Publisher: Spelling Power
This is one of my 101 Top Picks!
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See the complete review in 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Spelling Power is a single volume that can be used to teach spelling to all of your children, grades K through 12. It serves as instruction manual for the parent/teacher. Students compile their own work in a notebook or binder. (Castlemoyle sells Student Record Books that are designed for this purpose but these are not essential.)
Direct instruction will be required at first, but children will be able to work more independently as they learn how it works. Even after students become familiar, parents/teachers still need to spend five minutes per day in direct instruction. Students should spend about fifteen minutes total per day on their Spelling Power lessons.
Diagnostic tests help you place your child at the correct starting point. From that point, rather than working on prescribed word lists as in other spelling programs, Spelling Power has children review basic words but study only those with which they have trouble. This should be much more efficient and effective than typical classroom programs, although it does require more parental direction.
Suggestions for games and activities are included in the book. In addition, optional Spelling Power Activity Task Cards provide drill activities, skill builders, writing prompts, dictionary skill work, and other types of activities that children can do (mostly as independent work). I highly recommend purchasing the Task Cards since they help address needs of various learning styles.
The newest (Fourth) edition (2006) has some great improvements and extras that make it significantly better than earlier editions. The book comes with a DVD and a CD. The DVD has a number of separate presentations that will help you quickly get up to speed on how the program works. It walks you through actual lessons with a student so that it is very understandable. Watching the first few segments on the DVD is the best way to start, but you should have your book in hand so you can follow along. The book itself has been rearranged for this latest edition, again, to make it easier to use. I especially appreciate the pictures of student pages/worksheets placed in instructions where they are discussed.
The companion CD is installed directly onto your computer and provides a spelling tutor program for independent study. Parents/teachers need to enter word lists for students, but then students can work with the words--listening, repeating, and typing them into the computer. The CD also features a huge library of printable resources that includes all the student worksheets, record keeping pages, rules charts, and teaching aids, plus printable "cards" with skill building activities. (Note that the activities are the same as those in the book and do not include all those on the separate set of task cards.) The printable forms make it easy to create your own student notebooks, but you still might want to purchase the pre-printed, bound versions available from Castlemoyle.
The DVD and CD plus the improvements in the book itself make a great program even better. I think parents that were overwhelmed by the explanatory information in previous volumes will find this new edition far more user friendly.
- Learning Styles: all
Suitable for: one-on-one instruction
Audience: grades K-12
Need for parent/teacher instruction: moderate to high
Prep time needed: moderate
Religious perspective: non-sectarian but "Christian friendly"
PO Box 520
Pomeroy WA 99347
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