Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study ~ A Review

I was recently introduced to a rather unique Spelling Curriculum called
Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study
 In a Nutshell:
~$49.99 per level (on sale for $39.99 through 10/31/12)
~$299.99 for the entire series (on sale for $224.99 through 10/31/12)
~$19.99 puzzle/game upgrade (on sale for $14.99 through 10/31/12)
~Currently delivered on a CD (I know they are currently looking at different modes of delivery)
~Pre/Post Tests available on the website
~AWESOME PERSONAL customer service!

What makes this Spelling Curriculum Different?
What makes this curriculum unique is that it is written by two elementary school teachers who were frustrated with students memorizing weekly spelling lists and then misspelling those same words in their daily work. Spelling Mechanics uses word families, rules and patterns to teach students how to spell. Additionally, students maintain a personal Spelling Notebook. As children progress through the program dictionary skills and word origins are also taught.

Ladybug working on 1st grade lesson 5 the -ad family.
Ladybug 1st grade lesson 5 creating words in the -ad family.
Ladybug spelling words in the -ad family (1st grade lesson 5)

Monkey doing a KG word sort. He is sorting pictures of words that start with "s", "t", "d" and "m".
My Thoughts:
I am very impressed with this program. Ladybug has been struggling with her reading (yes, I know this is about spelling but stick with me) and after one (1) day of using Spelling Mechanics she had a break-through in her reading. She told me that learning the word families "makes sense" and that "it makes it easier to read"! Ladybug started the 1st grade level about six weeks ago and is going through the program pretty quickly (1 lesson every 6-8 days). She really loves the word sorts.

Monkey just started the Kindergarten level of Spelling Mechanics 2 weeks ago and is already sorting words based on their initial sounds and their vowel sounds. This is impressive because we have been working on initial sounds for about 3 months and the word sorts are what made it click for him. He already knows the initial sound for all the letters so we are moving through pretty quickly but the program is set up so you can go as fast or as slow as your child needs to go!

Fun Tip:
Because I cannot open word documents on my MAC, Ann at Spelling Mechanics converted the documents into PDF's for me. I was then able to download the GoodReader app ($4.99 on iTunes) for our iPad and, through Dropbox, upload the worksheets for Ladybug to do on the iPad. She loves it and it saves on paper!
{Disclaimer: While I received the KG and 1st grade levels of Spelling Mechanics at no cost, I was not asked to write a review. I wrote this review because I am impressed with this product and the impact it is having on my children's education. All opinions are my own.}

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Friday, October 19, 2012


I can't believe it has been over 2 months since my last post. 
I guess I will find out if any of you are still reading my blog after this post. ;)

We have had a good start to our school year. Monkey has finished All About Reading Pre-Reading and the preschool level of IXL math. Ladybug has finished All About Reading Level 1, All About Spelling Level 1IXL KG level and half of the 1st grade level and Happy Handwriting. Unicorn has a great start into her 7th grade year and is getting ready to start her 3rd year of NaNoWriMo.

The kids took a few days off of school the first week of October to go camping with Papa and Nana. They had a great time fishing, hiking, going on a scavenger hunt, painting rocks and checking out the Ranger Station and Fire Look-out Towers. When they got home Ladybug learned how to ride her bike. Once Ladybug figured it out then Unicorn decided to try to learn to ride her bike again. She has hydrocephalus and some issues with balance so that combined with a REALLY bad bike riding accident 5 years ago had her pretty scared of bike riding. I am happy to report that she has overcome that fear and is now a bike rider! :)

This month we are preparing for NaNoWriMo and studying Elections and doing some Art projects. Ladybug and Monkey also started a new spelling program (that we love) and I will be doing a review on it VERY soon. We also started a book club and have read Charlotte's Web and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Origami pigs and clay spiders for Charlotte's Web
Unicorn's sidewalk chalk drawing for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Ladybug's sidewalk chalk drawing for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Next month we will study Thanksgiving and participate in NaNoWriMo. I hope you will check back soon for more reviews and an update on what we are learning!
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