The following curriculum was provided by Spelling You See for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.
We received the ($14.00) Instructor's Handbook, ($30.00 student pack) Wild Tales Student Workbooks part 1 and part 2, and a set of erasable colored pencils (included with this level) for him to use with the workbooks.
Wild Tales is the third level of the five currently offered. Like Math You See, these products are meant for elementary ages, or for remedial work for older students. Two more levels will be offered soon. Level C uses animal facts and focuses on skill development with copywork and dictation exercises. The first third of the student book uses familiar nursery rhymes as the passages for students to copy. Colorful cartoon type pictures illustrate each passage. The student is instructed to identify and highlight specific chunks in each lesson. The vowel chunks which can also include y and w.
The student workbooks include 36 lessons divided into five parts. Copywork, dictation, and "chunking" are naturally built into the lessons. The instructor guide explains Spelling You See's technique which was created with Dr. Karen Holinga. Videos are also included (online.) Pictured below is one example of an activity recommended in the instructor's guide which demonstrates the changes in sound from "Bossy R" chunks. Instead of memorizing letter sequences, this developmental process helps children more effectively spell our English language. The chunking process was completed in the workbooks by using the colored pencils to highlight the chunks as specified.
We have completely replaced Joseph's spelling with this and I have already seen him applying his new knowledge as he attempts to spell other words. In addition to spelling, printed copywork is also included. Art is an extra perk one day each week as he illustrates the passage which he has been working with. Lessons are designed to be completed in 10-15 minutes each day which has been a good fit with Joseph's attention to the task. He enjoys these lessons without complaining.
In the first week, after writing the complete passage from memory, he had two words incorrect each time. He was able to identify his own mistakes and the correct spelling. The passages were a nice length for him. My son doesn't usually look forward to writing, yet this assignment length kept his interest and focus. On several days he even wanted to do more.
As he is not just now learning to print, he already has a method for forming each letter. In my son's words "Their l's are weird." (The lower case "l" provided had a tail.) When the demonstrated print did not match with our writing style, I instructed my son to write the letters the way that he typically would. The program encourages visual memory.
These workbooks fit my nine year old's needs right now, and we are planning to continue using it until he completes both of the student workbooks. We initially followed the recommended plan but jumped ahead to the actual animal passages so that I could also share with you about them. The lessons progress in difficulty. The later lessons have the student identify multiple chunks which they covered individually in prior lessons.
Levels offered include:
- Level A Listen and Write
- Level B Jack and Jill
- Level C Wild Tales
- Level D Americana
- Level E American Spirit
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