So Why a Companion Audio for Spell to Write
Dear Fellow Users of Spell to Write and Read:
Spell to Write and Read has been a provision from God to our family. I am so grateful to Mrs. Sanseri for her program. I am excited to be able to share with you the audio that were originally developed in our family as a tool to help us get the most our of this great program. Following are excerpts of a letter I sent to Wanda detailing our journey before and since finding Spell to Write and Read and where the idea for the Companion Audio for Mastery and Review started.
Dear Mrs. Sanseri,
I would like to share with you how the Lord has used your program to tremendously benefit our family. I began home schooling six years ago when I felt the call of the Lord to do so. I had no training on how to teach my children to read, write, etc. With our oldest, I stumbled through many reading programs and found them either confusing or frustrating to myself and my child. We were putting forth great effort, but not seeing much fruit. A friend introduced me to your program when my oldest was in third grade. Praise the Lord! It was as if a light bulb had gone off for both of us! It truly unlocked the mystery of it all. He proceeded to gain great skills in spelling and reading. (We also began to utilize the McCall-Crabb books at your suggestion and enjoyed the benefits of that as well). I began to look at written language in such a different way – I knew the WHY! Part of me wondered though, if it wasn't the fact that my son was mature enough to grasp the reading and spelling concepts and that all the work we had done in the past had prepared him. I wondered if "the pump had been primed" and any program would have had results because he was ready.
Over the next year, I began introducing my two younger daughters into our school routine. In all actuality, they had been over-hearing our phonogram practice and I knew we were onto something when my 3 ½ year old pointed at the Cheerios box one morning and said, "E double E always says E". I could not have been more wrong in my thinking that any other program could have facilitated the great improvement with my son. I have one daughter who has some learning challenges and I know we would not be where we are today with her reading and spelling had it not been for your program. I have another daughter that naturally picks up these concepts and she is excelling. Thank you, thank you for the time and dedication that you have put into thinking through all of these aspects and presenting it in such a way that trains the home schooling mom. I truly feel that you have been a mentor to me in this area. I now have the tools to teach reading and spelling; something I could never have gained from following any of the other reading curriculums available.
While I think this is the best program available, one aspect I have struggled with is the teacher/time intensive aspect of mastery work and review. I have also heard many other home school mothers voice the same concern. (I have recommended this program to anyone who will listen!) I understand why you do not recommend teachers tape-recording a reading of the spelling lists. I agree that the missed teacher-child interaction and visual cues given during dictation etc. are critical. What I found as a struggle with having three children fully using this program, was finding the time to review so the children could gain complete mastery over their words. The reading of the spelling lists over again at three different levels was very time-consuming for me. This past year, following one of your suggestions, I did place my daughters on the same level to save some time. However, I still found the frequency of review was not at the level I thought it should be for complete mastery of the lists that had already been covered.
To remedy the situation, I decided to tape myself reading the spelling lists and recording them for my children. We still do the initial dictation process on the new list/s together every Monday. We then work on the enrichment activities together throughout the week. After we are done with our activities for the day, I am able to instruct them to go to the audio, listen to the particular track for that lesson and practice spelling their words. We are also able to go back to any lesson that we have done in the past and review it to ensure they are maintaining their spelling skills.
I believe this idea of providing audio that has the spelling lists read aloud will increase the student's mastery and independent learning skills. I am convinced that this would be well-received by both the home school community as well as school groups. In both situations, there is usually one teacher and many students at different levels. This product will facilitate both the student and teacher to see progress as they strive to glorify God in their studies.