Thursday, April 30, 2015

A TOS Review: Spelling You See

Spelling You See Review

Spelling You See is the newest curriculum from Demme Learning. Mr. Demme has taught all 4 of my children math with his curriculum Math U See for 9 years, and we are big, big fans of his methodology. I was excited to see his perspective on teaching spelling, especially since Connor has always struggled in this area. We reviewed Spelling You See: Level F, Ancient Achievements.

Spelling You See Review
The Instructor's Handbook ($14) gives you a breakdown of how the program works. It has all the skills they will learn laid out for you, answers to the skills pages, and all the dictation passages. The Student Package ($30) comes with two workbooks and a 10 pack of erasable colored pencils that they will use in their daily lessons.

Now this is not your typical spelling program, people. It is an excellent progression on language development versus typical grade level spelling lists. There is not a list of random words to be drilled over then tested on. The student is given a passage to work on for the week. They learn  to look at the passage and search for different things such as vowel chunks and bossy r, tricky y and silent letters. The creators of this program have broken down learning to spell into five developmental stages:
  1. Preliterate
  2. Phonetic
  3. Skill Development
  4. Word Extension
  5. Derivational Constancy
Ancient Achievements is the last book in the Skill Development stage. The student still works on vowel chunking and other word pieces, but the passages and words are getting much more challenging. The passages they are copying from are about interesting discoveries and historical finds from all over the world. You can look at these as great jumping off points for new history topics to research - a virtual rabbit hole, if you will. Connor had never heard of the the Cave of Lascaux and was interested in the history of the rubber ball - little pieces of history he may never have known about if it weren't for these passages.

Spelling has always come easy to me. Because of that, before I began homeschooling I always thought if you were a good reader you would automatically be a good speller. It wasn't long before I learned otherwise. This program has given Connor confidence in something he has struggled with from the beginning of his educational journey. There are no tests, no lists, no pressure. While he did think copying the same passage for four days was tedious, he was amazed with how many words he got correct on the first day of dictation. It was enough to keep him motivated and continue on to the next lessons with some assurance that it was reaping results that he could actually see.


Connor says: "It was fun. It helped me learning about vowel chunks. Once you remember where to place the vowel chunks, spelling the bigger words made a lot more sense!" This is coming from a child who has fought me since first grade on every spelling program we have ever used! He has grown in leaps and bounds in just a few short weeks. I can't wait to see how much better he gets in the coming summer months.

You can learn more about Spelling U See on these social media outlets:

See what other review crew members had to say about Spelling You See here:

Spelling You See Review

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