Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thoughts on Spelling

In just a few weeks we will finish the Explode the Code series. We started way back in preschool with Get Ready, Get Set and Go for the Code as well as Book 1. Kinder took us through Books 2-5 (including most of the half books) and this year we'll complete 5 1/2 though 8. I truly love this series. It has worked wonderfully for us but like any program, it's not for everyone.

That being said, as we conclude one journey it's almost time to embark on another - Spelling. All along my plan has been to begin Spelling Workout, and that still is where we will start. I love the workbook format that has been so very successful for us with ETC.

But I recently read about Spelling Wisdom on the Well Trained Mind Message Boards and I am intrigued. The concept is to teach spelling through dictation using, "beautiful and fascinating ideas from great men and women of history that encourage and motivate children as they learn to spell the words." Hmmmm. I like the sound of that.

I am going to purchase the first book. At $14.95 it's worth taking a look at for sure! As we start SWO I will need to decide how Spelling Wisdom will fit in with our plan starting in second grade. We will switch completely or just use it as a supplement? I don't feel that I have enough information to make an intelligent decision but I'll keep you updated!


Jenny in Ca said...

I'll look forward to your thoughts on spelling wisdom, I had decided to go with it next year for spelling. I like the idea...the format is my ideal, but I have problems actually implementing it, I'm hoping the book would help with that.

judahmo said...

I saw a while back that you were using ETC and was wondering how it differs from Spelling Workout. Is ETC more for spelling or phonics reinforcement?
Thanks! I really enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I am had my mind set on R&S for my ds but one of them has a little difficulty with spelling. So I will check these out. Have you heard of any reviews on Natural Speller. Not many on HSR but it looked very similar to Spelling Power. Just wanted to hear more thoughts on it for anyone who knows more about it. Well, anywho, have a blessed weekend. :)

Jennefer said...


ETC is definitely intended to be a phonics program and it is an excellent one at that. Because it has created such a strong phonics foundation for Thatcher, the natural result is that he has become an excellent speller as well. I have rarely heard people say that they dropped phonics too early but I have heard many regrets about people dropping phonics and starting spelling before phonics skills were strong enough. I almost dropped ETC at the end of last year to start SWO since Thatch is a strong reader as well. I am so glad I decide to finish the series.


I have not heard any review of Natural Speller but have you ever gone to the Well Trained Mind K-8 Curriculum Message Board? Those ladies are amazing and I am confident you could get some solid reviews!

Here is the link if you want to give it a try:

Have a great weekend!

Heidi said...

I love the idea of Spelling Wisdom! Thanks for the tip. I need to start spelling with Levi, but I haven't decided what or when. I will definitely keep Spelling Wisdom in mind for next year.

P.S. I've sent you a couple emails in response to your message a while back~ Hope you got them!

Anonymous said...

After hating Abeka phonics and Rod and Staff phonics...we decided to give ETC a try. We did back up a bit to book 2, because I really felt that my DS6 needed some solid review (R&S was a bit confusing for him and threw him off).

Anyway we love it! And I serperate spelling is needed when using ETC because it's incorporated right in. I am so glad we switched! I will be starting the Get Ready books with my DS4 soon....

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this about Spelling Wisdom. I have been to the site many times and I have never even seen it. I looks like this could be used just for dictation. I will be interested in your opinion of it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for posting again. I just noticed you added me to your blog roll and I want to say that I am *honored*!

judahmo said...

Thanks, Jennefer. Maybe we'll do some ETC for extra phonics practice after we finish OPGTTR.

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

We are looking forward to using Spelling Wisdom next year, as well. I look forward to hearing how you implement it, too.

Also, I've decided to try the Jesus Storybook thank to you. Thanks for the inspiration. ;)

LisaWA said...

Ahh way to go on the ETC! What a great accomplishment for Thatcher! You too mom! *Ü*


my5wolfcubs said...

Wow! Finishing the whole series! That is great! I've been thinking about Spelling Wisdom for the coming year also. I decided to do my own studied dictation so many other things I try to do "on my own" I dropped it. :( I really do like the concept!

Angela said...

Good job on Explode the code. I am still using it with my 4th grader as a review- I might have to look more into Spelling Wisdom. I have never heard of it and I have gone more to CM style, that I can hardly feel good about posting on the WTM board anymore. Thanksf for the tip
PS- Thanks for swinging by the blog recently


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Great suggestion - I'm totally buying it!!! I used ETC with my kids, followed by Christian Liberty Press's Adventures in Phonics (also very excellent.) We've tried SWO and other "list/test" spelling formats for 6 years and they just don't work for us - so boring and dry and we only remember the words long enough to take a test. This year, however, they have made great strides with Apples:Spelling Drills for Secondary Students (a drill & practice book - no tests, but very logical and helpful) and copywork/ dictation. I think Spelling Wisdom would compliment what we are doing very well!!
Nice meeting you! (Found you from Heritage Acad.)

Anonymous said...

Good--I would like to heaqr how you like this new spelling program because I am not as impressed with Spelling Workout. We have been using it for 3 years now and it is very publischool-level (meaning: not very advanced) and we cruised right through the books . . . not very challenging for classically educated children! I tried the A Beka spellers (which have changed since the days when I was a homeschool student, when the spellers were 100% spelling)and didn't like so much emphasis in vocabulary; I just want some good spelling books; we want to do vocab our own way (besudes, all that vocab made the kids despise Spelling, whereas they love the games in Workout).

And so, I really really need something new--can't wait to hear what you think of these others!

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of Spelling Wisdom - I was planning on using Spelling Power, but please let us know how it works out for you because it sounds great :)

Amy :)

The Phamily Matriarch said...

Hi Jennefer,

I'm one of Darcy's peeps. She mentioned that she would cyber introduce us, but the girls been busy. LOL

I live in your neck of the woods...Pearland.

I've been reading some of your blogs and "meeting" you through your words and pictures. You're homeschooling schedule and plans are quite admirable and interesting. And what an adorably darling family you have.

It's nice to have meet you.
Jaclyn aka J-Bug (given by Darcy LOL)

Rachel said...

I have been wanting to start ETC but it looks like they have a good bit of writing in it as well. Jordan is learning how to read on her own pretty much, and I am adding in a lot of fun games, but I would LOVE to start ETC... only problem is that she just turned 3 and while she loves to scribble, she can't really trace yet. What are your suggestions?
Also, I have been hearing about Spelling Wisdom and it seems interesting. I can't wait to hear what you think

Anonymous said...

I’ve tagged you with an ‘E for Excellence’ blog award. :)

Amy :)

Rachel said...

Hey no fair, I tagged you too! HA!