Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Curriculum Favorites: All About Spelling

*This post contains affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!

There are a lot of good spelling curriculum for homeschoolers.  I have had an opportunity to review several great ones and have bought and used several good ones over the years as well.  But, All About Spelling still stands out as being my favorite and in this post I am going to explain why.

One of the biggest reasons I love All About Spelling is because it works.  It has taught my struggling readers how to spell as well as read.  Why does it work?  I think for us it works so well because of it's multi-sensory approach.  Rather than have children try and memorize and write random word lists, All About Spelling teaches rules that make sense.  Students have an opportunity to see, hear, say, build (and this was a key step for us) and write the words.  Using this approach suits a wide variety of learners.

I like that it is not grade level based.  There are 7 levels of AAS and everyone should start out at level one.  Older students will go through it more quickly, but by starting at level one you can ensure that your students know and remember all of the rules.  How quickly you move through the levels will depend on your student.

It is scripted for the teacher.  You do not have to spend a lot of prep time for each lesson.  You will have to spend some time when you first get the curriculum setting up your card box and your letter tiles, but once that is done it is a matter of making sure you have any you need ready to add to your board and you are ready to go.  Even though it is scripted, it is still flexible.  If your child shows comprehension of that lesson very quickly, you can move on to the next lesson.  If they do not there are extra words and dictation sentences that you can use to keep working on the same spelling rule.

It is cost effective for even large families.  This is one of the biggest selling points to me.  When I first looked at AAS, I thought it was expensive compared to other spelling curriculum.  But, when you add up the price of buying a new workbook for each student every year, All About Spelling actually works out to be much cheaper.  Your student does not write in the book, instead they do their work on a white board, so it can be used for multiple students.  Even if you only have one child, AAS resells very well and you could sell your used levels lowering your cost.

Are there any negatives?  Some people feel that it is too teacher intensive, especially if you have several children working in different levels.  It takes me around 20 minutes or so a day for the spelling part, longer if we are reading from one of the All About Reading Readers to go along with our lesson.  If you have children with similar abilities you can group them together.  My oldest is in 7th grade and does not do spelling.  My next oldest is working through Level 4.  My next two are in 2nd and 3rd grade and are very similar ability wise so they will be working through Level 2.  My K will not start Level One until next year.

I have used curriculum that is much more teacher intensive and some that is less.  I make sure to carve out the time I need for AAS 4 times a week because I know it works.  After trying many different spelling curricula, All About Spelling is the one that finally made things click for my son who is mildly dyslexic.  He has made HUGE improvements in his spelling and reading, some of which may have been age related, but mostly was due to using products from All About Learning Press. 

Pssst I know this is a Spelling post, but we love All About Reading too!

Lily doing a Pre-1 paper

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