MCP Spelling Workout: Spelling Workout has all the components needed to lead students from simple sound-letter relationships to more complex spelling patterns. Students enjoy the exercises and teachers appreciate the clear and consistent format. At the start of every lesson, there is a short, interesting reading passage that uses some of the list words in context. The lessons also include riddles and puzzles so students can have fun learning. There is a different spelling rule each time, with all the list words reflecting that phonics principle. Another facet that many teachers like is that the list words are given both in regular typeface and in perfect cursive, allowing students copy work to count for their handwriting practice.
Despite being fun and phonics based, Spelling Workout does have its weaknesses, but these can usually be overcome. The program is most effective for on-level students, but less effective for advanced and slow learners. Used exactly as directed, many teachers report that it is too easy for bright students, but does little to help struggling students. and whether they do well on the tests or not, students seem to not retain the material well. This problem is probably due to the fact that the curriculum de-emphasizes memory work. Lesson exercises do not specifically ask the students to spell the words or repeat the phonics rule from memory. On the contrary, the answers to the exercises (the list of correctly spelled words) are found on each page of the exercises. Only the tests ask the students to spell the words from memory; the phonics and spelling rules are not even tested at all.
A recommendation from teachers, especially homeschool teachers, using Modern Curriculum Press Spelling Workout is to step things up a notch by moving through the lessons faster, thus completing one and a half to two books in just one year. It is an excellent program they say, though many teachers assign extra activities such as spelling bees, midweek quizzes, and extra copy work for missed words. These teachers often test spelling students on the rules themselves, which they are supposed to be able to explain and point out the use of, if not quote from memory. Spelling teachers find that by incorporating these memory activities and working with the rules more, bright students experience a more appropriate challenge, and struggling students actually learn and retain the material. This makes Spelling Workout a success in their classroom. All that said, Spelling Workout receives warm recommendations from many teachers, who say their students love learning from it. Learn more about the Spelling Workout 2002 Curriculum. Published by Modern Curriculum Press.