Overall my cost will be low. Your time and myk time, while quantifiable and valuable, will not be required as much as you may think.
Choose a level from the following books and download the PDF from Google Books:
Pay close attention to the words in the column on the right side of the page. Evaluate based on the sentence difficulty and word choices for focus. Check the review words too. Go back or up a book level based on your evaluation. Use the current spelling resource or reading level to help you judge which is best suited for the student.
Each book is divided into two semesters, as well as by year, and offers daily lessons. You may opt to start in the anywhere in the book where your student will be challenged. These lessons will not correlate in any manner, other than by mere coincidence, with Simply Spelling, so do not concern yourself with pairing the sentences.
The student will not be required to finish the book either. Do not even try. Feel free to skip lessons at whim or repeat as needed. My goal is three daily lessons for studying each week. I choose from The Modern Speller or Dictation Day by Day.
Download Simply Spelling Grades 3-12 from Shoelace Books. This is in a PDF format also. My last download cost me just under ten dollars.
While I chose this particular resource for the weekly study and dictation, the choices included Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason, Spelling Through Copywork from Queen Homeschool, any similiar copy-work- or dictation- styled resource. I decided on the aforementioned due to the daily tasks for assignment, the clear approach to study that is outlined, the syllabic concentration, and the review of phonetics. Once again, Spelling by Sound and Structure and Megawords approached spelling by evaluating the way in which a sound can be spelled, and I liked this approach very much.
Digital recorder or other method to create a digital recording of the selections for Simply Spelling.
Choose one that is inexpensive. You only need a few minutes of time to record a selection. You can use your tablet, iPod, or similar mp3 device for playback, and generate the sound files on your computer too. You have many options. I will be recording on the computer and transferring to the iPod for my student.
Choose two composition, spiral, or pronged notebooks.
I am a big fan of notebooks. Label them “Spelling” or “Spelling Study”, or even some eccentric title. The notebook requires a cover – at least it does in our house. (See here.) Our notebooks have subtitles, “Weekly Study” and “Daily Study”. I admit to being very, very simple with the covers for most printed items. We do not get nearly as decorative or elaborate as the examples that I provided in the link.
At any point that you encounter an unknown word, either meaning or pronunciation, a good dictionary is a must have.
The definition is a necessary entry in your spelling notebook for unknown words. I prefer Dictionary.com’s app for the tablet over an actual dictionary. This makes lookup quick and easy. They have an audio tool that will pronounce the word, which is valuable when trying to encourage independent learning.
Decide whether you will be using a tablet or printing the pages of the books.
If you decide to print, as I have done, consider printing in booklet form. When you click Print from the menu or toolbar of Adobe, you will see the Booklet button. Choose “Both Sides” from the booklet drop-down menu. Your printer must be able to print both sides, or you will need to reload pages. I punch two holes on the left side of the page and insert prongs. The covers are laminated for durability. I believe that the total cost (using fast draft to save ink) was somewhere in the neighborhood of two dollars! I spent only 30 minutes to assemble. You can comb bind or place in a pronged folder. Adjust your printing method to fit your desired binding style.
If using a tablet, choose a good PDF reader, or add the book to your library for the Kindle or Nook Apps.
You may ask why did I choose the additional vintage resources. I was concerned with the quantity of words for focus during the week. Choosing this form of studied spelling does require you to have ample resources to study the words in context. Simply Spelling was not enough for my fifth grade student. I wanted the study to last 10 to 30 minutes each day. More often than not, the study lasts 15 to 20 minutes.
I managed to blend all of the things that I found worked best to create a visual memory, using copy-work and dictation, for spelling and still enhance other skill’s objectives.