Genres: Educational Resources, Spelling
Published by Alpha Omega Publications on November 2014
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Good spelling is never out of fashion. Teach your child how to be an excellent speller with the Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling & Vocabulary Set from Alpha Omega Publications. Whether sending a thank-you note to Grandma or completing a homeschool writing assignment, your child will look his best as he writes sentences with a solid understanding of phonics spelling rules and their application. Eye-catching lessons and hands-on learning activities in the student workbook are sure to have your child spelling and writing like an expert as he practices frequently-used words, sight words, and other word lists using crossword puzzles, word searches, and creative writing projects. Plus the easy-to-use spelling dictionary will familiarize your second grader with alphabetizing and the meaning of spelling words as he sees them used within the context of a sentence.But there's more! The Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling and Vocabulary Set also includes a helpful, step-by-step teacher's guide. Specific goals, practical teaching tips, and suggested learning activities are clearly outlined in daily lessons plans. And you'll love the time-saving answer keys and reproducible teaching aids that include practice review worksheets and phonics rules flashcards. Make spelling a priority in your homeschooling day. Order the Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling & Vocabulary Set from Alpha Omega Publications today!
Our 2015-2016 year is the first year where we really are adding in the subject Spelling. We have been blessed with the opportunity to review Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling & Vocabulary Set and what a blessing it has turned out to be! Horizons is one of several imprints from Alpha Omega Publications ~ (http://aophomeschooling.com/TOS) and one I’ve been drooling over since I discovered them at an expo conference a few years ago. I am so delighted to get this curriculum in hand and it has been an incredible few weeks as we have delved deeper and really started a study on Spelling & Vocabulary for my AppleBlossom. Alpha Omega had it’s start in creating curriculum for private Christian schools, but they have gone into (for nearly 30 years now!) the homeschool world and are definitely one of top company names that you will hear as a recommendation when you’re seeking your next curricula choices. Horizons is full-color and they have curricula options for the entire spectrum from Preschool through the 12th Grade. Easily, you could spend your entire school career within their books. Using consumable workbooks in a spiral method of learning, Horizons has a great line up!
We are excited to dip our toes into their Spelling & Vocabulary curriculum!!
Horizons 2nd Grade Spelling and Vocabulary Review
In the past we have only studied spelling by happenstance, but I had the desire to start a full curriculum this year as she seems to be ready. Horizons Spelling & Vocabulary for Grade 2 has been the perfect fit! For the purposes of this review, we were expected to use this curriculum 3 times per week; however, this has been a full 5-day week curriculum for us by my daughter’s request. She tells me that, “It is wonderful, because it is colorful. The words are great and interesting. I think the activities are my favorite of the whole book and I love how it brings in reading from the Bible. ”
The line size is perfect for us at this stage. Right now we have mastered manuscript are in the beginning stages of learning cursive. The clip art chosen to depict the words are clear and vibrantly colorful. There is plenty of variety of activities to practice learning new and familiar words. We are also practicing skills such as alphabetical order, reading, listening, and creativity. There is so much pulled into one subject matter.
Horizons is a teacher-led curriculum, but there is plenty of time for my student to take what I have instructed and go forth and practice or complete her worksheet alone until we get back together for review. We truly enjoyed spending the summer immersed in a new skill with Horizons Spelling & Vocabulary. Around the house, we just call it Horizons’ Spelling. Easily this has become a favorite and I can truly tell that AppleBlossom is enjoying it! When she asks to do more than one lesson in a day and even integrates it into her imaginative play with her siblings, I’m sold on that for curriculum. I love the idea of it being a requested workbook and new skill rather than a chore I would have to beg her to get done. She is doing so well. The words are good for her, and so far the basic lists have been very easy for her to master after a practice or two. It is rather the ones we add as working words that she stumbles upon. I love the fact that I have the space and the option to add in working words!
Each lesson is broken down into work for one day.
The week starts with a What Do You Know? pre-test. I love the wording that this curriculum uses in that it tells the students know it is to assess and evaluate. It is not an overwhelming judgement, but a point to met and surpass as you can always improve. There are also extended activities added throughout most lessons to take things a bit further either for the accelerated student or even the one who needs more practice. The procedures and what to say to your students is clearly laid out in the Teacher’s Guide and while some of it is repetitive, it does make it where you do not need to flip back to a previous section to remember how to instruct a specific task.
After the What Do You Know? pre-test, the next lesson is to Introduce the new words pointing out vowels, similar spellings and general practice. Within this lesson the student also writes their words in their Spelling Dictionary, the third booklet that makes up the kit with the Student Workbook and Teacher’s Guide. In the Spelling Dictionary, the words are all written out so that students can read their definition, yet the end of the Student Dictionary has a section with blank lines to add in alphabetical sections their own added working words. This would be the end of a lesson, but there is more in the form of black and white reproducible worksheets found in the Teacher’s Guide to be used if need-be. Some weeks I have chosen to omit these, and others they have been one of the best parts. We have really been able to make this curriculum meet us where we are at and fulfil what my daughter needs.
The third lesson in the week varies with an activity. For instance, in Lesson 17, it is a Crossword Puzzle. My daughter has come to LOVE crossword puzzles! In Lesson 22, the activity is a form of editing, where the student is meant to discover the misspelled word and correct it. The fourth lesson continues practice with looking at the Context and Meaning of Words utilizing the Student Dictionary and her personal Bible. Then the fifth lesson is writing using the new words now hopefully mastered. The writing section is a new skill and still freaks AppleBlossom out a bit, but if we talk through it she can come up with the sentences easily, and can spell them. We just need to break it up a little bit so that she is not too overwhelmed. We do this by my writing out her dictation and her re-writing it most often. Next, we Assess and Evaluate Progress with with a “Checkup” to see what they have mastered and learned.
The Teacher’s Guide is written as if this is taught in a school, often with the statement of “send words to review home for additional study”, but overall in the teaching scheme it does not disrupt. I just make a note to study it later in the day at a separate time from our normal spelling time. The first 216 pages in the Teacher’s Guide covers all 160 lessons which is enough for one entire school year. The last pp. 217-259 is reproducible worksheets and this is followed by phonics rules on 8×11 full scale pages in black and white to p. 306. The last bit is a cumulative word list for Spelling 1 & 2 so that it is available at hand. I should mention, the entire Teacher’s Guide is in black and white, the Student Workbook is full-color with perforated pages.
The only qualms I have is their recommendation to take out the student pages and not use them as connected in the book. It is stated that this will improve handwirting. We have not found it to make a difference for us at this junction and most all of her workbooks, even those with perforation across the curriculum we leave as a whole. This helps us to not lose pages and storage after a grade is complete. However, I do see their point in how if a child is having a bit of difficulty, removing a page could remove any structure that might be hampering their writing skill in penmanship.
In the front of the book is a manuscript and on the reverse a cursive guide on how to form each letter and we have found this to be fabulous. As AppleBlossom will want a cursive example in front of her so she will turn to this page to observe and practice how to form her letters correctly.
Lastly, we have had quite a bit of pages from the Teacher’s Guide come out, out of the glued spine with hardly and provocation. While the Student Workbook is completely holding up to task and meant to be taken apart, the Teacher’s Guide is not meant to come apart, so I was quite surprise when in the third lesson pages starting popping away from the spine and now in the reproducible section as well. This, however, is absolutely not enough to deter me from the program. On the same though, the Spelling Dictionary is very flimsy in the cover and I am not sure that it will last the year, but it is a great concept and it is helping to encourage my daughter to be very careful with certain of her school tools and materials.
All in all, I have found this to be a great program. I do like to bring in rules such as /ai/ is two-letter /a/ as a reminder from other lessons I observed, but as a primary level for Spelling and Vocabulary I have found Horizons to indeed have an incredible product. I have found myself to be a fan, and I have found my daughter to be quite proud and impressed with the work and skills that she has accomplished thus far going through the lessons. Each week has introduced basic words that seem to follow along on a phonics rule and then working words that push a little bit farther as they are words she will come across before we necessarily get to them phonetically such as the month of the year, or day of the week and so on. Being able to add our own working words as well makes this perfectly adaptable to where we are in our learning and it has made her eager to practice something that she was not familiar with before.
I absolutely would love to continue with Horizons Spelling and Vocabulary Grade 3 in the future and beyond!
I encourage you to read the rest of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviews in this series as other families are tackling other subjects from Horizons such as Health, Phonics, Physical Education, Math, and even Penmanship! Also, Horizons has an incredible Preschool program both for threes and fours. From a few years ago, I experienced the Answers in Genesis Answers for Preschoolers program that is the core Horizons Preschool for Fours and suggest you read that review as well to see that across the curriculum, Horizons has incredible products.
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