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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
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The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject
Language Arts for Homeschoolers

Complete Spelling Programs

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006


Spelling Power  by Beverly Gordon-Adams, published by
Castlemoyle Books  --  This is a single volume resource for teaching
grades 1 - 12.  Introduces a set of spelling rules which are applied at
each level.  Also teaches various spellings of a single sound (such as
tail, sale, neighbor) rather than each spelling pattern separately.  The
method focuses on a spiraled approach with six levels of review
(including words from past chapters) to ensure mastery.  Each
mis-spelled word is studied using a ten step multi sensory method
(including skill-building activities and games) until it can be spelled
correctly. Includes frequently used words, dictionary work and other
activities, and a CD-Rom of resources.
Who might find this program useful?
Those who want a complete spelling program that teaches both
phonetic word patterns and spelling rules, and includes vocabulary
building. This program is recommended for children already reading
at a 2nd grade level or higher.  The program author had struggling
spellers in mind when she created this curriculum.  Good for children
who need repetition to memorize.  
Note: Children who are naturally good spellers may be frustrated with
the review and repetition of words they already know.  Children who
struggle with handwriting or have a writing disability (such as
dysgraphia) may balk at the repetion of writing the same words over
and over as part of the spiralling review.  However, the method does
not require a large amount of creative or expository writing.


Building Spelling Skills  by Christian Liberty Press -- A Christian
focused spelling program for grades 1 - 8 that includes Christian
values, Bible quotations, and reminders to pray before each test.
Teaches a combination of spelling rules and phonics rules using word
lists, looking up meanings of unknown words in the dictionary, other
activities, and tests.  Includes vocabulary building, word roots, the
spelling of place names and words common to travel, transportation,
entertainment, health, etc.
Who might find this program useful?
Those who want a complete spelling program that teaches both
phonetic word patterns and spelling rules, and includes vocabulary
building... all with a Christian focus.


The Natural Speller by Kathryn Stout for Design-a-Study -- This is
a single volume resource that includes phonics and spelling rules and
a general outline of how to construct your own tailored spelling
program for grades 1 - 8.  Includes teaching strategies, word lists for
each grade level, and suggested activities for grammar, dictionary
use and writing.  Includes lists of suffixes, prefixes, and words derived
from foreign words.  Includes multi-sensory activities for struggling
spellers (Kathryn Stout has a Master's degree in Special Ed).  
Teaches each phonetic sound separately (true, blue, clue, etc.).  
Who might find this program useful?
Those who want a complete spelling program that teaches both
phonetic word patterns and spelling rules.  Includes strategies for
helping struggling spellers.  Often used with Unit Study approaches.


Spell to Write and Read and WISE  by Wanda Sanseri -- This is
a sequential spelling program based on Orton-Gillingham methods
(which have a proven track record in teaching children with dyslexia)
and Romalda Spalding's phonograms.   Spell to Read and Write is
the manual and teaching guide to using the program.  The
companion book, WISE, contains the list of spelling words and is used
in daily teaching.  Other materials needed are the phonogram flash
cards, spelling rule flash cards, and audio CD of sounds.  Covers
phonics, penmanship (both manuscript and cursive), and spelling
through college level. Include scripted examples on how to teach the
phonics and spelling words to your children.  
Who might find this program useful?
Students who struggle with reading and spelling.  Students with a
spelling or reading disability, such as dyslexia.  Often used with
Classical and Charlotte Mason approaches.


All About Spelling by Marie Rippel -- This is a multi-sensory,
sequential spelling program based on Orton-Gillingham methods
(which have a proven track record in teaching children with dyslexia).
This program was developed by a homeschool mom and is designed
to be used at home.  The program teaches phonics, phonograms,
and spelling rules.  The program is broken into lessons that include
detailed teaching tips and strategies, flash cards, spelling tiles,
spelling lists, and an interactive CD-ROM for learning the sounds of
the phonograms.  The program consists of instructional books at
Levels 1 - 6 (only 1 - 4 currently available) that do not correspond to
grade-level (see their FAQ page for placement guidance)
Who might find this program useful?
Students who struggle with reading and spelling.  Students with a
spelling or reading disability, such as dyslexia.  This program can be
used as a comprehensive spelling program for any student or for
remedial work with older students.


How to Teach Any Child to Spell and Tricks of the Trade   
by Gayle Graham -- This is a single volume resource spelling
program that teaches basic phonics rules and 6 key spelling rules
thru 4-step daily lessons.  No standard lists of spelling words are
provided, instead, spelling words are generated from errors in the
students own daily writing. This method requires either the parent or
the student to make lists of mis-spelled words for use in the program.  
Requires a companion book, Tricks of the Trade, used daily by the
student.  A good review is at
Rainbow Resources.
Who might find this program useful?
Students who can already read and write, and are accustomed to
daily writing.  Students who prefer to learn the spelling rules and
apply them to spelling words they actually use on a daily basis, rather
than memorizing generic lists of words.  Could work as a "catch-up"
program for teens who need to improve their spelling.
Note: Students who struggle with writing may balk at daily writing
assignments, and might be discouraged by having spelling errors
marked up in what they have struggled so hard to write.


Sequential Spelling and If It Is to Be It Is Up to Me to Do It  
by AVKO -- This program was designed for home use.  It focuses on
word families and intuitive spelling patterns, no phonics or spelling
rules are taught.  The program builds on simple words such as "in"
then adds to the word to arrive at "pin", "spin", "pins" "pinning",
"beginning", etc.  The teacher says the word, students attempt to
write the word, the teacher writes the correct spelling on the board,
the child self-corrects the spelling, then they move onto a new word.  
There are 7 lesson books that do not correspond to grade level.  At
whatever grade level you decide to teach spelling, you begin your
student with Level 1, up to age 10.  From age 11 and up it is
recommended that you use "If It IsTo Be..." instead of Level 1.  An
adult version of the program is also available, called "
Sequential
Spelling For Adults".  Free samples and downloads available.
Who might find this program useful?
Students who do not like or have trouble with learning spelling rules.  
Students who have trouble using phonics-based programs.  Students
who would enjoy looking for and discovering patterns of spelling on
their own.  The author recommends the program for dyslexics.


Jensen's Punctuation by Frode Jensen --  (high school level
only) a high-powered text that gives complete coverage of
punctuation rules, part of the Jensen's Grammar series.  
Who might find this program useful?
Students who do not have any particular trouble with spelling.  Good
for college-bound students who want a fast-paced course