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This year I took a break from our usual spelling curriculum (Phonics Road) to try something new with my 3 oldest kids. I felt we needed a change of pace and something different for the year. I chose All About Spelling because it teaches in a way that is similar to the Phonics Road.
Both programs teach with the Orton-Gillingham method that introduces phonogram sounds (letter sounds and sounds of letter teams). The Phonics Road is a complete language arts program while All About Spelling focuses only on spelling skills. However, All About Spelling uses a more multi-sensory approach to teaching spelling. Also, it doesn't require the amount of writing that the lessons in Phonics Road require.
I'm glad we took a year to try something new and take a break from our usual curriculum. Doing spelling lessons with a fresh approach has been a nice change this year.
So far we have used Level 1 (with Curly, Tiger, and Bee), Level 2 (with Curly), and part of Level 3 (also with Curly).
What about the program do we enjoy?
The tiles are lots of little pieces to keep track of in your homeschool. However, they have greatly benefitted my kids as using the tiles forces my kids to segment words into different sounds. This has helped them see each sound in various words.
I can't say how beneficial this has been for Curly who was a natural reader and learned to read without a reading program. She excels in reading but has a very difficult time with spelling because she pictures whole words and is unable to see the various pieces of each word - namely each individual sound. Using the tiles has forced her to slow down and break words down into their parts.
Syllable Division Rules
The program teaches syllable division rules. I had never learned most of these rules so we've all had to learn them together. Learning these rules and then dividing words into the various syllables to see spell each part separately has been very helpful for all of my kids. It makes the words less overwhelming and allows them to tackle longer and more complex words - one syllable at a time!
All About Spelling introduces letter sounds and teams slowly so kids get extra practice. I appreciate that each lesson focuses on specific sounds or teams. This ensures that my kids are not overwhelmed.
Ability to Customize the Lessons
While the program can be done at a slow pace with only a few teams or sounds introduced at each lesson, the program pace can also be customized. It is very easy to accelerate the program and cover multiple lessons in one week if a child is ready to move faster. This makes All About Spelling an ideal program to use as review.
The lessons in Level 1 contain extra words and also phrases to dictate to the child to reinforce concepts taught in that lesson and in previous lessons. The later levels also contain sentences for dictation.
These are my favorite part! My kids often spell words correctly during spelling time because they are focused on the letter sounds and teams. However, once they are writing a composition or working in another subject, they frequently misspell words. This is a common problem among elementary kids who are still honing their spelling skills. However, by dictating the phrases and sentences to my kids, they are having to spell words correctly in context. This helps them have better carryover into other subjects.
Ease of Use
The program is incredibly easy to use. The lessons are clearly laid out and explain exactly how to teach each concept. I don't have to read ahead in lessons or do any advance planning.
I'm so glad that we are trying a new program and experiencing success in spelling while also enjoying our spelling lessons!
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