"Once upon a time..... there was a sweet, hard-working, kinestetic learning kind of girl. This girl was in perpetual motion and excelled at all sorts physical learning and activities. She equated happiness with movement and creating with her hands. Not surprisingly, spelling did not make her top ten list of favorite studies.
Her mother tried various curricula with the same results. Dear daughter always returned to the exact same phonetic spelling no matter what. Both mother and daughter were frustrated and at a loss for direction....."
The above story is a true account of my daughter's spelling journey. It is also true that nothing we tried stuck. Nothing.
In my pursuit of an answer, I stumbled upon Spelling You See. Seeing as this company is an offshoot of Math-u-See (a program we ALL love and have had much success using) I thought just maybe their different approach to spelling might just hold the key to unlock that spelling sector of my daughter's brain.
Wild Tales from Spelling You See Review
By following the developmental stages of language development , Spelling You See differs from other programs in that there's no spelling lists! Short daily lessons combine copywork, reading, speaking and listening all in one. This helps the correct spelling of words to be imprinted in long-term visual memory.
Our experience with Spelling You See:
After taking the online assessment to determine my daughter's level placement, we were faced with a bit of a dilemma. She missed more words on the lower level than the upper. After calling the customer service line, a representative listened to our predicament and my daughter's history. It was obvious to him that she was still spelling phonetically. Because of that, we started her at the lower level, Wild Tales. Frankly, I didn't care if we had to start at the very beginning. I just wanted my daughter to succeed and build confidence in this area!
When we first received the package, my daughter was thrilled to see this "miracle in a box"....but, after seeing the book itself, her enthusiasm faded. Wild Tales begins with a nursery rhyme (Little Boy Blue come blow your horn. The sheep is in the meadow." ) and THAT just wasn't cool for an 11 year old.
After an encouraging pep talk and showing her that the lessons progress in difficulty, we started with lesson 1.
Each lesson is broken down into five parts to be completed over five days.
Day one (A) shows a passage that will be used over the course of the week. This is read together and then certain letter combinations are marked or "chunked" using colored pencils.
Section 2 of Day 1 has the student copy and chunk part of the story.
Days 2 (B) and 3 (C) look pretty much the same, except they use the next 2 sentences respectively.
Day 4 (D) is fun! After "chunking" is done, the student is free to illustrate the story or write something related to the weekly passage.
Finally, on Day 5 (E), the student chunks the passage and then the parent dictates the passage to the student on the lined paper provided.
Progress in the program is gauged by the ability to complete a dictation page with increasing speed and accuracy. As the student progresses through the course, accuracy will be noted in the daily work too.
Getting back to our journey, after a few lessons my daughter and I have the hang of this program. Now she's enjoying it because we are both seeing her progress in the dictation and her confidence as a speller is growing. But, I'm still wondering if she's just memorizing the passage and is able to write it correctly after five consecutive days.
By Lesson 11, the passage is: "A mother black bear helps her cubs find food. She shows them how to look under rocks for bugs. The cubs learn how to catch fish and dig for mice. She shows them where to look for berries and nuts. They will also eat a honeycomb with the bees still on it!"
As life would happen, we loose a week of school. Picking up where we left off in spelling, we move right into the dictation without taking the time to review. I was not prepared for what happened next. My daughter wrote the dictation down quickly, in its entirety WITHOUT ANY MISTAKES! She had been having issues with 'ch' and 'sh' as far as I can remember -- but not anymore! I asked her how she was able to spell so easily. Her reply? "Mom, I can SEE the words in my head." YES! SPELLING YOU SEE HELPS TO SHAPE VISUAL MEMORY! It worked when nothing else had!
My only complaint? That I didn't find this curriculum earlier!
Wild Tales Student pack retails for $30 and $14 for the Teacher's Guide.