There are other curriculums on the market, and some offer very good spelling programs; however, if you're looking for something different, Reason for Spelling provides it. A theme story and scripture verse begin each week's lesson.
When your child knows the alphabet, recognizes letters, and can read single-syllable words, he or she can begin with the A-level spelling series. This level also includes a 65-page review section if your first-grade student needs extra practice before beginning the program. The pacing of the levels creates a system that equates each with a grade in school. In other words, A through F is suitable for grades one through six.
A varied approach for homeschoolers to teach spelling
The six levels maintain the same schedule each week. Following the initial story and verse, a discussion segment is encouraged. The teacher's guide includes activities designed to evaluate the child's comprehension while motivating interest. The spelling section is introduced with a pretest. Each week's words are grouped according to phonetic and spelling pattern principles. Teacher-led activities and workbook exercises are included with each lesson. The work includes dictation practice, proofreading, and dictionary skills. A final test concludes each lesson.
Key features of each level:
- Teacher guidebook and student workbook included in set
- Optional CD set available for the story and verse segments
- Curriculum objectives included
- Colorful student workbooks containing cartoon illustrations
- Phonetic and visual activities included
- A variety of activities provided with each level, as well as the workbook to accommodate different learning styles
- Additional activities provided for multi-student groups, such as a homeschool spelling program in which one child moves ahead quicker and requires extra work
- "Fun Ways to Spell" allowing the students four activity options from which they can choose one to complete
- Language arts section included in the lessons
- Writing incorporated into the lessons by having students complete a journal entry of their experiences and opinions about the week's activities and vocabulary
From the same company that produces A Reason for Writing comes this impressive spelling program. A placement test at the beginning of each level helps you determine how to implement the program for your child or if you should place him in a lower level. Basically, a child should begin the first level book (A) as soon as he knows the alphabet, can recognize letters, and can spell short vowel, one-syllable words. For first-grade students who lack some of these skills, a rather extensive (65 page) phonics review section at the beginning of this level can be used before beginning the spelling program.
The format of lessons in each level is similar and follows the same weekly schedule. Each lesson begins with a scripture verse and theme story developing the verse (theme stories are also available on audio CD). Optional discussion questions for the story are included. A pre-test of the week's words is given next. Following correction of the words, students complete a Word Shapes activity in which they write each spelling word into a sequence of shaped boxes to help them form a correct visual image of each spelling word. Throughout the series, word lists consist of phonetically-grouped words. This series approaches spelling from both angles - phonetic and visual - which is realistic and should be effective. On Day Two, spelling words are studied using the "Hide and Seek" activity. This is a highly successful way to learn and retain word spelling. Other forms of the spelling words are listed on the lesson page. Students should read through these. An optional activity which incorporates this list is given in the Teacher Guidebook for use with students who are proficient spellers. A "Fun Ways to Spell" section lists four options (students choose one to complete) for additional spelling reinforcement. On Day Three, students complete a language arts activity that uses the week's words in the context of a meaningful activity to aid retention. These activities vary from level to level, incorporating more dictionary skills at the higher levels. On Day Four, the teacher dictates complete sentences, which include several of the target words in context, to the student. At the lower levels, students fill in one or more words in each sentence. At upper levels, students will transcribe the entire dictated sentence. A Proofreading activity is also completed. This has students fill in an oval next to the word (out of a group of words) that is misspelled. On Day Five students take a post-test, update their progress charts and add any missed words to their spelling dictionaries. Optional for this day is a learning game and weekly journaling activity. Student texts are full-color, adding visual appeal to the program. Scripture verses appear at the bottom of many pages for added inspiration. Teacher Guidebooks are essential to the use of this program. Most of the benefit of the program and all specific teaching instructions for using the worktext will be lost without them. We therefore strongly recommend purchasing the sets (which include both the Teacher Guidebook and Student Worktext). The newly revised 2nd edition includes updates to weekly read-aloud stories, dictation sentences, student exercises, and more.