Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp. All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to Homeschooling by Subject Language Arts
by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006
Spelling Workout by Modern Curriculum Press/Pearson Learning Group -- This is a workbook series for grades 1 - 8 that covers simple sound-letter relationships as well as more complex spelling patterns. Early workbooks teach single letter sound word families (such as at, cat, bat, mat...) but later workbooks move to teaching the different ways to spell the same sound (such as tail, sale, neighbor). The words are not necessarily challenging - they are chosen to show the spelling patterns.
Each chapter covers handwriting practice (early books have dotted letters to trace, later books transition to cursive), proofreading paragraphs for capitalization and punctuation, and a (very) short writing assignment. After copying the spelling list, each chapter includes puzzles and games that require writing the list words twice more. Activities include crossword puzzles, rhyming, fill-in-the-blank's, scrambles, add the missing words, etc. Designed to use one workbook each year, one chapter per week (about 20 minutes, total, to complete), children can work independently. Teacher's Edition with lesson plans available.
Workbooks are labeled A - H instead of grades 1 - 8, which means that parents may choose a workbook appropriate to their child's level... with workbook A used with beginning readers/writers.
Who might find this program useful? While this is a great program for kids who do OK with spelling, this program probably doesn't have enough reinforcement or multi-sensory activities for kids who struggle with spelling. The words lists are probably not challenging enough for very good spellers.
This is a great program for kids who struggle with writing or have a writing disability (dysgraphia) because the spelling and handwriting skills are separated from more complex writing skills. Most of the activities involve writing one word at a time, and the few assignments that ask for sentences or paragraphs could be modified or eliminated to meet your child's needs.
Spectrum Spelling by Frank Schaffer for McGraw-Hill Children's Publishing -- This is a workbook series for grades 1 - 6 similar to Spelling Workout (above). Teaches spelling thru phonetic spelling patterns. Uses one workbook for each grade level, and one chapter per week. Includes 15 spelling words and 5 challenge words each week, followed by proof reading other activities, and a spelling test. Can be used independently by student. No Teacher's Edition available. Available at major book stores.
Who might find this program series useful? Students who do OK with spelling. Probably not intensive enough for those who struggle with spelling. Good for children who struggle with writing and want to separate spelling from more complex writing assignments.
My Catholic Speller by Nancy Nicholson for Catholic Heritage Curriculum -- A Catholic focused workbook series that teaches spelling thru phonetic rules and phonograms. Includes Bible quotations and short biblial apologetics lessons. Uses weekly word lists, includes handwriting, copywork, and other activities.
Who might find this program useful? Those who want a low-key program that teaches spelling thru phonetics... all with a Catholic focus.