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SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork" - By George Stancliffe

? in the time that it takes one average reading

child to practice one spelling lesson of ten

words they can easily learn one hundred

words correctly with speed reading methods.?

Such was the experience of a homeschool mom who taught SPEED SPELLING techniques to her children, one of whom is ADHD.

Speed Spelling!? What?s that?

Speed Spelling is one of several innovative uses for using speed reading methods to help teach particular school subjects to children.

Speed Spelling was first tried by Dr. Vearl G. McBride, Ph.D. over 30 years ago. In his book Damn the School System--Full Speed Ahead!, McBride gives a brief description of how he taught Speed Spelling (among some other Speed Subjects like Speed Math, Speed Languages, etc.) to young children to help them to learn hundreds of spelling words per week. (McBride?s rare book is now out of print, but if you would like a brief description of its contents, you can read the review of it that I posted on [If you like the review, let know, they appreciate the feedback]).

When one of my clients decided to try speed spelling with her children, I was thrilled. And when she succeeded, it provided validation to McBride?s work.


Speed Spelling would still be considered experimental at this point, however, the results are looking very good so far. And this gives you the chance to be on the cutting edge of educational research.

I am still looking for more people who are willing to try it out as an experiment and let me know their results. Following is a skeleton lesson plan that you can use to help guide you throughout the process. Feel free to improvise and invent as you steer your children through one of the most amazing innovations in education.

Please let me know how things work out for you.



Teach your children to speed read using techniques from the book SPEED READING 4 KIDS (either Expanded Reading or Dynamic Reading, or both).


Write about 20 words per page on blank pages of standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch computer paper. Write each word in large letters with a felt-tip marker, and write each word with different color marker ink. It is also important that each word NOT be written level nor in neat rows. Instead, make sure that each word is tilted at different angles than the other words. This, and the fact that they are written in different colors, makes each of the words more likely to make an impression in a child?s brain.


Have your child spend 5-15 minutes each day scanning over several pages of words, taking about 5-10 seconds to scan each page.

At first make sure they don`t try to gain any comprehension of the words. They are to just "see" the words for the first few minutes, using their "Natural Vision" like when they look out the window and see a tree.

When they have scanned all the pages that you have prepared, then have them go over these vocabulary pages again and again and again gradually allowing them to understand more and more, until the 15 minutes is up. Have them try to visualize the words and what they mean as they are going over them.



When they have finished scanning all the vocabulary pages for the day, have them tell you all the words that they can recall, from memory. Give them lots of encouragement even if they recall nothing (in fact, at first, they may recall nothing. If they recall nothing for the first few days, tell them they are normal and encourage them to keep up the good work). The good thing is that THEY TRIED.

Reward them for their EFFORT, not on how well they did. If they are treated well, regardless of ability, they will get better results in the long run.


Repeat this process for 4 or 5 days. Have them tell you the words and their spelling. Also, have them tell you how to spell them BACKWARDS! (yes they can do this too!).

By the end of the first week, you should start seeing some encouraging results. Some children may gain great results much sooner.

As children do this week after week, their ability to do this gets better and better.


Get a new list of words and do it again! Also, review the previous lists regularly. This should only take a minute or so per day.

Another way to review words is to just speed read in regular reading books for 15 minutes per day. As they come into daily contact with these words, they will never forget how to spell them.

One good thing about this is, even if a child misses some of his words, he will still be learning 5-50 times more words than ?normal? students do in a similar amount of time. Remember, most children only learn to spell about 20 words per week.

Some children have learned to spell up to 600 hundred words per week using speed reading techniques!


After sending the foregoing lesson plan to the homeschool mom (who teaches speed spelling) for her review, she only had this to add:

?After looking at what you wrote down it looks very thorough in the technique.

?In the future though, if anyone calls to ask you if there is any other way (because one child or a younger child isn`t getting it), here is another option that I found out through teaching this to one of my speed reading students:

?Still use the colored marker but start on the dry erase board and in big letters start out with 3-5 words and let them study it for one minute. If the child stresses over writing the words on paper, then test them verbally.

?Do this kind of drill up to 3 times in a one hour period using 3-5 different words each time. Keep doing this throughout the week. Use the same words as the days before but keep adding 3-5 words each time.

?This may continue like this for a couple of weeks until the child gets used to seeing the words. I have found that some children get scared and over-whelmed at starting out with so many words. Sometimes starting out slow helps but most of the time the way stated [above] works. It is still important that they not be concerned if they don`t get it at first.

?But some children find immediate success if they can remember a few of the words right off the bat . I hope this made sense.?

--L. R., homeschool mom, Virginia

George Stancliffe is a speed reading teacher in Washington State and is the author of the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS, now in its 3rd Edition. His website is and he can be contacted at


George Stancliffe, author, SPEED READING 4 KIDS

The American Speed Reading Project

PO Box 227, Toppenish, WA 98948; 509-865-7027

Teach kids from 8 on up, including ADD and Dyslexics




George Stancliffe is a speed reading teacher in Washington State and is the author of the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS, now in its 3rd Edition. His website is and he can be contacted at

Strattera, The New ADHD Medication - By Jeannine Virtue


Please feel free to reprint this article about the newest ADHD medication to hit pharmacy shelves, keeping author bio and URL intact. Thank you!

?Strattera, the New ADHD Medication?

The newest ADHD medication Strattera (atomoxetine) is expected to hit the pharmacy shelves this month to much ado. What separates Strattera (atomoxetine) from the rest of the ADHD medications pack is that Strattera (atomoxetine) is the first non-stimulant medication FDA-approved for Attention Deficit Disorder.

Strattera (atomoxetine) is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act, which translates to the convenience of phone-in refills and less prescription hassles at the pharmacy.

Strattera (atomoxetine) is an oral capsule prescribed in a once or twice daily dose, which also eliminates the need for school children to medicate during the school day. And, Strattera (atomoxetine) is the only ADHD medication FDA-approved for adults.

But before you knock on your doctor`s door asking for a prescription, there are a few things you should know about this new ADHD medication.

Although Strattera (atomoxetine) is a non-stimulant ADHD medication, it still poses many side effects consistent with the side effects of other ADHD medications - and a few new ones that adults might find less than pleasant.

Common Strattera (atomoxetine) Side Effects include (but not limited to):

_ Problems sleeping/Insomnia

_ Dry mouth

_ Decreased appetite

_ Weight loss

_ Upset stomach

_ Constipation

_ Nausea and/or vomiting

_ Dizziness

_ Tiredness

_ Mood swings

_ Ear infection

_ Influenza

_ Irritability

Sexual side effects (in adults studied):

_ Decreased libido

_ Ejaculatory problems

_ Impotence

_ Urination problems

_ Painful menstrual periods

The following, though rare, have also been reported:

_ Strattera (atomoxetine) can cause potentially serious allergic reactions.

Strattera (atomoxetine) can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Strattera (atomoxetine) can also worsen the conditions of high blood pressure and heart disease. Strattera (atomoxetine) should not be taken at the same time as, or within two weeks of taking, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Patients with narrow angle glaucoma should not take Strattera (atomoxetine).

You should alert the prescribing physician of the following condition before beginning Strattera (atomoxetine);

_ Current or past depression, psychosis or other mental conditions

_ Alcohol or drug abuse

_ Heart disease

_ High blood pressure

_ Epilepsy or seizure disorders

_ Liver disease or kidney disease

_ Pregnancy, nursing or plans to become pregnant

Strattera (atomoxetine) makers Eli Lilly and Company conducted six placebo-controlled studies in children, adolescents and adults for FDA submission. Early studies suggest that the potential of abuse is lower with Strattera (atomoxetine) and side effects may not be as pronounced as with other ADHD medications.

Two of the trials also tested Strattera`s effectiveness against methylphenidate and stated that preliminary evidence indicates comparable effects between atomoxetine (Strattera) and methylphenidate (Ritalin). Researchers did, however, state that larger, double-blind studies are needed to better compare the drugs against each other.

We do expect Strattera (atomoxetine) to become one of the forerunners in ADHD medication, with millions of children on this new drug in a short amount of time. Although Strattera (atomoxetine) sounds like a good choice - as ADHD medications go - the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center takes a wary position until further testing is completed and analyzed. It is important to note that this new ADHD medication is new, with the tests for effectiveness lasting between six and 10 weeks and the safety of this drug only tested for about one year.

The short-term studies showed that Strattera (atomoxetine) increased the heart rate and blood pressure in children. The long-term effects of increased heart rate and blood pressure are still unknown.

Children fell below their height and weight growth curves on the longer-term study and again, it is still unknown whether this will have an affect on adult height.

Also of concern are the side effects to sexual functioning reported in adult and how that will affect children whose sexual organs are still developing.

In all fairness, this side effect likely would not surface for Ritalin, Adderall or other ADHD medications since those are for children. Since Strattera (atomoxetine) will also be marketed as an adult prescription, clinical tests were done on adults, which then unearthed sexual side effects.

Our last concern deals with verbiage on the Strattera (atomoxetine) web site. The following is an excerpt from the FAQ page;

"15. Is there a cure for ADHD?

Like other chronic disorders, ADHD is not curable. Some patients have a remission of the disease, and may lead productive adolescent and adult lives ."

Eli Lilly and Company knows better and we question why the web site classified Attention Deficit Disorder as a "disease," and one that people "have a remission" from.

Attention Deficit Disorder is NOT a "disease." In fact, Attention Deficit Disorder was not even a "disorder" until 1980 by the American Psychiatric Association classified it as such.

Furthermore, people do not "have a remission" from Attention Deficit Disorder, though many children with Attention Deficit Disorder lead productive adolescent and adult lives.

Jeannine Virtue is a freelance journalist and mother of an Attention Deficit Disorder son. Visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at for effective drug-free alternatives to ADHD medications.

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