Our Best Spelling Program
I am an atrocious speller; don't even ask what atrocious looked like before I spell-checked this copy! But I find it interesting that I am not consistently a bad speller, as I do have some strengths. When I consider those strengths, I recall not phonics rules per se, but patterns that were diligently taught by some unknown teacher in my past. Having recognized the brilliance of that methodology, I was more than eager to examine the Sequential Spelling series.
Better than burdensome rules and endless lists
While we intuitively teach our children to read via word families (first at, then bat, cat, fat, and so forth), we rarely incorporate that same methodology in teaching spelling. Instead we shift to burdensome rules and endless lists of seemingly random words.
Teach using word families
Sequential Spelling is radically different as it is firmly entrenched in teaching using word families. The parent dictates a word, then the child writes it in his notebook. The child corrects any error right away before the next word is dictated, because when he immediately corrects his own mistakes he will learn and retain more. Every day, every lesson is a test. That's it, that's the program. Your child will never be asked to study for a spelling test; the author believes that the tests should be a learning device, not a method of evaluation.
The only spelling program that makes absolute sense
This is by far the most commonsense spelling program I have ever seen. And it is incredibly easy for a parent to use, with no CD, DVD, silly games, or rule cards to keep track of. The Student Response Book, now included with each level, has blank columns for each daily test and makes this program super convenient. (Additional Student Response Books can be purchased online.) Each level of Sequential Spelling consists of 180 days of lessons. If you find the list of twenty-five words too much for your child, then do fewer words a day. While Level One can be used with a first-grader, it is equally effective with an older child who needs to build a solid spelling foundation. There is nothing juvenile about this program, so dive in at whatever level seems appropriate. Samples of each level and a placement test are available online. How I wish I had used this system with my own children; it is truly the only spelling program I have seen that makes absolute sense.