Evan Moor Building Spelling Skills Review mionkeyandmom homeschool spelling curriculum

Easy-to-Implement Spelling Curriculum- Evan Moor’s Building Spelling Skills

Spelling skills are an important part of our homeschool.

We’ve tried numerous programs over the years and all had good and bad parts. Despite the fact that Marc is a great speller, we will continue with spelling instruction because I feel he would still benefit from it.

Of course, we do lists of spelling words for middle school, but we also like keeping an eye on Evan Moor because we love their workbooks and 6th grade is the last chance to make use of these beautiful workbooks before we’re too old for them.

The truth is that the best homeschool spelling curriculum is relative to everyone. Some kids learn best by writing or using workbooks and others through games or even spelling apps for kids. Whatever it is that your kids prefer, make sure it suits their style.

A little bit about Evan Moor

Evan Moor is a renowned educational publisher of supplemental materials. Since 1979 they have been creating support and supplemental materials for educators: teachers or homeschool parents alike.

Their materials are Common Core aligned and very easy to implement and you can use them to supplement your main curriculum. There are over 500 titles and digital products for a variety of subjects so you have plenty of titles to choose from.

The main goal of Evan Moor is to help kids learn and understand basic or complex concepts. With this goal in mind, they created resources that are suitable for varied levels of learners.

When it comes to teachers, Evan Moor’s books are very easy to implement, with clear, concise instructions and easy-to-use reproductibles.

What I like about Evan Moor is their multitude of options for each subject. You will surely find something that works for your family. They also have a full series that you can come back to year after year without having to worry about what workbooks to pick next.

Building Spelling Skills Series

Evan Moor has 2 different series for spelling:

The series I am reviewing today is Building Spelling Skills and it’s available from 1st grade until 6th. We will have a closer look at 5th grade.

Building Spelling Skills from Evan Moor, review by monkeyandmom

Pin this image to read the article later. πŸ“Œ

The Building Spelling Skills series comes in both book and ebook formats which makes it very convenient for homeschoolers.

We prefer getting the ebook format to avoid shipping costs and waiting times. When I received this ebook I easily printed it on our newest HP printer. I love the duplex feature of this printer and a full review is due soon! Then I bound the book at home.

Building Spelling Skills – layout

The daily lessons are sandwiched between the teacher instructions (at the beginning of the book) and teacher materials and reproductibles (at the end of the book).

This is the book’s layout:

Scope and Sequence

Will show you what your child will be learning, for example spelling words with “r” controlled vowel sounds.
This is very useful if you want to check at a glance what’s being covered in each lesson or for record-keeping purposes.

Teaching the Weekly Unit

Detailed instructions on how you should teach each lesson and how you can break the lesson into daily activities.

I love Evan Moor books because everything is laid out for the teacher, but at the same time, everything is flexible enough to be moved around.

Spelling Strategies & How to Study Your List

These can be made into posters to remind kids how to learn the new spelling words.

This is very helpful for children that need a lot of repetition and reminders but it can also be condensed for kids that need less of that.

Sentences for Dictation

These will be the sentences you use to dictate to your kids and you have them all in one place, which makes it very easy for parents to just mark the ones that need more repetition.

Word Lists

I love these! I made them into bookmarks by printing them on colored paper and M is marking the words he didn’t know on them. Then he will use it throughout the week by keeping them on his desk so he revisits every day which words were spelled wrong.

Building Spelling Skills is divided into 30 lessons which translate into 30 weeks of school. This is great for us because I plan our school year for 30 weeks and that means no more tweaking for me.

The lessons are divided into 5 days: 4 for the instruction and repetition and 5th for the spelling test. They are easy to go through- you just do one page per day- and the activities throughout the book are varied enough to keep kids from getting bored.


This is how they approach a week of lessons:


On the first day, you introduce the new spelling words. This will be the longest day of the week in terms of spelling instruction because today you:

  • read the words and spell them aloud
  • give example sentences with the words and make sure the child understands the meaning of each word
  • copy the words from the list
  • cover the list and write the words from memory
  • check the work

Tuesday you repeat the words by doing an activity for the word meaning and dictation.

There are just 2 sentences to dictate and they contain some of the words from that week.

Some activities today include:

  • filling the blanks
  • crossword puzzles
  • rhyming words
  • antonyms
  • word families
  • homonyms

On the third day, the activities vary.

Here are some of the examples that we have in our 5th-grade book:

  • listing words by their sound
  • marking vowels
  • syllable exercises
  • missing letters
  • verb tenses
  • contractions
  • subject-verb agreement
  • compound words
  • synomyms
  • verb endings
  • plural forms
  • schwa sound

Thursdays are for completing the last activity from the workbook. Some examples of activities I found are:

  • circle the correct/incorrect word
  • editing sentences/texts

I love these activities because they pertain to text editing and finding mistakes, which I consider to be a necessary skill in so many areas, including writing.


On the last day, the kids just have a spelling test. The reproductible page is at the end of the book.

I usually dictate the words to M and he just writes them down. This wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and is the shortest day of the week for spelling for us.

Any words that are still misspelled on Friday will go on the bonus words space for the next week.

All the lessons are organized in this fashion which is great for keeping a steady, but not overwhelming, rhythm. At the end of the book you can find the following reproductibles:

  • Spelling Record Sheet – great for teachers or co-ops.
  • My Spelling Record– this is something Itogive to your childrenat the end of the week to fill in, so they lean how to keep track of what they are working on. They even have a space for any misspelled words.
  • Spelling Test – this is what we use on Fridays to evaluate the kids’ spelling. There’s a list for 20 words and the 2 sentences they need to write by dictation.
  • Spelling List template– allows us to make our own spelling list. I am planning to use this for any complex words we might find in our reading. For example, we already made a similar list for vocabulary from The Little House on the Prairie which is our current read-aloud.
  • Crossword Puzzle – you can create your own! M loves this one! He even created a puzzle that I will add in the printable section – for the chemistry-loving kids out there.
  • Student Spelling Dictionaries – in case your kids need more occasions to repeat the words or if they are the crafty type that like to create new things- this is perfect for those families.
  • Diploma – how motivating for the kids to finish the whole book until they receive their own “You’re a Super Speller” diploma.
  • Master Word List– a list of all the words covered in the book
  • Answer Keys– I can’t stand books that don’t have these because it’s so much faster to just open and correct than to sit and solve the exercises yourself. A real help for busy parents.
evan moor building spelling skills review monkeyandmom1

What I like about Building Spelling Skills from Evan Moor

While I know that Evan Moor‘s books are primarily used to supplement and complement a curriculum, I can confidently use this as the only spelling program at this point since we just need to review and refresh spelling. M is a great speller, courtesy of LOE but he still misses some words and Evan Moor is just what we needed to fill that gap without having to invest a lot of time in a new curriculum for spelling.

I am listing the top 3 benefits for us:

1. It’s affordable

Since they offer the option of ebook or printed book, I think that Evan Moor is one of the most flexible publishers in this matter. They understand that they have international clients or people that can’t wait for shipping times. Their prices are very decent so that makes them perfect for multiple kids families.

evan moor building spelling skills review monkeyandmom8

2. It’s accessible

You can see the WHOLE workbooks online for most of their programs. Evan Moor is awesome like that. I can flip through entire books on their website and decide for myself if it would be a good fit for our family before I buy anything. So head over to their website and start browsing and viewing all the books! It’s free!

Building Spelling Skills is divided into 30 weeks. It’s very easy for the teacher because it’s basically open-and-go, no prep work required! Plus it’s short and sweet for the children. After the first few lessons, they will know exactly what to expect each week.

It can be used independently by your children. If your kids are used to independent work and you trust them not to peek at the word list while they do their exercises, this is an awesome workbook that can be done independently.

evan moor building spelling skills review monkeyandmom7

3. Easy to implement

Building Spelling Skills is easy to follow through and be consistent with because it doesn’t take a lot of time each day. The longest day might be Monday, depending on how you choose to do the activities.

Another point worth mentioning is that you can adjust it! We have adjusted it (as most of our curricula) so that the instruction time and activity time are even shorter. M isn’t copying the words on the first day, I dictate them to him after he reads them all. He isn’t a fan of copywork and repetitive work so I always need to adjust for that.

evan moor building spelling skills review monkeyandmom6

To sum, here are the points we love:

  • it’s affordable- the ebook formats are really handy and fast to get.
  • the lessons are short
  • it’s easy to implement
  • easy to stay consistent with the lessons
  • very well organized
  • NO prep work for the parent
  • can be done independently
  • it has uselful reproductibles like the crossword puzzle maker and the lists of words that can be turned to bookmarks

What I don’t like about Evan Moor’s Building Selling Skills

As with any program, this is not be a one-size-fits-all curriculum. These are some points that I think would need some improvement or tweaking to work better for us:

  • the 5th-grade spelling words seem too easy for Marc for the most part. They would work wonders for a child who is struggling with spelling. We might have been better off choosing the 6th-grade book. So remember this when choosing your level if your child is a good speller.
  • Spelling Rules- I wish they had some spelling rules included with each lesson just to refresh them.

How we do it

As I mentioned, we customize most of our materials because M isn’t very fond of repetitive work. So we needed to adjust Building Spelling Skills to our needs.

Building Spelling Skills Letter spelling evan moor monkeyandmom

On the first day, he reads the word list and we discuss any words he doesn’t know. Then he covers the word list and I dictate all the words to him.

If he has any words that he didn’t know how to spell, he will write them down on the COPY column.

After that, he will do the Tuesday activities independently.

On the second day, he will do the Wednesday and Thursday activities independently and on the third day, we have the spelling test.

If he missed any words on the test, he will write those words down in the bonus words section for next week.

That’s how we manage to finish a lesson in 3 days instead of 5. We spend on average about 20 minutes per day with the spelling activities.

Printable Gift

I am trying to make a small printable with each blog post now so, for today’s article, I made a Spelling Journal that can be used from kindergarten too(Yes, I included lower primary writing lines). I hope you like it ❀️

printable spelling journal monkeyandmom

You can find it in my Resource Library. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, make sure you subscribe below to access all my printables for free, and check back often to get new ones (or just wait for my e-mails to know when a new one is added).

This is how Marc is using it, he chose the bug spelling list (unsurprisingly) and he loved writing his words for the day.

Building Spelling Skills – Review Video and Flip-through

For my video-loving readers, I’ve created a video review and flip-through. If you like it, don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel.


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