Sunday, August 14, 2011

Curriculum Changes...already???

We haven't even started the school year yet and I'm already on the fence about spelling!  My Father's World suggests using Spelling by Sound and Structure for 2nd grade and Spelling Power from 3rd grade on.  I'm considering getting the 2nd grade suggestion but Spelling Power is not a good fit for us.  We've been using Sequential Spelling and like it.  But, it doesn't go into phonetic spelling.  But, does that matter?  Some say it does, others say it doesn't.  Personally, I think it's a matter of preference and whatever suits the child's learning style best.  There's no right or wrong, in my opinion.

But, that doesn't help me decide.  I'm definitely using the McGuffey Readers this year and the parent guide recommends also using The ABCs and All Their Tricks which can also be used for spelling.  I read that teaching phonetic spelling will strengthen reading skills.  Oooooh, that sounds wonderful!

But, sometimes my girls like to do spelling worksheets.  This is why I'm considering Spelling by Sound and Structure for both of them.

So, this is just one example of what goes through a homeschooling mother's head.  What to do?


  1. We have used Spelling By Sound And Structure now for two complete years (3rd & 4th grade for my oldest). This year we are using SBSAS for her for 5th grade and we will use SBSAS for my 2nd grader. One day I might consider Spelling Power, but I we like SBSAS and we are gonna stick with it. I do not do all the stuff in the Teacher's book. My kids just work through the workbook with our own little system of:

    Monday... read the word list (dog, d-o-g, dog)... handwriting practice using 1/4 of the words daily

    Tuesday... read the word list (dog, d-o-g, dog)... handwriting practice using 1/4 of the words daily... Do Part A

    Wednesday... read the word list (dog, d-o-g, dog)... handwriting practice using 1/4 of the words daily... Do Part B (2nd grade does only half this of it)

    Thursday... read the word list (dog, d-o-g, dog)... handwriting practice using 1/4 of the words daily... Do Part C (2nd grader does the 2nd half of Part B)... If necessary, pre-test

    Friday... TEST... write any misspelled words three times each... I also circle those words in THEIR workbook and add them to the bottom of the next lesson

    We love our SBSAS workbooks and they make my life easier!!

  2. I totally understand what you're saying. I placed and recieved my order from RR after I spent all summer researching and deciding. I even planned out the entire school year. Then this week changed my mind. I now have to return my order and wait for my refund. I am happy though. I feel peace. My husband said "You keep talking about returning it so you should do it already." Love when they have great advice:) Good Luck with your decision!

  3. Have you considered All About Spelling ( We have loved it - found it before we ever discovered MFW and stuck with it. It's been good for my girl who is a natural speller and a GOD-SEND for my girl who struggles.

  4. About AAS in terms of "intensity" for the teacher, yes and no. Some people think it's "intense" because it does require direct instruction - it's not something the child can just go off and study herself. However, Marie Rippel states from the very beginning that lessons should be kept short each day - 15 to 20 minutes, max, per child, and I don't consider that to be overly intense. If you do that, one "step" in a book usually takes about a week (sometimes more, sometimes less because it is a mastery-type program, but that's okay because most of the books have only 28 "steps" so, if some take more than a week, it's still possible to finish a whole book in a year if that's a concern). So, anyway, given that I know it's time well-spent, it has not been hard at all to do the direct instruction (and I do it separately because I have one "good" speller and one who struggles). And it is a rather open-and-go program (after the initial learning curve of figuring out how it's set up, of course); I take about 5 minutes a night to review what we'll cover the next day and then I can follow the "script" for each lesson and it flows really smoothly once you get the hang of it. :^)