Apples: Daily Spelling Drills for Secondary Students has been a wonderful addition to our middle school curricula. My daughter has been through years of spelling since she’s in 8th grade. I wasn’t quite ready to completely stop spelling instruction, but I didn’t want it to take up too much time and be drudgery this year either.
Apples has been the perfect fit for us! Each week my daughter reviews one spelling rule and practices the rule over the course of the week through various fun and fast drill worksheets. It’s turned out to be a great review and reinforcement of spelling rules she’s learned from the very beginning until now. Of course, the easier rules don’t necessarily mean super-simple words. The rule is applied with words that are appropriate for the middle school student.
And speaking of the words, there aren’t spelling lists to study or spelling tests at the end of the week. Quite simply, my daughter just does the daily puzzle or fill-in-the-blank style worksheet. Each day during the week, she will complete different styles of activities using different words, all centering around understanding and applying the weekly rule. (As we all know, many words don’t follow the spelling rules, and these exceptions are covered, too – especially if you choose to use Apples 2.)
On the publisher’s website, you will find the curriculum touted as being good for struggling spellers. While I can see how this is true since basic spelling rules are taught, I wouldn’t single it out as a remedial program only. In fact, my daughter is very good at spelling and is still gaining a lot from the daily rule reminders and spelling drills. Best of all, she finds the ten minutes (or less) spent doing the “fun sheets” a nice break from the rest of her lessons!