Through the years we have had the opportunity to review several products from Memoria Press. I really do like their curriculum, and our recent review of Traditional Spelling I is no different. Traditional Spelling I has been a great addition to our homeschool.
Traditional Spelling I has been written for students in Grades 1 - 2. It uses a phonetic approach to spelling. But it is sold as part of the Kindergarten Full-package curriculum from Memoria Press (so it can be started before Grade 1) or with their First Start Reading Program Levels A - D. Traditional Spelling I can be started as your student can read "consonant-vowel-consonant" words or words with short vowels. Really you can gauge your student's ability to start with Traditional Spelling I in either Kindergarten or higher depending on their reading abilities.
To use Traditional Spelling I, you will need a few supplies. We received:
Traditional Spelling I - Teacher Manual ($16.95)
Traditional Spelling I - Student Workbook ($14.95)
Traditional Spelling I - Practice Sheets ($5.00)
Classical Phonics - Second Edition ($16.95)
Phonics Flash Cards ($24.95)
Anyone who knows me, can tell you I am not a fan of purchasing the Teacher Manual for sets. I really think it's an unnecessary expense. But I am very grateful that I had the Traditional Spelling I - Teacher Manual. After a brief introduction on how to use the program and also providing a sample schedule to follow in completing the lessons, each weekly lesson is laid out for you. The only prep work that I have each week is sorting out the cards we need from the Phonics Flash Cards, and also reading through the lesson pages to see the words and activity suggestions. That's it. Prep for Traditional Spelling I is about 10 minutes, and I'm padding that time in case I drop the Phonics Flash Card pack and need to pick up what I drop. Super simple!!
Also included are practices in the Teacher Manual is the dictation of sounds and weekly spelling words, sound clusters, vocabulary and even extra ideas to do with your child such as games and riddles to help them practice their weekly words. These little extra ideas for each week can help turn a "bad" week into more fun for her.
Traditional Spelling I is laid out for a typical 5 day school week. But since we are 4 day, I was easily able to make adjustments for Caty to make it through our lessons in a timely manner without extra stress. This program is extremely flexible, which I desperately need in our life.
Caty has a delay in spelling and handwriting. Her learning disabilities have made it more difficult for her to be at "grade level" with these skills. I typically do not use "normal" spelling worksheets with her. She gets frustrated and just reminds me about Spell Check as she gets older.
Memoria Press Traditional Spelling I has been helping her realize that she CAN spell. We are actually progressing very well. And even though we are above this "grade" level in other work, Traditional Spelling I has been a great start/practice for her. This is roughly how one of our current plans work for Traditional Spelling work.
I pull the Phonics Flash Cards that we will be using with our new spelling words. I have them ready for when she and I sit down to work. We first review the sounds that we will be seeing and practice saying them and the words that the sounds could appear in. Then we next read through the spelling list and discuss where the sounds from the flash cards are located, which words match up to which sound. We usually also discuss the meaning of each word as she sorts them on the first workbook page for that lesson. We also work on building sentences for the words.
Also included in her Traditional Spelling I Student Book is practice in breaking up of words into syllables and coloring coding words to show consonant versus vowel. This allows Caty to really see how she CAN break apart a word for spelling and reading purposes. She pulls out her markers each week and breaks the words apart.
There is a weekly story that she briefly reads and includes her spelling words. Each Lesson includes roughly 4 pages of practice, with each days work really only lasting roughly 15 minutes. Short lessons are perfect for those short attention spans.
The Phonics Flash Cards are great for help see the sounds and gives words to help practice. So this also helps out with her speech sounds we have been working on. Each card is numbered for easy set-up when you are prepping each week. They are made of a stiff, durable paper, so that you can easily use these through several students.
Memoria Press also have a Spelling Practice Sheets book to go along with Traditional Spelling I. This book contains weekly practice sheets to go with each lesson. It gives students a place to practice writing out their spelling words two more times. Instead of you needing to take the time to print the words out on notebook paper, the work has been done for you.
The Classical Phonics - A Child's Guide to Word Mastery Book is also needed for use with the Traditional Spelling I program. This book is recommended in the Memoria Press reading and spelling programs. It includes each letter of the alphabet and word practice for each letter. Also included are letter teams or word blends to practice, along with words to go with each blend. Students can see examples of short vowels and long vowels. Early CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words are practiced. You can leave this book open (it's spiral bound) while your child is practicing each new word blend or vowel combination (or vowel team) they are working with. Caty didn't mind this book, but she preferred to refer to the weekly flash cards during her lessons. I did pull this book out if she was struggling from a combination that we may be using from a previous week.
Caty is making advancement in spelling, finally!! I think she is actually surprising herself. She starts to say, "I can't spell that sentence!" and then she realizes, "Wait a minute I can write that sentence now!!" This has come a few times now when we are working in other subjects. We will be continuing to use Traditional Spelling I and starting the next level when we complete this one. The nice thing being that we will already have two of the components from Traditional Spelling I that will transfer to Traditional Spelling 2. Memoria Press really tries to tie grade levels together and I really love this from using Memoria Press through the years.
Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review various other programs from Memoria Press. Click on the link below to see how they used the programs in their homes and what they thought.