Phonics is important for beginning spellers. The first two levels of Spelling You See reinforce the basic phonics that children have been learning in reading instruction. However, research has shown that focusing on phonics rules after the Phonetic Stage of spelling ultimately does not help children learn to spell.
Children need to develop a strong visual memory for how common words are spelled. This occurs in the Skill Development stage, which typically lasts for several years. By the time students arrive at the Word Extension and Derivational Constancy levels, they already will have a strong sense of how English spelling works and will be ready to focus on more advanced word study, including English spelling patterns that some might describe as “rules.” Learn more about the Five Developmental Stages of Spelling.
2. Explain to your student that he should expect the reading level to be easy so that the focus is on spelling, not reading.
3. If the placement guidelines suggest Wild Tales, but that level appears to be too young for your student, consider beginning with Americana. Be particularly careful to read each passage aloud before having the student read it back to you.
4. Although the passages are purposely easy to read, the content of Americana through Modern Milestones is designed to be interesting for all ages.
5. The progression of skills between and throughout the levels is gradual, so be flexible in choosing a student’s starting point.
6. If your student finds Modern Milestones difficult, she is probably not ready for the Word Extension stage. Try starting at American Spirit or Ancient Achievements instead.
7. An older student who is brushing up on spelling skills may be able to shorten a lesson by omitting a copywork or dictation page. The parent should monitor progress closely to make sure this is appropriate.
Parental engagement is a touchstone of all Demme Learning products. Research has consistently shown that the regular involvement of the instructor/parent is critical to student success. And our curriculum is designed to empower parents to be engaged in their children’s learning.
Spelling You See requires regular parental engagement. This is especially true for the first two levels, Listen and Write and Jack and Jill. However, depending on the level, students will have some activities that can be done independently throughout the lesson.
Spelling You See lessons are designed to be short and stress free. And the beauty of the Spelling You See program is that once you have familiarized yourself with the handbook and mastered the process as the parent, there is no need for additional lesson preparation. You can just jump into each day’s lesson.
Our program has successfully been used by many children with language-based learning differences. The use of color and writing help these students commit correct spelling patterns to memory, rather than depending solely on auditory cues. If the student has auditory dyslexia, components of our program will help the student be able to separate sounds. If the student has visual dyslexia, the kinesthetic components will allow the student to match the letter to the sound in order for the brain to make a visual connection.