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Sequential Spelling on DVD?

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We've only been using the DVD for a few days, and so far I love it. BUT, we were Sequential Spelling users already, so we already knew that the spelling part of the program and the way it is designed works for my son.


Sequential Spelling had lists of 25 words, many with common roots, so that the child sees a pattern of spelling: hot, shot, spot, lot, a lot, blot... Then the next day he'll see the same words with 's' endings, if appropriate. Then the next day with other endings like 'ed' or 'ing.' The same general list is used for 4-5 days and then it moves on to new word families. There is some variation thrown in there, with random words or phrases that may or may not follow the pattern, or a word like 'thought' after the list above, so that discussion of various spellings for the same sounds can occur.


The lesson is designed for the parent to read a word from the list, say a sentence with the word, the child to write it down, the parent writes the word on the board, in two colors, and then the child immediately corrects his spelling if he wrote it incorrectly. So for the list above, I would write all of the 'ot' parts of the word in red, and all of the letters before and after in green. The idea is to visually reinforce the commonality of the words.


So the child hears the word, hears it in context, writes the word, sees the word with visual contrast, and then corrects the word if necessary. The theory is that the combination of audio, visual and kinesthetic will help with retention. BUT, there is not a lot of teacher helps or discussion with the program. Few explanations of why words are spelled the way they are and why the exceptions occur. It is more of an intuitive learning program and learning through doing and seeing the patterns, rather than memorizing rules.


This program works for my son because he is a perfectionist, so ending up with a complete, correct list makes him happy. He still doesn't like misspelling a word, but it is quickly remedied, by himself, without my input. ;) He also has improved in his spelling quite a bit. And spelling is done pretty quickly and without much fuss.


As for the DVD, which is actually a DVD-Rom to be played on the computer, all it does is replace the parent part of the routine above. The program says the word, says a sentence, pauses for the child to write the word (sometimes the child has to pause the program to have enough time), then the word appears on the screen (conveniently in two colors without all the pen switching), and child corrects it if necessary. You may have guessed why I love the DVD. Same program, but a lot less work for me. So it allows me to work on another subject with another child. but I am still in hearing distance, so I can provide an explanation or comment if necessary.


Overall, I think the DVD was worth it for my family. But I don't know that I would recommend it for someone just starting with Sequential Spelling. I think that it could make someone say "this is it!?" if they have not been previously exposed to the program, because it is very low key and straightforward, just like the books. I'd probably recommend picking up the first level book, which often sold inexpensively used, and trying the program for a little bit first to see if it works for your child, before investing in the DVD. People seem to either love or hate the program, and I think you'd know within a few days which way it is for you.


I need to find a spelling program for my 8 year old who is NOT a natural speller. We tried the Spelling Workout books last year but he hated them (he's not a workbook kind of kid) and furthermore he didn't seem to retain anything from them. We also tried using his ETC workbooks as a spelling guide but ultimately are having the same issues: no retention and just a general dislike of the workbook approach.


I've looked into AAS but ultimately I think it's just too parent intensive for us- I homeschool and work full-time so I need things that are more open and go. My gut instinct tells me it's just too complicated for us.


Now I see that Sequential Spelling has a program on DVD and I'm intrigued but not finding much information on it. There aren't many reviews on Amazon, but the few reviews available are positive. I'm still confused though whether the DVDs are meant to be used alone or if you still need to purchase the books that go along with it as well.




Has anyone here used this and if so, care to offer any feedback?



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