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Schoolhouse Review: Spelling You See

Spelling You See Review
Our family absolutely loves Mr. Demme’s Math-U-See program I currently have 4 of my children using it. Naturally I was beyond excited to try Spelling You See!!!! I am using Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C) with my 9 year old son Lance.
 
For this review I received Wild Tales Instructors Handbook ($14.00) and the Student Pack ($30.00) which includes Wild Tales Student Workbooks Part 1 and Part 2 and Erasable Color Pencils.
 
With Spelling You See there are no spelling list, weekly spelling test, and you're not spending a lot of time prepping for a lesson. Instead you will help your child retain long term visual memory of letter patterns by having your child reading, speaking, writing, and listening through chunking (finding letter patterns), copywork, and dictation.
Spelling You See
Level C~Writing Tales is the 3rd development stage. Preliterate being the 1st stage (Listen & Write), 2nd being the Phonetic stage (Jack and Jill). 
 
The 3rd stage: Skill Development- is where phonics rules need to be de-emphasized because they are no longer needed. In fact studies have shown that over teaching phonics can create confusion. I thought that was very interesting. You can read more about it under Developmental Stages.
 
Spelling You See Instructor Handbook
The Spelling You See Instructor’s Handbook gives detailed instructions for the first 7 lessons. Instructions for lessons 8-36 are also included but not as detailed. By this time you will know how to teach the lessons.
 
Also included are the dictation passages, answer key, weekly activity guide instructions and more. The Instructor’s Handbooks is not overwhelming at all with only 52 pages. You can get started right away with your child.
 
The workbooks are full color and absolutely gorgeous!
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Not to mention that the animals are totally cute!
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How a week may look using Spelling You See:
~Monday or 1ARead the rhyme or animal story to your child, say it together and clap in rhythm. Then read the story slowly as you point to each word. Help the child with chunking. For instance the first week the child is looking for vowel combinations. Have the child do Section 2 which is copywork.
~Tuesday or 1B
Repeat of the previous day.
~Wednesday or 1C
Again, a repeat of 1A although the passage to be copied a different section each day.
~Thursday or 1D
After the passage is read and the chunking is complete your child will get to either draw or write his own story (or do both, depending on the child). This is called No Rule Day.
~Friday or 1F
Read the passage and do the chunking. On this day you will dictate the passage to your child.
 
And that’s a week with using Spelling You See!!!
 
Each days lesson is a two page spread which is Section 1 and Section 2. The passage to be read is in Section 1. This is also where your child will chunk the letter combinations. Chunking is simply having the child circle, shade, or highlight either the vowel or consonant combinations, Endings (-ed, –es, –ful, etc.), Bossy R’s, or the Tricky Y Guy. At first you’re having the child only concentrate on one ‘chunk’. As the children progress through the program they will eventually be ‘chunking’ all the letter combinations.
Workbook 2
 
Section 2 is where the child will either do copywork, No Rule Day, and/or dictation depending on which day/lesson you are on.
Section 2
 
It is encouraged to have your child copy the passage in print because this helps develop visual memory. When a child is reading they see print, so the child should use printing when learning to spell.
 
More about Spelling You See: Wild Tales Level C:
  • The first 5 lessons give the first word to each line for the dictation passage.
  • Starting with lesson 6 only the first word is given in the dictation passage.
  • The first 7 lessons continue with nursery rhymes which is the theme from the previous Jack and Jill level. From lesson 8 on the passages are about animals.
  • Workbook 2-during the ‘No Rule Day’ words are given to help the child write about that weeks animals
  • Chunking is done using different colors. Consonant Chunks in blue, vowel chunks in yellow, Bossy r Chunks in purple, etc.
How did we use it: I used Spelling You See: Wild Tales Level C with my 9yr. old son Lance. The first thing I did was check the Readiness Guide for placement.
 
I used Spelling You See: Wild Tales between 4 and 5 times a week. When I needed to shorten a week I would skip the free writing day (No Rule Day).
Spelling You See
The first week I sat with Lance and we did each lesson together. By the second week my 9 year old son knew what to do and was able to do his spelling independently, except for dictation day.
 
For the most part he enjoyed using Wild Tales. It didn’t take long for him. He would do both Sections 1 and 2 in one sitting.
 
My final thoughts: I will admit at first I wasn’t too sure about this spelling program. It was so different from what I’m use to when it comes to teaching spelling.
 
I didn’t understand how this could help Lance learn to spell. As time went on and I realized that Lance was doing copywork at least three days a week along with dictation once a week. I thought, hey, this is something I’ve been wanting him to do for a long time but never implemented it regularly.
 
The dictation process in Spelling You See is giving Lance a chance to put his phonic skills to work in a meaningful way.
Spelling You See 
I also started thinking how he is studying the passage all week. Seeing the combinations and really thinking about them when it was dictation day. He would ask questions about some of the combinations.
 
Since he has learned many of the phonetic sounds of the letters he would say, “Oh, that word ends with two letter /k/ right mom?” (meaning ‘ck’)
 
Lance has not become a super speller just yet but after homeschooling for over 11 years I have learned a thing or two. Do not rush they will learn maybe not as fast as we mamas want them too but patience is a good thing! I know learning how to spell takes time and sometimes improvement won’t show up in 6 weeks.
 
Spelling You See
 
I am willing to wait and see! In fact I have placed an order for the next level, Spelling You See: Americana for Caleb my 7th grader and Brent who is in 6th grade. I really feel that it’s time for them to move on and start chunking!
 
What I am currently using takes time and I don’t always get to teaching it. With Spelling You See I know that my boys will get spelling done daily along with copywork and dictation.
 
Wild Tales
 
To learn more about Spelling You See you can visit their Facts and Question page.
 
The Spelling You See program doesn’t necessarily go by age but by skill level. The Target age is elementary or older students who need remedial work.
 
You may have noticed the books have no grade level which is a plus for those who will have older students (like me) needing remedial work. Instead each book is labeled with a letter and title.
 
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7 comments

  1. I placed an order and hope that it will be a good fit for my daughter.

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  2. I hope so too. My two middle boys will start Monday!

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  3. Thank you for such and honest and through review.

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  4. Do you think the teacher's guide is necessary?

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  5. Hi, Paula, yes the teacher guide is necessary. It goes into detail with chunking, has all the dictation passages and answer key. It also includes lesson-by-lesson instructions.

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  6. Great review. I'm thinking of switching spelling and I like all the elements on this program.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog =) I love how it included daily copywork.

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