Have any of your kids struggled with the traditional approach to spelling instruction? You know, the routine where the students are given 20 new spelling words each week, and they’re usually unrelated words.
After an agonizing week of filling out worksheets that substitute for actual spelling instruction, the student is then tested on those 20 words. If he has a good memory, he may do well. But he may also forget all those words the very next week when he’s given the new list.
But if your child struggles at all with trying to memorize those lists and if he struggles with understanding the rules behind the spellings, then you might have a very frustrated learner on your hands.
Can you relate? Here’s why we ditched the spelling lists.
Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter the $100 Giveaway from All About Learning! Giveaway ends on August 23rd, 2020 at 11:59 pm ET.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I will receive a commission if you purchase from these links. Thank you.
Grade Level vs. Mastery Approach
The problem with the above scenario is that it uses a grade level approach. But have you ever met a child who is at grade level with all of his subjects? No, hardly ever.
You shouldn’t need to buy a grade level spelling program, because there is no flexibility to meet your child’s unique needs if you do this.
The better way is the mastery approach. In this instructional model, your child is placed according to ability and only progresses when the material is mastered. There are no gaps in learning with the mastery approach, and it usually erases much of the stress and tears that can come with a subject like spelling.
Spelling was one of those subjects that we covered organically in our early years of homeschooling. With phonics instruction, the kids were getting the normal phonics rules and learning how to spell. When we changed our reading philosophy, this also contributed to a natural expansion of their spelling abilities.
However, we reached a point when we did use some grade level spelling workbooks. And they just didn’t work. Some of the kids were more skilled than others at cramming for the Friday spelling test. But their spelling started to get pretty bad in upper elementary when it should have been getting better. Add to this whole scenario that one of my kids was struggling with some possible dyslexia, and I had the perfect storm. I couldn’t keep buying spelling workbooks because they weren’t working. But I also didn’t have the bandwidth to craft out individualized spelling instruction for my kids.
It was at this point of desperation that we heard about All About Spelling. After learning about their mastery approach and the Orton-Gillingham method, I bought all seven levels of AAS and we jumped right in.
So, how do you learn best? Most of us have a preferred method of learning – whether it’s auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. But did you know that your brain will be wired in a stronger way if you use all three methods? AAS teaches kids with all three pathways of learning – hearing, doing, and seeing – so that more senses are involved, and more learning happens. This is called multi sensory teaching.
Here are some key features of the Orton-Gillingham Approach:
- one-on-one teacher-student instructional model that works brilliantly in homeschools
- primarily developed to help students with dyslexia, but it works for all learners
- mastery-based, building block program works with kids who have learning disabilities as well as those who do not
- multisensory approach
- logical instruction that clearly focuses on the reasons and rules behind spelling
Features of AAS
- Scripted, open-and-go program
- You don’t have to develop your own lesson plans, and you don’t have to stress over what to teach next
- No overwhelm!
- By Level 7, your student will be spelling at the high school level
- 1-Year, 100% money-back guarantee with lifetime support
- Try It for an Entire Year before Deciding!
What does it cost?
- $29.95 per level
- plus one time purchase of interactive kit $22.85-$44.85
What do I need to get started?
You can check out All About Learning Press to find out which level to start with.
You should definitely purchase the letter tiles along with the program. This is what makes this multi sensory approach work so well. But if you’d rather not spend a lot of money on a large dry erase magnetic board, you can cheaply purchase an oil pan from Walmart in the automotive area. We did this and slide the oil pan into a closet when it’s not in use. This is a great option if you don’t have a schoolroom or don’t want to see the school stuff out all the time.
However, if you’d rather not deal with dozens of magnetic letter tiles, AAS has a new option: the Letter Tiles App. Embrace no mess, use it on the go, and enjoy customized screens for each lesson for a one time payment of $19.99.
If AAS sounds like a resource that would be a good fit for your family, check out the free AAS resources page.
And if you’d like a peek into how we structure our curriculum, take a look at our K-8th Language Arts Plan.
Free Spelling Resources
Want to learn more about their program? This free e-book will give you a glimpse into the proven strategies that make All About Reading and All About Spelling so successful!