Sometimes it seems like spelling programs are complicated and time consuming. It’s tedious trying to figure out what to do when. Not so with Spelling Workout. It’s a delightfully simple program which gradually teaches the spelling rules over the years.
Spelling Workout is a workbook spelling program produced by Modern Curriculum Press. It begins with level A which reviews letter sounds and ends with level H which includes words of Latin, Greek, and French roots.
Spelling Workout is designed to be used over the course of 8 years. Level A is the 1st grade workbook, while Level H is the 8th grade workbook. There are 36 lessons per workbook, as you are meant to complete one lesson a week.
The lessons are short, so if your child is strong in spelling you can easily complete 1.5-2 lessons a week. I prefer to keep to 1 lesson a week even with a strong speller. Moving at a slower pace keeps the lessons short and my child enthusiastic.
Weekly Plan for Using Spelling Workout
First you need a notebook divided into 2 sections to accompany the workbook. The 1st section is for the spelling rules. The 2nd section is for the Word Locker, or words your child misses.
Give your child the pretest right off the bat and note the words your child misses with a star or check in the workbook. You’ll want to give extra attention to these words over the week.
After the pretest read the first page of the spelling lesson together. This page introduces the spelling list by giving the spelling words in context. It’s wonderful reading practice to have your child read the page aloud. You can quickly find any mispronunciations right off the back.
Have your kid copy the spelling rule of the week into the first section of the notebook. Kids love to skip this step, so hover over your child or double check to be certain it’s done and done correctly. Remember to give a few examples of the spelling rule in use.
Once your child has copied the spelling rule of the week, turn to the 2nd page of the workbook. Have your child finish this page on their own.
Now sit down together to look at the spelling words missed on Monday. Review the rules and analyze the spelling rule as it applies to the missed words.
The third page of the workbook usually spelling puzzles. It’s a popular page in my house. Assign your child to complete the 3rd page of the lesson.
You’ll want to have your child review their trouble words and apply the spelling rule to the words again. Afterwards it’s a good idea to copy the words three times each on a piece of paper.
It’s time for the fourth and final page of the weekly lesson.This page includes both an editing and writing assignment.
I’ve insisted the kids complete the editing assignment. It’s great practice for editing their own work and learning editorial markings. We usually skip the writing assignment though.
However if seeing the spelling words written incorrectly is an issue for your child, skip the editing assignment and use the writing assignment instead.
Again, you’ll want to review the trouble words and apply the spelling rule to these words.
It’s time for the post-test. Any words that are missed on this test should be placed in the word locker to be reviewed later.
If you’d like to continue to review words that were missed on Monday, but spelled correctly on Friday, go ahead and put these words in the locker as well.
You can also put any words that your child misspells in writing assignments into the word locker for later study as well. The word locker is simply a place to store words you’d like to review regularly to ensure they’re learned.
Every few weeks Spelling Workout has a review week. During this week, complete the lesson pages at a rate of 1 page a day while reviewing the words in the word locker. Be certain to apply the spelling rules to the words.
At the end of the review week, test your child on all words in the word locker. Any words your child now knows how to spell confidently can be removed from the word locker.
It’s the constant review of the spelling rules as applied to the spelling list and words misspelled in the child’s writing that gently drills the words into the child’s head.
Over time the rules introduced and reviewed in Spelling Workout become internalized through this gentle and constant review.
It’s a simple matter of Slow and Steady Wins the Race applied to spelling.