Have you heard of Math-U-See? If you have read any of my curriculum listings you know we LOVE Math-U-See! Well, they now have a sister company! Spelling You See. And we had the opportunity to review Listen and Write (Level A) – which is the first level you can get (preliterate to phonics stage). In this level students learn correct pencil grip, correct letter formation, consonants, and short vowels. It helps students integrate writing, reading, speaking and listening. It is meant to be a stand alone curriculum.
We received a pdf copy of the student workbook as well as the instructor’s workbook for the purpose of this review. (Please note: these are only available as PRINTED BOOKS at this time the pdf copies were simply to help with getting the information to us as reviewers.)
“Those who set out to remember every letter of every word will never make it. Those who try to spell by sound alone will be defeated. Those who learn how to ‘walk through’ words with sensible expectations, noting sound, pattern, and meaning relationships, will know what to remember, and they will learn to spell English. ~ Edmund Henderson, 1990, Teaching Spelling p. 70″
I love that philosophy! It is not teaching them to “get through” it is teaching them to “work through” and THAT will last a lifetime! There are no word lists, spelling tests or memorizing words!
So…the program works with the first 4 Lessons (consisting of five sheets per lesson) being simply the student working on letters (as shown below). The top section has letters to write and the bottom section has words.The GREAT part…they are to work for ONLY TEN MINUTES…if they don’t finish, they don’t finish. (Which my son was normally done in about 3-1/2 minutes…he LOVED being timed and trying to beat his previous time. This was “bad” in the fact that his letters weren’t neatly done. But for him, who does NOT like to sit down and do worksheets…I was excited by the fact that he sat down and did them!) The bottom section is also where they work on the sounds of the letters…they are to say the SOUND of the letter as they write it.
Then Lessons 5 & 6 start DICTATION. Here you (as the teacher) dictate the word to your student therefore helping them to further understand letter/sound recognition (with the vowel already noted). [The dictation words are provided in the instruction book.]
In Lesson 7, they start reading the words back to you…this is where they start learning decoding.
For us, we did a worksheet a day (most days) and found the ten minute time frame to be perfect…P’s attention span is not long! Although he did his usual of “putting up a fight” prior to sitting down…once he sat down, he really enjoyed working on the sheets. They are quick and simple yet teach them a lot in a short amount of time. At the top, he writes his letters and then tells me what they are. At the bottom, I dictate the words now and he writes them and we work through any letters he may still be having difficulty with. It is really FUN to see him excited when he figures out a letter he is not sure about!
Early in this program my son said, “Can you teach me to read?” and I told him that is what we were doing with this program. Additionally, yesterday at church he told someone, “I am learning to read.” I love it that he appreciates this is a stepping stone to where he wants to be!
The complete program consists of 36 Lessons covering short vowels, blends and digraphs using three to five letter words. It is VERY EASY to understand and follow and requires LITTLE work from the teacher. (BONUS!) The Instructor’s Manual is 47 pages with a retail cost of $14.00, the student workbook is 183 pages with a retail of $20.00. You NEED both to use this curriculum.
Now…as a side note…it is my understanding that there are also stickers provided in the books…we did not get these since we received the pdf version [not actually for sale but were for review purposes only]…so that may be of additional interest to some.
We are planning to continue using this program as it is working really well for us.
There are currently five levels:
- Listen and Write (preliterate to phonics)
- Jack and Jill (phonetic to skill development)
- Wild Tales (continuing skill development)
- Americana (skill development using non-fiction)
- American Spirit (skill development using non-fiction people in history)
You can find out more by visiting Spelling You See here:
Now head over and read more Spelling You See reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!
Here’s praying you have fun learning!