- Author: Beverly L Adams-Gordon
- Pages: 352
A complete and effective 3rd grade through college spelling program. All in only 15 pleasant minutes per day!
You don't have to look far to discover that poor spelling skills haunt many — and probably most — homeschooled children. (That classroom educated children may do no better should give us no comfort. We want our children to do excellent work, not merely "better than others.")
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. has certainly been exercised over this matter of spelling. No matter what resources we Holzmanns have used, they have all let us down at one time or another... until, finally, as a result of several customers' strong recommendations, we tried Spelling Power by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon.
In one 350-page book, Mrs. Adams-Gordon has put together a complete and effective spelling program to take students from early elementary school through college in only 15 focused minutes per day.
Mrs. Adams-Gordon's work is based on years of formal and informal study, practical field testing, and the feedback of thousands of customers. And we can attest, as well: it works!
Mrs. Adams-Gordon tested the pure phonics route and found it lacking. She used the visual "configuration" method and discovered that that's deficient, too. Lists of commonly misspelled words? They are definitely helpful, but most of them are out of date and poorly configured for use by young people in normal, day-to-day contexts.
Spelling Power provides all the tools you need (and a few more!) plus complete instructions.
The "Quick-Start Introduction" will enable you to get right to work, if that's what you want to do. But once you've satisfied yourself that the program is actually "do-able," you may find the 86-page Teacher's Guide a fascinating and invaluable resource to explain what goals Mrs. Adams-Gordon has established and why she has adopted them. She then discusses what methods she uses and why she uses them (she discusses all the research that educational scientists have done in the area of spelling over the last 70 or 80 years).
The program itself includes quick diagnostic survey tests plus more refined placement tests. Both sets of tests, together, help you, in about half an hour, determine exactly where (at what level) you should begin teaching your child. After that, there are prescriptive tests that help you focus on the specific skills with which your son or daughter needs help. Then there are lists of the most commonly misspelled words organized in dictionary order (12,000 words) as well as by difficulty and educational level at which a person may most likely be expected to use them (over 5,000 words). These lists include alternative British as well as American spellings.
Besides these basic resources, there are review, delayed-recall, and end-of-level tests; fascinating and fun learning activities ("discovery" activities) — both drills and games — that are keyed to students' unique learning styles (auditory, kinesthetic, tactile and visual). There are dictionary skills exercises; proofreading instruction and exercises; daily test and daily 10-step study blackline masters from which you can photocopy the sheets you will want to use; a glossary of terms; an index; and more.
As I said, this program is thorough. And it costs less than the price of the instructor's guide alone of many classroom-oriented programs, and barely the cost of four years' worth of consumable student workbooks with any of the other programs that we have found don't really work.
If you prefer not to photocopy your test and study sheets, Mrs. Adams-Gordon has also produced Student Record Books with enough answer forms for one student's survey tests, placement tests, prescriptive tests, delayed recall and end-of-level tests, plus enough daily test and ten-step study sheets to last for 12 full weeks. All of these forms are printed in light blue ink to permit students' handwriting to stand out. If you don't have access to photocopies for less than a nickel a piece, you will almost assuredly appreciate owning one or more of these books.
Besides containing all the forms you'll need, the Student Record Books include a complete set of easy-to-use "Substitute Teacher" instructions (for that day you happen to be unavailable and your husband, mom, or mother-in-law steps in to give you a break). On the inside front cover is a synopsis of the daily testing method; on the inside back cover, a synopsis of the 10-step study method; and on the outside back cover, a student progress chart.
Though these books are certainly not required in order to do the Spelling Power program successfully, if either you or your child tend to lack discipline to follow prescribed procedures, the daily ten-step study sheets really do provide value in that they give you a regular check-off form to follow for each word.
You will want to purchase the Student Record Book that matches your child's writing ability:
- "Red" Record Book — 8mm spacing between lines (5/8") and a dotted mid-line, for use by Sonlight A-D students.
- "Blue" Record Book — 6mm spacing between lines (just less than 1/2") and a dotted mid-line, for use by Sonlight C-E students.
- "Yellow" Record Book — 4mm spacing between lines (just wider than "college rule") and no dotted mid-line, for use by Sonlight E students on up.
Spelling Power is not designed for use by students who have not completed basic phonics instruction — (we cover basic phonics in our Language Arts for Grade K Readers through Language Arts for Grade 2 Readers programs).
Free Windows only CD-ROM with 10th Anniversary Edition of Spelling Power
The special 10th Anniversary Edition of Spelling Power comes with a free CD-ROM. (Windows only) It includes a wealth of handy PDF files including:
- All the forms from the Black-Line Masters section
- Ready-to-print spelling "rule" charts
- Discovery activities ready to print and assign to students
- Ready-to-print crossword puzzles for selected review tests
- Ready-to-print handwriting sheets that use selected spelling lists
- And more...
[NB: This CD-ROM is only compatible with Windows computers. It will not work on a Mac.]
Note: For contract reasons, Spelling Power/Castlemoyle products cannot be discounted.
What's new in the 4th Edition of Spelling Power?
- New eye-catching cover
- Full color photographs
- Includes Book, CD-ROM and DVD as package
- Improved Layout and design
- Larger type makes it easier to read
- Better graphics and photos
- Improved organization helps teachers find resources quickly
- Redesigned skill-building activity charts ease daily planning
- Includes 21st Century technology
- Teacher's Resources CD-ROM
- Digital tutor for students
- Searchable word list aids in teaching proofreading skills
- Quick Start DVD guides parents step-by-step
- Enhanced Teacher's Resource CD-ROM
- Every form printable from computer
- Searchable lists
- Charts for all 47 Group Rules
- Printable Activity Task cards
- Includes Spelling Power Digital Tutor
- Quick Start DVD Seminar
- Step-by-step guide to Spelling Power
- Shows real families using the program
- Chapter feature for review
- Spelling Power Digital Tutor
- Allows custom lists for each child
- Offers learn, drill and test activities
- Tracks multiple children's progress
- Provides printable progress reports