I have never done well teaching spelling to my children, but this year I was determined to find something to try with them. I did lots of research into various options, but most were either too complicated or too expensive ... neither of which appealed to me very much.
Sequential Spelling. I like what I read about it and how it teaches spelling based on word families. I also like that it is very inexpensive and works well for both of my older kids, even though they are in different grades. It might have worked to start Laura at the 2nd level, but I figured it would be good to start them both at the beginning and build from there.
The lessons are designed to take you through one level per 180 day school year with one 10-minute lesson per day. So far, we have done 2 lessons per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The beauty of the lessons (besides how quickly they go) is that the student gets immediate feedback on each word. The teacher reads the word, followed by a sentence using the word in context, and then the student attempts to spell the word. The teacher then writes the word on the board, beginning with the word family in one color and adding the other sounds in another color. The student checks his own work and corrects his own mistakes, thus giving him an opportunity to recognize why they were wrong and mentally correct the mistake. The student is encouraged to learn from his mistake rather than being upset that a mistake was made.
So far, my kids are loving Sequential Spelling. They keep asking to do more than 2 lessons a day! The teacher's book does say that it is okay to do multiple lessons a day as long as you space them several hours apart and don't do more than 4 lessons in one day. I am thinking that 2 is enough!
I hope we have finally found what we will use for spelling for the next several years and more importantly, I hope my kids will finally learn how to spell!