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Pros/Cons to Spelling Power?


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I have used Spelling Power with both of my kids (6th and 3rd grade). I continue to use it with my older child. She is spelling-intuitive and does not need a lot of instruction to improve her spelling. It is an acceptable program for her.


My younger is not spelling-intuitive and SP was utterly terrible for him. I went with Sequential Spelling. The problem was that SP lists, although they begin with a spelling rule, the rule is sometimes too all-inclusive. So, for example, one list had the spelling of the "air" sound, but it included there, bear, fairies, stairs, cared and their. My son was totally baffled and on the verge of tears. He could not understand how he could possibly guess which spelling a word might have. I totally felt his frustration. This was why we switched to Sequential Spelling. SS sticks with one word "family" and this has made much more sense to ds.


Although I still use SP for my older child, I do not love it. I'm not motivated to spend money finding something else for her; it is good enough.


My other caveat with SP is that the author has the most tedious and rigid approach in the instruction portion. She keeps reiterating that you must do the program exactly as she says. :glare: I'm sure it's the rebel in me, but I find that condescending and ridiculous. It's not brain surgery for Pete's sake.

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We will start HSin next year. I bought SP mostly to have set lists instead of making them myself. My boys are strong spellers and spelling is not a priority. Having one book of lists (purchased used) that will work for multiple years for many kids was a good investment for us. That said, below is my synopsis of the book that I wrote up to jog my memory in September. It may not be exact as I'm already tweaking it but maybe it will help...


Step 5: Daily Teaching Tests – not to exceed 5 minutes and 1 list + previously misspelled words. Tell the student it is not a test – it is for the purpose of figuring out which words need to be studied. Write the rule at the top of the page or an abbreviation if long. Write each word after you pronounce each word and put it in a sentence. Spell the word for the child. If incorrect, immediately cross out to be put in ‘words to learn’ column. Uncrossed t’s count as misspelled!


Step 6: (5mins) Using misspelled list (5 words is optimum), child

1) says the word

2) Looks carefully at parts of the word (is it phonetic? How many syllables? Vowel sounds? Double letters? Silent letters? Peculiar letter combinations? Smaller words in the bigger word?)

3) Spells the word while looking at it

4) Spells the word with eyes closed, visualizing it (then check)

5) Trace the word on the table in big letters (then check)

6) Write the word (then check)

7) Repeat if misspelled

8) At the end use each word (or more than one) in a sentence to help transfer new word to writing. Assign for HW if exceeds time limit.


Step 7: 5 minutes - Chapter 4 tells you how to pick the best enrichment activities for your child. Section five has 134 activities. Ch5 has dictionary lessons and games and Ch3 has proofreading exercises, and also dictation exercises.


Step 8: Tomorrow you will retest these missed words as part of step 5


Good luck! Brownie

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For strong spellers, we thought SP was fine. For those less inclined, I found they could memorize the list for the week, b/c of the patterns, but on those odd patterns (like mentioned above) we were still weak spellers. I have since discovered the The Phonics Road; because of the complete understanding of the relationship of phonics to spelling, it has improved our spelling wonders on the lower level.


For continued practice, the older ones enjoy Quest for Learning Phonics Solution. Great interactive program that you can monitor, down to common mistakes (for particular rules) or choose to let them be.


Both have helped us greatly in an area we were never quite settled in.

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