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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TOS Review IEW Phonetics Zoo

My blog is being scraped again.  If you are reading this on a website other than www.crazyhomedaze.blogspot.com you are reading a stolen copy of my content.



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It's time for another review with The Crew!  This time I was absolutely blessed to be on this review.  It is for the Institute for Excellence in Writing's Phonetic Zoo Spelling program.  I had heard of IEW but only for their writing program.  I wasn't really aware that they had a spelling program until now.

Can you say wow?  We have loved this program.  Truly.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you a little about the program.  I was given the Starter Set to review.  That set included
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• 5 audio CDs (Level C has 6 CDs)
• Spelling and the Brain and Introduction to The Phonetic Zoo DVD with the following:
    - Spelling and the Brain video seminar
    - Introduction to The Phonetic Zoo video
    - The Phonetic Zoo teacher’s notes PDF file
• Lesson Cards with all three levels of spelling words and jingles
• Personal Spelling Cards to keep track of your student’s typical misspellings
• Zoo Cards, which serve as a way to practice jingles or as rewards



I wasn't sure what to think when we first opened the package, there is so much that comes with it!  We laid it all out and put the CD into the computer and watched the first video.  Spelling and the Brain was very interesting and answered so many questions I had in relation to my second born daughter.  Just listening to it had me anxious with anticipation.


Next, we watched the Introduction to The Phonetic Zoo.  It gave a clear explanation of the program in a way that I felt ready to implement it.  Plus, I really enjoy listening to Andrew Pudewa talk!  I heard him in Cincinnati and was enthralled with his speaking ability and presentation.

The Phonetic Zoo is a different approach than I was familiar with and I wasn't sure about it at first.  We had been using a different program with some success but it didn't seem to be sticking.  So, when this program said that it was designed in such a way as to give them retention in their spelling; I was completely on board.  Who doesn't want their kids to really know how to spell instead of just memorizing letters?  Or not if they struggle with spelling?

The second day we had the program, I set my daughter up and explained it to her.  She wasn't too sure about it at first, but agreed to give it a try.  She had her headphones, her notebook, and two pens; she was ready to go.  As soon as the speaker started talking, she was hooked.  At first the words were going too fast and she had to pause the disk often; but she soon got the hang of it.  She is such an auditory learner that she is really thriving with this program.

What happens is that student reviews the rule that they are learning and then they listen to the spelling list one word at a time.  They write the words one after the other, when they are done they listen to the correct spelling of each word and mark the wrong ones.  It is an instant return on their work.  The next thing that is different about this program is that they take the test every day until they score 100% twice in a row for the list.  At first my daughter didn't care for that but after she had taken the test a few times and the number of wrong words was dropping, she was thrilled!  The first list only took her around 6 tries to get the full list right.  Spelling isn't her strong suit so to have her excited about it is amazing.

I honestly can't say enough about this program and you know by now if I didn't like it I would tell you!  I think the cost of the program is a bit daunting but when you see what you get and that you can use it for however many kids you need it for, it is a great investment.  The cost of the Starter Program is $99.  Seem steep?  Look back up towards the top to see what all comes in the package.  It is quite an investment! 

If that is too steep, they have a Budget Pack for just $29!  This is an economical way to implement the program, this package includes:
• Spelling and the Brain and Introduction to The Phonetic Zoo DVD with the following:
    - Spelling and the Brain video seminar
    - Introduction to The Phonetic Zoo video
    - The Phonetic Zoo teacher’s notes PDF file
• Lesson Cards with all three levels of spelling words and rules
• Personal Spelling Cards to keep track of your student’s typical misspellings
• Zoo Cards, which serve as a way to practice rules or as rewards

No audio CDs are included. Instead, a parent, tutor, or older sibling can give the spelling words to the student.

You can also buy the Audios only CD and the Personal Spelling & Zoo Cards individually.  You can find the pricing and list of what they carry for the Phonetic Zoo here.  If you have questions about the program this is a great page with so many answers about the program and wonderful information that you may just want to read it anyway!  You can also head over to this page and listen to an introduction to Excellence in Spelling by Andrew Pudewa.  Look for the link just above the pricing list for the program.

IEW also has many other great products, just look at this page to see for yourself.  There is also a great page with contact info, information about Andrew Pudewa, the History of IEW, and much more!

As I said, we just love this program.  My daughter no longer fights me to do spelling everyday; she actually enjoys it now.  That makes the program worth it for me!  I'm not sure this program would be a good fit for my oldest daughter, though.  She is a natural speller and doesn't need much instruction in the mechanics of it.  I could be wrong, though.  We are going to give it a try later just to see how it works for her.

If you want to read what other Crew members thought about this program, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**I was given this program to review in exchange for my honest opinion through The TOS Crew.








6 comments:

Tristan said...

I really like that this program is reuseable for multiple children! It would be a good fit for my 3rd child, who is very auditory. We'll be trying it with her when she's a bit older as she is only 5 now. Good review!

momma24 said...

I love that too, Tristan. It helps the budget and the planning! I will be trying it with my youngest as well but not for a while, bc she is 5 too! lol

Thanks for the compliment!

Lisa said...

Sounds like a great program (although a bit expensive.) I enjoyed reading your review.

Twisted Cinderella said...

Happy New Years! Here’s to a fabulous new year!

Rodna said...

Great review. I am seriously considering getting it for my daughter.

momma24 said...

Rodna, we are still using it and loving it. She is progressing with her spelling and still enjoying it. :)