View Full Version : Spelling Plus,Sequential Spelling, or Phonetic zoo?

Kellye in TN
08-23-2009, 08:30 PM
I am trying to decide on the best spelling curriculum for my 4th grade DD. She has a visual processing disorder and possibly an auditory one as well. She is a struggling speller. She should know like "help" or "gave" but will ask how to spell them in her writing. I have tried Abeka and Spelling power. I wasn't pleased with either of these...she couldn't really learn the words. I have looked at spelling plus, sequential spelling and the phonetic zoo. Can someone please give me some input on these or any other programs that would be beneficial for my DD.

08-23-2009, 09:01 PM
I use SS. I don't know anything about the other two you mentioned. I use SS because my ds is dyslexic and he has a hard time learning to spell. Words need to make sense to him and even then he has a hard time.

With SS, the child hears the word, writes the word, then he spells it outloud and then I write and say the correct spelling on the board. It is not a test, but a way of learning the word family. Once he "learns" a word family, he can spell most any word in that family. It adds all the endings and prefixs and then we move on to a new family.

This is the only way my sweet boy can learn spelling. I might suggest you try their free lesson online before you purchase any of them. You will get a feel for the way it works and see if you like it and if it works for her.

We did take a break from SS last year and used Dianne Craft's phonics program. It helped us learn words that don't fit into any families.... like "what" and "could". She gives techniques that really helped us.


Suz MamaFrog
08-23-2009, 11:17 PM
We use SS because my dd is soooooooooooo phonetically oriented that until she learns the proper "family" for each word, she spells everything with the simplest phonetic spelling. FAMILY = FAMULEE for example. We do it exactly as Esther does, and it really has helped. Miss K is spelling much better now after a half year with SS than she ever did with any other program.


08-23-2009, 11:23 PM
you can try the first 8 lessons of SS online for free. maybe this will help you decide? http://www.avko.org/videos/ss_dvd_demo.html

these are samples from their new dvd series... but it's the same information as the book. hth.

Paige P
08-24-2009, 07:24 AM
I started with SS this year, and we love it :thumb: It MAKES SENSE. By using the word families, dd learns how to spell one word then can apply that to the others in the "family." I also like how they teach some grammar with it (contractions, possessives, capitalization) and word endings (when it's necessary to double the final letter before adding "ing," etc.). It's a keeper at our house :thumb:

08-24-2009, 11:49 AM
Both my boys have speech/language delays, and were late readers. This puts them "behind" the normal pace for all LA.

I have used SS for several years with ds1; we both like it and it has made a huge difference in ds1's horrible spelling skills. Ds2 is 4th grade this year, and I don't think he's ready for SS yet. He will be doing Spelling Plus. The focus of the two programs is entirely different.

SP teaches the 1000 most-used words, beginning at the Kindergarten level, and separating them into spelling families. Although it's divided into graded lists, you could easily test up to see where your child needs to start, then continue on at whatever pace your child can handle. SP also has a dictation book with sentences coordinated with the spelling lists. I think this is a very important aspect of any early spelling program. The focus is simply to get them spelling the most-used words, so they will have greater success in other written work.

SS teaches the spelling families with all prefixes and suffixes. Although you can start at any age, my boys have struggled so much with learning even the basics of spelling, that it would be a huge jump for ds to dive into this without my making sure he at least has the basics down pat first. The focus of SS is to consistently practice the word families with all their derivatives, applying the suffix/prefix rules, and also including a few "nonsense" words to reinforce the spelling of little-used spelling patterns.