By Pamela Hall – Home school mom, educator, and founder of Literate For Life- http://literateforlife.org/
(Suffolk, VA – USA)
Spelling Power Visitor Review:
Grades Used: 1st – 8th
Dates Used: 2005- 2012
I selected this program because it seemed simple to implement and I could use it for multiple children. I loved the idea of paying for one curriculum that covered all my children’s needs as well as covering each grade level.
~ One curriculum that can be used for many years. It has lists for grades 1 – 12
~ One book for everything
~ Can be used for multiple children
~ Utilizes visualization of the words
~ Utilizes a pre-test so don’t have to practice words that are already mastered
~ Uses spelling rules to create the lists as well as commonly misspelled words
~ It has cumulative review lists at the end of each section.
~ Can purchase an accompanying notebook which we did in the beginning, but I transferred to notebook paper.
~ Has a wonderful explanation of the philosophy behind the method
~ Time intensive. It states that it only takes 15 minutes a day, but I found that with my children it took longer. If I only did what the author suggested, it would take 15 minutes a day; however, doing that, the words didn’t stick. I had to supplement in order for them to have more activities with the words. I made word search puzzles, cross word puzzles, and had them use the words in their writing. I had to create a lot of activities for the words to stick.
~ Since I had to supplement, the planning time was labor intensive. I didn’t mind, because I didn’t want to switch curriculum. However, I wouldn’t do it again. I’d buy a “canned” curriculum with worksheets and added activities already printed.
~ Many, many times there were words on the lists that didn’t follow the rule that the list was focused on. It was irritating to my children.
~ I felt like there were many unnecessary words on the list in the upper grades such as “messeur” (What in the world is a French word doing on the list. Plus, it isn’t a commonly used word that needs to be mastered. Another example is words like “Saskatchewan”.
~ Even though the theory behind this program is excellent, I found that it wasn’t applicable.
~ I’d prefer a program that has words families and is sequential.
~ Often, the same list would include the word like “assist” and later on the list it would have “assists”. My children thought it was silly to have the simple plural form. They figure that if you can spell the singular form, you can spell the plural form. It would be great to have a list of just the irregular plural words.
~ It was not user friendly. I added my own tabs for each section. I took the binding off and used a 3-hole punch for every page. Then, I put it in a binder allowing for ease of use.
~ The companion CD was cumbersome
My children’s rating for Spelling Power: 2 out of 10
My rating for Spelling Power: 5 out of 10
Spelling Power definitely has some good things going for it, and I stuck with it. However, if I did it again, I wouldn’t select it. I believe that spelling is best taught in context through writing. Thus, I’d like a program that emphasizes using the list words in writing a paragraph. I’d also like a program with less mistakes and typos. I’d like a program with sequential spelling and workbooks leading to less prep. time for me. Therefore, my conclusion is that Spelling Power is powerless.