Sunday, October 25, 2015

TOS Review for Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A from IEW

   

Today, I am reviewing an amazing, incredible, and wonderful spelling program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I'm sure you can tell already how much we enjoyed this program! For this review, we received the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A Starter Pack. If you have a child who is struggling in spelling make sure you continue to read. This may be the answer you are looking for. Your child will thank you....I promise.


IEW Phonetic Zoo
Institute for Excellence in Writing is a leader in the writing curriculum. They are well known and well liked in the homeschooling community. It's pretty hard to find a homeschooler who has never heard of them before. We have used different products from them in the past, but I had never tried their spelling program. I just always focused on their writing curriculum. 
With all the curriculum out there why would you choose to use IEW? 
Well, they give you 5 good reasons why on their website.
1. It's easy to use (Yes, it is!)
2. It's enjoyable (Yes it is...no tears, no fits, no drama)
3. It's flexible (works for a wide range of ages making it easy to adapt to multiple children)
4. It's a lifelong investment in your children (I don't need to explain that one)
5. They offer a 100% no time limit money back guarantee on the products they sell (this is great since we often buy products, end up not using them, and wasting money)
So for this review, Therese gave the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A a try. We had been using another program, but were willing to give it a try.

The Phonetic Spelling Zoo Level A Starter Pack comes with 5 audio CDs, MP3 downloads are included, Lesson Cards (all 3 levels), Personal Spelling Cards, Zoo Cards, Downloadable Phonetic Zoo Teacher's Notes, and the Spelling and the Brain video seminar. The starter pack cost $99.00. Level A is geared for students in grades 3rd through 5th, but can be used for younger or older students depending on their abilities. IEW offers a free placement test, so you can easily find out where your student needs to be.

 IEW Phonetic Zoo
Phonetic Zoo is a student-led program. It focuses on the the phonetic sounds, so it is an audio based program. This is not your typical word list and workbook spelling program. 
The lessons focus on a specific topic......, vowel sounds, vowel pairs, word endings, etc. Each lesson has 15 words for the student to learn. The students listen to the rule for the lesson, a cute jingle to help them remember the rule, listen to and spell the words being recited, and then listen to the correct spelling to the words and write the correct spelling. Students get to check their own work.
Students will work on a lesson until they get all 15 words correct two days in a row. Lessons could take 2 days or longer than 2 weeks. It all depends on how well you student picks up the lesson.
So how did we use it?
First off, I have to tell you Therese is in the 5th grade, but has been struggling with spelling for a few years now. She truly is her mama's kid! We have used numerous programs trying to find the right one. The program we had been using before this one was good and was working, but we quickly discovered that Phonetic Zoo was even better. Therese loved that she could work on her spelling without mom. Independence is a big thing for her right now. We have entered the preteen stage of life.
The program is easy to use. Therese worked on spelling 5 days out of the week, Monday through Friday. First off, I had Therese pick out a notebook for her spelling words.We turned on the CD and got down to work. Lesson 1 was a little tricky. She complained he spoke to quickly and she couldn't keep up. So we turned the CD off and I did the words orally with her. We did this for about 3 days with lesson 1. After the 3rd day, she finally was able to follow him for the first part of the lesson. Checking her answers was still difficult so I still read the words to her for that part. By lesson 2, she was able to listen to the rule, lesson, spelling words, and the checking of the spelling words all by herself. So her listening skills improved in just a few weeks!
 We are moving through the lessons rather slowly. I was a little concerned at first but it seems like that is normal. So for example lesson 1 took  9 days, lesson 2 took 10 days , and lesson 3 is were are at right now. 
She plays the CD on her player. She does use earbuds, so she doesn't disturb her brother while he does his spelling lesson. I like that she uses earbuds, the man's voice on the CD actually annoys me after awhile. I don't know why but his tone gets on my nerves after awhile. 
What do we think?
Therese loves the program! She likes the fact that she can do the spelling almost on her own She is becoming more and more independent with her studies, so this program was a great fit for her. She found the program fun and easy to do. When she first started lesson 1, she did complain the gentleman on the CD spoke to quickly. But by lesson 3, she was good with his pace. She didn't have to rewind to hear him repeat the words or letters as much. She feels much more confident with her spelling and wants to continue with this program. I have noticed a big improvement with her spelling when she is writing for other classes. For a child, who struggled with spelling, it is great to see her filled with confidence and full of smiles! She's eager to do her spelling and I don't have to hear all the moans and groans.

We will continue with Phonetic Zoo and when she is ready for level B, we'll just buy the materials needed for that level. 
We would highly recommend this program for a student that had difficulty with spelling or just needs a little extra boost!
IEW Review


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