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Spell to Write and Read users - Need Help!


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We've used SWR for nearly two years now. Love it for spelling but when I tried to incorporate all of the other LA material she includes, found it too disjointed for me. Not that it's organized that way...I just did not have the patience to incorporate all of the extras, because you have to create the notebooks and sections,etc. Besides, we do our grammar through Latin so it was superfluous anyhow. I do know women who have produced lovely notebooks (well, their kids have) that incorporated all the LA part so you can truly use it as a full LA program. I just never spent too much time on it. But for spelling, I would not use anything else. Love it.

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I found spell to write and read a year and a half ago. My oldest ds was a struggling beginning reader. Halfway through 2nd grade he was helped some by doing Explode the Code, but it had no impact on his spelling. I found SWR and started it. The things I LOVE about SWR:


*I now feel capable and confident to teach phonics instead of constantly saying "oh, that's an exception" or "I'm not sure why we say it that way..."

*It cut down the number of true phonetic exceptions to very few. This made it much easier for my son, (who I think previously saw no rhyme or reason to what we were doing).

*His 3rd grade year, ds went from a 2nd grade reading level to a 5th grade reading level.

*Now my youngers are learning the phonograms from the beginning and I'm seeing much less frustration with early readers.


The things that bugged me about SWR:


*The enrichments for each lesson.... there are plenty to choose from and you aren't expected to do them all - deciding what to do and worrying if I was covering everything we should be getting from a spelling curriculum was a pain. My solution: I finally decided that FLL3 would fill any holes and I would add that in and not worry about the enrichments from SWR.

*Without enrichments, I needed some way to practice the words. I chose dictation - which has helped ds's writing skills as well as spelling. Sometimes the enrichments suggested sentences or paragraphs for dictation, but I thought they were poor examples of writing so I made up my own sentences.

*Also, (related to enrichments) some of the prefixes/suffixes they would put on spelling words seemed really strange to me - resulting in words we would never use or hear anyone else use.


So, since I've ignored the enrichments, added in FLL3 for Language Arts, and used my own dictation as a reinforcement activity, I've been happier with the program.


I think everyone tweaks it a bit and it takes a while to figure out what works for you and what doesn't.



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I have used the SWR program for 3 years. I spend time getting familiar with the program before I started using it with my dc. After 3 full years, my oldest still loves doing the phonogram and spelling rules flashcards weekly for review and my youngest is just getting familiar with them. I, like others mentioned, have also tweaked it slightly to fit our style. I would say I am following it about 85%. I do whatever enrichments are approriate for the age and ability. Some weeks I make up my own or we keep it simple because the words are familiar and easily spelled and retained. We also make the flashcards with the words on them for use in the summer as part of games. Spell the word, take a turn type stuff. He is 8yo and so this is still fun for him.


I admit to have slacked a bit on the log book the last part of this year as far as the reference pages go. Mostly due to my need to devote more time elsewhere with his schooling.


I do not find it is hard to follow once you get familiar with it. I spent a few hours each week for a few weeks to really get a feel for how to implement it. After the first few lists, I felt more solid.




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The main things I don't like about it is the huge learning curve when you first go to use it and the amount of time it can take to implement. My son has lds and he is doing very well with spelling because of SWR, but I have spent 40 minutes, 3 times a week working with him to accomplish this. My daughter, on the other hand, is a natural speller. With her, I take 15 minutes about 3 times a week.


The main thing I love are the results we have gotten with this program and the fact that it is a one-time purchase that can be used with multiple kids. I also like that I can adapt how I use it depending on the child.



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I love this program, it is so logical and as you dig deeper into it you find more wonderful things.


But, you have to learn the program. IF you are not willing to sit down and work through the lists and study them on your own and learn the phonograms then it is not worth doing. It is a lot of work but it is great.


For pre-K to reading on their own: I just teach the phonograms. I went through and arranged the lists by phonogram, picked out words that had the key sounds for each, made silly sentences and pictures. We do 2 phonograms per week, write the words or the sentences and look at the pictures. I also have my dc go around and tell me all the words we know that have that phonogram sound.


At 3rd grade we start working through the lists and I typed up charts and worksheets based on the enrichments in the WISE guide. We will work through one list per week.


What I do is totally not what they recommend you do but then I am a big believer in using the resources at hand and bending them to work for you.:001_smile:

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