Spelling You See {TOS review}

If you are a homeschooler, then you have more than likely heard of the math curriculum Math-U-See. Well, Demme Learning has moved its sights towards spelling with its new curriculum Spelling You See. We reviewed Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C).

There are five books in the series that are geared towards “beginning readers and continues through the Skill Development stage of spelling“:

Spelling You See: Listen and Write (Level A); Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B); Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C); Spelling You See: Americana (Level D); and Spelling You See: American Spirit (Level E). The books in the series are written to cover the different stages a student goes through as he is learning how to spell.

You may see the video (or read) that covers the five stages for a better understanding of the Spelling You See approach. We had the opportunity to review Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), which covers the third stage, skill development.

Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C) comes with student Wild Tales workbooks part one and part two; a pack of Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils; and an instructor’s Wild Tales handbook.

For the Student
The lessons are very visual for the student. They are also fun (focused around a nursery rhyme) and educational (teach about an animal). There is also a lot of repetition over the five days of covering the material. For a younger child who is learning, this may be a plus and by the end of the week a rhyme is well learned as well as a good understanding of the material. The lessons are also very short.

The colored pencils included with the package add to the fun of working through the lessons. Sometimes black and white (pencil against white paper) is not as much fun and eye-catching as having a page full of white pages and a writing color of your choice.

For the Parent/Teacher
Spelling You See is well laid out for daily instruction, which is something that I really like about the curriculum. I don’t mind having to create my daily lessons, but having everything planned for me saved me time and allowed me to concentrate on teaching the lesson. The instructions are also very well laid out for the teacher. In the example above, the answer key in the instructor’s handbook for lesson 4A-E shows how the consonant chunks should be marked by the student.

The curriculum moves away from spelling lists and also mentions that there is no need to review words the student misspells, because words that are typically misspelled are usually presented in later lessons. The dictation exercises are also a way for the instructor to determine if her child is progressing as expected.

How we used it
There are five lessons per week and each lesson has two sections that have the student working through daily exercises that build their spelling and reading abilities. We took the lessons in their very straight-forward manner by completing one assignment a day.

The nursery rhymes were also fun for me to work through with Canyon. Singing nursery rhymes to my children is a mommy-duty I’ve failed to do over the years, so Canyon was hearing many of the ones included in the lesson for the first time.

Our work completing lesson 4A-E.

Day One
I read the rhyme to Canyon and then we said it together while clapping in rhythm. We then read the story together as he pointed to the words. He then marked the consonant chunks in the lesson. Canyon then worked through the copywork page and marked the consonant chunks.

Day Two through Four
Day two through four progressed as in day one.

Day Five
Day five was a challenge, but still fun. We started it as we did all of the previous days, but instead of copywork, he completed dictation of the rhyme. This was cause for “listening ears” to be on and paying close attention.

Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C) does not teach the student the sounds of the phonograms, so you may want to use another program alongside the spelling program as you are working through the material. I intend to continue using Spelling You See with Canyon’s other language arts. The lessons are short, but concentrated enough to teach him something and also give him a break from the other learning that he is doing.

Spelling You See does promote writing in a print-style rather than cursive-style, which they state “develops visual memory.” Since most material that the student will read at this age is printed, printing is stressed to promote learning to spell.

One thing to note that I believe would be more helpful to the student, is making the writing area like most standard pre-printed paper that has three lines and a dash. Canyon had no way to know when to stop the height of his capital letters or letters that usually extend above the second line. That will not make or break the curriculum, but I think would help a student with his penmanship.

Are you curious about the Spelling You See curriculum and how it may work in your school? You may determine where your child should begin in the curriculum.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C) student pack, which includes the students workbooks and Crayola Erasable pencils, is $30 and the instructor’s handbook is $14.

Learn more about Spelling You See on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Reading through the Spelling You See FAQs will also answer some questions.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


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