I am using this program with my 1st grade son who turns seven in December. A couple of homeschooling friends with older children recommended this program. It is recommended for ages 8 and up but I decided to give it a try. There is a test in the book to see if the student is ready to begin formal spelling. After taking the test I could tell he was ready to begin. This program is working well with my son who reads above his grade level and has picked up much spelling from just reading. I love that he only has to study the words that he has missed, using the method in the book. He has the steps down well and can study them on his own. I also appreciate that there is not busy work with the book practicing words that are already known. This program has worked well for us these 3 1/2 months. Hopefully this $56 book will be the only spelling book I have to buy for my three sons!
My 6th grader is loving this after years of cramming a week's list of spelling words in her head, often spelling some of them right in a pre-test and wrong in a post test. She has a struggle with short term memory and tries so hard she gets confused. This really helps her learn the words. I would say this is fine for the average child, but it fits very well for the conscientious, motivated, or studious child, especially those frustrated with the weekly memorization of spelling lists. You really need to follow the instructions on the program (both on DVD and book) for this to be effective. The up front cost is a bit high, but you will not need another spelling book for any year if you continue with the program. If your child is doing fine with a regular spelling program, this may not be as perfect of a fit for you, as it is completely different. If you have several homeschoolers, you will need to spend one-on-one time with each student every day for 5 minutes each. My one disappointment so far is that when I use pencil to mark words, it seems to erase the print when I erase the pencil mark. You can either print out the student forms from the CD included, or buy the student workbook to go with it, which is what I did.
I thought this program sounded perfect for our situation, but it didn't take long for our 4th grade struggling speller to become frustrated. There are too many rules clumped together in the spelling lists. For example: long a list includes a/c/e, ai, ay, eigh, etc. Disappointed. :(
This product is very effective. You must read the quick start to make sure you get started right. At first it can seems overwhelming, but it is worth the time to figure it out and get started. I really like the structure of the daily lessons with extra activities to do. My son is a hands on student so the reinforcement activities really help him to learn. Also the idea of not having to test on words you already know is a very big plus.
I am so excited to use this next year.. and the years to come. All the spelling words my kids need to learn are in this book and its a bit tricky to get started, but once you get through the first week or two, PIECE OF CAKE! Excellent!