When we brought my daughter home mid-year from 1st
grade 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 2nd
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.
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!
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*I received Level 4 for this review