| | | |

Spelling You See Review and Giveaway

Spelling You See as experienced by a mom and with a young daughter who needed to build confidence in her spelling abilities:

My daughter, Tori, and I reviewed Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B).

I hoped Spelling You See would help give my daughter confidence in her reading and spelling, and it has been a real blessing for this purpose.

Victoria just turned eight and her younger sister (by fourteen months) reads quite fluently, much to her chagrin. Tori is a perfectionist, and she erases until she’s satisfied with perfect penmanship. She’s all about what’s fair. She gets very discouraged by her sister’s abilities and shuts down.

Spelling You See Review

Spelling You See was something that was Tori’s very own; she didn’t share these lessons with her sister. I took time out of our days to work with Victoria one-on-one, without her sister around. I realized she really does understand her sounds and can read and spell better than she usually exhibits when her sister is witnessing.

Spelling You See gave Tori the confidence she so desperately needed.

First, I looked through the placement information and figured that Tori was well beyond Level A but not quite ready for Level C. I was correct.

The Instructor’s Handbook is necessary in order to know how to use the program. Not only does the handbook tell you how to facilitate each lesson, it also contains an overview of the 36 lessons and information about important skills and concepts that will be learned at this level. In the back of the handbook, it also has more information about letter chunking, “no rule day,” dictation, FAQs, and a collection of helpful resources including passages for dictation. 

You will also need the Student Pack–which includes two student workbooks, a Guide to Handwriting, and a pack of erasable colored pencils.

Here’s how this level of Spelling You See works:

  • Each daily lesson (There are 36 weeks of lessons. Each week is divided into 5 days’ worth of work.) consists of two facing pages in the student’s workbook.
  • The student and instructor read that week’s rhyme together.
  • Then (for students who are using Student Workbook Part 1) the student copies a short phrase or sentence and fills in a set of letter boxes which focus on vowel sounds.
  • For students who are finished with Student Workbook Part 1 and have moved to Part 2, the student begins to learn to find vowel and consonant patterns in each passage. He or she will also begin doing more extended copywork.
  • Each lesson is broken down for the phonogram(s) covered and the specific information to relay to make sure it’s mastered well and understood completely.
  • The nursery rhyme theme in Level B is fun, and we sang or chanted them and did the finger motions.

Spelling You See Review

Tori and I completed the first student book in a couple evenings, orally. Her dignity was a little hurt by the workbook writing, so I didn’t make her do it. We completed it like a spelling bee, and she loved the review. She can recite the phonogram rules pretty well. (We homeschoolers are well-known for tweaking curriculums to fit our students’ needs! This little change was great for Tori!) 

I did notice with dictation that Tori doesn’t differentiate the sounds well, and that’s perhaps the reason for some of the problems we’ve been having. She couldn’t always tell which short vowel I said. Mostly, when I said O or U and CH or SH, I would have to exaggerate my pronunciation greatly, so we worked on training her ears to hear those sounds well.

The second student workbook level B was exactly what Tori needed for reinforcement of the phonograms.


The phonograms are “chunked” and color-coded. Some chunks occasionally overlap, like the vowels and Bossy R:

  • Yellow – Vowels
  • Blue – Consonants
  • Purple – Bossy R (Tori’s favorite!)
  • Green – Tricky Y Guy
  • Pink/red – Endings
  • Orange – Silent letters

Weekly Schedule

Days 1-3 Copywork and chunking with colored pencils. Depending on how long the nursery rhyme is, this was too repetitive for Tori. 1 day was enough for her.

Day 4 No Rule Day – Draw pictures and write a story for fun – 10 minutes

Day 5 Dictation – timed for 10 minutes

I love this instruction: “Do not get sidetracked with penmanship.” I agree and Tori is such a perfectionist! Her handwriting looks like a computer font.

Fun and great for visual and kinesthetic learners! The pack even came with nifty erasable coloring pencils that Tori really loved.

Spelling You See Review

Spelling You See: Jack and Jill (Level B)
Instructor’s Handbook $16
Student Pack (2 workbooks) $30

Check out sample lessons and other resources.

Spelling You See as experienced by a mom and her middle school daughter who is already a good speller but doesn’t use good spelling in her written work:

American Spirit Handbook

My daughter, Mary Grace, is homeschooling in 6th grade this year. She learned to read early and is a super reader, and her spelling skills have always been very good too. However, I notice that even though she is a good speller when she’s practicing writing spelling words or spelling them for a test, she doesn’t bother to use correct spelling when she’s writing sentences or paragraphs. In those cases, she just jots down the words however they sound to her without being concerned about whether they’re spelled correctly. For this reason, I wanted to try out Spelling You See.

Spelling You See includes writing in their spelling program. And since my daughter doesn’t use good spelling when she writes, I figured a spelling program that includes writing might be just what she needs. And even though she is a good speller, she still needs to expand the number of words that she can spell correctly. So we waited for our materials to arrive so we could try them out!

In this level of the program, called American Spirit, each lesson begins with reading a short story about a person or event from American history. (The same story is used for the entire week.) After she reads the short story, she uses a yellow colored pencil to highlight the vowel chunks. (The lesson explains what vowel chunks are. They are simply a combination of vowels that work together to make one sound–like ea and ou.) My daughter thought it was simply wonderful that the colored pencils came with the program! I guess she figures that any curriculum that comes with its own colored pencils must be more fun than other curriculums! 🙂  As she advances in the program, different colors will be used to highlight different patterns.

After she reads the story and highlights the vowel chunks, she has 10 minutes to write as much of the story as she can on the facing page in her workbook. Mary Grace usually runs out of room because her writing is pretty big. She’s learning to write more neatly, though, so she’s getting better at copying more of it. She does this process for the first 3 days each week.

On the fourth day, I dictate the story to her, and she writes it down. If she misses a word, we stop right then for her to correct it. We do this for 10 minutes and then stop regardless of how much or little of the story she’s written. If she needs help with punctuation or capitalization, I help her. That way she can concentrate on her spelling. If she does a great job on the dictation, she doesn’t have to do it again the next day. If she needs more practice, we do it again on the fifth day.

One thing Mary Grace really loves about this spelling program is that she doesn’t have to do the dictation a second day if she does well the previous day. She has always been very motivated by being able to skip part of an assignment if she’s done well on it earlier. I sometimes allow her to skip one day of copywork earlier in the week if she wants to try doing the dictation earlier than day four. Most of the time when she asks to go ahead and try the dictation, she does a good job on it.

I like that this curriculum is helping her not only to be a better speller but also to use good spelling in her writing. I also think that seeing her spelling words in the story helps her to notice how the correctly spelled word looks in a sentence and in a story. I really had no idea that simply practicing her spelling words this way would make a difference in whether or not she uses good spelling in her writing for school and in her just-for-fun writing, but I am seeing an improvement! And the fact that she enjoys doing spelling this way is definitely a good thing!

For students who need improvement in reading skills, the reading level gradually increases as the year progresses.

Spelling You See: American Spirit (Level E)
Instructor’s Handbook $14
Student Pack (2 workbooks) $30

You can find more information about the different levels of Spelling You See by clicking here. From that page, you can also see samples of lessons from each level. And if you’re interested in learning more about why Spelling You See is set up the way it is, there’s more information about the philosophy behind the curriculum here. If you want to buy Spelling You See, you can do that by clicking here. And of course if you go to http://spellingyousee.com/, you’ll find all of this information and more. 

For your chance to win, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HHM Review Disclaimer

Similar Posts


  1. I would select level C. I bought level B for my youngest daughter after she realized her younger cousin could spell better than her … We’ve barely started, but so far she likes it and it is a small time commitment for me – important when I homeschool 4.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Hello,
    I am a special education teacher and I also homeschool my two pre-school age sons. I have purchased Math-U-See as it has come to me strongly recommended and I whole-heartedly believe the Spelling program would be just as phenomenal. Thank you for your valuable thoughts listed above. Spelling has fallen by the wayside because so many of my middle school students refer to “texting” lingo and it is covering the fact that their spelling is atrocious. The thing about spelling is that kids know whether they are good or bad at it…they can either spell or they can’t! It is cut and dry. That being said, it is the biggest hurdle I face with middle school students in trying to write, when they can’t spell, they DO NOT write. It is too difficult for them and when they are done, they cannot even decipher what they were trying to say! Thank you, thank you for your comments!

  3. I would love to use the spelling program. we have faithfully used Math u see with great success so I am sure the spelling program would be just as good!

  4. I would love to win this. I’m just trying to figure out curriculum for next year! 🙂

  5. I would chose Level C for my son who is struggling with spelling. I think the visual learning technique might work really well with him.

  6. I have just started using some of the mid-levels for 2 of my children and would love to start my youngest with level A.

  7. I would love to try this program! We use Math-U-See and have had great success and I’m confident this is going to be a great program as well!

  8. I am so interested in this product for my girl. Spelling is just not her thing and I am hoping that once she sees the spelling in a different way maybe it will click for her. We have tried a lot of different methods and none seem to work for her.

    Thank you for the post.

  9. I’d use level E, since I also have middle schoolers who are good spellers, but aren’t very accurate in using it in their writing.

  10. I’m looking forward to adding Spelling You See to our homeschool. 🙂 I need 3 levels. Winning a level would be awesome! 🙂

  11. I would love to win Level B. I’m looking for the best way to teach my Deaf child how to read and write English, and this looks like a great program!

  12. I would love to win this! My son is going into the first grade and I feel overwhelmed at times with homeschooling! This looks like it would be great!

  13. I am really interested in trying Spelling You See with my daughter. I would start her in level D.

  14. Thanks for the review, this answered so many questions for me. I think we will start level B. It would be wonderful to win this.

  15. Would it be wrong to say all the levels? I have one in each level, I think! Mostly I think I’d want D for my 14-year-old son who really needs some remedial help. He struggles with a language processing disorder and spelling is the bane of his existence. He’s a very visual learner and needs repetition.

  16. American Spirit would be great for my son! He is a good reader but could use some help with written work!!

  17. Any/all… I don’t care which as I plan to purchase all eventually and this win would greatly help my resource library for my children and those I work with! Thanks

  18. I have heard so much about these books and would love to try them with my son. I would need Level A for him. 🙂

  19. Thanks you so much for the review. Demme learning have been writing about spelling u see, and I had thought mmmm this could be a good one for my visual spatial learner. He thrives with math u see primer, but when it comes to spelling you see tears and excuses to go to the toilet. Your indepth review is what I needed. Hope to win level A.

  20. We love Math U See and would love to try Spelling You See. I have a child who is dyslexic and although he is reading now he has an extremely difficult time with spelling. Wild Tales looks like the best level for him to start at and sounds like it contains rhymes/stories that he would enjoy. If it works well for him I may try it for all our other children as well.

  21. I would love to try level D with my 8 year old this year. He’s a sharp kid, but struggles with reading/spelling. We will be studying American History this year, so this would be a perfect fit! Thanks for the thorough review!

  22. Would love to win this. We love Math U See, and my son’s reading and spelling journey sounds similar to the reviewers’ daughter. Excited to try the curriculum.

  23. It would be great to try out the American Spirit level program! We are big Math-U-See fans and I’m excited about this spelling program launch.

    1. Yes, each level is a little different from the other levels, so I think you probably will need the instructor’s manual for each level. If you want to, though, you can call the company to find out for certain. 🙂

  24. I have just started homeschooling my son in February and I love it!!!! I’ve been looking for spelling and math for next year and this would be perfect for him!!! Fingers crossed I win!!! He would need level b for next year. thank you so much!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *