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Friday, February 9, 2007

Why we like Spelling Workout

It's simple, it's easy and we can do it together or Camille can do it independently. Now we breezed through Spelling Workout A in about 4 months and we're currently using Spelling Workout B.

Ruth Beechick recently had an article in Home School Enrichment magazine about spelling and this article on Jim Trelease's website is about the same information she wrote about. Spelling Article

There is review built into the workbook, complete five or so lessons and then the review of the words from the past lessons. It's a great indicator of retention. I suspect Camille is a natural speller because she does very well with this. I don't have her memorize spelling rules at 6 years of age. If she has problems in the next 3 years, we'll address them. I don't feel it is crucial at this stage.

Here's how we tackle the lessons:

Monday write each word 3, oral test (if pass do activities and do next lesson the next day)
Tuesday Oral test, 1/2 the activities
Wednesday Oral test, finish activities
Thursday Write words in alphabetical order
OR write word and definition using dictionary in back of workbook
OR write a sentence using the word
Friday Written test. Every now and then I'll have her narrate to me the writing activity.

We haven't had to do all this in quite a while, she's breezing through the words, I still have her write the words 3x, the activities and then test, we're currently doing one lesson a day. Spelling is one subject I don't stress about or wonder if another program would be better. By the way, we use the Sports Edition, published in 1994- I like the format better. We'll use the teacher's edition when we reach Spelling Workout E, at this time I have A, B, C and D and don't feel I need the teacher's edition.

You can see Spelling Workout at, they even have inside views of the teacher's editions so you can determine for yourself if you'd like to purchase them.

UPDATE 2/2008:
We are no longer using Spelling Workout, in the end this type of spelling program does not help a child learn to spell. I have learned that spelling is learned within context and should really wait until a child is done with phonics and reading fluently- which also means they are ready to write. Memorizing lists of words will not help a child spell in context, not even writing a sentence for each word will help. Please find out why you are using the products you are and compare them to what is out there. Read articles about spelling, learn about it so you can make an informed decision past other's recommendations.

We are using Simply Spelling by Laurie Hicks, which starts in 3rd grade. It teaches spelling rules through copywork and other areas of punctuation and grammar and the test at the end of the week is a dictation exercise. Short and to the point to get the job done.



Jenny said...

Just popping by to say thanks again for this information! I'm feeling a bit honored that my question from the other day earned an entry on your blog. :)

Your blog has been a great wealth of information for me, especially since I am planning first grade right now. Keep up the good work and the great inspiration.

Jenny (aka Jenny in NorCal,wtm lurker extraordinaire)

popsiclesontheporch said...

Can you clarify for me. Would you say that the spelling workout would be good for a child that is already reading well. My daughter just turned 7 and I am looking for a good spelling curriculum to help her practice spelling rules and etc...Up unitl now we have mainly been doing copy work from our bible time and working through Phonics Pathway which covers phonics and a lot of the spelling rules. This has been great for us but I am looking for something to take her a little deeper and just not sure what to do.

Thanks so much!