I'm a born talker, never a writer. I remember loving English in school except one important part of it.....Spelling. I remember my Teachers telling me that my mind went to fast to move the words from my brain down to my pencil. I was always fearful of the dreaded Red Pen Marks that generally covered my papers. Luckily my Kiddos are home with me and don't have to go through the fear and embarrassment. I was excited to try Ancient Achievements Level F from Spelling You See for the past several weeks. I was given the set for my Review in exchange. Spell check, don't fail me now!!! :)
Ok, first of all this type of Spelling program is one I have never seen before. And to be honest, if it wasn't for this review I wouldn't have given it a second thought. I have grown up with a spelling list each week and thought you had to drill one or two of them into your head. That was just the way you did it. Wow, what an eye opening review was this. We were given the Instructor's Handbook ($14) and two Student Workbooks ($30) along with Erasable colored pencils. In the Instructor's Handbook I found several helpful sections about the philosophy, stages of spelling, and curriculum sequence. I was more then delighted that it included how to get started, full of many tips for achieving success with the program, a color coded answer key, step by step instructions for each individual lesson, dictation passages, and an activity guide.
So, let me tell you a little about how we used this program with Kaden. He is 8 and reads well into high school. He can even spell pretty darn good, but I noticed he just memorizes and if you ask him to spell a single word all by itself he will struggle. Don't ask me why or how, but if he sees the word in a regular spelling list over the course of a day or two he will memorize them all. If I wait a few weeks and ask again or ask during dinner he will stumble. I wanted him to see spelling differently, to learn why the word is spelled a certain way and to give him more confidence.
Through doing this I have seen the gaps in his phonics which According to Dr. Holinga, is the 2nd stage in the 5 Developmental Stages of Spelling.
3. Skill Development
4. Word Extension
5. Derivational Constancy
Being a child with Autism we find he has a lot of developmental deficits. I realize some of Kaden's frustration using the program was maybe the writing portion, especially the dictation. His motor skills are a little rough most days. I think I'm going to go back a few books and start there and come back to Ancient Achievements in a year or so. You can go Here and get some extra information about Placement to make sure you start at the right place with your Kiddo.
Okay, back to how we used the program....we did use it about every other day. Each lesson begins with a short passage in Lesson A Section 1 along with the Vowel chunks. Here Kaden would read and then color the vowel chunks in the passage. That would be about all he could do for the day. It did tend to be a longer session because searching for the chunks proved to be difficult for him. That was lesson 1, we are on the 4th lesson now and the improvement is very noticeable. :) The next day he would normally complete the copy work in Section 2 of lesson A and go over the vowel chunks. Towards the end of the week he would complete lesson B sections 1 and 2 which were basically a repeat from the previous days.
Because of his frustration of repetitiveness we would skip most of the C lessons, but we would read and enjoy the Spotlights here that would go in more depth regarding the passage. He loved the little extras, I caught him reading into the 2nd workbook because he loved reading the interesting passages and Spotlights. Lessons D and E have your kiddo looking for vowel chunks again, but in D your child needs to write the passage from dictation. This was hard for him, only because of his motor skills. But, this lesson encourages the child to ask for help if needed. Now the final E lesson asks your kiddo to write from dictation completely alone with no help. It's really cool to see the progression from week to week.
So, would we recommend Spelling You See? I think for sure with a child without Special needs and even if your child does have Special needs. My oldest has dyslexia, I wished this would have been around when he was struggling through spelling. Now, Mahala is a spelling wiz. Give her any word and she can figure it out in a snap. So, this program wouldn't be a good fit for her. I think this program brings a different approach to learning how to spell by color coding and dictation and just seeing those chunks in the passage that I promise will captivate any audience. So, yes, it's a great Affordable program that I plan to continue using with Kaden.
Let, me know if you start using it with your kiddos! :) And don't forget to check out more on Social Media....