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Spelling 1-2 (Workbook and Software) Review by Cindy West

Arlene Hinkel, Joan Hoffman, and Mary Vivian
School Zone Publishing Company
1819 Industrial Drive, PO Box 777
Grand Haven, MI 49417
616-846-5030
http://www.schoolzone.com/

My son begs to do his spelling now. He says, "Mom, do you have new spelling words loaded into my game yet?" You see, my son loves the computer. School Zone Publishing has created a game that enables him to get his computer time and joyfully practice spelling (and typing!).

Spelling 1-2 is a workbook that takes children through typical spelling lists of words that children in first and second grades ought to know. The full-color pages offer many short, age-appropriate activities that enable students to practice writing and reading words that go along with particular phonics skills (beginning and ending consonants; long, short, and irregular vowels; compound words;, suffixes; special spelling rules; etc.). Activities include fill-in-the-blank, coloring hidden pictures, simple crosswords, missing letters, matching, puzzles, and more.

My favorite part is what comes in the back of the book--computer software! There are four fun games that take children way down deep in the sea to free trapped sea creatures as they spell words correctly. Preset into the game are word lists that go along with the phonics/spelling skills they're learning in the workbook. As a child masters easier lists, the game automatically moves on to more difficult lists. Students have a chance to study the list of words before each game begins. Each game focuses on a different type of activity. The child is asked to unscramble letters, choose the correct spelling, or type words using the keyboard.

For mom, though, the neatest part is that you can personalize the game with your own list of words! If your child needs to work on color words, program color words into the game. If your child needs to work on consonant blends, program consonant blend words into the game. I just love that it's customizable and easy for mom to do!

Considering the workbook and the fact that you can customize the software, I would say this is a complete spelling program for at least one year's worth of curriculum. The only downside I could find is that each new skill is given only a page or two in the workbook. If your child needed more practice, you would either need to add your own extra practice sheets or use the computer software for reinforcement. All in all, I found the program to be well worth the money, especially if your child enjoys the computer.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2007

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