Spell to Write and Read Reviews
Wow, this CD set is a blessing. I have been using Wanda Sanseri's amazing program 'Spell to Write and Read' for several years and you can find my review of it on the TOS website. What Jennifer and Jerry have done is compiled ALL the reading lists out of Wanda's book and placed them on CD so you can have instant access and review them quickly. After you have spent time in dictation with your children on each list, the object is to review that list often and well, then to test on it at the end of the week, or study period. My trouble was, as I am sure others can attest, that I never had time to go back and review each list properly. I have three children still at home, and we run a busy home based business as well. Time is always at a premium, and spelling was no exception. Many days I was glad just to get the dictation done. My kids weren't internalizing all the rules that we had taken the time to learn. We would dictate and spell out lists on Monday, fill out the student workbook, and go on to the next subject. Now, I did often tell the kids to review their words, but I rarely followed up to ensure it was done.
Jerry and Jennifer have taken a great collective weight off the shoulders of many busy home schooling parents. Now my children merely choose the CD that matches the list we are on, pop it into the CD player and review the words with Jennifer. She has a mellow, easy to listen to voice, and the words are clearly enunciated. There doesn't appear to be any regional 'special pronunciations' and we are Canadians so we would hear it if it was there! My son loves having a few minutes to himself, and if he gets to use his CD player, all the better in his eyes. I actually think he will review more with the CD's than with me, just because he gets to use his player!
One other plus besides having all the lists accessible at your fingertips is a bonus disc which contains all the diagnostic tests from the program. Jennifer actually tells you which page to go to in your text for detailed descriptions; and I enjoyed this CD very much. I actually sat down with the kids and 'did' a test alongside them using Jennifer as our 'teacher'. It was lots of fun. I did find she went a bit quickly through the lists, especially for early learners who are still struggling with their printing/writing skills. This was easily aided though, with the help of the trusty pause button. We just needed a few more seconds for some of the words.
The words dictated onto the regular discs for review and mastery go very quickly as well. Their use is meant for review, NOT for the dictation process, and Jennifer is quite clear on this. She does not go through the dictation process, sounding out, or syllabicating the words. At the point of review, you shouldn't need that help, and the CD's work amazingly well for the use they were intended for. They also come in a great rugged case which travels well - even on a fishing boat at sea.
There are 6 CD's in the Spell to Write and Read set and the back cover contains a chart which will allow you to quickly find the exact spot you need to start at according to your position in the lists. You will find lots of helpful hints at the website as well. And while you are there, check out some of Jerry's music - it's awesome! Thanks Jerry and Jennifer for providing much needed relief and a great product. I HIGHLY recommend these CD's for anyone who needs to review and really seeks mastery for their children.
-- Product Review by Heidi Shaw, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, February, 2006