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Review: Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study

Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study came about when two elementary teachers became frustrated with children memorizing list and still misspelling words in their daily work. They teamed up to create a program that has the child study words to see how the words are put together.

There are seven levels K-6. The program can be used through 7th grade as well. Each level cost $49.99 and is in Cd format. If purchasing more than one level they will all be delivered on one Cd. At the time of writing this review all levels are currently 20% off and are $39.99.

Each level or bundle comes with:
*Parent Information
*Student Lesson Discovery Pages for the Student
*Vocabulary Enrichment
*Dictionary Skills
*Games and Puzzles
*Levels 4 and up also includes the History of Greek and Latin Roots

Spelling Mechanics is not like any other spelling program that I have tried or seen (and I've had a lot come through the doors of Homeschooling6).  What makes it stand out? For starters, this is not hand-your-child a list of 10-15 words to memorize by Friday. Instead, Spelling Mechanics has the child study words in a variety of ways. One being through games, one in particular is Word Sorts. Word Sorts has the child sorting by moving words into categories and patterns.
While sorting the words the children are analyzing and recognizing patterns. I believe this uses different parts of the brain and is a very good thing.
Lance is sorting using pictures instead of words. I thought this would be a cinch for him because he knows his letter sounds and can read cvc (bat) words as well as some cvcc (lack) but once he was done and we went through each row I found that he is not always hearing or paying attention to the vowel sounds. I had to ask him a few times what vowel sound did you hear.

Spelling Mechanics had my boys really study word by playing the games, having them write the word, see it, read it, and at times draw it.

In Level 3~Unit 7, Caleb and Brent used the word cards to put the beginning sound with an ending. This has the child  making a word, studying it to see if it is a real word and writing it in their notebook. Different parts of their brain is being active in this exercise.

Each level of Spelling Mechanics has between 24-34 Units. A unit can be completed within week or longer. With us they usually took between 7-10 school days.

(FYI: due to sizing/cropping the font appears a bit fuzzy but is crisp and clean on the cd)

For this review I used three different levels with five of my children. Because Spelling Mechanics incorporates a Personal Spelling List, I was a able to use Level 2 with my 9, 11, and 12 year old boys. My 9 and 10 year old struggle in this area, so I wanted them to start at a lower level to get those rules embedded in their memory. When to use 'ou' and 'ow' for instance.

When I would correct the boys written narration I noted the words that they were misspelling. I had them copy them into their notebook and those were the words they would study while on that unit.  Spelling Mechanics suggest that no more than five words be added to their Personal Spelling List.

I started my 13 year old daughter with Level 6. Levels 4 and above is when Spelling Mechanics incorporates Greek and Latin Roots. Annette, studied roots like, spect, scrib, tract, and much, much, more. In Unit 1 she read A Short History of English. Knowing how the English language came about gives insight and understanding to the 'why' of spelling. It's also very interesting!

I had three children in one level working on their own personal spelling words. Word Sorts has three different level (A, B, and C), so Ethan used level A and Caleb and Brent used level B. My 13 year old daughter is very independent with her studies and can do most of it on her own.

Here is what a week at our house looked like:
Monday: I would thoroughly go over the rule or pattern and work through the Student Page with them.
Tuesday: We would review the rule and for the most part they could complete the Student Page on their own.
Wednesday: We would do the Word Sorts and they would complete a Student Page.
Thursday: I would have my kiddos complete a Student Page.
Friday: Word Sorts or other game and complete a Student Page.

Each day the children were also studying their Personal Spelling Words. The next week would look the same but Friday they would take their end of the unit test.

Each Unit has a Teacher Page. This is generally 1-3 pages long. It's not scripted but explains what you will teach in the unit. The Student Pages have the instructions. As noted above the first few pages of the unit are the instructional part which means you want to sit with your child through these pages.

Once I was familiar with the program my teaching time was anywhere from 5-15 minutes. When introducing a new unit or going over the Word Sorts and/or discussing word patterns, those were the days it took more like 15 minutes. On the days when all I needed to do was review the rule and give the child the Student Page to complete on their own it took about 5 minutes.

I found that Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study took no longer than some of the other spelling programs that we have used.

The Cd was easy to navigate. Each folder has all the Teacher Pages, Student Pages, Test, and Answer Keys in pdf format.
I have to admit at first it was a bit overwhelming going over all three levels but once I printed the first few weeks from each level and read through the General Spelling Mechanics Documents for Parents (which can also be found on their websites under Sample Units) I felt like I was ready to dive in. I'll be honest the first few days I felt lost and had to pour over the Documents for Parents and reread the Word Sorts instructions, but once I understood the program and started teaching the more I felt confident. Now I've found my groove and things are running smoothly!

My final thoughts on the program~Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study is the only spelling program that I have found that combines, in depth spelling rules, has student worksheets, has the child play games, and has the children use misspelled words from their own writing to create their own spelling list, all wrapped into one spelling program.

Spelling Mechanics is not a program that once you receive it your ready to go. You do need to take the time to read through the material and familiarize yourself with the program. But once you become familiar and understand Spelling Mechanics, it doesn't take a whole lot of time to teach and you will find your rhythm.

Some of the instructions with the games were geared more toward a public school setting but it didn't take away from the program and I either skipped the game or modified the instructions.

My bottom line, Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study receives a thumbs up from Homeschooling6 Mom! Children are not only going to learn to spell but have a rich vocabulary as well.

You can also find a helpful Unit Pacing Suggestion on Spelling Mechanics Facebook Page.

Right now you can enter for a chance to win one level of Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Edition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclaimer: I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

2 comments

  1. This looks interesting - I never heard of it before.

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  2. Ohhh Linda, this looks so good. It reminded me a bit of Reading Reflex with the sound sorting, but of course, this looks like so much more. I think each level is very affordable, especially if it's on disk and reusable for other children. I'll look forward to progress reports on this! Thank you for this review!!!

    Dee :)

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