Curriculum Review: All About Spelling

All About Spelling by Marie Ripple from All About Learning Press

                As we began homeschooling, one challenging subject in our household was spelling.  We tried different methods, both structured and un.  All About Spelling finally made spelling click.

                It is a structured program, and like most things, can be adapted to work for your child.  We were fortunate that the program suited my children’s learning styles as written.  We did make it our own though too.

The program is an open and go curriculum

                Each lesson guides you through, step by step.  The lesson begins with a review of lessons taught, but not yet mastered; as well as, an intermittent review of past concepts.  Typically review involves using the cards from four card categories: phonogram cards; sound cards; key cards; and word cards.

                The next step is the day’s lesson.  This may involve introducing a concept, using the letter tiles to practice the concept or implementing the concepts through dictation.

                Dictation can consist of writing the words that support that week’s concept, or phrases and sentences that include the concept, as well as a review of previous words and concepts.

Assigning a time frame rather than dividing the sections worked best for us. 

                We broke our lessons into 15-minute daily sessions.  Concepts that proved more challenging had a time limit of which my child was aware.  If the the concept was easier, we could move through the material quicker.  Having that time limit allowed him time to enjoy the ease without worrying that we’d squeeze in the next concept.

                The on-line community is great for coming up with other ways of maintaining interest while working through the tasks, such as shooting letter tiles with a Nerf gun or slapping them with a fly swatter.  Its’ a creative community!

A nice addition to All About Spelling is the Letter Tiles App

                It can be used with both the All About Spelling and the All About Reading programs.  It has a drop-down panel where you can choose the lesson and level that you are working on.  This puts only the letters that have been used in prior lessons and the current ones on display.  All others are hidden.

The app has been of great use to us.  First, as my son was older, he preferred this to the laminated tiles.  Second, when I had more than one child working on different levels, the “tiles” needed were readily available.  I do like being able to use both the physical tiles as well as the virtual ones.

Another useful app is the Phonogram Sounds App

                Especially early on, having another resource for the letter sounds was something my children enjoyed.  On the challenge of differentiating vowel sounds, they could listen for the fine distinctions independently.

Obviously, I think that All About Spelling is a worthwhile curriculum.  We’re getting a lot of use out of it, and it has been successful for both of my children.  But as with anything, investigate it for yourself to determine if it’s something you think would work for your household.

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