Wednesday, May 1, 2013

(REVIEW) Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study

I was so honored to receive the 4th grade level of Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study for review.  This company was started by Rosanne Cowan and Eileen Mattman. They have a combined 50 + years experience in elementary education and both have Masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. They have dedicated more than 10 years to make this program happen.

My First Impressions

Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study is so complete and so full of information, it is difficult to know where to begin my review.  Spelling Mechanics is most definitely named correctly.  The authors break down the mechanics of spelling for your students in very clear and clever ways.  Each lesson is organized and allows you to choose how you would like to present it to your student.  Implementation Instructions and Pacing Suggestions are included in the Teacher Documents.  These are very helpful, and include very detailed instructions on how best to use this program.   If you can work a computer mouse, you can find what you need to use this program successfully with your child.  

One of my favorite features was the website links provided for both teachers and students for reinforcement of the lessons we just spent time learning.  It really helps break up the day to have fun sites like these to practice spelling rules! 

How We Used It

We chose to skip around for each lesson, but here are the lessons, in order that are available for the 4th grade level:

1.       The Dictionary

2.       Contractions

3.       The Silent But Powerful E

4.       Hard and Soft c-

5.       Hard and Soft g-

6.       Words that end in f or fe

7.       Doubling one-syllable words

8.       The Final Y

9.       R-Controlled Vowels

10.   Unusual Past Tenses

11.   Review & UN and PRE

12.   Homophones

13.   R-Controlled Vowels (ear, ir, ur)

14.   Analyzing Words

15.   Ow, ou, oi, oy

16.   Unaccented Syllables with le, al, el, il

17.   Unaccented Syllables with et, it, ate

18.   Accented Syllables with au, aw, al

19.   Silent Letters

20.   Other Spellings of Short e, i, u

21.   There, They’re, Their

22.   Plurals and Singular Possessives

23.   Possessives

24.   Then and Than

Here’s Abbey’s work from an exercise found in Lesson 4: Hard and Soft “C”:

For each lesson, I teach Abbey the new rule and then have her do the worksheets, usually two a day.  Then, if I feel she needs more practice, I visit one of the recommended websites with her to practice what she had just learned, or I have her go back over the worksheets again with me.  Once I felt she had mastered a level, I quiz her to make sure.

One of the greatest ways I can tell if a program is working for my child is that she will apply the skills she has learned in everyday life.  When we were camping last weekend, she was writing a letter to her Mimi and she excitedly showed me the letter, saying “Did you see I spelled ‘coming’ right? I left off the ‘e’!”  Lesson 3 (The Silent but Powerful E) has paid off, and that makes this mama very happy. 

What will you get for your money and how much does it cost? 

With your order you will receive a CD with ALL the materials you will need to get started.  We printed off each lesson as needed and I referred to the teacher document to implement and teach where necessary.  

You can order one level at a time for $39.99

You can order all levels (K – Grade 6.7) for $239.99

You can order partial levels (2- 6.7) for $183.99

You can order partial levels (K -1) for $71.99

Not sure if you’re ready to buy yet? Sample Lessons for each grade level  can be found here:

One last thing, customer service with this company is top-notch, and they are willing and ready to answer any questions you may have with the program.  I highly recommend this program and we plan on purchasing the next level for our upcoming school year. 

Disclaimer: I received one level of this program in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. 


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  1. It is neat when you see your child put what they've learned into practice. I know your daughter must have been very proud of herself.

    Spelling is hard for my daughter--dyslexia and CAPD. We use Vocabulary Spelling City (online and for her practice. She enjoys it since it's fun.


    1. We use Vocab Spelling City as well, but Abbey got a bit burned out on it, so it was nice to switch to this one for a change!


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