- Publisher: Back Home Industries (September 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1880045249
- ISBN-13: 978-1880045244
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spell to Write and Read: A Step by Step Guide to Foundational Language Arts
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Spell and Write and Read is the overall teacher's manual designed to accompany the reorganized and updated spelling list in The Wise Guide for Spelling. It expands and clarifies the concepts previously addressed in Teaching Reading at Home and School. SWR addresses student placement in the program and the construction of the student learning log. It covers penmanship, reading, composition, dictionary skills, and grammar. It paves the foundation for improving comprehension and building vocabulary. It clarifies our spelling dictation techniques and explains in depth the "thinking to spell" process. This publication culminates almost thirty years of work by Wanda Sanseri on this subject. Nothing else on the market is quite like Spell to Write and Read.
Top customer reviews
Initial thoughts: To be perfectly honest, when I first opened the book, I started reading and was totally dismayed by the way the book is organized. There is no "quick start," no "just follow these easy bullet point steps so you don't have to read the whole book." I read the book from cover to cover, and it was painful. Wordy, kind of scattered, a few typos because it's self-published, with critical and detailed appendices. It outlines your child's whole English spelling/reading career, from pre-K to 12th grade level, all in one book. It lets you set your own pace for your child's learning, which makes it very open-ended and intimidating at first.
But the program is incredible. Wanda Sanseri (the author) has years and years of experience teaching this method, and if you take her advice, she won't steer you wrong (at least she hasn't us yet)!
Summary: The program systematically presents the 70-odd phonograms (sounds) of the English language, some of which are represented by multiple letters (like -eigh says "ay"). It uses spelling rules to make English a rule-following language with very few exceptions. The teacher dictates new words to the students, who write them in their own "learning log" notebooks. Then, throughout the week, students read these new words from their learning logs to increase confidence and fluency. There is an early emphasis on understanding and hearing phonograms, rather than on starting to read immediately.
Our experiences: Before starting this program, I had a 4 and 6 year old who knew about 90% of their basic alphabet sounds and who could sound out CVC words with a little help. My 6 year old (with family history of severe dyslexia) couldn't remember any of the sight words we had learned (we spent all of the previous year doing letter sounds and "easy" sight words) and had tons of trouble with reversals. Like, he literally had no clue the difference between a b and d. After 3 years of learning them.
Within a month of starting Spell to Write and Read, both kids were at 100% accuracy on all single-letter phonograms (letter sounds). We started over from scratch and re-introduced every single letter in cursive, and the 6-year-old hasn't had a single letter reversal since. Not one. He still reverses his numbers as often as not (I wish there were cursive numbers...), but his letter reversals have disappeared completely. He now knows every single "sight word" from last year, and not because he memorized them, but because he can sound them out - even the "hard," "non-phonetic" ones like "my" and "our." Oh hey, they really don't need to be sight words if you just learn that "y says /y/, /i,/, or /I/" and "ou says /ou/." He went from hating reading and avoiding it to being confident and excited. We took away all pressure to jump into books and read someone else's ideas, and now that he can write his own simple sentences, he is delightedly reading what he has written! And he can read "All my red cats ran up the hill" instead of "Cat sat on a mat" because so many more letter sounds are introduced early on, instead of just short vowels.
So if you are willing to really dig into a program, make it your own, invest some time reading, and trust the process, this is an incredibly thorough and logical English language program. I keep learning new things and having aha! moments about the English language, even though I had great phonics instruction (Abeka) as a kid. As Wanda Sanseri says (roughly - I'm totally butchering her quote), some kids learn to read really easily and might not "need" all the details in SWR to have success in reading, just like some kids can easily play the piano by ear without instruction. But just like a methodical, progressive piano program will help make anyone a better pianist, a methodical, progressive, complete phonics program can help anyone truly master the English language.