Mom-to-Mom Support/How do I know which book to choose for the appropriate placement level?

How do I know which speller to choose for the appropriate placement level?


Your program My Catholic Speller has recently been suggested for my son. Do you offer a placement test so that I can figure out what level to start him at? If not, what are your suggestions for figuring out what level to start him at? Thank you for your time.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for your question.

While we have no placement tests, if your son is having difficulty with spelling, I would suggest beginning with the speller that is just below his current grade level.  For example, if he is in second grade, he would normally be using My Catholic Speller A.  Thus, to go down one level, he would instead begin with My Very First Catholic Speller.

The advantages to beginning with a lower level book are that the lower level will expose him to phonics and spelling approaches that he may be lacking and he may, for the first time, begin to have success with spelling.  Laying this early and solid foundation will prepare him for success at the next level.  In addition, he may be able to work through the lower level book fairly rapidly and thus catch up to his grade level.

If your son seems to work above level in most areas, it would be prudent to begin with the speller that is for his grade level.  Should you find that he breezes through that level, you will still have the assurance that he does, indeed, have the foundation to move on to the next level without the danger of skipping an important spelling or phonics concept.

May Our Lord bless and guide your homeschooling days,

Nancy Nicholson

About Nancy Nicholson

Nancy Nicholson is one of the founding authors of Catholic Heritage Curricula. Equipped with an abundance of God-given talent, a major in Secondary Education–English, and years of experience homeschooling her own children, she has written over thirty educational titles, beginning with Little Stories for Little Folks. Her unique ability to develop programs and workbooks that “fit” both advanced and struggling students is due to her experience raising children of different ability levels and learning styles: two of her children are developmentally challenged, while another went on to graduate from Harvard and is now a college professor.