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As the name implies, Spelling You See is a spelling curriculum published by Demme Learning. I’ve used Level B in our homeschool with my oldest, and Level A with my middle boy. I’m currently trying out Level B with my middle boy.
Spelling You See Level B Review
Spelling You See takes a unique approach to spelling. Rather than using word lists or learning phonograms, students learn to spell by marking (“chunking”) letter combinations in a passage, then using portions of the passage for copywork. The same passage is used for a week, with the parent dictating the passage for the student to write at the end of the week.
While I’ve heard of other homeschoolers having great success with this program, it did not work at all for my oldest. The primary learning method used by Spelling You See is the Written Word, and that’s one of my oldest son’s least preferred learning methods. But my middle boy does better with the Written Word, so I’m trying it out with him.
- Instructor’s Handbook – This little handbook holds a lot of information. Highlights are a description of the philosophy behind this curriculum, parent instructions for usage of this program, parent instructions for each lesson, and an answer key.
- Student Workbooks (Parts 1 & 2)
- Colored Pencils
- Guide to Handwriting
I will mention one of the things about this curriculum that drives me batty – the font! In the font the curriculum uses, uppercase “I” looks like a lowercase “l”. I found this to be unnecessarily confusing for my kids, that were within a couple of years of having learned to write their letters.
How It Works
Spelling You See has 36 lessons, split into two workbooks (18 lessons in each). Each lesson has five worksheets (ex. 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E).
In the first student workbook, each lesson consists of the student marking certain sounds or letters in a passage, and then writing words dictated by the parent (words for dictation are found in the Instructor’s Handbook).
In the second workbook, the student marks up a passage as instructed, then uses a portion of the passage for copywork for worksheets A-C of each lesson. Worksheet D gives the student a chance to be creative, while on worksheet E the parent dictates the passage after the student “chunks” it.
I would recommend that a parent using this curriculum for the first time familiarize herself with the Instructor’s Handbook and read the Getting Started pages.
Also, one of the weaknesses of Spelling You See is that information for each lesson is spread out all over the Instructor’s Handbook. So it’s helpful to mark the following sections in the with flags/paperclips/bookmark for easy reference:
- The section giving instructions for each lesson.
- Dictation pages.
- Chunking answer key.
Lessons shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes, usually less.
To whom would I recommend Spelling You See?
(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)
- Students that prefer the Written Word and Spoken Word as learning methods since Spelling You See focuses on copywork and dictation.
- Students that prefer working One-on-One since there’s so much dictation (especially the first half of the curriculum), but Independent learners may do well with the second workbook since there’s more copywork.
- Level B uses nursery rhymes for the passages in each lesson, so students that very much enjoy nursery rhymes may find that element of Spelling You See delightful.
I would NOT recommend to…
- Students that are below the reading level required for the nursery rhymes.
- Students that struggle learning via the Spoken Word since there’s so much dictation.
- Students that prefer Independent work – again, because of the dictation.
My Best Tip for Using Spelling You See
Set a timer for 10 minutes on the days you do passage dictation. A student that is struggling will not benefit from spending more time on this activity, and it may actually discourage and frustrate them so much that they resist in the future.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Spelling You See
While I always encourage parents to customize the curricula that they use for their particular students, I feel that Spelling You See is not as easy to customize as other curricula, and that doing so would be time-intensive with questionable return on investment. Consequently, I feel that Spelling You See either works for a student or it doesn’t. And that the students that it will work for have an affinity for the written word.