October 16, 2009

All About Spelling

Earlier this year one of my sons came to me and asked to learn spelling. Never one to pass up more work I looked at a bazillion spelling curricula and decided to give All About Spelling a whirl. Hindsight being 20/20, it was a good choice.

This program is very clearly written and very well organized. I pick up the book and go. Everything is explained for me which helps me explain it clearly to the kids. The progression is logical and the review is enough to help it stick without being overkill. Perhaps the best feature is that you don't just learn how to spell, you learn the RULES of WHY things are spelled certain ways. There is a very active community of All About Spelling users where all your questions can be answered and the author of the program is always there so you're getting the info straight from the horse's mouth. Except that Marie really isn't a horse...sorry...moving on....

Two of my sons have finished Level 1. It took one longer than the other, but the beauty of the program is you can adapt it to their needs and add in more words/practice if needed (which are provided for you) or move ahead more quickly if they 'get it'. We're halfway through Level 2 with one boy and the second will be starting Monday. They are both 9. My 5-yr-old will be starting Level 1 in a month or so.

I appreciate the tiles because it helps my hands-on son stay focused. It also adds an element of fun to spelling. Yes, spelling can be fun. One son hates the tiles so we don't use them - we just go straight to writing on paper. We used the tiles on the table for a while but it got really old putting them away after each lesson. Now they're all on a large magnet board and I love it.

I modify the program somewhat in that I don't use the green word cards. The spelling words are listed in the teacher's book so I just read the words off that instead of off the card. I should be putting the words they miss in the "review" tab so they review it, but thus far they've done really well and haven't needed it. As we progress through the levels we may need to follow the program more closely.

Things I like about the program:
1. Very easy to use.
2. Can be used for all your children - each level is a one-time purchase!
3. The kids like it.
4. Daily lessons are short - between 10 and 15 minutes. (Very Charlotte Mason friendly!)
5. Hands-on
6. Produces excellent results.

Things I don't like about the program:
1. At least in the lower levels, you don't really need the word cards but have to buy them.

Overall, I highly recommend this spelling program. In fact I so highly recommend it and believe in it that I signed up to be an affiliate. I don't really care about making money off of it, I just want more people to know about it. Check it out - I think you'll be pleased.

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