Modern Milestones

In Modern Milestones, students are introduced to a new way of marking word patterns that emphasizes how prefixes and suffixes are added to base words to enhance or change their meanings. Passages on artists, musicians, scientists, and others who have influenced our world since early modern times provide opportunities for students to practice new word patterns in a meaningful context.

Modern Milestones is designed for students in the Word Extension stage of spelling. Students will read about the contributions of many different people during the last four centuries. Students will begin to learn details about specific spelling patterns, particularly how prefixes and suffixes are used to expand or change the meaning of words.

This level:

  • Features artists, musicians, scientists, and others who have influenced our world since early modern times
  • Expands and adapts the familiar Spelling You See activities:
    • marking word patterns – focuses attention on the ways in which suffixes and prefixes affect the spelling of different words
    • copywork – continues to be a valuable tool to help the brain pay attention to details in print
    • dictation – gives the student the opportunity to recall the proper letter patterns from memory
  • Includes a weekly Workshop activity that provides students with opportunities to apply and practice the patterns they have learned
  • Gradually increases in reading level, providing opportunities for vocabulary development and allowing students to learn how to spell words in an interesting context

Is my child ready for Modern Milestones?

Read the passage below to your student, asking them to follow along.

The Chinese were the first people to print books. Their language uses thousands of characters instead of a simple alphabet. For many years they carved each page into a wooden block. Later, each character was carved from clay. The characters were baked so they would harden. Next they were fastened onto iron plates. A page was printed from each plate. Thankfully the clay characters could be used over and over! The process was a challenge. Still, it was easier than copying books by hand.

Ask your student to read the passage aloud by themselves.

Dictate the following list of words, one at a time, to your student, asking them to write the words on a piece of paper.

thousands, alphabet, carved, wooden, harden, fasten, iron, thankfully, process, challenge

If you answer “Yes” to these three questions, your child is ready to begin Modern Milestones.

  • Can my student follow written instructions and work independently?
  • Was my student able to read the paragraph aloud without sounding words out or pausing? Note that the paragraph is written at the minimum reading level for Modern Milestones.
  • Was my student able to spell correctly eight of the ten listed words?

If you answer “No” to any of the questions above, try the readiness guidelines for the previous level, Ancient Achievements.

Lessons contained in Modern Milestones

Lesson 4: Changing a Base Word

A Typical Week:

Days 1-2:

Parts A and B

  • Read Passage Aloud
  • Mark Letter Patterns as Directed
  • Student Copies Passage for 10 Minutes, Then Marks Patterns

Day 3:

Part C

  • Read Passage Aloud
  • Mark Letter Patterns as Directed
  • Complete Workshop activity

Days 4-5:

Parts D and E

  • Read Passage Aloud
  • Mark Letter Patterns as Directed
  • 10 Minutes of Dictation, Then Mark Patterns

Modern Milestones Set

Includes everything you need for your student in the word extension stage of spelling, with 36 lessons of Modern Milestones:
  • Instructor’s Handbook
    • Introduction to the philosophy of Spelling You See
    • Getting Started guide
  • Student Pack
    • 2 Student Workbooks
    • Erasable colored pencils

Modern Milestones Individual Items

The Student Pack includes two student workbooks and a pack of erasable colored pencils. Each of the 36 lessons is divided into five parts, A through E, and includes two facing pages. The pages include instructional material for the student. Each day the student reads the passage and marks the appropriate base words, suffixes, and prefixes indicated for that day’s lesson. Copywork, writing from dictation, and a weekly Workshop page provide opportunities to practice word patterns in a meaningful context.
The Instructor’s Handbook contains an introduction to the philosophy behind Spelling You See and the five developmental stages of spelling. The Handbook also contains a “Getting Started” guide with an overview of the organization of the 36 lessons and information about the important skills and concepts to be taught at this level. At the back of the Handbook there is more information about each activity, answers to frequently asked questions, the passages for dictation, and an answer key. There are also tables summarizing the word patterns taught in Modern Milestones.