I’m in my 9th year of homeschooling, and it is shocking to me how much homeschool curriculum has changed throughout the years. The variety and types of curriculum offered have exploded.
In my earlier homeschool days, I used and loved All About Spelling. It was a perfect fit for my oldest child.
In recent years, Memoria Press has published a new spelling curriculum that I absolutely adore: Traditional Spelling.
By the way, this post uses my affiliate links, and you can take a peek at my disclosure policy if you’d like. This is not a sponsored post, just FYI.
My 2nd grader and I are finishing up the first book in the series next week, and I could not be more excited about the great little speller she is becoming!
A few days ago, I wrote about how I teach spelling in our homeschool, and I promised to show how I used Traditional Spelling I with my 2nd grader this year.
Spelling quickly became my struggling reader’s favorite subject, and I have Memoria Press to thank for that!
Come take a peek at our year!
➡ Browse through all of the homeschool curriculum posts here at Mama’s Learning Corner.
Traditional Spelling Teacher’s Prep
I only have about 6 weeks under my belt with Traditional Spelling II, so I’ll only speak to Level I for this post. My 2nd grader is working on Week 33 of 34 weeks, so I have a good grasp of how this Level is set up.
I take about 10 minutes on Sunday to figure out the lesson for the week. Here’s my method:
Each week, a Phonics Focus is emphasized. Topics range from short vowels in CVC words to r-controlled vowels to plurals to compound words to contractions.
After identifying the Phonics Focus and reading through the Teaching Notes, I pull out the phonics cards that are needed for the week, and stick a post-it flag to the page in Classical Phonics. All of these resources are easily identified in the Teacher’s Guide each week.
I make the color-coded note cards for each of the 10 list words. A copy of the color coded words is included in the appendix to make it very mom-friendly.
I browse through the first few days of the lesson, making sure I understand the white board activities we will work on. If the activities are more classroom-focused (this isn’t often the case), I quickly think up a few activities we can do with the words.
And that’s it! I’m ready for Monday.
Spelling Day 1
Day 1 of spelling is always our most mom-intensive day. I know that a lot of moms want spelling to be an independent activity. Believe me when I say I’ve tried really hard to make spelling independent so I can devote my time to other teaching areas.
But alas, spelling in our house requires quite a bit of teaching time from me. Now that I’ve educated myself on how to teach spelling to my kiddos, this is a much easier process for me. 🙂
On Day 1, I have my 2nd grader read through the list words for the week and I have her read the Phonics Focus. We talk about the Focus, and I determine how much of it is new information for her.
If there’s a gray white board box for Day 1, I already have that on the board and she completes it with me at her side. These are simple activities like matching the two parts of a compound word, or doing a word sort (ay versus ai for the long a sound).
I then have her spread out all of the color-coded note cards. I read aloud the definitions, and she chooses the correct word. Of course she knows the definitions of these words, but it’s helpful for her to see the color-coded words.
Next, we go through all of the Word Study prompts. These include questions that force my child to analyze the list words.
Here are a few examples:
- Which words have a short u sound?
- Which words have a beginning consonant blend?
- Which words have a silent e?
She loves analyzing the words and sorting them into categories! These activities have greatly increased her ability to distinguish between letter sounds and her grasp of phonics as a whole has skyrocketed!
As her teacher and her mama, it’s been so fun to see!
Lastly on Day 1, we read the directions for the Day 1 page in the workbook and she completes it independently.
Spelling Day 2
On Day 2, I have my daughter re-read her spelling list words. I make sure that we review the Phonics Focus and we review the Phonics Flash Cards and the portion in Classical Phonics.
We usually fly through this part since she remembers it from Day 1. I still review on Day 2 because she needs the reinforcement.
I have her lay out the color-coded cards again so she can see all 10 at once. Often, the Teacher’s Guide lists riddles about each word that you can ask, and I say those aloud as she chooses the right word. If no riddles for the week are suggested, I just make up my own.
We then work on Day 2 in the workbook together. Often the first part of the page is sorting words, or unscrambling the words, or placing them in alphabetical order. She does this independently if possible.
The second part of the Day 2 page is the writing the words and then color-coding them. While I had used this type of word work with other spelling practice, this was a new process for my 2nd grader. Traditional Spelling I starts out very slowly teaching students how to do this color-coding and marking of words in little baby steps. The progression is careful and intentional here, and as a result, my daughter has thrived with this work!
The directions are the same each week, occasionally adding a new step. The goal here is analyzing sounds and letter teams and then marking them as directed.
After she completes this section, I have her check her words against the color-coded note cards that I made. She loves to see if I made any mistakes!
Spelling Day 3
Day 3 brings a fun story using her list words. We love Day 3 and learn something new in those stories each week! Rings of a tree, Johnny Appleseed, jazz music, and The Boston Tea Party have been some of our favorite topics.
After reading the story aloud to me, she uses the list words to fill in the blanks of the sentences.
Once finished, she writes the list words once using the Spelling Extra Practice book. You could easily just use a piece of paper, but the Extra Practice book came with our core set, and she’s enjoyed using it.
Spelling Day 4
Dictation is the focus of Day 4. First, there is a section on spelling sounds.
Example: What letters make the /ow/ sound in cow?
The next section focuses on the spelling words. I say a word, use it in the provided sentence, and then she writes the word on her paper.
Lastly, she writes the sentence using her words that I dictate.
Afterwards, she usually writes the words again in the Spelling Extra Practice book.
Spelling Day 5
I consider Day 5 to be our lightest day, which suits me just fine because it’s usually on Friday for us! Yay for the weekend!
I have my daughter read back through her list words one more time, we go over any problem spots, and then I give her the spelling test.
The weekly spelling test is set up very similarly to the Dictation exercise from Day 4. I call out the spelling word, and read it in the provided sentence. There is one dictation sentence included as a final step of the test.
Traditional Spelling I
I could not be more pleased with the results I’ve seen from Traditional Spelling I! My daughter has thrived using the Memoria Press core this year, and it has been nothing but a joy to teach her using these materials.
As I think through our experience with Traditional Spelling, there isn’t one thing that I would have done differently. In the past few weeks, Memoria Press published a new Supplemental Workbook. If it had been available this year, I definitely would have used it.
Our experience this year has been top-notch without it, however!
Traditional Spelling II is already sitting on my shelf, ready for her to start 3rd Grade in July!
Have you used Traditional Spelling also? Has your experience been similar?