- Reviewed on Thursday, August 6, 2015
- Grades Used: B for PK and 1st-2nd, C for 2nd-3rd
- Dates used: 2014-2015
My oldest child was 7 when we started in level B, and he was a great reader, reading about 6th-7th grade level at that time, but really struggled with spelling. Lists did not work. Copywork did not work. I tried Phonetic Zoo but it was hopelessly too difficult for him, so we put it away for later. He could memorize spelling rules but they did not translate into him being able to write when spelling.
My two kids are totally different ages and abilities, but this program has been good for both. My other child who used Spelling You See was 4 when we started, and she was reading at about an early first grade level. She, the 4 year old, is a natural speller. I started them in B together (they were on the same level in spelling in the pretest), but my 7/8 year old was able to progress far beyond (not surprising since they are three years apart, but surprising because of the struggles with spelling that he has had before).
My 7/8 year old went through all of B and started C. We could have gone through B faster, but we didn't do it daily. He'll finish C in 3rd. My 4/5 year old got through half of B in PK, and will finish B in K. She's now reading at about second grade level. Basically, if you're wondering where to start, use the placement test online, and do not go by age or reading ability.
As far as spelling programs go, this is painless and effective. My children enjoy it. It only takes about 10 minutes a day.
I felt like it was expensive when I bought it - it looks like it's "just copywork," but I tried copywork and my 7/8 year old's spelling did not improve. I could put something together to mimic this for cheaper, but it would take a lot of time, and it's nice to just have this be "open and go." It's been worth it, and we're planning on continuing to use it.
I have seen many people ask if you need the teacher's manual. You definitely need the teacher's manual for Level B, Jack and Jill. You could probably get by without it for Level C, but I think it's better to buy it and be sure you're following what it says. The teacher's guide is what makes it different from copywork.
If you are already doing a Charlotte Mason style of copywork and dictation, with some phonics and a bit of word study, this is probably not too different from that, although, as I've said, I've been shocked at how well Spelling You See has worked, because it has been so simple and painless.