I still have flashbacks of choking back tears in a classroom, spelling “l-i-g-h-t-i-n-g” for the 10x time after failing a second-grade spelling test. Comprehending spelling did not come easily for me, and to be honest, I still rely heavily on Grammarly and spellcheck. When I saw my son struggling in the same way that I had, I wanted to find a comprehensive way to instill confidence and comprehension in his spelling studies before any tears could be shed, so I was thrilled to discover that Memoria Press offered a program that focused on spelling: Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words.
We started our spelling studies by using Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words. Book One introduces 7 to 8 spelling words per week. The first 5 the words follow a letter pattern such as CVC, silent e, plurals, consonant blends, consonant digraphs, and possessives. Additionally, there are 2-3 “words to know” which are featured. Many of the “words to know” are sight words that beginner readers might be familiar with such as “done” or “again,” but they may not know how to spell them independently. Each week, students work on memorizing their spelling words through different, multi-sensory, activities (I’ll break it down day by day below).
The next level, Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words is designed for more advanced grade school spellers. Student’s working in this book should be familiar with (‘s), consonant blends, and vowel teams. They’ll work on their spelling words 4 days per week (potentially 5 days if you choose to review missed words), and they’ll play some fun and simple games that help with word familiarity and memorization.
Students begin the program based on their current ability. I found that my son was able to correctly spell the first ten lessons, so we began with Book One, lesson eleven. We used Simply Spelling four days a week and typically spent 15-20 minutes on each lesson. On Monday, we’d look over the words that we’d be studying that week and I’d have my son search for any letter patterns that he might see. Then, he would practice writing the words in the space provided in the workbook.
Tuesday, we’d review the words we’d learned the previous day and then practice writing them in a multisensory way with chalk, letter tiles, sand, and cards.
Wednesday, or “Write-High Wednesday” as the program calls it, we’d spell the words verbally and rhythmically (sometimes clapping), and then write them high up in the air with our fingers. Thursday was the official spelling bee day (my son liked pretending to be Charlie Brown, must have been from a movie I missed?) and he’d stand by the chalkboard and say each word and then spell it.
When we first began the program, I didn’t even know how I’d remember our weekly spelling words, I seldom remember why I went into the kitchen, but I was pleasantly surprised that just a bit of diligence and consistency sharpened my brain. My son caught on more quickly than I did, and he’d remember the words without looking at the book, and soon had an “aha” moment when he realized that he could spell the words more easily when he pictured them in his mind.
Simply Classical Spelling really helped us to be intentional and thorough in our spelling practice. Learning a few new words each week helped instill confidence in my son and his ability and allowed us to avoid any frustration and tears. The program was also simple to jump into and required no prep for book one, and simple prep with note cards for book two. No additional materials were required. I’d highly recommend this for kids 6-9 who would like to gain a solid grasp on spelling, increase phonetic awareness, and auditory comprehension!
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is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.