s a homeschool mom of over nineteen years, and another thirteen years to go until our youngest graduates, we have tried numerous different curriculum, workbooks and subjects. As we continue on, I am learning that finding things that help my job as the teacher, is also just as important. Us moms can easily get overwhelmed with all the correcting and making up curriculum for each of our children and get behind. I am finding that with some of the subjects if the work can be done for me, it relieves a lot of stress. One such subject is spelling, and it’s sure an important one!
I’ve tried various spelling curriculums, especially with workbooks. It works, but the kids can get bored with it, and I have to keep up with the correcting the workbook pages and giving pre-tests and final tests. I thought it would get easier as I had more children graduating, but now even with four having graduated, and still teaching five, there’s MORE going on. We are in the middle of planning two weddings! So I need all the help I can get! And Ultimate Spelling is one of those assistants for me that helps!
Ultimate Spelling is geared for grades 1-10. Each grade has a 10 progressive spelling lists. The words have to be mastered before going on. There are three different ways to practice the words. For the younger children, I find that the main one we are using is where they hear the person saying the word, and they have to type it. Another great advantage with this is they can only need work on the works they do not know how to spell. Often when we use workbooks for spelling, they know several of the words. With this program, words can be taken out and replaced. You can also make your own spelling lists. This is ideal for kids who are not homeschooled, and their spelling lists can be put into this program to be mastered.
There are numerous ways to practice the words through this program with various ways of repetition through three different spelling drills. One is the definition drill, which shows the definition of the word and then the student is to type in the correct spelling word. I do not like this one nearly as much as the others, because especially for younger children, some of the definitions are hard to connect with the word. The next way is the sound drill, which is like a typical spelling test. The student hears the word and needs to type it in. With some of the words, our children have had a hard time understanding the woman saying the words. It may be her accent, but they seem to be getting use to her and are doing better over time. I am sure this could even be the same situation in a regular school setting and this is also a good lesson in listening well and trying to decipher. The last way is my favorite way, is the “Fusion Drill” which is both by definition and sound. I like this best because I think it just helps connecting the two together. A child might not totally understand the definition but then hears the word, and it connects. They are not only learning spelling but definitely vocabulary as well.
Another feature I like with Ultimate Spelling, is that if you wish, you can associate a picture with each spelling word, from the internet. I think especially for the grade school years, this is ideal, because there is so much being reinforced. And with each word you can click to find words that rhyme, a synonym or antonym or even search for quotes using that spelling word.
Though this is intended for grades 1-10, you can make your own spelling lists. So even a college student who has to memorize the spelling and definitions of a list of medical words could use Ultimate Spelling! This is also ideal for creating lists for spelling bees or school spelling tests.
When I first saw the cost of Ultimate Spelling being $59.95 I thought it was a little high, until I calculated my cost per year for my kids. Each year I can spend $10-$20 per workbook per child. This does not include the notebooks they practice writing their words in or the paper they take their tests on. That is for just one year! Ultimate Spelling can be used year after year with each of my kids, easily saving me money even in the first year!
I am very impressed with Ultimate Spelling and am thankful for it not only helping my children but helping me too!