Friday, December 4, 2009

All About Spelling

Yay, yay, yay! I received All About Spelling from Take Away Press to review. I was very excited to receive actual printed curriculum, as it's been a while! I received Levels 1 and 2. Upon looking through the books, it looked like Level 1 would work for Middleman (4) and Level 2 for Butterbean (7).

All About Spelling is "the multisensory program for spelling success." Through the step by step scripted lessons, and the use of magnetic letter tiles, the oft dreaded spelling can be learned or relearned with relative ease. The built in daily review and constant repetition found in this curriculum are very helpful to both teacher and student.

Using the Phonogram Cards, Sound Cards, Key Cards and Word Cards, spelling can be taught visually, verbally, aurally and kinesthetically. Children will watch spelling concepts being demonstrated and written down. They will review spelling rules and segment words out loud, and say phonograms as they are written. They will write down dictated sounds, words and sentences. They will practice spelling using letter tiles.

I do think that before choosing All About Spelling, it would be helpful to read some of the sample lessons found on the website. It would be important to make sure your reading program works well with this spelling choice. As Middleman (4) is just learning how to read, I found the phonograms in All About Spelling to be introduced differently than he is learning them, causing some confusion. I'm not sure if this program would be appropriate for beginning readers. Although it does use phonics, it's a bit advanced for my early reader!

As I suspected, Butterbean flew right through level 1. We probably could have gone straight to level 2 as the first lesson is a quick review of level 1. In fact, looking at the examples on the website, he could probably spell all the words in all the lessons! [His Mommy is well known as a fantastic speller! Whenever spelling comes up in a conversation with friends or complete strangers (more often than you would think!), Daddy often says "Go ahead, Babe, spell antidisestablishmentarianism."] My children read widely and are read to A LOT. Combine copywork with reading above grade level, and they rarely see words spelled incorrectly. I have also never really allowed "invented spelling." Misspellings are generally not accepted when Mama is the teacher! Needless to say, even though Butterbean is already a good speller, it never hurts to learn those spelling rules!
Overall, we have really enjoyed using All About Spelling. We probably will not continue through all of the lessons with Butterbean, but we will more than likely use the Key (spelling rules) Cards for review as needed. After Middleman is fully reading, we probably will try out All About Spelling with him!

To purchase All About Spelling, check out their website here! You can get the Starter Kit for $26.95, Level 1 for $29.95 and Level 2 for $39.95. You can view a video recommending purchases to get started as well. If you'd like to read what other reviewers had to say, you can do so here.

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