The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Spell By Color Review by Stacey Jones

Andrea Scurlock
Jett Educational Games

Spell by Color is a program that uses color-coding to reinforce organized instruction in the rules of spelling.

This course spans three years, though depending on your child, you can move at a slower pace to spend more time helping your child understand the rules of spelling.

Year One of the course is geared toward children in grade 3 but can be used with older children who need extra help or practice with spelling rules. If completed using the suggested timetable of four lessons per week, this program will take 31 weeks to complete. Year One is currently available to download for free for homeschooling families on their website, though donations are appreciated, making it very affordable.

For the Year One Course, you will need the downloadable files as well as a 64-pack of crayons. In this download, you will receive a list of instructions for parents, a list of all the spelling rules that will be learned in this particular course, a picture of a sample lesson, the Year One Scope, a cover page, dictation, the answer keys and the complete Year One course which is broken up into two files: weeks 1 – 15 and 16 - 31.

To be able to complete this course, it is recommended that your child have an understanding of basic phonetics as well as diphthongs (vowel combos) and consonant blends.

In the Year One course, each week and day are clearly labeled at the top of each page, with the spelling rule that is being learned. For example: SBC Year One, Week #12, Day 1: ‘c’ verses ‘k’ before a silent ‘e.’

This is followed by a description of the rule and the directions on how to complete the activities on the page that use this rule. There is usually an example sentence showing your child how to do this and quite often there are tips as well. For the Year One course, it is important to use colored crayons, as the second half of the lessons of Year Two incorporate colored pencils when using a different format.

Each spelling rule is 5 days with each day taking anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes, depending on how in-depth you wish to go. After reading the rules and directions, our boys completed the activities on the page and then wrote out the rule in a separate notebook. I found this was a great way for them to remember the spelling rule. They also wrote out the words that they circled/underlined to help with learning the words that go with each rule as well as with spelling.

Year Two and Three of this course are both available for purchase from both their website for a small fee of $8. These were created to continue on from Year One, with Year Two adding things like contractions, suffixes and diphthongs, with Year Three building on this, adding things like consonant blends as well as reviewing previously learned rules.

We have been using the Year One course and have found it to be easy to understand and complete the work required. The explanations and directions are very concise and clear, making it easy for my sons to complete this on their own (though I do sit next to them just in case). So far, we have found this to be a very thorough and completed spelling curriculum.

These products are also very reasonably priced, leaving plenty of money left for ink, paper and crayons. By using draft/fast mode and doubled-sided printing, you are able to save even more. The answer keys and dictation can be viewed on a computer to save on paper.

So, do yourself a favor and check out Year One now!

-Product review by Stacey Jones, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2016