IEW Phonetic Zoo Spelling ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

When you reach high school, are you done with spelling lessons? And how would you take a spelling class if you had too? Moe Man loves spelling and he loves the independence of using the Institute for Excellence Writing and the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level C (Starter Set).

IEW Phonetic Zoo Review

What It Is

This is a full spelling program for grades 6-12, depending on skills. It is best to take the placement test to ensure your child is at the right level when it comes to this. Included in the starter pack is 6 audio CDs with the option to also download the MP3 version, lesson cards, personal spelling cards, Zoo cards, a downloadable teacher’s guide in PDF format and a Spelling and the Brain video seminar that is streaming with your purchase.

This is a phonetics based spelling program that uses Mrs. Anna Ingham’s Blended Sound-Sight Program of Learning. This is a wonderful multi-sensory approach to learning that really has helped Moe Man.

There is no lesson plan that goes along with this. Your child listens to the new rule while you talk about it together. You learn the new jingle together and your child while be able to use that while working on their words. While there are no lesson plans, no weekly have to do this, you do have lessons. And you work on this lesson until your child knows those words.

How We Used This

I started out by reading through the teacher’s guide and watching the Spelling and the Brain video. This video was a great insight into using the program itself. While I got what I needed from the teacher’s guide, I loved the video and the extra little hints on how this works and WHY.

We started our first lesson on a Monday. You don’t have to do a Monday, but we did. We went over the flashcard and the rule for that lesson. I gave Moe Man his Zoo Card…which he laughed at the first time, but kind of fell in love with, and told him to number his page for his first test. He was shocked, he didn’t have the list of words to study, there were no word finds, or fun games to play. And then I told him to get his head phones out. This confused him.

The Phonetic Zoo has your child using headphones while they listen to the words. The headphones bring the sound of the words closer to the brain…and blocks out the extra noise of the little brother and sisters. When Moe Man was numbering his page, he skipped a line between each number, this worked for when it came to correcting the words after.

IEW Review

Moe Man loves IEW and their use of pens over pencils. This helps with making them slow down because they can’t erase with a pen. This also makes him feel more responsible for what he is doing.

After listening to the word list and attempting to spell them correctly, Moe Man would listen to the corrections. This took a little getting used to for him to follow along. He had to learn how to pause the disk instead of asking me to stop, or me knowing when he needed me to stop. I noticed this changing the more he has used it. He is becoming more confident in himself and is paying better attention when it comes to this point.

Now, Moe Man will continue with each lesson until he gets 100% twice in a row! This is also different from the “normal” spelling tests. But this way, I know that he knows the rule and has had time to work on the words. And this is why your 47 lessons will last a different amount for each child.

What We Thought Of This

I personally loved this program. It was a great way for Moe Man to work on his spelling, and work in a way that stuck with him. There is no frills about it, you are working on learning the rules of spelling, not a game.

Moe Man loved the words. He has always loved spelling, and he loved this new approach to spelling. He would get frustrated when he had one wrong, but knew that he was close and was happy to share that.

There was nothing to complain about. Moe Man didn’t argue when he was told to do this and truly enjoyed it. I didn’t have hours of prep to make it work and yet seen results that made a mom proud!

While Level C is the highest level, there are lower ones that you need to check out. Head on over and see these other reviews!!

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