I don’t know how you feel about teaching spelling. But honestly, the old “drill and kill” model of anything just wears on me. Yes, sometimes you just must buckle down and memorize (multiplication tables, anyone?). But other times, I want to use products in my homeschool which are appealing, exciting, and enjoyable. Spelling You See is all those things while giving the student a thorough understanding and mastery of prefixes, suffixes, and the mechanics of the English language. Developed by Dr. Karen Holinga, this spelling program works from the sequential process of spelling learning that students master. Students are able to work at their own speed and build mastery over the long-term, by simply following the lesson plan.
We received the following items to use and review from Spelling You See:
- Modern Milestones Instructor’s Handbook (Level G)
- Modern Milestones Student Workbook Part 1 (Level G)
- Modern Milestones Student Workbook Part 2 (Level G)
- Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils (10-pack)
The Student Workbooks
Parts 1 and 2 of Modern Milestones (Level G) contain 36 chapters with 5 lessons each; or, 5 days’ worth of lessons for each week of your school year. Instead of just having lists of words that your child must study and review over and over, these books have different types of assignments for each day of the week. These lessons not only provide variety but also use activities for each type of learning; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Each week, Modern Milestones introduces the student to an artist, an inventor, or a scientist, with an interesting paragraph detailing his or her work. Key spelling (base) words present in the paragraph, their prefixes, and suffixes are noted in the instructions. Over the course of the week, students then:
- Read the paragraph, both silently and aloud
- Mark the base words, their prefixes, and suffixes with colored pencils
- Rewrite the paragraph on the facing page
- Learn about a specific prefix by combining it with different base words to form new words
- Write the paragraph as it is dictated, on two separate days
You can see that all learning modalities are regularly practiced here. This makes Spelling You See‘s Modern Milestones perfect for any type of learner, and provides great variety for the student.
The Instructor’s Handbook
The Modern Milestones Instructor’s Handbook (Level G) is the perfect, and essential, companion piece for the curriculum. It equips the parent to simply and easily teach the Modern Milestones lessons each day and week, providing the formats to follow and the purposes for each lesson and lesson type. Here’s what you’ll find in this handbook:
- An explanation of the 5 stages of spelling development
- An outline of the program and how it works
- Instructions for each lesson
- The Weekly Activity Guide
- All dictation passages
- FAQs, word patterns, prefix and suffix list
How We Used It
As a homeschooling parent, I found Modern Milestones very easy to understand and implement. The Instructor’s Handbook is a quick read and outlines the program of study, and the purposes behind it, clearly and effectively. The lesson plan itself is so easy and requires little advanced planning time for the instructor, as it provides each day’s instruction for the student right on the workbook page.
When we first received our Spelling You See package, I read through the overview and directions in Instructor’s Handbook. It prepared me just perfectly for guiding my son through the lessons. Then, I simply scheduled the week’s lessons in my lesson planner. That couldn’t be easier to do; they’re labeled 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E (and 2, 3, 4 and so on).
Each day, when it was time for our spelling lessons, my son Jackson got out three things: the Modern Milestones Student Workbook Part 1; the Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils; and his ruler. (Recommended by the Instructor’s Handbook, the ruler enables the student to underline the base words, prefixes and suffixes neatly.) Together, we read through the instructions, and simply followed them! On a given day, these included Jackson’s reading the paragraph aloud, marking the base words and suffixes/prefixes, doing copywork, writing dictation, and creating new words.
I LOVED Spelling You See‘s Modern Milestones (Level G). It was a welcome change from the “memorize this list and write the words over and over and over.” I think it can be a wonderfully useful tool for any kind of learner, since it regularly uses visual work, auditory exercises, and kinesthetic activities to teach spelling and grammar rules. Best of all, the paragraphs in each chapter are about fascinating and vibrant men and women of history. Where else will a spelling curriculum also teach you about Alexander Fleming, Mary Cassatt, Cervantes, Galileo, Elizabeth I and other notable artists, scientists and inventors?
My son found the curriculum interesting, in both the information shared and the methods of learning. I must say, however, that he is not a fan of handwriting, so if there was any struggle he experienced using Modern Milestones, it was the writing portion. However, in our technology-driven world, I still believe that it is both useful and necessary for an educated person to be able to write legibly. So even his less-favored activities were experiences that I greatly appreciated.
You can find the entire Modern Milestones (Level G) curriculum at the Spelling You See website, along with their many other spelling programs. If you’re looking for a well-rounded and effective spelling program for all learning types, this is it!