Many years ago, when I began with the Homeschool Review Crew, I was introduced to Memoria Press. I remember receiving that package and being a little intimidated and overwhelmed by the product we received as that first time user of this curriculum. I didn’t know what to expect or what I was even doing. But the setup of Memoria Press made educating with their materials super easy.
When this review came up, we were given several things to choose from so that choice is always tough. This time, I decided to go with something specifically for Laycie. I chose Traditional Spelling I. This is a phonetic approach to learning to spell. It is intended for Grades 1-2 and those learning to spell. There is also a Traditional Spelling II for students in grades 2-3 as they finish this course.
Laycie is a very hands-on, auditory learner. Things that rhyme or are musical just make more sense to her. Seeing it on paper bores her out of her mind. She thrives on fun and excitement. Even though, Traditional Spelling I is a little more formal that we usually use, it’s been a great introduction to formal education for her, yet still fun enough to keep her wanting to continue learning with it.
What We Received:
Each of these work together to create a full spelling curriculum for your child.
Classical Phonics: A Child’s Guide to Word Mastery by Cheryl Lowe
This little book is a wonder of itself. We have used it for years now as an introduction to phonics so I was happy to see it included for this program. It’s a great way to get your child started with learning the ABC’s and then spelling. It relates words to things your child can understand. It’s simple in format so that it engages your child but doesn’t overwhelm them.
This book is broken into four parts and eight total units, with an appendix at the end. Part one covers short-vowel words. Part two covers long-vowel words. Part 3 covers 10 More Vowel Sounds. Part 4 is about Advanced Phonics. The appendix covers phonics rules and spelling, common words and offers suggestions for teachers. It’s a complex book that covers so much within the pages.
Traditional Spelling I Student Book
This is the student workbook. It comes with spiral binding so it can lay flat as you use it. It is 146 pages with 34 lessons included, as well as a dictionary in the back. Throughout you fill find Phonic Focus tips. There are spelling lists that build as you go through the lessons. Each lesson contains 10 words.
Each lesson is formatted so the student is writing the words and learning to define the differences in the words. Lessons are around 4 pages long. They also encourage reading and sentence development through the use of the program. Dictation is another included element for each lesson.
The dictionary in the back of the book is easy to read and follow. It contains the words that are taught throughout the lessons in the book. The words are broken down by letter. They do not include breaking down the words for speech or their parts of speech, only the word itself with the definition.
The format is the same throughout the book for each lesson. It is very easy for your student and you to follow and each page flows into the other. You could set this up as one page a day for your student or have your student work through two pages on one day and two on another. The book is designed for one student to use.
Traditional Spelling I Teacher Manual
This is the Teacher’s Guide Manual for the program. It includes 34 lessons, a dictionary and appendix for the teacher. It is 179 pages in length and comes with a spiral binding that lays flat.
After the Table of Contents, there is a general overview of the lessons. This section explains how to prepare for the lessons. How to set up your lessons through the week. It suggests a 5 day plan with definitions and word study on day one. Phonics Flashcards and worksheet suggestions for Day 2 and 3. Dictation on day 4. And a final test on day 5. This is followed by a sample lesson plan to give you an idea of how to utilize this curriculum and make it work best.
Lesson 1 begins as an actual lesson plan, providing an introduction for you to use with your students if you choose, then jumping right into the lesson itself. There are fun suggestions throughout that also help you to further develop this curriculum for your student. Things like writing words on strips for sentences or writing the words with letters missing to find the missing sounds in the words. There are many, many ideas provided throughout the book for that.
The dictionary in the back is set up just like the on in the student guide. It’s divided by letter. There’s no breakdown of the word or suggestion of part of speech. It simply gives the word and the definition used by the lesson itself.
The teacher’s guide does include an Appendix in the back that contains a spelling test form, spelling review games, spelling rules reference sheets, common English contractions, phonics overview, and a colorful letters key. This is designed to help you to build better spelling skills for your student in the simplest way possible. It is very easy to use.
The spelling test is simple. It allows space for name and date. This is followed by space for the 10 words from each lesson. And a space at the bottom for sentence dictation and copywork.
The Spelling Review Games contains an area for individual games and group games. Things like ABC order, sentence writing, tracing, using scrabble for spelling, playing concentration with words, connect the dots and so much more are provided. Such fun ways to learn to spell.
The spelling rules sheets are designed in larger font so that you can use it in a classroom setting with your student. Rules like 1-1-1 and the drop rule are covered here. Many others as well.
The phonics overview is a review provided for the teacher themselves. It helps you recall what the sounds are, how to say them correctly, and what are vowels and consonants. Phonograms and more are included in this section of the appendix. It’s just a great gathering of a multitude of things related to spelling and reading as well.
There is a short guide to the Phonics Rules and Spelling Rules as well that is located in the Appendix. These are followed by the Colorful Letters Key which lists all the words for each lesson and breaks them down phonetically for you. This key shows short and long vowels with color, silent letters and helps with speech.
Spelling Practice Sheets for use with Traditional Spelling I
This is a 37 page practice work book that includes a practice sheet for each lesson in the program. It is thin like a coloring book and designed in black and white which is easy to see and follow. Each page has a lesson header, features the adorable Owl used throughout the program, and has a place for the students name. This is followed by the list of words for the student to practice writing. This is a wonderful addition for the program.
This is a HUGE stack of flashcards just for phonics. They are well designed and sturdy. They are each in black and white which makes them less distracting and easy to learn with. Clear with a large font for lessons.
How We Used It
Of course, we were not able to complete this program during the review period but we were able to get a great feel for it. You can tweak the program to fit you and your student but it’s really designed to be followed as is and it’s really easy to do that. We began the program with a review of the phonics book provided which took about a week for us since we’ve used the book previously.
I simply followed along the program as it directed with Laycie. We played games to learn. We did the simple and easy worksheets. This was really easy for her. We created songs with the words that she sings daily now. The flashcards were fun for her too. She likes using those with her baby brother as well.
We did not do everything suggested in the book but we did work through most of the suggestions. Some days she was just too distracted to follow what we were doing. Other days, she was focused and able to stay the course. This is a challenge in her learning but this course actually helped because it wasn’t too intensive for us to follow or pick back up as we went along.
Where You Can Find Traditional Spelling I from Memoria Press:
Classical Phonics: A Child’s Guide to Word Mastery by Cheryl Lowe, Second Edition is available for $16.95.
Phonics Flashcards are available for $24.95. These can be used with many courses from Memoria Press.
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