I've never done much as far as reviewing curriculum we've tried. Mostly because besides Math, we use BOOKS. Not 'curriculum' per se. But I had to share this program that has surpassed my expectations (not a sponsored post, I just like it).
It's All About Spelling.
So here's the story: my oldest has never had a formal spelling program, and has never needed one. I attribute that to her being a book-devourer, and also my needing her to be super easy to educate so that I would think adding in the boys wouldn't seem hard. ha! I have, but haven't used Spelling Power. A year or so ago we tried Sequential Spelling, which.... we didn't love. I loved the idea of it at first, but the boys HATED spelling, and I didn't love it either. So we dropped it.
But the Redhead has major spelling block, and Monkey is a perfectionist, meaning he got frustrated when a word wasn't spelled how he thought it should be, phonetically. He loves to write, but needed to learn the rules.
I love it.
We got the boys these little index card boxes for their cards. At first I was ticked that Officemax was out of the cheaper plastic boxes the day I went, but now I love that these boxes are cute. We personalized them with washi tape. Sometimes it's the little things... ;)
Here's the cards all nice and organized. They make it REALLY easy to review. We keep the chart stickers and segmenting chips in the boxes, too.
I wasn't excited about buying a big ol' magnet board to use with the letter tiles, until I read someone who put their board vertically - then I realized I could maybe use my magnet wall (stupid magnet wall- you're finally good for something!). It has worked great. We just smushed everything we usually hang on it... up more and the letters are arranged up the left side of the wall.
The progress sheets are taped up nearby so it's easy to track. I love the letter tiles, but the boys weren't AS excited about them as I thought they'd be. I believe in doing different types of activities to really cement in learning, so the moving that using these tiles makes you do is a good thing. But it takes longer than writing, and the boys don't love putting them all back in ABC order up the side when they're done.
I love the consonant team magnets! I'm so glad that QU, SH, TH, CH... etc etc are on ONE magnet because they make ONE sound. it makes sense.
The little chips used to 'segment' word sounds (sound them out) in Level 1 made a HUGE difference for the redhead. He really struggled with this before, and while he's a good reader, he had a mental block for spelling. I am SO impressed with how far he's come.
Sometimes instead of spelling all the words for the lesson with the magnets, we do some or all of them on a whiteboard (I found these little ones at Dollar Tree, they are great). Variety keeps interest.
Generally we start with review, then the magnets, and move to the table to finish on whiteboard or notebook, then do dictation in the notebook. I don't make them write all the words they spell with the magnets if they get them right the first time.
I also LOVE the dictation. They do dictation in their spelling notebooks. The redhead is still doing phrases, but Monkey is on sentences now.
The program is extremely well-organized and moves step by step, introducing blends, consonant teams, and rules as you go. Since my boys were already good readers when they started level 1, it went fast. But level 1 is still the place to start.
We keep their spelling notebooks, card boxes, white board, and textbooks in one of their boxes and they're good to go.
All about Spelling is scripted. Kinda. I don't love scripted stuff generally, but this is pretty loosely scripted so I'm free to use it or not. I don't need to prep ahead of time, we can set up a lesson on the fly, which is vital to me.
Each 'step' can take as long as a child needs to get through it, it's not a lesson a day. However it is OFTEN a lesson a day for us.
Monkey is now on level 2, and the redhead will be done with level 1 next week, I think. It's easy to keep them moving at their own pace.
I've never bothered selling my school supplies when my kids are done with them... I guess because most of them are just books that we want to keep on hand, but since the boys will be done with these, I would consider selling the level 1 book and cards (cheap) if anyone is interested!