Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Curriculum

This year we are using a new curriculum called Spell to Write and Read (SWR). It is by far the most awesome curriculum I have ever worked with. My son, Tyler, is a boy (of course) and my second born. He is so different than my daughter. He finished Kindergarten barely reading three letter words. Lots of that is because he is just wasn't interested. Mom, however, was highly interested in seeing him become a great reader by the end of the year. That didn't happen and it was frustrating. He is very smart but not very motivated to want to read. (Math is a different story.) I realized that he is not behind. He is right where God wants him to be. Otherwise, he wouldn't be there. Everyone learns at his own pace. We all learn to walk and talk at different times. Reading is no different. It took a lot to get me to that point of understanding, but I am there. So I was looking for a new curriculum both for him and my daughter. Ds likes to spell and can spell pretty good (3 letter words) being that I didn't teach him that. Dd, on the other hand, is an awesome reader, but not that good of a speller. Good readers do not always make good spellers; however, good spellers always make good readers. I was looking for something that would incorporate spelling into our reading, both for my son and daughter. I thought it might motivate them both. That is when God led me to find SWR. I read about it(a lot) and was sure it was just what we needed. I knew it had a big learning curve going into it. (A big learning curve for Me, not so much for their little sponge brains) It is very much teacher led; not one of those "here's you spelling list, memorize it and we'll have a test" kind of things. It is for all ages from Pre-k to college. Wow, and that is all in one(two) books. That works for me. I did go to a workshop to teach me how to teach it. The trainer treated us as K students the first day and fifth graders the next. My brain came home with so many new wrinkles!!! I couldn't wait to get started. I could see, from this workshop, that this was totally awesome.
First of all it teaches spelling in a most unique way that uses most of the senses. It also incorporates the rules of spelling. Finally, a dependable set of rules. These rules don't fail and have few (very few) exceptions. They don't use faulty rules like, "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." That only happens 27% of the time. What about the other 73% of the time? Also it teaches all the sounds of the letters or phonograms (single or multi-letter) at the same time. For instance A doesn't just say /a/ as in cat for the first year and then it says /A/ as in apron later on. It teaches that A says three sounds: /a/, /A/, /ah/(as in wasp). So when the kids have a pretty good working knowledge of these 70 phonograms, they can read anything AND they can spell. It doesn't take long to learn all 70. We have already learned 31 in the first few weeks. Also, they don't teach letter names, only sounds. Knowing the letter names doesn't help you spell our write. However, the most amazing thing I brought away from this workshop is how much logic it teaches and how it sets the ground work for learning new languages. I can't say enough about it. They even have a Yahoo group where the writer of the curriculm, Wanda Sanseri and the trainers will answer questions you have. Where else can you get that? We started out learning our letter sounds (single phonograms). We have just moved into the multi-letter phonograms and will start our first spelling list in another week. We are also learning/reviewing cursive. Bobbi is reviewing. Tyler is learning and doing quite well. He can almost make half of the alphabet in cursive. I'll keep you posted on their progress. If you would like to read the Senate Hearing Speech given by the writer of this curriculum, you can go to I challenge you to read this. It is very eye opening. Then check out the rest of the site for more information on SWR.



About This Blog

Welcome to my blog. I am a homeschooling mom to two wonderful children. I love science and photography and often combine the two. I am an ultra conservative Christian and have been married to my wonderful hubby for 14 years.

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