Best Phonics & Spelling Curriculum; Great for Challenged Students
(League City, Tx)
Product: Spell to Write and Read (SWR)
Subject: Phonics, Reading, & Spelling
Levels Used: K and 4th Grade
Dates Used: June 2009 until we're done!
Likes: Very affordable; everything you need in just a couple of books; don't have to buy a new set of books for each grade like with 'The Writing Road to Reading'. Works with all levels, all readers. Highly recommended by others for challenged readers. (My son has speech delay, auditory processing disorder & possibly other developmental problems.)
Teaches both reading and spelling; spelling words arranged so that 'related' words are together & so some beginning grammar can be taught. Example sentences are Christian-oriented. Affordable training (optional) available in most states (also DVDs, but not the same thing); training discounts for 'special' people like single parents and for 'alumni' who want a refresher. Yahoo group very helpful (join & 'listen' awhile!) and members usually have used kits for sale at terrific prices; trainers also on Yahoo group & they have sites w/the SWR kits & lots of nice accessories to help you teach it. (Phonogram bingo, phonogram board games, etc.)
BHIbooks.net (home of SWR) also sells a reading comprehension test book and many other useful books. Can also be used to teach handwriting, since students are required to write the spelling words in a logbook every year. (In fact, the handwriting curriculum 'Cursive First' was designed to go with SWR.)
I have only used it a few months, and I am already seeing results. My nearly 6 yrs old son knows all the single letter phonograms and some of the multi-letter ones, despite his challenges (and despite a speech therapist telling me not to teach him to read because he wasn't ready).
He can spell short words now and some long words too! My nearly ten yrs old daughter is beginning to see how the phonograms make it easier to spell and why we're doing this, and I'm not even at 'full speed' yet! She learned to read with 'Reading Made Easy' by Valerie Bendt and 'The Phonics Game', yet she was a so-so speller despite a 6th grade reading comprehension level.
Dislikes: The start is daunting - it's totally different from what most of us learned in school: 70+ phonograms, several with multiple sounds, 'transcription' marking system to be learned (you mark the words according to phonograms & spelling rules). However, it is WORTH IT! (Attending a seminar will make starting SWR much easier - everything seemed to fall into place after I went!)