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Spelling Workout vs. Spelling Power?

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#1 jenL



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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:12 PM

Please tell me about your experiences with either or both. I'm trying to figure out which way to go next year for my rising 1st grader. Thanks so much!

#2 Chris in VA

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:08 PM

Both are strong. I'm wondering if SWB will add Spelling Power to her new recommendations!
I've used SWO exclusively, and really like it, but am also intrigued with Spelling Power, so I'll be listening!

#3 Amy in MI

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:10 PM

We've only used SWO, so I can't comment on Spelling Power. We really like SWO, I think it's a strong program.


#4 Lori D.

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:45 PM

Spelling Workout

For older average speller:
Spelling Workout was just busywork, with no real rhyme or reason as to a rule of what words were on each list, and no real learning occurred from the types of worksheet exercises -- in fact, at the end of a year of using it, he tested at *exactly* the same level (now a grade behind!) he had tested at the end of the previous year!

For younger struggling speller:
No connection with Spelling Workout at all, plus great frustration with all the writing, as he also struggled with just holding and using a pencil and writing.

Spelling Power
For both, there was just not any real instruction as to the "why" the vowel patterns made that sound, and again, younger son's learning issues cause him to NOT learn from all the writing of the words to practice them ala Spelling Power method of word practice. Also, older son was in tears daily with Spelling Power, feeling he was "failing" what felt like a daily spelling test of words he had never seen or practiced, no matter how often I reassured him this was just to find out which words he *didn't* know, so we would only focus on those. Way too stressful!

What finally worked for us is not for everyone -- a lot of one-on-one, and creating our own individualized spelling program geared very specifically for each student, using:
- vowel sound explanations from "The ABCs and All Their Tricks
- word lists from Natural Speller
- whiteboard working with words, and out loud spelling practice
Also, Megawords as a very helpful spelling supplement for the struggling speller.

Megawords is also used very successfully as a stand-alone spelling program for average and good spellers, and is done mostly independently by the student.

Sorry if we burst your spelling bubble! :tongue_smilie: BEST of luck in finding what works spelling-wise for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D., 19 March 2009 - 11:48 PM.

#5 MarinesWife


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 03:22 AM

I didn't care for either of them. I wanted to love Spelling Power..didn't happen. Spelling Workout was just busy work.

We're using Sequential Spelling now and love it.

#6 mamaof2andtwins


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:03 AM

I have used both. I think for a more natural speller that SWO is fine. It is just a traditional spelling program. My oldest dd did it when she was in 5th grade. I don't think we even finished the book.

I used Spelling Power with my son and oldest dd. My son has really struggled with spelling, and I think for us Spelling Power was the most effective program that we had used up to that point. We had also used Sequential Spelling, but I found that he was not retaining anything. My dd, who is strong in spelling, didn't seem to benefit in any great way from SP. I am sure it was fine for her, but I think any program would have been fine.

My older children no longer use a spelling program, but my twins used AAS. I have seen the most retention and application with this program.


#7 Marylou


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:29 AM

SWO was just busy work here. We are using SP and it's working great.

#8 Melinda


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:32 AM

We are using All About Spelling here and *love* it. Also, spellingcity.com is great and FREE!

#9 Mama Anna

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:28 AM

I'm using SP with a 5yo natural speller and she's fine with it. She hates doing the 10-step practice sheet, but I only make her do it when she misses a word and then she only has to do the steps on that one word. We began at the beginning (because of her age, I didn't want to test her far ahead and frustrate her) last fall and are into the second level now, just going through 1 to 2 groups per week. I use a timer to make sure she's only doing 5 minutes per day (we don't do the games since she hasn't hit a wall yet), and she thinks it's a breeze. I feel like we're covering things without leaving holes, so we're both happy.

Note: We've been through OPGTR, so she's got her phonics down pretty well.


Mama Anna

#10 amyco


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:47 AM

After 5 years of Spelling Workout, I am considering dropping it next year for my 6th grader, and my rising 4th grader who is an even better speller than his older sister. I dutifully followed the WTM recs for spelling. Both my children are fairly natural spellers and it's a lot of busywork. What I've been doing lately is just giving them a pretest of the list, and if they miss any, they write them 5 times each. Every few weeks they get a test of these missed words. If they miss more than 4 of the words, they have to do the workbook pages.

I've just decided that it's time to focus on writing and will address misspelled words there. For a young child just starting, I think SWO is good and solid. The early levels do have phonics rules tied to the words. The bonus with SWO is it is so easy to use.

#11 swellmomma


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:01 AM

I use both SWO and sequential spelling. My natural speller really benefits from sequential spelling and asks for swo. My not-so-natural speller (aka terrible speller), benefits more from swo and practicing such small easy words, but I do sequential spelling with her too to learn the word families as well. I have no experience with spelling power to comment on it.

#12 SilverMoon


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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:02 AM

Spelling Workout didn't Work Out for us. My natural speller started hating spelling with that book. So much that I dropped spelling for the last half of his current grade. (He is still learning spelling through dictations and other subjects.) I can't say he learned much from it either. It reduced spelling to a mindless fill in the blanks routine for him.

I switched my not-so-natural speller to Spelling Wisdom (from simplycharlottemason.com), she's doing well with that. My oldest checked out the samples from R&S and examined his sisters Spelling Wisdom book, then chose R&S. He'll start that later this year. He's had enough of a break from Spelling Workout to not despise spelling books now. :lol:

#13 LisainVirginia


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Posted 22 March 2009 - 02:51 PM

To the question of what WTM would recommend, I did notice that Spelling Power, along with Spelling Workout, is one of the programs mentioned in the 2008 Peace Hill Press catalog (the PDF is on their Web site) as a complement to the writing and grammar books that PHP publishes.