Grades used: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5
Dates used: 2011-2015
Reviewed on: Friday, February 10, 2012
I looked around a long time before settling with this program. I am very pleased with it. I tried samples of A Reason for Spelling, Spelling Power, Rod & Staff, & Spelling Workout. I settled on this program for three reasons: my kids can do it completely independently, it incorporates vocabulary, my kids like it. I started my 5/6-year-old with Rod & Staff's 2nd grade spelling book. It was okay. The instructions were sometimes confusing to her, and I'd have to explain it, but it was okay. Not great enough that I'd use it again, knowing there are so many other spelling programs out there. I liked the idea of Spelling being completely independent, because IMHO, I just don't think it's that important of a subject. My girls read a lot and spell very well for their age groups. I have other subjects I'd rather dedicate my "teaching" time to. After completing the R&S book, I put her in the Level 3 book for Soaring with Spelling and she's doing great. I don't do the program exactly as shown though. I don't do the pretest on Day One (again, I try not to do ANYTHING with this subject) I just have them read the words and definitions and write their words down once. And on Day 5 for the spelling test, I plug their words into SpellingCity.com and have them do the test that way. (This takes less than one minute of my time) I just started my 5-yr-old with Level 1. She's barely writing legibly, but it's a good challenge for her. She does ask for some instruction, but it's very quick, and she's off to finish on her own. I'll be sticking with the program for a while. I recommend it for parents with kids who already are good, eager spellers and want a hands-off approach for this subject.
I'm updating my review now that I've continued to use this product for 4 years now.
It's still super simple for me. The kids do it all on their own. Now, I just orally test them after their lesson. My oldest likes to write it down first. I also allow them (I have 3 using this program) to test each other. My kids are doing well with spelling in general, and I've already ordered the next levels for them.