him. So huge that I teared up when I stopped in the reading specialist’s office to thank her for her work.


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I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
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