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Spelling Can Be Easy When It’s Orton-Gillingham Approach

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham Approach

When I developed All About Spelling, I combined the key features of the Orton-Gillingham approach with the latest research and proven spelling rules. But why? What’s so special about Orton-Gillingham?

What is Orton-Gillingham?

Orton-Gillingham is a powerful approach to teaching reading and spelling that uses instruction that is multisensory, sequential, incremental, cumulative, individualized, phonics-based, and explicit.

Though often touted primarily as an instructional method for children with dyslexia and other learning challenges, the Orton-Gillingham approach helps make spelling easy for all children.

The Orton-Gillingham approach helps take the mystery out of spelling by focusing on why words are spelled the way they are. Though the English language contains just 26 letters, these letters combine to create 44 speech sounds, and there are over 250 ways to spell those sounds. But the Orton-Gillingham approach condenses the spelling of these sounds into phonograms and demystifies spelling by teaching students to apply rules and generalizations that help make what was once difficult much easier!

Who were Orton and Gillingham?

Dr. Samuel T. Orton (1879-1948) was a pioneer in the study and understanding of dyslexia. He studied numerous children with language processing issues and eventually developed teaching principles designed to help these children learn language more effectively. One of Dr. Orton’s students, Anna Gillingham (1878-1963), further developed Orton’s ideas and eventually combined his teaching methods with her own understanding of language structure. The first Orton-Gillingham manual was published in 1935.

What are the key features and benefits of the Orton-Gillingham approach?

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham Approach - An All About Spelling Series

Multisensory

This feature focuses on the idea that children learn through three major pathways to the brain—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. By engaging the senses of sight, sound, and touch all within the same lesson, multisensory instruction allows you to capitalize on your child’s preferred learning style while simultaneously strengthening the other learning pathways. When used correctly, the Orton-Gillingham approach can help children with ALL learning styles learn to read and spell.

Sequential

Lessons are always presented in a logical, well-planned sequence. When instruction is sequential, children are able to make easy connections between what they already know and what they are currently learning. The Orton-Gillingham approach makes learning a rewarding experience.

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham

Incremental

With incremental instruction, each lesson carefully builds upon the previous lesson, ensuring that there are no gaps. This helps your child move from simple concepts to more complex ones, smoothly and naturally. With an Orton-Gillingham approach, even students who have experienced failure with other programs can learn to read and spell.

Cumulative

The most important component of cumulative learning is constant and consistent review of previously taught skills, and this is one of the cornerstones of the Orton-Gillingham approach. When review is integrated into every lesson, what a child learns stays learned.

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham

Individualized

Because everyone learns differently, the Orton-Gillingham approach is always concerned with the needs of the individual. Anna Gillingham once said, “Go as fast as you can, but as slow as you must.” Curriculum that follows this approach makes it easy for you to teach to your child’s strengths and at his pace. Consequently, this approach works for ALL ages—beginning readers, intermediate students, teens, and adults.

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham

Based on Phonograms

One of the priorities of the Orton-Gillingham approach is to simplify the English language by focusing on why words are spelled the way they are. By teaching the basic phonograms and the rules and patterns that spell 98% of English words, the O-G approach takes the guesswork out of spelling. People with reading disorders like dyslexia can actually overcome the language processing issues associated with these disorders.

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham

Explicit

In an Orton-Gillingham spelling program, students are taught exactly what they need to know in a clear and straightforward manner. Students know what they‘re learning and why they’re learning it. Children taught with this direct instructional approach gain skill and confidence. There’s no guessing, no ambiguity, and no confusion.

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Orton-Gillingham

All About Spelling makes it easy to use the Orton-Gillingham approach to teach spelling. Our open-and-go teacher’s manuals walk you through each step of teaching spelling—with no experience, special training, or extra prep time required by you! You‘ll be teaching like an expert from your very first lesson, and your child will receive all the benefits of this effective method.

Did you enjoy this post? Be sure to read the whole series to learn how Spelling Can Be Easy!

Do you have questions about All About Spelling or the Orton-Gillingham approach?

The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach

Photo credits: Jamie at The Unlikely Homeschool and Dusty at To the Moon and Back

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Leave a Comment

Amy Summers

says:

Does this curriculum teach phonemic awareness?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Yes. We cover phonemic (phonological) awareness from even before reading, with our Pre-reading level of All About Reading. We also work on these skills with reading and spelling in All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Did you have any specific questions I could address?

Jessica Caswell

says:

I have just ordered the All About Reading program for my son who is dyslexic and seriously behind on his reading. Now I am concerned that I should have ordered the All About Spelling instead. Could you email me so that I can get some clarification on which one would be best for my son? Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I emailed you, Jessica.

DC

says:

I’m an educator in Texas and I have some questions about this approach for a specific student. Could you email me so I may discuss this with you

Merry

says: Customer Service

Will Do!

Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists

says:

Thanks for sharing. Very useful post.

Cameron Parham

says:

I would like something to help my daughter (age17) gain more confidence in her spelling, writing, and reading. She is certainly quite dyslexic.

julia

says:

For what age is the Orton-Gillingham appropriate for?

Merry

says:

Hi Julia,

The Orton Gillingham method can be used with the very young to the very old. Our Pre-reading program is designed for preschool and kindergarten aged students, to prepare them for reading, and then they can move into Level 1 of All About Reading. We recommend that students complete AAR 1 before adding in the spelling program. Both programs have been used for beginning readers, older remedial readers, and even adults. I hope this helps!

Krevill

says:

This is brilliant! I love that the Orton-Gillingham approach is applied to all spellers. Thanks!

Julie

says:

Hearing the background to this approach is very interesting. I’ve learned so many helpful things from your curriculum as I teach it to my children.

Holly

says:

Hello. I homeschool a 9 year old (grade4) and a 4 year old (K)
Next year I am looking for a program for them for Grades 5 and K-1

Suzanne

says:

Very interesting. Wish I knew a way to help my spelling challenged husband.

Laura Saenz

says:

Just getting ready to order AAR and AAS for my 1st grader and my 3rd grader. Im just trying to figure out what level I should start my 6yo on. she has mastered all the things in the L1 placement requirements except the last few items on the list. I don’t know if I should start with PR or L1 though?

Merry

says:

Hi Laura,

Do you mean the last few phonological awareness items, or the items under Motivation to Read? That’s what I’m guessing (there is another section after that on Motivation to Read that has 3 items)–let me know if I’m mistaken.

If she’s struggling with the phonological awareness skills, then even though some of Pre-reading program will be review for her, it’s probably the best place to start. Skills like being able to blend words orally and being able to identify first and last sounds in a word are very important to reading. Blending written words is dependent on these skills. You might want to read through these articles on Phonological Awareness and Teaching Phonological Awareness for more help in understanding these skills and whether she would be ready to begin a reading program:

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/phonological-awareness
http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/teaching

If syllables were the only thing she didn’t know, I’d say go ahead and start Level 1, but if she’s struggling with several of the 6 items listed, I think Level 1 might be too challenging to start with.

Have you already looked at the sample Teacher’s Guides for each program? That might also help you to decide. The Phonological Awareness skills are covered in the “Language Exploration” parts of the Pre-reading manual. I would focus on those parts for her if she’s solid on her letters. You could skip the first part of the lessons or let those be a fun review if she would enjoy those activities.

Level 1 will start right off with sounding out words.

Here are the All About Reading samples and scope and sequence links for the various levels of the All About Reading program:

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-lesson-samples/

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

Sabrina L.

says:

I’m tutoring my nephew with level 1 spelling and I love it! It’s easy to teach and all laid out for me. He is in 4th grade and he enjoys it, looking forward to using with my own children when they are ready.

Nur

says:

We have the All About Reading Level 1, can’t wait to try out the Spelling series!

Shannon Nelson

says:

This looks great. Just getting ready for K. :)

Hannah K

says:

Thank you for this!! Very helpful!

Aimee S

says:

We have just started using AAS and love it! Can’t wait to see more!

Katie Roberts

says:

Finishing up kindergarten here and wondering at what age you’d start All About Spelling? Time for me to do some research! :)

Merry

says:

Hi Katie,

Is your kindergarten student already reading? Marie recommends completing All About Reading Level 1 first (or the equivalent, if you are using another reading program), and then adding in the All About Spelling program. This way students get a solid start in reading first, and have a strong basis for spelling as well.

AAS and AAR both use a similar sequence and the same phonograms. Both are complete phonics programs, so they are interrelated in that way. AAS teaches words from the spelling angle, and AAR teaches words from the reading angle.

All About Reading includes research-based instruction in decoding skills, fluency, automaticity, comprehension, vocabulary and lots and lots of reading practice. AAS focuses instead on encoding skills, spelling rules and other strategies that help children become good spellers.

For this reason, the programs are also independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling. For more information, check out this article on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/why-we-teach-reading-and-spelling-separately/

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Lori

says:

We have been using All About Spelling for 3 years now. My kids beg to do more! I also just started All About Reading with one of my children when I realized he needed more instruction. We all love it and I look forward to using it with two more kids!

Sherry

says:

We love AAS…no questions here!

Laura

says:

We love this too! I have switched 3 children from the other kind of spelling programs and are seeing results that stick! I love the “Go as fast as you can, and as slow as you must” approach. I will be starting this program with my youngest who has learning delays. I think it will be a perfect fit.
Do you know of any others who have used this with children who have Down syndrome?

Merry

says:

Hi Laura,

We know of several who have been using the reading program, but we don’t have feedback from anyone using the spelling program yet. If you do use it for a child with Down Syndrome, we’d love to hear how it goes for you! Merry :-)

Sara McGuire

says:

After 3 years of the classic “give a list, practice the list, test the list, forget the list the next day” I knew spelling was not being learned, I was so happy I found AAS and she now loves spelling (as do I) Excited to have an early start with AAS with my 4-year-olds.

Molly

says:

We love this program, it has been lifesaver for our daughter who has dyslexia.

Michelle S.

says:

No questions…I would love to win this for my son! Thanks so much for the chance!!!!!

Mary

says:

We love AAS!

Pam

says:

Love the multisensory approach! My daughter is ADHD and extremely hands on and my son is Autistic and this program works for both of them!

melanie

says:

I would love this set for my two daughter who are very very “hands on”!!

Alesha Dicken

says:

At what age should you begin with this program, or what skills should the child be able to demonstrate prior to starting the program?

Merry

says:

Hi Alesha,

If you have a beginning reader, we recommend completing All About Reading Level 1 first, and then adding in the All About Spelling program. This way students get a solid start in reading first, and have a strong basis for spelling as well.

AAS and AAR both use a similar sequence and the same phonograms. Both are complete phonics programs, so they are interrelated in that way. AAS teaches words from the spelling angle, and AAR teaches words from the reading angle.

All About Reading includes research-based instruction in decoding skills, fluency, automaticity, comprehension, vocabulary and lots and lots of reading practice. AAS focuses instead on encoding skills, spelling rules and other strategies that help children become good spellers.

For this reason, the programs are also independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling. For more information, check out this article on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/why-we-teach-reading-and-spelling-separately/

It’s helpful if your student has already learned letter formation, but if not you can do more work with the tiles and add in writing as they are able. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Sarah C.

says:

I love the idea of a multi-sensory approach program! Very interested!

Jennifer

says:

Curious about where to start my 9 yr old who is an avid reader, but poor at spelling

Carol Woods

says:

Very informative! My youngest is having trouble in this area, so I am glad to find a hands on curriculum with some research behind it :)

jeannie

says:

How much time would a daily lesson take?

Merry

says:

Hi Jeannie,

We recommend working for 15-20 minutes daily. AAS is designed for you to work at your child’s pace, so you can spend as many or as few days as needed on each lesson. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Laura Clark

says:

My 5th grader spells at a 1st grade level so I’m taking him out of his school to see if homeschooling will help him. I found your website and it looks like a great program.

Teena

says:

We started using all about spelling a few months ago. We love it! It works so wonderfully with our 6 and 9 year old. We have seen huge changes already. Thank you!

Jennifer

says:

No questions. I am just so excited to start this with my daughter. We started All About Reading Level 1 in October 2013 and my now 5 year old is doing so well.

Are there manipulatives in the All About Spelling?

Merry

says:

Yes, students use magnetic letter tiles. There’s also a phonogram sounds app. Here’s a link to the Spelling Interactive Kit which shows the items used in all 7 levels: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-interactive-kits/

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Stephanie Bondlow

says:

This looks very comprehensive and thorough. Is this a good approach for a dyslexic child?

Merry

says:

Hi Stephanie,

Yes, both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based. Marie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and is an instructor for the graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out. Quite amazing!

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/our-story

Here are some ways that AAS can help kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities:

– AAS is multisensory. It approaches learning through sight, sound, and touch. This helps kids who struggle with memory issues, because they take in information in various ways and also interact with it in various ways. The kinesthetic approach can be very helpful to a child who has expressive language struggles.

– AAS uses specially color-coded letter tiles. Working with the All About Spelling letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

– AAS is scripted, so you can concentrate on your child. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage.

– AAS has built-in review in every lesson. Children with dyslexia generally need lots of review in order to retain spelling concepts. After a concept has been taught, don’t assume that the child knows it. Quickly revisit that concept again in the next lesson, and add in as much additional review as needed. With AAS, your child will have a Spelling Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things that your child needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that your child already knows. Customized review is important for kids with short attention spans because you want every minute of your lesson to count.

Another benefit of the review is that you can practice with your child what to say–you can rehearse as many or as few times as your child needs to help him remember the concepts.

– AAS is logical and incremental. AAS provides the structure, organization and clear guidance that kids who struggle need in order to learn.

-AAS includes dictation that starts out very short and gradually gets longer. With dictation you will say the phrase or sentence and have your child repeat it. If possible, you want to encourage your child to really focus so that you only say the phrase or sentence once, and they can repeat it and then write it. You are training them to expand their working memory a little at a time, and gradually building up the spelling skills in their writing.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Emily Copeland

says:

I’ve always used a typical “new list on Monday, test on Friday” curriculum for my 3rd grader. He does perfectly on each test, but often misspells those words within a few weeks. He has the phonics correct even when he misspells, but that will only help so much. With the said, I acknowledge that I need a new approach. With All About Spelling being sequential, my concern would be that he’d be bored going back to the very beginning concepts. Is this honestly written to where I could start over using this approach and still keep him engaged?

Merry

says:

Hi Emily,

Most older students do have gaps from level 1. You may have to be willing to adjust the first level or two to his needs because the words are very easy to start, but many students have not learned the concepts behind them, and these are crucial for success throughout the program.

As an example, we find that many students simply memorize easy words like cat and kid but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher level words such as concentrate.

Level 1 teaches very important concepts, such as segmenting, the multiple sounds of the first 32 phonograms (o has 4 sounds, ch has 3, s has 2, etc.), and basic spelling rules: when to use C or K at the beginning of a word, when to use K or CK at the end, when to double F, L, and S at the end of a word, when to use S or ES to make a word plural, and so on. It is important that kids know why words are spelled the way they are. This information applies to more difficult words later in the series.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we generally don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? will help you decide which level your student should start with: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/which-spelling-level-should-we-start-with

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” through the beginning levels if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. Work VERY quickly through lessons where your son knows the words. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught, and then move on.

Bottom line: with older children, work quickly through the areas the child already knows, and slow down in the areas that need extra attention. “Fast track” until your son hits words or concepts he doesn’t already know. Here is an example of how you might do that: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

I hope this helps as you decide how to help your son. If you have additional questions, please let me know. Merry :-)

Danica

says:

Just purchased AAS, excited to get started!

Teresa

says:

Thank you for the free phonogram sounds app. Do you find All About Spelling to be an effective program for adult English Language learners?

Merry

says:

Yes, AAS is used in ESL classes in the US and around the world. 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 CD-ROM, which is also helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

carrie

says:

We love all about reading and are looking forward to adding all about spelling to our curriculum.

crystal

says:

We love all about reading and can’t wait to add all about spelling

Our family has been using All About Spelling for a couple of months and we are really enjoying it! Thank you!

Hylary

says:

I’m thinking of homeschooling my soon to be KGer. If he’s already reading well should we go ahead and start on Level 1 of the Spelling or do you still suggest doing the First level of your reading program and then jumping into spelling? Right now I’m struggling with where to start with his curriculum.

Merry

says:

Hi Hylary,

If he’s already reading well, he could start with Level 1 of the spelling program. Is he writing much yet? If not, you can focus more on using the tiles, and having him use tactile and kinesthetic methods for spelling until he’s ready for more handwriting. You can find some ideas in these articles:

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-use-tactile-activities-to-practice-spelling
http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-use-kinesthetic-spelling-activities

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

barb

says:

I don’t have any questions. We’ve used Level 1 and waiting for daughter to finish Level 2 AAR so we can go on to Level 2 AAS and AAR level 3.

Traci

says:

We are almost done with level 1of this spelling program and we love it, these mulch-sensory tools to go with it would make it even better.

shauna

says:

THis sounds so interesting! I have a6YO who is I beleieve is very much a kinesthetic learner. Would be great for him!

Sally Lane

says:

I am hoping this will help my daughter who is dyslexic! Reading and spelling are very hard for her.

Carol

says:

Love helping kids with the OG multisensory tools!

Caitlin

says:

Thank you for this post, it was really informative! I’ve been researching curriculum a lot lately and haven’t seen many dedicated “spelling” programs. I’m going to be starting All About Reading in the Fall with my kindergartener and was curious when the best time to start All About Spelling is? Thanks!

Merry

says:

Hi Caitlin,

Marie recommends completing All About Reading Level 1 first, and then adding in the All About Spelling program. This way students get a solid start in reading first, and have a strong basis for spelling as well.
The programs are independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling. For more information, check out this article on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/why-we-teach-reading-and-spelling-separately/

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Tara forehand

says:

I love it.

Linda

says:

Would love to try this!

Kelly

says:

I like how individualized it is per learner. Not every student learns the same way so it’s nice that it is tailored to your child’s learning abilities.

Jodi

says:

We love AAR and AAS!

Shara

says:

This looks like a great program. I’m excited to learn more about it.

michelle

says:

This looks like a nice way to keep the children interested in spelling

SAsha

says:

This looks great–we are just getting started! Thanks!

I love the all about reading and spelling program

Dana

says:

We love AAS! My boys have learned a lot using AAS and AAR.

Lisa

says:

must try!!!

Michelle Jernigan

says:

How hard would it be to transition from two years of Abeka phonics too your program?

Merry

says:

Hi Michelle,

We’ve had lots of students transition from A Beka to All About Spelling and/or All About Reading. The program doesn’t contradict anything your students have already learned, while at the same time it will provide your students with more tools for learning and retaining spelling.

One of the strengths of All About Spelling is the built-in daily review. Concepts are reviewed at the beginning of each lesson, and the spelling words are used in dictation sentences throughout the program. A word is never “dropped”; instead, words are used in reinforcement activities throughout the series.

You can see samples of the program here: http://all-about-spelling.com/spelling-lessons-samples.html

The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? will help you decide the appropriate starting level: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/which-spelling-level-should-we-start-with. After 2 years with A Beka, they can probably start in Level 2.

Level 1 teaches very important concepts, such as segmenting, the multiple sounds of the first 32 phonograms (o has 4 sounds, ch has 3, s has 2, etc.), and basic spelling rules: when to use C or K at the beginning of a word, when to use K or CK at the end, when to double F, L, and S at the end of a word, when to use S or ES to make a word plural, and so on. It is important that kids know why words are spelled the way they are. This information applies to more difficult words later in the series.

As an example, we find that many students simply memorize easy words like cat and kid but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher level words such as concentrate.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we generally don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

You do have to be willing to adjust the first level or two to your child’s needs because the words are very easy to start, but many students have not learned the concepts behind them, and these are crucial for success throughout the program.

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” through the beginning levels if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. Work VERY quickly through lessons where your son knows the words. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught, and then move on.

Bottom line: with older children, work quickly through the areas the child already knows, and slow down in the areas that need extra attention. “Fast track” until your son hits words or concepts he doesn’t already know. Here is an example of how you might do that: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

I hope this helps as you decide which way to go! Merry :-)

MamaLovesHerBlessings

says:

This visual and multi-sensory approach to learning is exactly what I need to help my little guy with SPD.

Shannon

says:

Looks neat and more engaging than worksheets.

Sarah

says:

Great stuff. Thank you!

Kelly R

says:

My older son was taught using the O-G method in his Montessori years, so it would be great to provide my little guy with the same opportunity. He needs the multisensory approach even more!

Anastasia

says:

The only spelling we’ve done so far is learning Latin. I figure if they learn the roots of words there it will make so much more sense as they are forced to polish their English writing…but some specific tools for English certainly wouldn’t be remiss, I’m sure.

Kendra Ahlborn

says:

Learning Latin is beyond helpful for spellers because understanding morphemes makes it so much easier to encode and decode words. It gives you the ability to learn about a new word just by dissecting the parts you do know from it. (It’s also fun because you get to play detective with words. Short and stubby everyday word? It must be Anglo-Saxon:) As important as morphological awareness is though, evidence supports the expectation that both phonologic and morphologic aspects of linguistic awareness are relevant to success in spelling and reading. After all, Latin roots only account for about half of all English words.

Sarah Winn

says:

This may be the answer to my son’s struggles with spelling.

Lisa G

says:

I’ve heard great things about All About Spelling. I can’t wait to use it!

Kyla Davis

says:

All About Spelling has been a huge help! Love the multi-sensory approach!

Debra

says:

Lately, I’ve begun to suspect that my daughter is dyslexic. She consistently writes certain letters and numbers backwards (sometimes even when said number or letter is written correctly right next to it), and she has a tendency to try to read words from the back instead of the front. I have adapted the program we were already using to incorporate some of the items you list above, but for next year, I think it’ll be much easier if I just start with a program that’s designed to tackle these issues.

Tia Stevens

says:

This would be wonderful. Do you teach the difference in b & d as well as s & c?

Merry

says:

Hi Tia,

Yes, we include strategies for learning the sounds and differentiating between letters, as well as rules that apply (such as when C says /s/ versus when it says /k/, and so on). If you have a child who struggles with reversals, check out this article: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-solve-b-d-reversal-problems/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=All%20About%20Reading%20Pre-1&utm_content=Issue+8%3A+B-D+Reversal+Problems

Cindi Davis

says:

I’ve been overwhelmed with the thought of teaching spelling. So many rules and exceptions! This could be an answer to prayer!

Debby

says:

Looks interesting – My older kids are natural spellers, but my youngest seems like she will be my challenge in this area.

Jacque

says:

I love that my son finally enjoys learning to read and spell words. I am curious when you feel it is okay to move from one step or lesson to the next.

Karma

says:

I use All About Spelling for my advanced reader. She slows down enough to notice the order and logic of spelling. And we enjoy it. The lessons are just the perfect length of time.

Carrie

says:

I love this approach. I am using both programs for my 3 homeschooled children and they are flourishing in their reading and spelling.

Stacy M.

says:

So glad I came across your website. I’ve been having trouble getting my son to do his spelling and writing homework. He is on the spectrum and has dyslexia. I’m hoping your site will help me find a way to encourage him and help him with his homework. Thank you!

Jamie

says:

This looks like a really good spelling program

Terrie

says:

Would this be considered in line with the common core standards?

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Terri! Our curriculum is independent of the CCSS initiative. We haven’t changed anything about our materials in response to the common core standards, but our materials do coincidentally meet and in many cases exceed standards set forth by CCSS.

Meghan

says:

Looks like a good approach to spelling.

Edie

says:

This sounds like a great program.

Jackie

says:

This program looks very intriguing! What age can I start it at? I have a 4 1/2 year old that I will be starting her in Kindergarten early this fall.

Patrizia

says:

This is an area where our lttle visual spatial learner is struggling. I still want to invest in All About Spelling for him.

Amanda Depablos

says:

I am very interested in this program. I have an 8 yr old who struggles with spelling, but will remember them if she can move while practicing. She still spells terribly wrong when writing though.

Amber

says:

My 5 grader is bored w pulling down the letters. He has a lot of trouble spelling but is not liking this what are some other ways to use the program . I like it but he’s board!

Merry

says:

Hi Amber,

Most kids enjoy the tiles, but when one doesn’t, it’s ok to let him choose to write instead. You can use the tiles just for demonstration purposes. Or, if he objects to even seeing the tiles, you can use underlining on paper or on a white board to show him when two or more letters are working together as a phonogram, and demonstrate concepts that way.

Let him write on a white board, paper, black paper with gel pens, or choose another idea from our list of kinesthetic review activities: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-use-kinesthetic-spelling-activities

If he’s bored because the words are too easy for him at this point, you can fast-track until you get to harder words. This blog post shows how to do that with Level 1, and you can apply the same thought process to another level if you need to: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

Just make sure your son understands the concept taught and can teach it back to you before moving on, and that he knows all of the words from that step.

Does this help? Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns. Merry :-)

kristen

says:

My 1st grader seems to struggle with spelling/reading in general and we have made tremendous strides using AAR levels 1 & 2. Have wanted to try AAS but am scared to take the leap. Will this program go along with what we are using for phonics (have transitioned over to Beka) or is it best to use AAS with AAR? Thanks for the giveaway and your awesome curriculum. It has been a sanity saver over the past two years!!

Merry

says:

Hi Kristen,

Yes, you can use All About Spelling regardless of the reading program you are using. Marie designed the programs to work independently of each other so people could use one or both–whatever meets the needs of your family. The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? will help you decide the appropriate starting level: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/which-spelling-level-should-we-start-with

Students who struggle with spelling usually need to begin with Level 1. Level 1 teaches very important concepts, such as segmenting, the multiple sounds of the first 32 phonograms (o has 4 sounds, ch has 3, s has 2, etc.), and basic spelling rules. It is important that kids know why words are spelled the way they are. This information applies to more difficult words later in the series.

As an example, we find that many students simply memorize easy words like cat and kid but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher level words such as concentrate.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we generally don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

You do have to be willing to adjust the first level or two to his needs because the words are very easy to start, but many students have not learned the concepts behind them, and these are crucial for success throughout the program.

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” through the beginning levels if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. Work VERY quickly through lessons where your son knows the words. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught, and then move on.

Bottom line: with older children, work quickly through the areas the child already knows, and slow down in the areas that need extra attention. “Fast track” until your son hits words or concepts he doesn’t already know. Here is an example of how you might do that: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Nancy S.

says:

My 10 year old son has dyslexia and this year we started with AAS. Despite several previous spelling programs and years of effort, he was completely stuck. Finally using AAS we are making, albeit slow, progress. We are very thankful :)

Keri A

says:

How is your spelling program different/better than Spell to Write and Read?

Merry

says:

Hi Keri,

All About Spelling and Spalding both draw from the same research base: Orton-Gillingham. So there are lots of similarities with phonograms and rules.

One of the biggest differences between our programs and SWR is that we separate the teaching of spelling and reading. Many students learn to read at a faster pace than they learn how to spell and separating these skills helps students progress at the right pace for them in each area. Here’s more information on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/why-we-teach-reading-and-spelling-separately/

You’ll find that the All About Spelling method is very easy to implement. It is designed to enable parents and teachers to teach their children without specialized training. Everything you need is right in front of you. You don’t have to figure out what you need to teach next—it is all planned out for you. Helpful notes are included along the way to maximize your effectiveness as a teacher.

The words in AAS are grouped according to spelling concepts and rules, not word frequency. For example, when the child learns the generalization about when to use K or CK at the end of a word, the spelling list contains words such as “black, clock, duck, ask.” This allows the child to see the patterns in the English language. After the child learns these words, they are mixed in with previously-learned words for mixed practice.

Letter tiles are used to demonstrate the spelling rules. Letter tiles make abstract concepts concrete — children can *see* what is being explained and can test out the rules for themselves.

The lessons also have built in review, and the card system makes it easy to keep track of what needs review and what is mastered.

For other differences, you might like to check out this article in our FAQ file: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/spell-to-write-and-read

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Jill

says:

Spelling is so important! This looks great!

Gennie Shelor

says:

I would love to win this! Both of my children love manipulatives.

Libby Inglett

says:

I would love to win this! I still have 6 children at home, ranging in age from 2yrs to 18yrs. Spelling has always been something my kids have struggled with!

Sharlene

says:

My son is dyslexic. This approach has worked well to give him a foundation.

Pamela

says:

All About Reading & All ABout Spelling are the only programs that have worked with one of my nephews to help him read.

Erika

says:

My 3 year old is reading at almost a 1st grade level but is not yet writing due to fine motor skills. He is still trying to learn how to hold and control a pencil correctly so this seems like the perfect way to practice spelling without having to write letters.

Donna Marsh

says:

This looks like an interesting approach for my youngest child who is not reading yet.

Jaki

says:

This looks so do-able!

Carrie

says:

We’ve been using AAS with our middle child for over a year and she loves it! She feels like it is really helping her understand spelling and word structure better than before.

Katie

says:

I recently saw a booth for AAS at our homeschool curriculum fair. It looks like a very interesting program!

Sheila

says:

I have been using the Barton System with my daughter but need to find something a little more cost effective. I am very interested in your program.

constance

says:

I have Vision impaired students as well as totally blind students that I think thisbenefit from t his method. How to I order this program? Thank you.

Merry

says:

Hi Constance,

I do think you could make it work. Most spelling programs rely mainly on visual strategies, but AAS teaches 4 main strategies (phonetic, rules-based, visual, and morphemic). So, while you’d still need to adapt some things, you might not have as much to adapt as you would with many programs. Here’s an overview of the strategies that AAS teaches: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/effective-spelling-strategies

If you wanted to use the letter tile concept, you would need to make a set in braille. The letter tiles are used to demonstrate spelling concepts, and kids tend to enjoy them. They also help to reinforce when two or more letters are working together to make just one sound. Without the tiles, you may want to come up with other ways to demonstrate that concept.

The program uses 4 types of cards for a review system, and I think with some modification you could still use the system:

The Phonogram cards are visual–show a phonogram (letter or team of letters that stand for one sound), and the child says a sound. You would need to make up a set in braille, or perhaps when you review the cards, you could set out the appropriate braille tile for the child to identify.

The Sound cards are auditory–you say the sound, your child writes the sound. Your child could use a braille writer, computer, or other tool to write the correct phonogram.

The Key cards have you say part of a rule and your child would say the rest of it–no modification needed.

The Word cards have you say a word for your child to spell. In the program, they use tiles and writing to spell; and in the review section, you could choose to have your child spell orally. Again, you can use the methods that would work best for your students.

The program also uses Word banks to reinforce patterns that are visual in nature. (For example, there’s no rule that says whether to write “sale” or “sail,” so we use word banks to reinforce the vowel-consonant-E patterns). If your child needed more reinforcement on a pattern, you would probably want to make up a braille word bank to provide some reinforcement.

I hope this helps! Have you looked at the online samples? That might also give you some idea of how the lessons are structured and whether it could work for you. Here are samples for Levels 1-7: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-lesson-samples.

To order, simply go to our home page, or any page that lists the categories in the tan bar on the left hand side. Click on the level you need (such as AAS Level 1), and you will see an overview of that level. Near the bottom of the page, you’ll find the links for ordering the sets and kit. I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

Please let me know if you have additional questions. Merry :-)

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