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Phonetic Zoo....can someone give me the quick version...

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I looked at it a few years ago. There are cards with a spelling rule in the form of a rhyme printed on one side and spelling words (which follow that rule) on the other side. There is a CD with the rhymes set to a tune. I believe their approach is to help the child remember the rules via music.


The spelling rules did not make much sense to me. I preferred the rules in Spalding and SWR.


Here is a sample of the teacher's guide. It might give you a better idea of the program.

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It is self guided. The student listens to the cd for the rhyme learning portion and for the spelling quizzes. My oldest dd found it hard to take the quizzes from the cd. He talked too fast for her and has an accent, if I remember correctly. It didn't seem to stick for her at all. You stay in the same lesson until you get so many correct. She changed to AAS 1/2 through. My 2nd one breezed through a whole level in one semester at 9. She then asked to move to AAS with her sisters.

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There are 3 levels - A, B, & C. One your child has finished level C, he is completely done with spelling. The words are pretty challenging, so I can see how that could be true. We're only on level B.


Each lesson has the same phonetic rule regardless of the level that your child is on.


Each lesson has a card. The teacher's guide has instructions for how to use them. We've tried two ways (baseball card-type notebook & 3 panel board), but they don't really seem to be helpful.


We bought the cheapest kit ($30ish). It has everything you need for all 3 levels with the exception of the CDs. It does include some additional webinar/audio helps from Andrew Pudewa which are available for download from their website (instructions in the kit).


We do not use the CDs. It's much easier for me to read the lesson hint/rule/jingle at the beginning and after every 5th word (15 words in all). That's similar to what the CD does. Plus, it's cheaper. One level with the CDs is around $99.


The student takes a test every day over the word list that he is on. When he makes a 100% 2 days in a row (focus on number right, so 14 out of 15 right instead of missed 1), he goes to the next lesson. Every 5th lesson is review. It's a personal list based on the words he had trouble with. When he finishes A (or whatever level he tests into, he goes into B, etc).


This is the way we use it:

In her ELA binder, she has a bunch of blank spelling tests. For spelling, she pulls out a blank list and fills out the top (name, date, level, lesson, number attempting the list).


I read the rule, say the first five words (say the word, use in a sentence, say the word), then I repeat the rule. This goes on until the end.


She switches from a pencil to a pen to check her work. I start at the beginning, read the word, spell it, read the word. If she got any wrong, she corrects it. At the end, she writes down the number correct at the top. If she's missed any, she goes back to that line and writes them out 2-3 more times.


I will say that a downfall to it is if she gets 100% one day but misses one the next day. That can be frustrating.

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My dd10 completed level A independently last year and will be doing level B this year. She has the lessons on her "school iPod" (really my very old one). She gets her lesson sheet, listens, corrects, and then shows me her work. Although she tested into A I think she missed a handful of words and was done quite early in the Spring.

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