I have been wanting to try All About Spelling for several years and last summer I decided this would be the year.
At first, I only planned to use the program with my youngest two children and purchased another spelling program for the older four. One of the reasons it took me so long to bite the bullet and buy All About Spelling was that it is not an independent program; you need to sit and teach each student. And spelling is a skill, which means each student really needs to be taught at their own level and not combined with a sibling.
This post contains affiliate links.
We Started at the Beginning
Although I did not plan to combine them, I did start both of my students with Level 1. The program builds incrementally and I wanted to make sure they had the basics down. Although they flew through Level One in just over a month, I am glad that I started there because there were a few rules, phonograms, and patterns that needed reinforcement.
In fact, I am going through all the Level One words right now at the end of the year with one of my children and still finding several that he needs to relearn. The other student spells more easily so I am not sure if I will review the Level One words or just continue in Level 3 until the end of the school year.
My youngest, age 8, will probably be finishing Level 3, or very close to it. His older brother, age 9, has stopped in the middle of Level 3 to go over review. Spelling is very difficult for him and I could see it was getting too difficult. He had some vision problems, which are now corrected from therapy, but because of the time it took to get a diagnosis and therapy (years) he is a bit below level with reading and spelling.
One of the cognitive keys to keep kids interested in learning is to teach at the correct level – the place between too easy and too hard. I found All About Spelling to be a curriculum that is very easy to adapt in order to keep teaching at just the right level.
Good for Big Kids Too
Soon my 10 and 12-year-old were begging to do All About Spelling also. I gave in, although I had my 10 year old continue her other spelling program alongside this one for daily practice. I found the program easy to adapt to older kids. I did not go through Level 1 in its’ entirety with my older children. For the 12-year-old, I did read her every word covered in Level 1 and 2 and then we started with Book 3. She was able to progress quickly and is currently finishing Book 5.
I gave my 10 year old some of the placement tests available online and decided to start her in Book 4. So far she is moving quickly, but will only finish that book this year since I was not able to give her a lesson every day.
For both of the older kids, I keep two different sections for review. I often do not tell them what rule or pattern is going to be covered for their new words (I skip the lesson, then go back and teach it after I give them the words). This is my way of knowing if they already have the word mastered. If they get it right on the first try I move it into a ‘mastered-mastered’ divider and we do not go over it again. If they miss it on the first try I put it in review, then once they know it, mastered, this ‘other’ mastered pile gets reviewed every time a lesson in All About Spelling instructs us to review all cards behind the mastered dividers. This keeps us from spending weeks reviewing words that they already knew before we started the program while also ensuring they are getting the repetition needed with the words they had not previously mastered.
Once the kids get to a point where the words are more difficult I do not go through the lessons, or books, as quickly, it is just a matter of knowing what pace they can master the new information.
So, in one year, as a teacher, I have been all the way through books 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the All About Spelling series. I also own book 6, because at one point we thought the 12-year-old would be in that one before the end of the year, but we are saving it for next year.
Yes, I spent a lot of money on spelling this year, but I didn’t need to buy much else. (After 10+ years homeschooling there are a lot of
stashes just waiting to be used again!)
I am very impressed with All About Spelling. I have used a lot of spelling programs and spent a lot of time trying to help my kids master this skill. Spelling does not come easily to us as a family, and is always a low score on assessment tests. This can make a homeschool mom feel like a failure, but I am confident I have done all I can in order to master this skill for my family. In the end I have to do my best and ‘just keep spelling’ and not stress over it, because there are bigger things in life than spelling.
All About Spelling is a master of patterns, connections, and memorization. It keeps the student moving forward at a comfortable pace and includes enough review that they are not just forgetting everything they learned at the beginning of the year by the end of the year.
This curriculum is very easy for the teacher to just open and go and easily adapts to the pace at which the student is ready to learn. There are plenty of sentences and words lists you can add to your review words to complete a day of spelling when your student is not ready to move on to the next lesson. If your student masters them all quickly it is unlikely that they need extra days on those word lists and sentences. (I don’t give all the sentences in one day. We do a few depending on the age of the child and if we don’t write all of the sentences because we move to the next lesson on the next day, that is ok.)
Great for all Learning Styles
I believe great curriculum should be able to teach students of any learning style and All About Spelling definitely fulfills this requirement.
Enter to win a Level 2 All About Spelling set! Set includes the Teacher’s Manual and two student packets. The drawing will be held at the end of the series and the winner will be contacted via email. Product is physical and will be shipped to your home.
PIN FOR LATER: