In preparation for an upcoming post compiling all my curriculum choices for the coming year, I am putting together a variety of "Close-up" posts to share in depth about some of the items we will be using that I think deserve an extra look. We already talked about mentoring, and now on to some of the more core subjects.
Each year in evaluating our focus for the year ahead, I examine where my kids have excelled and struggled in the previous year. Spelling has often received limited attention, and although I have tried various methods, I have never found one that made much of a difference for one of my children in particular.
For this coming year, I think I have the combination to tackle this subject. In addition to SpellQuizzer (which I reviewed at the beginning of the summer), I picked up a much coveted book at a book sale this weekend. For just $5 (!) I snagged a copy of Spelling Power which has become my new favorite book.
More than just a spelling curriculum, this book spends the first 100 pages describing the hows and whys behind their system. I had previously tried The Natural Speller because I liked the idea of getting them into high school with just one spelling book. However, I should have known that a $20 book with less than 100 pages could do what I expected it to. It's a decent book but you get what you pay for, unless you buy it at a used book sale. :-)
Now I don't know if I could justify Spelling Power's $60 price tag new. I haven't paid that much for one book since college. But, it is quite a book.
Here's how it works:
- Preliminary test of 50 words(stop once they have reached six incorrect words)
- More precise placement test (tells you exactly where to start in the book)
- Spend 15 minutes each day on spelling (5 minutes testing, 5 minutes independent work on missed words, 5 minutes skill building activities)
- Kids learn the rules with the lists. I always talked about the rules, but I like the idea of having them write out the phonics rule when we first learn about it.
- Kids move on at their own pace progressing when they get the words right, continuing to study the words they spell incorrectly. I LOVE the individual tailoring of this system.
- Periodic reviews to keep it solid
What I don't like:
- Very teacher intensive. In the past my kids did spelling mostly on their own, and I just checked their tests. I need to find another 45 minutes in my day for spelling now. As my husband said, "That's probably why it works." And, I'm sure he's right.
- Lots of reading to prepare initially. I really want this to work, so I'm doing the reading, but 100 pages is a lot of reading on just spelling!
I'm starting this now, so I will have the kids settled into their routine and expectations when school starts. We get the placement tests done now while I have more flexibility in my schedule, and they will be able to work on their own at least a little through the school year.
I am so thankful that another homeschool mom told me about this book, and I am so thankful that I found it for such a reasonable price from another homeschool mom who has no idea how she blessed me by selling her "done-withs" for those of us still on this journey. I look forward to watching my kids continue to grow and thrive as I add more weapons in my arsenol for the upcoming year.
Enjoy more Thirsty Thursday.