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4 Spelling Strategies You Won’t Want to Miss

4 Spelling Strategies You Won’t Want to Miss - All About Spelling

Some kids are just naturally “good spellers.” (My daughter was a natural speller.) And then there are those who need all the help they can get. (My son was in this category!)

If spelling doesn’t come easily to your child, you’ll want to give him all the help you can, and that includes teaching the effective spelling strategies that come naturally to good spellers.

It pains me to see spelling programs rely only on visual strategies, such as looking at a word list and writing each word ten times. Other programs rely on phonetic strategies, which work well at the beginning level but leave students without an effective strategy when approaching words like knowledge or bicycle. Your child deserves a balanced approach to spelling strategies, giving him the necessary tools to be a great speller.

Let me introduce the four most important spelling strategies: phonetic, rule-based, visual, and morphemic.

1.) Phonetic Spelling Strategies

The first strategy that should be taught to beginning spellers is to listen for each sound in a word and to represent each sound with a letter or combination of letters. If you teach the phonograms—that the sound of /ă/ is spelled with the letter a and the sound of /n/ is spelled with the letter n, for example—the student will be able to accurately represent the individual sounds he hears in a word. Segmenting words is a great way for students to practice this strategy.

Effective Spelling Strategies - All About Spelling

Take the word rock, for example. If the student can identify the individual sounds and knows the phonograms r, o, and ck, he will be able to spell the word easily. Hundreds of words can be written correctly simply by applying this phonetic spelling strategy.

2.) Rule-Based Spelling Strategies

Though many words can be spelled phonetically, the beginning spelling student will soon recognize that there are often several possible spellings for the same sound—the sound of /j/ can be spelled j, g, or dge, for example—and that’s when knowing some rules will come in handy! There are many reliable rules and generalizations in English spelling that will help students make the correct choices in their own writing. For example, knowing the rules regarding the use of c and k, and knowing that the sound of /ch/ is usually spelled tch after a short vowel, helps us write the word kitchen. And knowing generalizations can help us correctly spell words like acceptable and automatic.

3.) Visual Spelling Strategies

Does the word look right? Good spellers often try spelling a word several ways to see which way looks correct. This is where the word banks in the All About Spelling program come in. Each word bank focuses on one concept, such as the sound of /j/ spelled dge, and helps build the student’s visual memory of words related to that particular concept. Visual memory is important when it comes to correctly using homophones, too, like pray and prey or tale and tail. Extensive reading and word games will also help your student build visual memory.

Effective Spelling Strategies - All About Spelling

4.) Morphemic Spelling Strategies

Morphemic strategies are based on the knowledge of how the meaning of a word influences its spelling. All About Spelling teaches words with Greek and Latin roots and words based on other derivatives, how to add prefixes and suffixes to base words, and how to form compound words and abbreviations. Morphemic strategies enable good spellers to spell words such as neurologist, multitude, and chiropractic.

As spellers become more competent, they will usually use a combination of all four strategies in their writing. Most people don’t even realize that they are using these approaches to spelling; with practice, the strategies become automatic and are employed on a subconscious level.

More All About Spelling Strategies

In addition to these four main spelling strategies, the All About Spelling series teaches a number of other strategies that good spellers may use for a small number of words.

  • Look up words in an electronic spell checker or dictionary to verify the spelling. Use the spell checker on the computer.
  • When reading, be on the lookout for unfamiliar words and make a mental note of the spelling.
  • Recognize which words are “troublemakers” and identify the tricky parts.
  • Use mnemonics, a memory device that helps you remember something. Some common spelling mnemonics include a friend is there to the end, it is definite, and piece of pie. While we don’t encourage kids to overuse this strategy, mnemonics can be helpful for remembering Rule Breakers and troublemakers. Just remember that if these devices are overused, it may difficult to remember all of the mnemonics, which defeats the purpose!
  • Keep a personal resource list of words the student tends to misspell and use the list as a reference while writing.

So there you have it: the top spelling strategies that good spellers use. If your child is a struggling speller—or if you want to help your child reach the next level—be sure to incorporate these strategies in your lessons. That’s exactly what we’ve done in the All About Spelling program!

Where does your child fall in the continuum from natural speller to lousy speller?

Jamie at The Unlikely Homeschool.

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Leave a Comment

Nicole

says:

Hello Marie,

I have purchased all about spelling, I don’t understand how to use the word cards. When do I know if my child has mastered each card? Do I review every card before each lesson or only those he has not mastered?

Thank you

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Nicole,
You know that your student has mastered a word card when he can spell the word easily, without hesitation. Before each day’s lesson you will review the words cards behind the review tab.

Twice per level All About Spelling schedules a master review, where you will spend a whole day’s lesson just reviewing the mastered word cards. These are scheduled at the beginning of each book (reviewing the cards from the previous level) and mid-way through each book.

Many children do fine with these twice per level master reviews, but some children need somewhat more frequent reviewing of mastered words for them to stay mastered. I have a couple kids like this, and for them I review 5 mastered word cards every day along with the review cards. I place an index card in behind the mastered word cards. Then each day I draw 5 mastered cards out from the front and review them. If my child can spell them easily without hesitation I file them behind the index card. If they hesitate or have to self correct, I put it back in a little ways from the front so that we review it again in a couple days. If they misspell the word it goes into review. After a while the index card will work it’s way to the front and I know to shuffle the cards and place the index card to the back again.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Jen

says:

I can’t wait to start AAS! My son is such a wonderful reader, but struggles with spelling. Looks like a great approach for him.

Jennifer S

says:

My child is a pretty good natural speller but is doing really well with the orderliness of AAS. Thanks!

I have a question – are “either” and “neither” rule breakers? We haven’t seen them yet. Thanks!

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Jennifer,

Yes they are! We revise the traditional “I before E” poem to a version that has many fewer exceptions than the original, but these words are still exceptions. You’ll see “either” and “neither” in Level 6.

Dawn

says:

It is frustrating for both student and teacher to teach spelling into the teen years. The student believes he/she is doing something childish. The teacher believes it is necessary and helpful. We continue on, hoping that we can make headway before the child refuses any more instruction. Modifying this series slightly for the age of the student has been helpful and the rules seem to stick better than traditional spelling instruction. Thanks for a great product that can be used with any age.

Dawn,
I’m glad you and your student have found All About Spelling to be so helpful. Many older students find satisfaction in knowing why words are spelled the way they are, and All About Spelling helps with that.

Thank you for sharing here. Keep up the great work.

Angela O

says:

One son is a decent speller when he thinks about it (which often isn’t the case). But the other son struggles so much because he is not a visual learner at all. I’ve asked him whether he can “see” the words in his brain and he just said, “What do you mean?” It’s been really hard trying to get him to get past phonetic spelling and to apply the rules. I can’t imagine how he would be doing if we weren’t using AAS!

Angela,
I find it fascinating how people learn and think so differently. My husband can visual how the plumbing runs inside the walls of our house in perfect detail, even though he wasn’t here when the house was built. Yet, I struggle to visual what store is next door to the place I shop at at least once a week for the last 5 years.

That’s why I love All About Spelling and All About Reading so much. It hits all the learning and thinking styles, so that everyone can find something to help them learn.

Let us know if you need some ideas to help you help your son with applying the rules in spelling. It sounds like you have things handled,, but remember we are here to help in whatever way, big or small, at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or 715-477-1976.

Have a great weekend!

Alisha Howard

says:

This program is making such a difference for my struggling speller. She is 12 and after years of trying almost every program on the market and a few years of dictation alone I finally gave in to the tugging in my mind to try AAS even though it seemed to remedial for her. She has come so far in just 4 months of using it and has admitted that she loves using the letter tiles. She thanks me every time she realizes she is using a rule to spell a word.

Alisha,
This is wonderful!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how your student is doing, and I am so glad that we had a part in her finally having success. Keep up the great work, both of you.

I hope you two have a lovely week.

Abigail's Mommy

says:

This was very helpful. Thank you for posting.

Sylvia

says:

I appreciate how many different approaches are used in this program. One problem that I’ve dealt with is my daughter’s ability to spell correctly on a test but then misspell those same words when writing a letter to her grandma or such. Hopefully using this program will help ingrain the correct way to spell so that it comes naturally in all aspects and not just on tests.

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Sylvia

It’s common for students to have this problem–they either learn it for the test but then forget it, or they struggle with automaticity–they aren’t ready to put the skills of writing and spelling together yet. The customized review in AAS can really help in both cases.

We even devoted a blog entry to this topic: Helping Kids Achieve Automaticity in Spelling. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/helping-kids-achieve-automaticity-in-spelling/

When students are writing outside of spelling time, they have many more things to focus on–content, creativity, organization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, capitalization, what kind of audience they are addressing–it’s a lot to think about at once. In fact, even adult writers need to take time to rewrite and edit their work (and sometimes there are still mistakes!). Our students definitely need a separate editing time if the piece is going to be polished at all. Also, remember that since even professional writers need editors, our students will too. I think you’ll find some helpful tips in the article I linked. HTH! Merry :-)

Ahmed

says:

How to make a spelling program for ESL learners with learning disabilities?
How to start( from single vowels or consonants) and what will be the last level in the program that meet their normal grade spellers(4th grade)?
Thank you.

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Ahmed,

AAS is used in ESL classes in the US and around the world, as well as for students with learning disabilities, so you could definitely use it for your students. The thing that sets AAS apart is the emphasis on the sounds of the English language. We approach spelling from sound first, and then we translate that sound into written letters. ESL teachers appreciate the fact that we teach the sounds, and we have the Phonogram Sounds Download, which is also helpful.

Our program is logical and methodical. The challenging part of English spelling is the different vowel sounds, and the many ways to spell a single sound. There are more than 250 ways to spell the 45 sounds in the English language! Many languages have a reliable vowel-sound correspondence, and students need to learn our many more vowel-sound correspondences. AAS teaches this in a methodical way.

Our lists are arranged according to patterns, rather than according to word frequency or grade levels as some lists are. For example, when kids learn that AW says /aw/, they learn a list of AW words all at once. Our brains like patterns, and AAS emphasizes the patterns of English spelling.

We break words into syllables, so that students can see how syllables affect spelling.

Our method is multisensory, so kids learn through sight, sound, and touch.

We have continual review built into the program, so that you can spend extra time on just the topics and words that are tricky for your students.

As a side benefit, AAS has the structure needed to help ESL learners pronounce words properly, too.

And, AAS is based on the Orton-Gillingham method, and has many built-in strategies for helping students with various learning struggles.

As far as how many levels to do to bring a student up to 4th grade level–the levels and word lists in the All About Spelling program are arranged by concepts and spelling patterns rather than by grade levels. Though many of the words presented in Level 1 are found on typical first grade lists, other words in the same book can be found on typical fifth grade lists. The method we use defies normal grade level classification.

For example, another spelling program lists the words cross, off, and plant on their fourth grade list, but these words can easily be spelled by a child completing the Level 1 book. That same program includes the words school and yellow on its first grade list, but expecting kids to spell words like those before mastering more basic syllable types undermines their future spelling ability.

All About Spelling groups words in a logical manner based on similar rules or spelling patterns regardless of their supposed grade level, which allows students to progress quickly and confidently.

Level 7 includes many high school level words, but before that it’s really hard to put a grade level on any of the levels. So…there’s not going to be an “exact match,” but if you could get through at least 4 levels, that would definitely help.

Ashley

says:

Great points!

Sara Klasing

says:

We are working on spelling with our older ones. I am thinking this would be a great fit since they do not like the spelling course we are trying now.

Kim Sciandra

says:

Great article. My daughter used to hate spelling until we switched to AAS which uses these strategies. Now she is so successful at spelling she often asks to do spelling.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Kim, thanks for sharing your daughter’s progress with us! I loved hearing how she looks forward to her spelling lessons now! Keep up the good work!

Sherry

says:

We just started AAS 1 and I have a question about the phonograms for the letter a. Why does it not include the short “u” sound since many words have that? It seems that “a” makes the short “u” sound most often at the beginning of a word, but sometimes also at the end of the word.

Sherry,
Great question!

Actually what is happening in words like “about” etc… is that the vowel sound is muffled because it is in an unaccented syllable. This is what is referred to as a “schwa” sound. Usually vowels in unaccented syllables will muffle to a short U “uh” sound, though sometimes they may sound like another short vowel. Every vowel can make the schwa sound, but it would be confusing to add the short U sound to every vowel phonogram.

The letter A does not normally make the /u/ sound unless it is in an unaccented syllable. The letters U and O CAN make the short /u/ sound in accented syllables (like the O in love and mother), so that is why you see the sound for those letters but not the others.

AAS uses visual, auditory, and morphemic strategies for the schwa sound. One starts in level two with words like cabin, problem etc… Kids are taught to pronounce them for spelling. Sometimes I say, “when we say this word normally, we say the vowel so fast that it doesn’t say it’s correct sound–it sounds like ‘cabun or problum.’ So we need to say it slowly to hear the vowel–cab-IN, prob-LEM.”

Words like “about, above, away,” and others are taught together in level 4. The lesson is scripted and says, “Sometimes when the letter a comes at the beginning of a multisyllable word it doesn’t say its sound clearly. It sounds like /u/.” And then it goes on to introduce the words and to let students know that in all of them the /u/ sound is made with an A. There is also a word bank for “unaccented A” to help kids gain a visual memory for these words.

In the upper levels, kids are given the clue that thinking through another form of the word can help you decide which vowel to use. For example, the “a” in “formal” is muffled, but you can clearly hear it in “formality” because the 2nd syllable is accented. Thinking through other forms of a word can help a student choose the correct vowel in many cases.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have other questions.

Angela

says:

My girls are making great progress with AAS & AAR!

Shannon

says:

Just wanted to tell you how much I love your spelling program! My 9 yo son and 8 yo daughter both started the program back in January, level 1. We have had several interruptions to our schedule, and are almost finished with this level. They have both improved so much in their spelling and reading abilities. This is filling in the phonics gaps that my son just couldn’t figure out. Thanks so much for your program!!

Merry at AALP

says:

Thanks Shannon! I’m so glad that it’s helping your daughter and son so much–what wonderful news!

Caroline K

says:

I am impressed with the quality of the posts on this blog – I’ve read a lot about AAS online and have come across one glowing review after another. The informative articles from AAL are very helpful. I always loved to spell – this helped me think about how to break it down for my eager learner. :-)

Merry at AALP

says:

Thanks, Caroline! I’ll be sure to pass your comments on to Marie.

lindy

says:

Mnemonics really work! I also use rhythm to help master the spelling.

Aleacia

says:

Great tips, will be focusing on spelling with my daughters next school year

Kathleen Calabrese

says:

I like the suggestion of keeping a personal spelling list of words that the child tends to misspell.

I know there are still certain words that I really have to think about when spelling them myself. Maybe I should make a list for me too:)

Teresa

says:

I can’t wait to try this program!

Mindy

says:

I have the app and love it! Hope to get help with spelling for next year.

My son has just started reading so I’m still a newbie, but I’d really like to get a head start when he’s ready with this program!

Katie Jason

says:

I can’t wait to try this program with my daughter!

Danielle

says:

My son has enjoyed and done so well with level 1 AAS. He can’t wait to move on to the next level. Thank you AAL for making such wonderful products!

Sarah Scott

says:

I just finished using AAS Level 1 with 2 of my children and we are starting on Level 2 tomorrow. I love this program. I’m learning rules I never knew along with my kids, and my kids are actually understanding spelling, not just working on their memorization skills.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m glad to hear that AAS has been beneficial for your two children! I wish you the best of luck as you start Level 2 as well! Have fun!

Karleen Mauldin

says:

There are some great tips in this article! Thank you!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Karleen!

A

says:

Such good tips to help my struggling speller

Wendy Ross

says:

My youngest is dyslexic, I think, and is a struggling reader and struggling speller. We have been using AAR and AAS this year. Praying for improvements….

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Wendy,

Let us know if you have questions along the way. We’re used to working with struggling readers and spellers as well as children with dyslexia or other learning disabilities, and we’re always glad to help. Kids with learning struggles tend to need lots of review. Did you see the series that Marie recently did on memory and how to make things stick? There were lots of tips in those articles that helped my kids. Here’s the final one (it was a series of 5–links to the other 4 are at the bottom of the article) http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/improving-working-memory/

Hang in there!

karen poe

says:

I am using Level 1 for my twin girls and they LOVE it!!!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the kind words, Karen! I’m glad to hear that Level 1 has been such a big hit in your house!

Em F

says:

Very good ideas. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jennifer Fulmer

says:

We have started using All About Spelling for my 2 struggling spellers! Awesome program!! It has helped them so much, but even more, it has helped me know how to help them because I was always a very natural speller.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m happy to hear that, Jennifer! I’m thankful that it’s not only been helpful for your two kids, but for you as well!

Alia K.

says:

I am so excited to try AAS. It seems like some of the other programs I’ve come across only focus on one strategy.

Heather

says:

I have natural spellers who are zooming through level 2. Understanding why words are spelled the way they are is great for everyone to know.

Julie

says:

I just purchased AAS 1 for my son at a homeschool conference. After reading several more reviews this evening I can not wait to get started. It seems like it is going to be a perfect fit for us to teach phonics and spelling.

Stephanie Hardenbrook

says:

Thank you for these great helps!

Dawn Kilgore

says:

I have one girl who falls on the natural speller and one who is dyslexic and spells horribly. We are currently working through All about Spelling with both girls. This is the first program that has helped my girl who has memory issues.

Merry at AALP

says:

I’m so glad it’s helping her!

April B

says:

My DS8 is finishing up AAS 5 and loves the program. We used Spelling Workout before, but he is horrible at memorizing random facts. The rules-based system is wonderful for him, and his two younger brothers do well with the tiles since their handwriting is still being developed.

I am amazed at how the teacher’s guide predicts potential problems and they are right on the money! I feel so well equipped to teach my children spelling. Thank you!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Heather! I’m thankful to hear that the teacher’s tips have been helpful!

Katherine McGuirk

says:

We have loved AAR so I’m excited to try AAS

rebecca f

says:

love this! thanks for posting

Kristine L

says:

This looks great… I will have to explore the rest of the website!

Ginger Rumph

says:

This is great info. Thanks for posting!

Laura

says:

This program is working great for my son who has been having difficulty reading and spelling!

Jamie

says:

Love this program!

Awilda

says:

I’m considering using the Reading and Spelling. My son has mild Autism and I home-school him.

Jenni

says:

My son is in between…I wouldn’t say he is a poor speller, but he isn’t excellent either. We just recently switched to All About Spelling. So far, it is so great for us. He loves working with the tiles but also going over to the dry erase and writing words too. Thank you for developing this program! :-)

Shannon

says:

I always struggled with spelling. This looks like a great way to teach my children so they don’t struggle as well.

Kimberly

says:

My oldest daughter was an early and natural reader; so, her visual memory for words are not as effective as the other strategies. She just sees whole words while reading; so, it is hard for her to focus on individual letters she sees when trying to spell from visual memory. This whole program that gives her rules and strategies has helped her tremendously.

Merry at AALP

says:

I’m so glad it’s helped her. The best spellers tend to use a variety of strategies–phonetic, rules-based, visual, and morphemic. Here’s a post with more information: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/effective-spelling-strategies

Sarah

says:

We love our AAS and AAR. So far each level has been great!

Andrea

says:

Can’t wait to get this program next year.

Stacey parker

says:

This spelling program is so much funnier than just the traditional list.

melissa

says:

my 10 year olds struggle with spelling and reading and I am eager to try your programs with them.

Tara

says:

Love these ideas! My youngest son is a really great speller but as we get into harder words, I will be using some of these techniques.

Michelle Mansfield

says:

Great info!!

Katie

says:

I like the idea of the resource list. My son has trouble with certain words over and over. I think I will have to give this a try!

Tracey

says:

We will be starting level 1 in a month. We are looking forward to it!

sara

says:

Spelling is an area that we are focusing on.

Sandi W

says:

I’m a natural speller–I haven’t figured out my daughter yet, right now we are surviving spelling…

Ashley Pittman

says:

I have one very natural speller, one lousy speller, and two to be determined. I think I’m going to start using the key cards with my natural speller also. It’s been great for me to also learn the rules behind why the words are spelled the way they are.

Cathy T.

says:

Great tips thanks

Casey Scott

says:

Looking forward to starting AAS 1!

Christy Kennedy

says:

I can’t wait to start this program with my son. He already loves AAR.

Joan Scott

says:

My kids need so much help in spelling!

Sonja Rea

says:

My 8 year old daughter could definitely use some remediation in spelling. Somehow she missed some basic rules and now struggles with spelling certain words. I am considering switching to this curriculum for all of my kids. It looks fantastic – just what I was looking for. I want to start with level one!

bridget brown

says:

this is awesome

Mindy Warren

says:

I can’t wait to get started. I’ve just pulled my 7 year old out of public school. I’ve been looking for a complete program and I’m so excited I found you!

Amber

says:

This program looks so great! I am thinking this may be the perfect fit for my 5 year old son.

Michelle

says:

My boys’ spelling is improving with AAS. My oldest is still pretty bad, but my second seems to have a more natural affinity for spelling.

Shelley

says:

My 8 year old twins are great phonetic spellers so AAS is really helping them learn how the letters work together, like vowel teams, etc. I can really see their bank of words they can confidently spell grow and grow!

I am a new homeschool mom ( and ex teacher). I have done a ton of research on different curriculums and I am totally sold on yours. I just started my kiddo on the All About Reading and as soon as he is done I will be starting All About Spelling. I love following you information and tips. Thank you for a great program and an opportunity to win a set. Either way, I am excited!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I hope your son flourishes with our program, Sabrina! Please keep us posted on your son’s progress and if you ever need anything, please email us your questions at support@allaboutlearningpress.com!

Rachel Hightshue

says:

thanks foR the opportunity to win! We use the reading program for our two sons and it is amazing!

Lacey

says:

My oldest child has struggled with spelling but we are seeing progress since we started with AAS!

MJ

says:

My oldest really struggles with spelling, he spells everything exactly how it sounds. He was in public school early on, and they taught by sight only, so now that we have been homeschooling, we bought AAS in the hopes that he CAN learn to spell! He is on level 3 now and improving, but he still spells many words exactly how they sound (i.e. what would be spelled wut, said would be sed). I have noticed him stopping himself, using one of the spelling rules from AAS, and then correcting himself, so there is hope!

Tonya Dodd

says:

These are great. I love number 4 especially because I’ve always found word origins fascinating, but I never thought about using that as a spelling strategy for my kids. Thanks for the tip!

Jennifer

says:

I have both natural and struggling spellers, and I have seen a huge improvement in my strugglers this year that we’ve been using AAS! We’ve nearly finished our level, so I’m back for the next.

lisa emerson

says:

Very interested in this program for my 6 year old!!

shawn

says:

We have been using AAS for two years now and it has been fabulous! I’ve never been a reliable speller and both of my kids have struggled with it. AAS had been the only program that made sense to them or me and the lessons seem to “stick” in their brains – mine too.

Abrumme

says:

Spelling has been our weak point in schooling. I’ve not been able to find a program we’ve been happy with long term. Hoping this might be it!

Tricia

says:

This looks great!

Rachelle Baumann

says:

Love all the info here! Thank you!

Andrea

says:

I can’t say I thought much about teaching spelling…that may sound silly but I assumed it would fit in with reading or writing somehow. This program looks interesting and interactive which seems like such a step up from spelling lists.

Esperanza Gailliard

says:

I like using the good old fashioned dictionary! :D

Tere Maher

says:

We have been using AAS with success after trying nearly every other program available. The visual learning strategies of AAS bridge the gap between knowing phonics rules and implementing phonics rules. Great product for every learner, including Mom!

Melissa

says:

I would say phonetic. If it doesn’t make sense, my daughter gets lost sometimes.

Andrea

says:

Thank you! Good information.

Julie B

says:

Great info! Thank you for creating such a wonderful product!

Sheri

says:

This is great! Thank you!

Peta

says:

My boys have improved greatly with the use of AAS. The younger even reads better now, having learned so many of the spelling rules by listening to his older’s lessons! thanks

Brei

says:

My oldest falls somewhere in the in in between :-)

Angela

says:

My daughter loved the All About level one readers, so we decided to try the All About Spelling. I’m so glad we did. I wish we had dumped our old spelling program sooner & made the switch when I saw how much she loved & excelled at reading the readers without much guidance. The spelling program is easy to implement & covers many learning types. Thank you.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Angela! I’m glad to hear that your daughter is doing well with AAS, and that she’s having fun to boot!

Caroline F

says:

Have not used AAS yet but would love to start. My kids are 7, 6, and 3.

We love your tiles!! They are such a great help :)

Michelle

says:

I want to try this out for my son who could use some help in spelling.

Ashley Wiggins

says:

I hope to give All About Spelling a try. My 9 year old does struggle a bit in this area. I would love to win the Giveaway. I would put AAS back for after we finish AAR 1.

Judy

says:

Look forward to getting started with All About Spelling. So glad to find something for my hands on kids.

Anne

says:

I love that AAS teaches roots! I look forward to using this soon!

Christi

says:

I have heard such wonderful things about this curriculum. I look forward to bringing it home.

DailyWoman (Lacey)

says:

I am lucky to have 2 natural spellers but I still work to find a great program that will help them progress smoothly.

Karyn Johnson

says:

I LLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOVE AAS!! I have searched & searched for a good phonics/spelling program FOR YEARS & I’ve finally found THE ONE!!!! My youngest of 3 is doing so good with this program & I’m sad I didn’t know about it with my oldest 2. I love the 20 minutes of Spelling Time we have! And as he is doing so well, he is starting to love it, too! I’m super excited to continue in future levels!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thanks for your comment, Karyn! :) I’m happy to hear that your youngest is doing so well with AAS!!!

a

says:

We have one very natural speller, and one who has struggled, historically. We are just finishing up AAS4 with the latter child…recently we had the very gratifying experience of hearing the struggling speller correct the natural speller with a rule learned from AAS!

Staci

says:

We have been using all about spelling for a couple months now. My kids are really enjoying it and my oldest who has always struggled is now becoming a really great speller!

Cathy

says:

I used All About Spelling level 1 with my daughter who has borderline dyslexia and that in combination with doing the stuff the language therapist recommended for her has really helped my daughter with her reading and spelling skills tremendously. She went from hating reading to loving it. The language therapist recommended All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Cathy, I’m glad to hear that our program has been so beneficial for your daughter. I’m also overjoyed to hear that she’s gone from hating reading to loving it!

Jackie

says:

These are great tools! We play scrabble a lot to help her build up her vocabulary and spelling strategies. She’s doing phenomenal on her own at 7 with little use of the dictionary. These books are great help.

Kristen

says:

I am very happy with the multiple strategies All About Spelling uses in their lessons. We are almost finished with Level 1 and I plan on continuing with AAS!

Trisha DeLorme

says:

I appreciate all the spelling strategies my oldest child has always struggled with spelling.

Jessica

says:

I have one naturally good speller and one who is a struggling speller, so AAS has been great, because we’ve been able to build up real skills to teach the WHY’s and HOW’s of spelling. So grateful to have found AAS!!

Simone Coster

says:

Love AAS! So thankful for this curriculum.

Wendy

says:

My daughter is in the middle of Level 2 AAR (and AAS) right now. She was so excited the other day when she was able to read “different” and “fantastic”! Of course her first words were, “That’s such a long word! [Whine]. I love these programs, and more importantly, she WANTS to do reading and spelling (just not the dictation). Thanks, Marie.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Wendy! Thanks for the update on your daughter’s progress! It’s so much fun when kids hit those “big words” and can nail them!

Anna

says:

I am learning right alongside my daughter with this program. I think it is a wonderful tool for all ages!

Amber

says:

Any tips on how to help a child who reverses b/d and p/q? My 6 year old can tell you dog is spelled with a d but half the time he’ll write it bog and the other half he’lol write it correctly as dog. Thanks!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Amber, here is an article on our website about how to help solve reversals: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-solve-b-d-reversal-problems/ .

Ola

says:

Always heard good things about your curriculum!

Tabitha

says:

great tips

Tamara Adams

says:

I love AAS!

Robin

says:

I can’t wait to start all about spelling over this summer with my girls 1 and 3rd these strategies should be super helpful! Thanks for sharing.

Christine

says:

I am looking into using AAS and love the layout and tools.

Karen

says:

We love AAS. We are on Level 2 and I recommend it to everyone I know.

Kelly

says:

Thank you. Very informative. We’re using AAS level one & my newly 9 yo ds has gone from having breakdowns to smiling & high – fiving me. Thank you so much from the both of us,you make it so easy to teach.

Christina Wells

says:

My oldest is a pretty good speller, we are in AAS level 2 now, working on syllable division rules.

Gamm

says:

This would be great for the grand kids.

raye

says:

My little one is too young for spelling yet, but we’ll be there in a year or so.

Kelly

says:

Just started my almost 6 yr old with AAS1. So far, so good.

Dustee

says:

Spelling is something we are working on right now. I am using All About Spelling 2. Thanks for the post.

Kristen Tully

says:

Awesome curriculum! I had a slow start at first adjusting but once I continued I found that I was learning also. I know spelling rules that I never knew before. My kids are doing well on their spelling quizes and most of the time they can spell the words without reviewing them. Thank you. Spelling has always been my worst subject and teaching it seemed ominous but now I enjoy it.

My twin girls, 5 years old, just started All About Reading! They love it. They each learn in their own way and this is perfect! The program is able to meet both their learning styled! Thank you for such a great program!

Anna A.

says:

My son is just starting to want to spell phonetically. He’s 4. I cannot wait to start AAR and AAS, but it sure would be great to win the giveaway :)

Lindsey

says:

Can’t wait to see if I win in your AAS giveaway – thank you for the chance!

Jenna Dickson

says:

We are in Level 4 of AAS. I have seen a vast improvement in my son’s spelling ability since beginning this program.

Djuana

says:

Thankful for your program! We are ready to start level 3!!! Wish I had had All About Spelling with my older children.

Penelope

says:

This looks like something we need to try in our home.

Victoria B.

says:

i would love to try this with my children!!!

Melissa

says:

My 2nd grader is dyslexic, so spelling does not come naturally to her. But we’ve just finished AAS Level 1 and it’s helped her so much! I’m looking forward to moving on to the next level with her. :)

Meredith

says:

New to AAS but I like it and it is helping my reluctant sellers.

Wendy

says:

I love this! My son is not good at spelling and I look forward to helping him with this curriculum!

I would say overall I am quite pleased with how all four of mine are progressing in spelling. It definately is something that needs to be continually worked at though. Thank you for these strategies.

S.Long

says:

I won’t say “lousy” yet, but definitely we are at the very beginning of organized Spelling instruction!

Jaime B

says:

My oldest is definitely not a natural speller. We are at the end of Level 1 and I realized I moved her too quickly through the last steps and that created some confusion for her putting the “keys” into practice, so we are going back!

Kathryn

says:

I have a great reader, who sometimes wants to shut down during writing because he doesn’t have the confidence in his spelling. I am hoping that this program gives him the confidence to spell more words on his own.

Ayrielle

says:

My son seems to be a more natural speller, we shall see where the other two fall as they get older.

Lana

says:

Looking forward to the giveaway

Sarah

says:

My son is a pretty lousy natural speller. When he takes the time to stop and think about it, he actually isn’t too bad, but 99% of the time he’s in a rush and his impulsiveness takes over, so he just throws letters down.

Merry at AALP

says:

LOL, I used to say that my kids liked to “decorate with vowels!” AAS definitely has strategies that can help with that.

Kayla

says:

We are so thankful for this program! Love the fun interaction it provides!

Maxine Nunez

says:

This has really helped my two who take don’t take to spelling and phonics naturally! So glad we found this program.

Jen A.

says:

Looking forward to using this program with my daughter who has dyslexia

Quintana

says:

I’ve got one that is a natural speller and one that struggles some. AAS is working beautifully for both of them!

R McCall

says:

Looking forward to moving to level three!

Jennifer Mathesz

says:

These seem like all great tips. I hope we can afford your curriculum and give it a try!

Stephanie

says:

I am so excited to try this program with my daughter. She has loved reading but has struggled a little with spelling and I think this hands on approach is exactly what she needs!

Karen

says:

Spelling came very easy for me. I thought it was because I read so much as a child. Now I am realizing that is not necessarily the key. I have a daughter who learned to read easily, but has trouble with some spelling rules. I am so thankful for this program as it is very easy to teach and it isn’t just memorization. It makes the student think about each sound in a word as they spell it, which will help them be able to decipher words they come across in the future.

PS

says:

I have unsuccessfully tried to teach three children how to spell. Maybe it isn’t too late for the last one!

heather kaufman

says:

I could really use these suggestions for my 4 /6 yr olds :)

Sharon

says:

My son struggles with spelling. He has always done well on spelling tests, but real world application is entirely different. Thank you for the great suggestions. I believe collecting those normally misspelled words will help. He doesn’t like to stop what he’s doing to look a word up to check for correct spelling, so your idea of gathering those often misspelled words as a list to glance at while writing is super!

sheila

says:

thanks for all the great ideas

Sonja Z

says:

Just starting out with spelling with my son and this is great information!

Amy P

says:

Great information! Love AAS – wish I had found it several years ago, would have saved us much grief!

joanna

says:

This is an awesome program. I wish I knew about it years ago. :)

Sarah

says:

Thanks for all the useful info!

Becka

says:

Such great stuff!

Erin

says:

So much to know! Great resource

Amanda

says:

Have used Level 1 successfully and happily! We all would enjoy another level for free!! Thank you for offering this!

vera

says:

Thank you for the great tips!

Mary

says:

I love how concise your explanations are! I enjoy sharing with my teacher friends. Thanks for all your hard work.

kathy

says:

After using several spelling programs, I have decided that I really like the All About Spelling approach and am ready to buy (or win) the next level. I have three boys and two of them are decent spellers, the third one…well…I need the All About Spelling.

courtney

says:

Thanks for the tips

Monica F

says:

We love AAS. It has helped my non-natural speller tremendously and has helped me (a natural speller) in providing the logic of spelling in a detailed way. I wish I had had this program 7 years ago with my older children!

Steven F

says:

We love All About Spelling!!! The material is so easy to use!

Lynnette H

says:

My kids are great readers…but terrible spellers. I love that this program teaches all the rules, and keps them engaged with hands-on activities.

Sarah

says:

We just finished the first level of AAS! We love it!

Jen

says:

We are excited to be starting AAS Level 1 soon. We have finished AAR Level 1 and enjoyed it.

Cindy

says:

Wish I would have discovered All About Spelling sooner! Using it with our fifth child and can’t help but recommend it to everyone I know. ;) it’s so effective, yet easy to use!

wonderfun

says:

It’s amazing to me how much harder spelling is for our 8yo than for our 6yo. Even though he’s a great reader, he fails his spelling tests. Even though we’re only on step 9 of level 1, his spelling teacher has noticed an improvement in his scores!

Fawn

says:

I appreciate how you have explained the 4 spelling strategies. As a classroom teacher, I have found this post invaluable. Thank you so much for sharing.

Lacey E.

says:

My son has done very well as a speller so far, but I attribute a lot of it to your great AAR and AAS programs. The sequential approach really makes sense to his logical mind. Thanks!

Steph

says:

Between the dyslexia and the dysgraphia, my son’s spelling is mostly unreadable. It is not even phonetically correct. Hoping this will help.

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Steph,

I feel for you! When I started with AAS, my son once spelled the word ask, “aic.” He used the C because he thought it could be both /s/ and /k/ in the same word, and he threw in the i because sometimes words seem to be decorated with extra vowels. In other words he left out vowels or other sounds all together (consonant blends were also difficult for him). He was 11 when we started. AAS helped clear out these confusions and many others, and gave him ways to reliably spell the majority of words. It really did make a big difference here.

If you ever have questions or hit a rough spot, please email us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com. We’re here to help, and we provide lifetime support for all of our programs. We want to help kids like your son succeed!

BTW, if you’ve never seen Marie’s story about her son, you should check that out. Amazing! (They were told he would never read or write, and to prepare him for a life without reading.) http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/about

Hang in there! I know sometimes it’s difficult, and just when you think they know something, the information all seems gone the next day–but keep on. It really does get better. (My student who wrote “aic” is headed off to college next year!)

Julia Molewyk

says:

My daughter is a natural speller, but my boys are not. All about Spelling has been a big help with my youngest. We have just completed book 1, and I am already seeing a difference. Thanks.

Jessie

says:

Love this info!

Melissa Huddlestun

says:

My husband is not a good speller. We pray our kids will be good! He never learned the phonograms or basic rules.

I was a horrid speller in school. It has gotten better since I started homeschooling, but I’m afraid that’s not saying much. What has helped the most is learning the rules.

I have looked for something rule-based to teach with, but have only been frustrated, until I found your program. Now we don’t use it exactly as you wrote it. a couple of my kids find the tiles to be nothing more than busy work, while another finds it overwhelming to have so many different things to do. So we just use the cards and books. That is working great:-) I recommend this program to anyone who asks.

Eileen

says:

I agree that the traditional spelling books miss the mark when it comes to children that don’t “get it” when it comes to spelling. I think a program like yours that gives reasons why something is spelled the way it is is much more logical.

Rebecca

says:

We switched to this program from one that just had my daughter memorizing a list…this program is so much better!

Val

says:

This program has worked great for my dyslexic daughter!

Carly

says:

We started useing All About Spelling Level 1 with my 7 year-old a few weeks ago, and she LOVES it. And it is working! (I did add a puppet pal who teaches her the steps because she was so impressed by her 5 y.o. sister’s All About Reading Pre-K Ziggy puppet. LOL.) My 7yo is a great reader, but a terrible speller. However, she has become so interested in writing recently that we decided it was time to introduce spelling now. Our goal is for her to learn correct spelling from the beginning and NOT have to unlearn bad spelling habits later on… Did I mention that she’s a seriously right-brained, visual, kinesthetic learner? This program works beautifully for her, although other phonics programs we tried failed miserably. So, thank you, thank you! You have created amazing learning programs and we love them!

Julia

says:

I’m schooling three children from 7 – 10, and my spelling curriculums have been a hodgepodge. I think the first level would be a great review for everyone, and to be sure to fill in any gaps. It looks like a terrific program!

I am in love with this program. It gives me the reason why English words are spelled the way they are. It walks me through how to teach the rules and gives great examples.

Leslie

says:

Thank you for the opportunity to win!

Nancy S.

says:

I am homeschooling my own children now, but I very much wish that I had had this program, or at least the philosophy of it, when I was teaching in the classroom! My older son, who is dyslexic, is currently working (slowly) through AAS Level 2. It has been such an enormous help to him.

Loreen G

says:

Thank you for all the helpful hints! Your curriculum has been a lifesaver for us. No more tears spelling!

melissa

says:

My 9 year old son has dyslexia and this program has done wonders for him. We are grateful to have found it!

Starr

says:

my 1st grader loves this program. She is learning a lot and we are on level 3. The lessons are short and easy to follow. Not too much writing for her. Guided lesson plan for me. Win win.

Kristin

says:

With ten kids – 6 school aged – I have the entire spectrum of spellers. I wish I’d had AAS for my oldest two who are now in high school! I’ve considered employing their help in teaching the youngers so they are introduced to the “whys” of spelling (and reading/decoding) so they get what they missed. Looking forward to reading the new post about “when two vowels go a-walking!”

Kate

says:

Spelling is a struggle for my 9yo son. He’s new at it and very new to reading. Chanting the rules and moving those tiles help so much! I never mastered either of those approaches in my first eduction, I relied on whether the word “looked right”. As he reads more, I’m hoping he’ll better recognize the correct spellings too.

Elizabeth Beer

says:

These tips are so helpful! I’ve really only thought about teaching phonetics and rule-based. Thanks for your helpful posts!

Stacie

says:

Love this article

Stacie

says:

We are new to homeschooling and we love all the information on your blog. I would love to try out your program!

Jenni

says:

I homeschool my children and would love to try out this program. Thanks for sharing some of your strategies on your blog.

Ella Bindewald

says:

I got level 2 this year to do with my twin seven year old boys. They were at different skill levels and I wanted something that would help my struggler with out boring the other one. It has been fun for both of them and my struggler is really improving, both with spelling and reading. We have a fun spot to do our spelling so that it is a break from the table where they do most of their school work. We use the back of our front door. They sit on the stairs opposite of the door and then get to jump up one at a time to spell using the tiles. They are both very active boys so this has been helpful for them. Thank you for this program.

Jana C.

says:

I really like the program and love how much my children love it too. I have one who’s pretty natural and one who just needs more confidence, so the program works for both of my kids.

Reina

says:

Very complete program. It gives me confidence in teaching.

Jodie

says:

Very informative! Thanks!

Ashley

says:

Thanks so much!

Susanne

says:

I’ve always use a phonetic based program for my children but some of them still struggle – a lot! Thank you for all the tips you share!

Claire

says:

Thanks so much for this curriculum. We are currently working our way through Level 3. It’s never too late to teach a struggling speller!

shannon

says:

I love your blogs. They’re always so informative.Thank you!

Melodie

says:

It’s fascinating learning about the English language and strategies for reading and spelling that will help my kids succeed. Thanks for the awesome curriculum!

Carrol Ann Smith

says:

Really appreciate the help this blog gives me!

Kim

says:

Would love to try this spelling curriculum

Carrie

says:

We will be starting AAS level 1 soon. We have one more lesson left in AAR level 1 and he has been trying to spell for about 10 lessons now. This tells me he is ready to start learning spelling.

diana

says:

Your technique and product is the best by far. I have two children, spaced six years apart and can use the curriculum with both. We will be beginning book four this week with one and book three next week with the other. We have tried numerous spelling approaches and by far All About Spelling is the best! We love the hands on materials that support the teaching. Great job Marie! We’ve seen great improvements in both of our children and that is thanks to your curriculum!

Desiree S

says:

This is a great program. I’m seeing huge progress only halfway through level two. Can’t wait to move onto level 3.

Lisa Peters

says:

Would love this program for my 5 yo (1st grade level). We are newbie homeschoolers and very excited to get starte!

Jen G

says:

We just got All About Spelling and are so excited to get started. Thank you for all of the helpful information in this blog post.

Monna

says:

This is the most amazing program. My granddaughter’s spelling and reading have improved so much already and she is not even through the first level.

Niki P

says:

Great article. My daughter was a natural speller but my son needs more attention in this area! Thanks for the great giveaway!

Korie

says:

Awesome tips. We started off with this program last year with my son and absolutely love it. He is 6 years old and just started AAR Level 2! The program lays it out so clearly and I super easy to teach, and he is just excelling! So exciting to watch him learn.

Brandi

says:

Great article. I have some spellers that need help. I’d love to win the giveaway.

debbie reed

says:

Thanks for such helpful advice.

Katrina

says:

Teaching spelling is one thing I’m not looking forward to teaching my daughters. They’re still pretty young, but my oldest, 3.5 years, is already asking how things are spelled and such. This program looks like it would make it a lot easier for me to teach correct spelling to her. It’s been so long since I learned I’m pretty sure I’d have no idea where to start on my own.

Susan

says:

We love using All About Spelling and hope we win the giveaway.

Karen S

says:

I absolutely love All About Soelling. Especially for a wiggly boy.

Lois Tschaepe

says:

I’d like to use this program with the students I tutor.

Heather

says:

I have one student who gathers all information visually, and never forgets. Another needs a lot of exposure, explanations, and experience. It looks like your program provides all that.

Susan

says:

I have a middle-of-the-road speller and a poor speller…tough for a mama who is a natural speller. Homeschooling these guys is continually teaching me too!

Sharon

says:

This is a simple succint explanation. Thanks

rolando

says:

students have always struggled with spelling – thanks for the ideas shared.

steph j

says:

My child falls right into the middle and is a good speller. Sometimes needs to practice words more than usual but continues to improve. Love the spelling strategy ideas, especially the ones with the magnetic tiles.

Paula

says:

I love these spelling tips! Hope I win!

Rhonda

says:

Thank you. We are working through level 1 and it is going well.

Lora Richardson

says:

Thanks for the great post! I have one child who is a natural speller, and one who struggles. Both benefit from AAS, and I use a lot of your blog tips!

Stephanie

says:

We started All About Spelling with our 6 year old this year. We are very happy with the program so much better than memorizing lists of spelling words like I did growing up. Thank you!

Leah

says:

These strategies work so well. Thank you for making it easier to learn and to teach!

Joy

says:

One of my children was recently diagnosed with dyslexia. We’ve been using the All About Spelling program since the diagnosis and can already see just how helpful the multi-sensory approach is!

Katherine H

says:

Thank you!

Jessica doss

says:

This looks fun to try out!

Andrea

says:

My son struggles with spelling, this helps him a lot.

Danielle

says:

This would be fun to try out ;) I have heard good things about this curriculum

Amy Melton

says:

We have seen an improvement in my daughter’s spelling this year! Love the program!

Stacey

says:

I have a great speller and a horrible speller. My great speller also happens to be our best reader.

Emily

says:

I love AAS! My 6th grade son always struggled in spelling. We started with level 1 and have zoomed through level 3. His spelling has drastically improved and so has his confidence in the short time we have used AAS. Thank you!

Susan Alexander

says:

Fascinating. I consider myself a natural speller, I’ve never struggled. My daughter seems similar to me. She is frustrated when she can’t spell, but she’s also six, so my expectations are pretty low. :) really fascinating to see the strategies laid out like this and realize what my brain is actually doing when I spell.

Kelly M

says:

This is great information! Now how to get my 7th grader as psyched as I am!

Vicki

says:

The Morphemic Spelling Strategy is great for expanding vocabulary, too! I have found this to be so helpful for my dyslexic children as well as my typical reader! Thank you!

Jennifer

says:

This blog is changing all my teaching plans for next year! I’m so glad I found it before I got too far along in my planning!

Stephanie

says:

We love our AAS! Practical, effective and most of all, fun!

Juanita Brown-Duthie

says:

I am a very good speller (no idea why) and have found it hard to relate to my boys who seem to struggle, so these are some very good ideas.

Melissa Bell

says:

My 6 yo is a fairly good speller if she tries. We haven’t used a formal spelling program yet. I have AAS Level 1 on the way. I’m so excited to start with it. I want her to learn “why” we spell the way we do.

Anne in IN

says:

We’ve been using AAS for several years now with our youngest two sons, and I am a huge fan! We started with Level 1, and they are now in levels 5 and 6 respectively. My question is about using electronic spell checkers. Is there a particular model you recommend? I recently bought a simple one and my youngest son has been using it to self-edit his papers. (First he looks up words he is unsure of, and then I highlight the misspelled words in the first several sentences.) It seems to be a useful tool in our arsenal of spelling tools. But the model I purchased does not give definitions of words, and so he still must recognize the correct word. This isn’t going to be of help for homophones. Are there models which do more than simply give options for correctly spelled words? And do you think this is an effective strategy (along with all of the above in your article, which we are doing with AAS) to help children who have serious spelling difficulties?

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Anne,

Great question! Yes, there are spellers that include definitions. Franklin Spellers are good — Marie likes them! She says that the more expensive ones are much easier to use, and easier on the eyes. Marie uses the Franklin Language Master, Model LM-6000b–it was purchased a number of years ago, so model numbers might have been updated since then. What she likes:

It has (or did at the time–she purchased around 2006) the clearest screen out of all of the available Franklin models. You can type in the word the way you think it should be spelled, and all of the possible words will appear. You can push a button and the word will be read aloud, too. For the word “burn,” if you don’t remember whether it is spelled with a u or an e, you can type in a question mark in place of the vowel. It costs around $100, but it is a long term investment.

As far as “wrong ways” to use them: use them as a tool, not as a crutch. To avoid using it as a crutch, if the child has already learned a word, have the child “reason” his way through it. What rule applies? What other strategies has he or she learned that apply?

Another good use for the model Marie has: If your child would run across a word he didn’t know, he could push the “say” button and hear it spoken as he read the definition.

So, you might look for models that have some of those options.

I hope this helps, please let us know if you have additional questions.

C Timm

says:

I love how easy & effective this curriculum is to use!

Renee S.

says:

The All about spelling way seems so much clearer than the dictation way we have been going at spelling, well the way we were going at spelling. We ended up putting the book away since the spelling you see was just too intimidating for my child, so many blank boxes to fill in for a kid who doesn’t enjoy writing. I am going with AAS and AAR next year and already have a sense of relief.

Tammy

says:

These are wonderful ideas!

Amanda Lynch

says:

The All about Spelling and All about Reading programs work so well! I am beyond grateful for this material.

Hayley

says:

My daughter is 8 and she has always struggled with spelling. She is a great reader, but spelling was a different story. She loves to make up and write stories, which meant she is constantly asking, “How do you spell _____?” I recently discovered that her reading skills are not as strong as I believed. She has such great reading comprehension skills that she is able to guess words based on the context of the story, but when given a unrelated list of words, she had no decoding skills. We started using AAS last week and I was astounded at how well she responded to the program. I ended up ordering AAR as well! Thank you for providing such fantastic products!

ashley

says:

Great ideas! Thank you!

Sarah

says:

This program has really helped my kids.

Mary Lauritzen

says:

We’re about halfway through AAS 1 with my dyslexic 11-year-old daughter. A lot of it is review at this point, but it seems to be a good program. Hoping to start Level 2 in a couple months.

Kim Ayers

says:

Interesting

Feather Clark

says:

My son is a natural speller in 5th grade. But my daughter has problems with reading which is making spelling vertically impossible at the tender age of 8. She’s in 2nd grade and is getting extra help for speech,reading, and spelling but I would like to be able to give her more tools to help her too.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Feather, since your daughter is having difficulty with reading, I would suggest focusing solely on reading. Come back to spelling after her reading is more solid. This will help prevent overwhelming her with too many new concepts at once. This article may be helpful to you: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/working-memory-funnel-concept/

Cara Shields

says:

This is great! That has been my biggest issue trying to help my girls spell, most cirriculums pick one thing to focus on and that is it. My girls need a little of everything

Margaret

says:

Thank you for the information!

Julie

says:

I am interested in learning more about the All About Reading levels.

Clover

says:

I would like to order All About Spelling. I am in the Caribbean. Is it available only
online?

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

We are able to ship to the Caribbean. The option isn’t available in our shopping cart because it will require a custom quote, but you can contact Kathy at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or call her at 715-477-1976 and let her know what items you need.

Emma

says:

Good to know this is all covered in AAS. I just bought all the levels we didn’t have yet and going through them all this year with my 14yo.

Jeri

says:

I love the All About Spelling and Reading series! My son suffers from dyslexia, ADHD and OCD. He has struggled with spelling ever since he started school (he is in 3rd grade now). I started homeschooling in Jan of 2015 and he has progressed so well! When he was in school I tried teaching him just by memorization as that is how I was taught in school (if you miss it you write it 5 times or over and over until you remember it). We would practice all week for the test on Friday and then you would flunk it. Now when we are doing lessons he is spelling words he’s never spelled right before on his first attempt! He loves the fact that he can count on rules not memorization. And this has helped him in sounding out words while reading as well. Thank you All About Spelling/Reading!!!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Wonderful report, Jeri! Thanks for sharing your son’s progress with us!!!

Jennifer B

says:

Thank you for all the tips we are heading into our 2nd year of spelling and I was stating to feel a little overwhelmed.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Jennifer, you’re so welcome for the tips. If you ever start to feel overwhelmed again, please don’t hesitate to get into touch with us!

Steph M

says:

My daughter is a voracious reader and I think she is picking up spelling by osmosis. I’ve done spelling with her in the past but I’ve dropped the ball this year. :/

Simah

says:

Thanks for the great tips! My six year old is just getting into spelling, but she already appears to bea “natural speller”. I believe my five year old will have more difficulties, though.

Marcia

says:

Thanks for these ideas! I have some natural spellers and some struggling spellers. I really like what I’ve seen with your program.

Pat

says:

Good tips! Thanks!

Bobi

says:

Great tips! I have two children who fall into the “lousy” category. I’m hoping to fix that soon.

Karin Miller

says:

HI Marie,
Thanks so much for your tips. I am especially interested in the morphology approach. I think it is a fantastic way to really accelerate students understanding of words and of our language. Is this taught throughout your AAS levels, or are there specific levels that focus on it more? If I wanted to go more in depth into this approach that your curriculum might go, can you recommend additional resources?
Thanks so much!
Karin

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Karin,

There is subtle instruction in morphology throughout. For example, in Level 1, students have to identify the root word to correctly make them plural (cat-cats versus glass-glasses). (And they have to understand what it means to make a word plural–why “cats” is plural but “gas” is not.) In Level 3, students work with suffixes, and in Level 4 they add prefixes to the mix. In Level 7, students work with Latin roots and Greek word parts, which form the foundation of so many different words. Students who want to continue that study may want to add on a curriculum such as English From the Roots Up, Vocabulary Vine, Vocabulary from Classical Roots, or other programs that focus specifically on learning Greek and Latin roots.

Karin Miller

says:

Hi Merry,
Thanks so much for clarifying the morphology content in the levels, plus giving me suggestions of additional materials for further study!
Karin

Charlene

says:

I really appreciate this post, I have been looking for spelling strategies for my 6 yr old that is now liking to read and write much more than last year. I will use some of these indeed.

chrissy s.

says:

I’m starting homeschool this year with my almost 5 year old – I can’t wait to implement this program!

Melissa

says:

I’m so excited to learn more about this curriculum!

Titilayo

says:

As a homeschooler, I need all the tools I can get so that my kids don’t miss out on learning. Thanks

Paula

says:

Thanks for the hard work and information you put into your blog.

Rachel Creamer

says:

Would love to learn more…. :)

Murni

says:

I’m glad I found this blog. From reading entry, I learned that my daughter is a natural speller and new ways in teaching spelling to my son.

Danika Recore

says:

My daughter has always struggled with spelling, so when I found AAS, it was the answer to my prayers. We are in level 5 now, and her spelling has improved dramatically. She agrees with me that we will continue through all 7 levels. This program is so easy to use, and so easy for her to learn with (she’s a rule-follower so it’s perfect for her style of learning). Thank you so much for this fantastic program!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thanks for sharing your daughter’s progress! It means a lot to me! I hope you find a lot of joy through the last two levels.

Lisa Armstrong

says:

I started using All About Spelling this year with my youngest and it has worked so well that I am also using All About Reading now. They have both been quite effective with her, what a Blessing to have found both of these curriculums.

Wendy Pierce

says:

My oldest is a struggling speller. Your program has been wonderful for him. My youngest seems as though he may be a natural speller but is still quite young. I have not actually started teaching him spelling yet, so it is a bit early to make that determination.

Leni T.

says:

The use of mnemonics makes a big difference for me as a teacher. I need the extra help to remember all the different rules.

Christine

says:

Thanks for the tips. My daughter is tending towards natural speller.

Suma

says:

Thanks for the tips. My daughter is falling into the nautural speller category while I struggled with it for all my life.

Karen M

says:

Thank you for all the tips. It is so nice to not have to walk this road alone. I also love reading all the comments to see where other children are and how parents teach to the strengths and weaknesses. Thank you!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome for the tips, Karen! Like you, I’m grateful for the comments, too, so we can all benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of other homeschoolers!

Jennifer D

says:

Great tips. We are not a confident speller here. He doubts himself but is gaining confidence using AAS. I will remember these to use during lessons to make sure he is having access to all resources.

Kendra

says:

Thanks for the tips! I really like the way you explain the phonetic spellers, as a director of reading programs in a 1:1 learning center- we benefit from all your tips and its been very helpful to mix the different strategies! Thanks again~

gadget

says:

My daughter is a natural speller, but I am not. Growing up, I had lists of words to memorize and I did. We are now about to start the third level of All About Spelling and I think I am learning as much as she is, but I wish we had this method when I was growing up.

Teaching things that you never learned is interesting, but not difficult with this program.

Thank you for this great article! We love All About Spelling!

Dorothy S

says:

Thank you for another great post. I have always struggled with spelling. I’ve really enjoyed learning with my son as we use your curriculum.

Sharon Jones

says:

I have three different children one is a natural speller and spells well without much effort but my other two struggle more with spelling and this article is spot on with what is working with them as we work on spelling words.

Courtney

says:

My dyslexic 2nd grader struggles profoundly with spelling, and, although we are both trained English teachers, we had no idea how to help him. The school instruction he was receiving seemed only to be making things worse, especially since his weekly spelling tests evaluate his understanding of all the different ways to make a given sound, without offering any insight into which spelling to use with which word. For example, their test last week included the words here, hear, fear, veer, etc. I’m sure even the “natural spellers” must struggle. But AAS has given us a systematic, streamlined, manageable way to approach spelling instruction at home. He’s not acing the spelling tests, but he’s learning the rules, and we can see improvement in his writing. As a happy side-effect, our kindergartner has learned to spell–and read, of course!–better than anyone else in her class, thanks to the very short AAS lessons she does alongside her brother. I wish we’d started with him when he was her age!

shawn

says:

Hi I purchased your spelling program a few months ago for my terrible spellers age 8/9 . I was surprised by all the set up and prep work I’ve had to do begin.and now that we’ve started progress is slow…..is it really necessary to review every step every lesson before moving on to the next?? I am losing attention by the time we get to new teaching which is truly like a review of what was learned years ago…..any advice I am not enjoying the program

Jenna

says:

Shawn,

I bought level one for my fourth grader because she was making some very basic mistakes. We went through about 19 lessons, and 2/3 of the cards in the first week. If she knew it, we just moved on until we found our starting place. For example, we did not spell three letter closed syllable short vowel words, because she knows these, although we did review the rules for c and K (and the definition of a closed syllable). Also, I was dumbfounded that she struggled naming the vowels and did not know what a consonant was. We found that there were about 6 or 7 rules she didn’t know at all and we focused on those lessons. We reviewed the ones that she didn’t know cold, Within a few months (she really struggles with spelling), we moved on to level 2. There are more lessons she doesn’t know in. Level 2, but we still do not need to review everything. My recommendation would be to go through the cards and see what your children know. If they know it, put it in the learned section and move to the next lesson. Oh –I went once through the cards and my daughter got most of them right even though she didn’t know all the rules. Probably years of seeing them. So we really focused on the rules for those lessons. For example, she knew how to smell miss and fill and fluff, but didn’t know the rule. Anyway, we found that it has gone very fast and we are concentrating only on what she needs to learn (the gaps). For my first graders, it is different. We go through the lessons pretty much how they are laid out since they are learning all this anew.

I don’t know if this would work for everyone, but this approach has helped my daughter make huge strides and it is not boring at all for her. It actually takes very little time each day (maybe 10 minutes for her, longer for my first graders because of the dictation, which we also use as handwriting). Good luck!

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Shawn,

As Jenna said, focus on what your child doesn’t know. I started my kids at ages 9 and 11. I was surprised that they weren’t very solid on the letter X, strangely enough! But most of what they didn’t know from the beginning lessons was just some of the additional sounds for the letters. We worked on a couple at a time–simply show the phonogram, say the sounds, have your student repeat. The review literally took just a minute or two. We did it quickly at the beginning and ending of a lesson time so that they could master those phonograms more quickly, and then added in a couple of new ones.

You don’t need to review all of the phonograms that are already mastered, or to review words your students know already–maybe you are trying to review mastered cards? If your student can already answer quickly and easily, a card should be moved to the “mastered” tab.

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” if the students know how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that your 8 and 9 year-olds already know and slow down on the parts that they need to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure each understands the concept being taught, and then move on. Here is an example of how you might fast track: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

Read through this and see if that helps. My kids just needed a few weeks to fill in gaps from level 1, and then we moved on to Level 2, where they needed more work. But level 1 provided that foundational info that is needed to spell longer words as well.

Let me know if you still have questions–I’d be happy to help.

Carla

says:

We are loving AAS level 1 this year :)

Angie Kelley

says:

My sons (7 & 5) are doing well with AAR2 (though we have paused for a review of level 1 this month) and AAS1. The 5 yo is a natural reader/speller and the 7 yo REALLY has to work at it. But the short lessons and variety of enforcement techniques are really giving them both the best we could ask for in a program. Kudos to you, Marie! Your program is top notch!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Angie! I’m glad that your boys are doing well with the programs!

Jill

says:

My daughter is a naturally good speller (thanks to the fact that we are also using your All About Reading program, I believe) but there are some words we are struggling with due to pronunciation. Why are the words that have a vowel followed by an “n” so challenging to determine which vowel to use? We are in AAS Level 2 about Lesson 6. The words are like these: even, human, and open. I would appreciate any thoughts you have, Marie.

Merry at AALP

says:

Great question, Jill!

This step can be difficult, but here are some ideas for you:

First, this can happen any time there is a vowel in an unaccented syllable–so it’ s not just the letter “n” that is the culprit. You may have noticed that back in step 4 there’s a note in a gray text box about the schwa sound and the need to pronounce words for spelling. Here’s how you can take it a step further: First, tell her that when we say words fast in our normal speech, some of the sounds get muffled–we don’t hear them correctly. We need to say them slowly. Then, when you introduce a word, say, “We normally say this word, idum. I’m going to pronounce this one for spelling. You repeat the pronunciation and then write it. i-TEM.” Make sure she repeats the pronunciation for spelling. When she says the sounds correctly, then have her practice spelling it with the tiles or on paper. When you are done with the lesson, make sure you put all of the cards in the review tab.

Once she understands the general concept that there are sounds that get muffled and that we need to say things slowly to hear all the sounds for spelling, then she will be able to get these types of words correct over time.

When you get to the point where you are doing the review cards, then tell her, “I’m going to say these words how we normally say them. I want you to pronounce them for spelling, and then write them.” If she struggles with the pronunciation, give that to her, have her repeat it, and then write the spelling. Keep the card in review. When she can both pronounce them AND spell them correctly without hesitation, then move it to mastered.

Your goal is for her to reprogram how she thinks about this word. We don’t want her to think “itum” when she says it fast. We want her to think “item” even when she says it fast–and by saying it slow and showing that it truly is an /e/ sound, she can make that transition.

You may need to spend a lot of review time on these words. Some parents find they need to keep these word cards in the review section even after they get them correct because of their difficulty. Make sure to include them later on when the lesson says to review mastered cards. If your daughter struggles with any, put them back in the daily review for awhile.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Tara I.

says:

We are finishing level 1 of AAS and nearing the beginning of level 2. We are using this with three of our four children. Our six year old son has ADHD, regressive autism, and profound sensory processing struggles. He is able to follow and learn with this program.

Merry at AALP

says:

That’s great, Tara! I’m glad your son and your other children are doing well with AAS!

Laura Kramer

says:

Just got level 1 and am so excited that there are ALREADY some things my 4th grader is learning. I guess we have a lot of gaps to fill in!

J

says:

We love All About Spelling and All About Reading!

Greta

says:

We love AAS. We have looked for a long time for a program that would fit him. Thank you so much for this program.

Stefani

says:

My daughter is loving AAS! She is in 4th grade, and has always been a naturally good speller. However, when I mentioned that her little brother would be starting to AAS this fall, she insisted that she get to do the program, too.

Merry at AALP

says:

cute!

L. Long

says:

We are using All About Reading and looking into All About Spelling.

Emily Williamson

says:

Reading has come quite easily to my grandson, and learning the spelling rules for writing the words is the next step.

He is beyond CVC, but we started with step one of Level 1. He is rocking it!

Thank you.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Emily! Your grandson may be beyond CVC words, but I’m glad to hear that he’s still beginning with AAS L1. (We actually recommend that most students start with AAS L1, so they have the solid foundation of learning all of our spelling rules.) Have fun!

Sarah C.

says:

We are working through AAR level 1 right now and we cannot wait to get AAS level 1!! :) I know it is going to be very beneficial! My daughter is starting to notice things like the word Charlotte is not spelled Sharlotte, or the spice ginger is not spelled jinger.

Merry at AALP

says:

Oooh, good for her!

Cara F

says:

very helpful!

Ginger

says:

Thank you, this is a great article!

Melissa

says:

This is very interesting.

Michelle DeCarlo

says:

My 2nd grader is becoming a wonderful speller thanks to this curriculum!

Heidi Zapolski

says:

A lot of great ideas, here! Thank you for sharing!

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