Christian Curriculum Manuals
designed to teach spelling to an older student with spelling
problems, this very comprehensive spelling program uses a base list
of about 5,000 frequently used words. (A list of the 12,000 most
frequently used and misspelled words is included as a separate
section. It codes each word showing when it should be taught, by
grade level and in correlation with Spelling Power.) These
words are broken down into groups with common elements. Diagnostic
Tests place the students at the proper beginning point in the list.
Then each student progresses at his own rate, studying only those
words with which he is having trouble. Frequently used words are
reviewed periodically to insure retention. A ten-step study process
is used for each group of words to be learned. Parental teacher
involvement is essential, although we can note daily activities on
the study sheet for students to do on their own. Once you have used
this system for a while, both parent and child should become
familiar enough with the process that students do much of their work
independently. The interaction required between teacher and child
actually make this program more ideal for homeschoolers than for the
In order to
use this program, the student should be able to write easily and
copy words correctly. Children with writing disabilities should get
handwriting instruction before beginning this program.
Reproducible study, test, dictionary and
record keeping forms and a whole section of game and activity ideas
are included. You can successfully use this one book to teach all of
your children throughout their school years.
Mary Pride's Practical Homeschooling Magazine
happens when you immerse your sixth grade daughter in an intensive
phonics program to jump start her reading ability? Beverly
Adams-Gordon discovered what other parents who begin homeschooling
older children have learned: phonics works. However, Adams-Gordon's
daughter Angie continued to struggle mightily when she was called on
to express herself in writing. Angie's reading scores jumped 4 grade
levels, but her spelling ability had improved only slightly.
Frustrated with the lopsided, single learning modality
approach of available spelling products, Adams-Gordon developed
"Angie's spelling program. " Though Adams-Gordon didn't
reinvent the spelling wheel, she worked with the mind of a Detroit
engineer to combine and refine what was out there. Spelling
Power is the welcome result.
non-consumable text consists of an 88-page teaching manual, followed
by tabbed sections that make it easy to locate the resource you'll
need. you are coached thoroughly through the three main components
of the program: Systematic Spelling Study, Integrated Functional
Discovery Activities. You'll begin by administering a placement test
to your child, the results of which will target his individual
instructional level. Spelling words and rules are attacked with a
variety of visual, auditory and kinesthetic tools, then applied to
the writing process, all in about 15 minutes a day. Dictation and
proofreading help your child cement spelling words, not as isolated
lists, but as part of the bigger goal of making him a better
communicator. Constant testing and review and simple-to-prepare
learning games round out the program.
weakness is that the teaching manual section tends to read a little
like a master's thesis. Know that you'll have to put some time In
learning the program before you can teach it. If you're willing to
do that, Spelling Power offers your child the academic
equivalent of a daily trip to the gym: a well-balanced workout that
pumps up those spelling muscles.
Since this review was written, a 14-page "Quick Start" was
added to the beginning of the Spelling Power program.)
The Home School Manual
On the cover of her book, author Beverly L Adams-Gordon promises
"15 Minutes a Day and This Book Are All You Need To Teach Ages
8 to Adult Comprehensive Spelling Skills!" The book grew from
her daughter, Angie's, problem with spelling. In post-graduate
teacher education, she had received training in "intensive
phonics instruction." So she took Angie through a complete
course. The girl's reading ability jumped four grade levels, but
spelling improved by only one.
Next she learned
about visual configuration exercises. That method didn't really
solve the problem either, so she set out to study what researchers
had learned on the topic. Textbooks agreed with the research but, in
the available materials,
she found in important element being neglected The "facts"
of spelling (related to phonetic facts) are not being adequately
taught. That meant putting together her own program to help Angie.
The girl didn't become a perfect speller but spells very well with
proofreading, which is important in any writing.
The book has just
come off the press as I write this review (5/94). It is excellent,
and may answer your particular need. Of course every home teacher
wants to prepare good spellers, but time and financial restraints
require making choices. I'll explain a little more so you can
How did Angie learn
spelling? By a combination of approaches. Research agrees. The
author recommends a systematic learning program, grouping words
according to spelling rules. Habits of dictionary use, applying
generalizations (good guessing) and proofreading are to be taught.
The book guides you in this and provides lists that go through 5,O00
of the more commonly used words. There are also spelling games and
In all, the work is a great
contribution to spelling methodology. For Beverly Adams-Gordon, it
should be worth life-experience equivalent course
credits- or the major
part of a master's thesis.
decide on a different spelling instructional plan, teach your child
to learn to spell words as they come up When using a computer spell
checker, it's good, to take a moment to note the spelling of
corrected. words. Learning to pronounce words correctly and to see
them phonetically help, too.