All About Spelling $50 Giveaway!

I’ve raved over All About Spelling from All About Learning Press in many of my posts. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it!

I came into homeschooling being labeled as a “poor speller” and it caused me great concern. It didn’t matter that I graduated from high school 10th in my class of 405, or that I entered college with 18 course credits from my AP classes or that I excelled in college and graduated magna cum laude with my degree in middle grades education. None of that mattered. I had been told early on in my education that I was a poor speller and I just needed to study harder. I did study. I studied a lot. Spelling was still hit or miss with me. No matter how had I tried this was my main struggle in elementary school and I dreaded the yearly spelling bees since I rarely made it past the first round just within my classroom!

What a relief when middle school came and spelling was no longer required! It was also about that time that computers were becoming more main-stream and they included spell-checker, so I basically gave up trying. Why should I try when I had basically been told I wasn’t going to ever increase my spelling ability? The irony of it all was that my reading level was much higher than most of my peers. I was told high level readers usually translated into high level spellers. So what was wrong with me?

No one ever taught me the rules. Rules? There are rules for spelling? Except for “i before e except after c (and a bunch of exceptions we don’t have a rule for)” I don’t remember learning any rules. All About Spelling has changed my entire understanding of this subject. I searched it out when my oldest, an excellent reader, was clearly not transitioning to spelling easily. Rather than giving up, I started researching. I prayed for wisdom then scoured the internet, read numerous catalogs, and asked veteran homeschooling moms their recommendation. I settled on All About Spelling and haven’t looked back!

Since then spelling has only become more and more fun! Here is an update on my two girls using All About Spelling…

Beth finished up her Kindergarten year a little over half-way through All About Spelling Level 1. I could have pushed her a little faster because she loved it and it seemed easy, but I chose to do only 1 lesson about every 2 weeks, practicing just a little bit each day. This worked well for her and I plan to up the pace a bit in the fall. She’ll continue some through the summer to guarantee retention. 
Something knew we tried and love is spelling using alphabet stamps in addition to the tiles. I try to switch ti up for fun. I always use the tiles for teaching and the first set of words we work on, but I try to switch it up some after that. 
Another unexpected benefit for Beth has been improvement in handwriting. She really wanted to use a traditional notebook like her sister and in doing so, her handwriting has started becoming more mature. What a fun transformation to see this year! 

Rose finished up 2nd grade and I am thrilled with her progress. We are about 1/4 the way through level 3 and will also continue during the summer. She used to ask me how to spell very short words she should not have a problem with, she now rarely asks how to spell anything, or tries it first and then just asks me to check it. I have also caught her making her own corrections. This is HUGE! She would frequently flip 2 letters and now she is seeing it. What a blessing All About Spelling has been for her! She especially likes finding Silent E in words and deciding which rule it follows. 
She also really enjoys using the homophones book. It is divided into grade-level appropriate practice. She has only done a few of the pages, but she now quickly recognizes homophones.
Although we do uses the tiles for teaching, Rose never uses them for spelling practice now. It is faster for her to write and since she likes that better it is fine with me! She also has improved her cursive as a result. The transition for a student from copying cursive to writing their own words can sometimes be tricky. All About Spelling has been a good medium to make this transition. We still have some work to do here, but she’s definitely well on her way! 
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All About Spelling Review…And GIVEAWAY!!!

When we brought my daughter home mid-year from 1stgrade to begin homeschooling one of the areas she seemed to be struggling with was spelling. We realized later that the words she was being taught were high 2ndand 3rd grade level words which explained her struggle, but I didn’t know that at first. So I sought to figure out how to teach spelling. I was a horrible speller because I do not memorize well and that was the strategy I was taught in school. I was given a list of 10 words, tried to memorize them by Friday, only miss two or three, but struggled with retention.
I had seen All About Spelling mentioned on several blogs and websites, so I discussed the situation with a veteran homeschooling mom and asked about the curriculum. She told me a lot of parents she knew used it and that it was very rule oriented. Bingo! I knew it would be perfect from my rule-oriented daughter!
I received the box after just a couple of days and was thrilled to get started! The brightly colored tiles intrigued my daughter and she eagerly asked when we could start. It is suggested that you start at the very beginning in level 1 to make sure their foundation is laid strongly. Because she was already devouring books on a 3rd grade level the beginning seemed too easy, but after having been through half of the second level I am extremely glad I followed the advice to start in Level 1. There are somany things which are built on from that level which seem insignificant at the time but are truly stepping stones to upcoming levels.
We have a beautiful white board hanging on the wall. We also have a young preschooler! Add in brightly colored letter tiles and you have an enormous mess and the possibility of some missing letters! I opted to purchase 2 cookie sheets and 2 small platters from the Dollar Tree. One cookie sheet holds the basic phonemes which I use with both girls. The second sheet holds the letter combinations I use with Rose. we use the small platters for the girls to do their tile work. This has worked really well for us so far. One day we may switch to the white board, but for now this is a better solution!
I didn’t buy the box that you can purchase from the website. In hindsight I wished I had! I have one that is working, but it definitely won’t continue to hold all the cards!
Because the beginning lessons were basically review I did about 1 lesson a day until we reached something new to her, about lesson 14. To be honest, my daughter was done with the tiles after about a week. So I tweaked. We use the tiles to learn a new concept, but everything else is done on paper. This has worked well for her. Once we reached the “new concept” point we now take about 1 lesson a week.
Although spelling is not her favorite part of the day, it is certainly more enjoyable now that she is learning rules and succeeding.
I have once again started with level 1 with my next daughter. She just started kindergarten, but has completed her phonics program and is reading on a 2nd grade level. I would highly recommend waiting to begin spelling until after finishing a year of phonics. From my experience it seems to work best if done in this order.
Since she was younger at the start I took the whole program slower. She took about 2 weeks to memorize the initial yellow phonograms. She didn’t have any trouble with the consonants and already memorized the basic long and shorts sounds of each vowel, but remembering the new sounds for those was harder for her to remember. She mastered them this past week and was able to quickly review all the sounds. I accidentally included sounds taught later in the book like /th/ and /sh/, but she breezed through those without a second thought! Beth has currently been working on segmenting the words and she really likes sliding the colorful circles!
The only portion of the program I have not used as much are the green index cards with words on them. It is a good way to keep track of which rules and words she has mastered, but I think I would prefer a checklist that I could look at easier.
I didn’t quite get the need for so many colored letters, but now that I’m well into the second book I appreciate the various colored tiles for different phonograms. This is a huge bonus for visual learners and my daughter quickly recognizes letter patterns because of them.
**Secret Bonus**
I finally figured out why I wasn’t a good speller…I never learned the rules. Why oh why wasn’t I taught these very clear and helpful rules when I was in school? I had no idea there was actually a rule for when c says /s/ and when it says /k/ or how to know whether to use c, k, or ck to make the /k/ sound. Now that we are learning the rules we are all spelling better! 
To find out more about All About Spelling click on this link!

And NOW for the giveaway! There are a few ways to enter, but nothing too painful! Our giveaway will run until September 24th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received Level 4 for this review