SSS - (Spelling by Sound and Structure) - Experiences

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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SSS - (Spelling by Sound and Structure) - Experiences

Unread post by Guest »

We began using Spelling by Sound and Structure this year with my 7yo 2nd-grader and have been happy with it. I have not compared it with other programs (other than Spelling Power, which I bought before learning of SSS). There are two workbook pages and two tests for each lesson.

I am supposed to come up with some drills to do as well. There are suggestions in the book and I have made up some of my own, as well as using some from the Spelling Power activity cards.

The words are grouped by different patterns. For example, this week's words all ended in -ing. Two of the words have to repeat the final consonant before adding the suffix. One lesson had past tense, another was plurals, another had different spellings of /e/ as in "said", "bed", "thread", "dead" (not sure if those were the actual words used).

Every sixth(?) lesson is a review of the previous five lessons. I can't say that my daughter jumps up and down at the thought of doing spelling each day, but she is able to do it independently for the most part and is improving.
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Unread post by littletfarms »

We have used this spelling program for 5 years now. It is a Rod & Staff publication and we were using R&S language arts before I found MFW. It has worked very well for our family. My children are all excellent spellers. It's inexpensive and quite effective.

My 2 cents :-)
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:37 am
I would like to know if the resource used to teach spelling in 2nd grade provides phonetic rules to follow. I would like my child to memorize these and am hoping this will be all we need.

Also, I heard someone say the lessons were too intensive for mom. But, I thought that was one thing that MFW always considered when making recommendations. What do ya'll think about that? How long do the lessons take each day?
Hi Donna,

We're using the spelling for our son. The TM lists a lot of dialog and activities for the teacher, and it looks to be designed for a classroom. So, take what you need from it and leave the rest since you're not teaching 20 kids these words at a time.

The rules aren't written in the student text. In the TM, they tell the teacher what to say and while it's not exactly introducing a rule word-for-word, it does teach the concept of the rules. However, the rules should be pretty obvious to moms because they are simple words (this week, we're doing -ing endings, and the only rule we needed to cover was to double the ending consonant in words such as running and putting so that the "i" doesn't make the word's short vowel long).

I don't think that it takes a long time at all for us. Since I'm not teaching 20 kids, I have sort of come up with what works one-on-one for us. I have my ds read the list to me so that I know that he knows the words, you know, I don't want him to think that the word spelled "like" is really "lick." And, I look for odd words to make sure he knows the meanings. So far, that's not been an issue as the words are pretty common.

Each lesson has two pages. I have him do one one day and one the next because he gets tired of pencil-and-paper work. Every now and then he does both pages at once because he wants to. After both pages are filled out in his book, I read the words to him for a spelling test. I have him "jump the words" on a letter mat we found at Target (a Crayola spelling game mat). He likes this better than writing.

I check any words he misses (typically zero to two words). If he misses any, I discuss any rule ("remember that this word has an "ai" to spell long a.") and the next day, he copies the missed word a few times on a blank paper. I then quiz him again on the missed words and any others he seemed to hesitate with. When he can spell that lesson 100%, we look over the next set of words.

Every six lessons is a review of the past five lessons. There is more pencil work here. We take our time on these review lessons. When he's done the pencil work, I call out words from the five lists that I don't think he "knows cold" and we work on those before moving on. Often we'll have three days in a row of testing ("jumping"). Again, missed words are copied and retested.

Anyway, we're enjoying the book.

If you want the rules spelled out, start out with Spelling Power and just take it slowly (Spelling Power states a rule and then gives a list based on that rule). If it's "too much" then you can wait a few months and try again. Or, look on the internet for lots of easy spelling lists or "spelling rules."

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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:40 am

I am sure you will get responses from those who are using it but I have carefully looked at this book and I can not imagine it being time intensive. It is only 2 single pages a week spread out over 4 days and the print is larger.

Yes it reviews phonics rules but very gently. Spelling Power, which is suggested for beginning in 3rd, is also based on Phonics rules for each list which they write down and learn. I have been using this for 5 years now.

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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:00 pm

Unread post by Tina »

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:37 pm

Donna: I too am using R&S spelling with sound and structure for the first time this year with my ds. I really like it. He caught on a lot more than I thought he would. This is the first formal spelling program I have done with him.

It is a very gentle review of phonics. From my experience so far (we are on week 10) the words are very much on their level to spell. I would say we do spelling for about 10-20 minutes a day, depending on what day we are on. My son, like Kelley's is not big on pencil work, and it may take him more time to get thru the workbook pages. But I feel that the review of the words and how they are introduced is helping to get them to "stick" with him.

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:45 pm

Very simple. Two pages a week to complete. Good ideas for drills. Every six weeks it has a review of all words learned. I think this book was just what we needed for our first spelling program.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:16 am

We're using it too and like it. Spelling by Sound and Structure is an affordable, easy to teach, easy to do spelling.

The first day of a normal (ie. not review) week we look over the words and discuss any spelling rules that are used (maybe rules for adding suffixes, long and short vowels, capitalization). He does the left-hand pencil work for that day. The next day, he does the right-hand page of work. The day after that, I quiz him using a spelling mat (he gets to move around) with letters on itl.

For the review lessons, he does a left-hand page one day, a right-hand page the next (like above) and I quiz him on the hardest words on the list and usually he does just fine.

Whenever he misses a word, I just jot it down on a sticky note, and the next quiz he gets the missed words again.

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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:39 pm

Unread post by JoyfulDancer »

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:04 pm

I can say the same as Tina and Kelly. We are using it this year with great success. It is gentle and easy, and perfect for my dd. I pretty much do what Kelly does as far as schedule. Thumbs up for me.


Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:26 pm

Spelling by Sound & Structure and PLL are both so easy - on ALL of us! The change from MFW1 to ADV was a big one, as far as amount of material covered, number of subjects, & time, and we could have very easily become overwhelmed. My son has enjoyed & flourished in the success that has come with the spelling program. Some might feel it's not challenging enough or not colorful enough, and the same with PLL, but I would say my little man is loving learning. There are plenty of years ahead filled with all the challenge we'll be able to handle. I'm all for reaching potential and living above mediocrity, but I want to grow lifetime learners, not just information 'spouters.' I think these resources are perfect starters on that journey.

Have a great year!
Paige in NC
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