Good spelling is intrinsically important in this day and age, however it's the one subject I have trouble getting my children to retain. No matter what I do, I find that my children know their spelling words for their weekly test, but by the next week those same words are written incorrectly within their writing tasks. ~ Sigh ~ I truly don't think that learning a list of words is the best way to teach spelling - at least for my children. That's why I was so intrigued when I heard about the methodology of the Spelling You See program by Demme Learning (who also produce the well known Math-U-See program). It teaches spelling completely differently to the 'traditional' list, practice, exercises, practise, test method that is prevalent these days, yet it has surprising success.
Spelling You See is a spelling program that has been thoroughly researched & developed based on the 5 developmental stages of spelling. I have observed our four children walking through these stages & it is so interesting to see the different needs at the various points. Spelling You See is designed to cater to these needs & is an all inclusive spelling program for the first seven years of a child's schooling - when they are acquiring those important basics that will give them a thorough grounding for their future. Spelling You See comes in seven different levels labelled A through to G with the intention that one level is completed per year. We received the Level G (Modern Milestone) package which contained the Instructor's Handbook & the Student pack (which includes the two corresponding workbooks as well as a package of erasable pencils). This is the highest level & Zai has been working through it during the review period.
Modern Milestones (Level G) by Spelling You See is for students who are ready for the Word Extension phase of their spelling lessons. It is written for established readers who are confident in working quite independently. There are 36 weeks of lessons within the program and each week is broken into 5 separate lessons with the intention of the student completing one per school day.
The first lesson of the week introduces a passage which will be studied during the rest of the week. In Modern Milestones these passages feature artists, musicians, inventors & others. They are informative & relevant to students of this age who will have already heard of many of these famous people.
On the first day of the week, a short lesson is included which introduces the concepts being studied that week. These concepts are primarily base words, prefixes and suffixes, although various grammar rules are included. Each day the student is directed to read aloud the passage. They then must complete a variety of activities with the passage using their erasable pencils. On the first two days they are then directed to copy the passage for ten minutes ( Zai had no troubles completing it in ten minutes). On the third day there is an activity page which gives relevant exercises using the concepts being studied. Then on the fourth & fifth day the passage is read to the student and they must write it as dictation. It is on these days ( primarily the fifth) that the instructor can see how well the student is learning the words being studied.
The Instructor's handbook is an easy to follow, well written book which explains the basic philosophy of the program and provides the teacher with the concepts being taught in the lessons. It also gives thorough directions on how to use the student books. It provides the passages for dictation & also gives the answers for the activities found throughout the book. My favourite part, though, was the answers to the Frequently asked Questions as I found them particularly relevant and very interesting.
Zai used Spelling You SeeLevel G Modern Milestones throughout the review period. He found it very easy to use and was able to work quite independently with it. We were both very surprised that by the fourth day of working with the passage, he was able to write it with very few errors when it was dictated to him. We also found that he fully understood the concepts being taught & found the activities easy to complete. When I asked him for his opinion on the Spelling You See program he felt that he was really learning & thought the way it taught spelling was much better than trying to memorise a list of words.
As the teacher, I found Spelling You See very easy to use. I like that there is a set time period for the student to work on their passages. This gives the student the knowledge that they will not be working longer than that time ( I set the timer). To be honest, I am really taken with this concept of teaching spelling. Maybe it is because of my past failures that I see how this method makes a lot of sense. As the student is learning their words in context, it is giving them meaning & this in turn produces observable results, at least for my son. I felt that Spelling You See does not put pressure on the student the way my old method of teaching does. This in turn allows them to properly learn the words & retain that knowledge.
Welcome friends to my farmhouse journal! My name is Renata & I am the wife, Mama, homemaker, teacher & chief cow milker here at Sunnyside Farm! I enjoy keeping a record of our farmsteading life & pray that it encourages you as you read my words!