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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

Spelling Workbooks

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006


Spelling Workout by Modern Curriculum Press/Pearson Learning
Group  -- This is a workbook series for grades 1 - 8 that covers simple
sound-letter relationships as well as more complex spelling patterns.  
Early workbooks teach single letter sound word families (such as at, cat,
bat, mat...) but later workbooks move to teaching the different ways to
spell the same sound (such as tail, sale, neighbor).  The words are not
necessarily challenging - they are chosen to show the spelling patterns.

Each chapter covers handwriting practice (early books have dotted
letters to trace, later books transition to cursive), proofreading
paragraphs for capitalization and punctuation, and a (very) short writing
assignment. After copying the spelling list, each chapter includes puzzles
and games that require writing the list words twice more. Activities include
crossword puzzles, rhyming, fill-in-the-blank's, scrambles, add the
missing words, etc. Designed to use one workbook each year, one
chapter per week (about 20 minutes, total, to complete), children can
work independently. Teacher's Edition with lesson plans available.

Workbooks are labeled A - H instead of grades 1 - 8, which means that
parents may choose a workbook appropriate to their child's level... with
workbook A used with beginning readers/writers.  

Who might find this program useful?
While this is a great program for kids who do OK with spelling, this
program probably doesn't have enough reinforcement or multi-sensory
activities for kids who struggle with spelling.  The words lists are probably
not challenging enough for very good spellers.

This is a great program for kids who struggle with writing or have a writing
disability (dysgraphia) because the spelling and handwriting skills are
separated from more complex writing skills. Most of the activities involve
writing one word at a time, and the few assignments that ask for
sentences or paragraphs could be modified or eliminated to meet your
child's needs.



Spectrum Spelling by Frank Schaffer for McGraw-Hill Children's
Publishing  --  This is a workbook series for grades 1 - 6 similar to
Spelling Workout (above).  Teaches spelling thru phonetic spelling
patterns.  Uses one workbook for each grade level, and one chapter per
week.  Includes 15 spelling words and 5 challenge words each week,
followed by proof reading other activities, and a spelling test.  Can be
used independently by student. No Teacher's Edition available.  
Available at major book stores.

Who might find this program series useful?
Students who do OK with spelling.  Probably not intensive enough for
those who struggle with spelling.  Good for children who struggle with
writing and want to separate spelling from more complex writing
assignments.  


My Catholic Speller by Nancy Nicholson for Catholic Heritage
Curriculum --  A Catholic focused workbook series that teaches spelling
thru phonetic rules and phonograms.  Includes Bible quotations and
short biblial apologetics lessons.  Uses weekly word lists, includes
handwriting, copywork, and other activities.

Who might find this program useful?
Those who want a low-key program that teaches spelling thru
phonetics... all with a Catholic focus.


The Basic Cozy Spelling Course  -- free online spelling worktext
for grades 7, 8, and 9  by Marie Hackham, former English teacher