Memoria Press is one of my favorite companies to review for. They are a family run company that publishes Classical Christian materials in a variety of subjects for homeschools and private schools. We have used several different products from Memoria Press over the years and have been very impressed with all of them. Recently we had an opportunity to use and review Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words.
The Simply Classical Spelling Books for grades 1-3 are part of Memoria Press's Special Needs curriculum, which moves at a a slower pace then their other books and provides a multi-sensory learning experience. These books are also suitable for children without specific special needs that may need to move at a slower pace or need a review on basic concepts.
Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words is a76 page paperback book containing 34 weekly lessons. This book introduces children to the basics of tracing, spelling, and writing simple words. There is no separate Teacher's Guide. Instead in the front of the book there are notes to the teacher and a suggested pattern of teaching the words. Each week the student is given 5 Key Words to learn and 2-3 Words to Know. The Key Words will all follow the same pattern such as CVC, Silent e With Long Vowels, Two Consonant Team CK, etc..The Words to Know are common every day words such as is, was, I, go, and whose. There are spaces on the page for the student to copy the words twice, and spaces for extra practice. During the week it is also recommended they write the words in air or on paper, write the words using letter cards, or write on a whiteboard or chalk, along with practicing saying the words aloud. There are 1-2 sentences in the workbook of words from the list that are used in context and also 3 word study questions.
Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words is a155 page paperback book with 34 lessons. Assessments are added after every 5 lessons. Book Two moves the student passed simple words into more advanced combinations of phonograms and multi-syllabic words. As in Book One, students will have key words, words to know, word study, and words in context. Students in Book Two will have 8 Key Words and 5 Words to Know. In Book Two, dictation is also added in a three step process. First students will write letters representing sounds. Then they write words and composed of the sounds and last they write sentences using the words. The weekly dictations are found in the appendix along with the assessments, scope and sequence, and certificate of mastery. A suggested 5 day teaching pattern is included in the Teacher's Notes at the front of the book. In addition to the workbook work they recommend making flashcards and playing simple games like memory and go fish, along with air writing words or writing them on white boards or using sidewalk chalk.
I have been using Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words with my 8 year old daughter 4 days a week. She has never done a formal spelling program before and I really liked the format and simplicity to this program. Starting out the first few lessons were very easy for her but I wanted to build her confidence and reinforce some skills. On Monday I had Emmie read the words out loud to me and then spell each letter and repeat the word. I had her write each word one time and read the words in context sentence. On Tuesday we read and spelled each word aloud, traced the words, talked about the patterns of the words, and wrote each word again. On Wednesdays we read and spelled each word aloud and she wrote them all on a white board. On Thursdays she used the extra practice spaces to write her words and spelled each word aloud for me.
Emmie is my child who loves workbooks and loves writing in workbooks. She was so excited when I told her these spelling books were for her, she couldn't wait to get started. I think the amount of words each week was perfect for her. Our lessons took only 15 minutes or so each day. I liked that there were two separate lists, one with a recognizable pattern and the other basic words that students just need to know. I loved the word study questions. For example it might ask " Which consonant team is in each word? " or " Does silent e make a vowel short or long?" It helped her to really think about the words and the patterns of the words. Simply Classical Spelling will suit a variety of learners. Students hear the words and letters by repeating them aloud. They see the words and letters in the book and when they write them. By doing activities such as air writing and writing and building the words with letters cards they have hands on activities as well.
Members of The Crew reviewed a variety of products from Memoria Press including: The Wars of the Jews set, The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History set, and Simply Classical Writing Book One: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) and Simply Classical Writing Book Two: Step-by-Step Sentences (Bible Story Edition) with Teacher Key. To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!