By Dena Luchsinger
MegaWords Visitor Review:
I ordered Megawords 6 – 8 when my daughter finished her elementary spelling program. Although she was a pretty strong speller, she was still making a few spelling errors, so we used Megawords in her fifth and sixth grade years.
The first lesson we encountered focused on words including the letters ‘ch.’ I learned (I suppose I had known, but I’d never thought about it) that words that start with ‘ch’ that sound like ‘ch’ are of English origin, words that sound like ‘k’ come from Greek, and words that sound like ‘sh’ were originally French. I thought, “Well, how cool is that?” Suddenly, we understood the reason so many words “broke” the rules we’d learned in phonics.
Throughout the lessons, MegaWords makes all of those words that “break the rules” make sense to kids. The focus throughout is on syllabication: hearing all of the sounds in words and hearing the accented syllable. Instead of emphasizing words that “you just have to memorize,” Megawords is an intelligent program that explains the propositional logic behind spelling some of the longest and most difficult words.
The workbooks are designed to help students not only learn how to spell words, but also to decode them more fluently as well. Approximately 20 activities accompany each list of words, but the authors indicate that you can skip the ones that seem unnecessary–and also that you can skip the lessons you don’t need.
The first workbook starts with compound words, so I assume this program probably applies best to students in fourth grade and up; the books themselves are not colorful or childish, so a student in middle school or even high school would not feel silly working through the exercises.
I would definitely recommend MegaWords to any family, but especially to those whose upper elementary or middle school aged students are struggling with reading or spelling long words.