Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary offers courses for Levels 1 through 8, corresponding to those same grade levels. For each level, there are a student worktext and a slim answer key that also has brief teaching instructions.
Worktexts have a spiral comb binding, but it’s at the top rather than on the side so that neither left – nor right-handed writers have the comb in the way as they write. Each level has lessons for 36 weeks. Lessons are arranged for five days per week, but you could easily condense lessons into fewer days per week if you wish. Lessons begin with a pre-test and end with a final test. Space is allowed to carry over words from previous lessons that students missed on their tests. Every sixth lesson is a review of the five previous lessons. Beginning with level 3, word lists are shown in both printed and cursive forms.
Spelling words are presented in lists accompanied by brief definitions. Each week begins with a study of words and their definitions as well as the pre-test. Activities vary for the remaining lessons for each week. Activities might be fill-in-the-blanks, alphabetizing, copywork, definition matching, crossword puzzles, picture identification, word search puzzles, underlining words, and many other options. (Level 1 includes a brief lesson on how to use the dictionary at the back which might be helpful for alphabetizing exercises.) Throughout this series many activities have children identify misspelled words or unscramble letters to make words. These activities might be difficult for children who tend to be dyslexic or have other problems with visual discrimination, so use them judiciously. Lined and numbered pages are provided for the tests, and there is plenty of space for all written work in the books.
This program is heavily phonics based in the early levels but branches out more by around fourth grade to include lessons focusing on words with common suffixes or prefixes, days of the week, antonyms, etc. while still including lists of words that share common phonetic elements. Level one begins with only six spelling words per lesson. Each level adds two words per lesson, and level 8 has 20 words per lesson.
While this is a spelling and vocabulary program, the vocabulary work does not challenge students to understand nuances of definitions or (except on rare occasions) to make distinctions between multiple definitions of a word as you find in vocabulary-intensive programs like Wordly Wise.