By far, my favorite resource for our homeschool this year is All About Spelling.
I wasn’t pleased at all with our Kindergarten choice of curriculum, so I was determined to pull together the ‘perfect’ curriculum for first grade. While some of our choices have worked out beautifully, others have bombed! As to be expected, I guess!
All About Spelling was the first piece of curriculum I was totally sold on for my son’s first grade year. He is a boy that is not a fan of writing. While he can compose his thoughts fairly well for almost 7, he detests the physical act of writing. He is also an auditory/tactile learner.
Because of those issues, All About Spelling could not have been a better fit for him.
Why My Son Loves All About Spelling
Davis loves All About Spelling because of the letter tiles. He loves to organize them, rearrange them, and spell words with them. Building words with the tiles is less intimidating than writing with a pencil in his eyes. Usually spelling is the subject he asks to do first because he enjoys the concept of the tiles so much.
Why Mama Loves All About Spelling
I love this curriculum for several reasons:
- All About Spelling teaches the student why things are spelled as they are in English.
It’s one thing to know the phonetic sound of a hard g or soft g, but it’s another story entirely to know why the ‘g’ is soft in ‘giant’ or in ‘diligence’. (It’s because the ‘g’ is followed by an i,e, or y.) I’m a rule follower, and I enjoy knowing the rules.
- All About Spelling teaches mastery of concepts.
The curriculum is divided into ‘Steps’ and you don’t move on to the next step until you’ve conquered the current one. There is built in review in subsequent lessons, but the teaching style is definitely mastery.
- All About Spelling is affordable.
The Basic set, which is a one-time purchase, includes the letter tiles with magnets, divider cards, and phonogram CD-ROM. The Basic Set is $29.99. You’ll also need to purchase the level needed for your child, which is $29.99 for both the Teacher’s Manual and the Student Pack.
Because there is nothing consumable, I can re-use each Level for my other children, essentially for free. I like free.
- All About Spelling lesson plans require minimal prep for me.
I look over the Step that we’ll cover for the week during my planning time for maybe 5-7 minutes. I do go ahead and write down the sentences I’ll dictate for my son to practice. That always saves me some sanity during school since our school time is usually on the chaotic side with my little people in tow.Overall, I would estimate my weekly prep-time is 7 minutes or less for the week, and that’s a very generous estimate. If I didn’t prep at all, I could literally open the book and read what I’m ‘supposed’ to read and be completely successful in teaching the lesson.
- All About Spelling doesn’t have a list on Monday that you learn for Friday.
When I was in school, we were given a spelling list on Monday and took a test based purely on rote memorization on Friday. Even though I turned out to be a great speller, I wanted a different method of learning for my children. Again, point 1 is my favorite in that All About Spelling teaches how and why words are spelled as they are in English.
Do you use All About Spelling? If you are experienced with the curriculum, did you see the need to complete all six levels? I’d love to hear about your experience with All About Spelling.
I’m pleased to link this post to The Homeschool Classroom’s Writing Prompt.
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My 4th grader is homeschooled for her first year this year, after doing public school. We also use AAS, starting w/ level 1, and we LOVE it. She was not a good speller, as the system used at her school just totally did not work for her. We love the review box and being able to review things continuously. We also regularly put words back into the review section, whenever she gets them incorrect during the dictation section (or even in other writing, sometimes).
We’re close to finishing book 3 and the spelling we’ve covered so far has improved DRASTICALLY in all her writing, not just the writing we do for the program. We will definitely continue with the next few books. Her spelling still doesn’t seem quite up to par with 4th grade, since there are some pretty common things we haven’t yet covered. I think we’ll plan to go through book 6 and then move into a vocabulary and/or wordroots type of study, which AAS does not seem to do.
MrsH., Thanks so much for sharing how AAS has worked for you. That’s encouraging to read!
Angie @ Many Little Blessings
I almost changed to AAS this past year, but then right before I was going to buy it, I re-decided. As much as people rave about it, I probably should have just bought it.
We do love it, but if you have something that works then I say stick with it. 😉
Sara @ Embracing Destiny
AAS is a great program! I got to review it for the TOS Homeschool Crew 2 years ago and my daughter still talks about it. We used All About Homophones, too. That was fun!