Are you looking hard for a solid Spelling You See review?
Not so sure if this homeschool spelling curriculum will be the right fit for your kids?
I have actually bought five spelling curriculums (that I can remember right now) in my 6 years of homeschooling, so I feel your pain and uncertainty.
That is why I write and show pictures of everything I would want to know before buying a curriculum.
In this full Spelling You See Review, you will find:
- Why We Switched To Spelling You See
- Exactly How The Curriculum Works At Three Different Levels
- What We Love About It
- What We Don’t Love About It
- Who This Spelling Curriculum Is Right For
- And Who Probably Shouldn’t Buy It
Why We Switched To Spelling You See From All About Spelling
I really loved our old spelling program. We have gone through 4 levels of it with my oldest daughter, and it made an enormous difference in her spelling abilities.
Those spelling abilities have spilled over into a passion for creative writing, and now she dreams of being a published author!
****Before All About Spelling she hated any writing because she struggled so much with spelling.
So why did we switch?
My middle daughter is very visual when it comes to her work. She likes the structure of a worksheet (unusual, I know).
All About Spelling doesn’t have any worksheets. Instead, it uses letter tiles and plain paper/pencil for exercises.
I tried All About Spelling last year with her (mostly because it worked so well with my older daughter), but I could quickly tell it did not fit her learning style.
I stumbled through a handful of other spelling programs during her second-grade year, but I didn’t really find a good fit.
The vast majority of spelling programs are the same:
- Do a silly worksheet to help you remember the order of these letters.
- Take a test at the end of the week.
- Try not to forget the order of the letters once you move on to a new set of words.
I don’t think this method is effective for most people, so I wanted something completely different. I just happened to come across a Spelling You See review on Youtube, and I was hooked!
I had hear of Spelling You See before, but I had always stayed far away from it because of our bad experience with Math U See.
After taking the time to learn more about it though, I decided to take the plunge and order packs for all three of my kids!
Exactly How Spelling You See Works On Three Different Levels
Spelling You See is a full spelling curriculum from Demme Learning – the same people who wrote Math U See.
The unique spelling approach is driven by neurological research in language acquisition, long-term memory, and child development.
The spelling levels run from A – G and each one has a theme:
Level A: Learn and Write
Level B: Jack and Jill
Level C: Wild Tales
Level D: Americana (American History)
Level E: American Spirit
Level F: Ancient Achievements
Level G: Modern Milestones
****The levels are not anchored in a grade level system, so definitely use the placement tests to help you figure out the correct level for your child.
I have three girls doing three different levels, so I will be able to show you a wide range of the curriculum.
All levels of Spelling You See have the student doing weekly lessons of 5 days/week for a total of 36 weeks.
Spelling You See Level A: Listen and Write
My 1st grader is doing the Level A book this year.
It begins with very simple handwriting practice to ensure the student’s letter formation is where it should be.
After practicing a handful of letters, the student traces three simple CVC words. Then the teacher dictates the same three words to the student. Very low stress, as they can still see the words they just traced.
Eventually, the student will work their way up to writing 12 words at a time from dictation (no more tracing).
Every day the words are a different mix, so no set spelling list for the week. The student is just focused on writing the correct consonant and short vowel that they hear.
By the end of Level A, the student will be working on spelling 5-letter words with initial and final constant blends (st, th, sh, ch, mp, etc.). All vowels will still be short vowels (no silent e words, phonograms such as /oa/, /ai/, or /ea/).
Spelling You See Level B: Jack And Jill
Level B starts out with a solid review of writing letters correctly and CVC words. It is very similar to the easiest parts of the previous level.
I jumped forward several weeks for my 3rd grader to be more age-appropriate.
****Level B is more second-grade appropriate in my mind, but my daughter had fallen a bit behind while we struggled to find a spelling curriculum that really fit her.
In Student Workbook Part 1, nursery rhymes are the theme and the basis for learning all of the spelling rules.
First, the student is asked to use colored pencils to do things like circle punctuation marks, rhyming words, “bossy r’s,” capital letters, and other phonograms in the nursery rhyme text.
Then the student will copy a portion of the nursery rhyme text and write 12-15 words that are dictated to them.
In Student Workbook Part 2, an entirely different format is introduced.
The student is asked to use colored pencils to mark “vowel chunks” and “consonant chunks.”
This “scavenger hunt” for letter chunks is a sneaky way to help kids use visual memory to learn their spelling words!
Lastly, the student will copy some or all of the nursery rhyme.
The student will have three days of this type of lesson, and on the 4th day of the week there is a “No Rule Day.” The student is encouraged to draw a picture and write about whatever they like. No corrections or expectations – just free writing time!
On the last day of the week, the student has a dictation day. That means that the parent very slowly reads the nursery rhyme to the student, and the student writes as much as they can in 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the dictation stops and the student is praised for how many words were spelled correctly – NOT graded for how many were missed.
By the end of Level B, students are writing a large variety of words – silent e, multiple syllables, compound words, etc.
Spelling You See Level G: Modern Milestones
My 6th grader either tested into or out of the last level of Spelling You See.
The placement test wasn’t really clear.
I thought it wouldn’t hurt to solidify her spelling confidence and do one more year of spelling curriculum.
The last level of Spelling You See is very independent. The student workbook is written to them and is intended to be done on their own.
The student is still using colored pencils to hunt for specific letter chunks within a much larger body of text. After marking the prefixes, suffixes, vowel chunks, etc., the student copies the text.
On the 4th and 5th day of the week, the student does a 10 minutes dictation with the parent. Wherever the student is at after 10 minutes, the dictation stops.
During the 1st day of dictation, the student is encouraged to ask for help as much as needed. On the 2nd day of dictation, the student is asked to do their very best without help.
The student is always praised for the number of correct words.
By the end of Level G, your child should be an independent speller who feels comfortable spelling most words.
Spelling You See Review: 10 Things We Love!
1. Short & Sweet Lessons
My kids never fight me when I call them to the table for a spelling lesson.
In fact, it is the first thing we do after morning time, because it’s the easiest to tackle.
I especially love that the longer dictations have a 10-minute limit. The kids and I both know that no matter what, this will be over soon. Genius!
2. Celebrating The Wins
This was one of the main things that made me hit the buy button for Spelling You See.
I never really thought about it before, but most spelling curriculums only focus on the words that the child missed.
I LOVE that Spelling You See has a space at the bottom of the workbook page to write how many were spelled correctly! The child is always encouraged and ends the lesson on a high note.
I do tell my girls the correct spelling of what was missed. But I always end the lesson with a smile and an emphasis on the fact that she spelled many more words correctly than she missed.
It is so helpful that Spelling You See is designed to be independent for older students.
Homeschooling moms of multiple kids really need that!
My 6th grader also loves that she doesn’t need to wait for me to do spelling while I’m bouncing around with her other sisters.
We do have to do the dications together, but again, they’re only 10 minutes.
4. “Just Tell Them At This Age”
The Instructor’s Handbook gives such solid, even advice about dealing with certain spelling issues. For example, if your Level A student doesn’t know whether to use a /c/ or a /k/, the book says you should just tell them.
Over time they will begin to remember which letter. No need to stress them out with memorizing it now.
I just love, love, love that low-stress approach to teaching spelling.
5. Help To Ensure Success
I love the fact that Level A and Level B of Spelling You See have a couple of things designed to give new spellers confidence.
There are boxes for each letter to go in, so if they run out of space or don’t fill in all the boxes – they know they made a mistake.
There is also a gray box to mark where the vowel should go in the word. This is huge to help little ones spell confidently!
6. Erasable Colored Pencils For The Win
My kids really enjoy using colored pencils to mark up their workbook pages. It is a brilliant idea to make spelling more hands-on!
Inevitably though, they make a mistake.
These erasable colored pencils make it uber easy to wipe away those mistakes and just move on.
7. Slow Progression Builds A Rock Solid Foundation
The slow progression of this curriculum may be monotonous to some, but it shows me that the writers truly understand and value the developmental stages of spelling.
Every new step is so small. Every lesson is so positive.
The stress-free environment is just perfect for building a confident speller.
Other curriculums I have seen move very quickly from week to week. Jumping all over the place with different spelling rules.
This curriculum is much more of a slow burn that will produce a solid speller.
Not a panicked speller who constantly forgets the spelling words on their list from last month.
8. No Spelling Lists, No Spelling Tests
Speaking of lists, I love that Spelling You See doesn’t have any of those!
Some may see the dictation days as a test, but that’s all in how you present it to the child.
The focus is always on progression, not perfection.
9. The Themes Takes It To The Next Level
As I said above, each level has its own theme or focus for the year.
I love that my younger child is learning fun nursery rhymes while also hunting for letter patterns with her colored pencils!
My older daughter is reading nonfiction passages about inventors, scientists, artists, and other people who changed history. What a fun thing to find in spelling lessons!
It is always interesting to start a new week and see what the new text will be about.
10. Continual Review
The copy work and dictation is a wonderful way to provide constant review for students – without them realizing it!
I know my kids need that review because spelling words not practiced are often forgotten.
Every day that they are copying words or writing them independently, they are improving their long-term spelling memory.
What We Don’t Love About Spelling You See
I really make a point to share anything I didn’t like during a curriculum review.
This is one of the few curriculums where I feel stumped.
I honestly wouldn’t change a thing at this point.
If you can help me here, please drop something in the comments!
Spelling You See Is For You If…
- You hate spelling lists and spelling tests
- You want a stress-free introduction to spelling
- You don’t mind a slow progression that builds a solid foundation
- You need something pretty independent for your older kids
- You want to focus on what your kid did well – not what they missed
- Short lessons speak to your homeschool’s heart
- Your kid could really use the hands-on aspect of the colored pencils
Spelling You See Is Probably Not For You If…
- You like the structure of a spelling list
- You want your child learning to spell sight words early on
- You want to see fast progression
- You feel more comfortable with focusing on and fixing mistakes
- Your kid thinks worksheets are the very worst
- Longer lessons are good with you – whatever it takes
- You really need the lessons to be 3-4 days/week
- You prefer doing things like word scrambles or word searches to help learn words
Recap: Spelling You See Review
Many homeschool families love Spelling You See and it’s not hard to see why.
This out-of-the-box approach is such a fun way to keep students engaged and working towards becoming competent spellers!
You can tell that so much thought and intention was put into making it enjoyable for kids. The emphasis on reducing stress and throwing out useless spelling lists is just everything.
Have you used Spelling You See?
What are your thoughts?
Good or bad, I’d love to hear them! Drop them in the comments below!