ACSI Spelling 5 Worktext (revised edition)
Category Description for ACSI (Purposeful Design) Spelling
Filled with challenging vocabulary, interesting exercises, and engaging themes, this colorful spelling series focuses on carefully selected, high-frequency, high-interest words while incorporating relevant Scripture verses, Bible stories, and moral principles. It approaches spelling from three different angles: phonetically, visually, and semantically. In the lower two grades, the program concentrates on phonetic principles, progressing from short vowel constructs to words with long vowels, consonant digraphs, and vowel digraphs. Third grade continues with r-controlled vowels, vowel digraphs, silent letters, and other phonetic clusters. Once basic phonetic constructs are covered, the emphasis switches to the visual-memory technique of spelling. Words that are spelled according to phonetic rule are easy to spell, and ACSI spelling recognizes that "most spelling errors are associated with the over-application of basic phonics principles." Recognition of visual patterns is important in accurate spelling; students should begin to discover spelling errors when words don't "look" right, according to normal visual patterns. In 5th and 6th grades, the emphasis is on understanding semantic relationships, with attention given to affixes and roots (you can see that knowing "sign" is related to "signal" and "signature" would help with its spelling!). Some proofing and editing exercises also appear in the last book of the series. The number of words per lesson begins with 12 in grade one, and progresses to 23 by sixth grade. There are 36 lessons, with about four pages per lesson, estimated to take about 75 minutes per week. Grades one through three use regular manuscript printing (ball and stick), switching to traditional cursive in the fourth grade. Teacher's editions are useful, containing an explanation of the program's philosophy and implementation, reduced student pages, answers to exercises, and blackline masters.