Calvert Spelling

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  • Reviewed on Thursday, May 14, 2015
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2014-present
I bought this curriculum because my son needed a program where he could type. He doesn't have any significant issues with spelling but doesn't pick things up on the fly either. He needs to practice spelling in order to learn it.

We have been delighted with this program. Each chapter starts with a preliminary quiz. Then an applicable phonics rule is reviewed, then practice exercises are assigned, which vary in number depending on how many words your child missed. The child then takes a final test and words missed there reappear in a cumulative review over the next few chapters. We skipped the writing exercises as we didn't need them.

The program is easy, fun, inexpensive and my son appears to be retaining what he learns. We love that we can hop on the computer and be done in 5-10 minutes.


  • Reviewed on Friday, April 18, 2008
  • Grades Used: 4th - 7th
  • Dates used: Uknown
Yes Yes Yes! This was great it was a strugle for me to find spelling and this is GREAT! This put my kids to the right spelling path! It helped my strugglers to be above par! Wonderful CD!


  • Reviewed on Friday, August 17, 2007
  • Grades Used: 3rd-4th, 6th-7th
  • Dates used: 2005-2007
This program has been wonderful for both my natural speller and my struggling speller. For my natural speller, it's a timesaver and one subject that I do not have to be involved in at all. For my struggling speller, Calvert Spelling on CD has literally been like a miracle cure.

At the end of 3rd grade, my daughter was 2 years below grade level in writing and spelling. Because she's a perfectionist, her inability to learn to spell was also keeping her from progressing in writing. She could take a 4-letter word, choose all the right letters, but fail to put them in the correct order no matter how many times she tried. She would look at the word, know it was misspelled, fail to figure out the correct spelling, and have a total meltdown. By the end of 3rd grade, she was beginning to pull her hair and call herself stupid. I was at a loss on how to help her and was just about ready to ante up the money for an evaluation by a neuropsychologist.

By chance, I saw the 3rd grade Calvert CD for sale on a used curriculum board, and decided to try it since we had nothing to lose. Wow! She cried through the first two lessons because she didn't know how to spell all of the words. I kept coaching her through it, explaining that the program would teach her the words she didn't already know. By the end of the week, spelling had become her favorite subject! And the best part -- when she learns how to spell a word with Calvert, she really knows that word. Once she built a bank of words that she could spell, her writing gradually took off, and now she's up to grade level.

What I have learned is that my daughter is a visual-spatial learner. Four years of phonics did nothing but frustrate her and make her feel like a failure, because VSL's learn from whole to parts. If we had not found Calvert Spelling, I'm convinced that we would have ended up spending thousands of $$ on testing, therapy, and tutoring for my daughter. I know that there is not one solution that works for every struggling speller, but if you feel like you've tried *everything else* and your child still can't spell, I'd encourage you to try Calvert. For the price, it's certainly worth a try.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, March 23, 2006
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2006
I have had so much trouble finding a good fit for spelling for my son. I chose to buy the Calvert CD after reading about it here. The price was very reasonable, $20. We've used it now four months. I like that it is easy for my son to do on his own. I thought the words were a good mix of easy to hard.

But some of the things I don't like: The program is VERY repetitious, same thing over and over (like another poster wrote). It bores my son silly. The student starts with a pretest of 10 words, missed words are corrected, the student does a "lab" game, and then there is a post test. After every fourth lesson there is a test. My son thinks they games are way to silly and easy, but he is used to more sophisticated computer games (favorites are Jump Start 3rd grade and Carmen San Diego).

So here's what I've done to make the CD work for us: He has a spiral notebook. After each pretest, he writes the words he missed and the ones he got correct. Some days he does the labs, some days we do a "quiz" where I chose the words. At his weekly test after each fourth lesson, he is allowed to use his spiral notebook to spell words he cannot remember. Then, we alternate the CD with one week of doing worksheets from a spelling book on word family studies. It seems to work for him, and I do not have the arguements and tears I used to get with spelling. Next year, I plan to keep with the CD and use Apples worksheets, alternating each week to keep him from getting bored. I have seen a moderate improvement in his remembering spelling words at least whereas before using this CD he would only remember t-h-e and c-a-t.

So I still have not found the perfect spelling program. This CD is ok but not great, but I figure for the cost it is worthwhile. He's typing the words, writing the words, and looking up words he can't remember how to spell.