My oldest is a natural reader. He has a photographic memory and has memorized the spelling of most words. The rules of phonics aren’t important to him… he learned to read without them. My next in line is VERY different. She learned to read using My Father’s World First Grade… a phonics based curriculum. She can read and she is very articulate… but she is a terrible speller. I am not terribly worried about it… yet. She is, after all, only eight. When the opportunity to review Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements (Level F) from Spelling You See came up, I was excited to give it a chance. We use Math U See for our math curriculum. Spelling you See is from the same company. I knew it was a solid company and like their teaching philosophies.
Spelling You See
Spelling You See is all about mastery. You master a concept before moving on. Each concept builds onto the previous one. Ideally, you would start your child from the beginning to get the most from the program. The program guides children through the process of learning to spell. The full program has five stages:
1. Preliterate- this stage is all about and introduction and exposure to print.
2. Phonetic- this stage is auditory, giving children an increasing phonemic awareness.
3. Skill Development- this is for students who have “cracked the phonetic code and are progressing rapidly in reading”
4. Word Extension- focuses on syllables, prefixes, suffixes, etc.
5. Derivational Constancy- looking at how patterns and meanings are related. Roots of words become very important in this stage.
How We Used Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements
We received Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements (Level F) to review. We received an instructor’s manual, two student workbooks, and a box of erasable colored pencils (my personal favorite). The books are very colorful and inviting. They are easy to use and follow. The instructor’s manual has all the information needed to teach the program. Each lesson has the same format. On day one, Big Sister would read the passage to me and highlight a certain concept (like double consonants), then she would copy as much as the passage as she could in ten minutes. Each day progresses with the same format. By the end of the week, I am dictating the passage as she writes it… still as much as she can in ten minutes. So, each day, she reads, highlights, and writes. I love that the copywork part is timed. Writing an entire passage can be overwhelming and, depending on the day, can take for.ev.er. Big Sis takes it as a personal challenge to write as much as she can in that ten minutes.
We’ve begun incorporating Spelling You See into Big Sis’s everyday schoolwork. She LOVES it… it’s something just for her. We spend time together and she is the only one who is doing it right now. It’s her book, he colored pencils, her mission. She is gaining confidence in her reading and writing. Her spelling is terrible… I’m not going to lie… poor girl really tries! I can’t wait to see how things change as we progress through the Ancient Achievements book.
Spelling You See: Ancient Achievements (Level F) is meant to be a bridge from the Skill Development Stage to the Word Extension Stage. It involves three main concepts- chunking, copywork, and dictation. This level includes 36 weekly lessons that are divided into two student books. Each lesson has five parts (A through E). The book is filled with non-fiction stories and inviting illustrations. You can download a sample lesson HERE. Once you purchase the program, you can enter a code and watch information videos. I did not take advantage of the videos as I was able to figure things out sufficiently from the instructor’s manual.
What We Thought
Big Sis and I are thoroughly enjoying Spelling You See. It is not painful like a lot of phonics programs or other spelling curriculum. We have yet to find something that works for our family. What I really like about the program is that it is not just spelling. She is also learning punctuation, history, penmanship, and more.
We will continue using Spelling You See through this next year and I am sure we will buy the next book in the series. I would recommend it to friends with elementary age children.
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