Spell to Write and Read Core Kit
Includes Spell to Write & Read (book), WISE Guide for Spelling (book), 70 Basic Phonogram Cards, Phonogram CD, and Spelling Rule Cards.
Programs in this section go beyond teaching children how to read, incorporating phonetic readers, spelling and writing as well. Arranged roughly by grade/age.
What do The Writing Road to Reading, and this program, Spell to Write & Read have in common? Both have similar (and potentially confusing) names. Both would be labeled intensive phonics. And Both would claim a teaching progression something like this: sounds of speech - building words - developing a spelling vocabulary - writing original sentences - and then reading follows. If that sounds a little backwards to you, remember that these programs have very devoted followers who claim great success using this methodology and Spell to Write and Read is one of Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum.
Spell to Write and Read by Wanda Sanseri is an updated replacement for a previous program (Teaching Reading at Home and School) and is designed exclusively to work with the W.I.S.E. Guide for Spelling, also by Mrs. Sanseri. While SWR and the WISE Guide are considered a reading and spelling program, they could also be used as a stand-alone spelling program for a child who is already reading. SWR functions as a step-by-step teacher's guide to accompany the specific word lists in the WISE Guide. Covering preparation, philosophy, preschool pointers, reading aloud, evaluating achievement levels, and teaching penmanship with phonograms, it also illustrates in scripted detail the spelling dictation process and the spelling rule Reference Pages with instructions and examples. These spelling rule Reference Pages are central to the entire teaching/learning system. Ideas for reading assignments, ways to improve comprehension skills and refine composition skills round out the teacher's tools. In summary, this is the overall master book of a product combination that works together to teach the first four to five years of language arts or to remediate students of any age. The other components include the WISE Guide, 70 Basic Phonogram Cards, Spelling Rule Cards, 70 Basic Phonograms CD, the Primary Learning Log, and the Black Learning Log (more details on these below).
The W.I.S.E. Guide for Spelling (W.I.S.E. stands for Words, Instruction, and Spelling Enrichments) includes a core spelling list that is an updated version of the well-known Ayres List - a foundational vocabulary of 2000 spelling words. Words are divided into manageable daily lessons with 2 pages of teaching ideas for each set of 20 words. Each lesson has preliminary warm-up drills, motivational comments for introducing the lesson, and reminders to teach specific Reference Pages from SWR. Sample sentences are given to illustrate each word. Selections come from the Bible, literature, quotes from famous people, or instructive comments. Each word is divided into syllables and marked for spelling rules. Suggested teacher dialogue is provided. Optional enrichment activities involve a wide variety of subjects - art, literature, composition, grammar, etymology, alphabetizing, analogies, oxymorons, and many more.
This program, like other intensive phonics programs, is exceedingly detailed and painstakingly comprehensive and thorough. The extreme attention to detail would detract for many, but for those who want to follow a thoroughly researched and carefully implemented approach, this may be for you. ~ Janice
I tried a few different things with my son but everything was very painful. I even took him to a summer reading program at a local university last summer and the only thing that did was reassure me that by continuing to look for something that would work for him was the right thing to do. Another homeschooling mom told me about SWR and she warned me that it's hard to learn to teach but once you do, it'll be very rewarding. I will say that watching online SWR video tutorials along with reading the manual really helped solidify things for me.
My son now knows more about phonograms and spelling rules than I have ever knew in my 35 years. I've always been a terrible speller but I feel like this program will not only help him learn to read and spell well, but he will also know WHY things are spelled the way that they're spelled.
I was concerned about the cursive and thought that maybe I would stick to manuscript since that is what we were originally doing but he is learning to write cursive beautifully - and it really is easier for him than the manuscript was!
The rewards of this program far outweigh the confusion and hard work that you have to put in as the teacher in the beginning. Just prepare to spend some significant time learning how to teach it, watch some SWR videos, get your materials all prepared, and then jump all in - it really is worth it!
over 3 years ago
Teaching my second born has been hard. I went through the same book, but she was not a confident reader upon completion. She was a terrible speller. I could not figure out why she wasn't able to spell the most basic words. A few months into homeschooling 3rd grade, I realized we had to do something drastically different.
I have spent a lot of money on this program. I decided that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it all the way, so I bought lots of the extras. In the beginning, it was difficult. I felt like I was learning a new language. This program is not user friendly or easy to implement. It requires lots of hands on time from the teacher. But it is worth it. I have learned so much that I didn't know about the English language, and we are only on list D. There's still a lot of learning I have to do, but I actually look forward to our SWR time every day. And my daughter has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few weeks. I see the rules and fingergrams clicking in her brain. And she recalls rules that I don't even remember teaching her.
It seems contrary, but this program is complicated and simple at the same time. A huge learning curve to get started, but it feels like a very basic late-1800s-one-room-schoolhouse style of learning. If you have the time to invest in it, I would highly recommend it.