Family Magazine

Spelling Mechanic Review!

By Upatdawn @lisakeva

Back in the day, I learned how to spell.  I wrote my words 5 times each, used them in a sentence and then wrote them some more.  If I missed a word, I wrote it again...some more....over and over.  It would have helped if the words in the list had some semblance of a relationship.  But, they were random words. Yes, I'm a victim of the 'learn and reguritate' method of spelling.  I did alright, but, clearly I recognize that this method does not work for all kids. Case in point.  My middle two kids.  My oldest 'middle' is in 6th grade.  We've managed to muddle through enough memorization of words that he's holding his own.  However, my youngest 'middle' who's a 3rd/4th grader did not fare well with rote memorization of random words.   After using several spelling programs I was looking for help! Serious help!!!
Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study A while back I received a 'like' on my Homeschool Circus Facebook Page from Spelling Mechanics.  

Hmmm....Spelling Mechanics.  That's one I've never heard of before!  With my interest peaked, I clicked on over to their website and two sentences jump out at me: 

1.  It introduces children to patterns and rules through discovery lessons under the guidance of the parent. 

2.  Tests require the application of knowledge rather than memorization of lists, so children are able to apply their knowledge to a greater number of words.
This sounds too good to be true!  I HAVE to get my hands on this program!!!
Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Program
How does a word study program differ from a spelling program?

"Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study , brings together best practices such as discovery learning, mass practice of new skills, distributed practice of past learning, word sorting, games, study of etymology, and applied spelling across the curriculum.Dictionary basics are introduced in the primary grades through games and activities meant to excite a love of words. At the higher levels, students learn how to read word origins and understand how the history of the word affects its modern meaning through the study of word prefixes, roots, and suffixes from Greek, Latin, and other languages.Children don't depend on memorization of lists.  Rather, they understand how words are built and apply this knowledge in the program assessments and in their daily writingread more"

Spelling Notebook

Each child makes a Spelling Notebook which contains the completed Word Sorts, Reference for rules learned and Personal words.  My daughter chose to put her 5 personal words to be studied on a big sticky note on the cover of her notebook.

Spelling Mechanics Word Sorts

Sample of a 'Word Sort' done by my daughter.  Broken down into 3 different ability levels, Word Sorts help your child decipher and figure out a pattern for each units' words.  After the sort is completed, discuss the results and then add the sort to the child's Spelling Notebook.

Sample of Spelling Mechanics Worksheets

Sample of Level 3 Worksheets.  To see more of this set, (which includes Teacher Instructions) go here.

Samples of Spelling Mechanic's Rule Box

A sample of Spelling Mechanic's Rule box that is cut from the worksheets and put into the Spelling  Notebook.

Our experience and thoughts:

There were a few times early on when I just didn't "get" the direction of Spelling Mechanic and almost hung it up.  But when I saw how much my daughter enjoyed it and how much she was RETAINING,  I pressed on.
Around Unit 3, it all clicked for me.  I'm very glad we persevered through because this has been the most positive spelling experience we've had.  I wish I would have had it for my older 2 children!
Admittedly, this program is the most expensive we've ever used.  But considering the amount of money we spent on 'cheaper' programs that didn't work and the tearful interactions throughout the years, I will gladly invest in this program!  Spelling Mechanic is well laid-out, fun, interactive, and flexible PLUS it took the stress out of teaching and learning spelling in our household!
Check out some sample units and see if Spelling Mechanic is right for your homeschool!
I received a Level 3 CD-Rom free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR Homeschool Circus SUBSCRIBERS through October 31: Use code LISAtips for a $19.99 discount when you buy any curriculum CD Library plus Spanish Empire library. This post written and property of Homeschool Circus and can be found at:

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