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Spelling Memorizer Review by Linda Rose

Bornstein School of Memory Training
Bornstein Knowledge Management Sys., LLC

The Spelling Memorizer from the Bornstein School of Memory Training is a unique and visual program that teaches students how to effortlessly memorize spelling words that are commonly misspelled. The spelling memory cards are large card stock cards—each is the size of a standard sheet of typing paper. The spelling word is visually pictured on the front of each card with a picture association to help the student visually recall the word. Sometimes there are key words also written on the pictures in speech bubbles. These key words help with memory recall. The back of each card includes key teaching points. The trouble spots of each word are identified, the Bornstein memory method is listed, and the association between the word and the picture is explained. Step by step teaching instructions are also included on the back of each card.

I’m not going to list all of the words but some of the words that the student can expect to master include: villain, separate, bulletin, cemetery, desert, government, guarantee, whether, campaign, days of the week, and business. There are 56 cards total. The final three cards in the set teach different remembering techniques. Classifying words—remembering a list of related words—trains students how to organize words into groups and create associations among those related words. The clustering technique—remembering a new list of spelling words—teaches students how to associate a group of words and create visual links to remember them. Word building shows students how to add letters to words in order to spell new words.

Also included in the set is an audio CD, a DVD video, instruction manual and study guide, and the Memory Power book. Each of these provides a nice supplement to the program, which explains the memory system nicely. The copyright of the cards and instruction manual is 1984, but don’t be put off by the date. While the presentation of the materials may seem dated, the illustrations and information are still relevant to students and easily help them to make the necessary connections in order to easily absorb the information.

The instruction manual booklet thoroughly explains the methods for memorizing spelling words and gives a synopsis of each of the different methods that can be used for memorizing. This can be overwhelming, but I don’t think it is meant for every method to be used while memorizing. Choose which methods work best for the student and practice those. The booklet concludes with a reminder from the author for the teacher to make spelling fun and pleasant.

Included in the collection that I received was a CD and a DVD. Both have a copyright of 1979 and 2008. The teacher can use these in order to understand the methodology behind the program. The DVD appears to be an older version of a talk that has been reproduced on the DVD. In it, Arthur Bornstein demonstrates memorizing methods as well as makes connections to why it is important to learn how to recall information quickly and easily.

Memory Power is a workbook of sorts that serves as a way to memorize different things. I personally enjoyed studying the section on “the right way to memorize names and faces”. I have always struggled with remembering names of people that I meet. By using the association method introduced in this book, I can associate each name with something or someone familiar.

We enjoyed learning some of these spelling words in this way. The visual representations are extremely helpful and really do cement those spelling words into the student’s brain. I know I will always now remember how to spell the word separate because of the visual association that I have made by using this program.

-Product review by Linda Rose, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2018