Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All About Spelling

Spelling has always come easily for me, so when Ryan (8) just didn't grasp it, both of us were frustrated. We had tried several different spelling programs and while he would learn the words for his test, they wouldn't stick and he would misspell them in his writing even days later. Spelling made him feel like a failure at writing and he started to hate writing of any type.

Fast forward to last night. We finished his spelling lesson and he asked if we could do keep going and learn another rule. He then said spelling is now his favorite subject! This is coming from a kid who would offer to do any chore, even clean the bathrooms, to skip spelling for the day!

I love that his spelling has improved drastically in his everyday writing as well. The way that All About Spelling introduces the rules and emphasizes them has really made them stick! And when he does misspell a word that follows a rule that he has learned, I just remind him of the rule and he can find the error and fix it himself. Best of all, he is now much more confident in his writing and spelling.

We have only been using All About Spelling for about 5 weeks, with a break when the baby was born. We started with Level One and have worked through it quickly. I would recommend starting with this level-- even I have even learned several spelling rules I didn't know. There are 4 levels currently with 2 more coming out in 2009 which will take you all the way through high school spelling. Each level is $29.95 and is non-consumable, so you can use them with more than 1 child. Although if you have 2 children the same level, they will each need a student packet. You can see the scope and sequence and samples here.

I have found the company very good to work with. My packet was missing the audio CD and it was sent out very quickly. This is the only component of the program I didn't find useful. Instead, buy the Phonogram File Folder games, we've been using these for several different subjects.

This program is a little more time intensive for the teacher than others I've used. Instead of just a pre-test and a post-test, I end up spending about 15-30 minutes a day on spelling. But the program is so well laid out, an older sibling could easily teach it. It was also time intensive to cut everything out at the beginning, but the company has fixed that and now offers perforated cards.

Overall, I give All About Spelling an A+. The difference I've seen in my son is remarkable and my younger son (6) is asking when he gets to start.

Even if you are happy with your current spelling program, I would recommend you check out the articles on the All About Spelling website. They have some great ideas that can be used with any spelling program.

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