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The Thinking Tree Spelling Books

Learning how to spell doesn't have to be boring when you're using The Thinking Tree spelling books!

I know a lot of mamas are wondering when to use them. Of course, you can use them anytime because you know your child and what he or she can handle. And these are not "official" rules or anything - just suggestions.
The Thinking Tree Spelling Journals
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Keep in mind that younger children will need more help and go at a slower pace. Young children should only complete 1 page a day and mom helping with reading. Older kids like my Ethan should aim for 2-4 pages a day but as always, you set the pace for your child. You know him or her best!

1. Teach Your Child to Read, Write, and Spell: 100 Easy Bible Verses - if your child is using Dyslexia Series A 100 Easy Bible Verses is a great follow-up. Your child can also use it while completing Dyslexia Series A if he can handle it. You want to keep things fun and not overwhelm your child while he is completing Dyslexia Games.

2. Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal for ages 5+ (some little ones may need help) is for struggling beginners. Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal is best to wait until after the child has completed Series A. Because spelling is taught in a fun and non-stressful way you can have your child use this while completing Dyslexia Games B.
3. Spelling Time B: The Four Seasons -  is perfect for Dyslexia Game users whose child has completed Series B. As with all of The Thinking Tree spelling journals, Spelling Time B can be used right along with Dyslexia Games if it's not overwhelming for your child.
4. Teach Your Child 100 Words to Read, Write, Spell, & Draw - this one is great for children who struggle with sight words and what a fun way to learn using art, logic, and animals to learn how to spell those pesky but NOW fun sight words. This can be used right along with a child using Dyslexia Games Series A.

 5. Spelling Time - is for older students ages 10+ and teens. This book similar to the one in Dyslexia Games Level C. This one has some extra pages that the Dyslexia Games version does not have.

With the 1st three spelling journals, I really hesitate to put an age because children are so different.

I have a 13-year-old struggling speller working through Fun-School Spelling Journal and once done will use Spelling Time B and Spelling Time Master the Top 150 Misspelled Words.

Then I have another son age 11 completing 100 Easy Bible Lessons and 100 Words. He struggles with reading and spelling. But if I had to put an age on each book I'd say:
  • 100 Easy Bible Verses & Fun-Schooling Spelling Journals - ages can start between ages 5-8+. Just remember that learning should be fun and if a younger child only completes 1 page or half that's perfectly fine. Mom's it's okay to help and even work in their journal. Your child will LOVE that mom is using their "school" book =)
  • The Four Seasons Spelling Time (#3) and Teach Your Child 100 Words (#4) 8+ is a good age to start. Younger children can use this too because it's fun and enjoyable. Lot's of coloring and being creative. We just put an age on it because many mamas want to know 'what age'.
  • Spelling Time (#5) for ages 10+  
And guess what? The Thinking Tree will have more to come. This is just the beginning of your child learning to spell - the fun way!

Here is a Mom Tip by Sarah  regarding spelling (used with permission from Sarah Brown)

Don't worry about having children write before they are ready. The Thinking Tree spelling books are really good for children who are not ready for writing, they color the words and write the specific words and they also do a lot of drawing. As the books advance some of them give the child an opportunity to do creative writing. If your child is not ready for the writing the BEST BEST BEST thing to do is ask the child what YOU should write for him. When the child sees you writing it stirs something up in their minds and they begin to develop the ability and desire to write.

If I am writing a story for my child (think 3 sentences) and I arrive at a word that I know that they know, I would say "How do you spell cat?" they giggle and are happy to tell me how to spell. Next, I will stop writing when I get to a word that they can write, and just say "Your turn!" and hand them the pencil so they can add a simple word. One nice thing about this method is that the child will try to mimic your letter size and style. Another fun way to get a child writing is to have the child DRAW a small picture of the nouns in the sent.

If you do get to a place in any of the Thinking Tree Spelling books Or Dyslexia Games where the exercise is too advanced (For example the *spaghetti lady causes dread) I would be an example and say "You don't want to do the spaghetti lady? That's GREAT because I WANTED to do that one! Can I PLEASE do your spaghetti lady?"

This advice may go against everything you have learned from being in school yourself: If your child complains that something is too hard or too boring - DARE to do it yourself. Say "Oh really? Can I give it a try? It looks interesting to me!" But if it is super boring, agree with the child and give it a try, have fun. It's okay to say "You are right this is SOOOO boring. Let's have a snack, and turn on some music! Don't you think that music will make this more fun?" NOW, if the schoolwork is totally irrelevant, and you are unwilling to do that kind of work yourself, maybe you should pitch it. I know we worry about the money we spent on nice curriculum - so put it on the shelf and tell your children they can use those books to "Play School" with their friends or stuffed animals

*Spaghetti Lady is a page in Dyslexia Games - Series A.

Click HERE to see video reviews of the spelling journals mentioned.


  1. I do love the spelling journals and the way spelling is taught. I need to order one for my 10 year old son. He doesn't struggle with spelling, but practice never hurt anyone!

    1. These can absolutly be used with kiddos who don't struggle with spelling. I love the Fun-Schooling Spelling journal because the kids hunt for words. Sarah just released another one (not included in the list yet) that is geared toward 8-14 year olds. I can't wait to get that one for Brent and Caleb.

      aff http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1523750502?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1523750502&linkCode=xm2&tag=traini06-20