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Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately

You may have noticed that language arts programs can be divided into two types: all-in-one programs and single-subject programs.

  • All-in-one programs combine reading and spelling in a single lesson, and the lesson often includes handwriting, grammar, and composition as well. When the student learns to read the word bread, for example, he learns to spell the word in the same lesson.
  • Single-subject programs, on the other hand, teach reading and spelling in separate lessons. All About Reading and All About Spelling fall into this category.

You may be wondering why we don’t combine our programs into a single All About® program. After all, wouldn’t it be more efficient to teach multiple subjects in the same program?

That’s a great question! Read on to discover the two main reasons we teach these subjects separately.

Reason #1. Most Children Learn to Read More Quickly than They Learn to Spell

Simply put, reading is easier than spelling.

In reading, a child decodes the written word. Phonogram AY always says long A, so once a child learns that, reading words like stay and display is a straightforward task.

Even with a more complex phonogram—such as phonogram EA, which can say three sounds (/ē/, /ĕ/, or /ā/)—students can try out each of the three sounds to see which forms a real word. And the fact that students learn to recite the phonogram sounds in order of frequency is also helpful. In a word like thread, the student who tries out the first, most common sound of EA quickly realizes that /thrēd/ isn’t a real word, so she tries the second sound of EA, resulting in the real word /thrĕd/.

But in spelling, a child encodes the word. Ideally, there would be just one way to write each sound, but the reality is that there are many ways to write each sound. If a child wants to write the word great or neighbor, for example, he has to decide how the sound of long A should be written. Choices include A, AI, A-consonant-E, EIGH, EI, EY, or AY. There are some generalizations that can help narrow down the options, but the fact is that there are 250 ways to spell the 45 speech sounds of the English language.

So even though reading and spelling are flip sides of the same coin, reading is easier.

Here’s Proof that Reading Is Easier

Let’s do a quick demonstration. Read the words below.

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

You didn’t have any trouble reading them, did you?

But what if I asked you to spell them? (Without looking first, of course!) How would you do?

If you think you would have spelled all these words correctly, congratulations! You’re probably a better speller than most adults. Though most adults can easily read these words, many would misspell them.

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

The Same Is True for Your Child

With a basic understanding of phonics, a child should be able to read the word special without much trouble. But spelling the word special is a greater challenge because of that tricky /sh/ sound in the middle of the word.

  • Is it spelled speshul, just like it sounds?
  • Or is it spetial like martial?
  • Or should it be spelled spesial with the same word ending as controversial?

See what I mean? Is it any wonder that so many children struggle with spelling? And that leads to the second reason we teach reading and spelling separately.

Reason #2: All-In-One Programs Force You to Choose between Two Scenarios

When you try to teach your child to read and spell the same words at the same time, you guarantee only one thing: one of these critically important subjects will fall by the wayside. That’s because there are two possible scenarios with programs that combine reading and spelling:

Scenario #1. Your child learns to read the words in the lesson, but he can’t move on to the next lesson because he’s still learning to spell those words. Without knowing it, you have chosen to focus on spelling at the expense of reading.

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

Scenario #2. Your child learns to read the words in the lesson, but although he’s still learning to spell the words, you decide to allow him to move on to the next lesson. You’ve chosen to focus on reading, so your child’s spelling suffers.

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

As you can see, it’s a no-win situation. All-in-one programs force you to choose one subject to the detriment of the other. But I don’t believe you should have to sacrifice your child’s learning in any subject.

That’s Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately

With our single-subject approach, your child can succeed at both subjects. He can progress as quickly as possible in reading …

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

… and he can take as much time as he needs in spelling.

Teach Reading Spelling Separately - All About Learning Press

With this approach, your child can more easily achieve mastery in both reading and spelling, without sacrificing learning in either subject.

Do you think that teaching reading and spelling separately would make a difference for your kids?

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Leave a Comment

[…] but good reading doesn’t always translate into good spelling. This article explains in detail why reading is easier than spelling. By focusing on spelling separately than reading, you can give special attention to those things […]

Patsy Foy

says:

I’m using both with my special needs daughter. It’s too soon to tell a huge difference, but there is a huge difference in her interest & enthusiasm while doing spelling & reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Patsy,
Interest and enthusiasm go a long way toward success! I hope to hear great things about her progress soon.

Heather

says:

Is there a recommended schedule for teaching both subjects in the week? (since they are both teacher-led). We have a large family, love AAR & AAS, but I struggle with teaching everyone…any tips?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
We recommend spending 20 minutes per day for All About Reading and 20 minutes per day for All About Spelling. This blog post explains how a mom taught AAR and AAS in one 35 minutes block a day to her kids, which might be a good option for you.

I have found that I need to make keeping transition times down a priority in order to work with everyone one-on-one. I suggest stacking everyone’s spelling and reading things up at your spot at the table (or your desk, or wherever you work with the children) and have each one come to you. Explain that you won’t be waiting for them to finish what they are doing when it is their spelling or reading time, but that when you call they need to stop and come (if you have a kid who struggles with transitions you could give them a 5 minute warning while you are finishing up with the previous child). You will have to decide which order to work with your kids, as you know them. Some little ones cause less disruption if they work with mom first, others do better if they get to play until mom is ready for them. That sort of thing.

While you are working with your children on spelling and reading, they need to have things they need to be doing when it is not their turn. They could be doing school things, like handwriting and math. If you have to teach a lesson for math before they do it, you could try teaching the math lesson the day before. Some kids will be fine with this, some will not. Or they could be other things, like chores or piano practice.

I don’t know how many students you have or how many of them are in AAS, AAR, or both, but with this minimizing transition times, you can teach 3 kids AAS and AAR, 20 minutes each, in just 2 hours. More students in your homeschool obviously means more time, but that is true no matter what curriculum you use.

I hope this helps some. I know it’s hard to juggle the demands of teaching many students with the demands of home, but it can be done. Mostly I think it takes either great organization and scheduling, or it takes a lot of trial and error. I fall into the second category. ;D

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Meg Hutsell

says:

I’ve been looking at this curriculum for a while. My daughter has auditory processing difficulties and her speech therapist recommended the Orton Gillingham approach. There are a few other programs out there but this one keeps coming back to me. We’re going to take the plunge and see what happens. I’m praying for great results!

Sara

says:

Thank you so much! Incredible resource!

LLW

says:

We struggled with reading comprehension but couldn’t figure out why. It turned out to be a spelling issue. Once she knew the rules of spelling the words in front of her came alive and we jumped multiple grade levels worth of comprehension between AAS books 1 and 3.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

LLW,
A similar thing happen with my son too! He told me that reading is easier when he uses spelling.

Hoosier Mom

says:

I’m looking forward to the multi-sensory approach of AAS for my son. He loves to read, but the spelling curriculum we’ve been using is rather dull. It’s reassuring to me that he doesn’t have to be at the same level with reading and spelling.

Betty

says:

We love AAS, my son is a strong reader but needs a multi sensory approach to spelling.

julie elmore

says:

I’m so excited to teach my children with All About Spelling. I’ve never been a strong speller, so I’m hoping to give my children the advantage.

Vivian

says:

I completely agree that the decoding and encoding functions are quite distinct and have found it to be borne out in practice. Among my children, my most dedicated bookworm is also my worst speller, which was confounding to me until I understood the processes better. We now use and love AAS!

Ranjini

says:

Hi, I personally noticed my child finding difficult in spelling, Thanks for your advice to teach her spelling separately

[…] authors of The Well-Trained Mind also believe that reading and spelling should not be taught together. I like how they put it: “It’s important to allow students to progress at a natural pace in […]

Carol

says:

This is helpful – my twins were having reading difficulties and I had delayed worrying about spelling until they could comfortably read. They are now starting to ask me how to spell words – so I’ll start them on the spelling work now.

Faisa Jama

says:

We love the program. We are using AAS second year now. My six year old is on book 2 now and he loves it. It’s one of thelessons that he looks forward to do. My yoingest wants to learn reading and I’m about to buy AAR soon for him.

Kelley T

says:

I have one child doing AAS and another doing AAR. My oldest doing AAS, is really poor at spelling, but a strong reader. She finds the program too simple, however there are so many little tips and tricks that she just had not gotten over the years in public school. We do 2-3 lessons a day filling in the gaps. My youngest is dyslexic and actually enjoys it, but we may only get to 1/2 a lesson, and that’s ok for us. We are in it for the long haul… from start to finish. This is an awesome program and we are better off for having it.

Gale

says:

This makes such as lot of sense!

Laverne

says:

Does AAR focus on phonics as much as AAS?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Laverne,
Yes. Both AAS and AAR are complete phonics programs. 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. All About Spelling focuses instead on encoding skills, spelling rules, and other strategies that help children become good spellers.

I hope this answers your question, but please let me know if not.

Hope K

says:

We are almost done with level 1, my daughter is showing more interest in how things are spelled. She is using her letter tiles to attempt spelling…. cant wait to move on to spelling!

Lacy van Vuuren

says:

I definitely think that a separate spelling system would benefit my children. They are great readers, but spelling gives them some trouble. I would love to use AAS to improve their abilities.

Elissa Hardy

says:

Thank you this helps me plan this coming school year.

Tracy

says:

Makes so much sense!

Zer

says:

Just got Level 1 and can’t wait to start it.

Kim

says:

I knew the importance of encoding vs decoding skills but we began using All About Spelling Before All About Reading had been created and i tried to modify lessons from the spelling to help with reading lessons, but that did not work. I was so thankful for the creation of the reading program. My older children have benefited from these programs and I am looking forward to using them with my younger children.

Sasha

says:

This is such great information! Having a child that is a struggling reader, I feel a lot less stress knowing that I don’t need to teach spelling right now. That can come later when he has a better grasp on his reading.

Jennifer

says:

Nevermind, I hadn´t seen the video! Thanks!

Jennifer

says:

Hello, Thank you for your post, but I am still unsure of what order you teach it in. Do you teach one day of reading, and then one day of spelling? or do you teach the entire reading curriculum first, and once they have a good handle of that do you teach the spelling curriculum?
Thank you,

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
We recommend beginning with reading. Then, once a student has completed All About Reading level 1, or the equivalent reading level, add All About Spelling 1 into your day as well.

Spend just 20 minutes a day, most days a week, on reading. This blog post, Reading: how much time should I spend?, explains this further. When you add spelling, you will then spend 20 minutes on spelling most days of the week as well. Spelling: how much time should I spend? Once you are doing both reading and spelling, you will do both each day but allow your student to progress in each program separately, as his or her own individual pace.

I hope this clears everything up for you, but if not please let me know.

Laura A

says:

Thank you for this post it makes things make so much more sense!

Thanks Miss Debbie. I watched with my mom. She’s very excited and I’m getting there. School starts in a few days.

Kara Proffer

says:

Thanks for the great ideas!!!

Mrs C

says:

wonderful video – makes sense – thank you

Brie

says:

I never thought about learning this way. I was a natural speller and caught on to reading quickly. I tend to “see” things in words when I think, and don’t always realize others don’t think the same way I do.
I’m glad I found this blog post. My mom homeschooled me and my younger siblings. After many trials and errors through us older ones she suggested I use this program for my son. I trusted her advice (mainly because she has been doing this for 22+ years) but it is nice reading WHY it works. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brie,
You think like my oldest son! I was shocked when he told me he could see words in his mind when he spoke or listened. I find that almost impossible to imagine, as it is laborious and slow for me to form the look of a single word in my mind. I find it fascinating to discuss how people think differently.

Jennifer H

says:

I never thought about it, but it does make sense. I’m glad to know this before I wasted time trying to do both at the same time!

Lauren

says:

This makes so much sense and is something I never really thought about before. Thanks for another insightful article!

Stephanie

says:

This makes complete sense. Thank you for taking the time to explain

Erica

says:

This makes so much sense. All four of my kids are using all about reading and all about spelling. I can see the difference in how they pick up reading and spelling. I don’t know what we would do without your spelling and reading programs. They are such a blessing and so easy to use and teach from. We use all about reading level 4 and 3, all about reading pre reading and spelling level 2. I am so thankful for your programs!

C fo

says:

That’s awesome!

D Boggs

says:

Thank you for the insight of your program. Thank you also for sharing all the wonderful tips for teaching.

Meg

says:

Thanks for such a good explanation!

Olivia

says:

It’s great to read such a clear explanation of why these two subjects should be taught separately!

a

says:

Separating reading and spelling instruction is even more important in children with learning differences. We actually go a step further, and separate any skills that are not at the same level: handwriting, spelling, composition, reading, and content (history, science, math). Otherwise, weaker writers can be trapped at the level of their writing skill, instead of flying ahead at the level of, for example, their science or history comprehension.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great point! I like to keep things like history and science oral and hands-on for that reason too.

Tabitha M.

says:

I am shocked by the words I could read but not spell correctly! My autocorrect on my phone isn’t as shocked by this. Thank you for such a wonderful explanation!

Melissa

says:

We use AAS and loving it! A bonus is I am learning right along with my child.

Amberleigh

says:

This makes so much sense, and we’re so thrilled we found these programs.

Honey L

says:

I have friends who use AAS and love it!

This is so good to know! As a homeschool mom there’s often so much pressure to prove that I’m doing it right and my kids are thriving. I was once criticized that my 2nd grader seemed to have no spelling skills. I knew that reading needed to happen first because of reading something you posted awhile back so I stood up for my daughter and myself. She is now in third grade and into the second all about spelling and doing wonderfully! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsay,
As a fellow homeschool mom, this frustrates me to no end. Local schools can graduate students that cannot read fast enough to sing along with a slow song (true story that I witnessed personally), but we have to defend our 3rd grader that misspells homeschool on a 4H form (this one was my own kid). Sigh.

It’s great to hear that your daughter is doing wonderfully now!

Alysia

says:

I just started my kids on all about reading, and I love it! For the first time my son was proud of himself. Thank you!

Kirsten Turner

says:

After trying many different reading curriculums, tears, and frustration….we finally discovered All About Reading!! The hands on approach has made a huge difference in his ability to learn how to read. So we ordered All About Spelling too! Last year reading and spelling were fun!! I was super intimated by the program at first, but it is so easy to teach! I love the open and go style of the teacher’s book. We are looking forward to another year with All About Learning!

Tiffany

says:

I’ve tried it the other way/teaching both at the same time, and have come back to this approach…and come back to AAS/AAR.

Katherine

says:

I was recently told that focusing on spelling would help my daughters unlock reading. I had not thought of why until I read this post. It’s not a simple path one way or another! Thank you for this insight!

Nicole M.

says:

My daughter (9 yo) is a better speller than a reader. It’s difficult for her to slow down enough to read through a larger word, sounding it out. We’re almost finished with AAS Level 3 and have just started AAR Level 3. I’m so appreciative of your program…I had never taught my older two kids to read (they learned in private school)…my youngest is the first one I taught to read…and we love your program. Thanks for the giveaways!

Rasa

says:

My 8-year-old daughter is a much better reader than speller, so your post makes perfect sense to me! We did not use AAR for learning to read, but are working slowly and patiently through AAS after realizing that a typical, word-list-based spelling program was not producing any results. We are in the middle of AAS3 now. My daughter’s spelling skills are at about grade level, whereas her reading skills (based on the Lexile measure) are several grades ahead. I am wondering if her spelling skills will ever catch up to ger reading. Unfortunately, this gap damages her confidence in her writing abilities. She knows immediately when she is making a spelling mistake (the word does not “look right”), but unfortunately she doesn’t always know how to fix the problem, which makes her very self-conscious about her writing. Do you have any advice for this child? Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rasa,
Yes, her spelling will catch up! Or rather, she will be able to spell at a high level of mastery, but as this article shows it is normal for adults to read at a higher level than they can spell (I have to look up entrepreneur every time I use that word!).

You may consider teaching your daughter about “first drafts”. A very effective writing method is to allow the first draft to be as wrong and awful as it needs to be in order to get words and ideas down on paper. This is also called “freewriting”. Brave Writer is a writing curriculum that makes extensive use of freewriting, and they have a free ebook on freewriting available from their homepage.

The gist is that it doesn’t matter if she spells correctly or not in the first draft, just write. You (mom) won’t even read what she wrote; she can read it to you. Then, the following day she can go back with your help and correct spelling, change sentences, fix errors, and so on. This revision and editing could take as many days as she needs until she is happy with it.

This actually is somewhat common for students. When students are writing, they so many things to focus on: content, creativity, organization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, capitalization, what kind of audience they are addressing, and more. It’s a lot to think about at once for anyone, but it can be overwhelming for beginning writers! 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. Even professional writers need editors, so our students will too. You may find this article helpful, Automaticity in Reading and Spelling.

Malinda

says:

Absolutely I think that teaching these subjects would make a difference – and a great one at that! When I first started to teach my daughter to read (on my own, mind you), the realization that “phonics” has a “ph” made me laugh and cringe at the same time. As an adult it never really crossed my mind…but teaching a kiddo? It just seemed so unfair :-) Thanks for doing what you do!

Chamir

says:

Thank you. I am looking forward to using your programs with my children and learning with them.

Amber

says:

Makes sense! Can’t wait to do this with my kindergartener this year!

Amy F.

says:

This makes perfect sense!

Stephanie Sanfrancesco

says:

makes sense, thank you!

Sabrina

says:

Some great food for thought! Thank you!

Victoria

says:

Thank you for spelling vs reading lesson. My son has been in level 1 reading and I felt we were falling behind in spelling. With your lesson on the two subjects I feel confident to finish level 1 reading and slowly begin spelling. Thank you for the support and confidence through this journey in teaching my son how to read and spell without any gaps.

Adriana

says:

I would like to try this approach with my kids.

We have enjoyed your reading program and this fall we will start the Spelling program. Can’t wait to see the progress!

Debbie N.

says:

Looking forward to using these programs this year with my children.

Lindsay K

says:

Well said, makes sense to me! :)

Tiffany B.

says:

I am very excited to use these programs for my two daughters.

Ning

says:

I haven’t started homeschooling but I know when I start, AAS will be my choice!

Michelle S

says:

We love AAS and AAR. Thank you!

Katherine C

says:

My son reads huge words at 7. We are almost finished with all about reading level 2, super easy for him, but didn’t want to miss anything before we try next level. I puchased all about about spelling level one last year, but didn’t start and hopefully will be great this year. Didn’t want to confuse him since he was doing so great reading and comprehending.

Megan

says:

This is such a critical concept. I “accidentally” started teaching it separately… But just today I watched one of my children go through the process of trying to determine which phonogram he needed for a word. It’s such a struggle in the beginning.

Lindsay

says:

My son definitely falls into the better reader scenario. Do you have recommendations on teaching grammar and writing skills? I don’t want him to fall behind but I’m not sure the best curriculum for that. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsay,
First, you may find this blog post on the progression of Language Arts helpful. If your son is still working on mastering beginning spelling, it may be best to wait until he is further along in All About Spelling before beginning formal writing and grammar instruction.

For writing, here are some with incremental approaches:

WriteShop uses an incremental approach and includes multi-sensory activities. The methods are effective for both regular and special needs learners.

Essentials in Writing is described by author Matthew Stephens as a Math-U-See approach to writing. In the elementary levels, this program incorporates grammar with writing. The lessons are presented in short video segments of 3 to 5 minutes and then the student works on the concept that was taught. This is a multi-sensory and incremental program that is very easy to use. There are levels for 1st-12th grades.

IEW-Institute for Excellence in Writing–also uses video. Their PAL writing program is for beginning writers and also incorporates All About Spelling.

Jensen’s Format Writing

Writing Skills by Diana Hanbury King

Writing Strands

For a different type of approach altogether, check out offerings from Brave Writer. They focus on project based writing (such as making a family history book) and use dictation for teaching the mechanics of writing, such as punctuation.

As for grammar, here are a number of programs available that have either multi-sensory components or an incremental approach. Some of the programs focus exclusively on grammar, while some include writing as well. Here are a few suggestions:

– Winston Grammar is a hands-on program with color-coded cards, and is generally aimed at students in 4th to 7th grades.

– Easy Grammar features an incremental approach and includes topics such as usage and punctuation, for 2nd grade and up.

– Essentials in Writing is described by author Matthew Stephens as a Math-U-See approach to writing. In the elementary levels, this program incorporates grammar with writing. The lessons are presented in short video segments of 3 to 5 minutes and then the student works on the concept that was taught. This is a multisensory and incremental program that is very easy to use. There are levels for 1st-12th grades.

– The Sentence Family is a simple and fun program aimed at 3rd through 6th graders. The program uses pictures along with a story to teach grammar concepts and how they relate to each other.

– Hands-On English with Linking Blocks is an intriguing program that uses wooden blocks and flash cards for a truly hands-on approach.

– Analytical Grammar teaches a mastery of grammar by working on it for short grammar focused units once a year for 2 to 3 years. Junior Analytical Grammar is for 4th or 5th graders, with Analytical Grammar for 6th to 9th graders.

Hopefully this gives you some to consider!

Lindsay

says:

Thank you so much for the detailed response. We love your programs!

Veronica

says:

Interesting article

CJ

says:

My kiddo is a great speller, but behind in reading.

Cathy

says:

This is a new concept to me but I am interested. I have a little one that loves to read but I just begun to begin to introduce her to word recognition. Is word recognition part of spelling or reading?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cathy,
If by word recognition you mean “the ability of a reader to recognize written words correctly and virtually effortlessly”, we call that fluency and it is developed in All About Reading.

Meghan A

says:

My boys are doing great at reading. I agree that spelling comes at a much slower pace.

Erin Grych

says:

From the examples given it makes sense

Katrina

says:

Definitely! This makes a ton of sense – my 5-year-old loves to read but I find myself giggling (not in front of him!) when he leaves me notes that are spelled phonetically so beautifully but are so far off of how they’re actually spelled! A+ for effort, buddy! I’m anxious to try these products, especially the All About Spelling to get him on the path to understanding how to spell!! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katrina,
Save these notes! They are as cute as baby talk. Gone are the days when my kiddo puts things like toof birashes on the shopping list (tooth brushes).

Megan Thomas

says:

It is great to have this clarification on when to start teaching spelling and how it is important to keep the subjects separate. Thank you!

Heather

says:

We love your curriculum!!

Julie P

says:

Even though I never thought this process through, I would have to totally agree – based on my experience.

I guess I never thought about the logistics before. thanks.

Sandi W

says:

We also teach them separate in our homeschool.

Stephanie

says:

I love this! This would be a wonderful help to our family. We have 8 children and even though we have good readers, we do not have good spellers! So, this makes sense for us!

AMANDA HERRON

says:

I almost started my son on these two together. Glad I read this post that suggested them separately! Loving ABR!!

Tania Witter

says:

Just started AAS and we are loving it!

Melissa

says:

Thank you!

Ani

says:

Yes, reading is easier! I finally decided to use AAR and AAS a couple years ago.

Cathey Cook

says:

We are teaching them separately. As a retired public school teacher, I think that is best also.

Serena Lero

says:

We love this program and plan to continue to use both Spelling and Reading!

Vida

says:

This makes AAR/AAS a great choice for my son. He reads on grade level but his spelling is not even at 2nd grade level. I can concentrate on his spelling without making him feel bad about/work on reading

Jessica Hughes

says:

My oldest son is only 5 years old, but this makes so much sense! I am innately a good speller, but my husband is another story. He was always told to “sound it out” but we know that this doesn’t always work. This is a very informative article! Thank you!

Jessica H

says:

Can’t wait to start my little ones on this program in our homeschool!

Leia Dillier

says:

This makes sense! I have never thought of it that way, but I am so excited to try your products with our oldest son.

Lynn

says:

This makes so much sense to separate these two skill sequences and allow each student to progress at their own pace in each!

Kim Stone

says:

Thank you for your product. It has helped my children tremendously.

Samantha

says:

Thank you for this information! Very helpful when starting out.

Callie Hallock

says:

I am new to this program but I love it and so does my daughter! We haven’t tried AAS but I’m excited to!

D

says:

The All About Spelling Level 1 is working FANTASTIC for my family! I have some children who are dyslexic and was finalllllyy able to get them reading but spelling is still a struggle. We have been using AAS for a few weeks now and I am already seeing great improvement. It is the easiest, most straightforward Orton-Gillingham program I have seen. I have tried many programs for reading and spelling and wish that I had found AAR/AAS years ago-it would have saved us many tears. Thank you for developing such wonderful programs!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for letting us know about your children’s success with AAS!

Betsy

says:

I am so glad you offer seperate programs for reading and spelling! We have a few years before we will start your spelling program but I know after using AAR pre-reading it will be an awesome fit for our family!

Lisa

says:

Great info clearly explained.

Elizabeth

says:

Thank you for this post! I am just starting reading and haven’t thought about spelling with my child yet, so this helps me prepare in coming years.

Heather

says:

Great information! I would have assumed that they could be taught together, glad I read this early on before we started spelling!

Ginger

says:

Thank you for all the information and support!

Kali Drugan

says:

So awesome. As a home educator I have learned so much from using this curriculum. My daughter is reading, but seems behind in spelling. I am very excited to continue.

Christy

says:

Thanks for the insight!

Jori wachowiak

says:

Can’t wait to get started with my 4 year old!

Linda

says:

So true. Thank you.

Joy

says:

I am going to try this with my dyslexic boy. I hope it helps.

Kelli

says:

I agree that reading is easier. It is processed first as visual information and translated to sound, whereas spelling begins as sound that must be translated to the correct visual information. And, yes, English is confusing with the multitude of possibilities for code choices.

I have found myself splitting the two subjects out of necessity to help my son progress and this post helped confirm and reinforce that. This year I will make that my plan A approach and see if AAR will work for him. Thanks!

Yvette

says:

Very insightful!

Renee

says:

I think it will. I’ve just started with my littles on the pre-reading program, and they LOVE it! It’s the first thing they ask for every morning. Ziggy (who we actually call “Zippy”) is both of my children’s best friend, and he comes far more often than he is scripted. :-) I think my son may have dyslexia, so I think it will take him longer to learn how to read and spell, but I’m glad we can take our time on each aspect and that he can have success, as he’s already having in AAR.

Charlotte Bowman

says:

This made a lot of sense. I like how you made it easier to see why reading and spelling should be taught separately. This has changed how i am going to approach spelling this year. Thank you!

Cassie

says:

Thank you for this information! Makes perfect sense, and I’ll make sure to implement it with my kids!

Dezari

says:

Great insight…I never thought about how much harder spelling is!

Angie

says:

This blog is so true. Learning to read really is easier than spelling. A couple of months ago, I began using All About Spelling to teach my 12 year old. He still could not or would not spell correctly and this program is my last hope. We started at level 1. So far, I like it but my son thinks he is too old for it. I disagree. I think this program requires that you stick with it, even if in the beginning you think it may not work for your child.

Mary

says:

I am starting at level 1 with my 10 year old, and I fear that she will think she is also too old. This is our 2nd year homeschooling. I’ve decided that the first year was all about discovery for me, and I learned how much my daughter was struggling with her spelling. She could spell hard words given to her on a memorized list, but basic words and spelling skill were completely absent. Good luck to you, and I am hopeful that this program holds the answers we need.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mary,
My daughter was 10 and struggling with spelling when I first discovered All About Spelling years ago. Yes, level 1 had easy words, but she learned so much that it made a big impact on her spelling. She didn’t know why we sometimes use C and other times use K, or when to use CK, or even how to hear each sound in a word in order to get the letters in the correct order. All of these things are covered in AAS 1, and because these skills were new to her it didn’t feel too young.

Anyway, I hope this helps. Please let us know if you need anything!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Angie,
I don’t know if you have seen our blog post on Using All About Spelling with Older Students. If you haven’t, you may find it helpful. It has tips for how to fast track older students past what they already know while not missing anything.

Emily

says:

Thanks for the helpful article!

Juill

says:

My child definitely reads better than he spells and this post definitely reflects the reasoning behind it.

K

says:

Thank you, Marie, for this insight! This explaination makes so much sense and I see how my students can become better readers and spellers with this strategy!

Jeane

says:

I’ve recently begun homeschooling my 7 year old grandson. I initially tried to teach reading and dovetailing the spelling right behind, essentially teaching them together. We were both frustrated! He has challenges with reading and the Orton-Gillingham method was recommended. It’s great! The All About Reading and All About Spelling curriculums will be what we use going forward. Thank you for clarifying for me why they should be taught separately. Thank you!

Harriet Glassco

says:

This has definitely helped our older daughter (just 8 now) to relax about spelling and some phonics, while allowing us to focus on her reading separately. I love the way it is presented (All About Spelling). It’s so logical and easy for her to figure out. She also loves putting her stickers on the page to show her progress….

Rachel

says:

This is so true! I know for a fact that I’ve always excelled at reading but I’ve never quite mastered spelling. So far the same can be said for my kids . . . here’s hoping to break the bad speller cycle with your help!

Lisa

says:

I wish we would have started AAS/AAR with child #1, but #4 and #5 will benefit from what I’ve learned with their older siblings.

Kate

says:

I completely agree. Though I don’t combine the two, it has been fun that my 4 year old has listened in on my 7 year old’s spelling lessons and has learned a lot about phonogram sounds which has given her a jump on reading

Jessica Talstein

says:

Thank you for clarifying why the two are separate!

Jaime

says:

AAS has made a world of difference in my struggling reader’s abilities to read as well. It’s helped her get her words straight.

Kayla

says:

Thanks you for the great insight!

Cindy

says:

I am looking forva program to help with reading. Your program looks thorough.

Laurel

says:

I appreciate the insight you offer regarding the benefit of teaching reading and spelling as separate subjects. I will be modifying my approach accordingly.

Rachel

says:

Great info! Thanks!

Raegan Stevens

says:

This was eye-opening! Since I’m using your curriculum, I am teaching these separately, but to know WHY is great information! Thank you so much!

Sharla

says:

I’m new to homeschooling and this article was a wonderful insight for me. I enjoy learning how kids learn and after reading about encoding and decoding words I’ll never look at reading and spelling the same again. Helped to demystify it a bit! Thanks!

Tami Sisemore

says:

I am so excited to begin all about reading level 1 with my son and add spelling later. It’s awesome to have si much good information and help!

Katie

says:

Teaching reading and spelling separately allows children more room for success and therefore more room for growth. The more a child experiences success, the more he will desire to learn.

Jessica Yust

says:

My 7 year old can read extremely well. But can’t spell hardly anything. That is until we started all about spelling and we focused on it separate from reading. She now catches herself spelling words incorrectly and fixed them. That is only after 1 level. She is progressing so much quicker now I just hope our budget has room to keep up.

The All About Reading is a great product!! My children Love it and ask for more. Great for Teachers and HomeSchool Moms and Dads.

Momstarr

says:

How often during the school week should we have spelling lessons? I am currently building our daily schedule and wonder if we should cover a lesson every day or just a few days a week? Thanks for such great products!!!

Linda

says:

We do spelling every day, but don’t feel as if you need to cover a whole step. Work for 20 minutes and stop wherever you are. Just review and pick up the next day where you left off. Some steps take us one day, some take us one week. They need to master it before moving on. Enjoy! AAS is a great program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great question, Momstarr.

We recommend working on spelling every day for 20 minutes. Some students will be able to finish a Step in one day, but most will need 3 days and some may even need a week or more. This blog post, Spelling: how much time should I spend?, explains this further.

So, for your daily schedule plan on 20 minute of spelling daily and allow your student to progress at his or her own pace.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Pat

says:

I agree. Spelling needs to be taught separately. Love your program.

C. Webb

says:

Thanks for sharing. I’m learning so much about helping my son spell.

Sandy M.

says:

I love this post! We started using AAS level 1 with my oldest who wasn’t a strong reader & just turned seven. He was barely reading level 1 easy readers and yet we didn’t want to push reading on him. So we decided to take a break and focus on spelling with the AAR curriculum. By time we had gone through the first 10-15 lessons, his reading had soared through the roof! He was excited to read on his own and progressed to chapter books within 6 months. This year we have both AAS AND AAR and plan to stagger them through the week, one on M/W and the other on T/Th. Reading this blog has given me confidence that this is a good way for me to teach my children. Thank you!!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandy,
Some children will do fine with not doing reading every day, but some children will struggle. Also, children will make more steady and possibly quicker progress through reading and spelling if they work in it each day.

We recommend spending just 20 minutes a day in All About Reading and just 20 minutes a day in All About Spelling. My co-worker Jenny explains how she does AAR and AAS together in one 35 minutes block in this blog post.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Michelle

says:

We love All About Reading! Can’t wait to start All About Spelling!

Ginger

says:

Sounds good to me.

Heather

says:

That makes so much sense! Thanks for explaining.

Becky

says:

We have just started the All About Reading and Soelling programs this year. I love that these programs are engaging and interactive! My kindergartener loves Ziggy and the All About Reading program is easy to implement. My Third grader is doing the All About Spelling program. The tiles make it fun and interactive. I love that this program teaches mastery.

Megan

says:

My daughter has such great spelling intuition- this program has been so helpful! Starting with phonograms gives a really solid foundation for reading and spelling.

Mary W.

says:

I have found this to be very true – that reading proficiency comes before spelling proficiency.

Dawn

says:

This makes so much sense. Thanks for all the great information. I would love to win this program.

Tanessa

says:

Thank you. We love both all about reading and spelling.

Lindsay

says:

This has been the case for both my children. They can read a given word or passage much more accurately than they can spell it. Thanks for explaining why!

K.S.

says:

I have used AAS last year with IEW PALS curriculum, and will be starting AAR this year. I’m looking forward to a more streamlined curriculum.

Keshia G

says:

I am using both AAR and AAS with my four youngest. (2 with autism) I love how it is step by step and they can go at their own pace not by any specific grade level. They are all different , with different strengths and go at difference paces. The 2 youngest absolutely love ziggy and the games and the tiles give it a fantastic hands on experience which is hard to find with spelling programs especially. (Very much appreciated when one has issues with writing) Making learning fun is always a great way to keep them engaged.

Kelley T

says:

Will be starting AAR 1 with son and AAS 1 with daughter next week. So excited to see their progress.

Melissa

says:

Thank you for putting into words what intuition has told so many of us, and for creating a program that follows it through! All About Spelling is such a blessing to our family.

Gina H.

says:

This really helped me better understand why they are separate programs . Hope to try your AAR program with my daughter!

CR

says:

This makes sense! Thanks

Michelle

says:

Excited to try this program. I’ve heard such good things about AAS and AAR.

Js

says:

I had no idea! I’m so glad I read this!

Jennifer

says:

This is a great explanation. Thank you.

Julie A Hord

says:

I am so thankful to have found AAR. It is working wonders with my son. His progress is amazing us all:)

Tracy

says:

This helps me understand why my children are better readers than they are spellers. We’ve been using AAS for 2.5 years and progress seems slow but it’s steady… And they retain what they lean. We’re sticking with it! Thank you!

Charlie

says:

This program has been great for my son! He had a slow start in reading and is now reading chapter books!

Amber M Landavazo

says:

Agreed! My student is an excellent reader but a struggling speller. I’m so glad these products are separate and allow us to move at the pace appropriate for her.

Sierra

says:

Thank you for clearing this up! I was wondering:) I appreciate the hard work!!

Rosa

says:

Thank you for this post! I’ve been asking the Lord what should I use for my son so he can learn reading and spelling. This looks like a great program for my son and would like to give it a try.. thank you so much and God bless!

Bethany Bechtold

says:

Thank you for this post! Such a great explanation to a problem we began to experience. I had emailed AAL when my son reached a point of frustration as to what (long a) spelling to use (a, ea, ai, ay, eigh). I received a great explanation back from you and realized, while his reading was progressing beautifully, his spelling wasn’t (but thought it was). I stopped where we were in spelling and started back from the beginning to make sure he mastered each step. It’s ok to be in a higher level of reading but lower level in spelling. And it’s normal!!! I love your program and recommend it to everyone who cares to listen 😊

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bethany,
I’m happy to hear we were able to help you!

Leighann Harris

says:

This really makes sense! Thanks!

Jamika

says:

I’m so glad I read this. Makes sense. I’m adding All About Soelling in this year and was planning on doing it all at once. Now I know.

Sherri O.

says:

This article has been really helpful. Thank you!

Michelle

says:

We are making good progress in reading. I hope we do as well in spelling. We will be adding it soon.

Kimber Younker

says:

I just got our kits put together tonight! I can’t wait to get started!

HappyMom

says:

This is a brilliant solution! Spelling does not come naturally in our home and I love that my children are able to plow ahead with their reading progress and comes along at its own pace.

Shawnte

says:

I have been on your mailing list since I started homeschooling almost 4 years ago. I appreciate that you don’t just sell products but through this blog you educate parents. I so appreciate the different tips, research and testimonies that you post. I finally purchased all about spelling for my two children and was super excited to combined it with the program I have always used. After reading your blog and check list about dyslexia and speaking with your customer service rep over the phone last week, I have decided to save up for All About Reading and use it instead of the curriculum I had already purchased. I’m excited about the hope of my children one day loving to read and look forward to using your products. Thanks so much.

Whit

says:

Wow. This really makes sense to me and is a deal breaker! Win or not I am now 100% sold on AAL!! I already knew it was great, but now I see why we need the two separate programs. Great article!

Shawna Fay

says:

Thank for the awesome tip!

Ann

says:

Thank you for sharing this wisdom!

Kelly

says:

This is very helpful

roslyn harris

says:

I do like that they are separate subjects, however for one son spelling seems easier or at least supportive for reading so sometimes we spell some of the word lists.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Roslyn,
Occasionally a child will find spelling easier, and spelling words will help to them read them. Asking him to spell the word lists before reading them is a great way to teach to his strengths. Way to go!

Sarah C.

says:

We use both AAS and AAR!!! It has been a game-changer for us. I highly recommend both curriculum to everyone I know! :)

Cherie

says:

I never knew this! I always just assumed they go together like two peas in a pod! Thank you for your knowledge and insight.

Ashley Boismier

says:

I really value All About Spelling and All About Learning as resources for teaching my son how to read and spell at home!

Theresa S.

says:

Thank you for explaining these concepts! Very helpful to me.

Teodora

says:

I was surprised that first grade automatically came with spelling tests which became difficult too fast. I started and kept my daughter, who was an advanced reader, on the AAS curriculum regardless of the material covered at school. She has done wonderfully thus far. My son, on the other hand, is a slow reader. He is still working through the mechanics, the compreension, the fluency. He is about to enter first grade, and my plan is to completely ignore the spelling at school. I will wait until he is comfortable with the mechanics of reading before I start him in AAS1, even if that is next year. There are simple things that already work for him from the AAS1 -he is capable of understanding some rules and he can apply them using the magnetic tiles, after a period of thinking (there is no such time given in school). Wonderful program, and I agree, reading is easier and should be started first. Spelling requires a lot of concentration and should be done at independent pace, at independent time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Teodora,
Thank you for sharing how you are using AAS to supplement your children’s learning in school. Interesting!

Angie R

says:

So true!!!

Lisa

says:

Excellent read!

Wilda

says:

Interesting.

JennieT

says:

Thank you. I so agree!

Lori

says:

I definitely think teaching them separately will be the way to go with my youngest!

Susanne

says:

This makes sense! Thanks!

Nicole Smith

says:

I just received my all about reading package. If all goes well, I will definitely order all about spelling

Amy

says:

Our first time using AAR & AAS. We are loving it this far! Thanks for these pointers!!

Kathleen

says:

This has been so helpful with teaching my reluctant daughter to read. I never thought the day would happen that she could read words on her own, but she does. Now I am using the same books for her little brother and already see his interest in learning. Thank you

Calista

says:

Love your products! Thank you!

Mrs. Kellogg

says:

My daughter found reading easy (Like me!), but spelling is a problem! (LIKE ME!. But now, after four other spelling programs, WE are learning to spell correclty!! LOVE it! 4

Karen

says:

We are starting AAS4 and 3/4 through AAR3. I feel like we’re not far enough ahead in reading and sometimes we’re barely learning something in Reading before needing to spell it almost right away. Is that okay or should we slow down in Spelling?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
How is your student doing with this? Is he or she struggling with the spelling?

You can slow down if you feel our student will benefit from it, but it is okay. Most children, spending just 20 minutes a day on reading and 20 minutes a day on spelling, will move ahead in reading. But not all students. My daughter is actually slightly ahead in spelling, learning how to spell words in AAS 3 a week or so before learning how to read them in AAR 3. This works really well for her.

At the point your child is at, reading is going to naturally pull more and more ahead, as AAR 4 covers what is in AAS 5, 6, and 7.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Merlyka Fonseca

says:

I am so keen to start these programs. The instructions are very well laid out and I am sure my daughter is going to excel.

Christine Robertson

says:

Love this program

Lisa

says:

I can see this being true for my child. She is a great reader and has been, but now that she is trying to spellol words turn out differently. I hope that with your products, I can help her learn the right way to encode, maybe helping myself too!

Evelyn G

says:

Teaching these two subjects seperately seems to be the way to go and this is what I will be doing with my daughter.

Launa R.

says:

Yep, when I taught a one-room private school, most kids were above grade level for reading but about half were somewhere lower for spelling. I did assessments at the beginning of the year so they could be where they should be for each subject…but most curriculum doesn’t make that very easy. Homeschooling my daughter I’m glad yours gives that option.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for taking the time to give us your experiences with this, Launa!

Loretta Spry

says:

Very true! Would love to see if AAR works for my 8 year old non- reader. He is very stubborn

Traci

says:

Makes sense now that I think about it!

Liz Bates

says:

Have loved AAS and AAR. Great additions to our curriculum!

Shannon Soehl

says:

I have home schooled for 16 years. It never occurred to me not to teach reading and spelling together. It makes perfect sense, wish I had know this years ago.

Laurie

says:

Makes sense to me. As a child, I read way above my grade level, but my spelling skills were below grade level.

Allison

says:

This was really interesting! I never thought about why these might need to be taught separately, but this gives me some important food for thought once we finish All About Reading level 1!

Jody Reynolds

says:

Great advice! I love you spelling program. It makes so much more sense than the spelling program that’s part of my daughter’s curriculum which focuses on just memorizing word list each week. I’m even learning things I never knew before!

T

says:

This makes sense.

Carrie

says:

Spelling definitely takes more concentrated effort on the part of the learner. Encoding vs. decoding :)

Kjason

says:

Great info!! So glad you offer a different approach. We are just starting a.a.r.2 and a.a.s.1.

Fran

says:

I had never looked at it this way, SO helpful! Glad I have both programs!

Angela

says:

I love AAS. Just trying to memorize the words and playing spelling games at school never worked for my son. I can already see improvement with AAS.

Tracy

says:

We love All About Spelling and Reading for homeschooling and I implement many of these techniques in my tutoring.

This is so interesting! I love reading your blog and will be sharing this post!

Charity Andersen

says:

THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR YOUR PROGRAM! My son has a myriad of learning disabilities and we have never found any success with any other program to date…EXCEPT All About Reading! We have seen him grow at least two grade levels in one year! SO HAPPY!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Charity,
This is fabulous! What wonderful progress, and how lovely that we were able to be a part of it! Thank you for letting us know how your son is doing.

Christine

says:

I Already knew it was Orton Gillingham based curriculum I was choosing to continue teaching my dyslexic son, as there is no better method and approach for that style of learner in my opinion. What sold me on your specific product however, is the easy teaching setup!! You’ve made it so simplified and easy to teach within that approach! Can’t wait to start! Thanks for all the other wealth of information on your sights. Nice to hear what I’ve been learning, investigating and slowly putting into practice has been tried and found successful by yourself and many many others. Encouraging.

Jessica

says:

We love these programs. My children have enjoyed learning to read and spell. We tried other programs and my kids got frustrated and upset over reading and spelling. Once we started these programs my kids would fight over who went first.

Jessica

says:

We also started with the just the reading. When they became more confident in their reading abilities we added spelling. I love how the programs are separate.

Jamie Weaver

says:

We are 23 lessons into All About Reading pre reading with my 6 year old. He enjoys the lessons, they are simple to teach and he is learning AND retaining so much.
I was unsure which level to buy initally but I contacted customer service and they helped me choose the appropriate level.
We have used several other programs but All About Reading is my favorite. I will recommend to other moms!

Kathryn B.

says:

Yes! Separate programs is the way to go for reading and spelling. I’ve seen this in my own children. My oldest struggled in other programs before we found AAR and AAS because she was always slowed down by her spelling abilities. Now she loves both subjects because they meet her right where she is.

Autumn

says:

I agree! My daughter can read very well but has a horrible time spelling!

Julie

says:

I agree! My children can read many more words than they can spell. We also teach reading & spelling separately.

Tina H.

says:

Great info! Love AAS!

Danielle

says:

Great info! I’m glad we’re starting with AAR 1 and focusing on reading first before delving into spelling. We are excited to start. Thanks again! 😀

Kathy

says:

Having taught children with special needs for years, I recognized how insidious teaching spelling along with reading could be for them. However, I did not understand this could be true for so many children unable to grasp the patterns in any meaningful way. Thank you for this straight-forward explanation. AAR, and AAS are awesome!!!

Tonya

says:

We started with AAR and AAS this year. So far they are really enjoying it.

Rachele Alban

says:

I tried to do them both together, but it was so overwhelming. Now I understand why!

Monica L

says:

Thanks so much for the info. I live the AAR program and will soon begin AAS 1. I can’t wait to get started!

Carrie Phillips

says:

Great info!! Thanks :)

Kayla

says:

I never considered this and yet it makes so much sense. Thank you for the explanation.

Meggan Edwards

says:

Great info here! Thank you! We are loving AAR and AAS!

Jessica

says:

We are loving AAR 1 and looking forward to starting AAS. This makes a lot of sense as to why they should be taught seperately. Thank you!

Courtney

says:

We love AAS and I can’t wait to start AAR with my children!

Emily

says:

This makes so much sense! My daughter is just starting All About Spelling (in addition to already doing All About Reading), and we love it.

Keely

says:

Should we keep AAS one level below AAR?

Angelie E

says:

Can’t wait to get started with all about reading with my 5 year old!

Sherry

says:

We absolutely love how spelling is linked with rules rather than memorizing a bunch of words.

Eleni

says:

I love all of the tips that All About Reading sends out. They are so helpful in teaching my child.

Cara

says:

My 2 younger children, both dyslexic, are finally reading thanks to these programs.

Leslie

says:

I can see why this is true. Glad I am teaching then separate.

Ann R

says:

Thank you for this reminder! We are just beginning AAR, but I can see how working on both with the same lesson may be detrimental.

Angela

says:

Great ideas!

Valerie

says:

Never thought about reading and spelling this way. But am glad we do them as separate subjects.

Stephanie

says:

Good to know. We are going to start AAS level 1 in about a month.

Betty

says:

The concept of teaching spelling separately from reading is what sold me on AAS! We’re on level 4.

Christine

says:

We love AAR and AAS!

Wendy Clark

says:

Oh boy! I am about to start teaching AAR 2 and AAS 1. Good to know!

Sonya

says:

I love the All About Spelling program!

Corie

says:

AAR had worked wonders for my daughter. We love it.

Anna

says:

We are using both after trying other curriculums. AAR & AAS are finally working for us. They are easy to teach also!

Jessica Valind

says:

I am so glad I read this post.

Laura

says:

That was wonderful! Thank you

Jennifer

says:

I love your programs so much!!! I wish you’d write one for math:)

SARAH R

says:

I agree with this approach, thanks for the enlightenment!

Myra

says:

This makes a lot of sense! I am so happy we have used AAR and AAS from the start!

OTE

says:

I am doing both wih two children and I wish I had done AAR and AAS with the older ones!

Sharon Ford

says:

This makes perfect sense to me now!

Maya

says:

Totally agree with this article. I have always wondered how programs that have it all in 1 can work. I think it is mostly at the expense of spelling, because if you teach the same words to read and spell, the spelling part is basically memorizing.

LaVonne F

says:

I love AAR and can’t wait to start AAS!

Jaime B

says:

I really appreciate that spelling and reading are taught separately. My daughter excels at reading, but needs a much slower pace at learning to spell well. In general, her memorization lacks a bit, so it is helpful for her to be able to read and then take the time to repeat some spelling rules.

Chere

says:

Looking forward to teaching another child to read this fall with AAR!

Colleen

says:

I have been using AAS for years and I am excited to start AAR with my pre-schoolers very soon.

Cristy B

says:

Just started AAR with my daughter–called today for some advice and they are very helpful and encouraging!! Thanks AAR staff!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We love being helpful and encouraging, Cristy! I’ll let the phone staff know they are appreciated.

Vicki

says:

Wow! This was such a good article! Thanks so much for this fresh perspective!! Love your programs!!!

Thecla

says:

It’s a good concept, although my son fits into the category of being better at spelling rather than reading. He needs to learn how to do it together so he understands a word to read it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thecla,
I have one of those too. She is further ahead in All About Spelling than she is in All About Reading, but it works well for her. Most students do move ahead in reading, but having reading and spelling separate allows our less common type of learners succeed as well!

Brandie

says:

I am just starting AAR and and really excited to see how it goes with my 6 year old… I will be starting AAS next year (if all goes to plan) and from everything I have read about this program really looking forward to how it will help all of my kids learn to read and spell :)

Candace

says:

Thanks for all the great info you provide to parents!!

Tasmin McDonald

says:

This is good information to have. I’ll have to consider these options as I’m working with the kiddos.

Krystil

says:

Oh, I’ve been dreading when mine are ready for spelling. I’m terrible at spelling, I’m hoping when we start AAS that I pick up a few tricks too!

Beccolina

says:

My second is a very good reader, but spelling (or writing in general) is HARD for him. HAving the reading and spelling separate helps him read interesting things without being bogged down by his difficulty with writing.

Amanda

says:

This totally makes sense, even though it’s SO often they are thought to ‘go together’. Great post I’m sharing with lots of my homeschooling mom friends!

Renae B

says:

continues to give me confidence in my choice to use your programs throughout our homeschool years.

Rachel Gray

says:

This makes a lot of sense to me considering my experience with my 7 year old. He taught himself how to read, but really struggled with spelling words out. We love All About Spelling and it is proving to fill all of those phonetically gaps. :)

Kelley

says:

Great info!

Elizabeth R.

says:

Thank you for the info!

Tonya

says:

💜 great info! Thank you!

Melissa

says:

Makes sense to me :)

Jill

says:

This looks so great!

Pam havens

says:

Just makes sense

Jennifer

says:

Great info!

Jenni Jones

says:

Great points; this makes complete sense! Thank you!

Samantha Meadows

says:

Can’t wait to start using this!

Amy

says:

Thank you for the info!

Illise

says:

Amazing program. Easy to teach and apparently easy to learn as my son advances above grade level in reading!

Sabrina

says:

Very helpful, thank you.

Brittney G

says:

This makes it so clear! Thank you!

Stephanie Dorothy

says:

Very helpful! Thanks!!!

This is such great information! As a new homeschooling mom, I didn’t realize the difference between decoding and encoding. Can’t wait to get started with AAR and AAS!

Maria Surratt

says:

We just started AAS this year and my older kids have whizzed through level one. Would love to win the $100 towards next level to keep us moving.

Marci

says:

I’m already using AAR and my child is doing so well! Can’t wait to start AAS too!

Angela Doherty

says:

Intrinsically I always felt that reading should be the focus before spelling. Can not wait to begin AAR this September with my girls.

Michelle lee

says:

I agree 100%

Adrien

says:

This has proven to be a fantastic approach for us!

Such a great article, and so many truths I did not realize until reading it! I am a former public school teacher, and looking back, teaching reading and spelling separately would have been so much wiser than teaching them to my little kindergarteners together!

SHERRY SALTER

says:

This approach makes sense to me. We are currently using the pre-reading curriculum and my 3 yr old really likes it.

Aide Calvillo

says:

Have been reading about your reading and spelling curriculum and started saving to purchase it. And although my daughter loves to read has trouble with spelling I’m excited to learn with my daughter this new approach to reading and spelling .

Kristina Poehls

says:

👍🏻

Shannon

says:

Do you think children need contiuous reading instruction? Once they become fluent readers what is the benefit of more instruction?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shannon,
This is a great question!

I suppose it comes down to how you define fluent. We define it as the ability to read smoothly without having to sound words out. However, by this definition children can read fluently on a beginning level but not have the skills to read higher level books. If you define fluent as reading well on a certain reading level, which level would that be?

Our reading program only has four levels, and after All About Reading 4 students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though depending on age and life experience they may not know the meaning of all higher level words yet. Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…

Also, if you check out the Scope and Sequences for AAR 3 and 4, you will see that they cover a lot beyond phonograms as well. These levels cover things like literary analysis for comprehension (for example: making predictions and inferences, comparing and contrasting main characters and stories, discussing the main conflict and character transformation, etc). They also cover literary terms including but not limited to hyperbole, simile, and personification. AAR also teaches reading reference materials, reading with expression, English words with Greek, French, Spanish, and Italian influences, morphology, and much more. All of these things are a part of reading, even if they aren’t phonics.

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

Mary

says:

This is interesting! I was looking at this curriculum and a different one that teaches spelling and reading together. I have been leaning towards the other, but this definitely gives me something to think about! Thanks for the info!

This sounds great!! What a wonderful giveaway

Heather S

says:

Heard great things about AAS! Would love to try them both.

Karen

says:

Can’t wait to start using this.

Terry

says:

We love all about reading! My daughter is on level 2 and we even added in all about spelling this year. I look forward to using your curriculum through all the levels.

Destiny

says:

I love your curriculum!

Carrie

says:

Great information!

Autumn

says:

Love your products!

Christina

says:

I think it depends on the kid. For example, I am a very visual learner. I learned to read early and loved to read. While reading I noticed how words were spelled and could remember them. I was always a pretty good speller. Imagine my surprise when my daughter who started reading when she was 3 couldn’t spell the word “the” when she was 5! She is a great reader, but is not a natural speller. AAS has been great for her. We started in level 1 and will be doing level 5 this year. When she isn’t sure how to spell something, she can usually figure it out if I ask her questions and remind her of rules that she has learned.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You bring up a good point, Christina. Some kids will be able to move along in reading and spelling at the same pace. However, keeping reading and spelling separate will not hold those kids back.

Chantel

says:

Great ideas!

Lorrine Couch Hart

says:

Using your product with a child who has great difficulty in reading. Love your product!

Gail Timmer

says:

I think spelling and reading should be taught separately. The rules we teach in spelling help make reading make sense. 😊

Katherine

says:

I’m so excited to get started!

Michelle

says:

I love how you guys take time to explain these things.
Very interesting article!!!

Kenda Wathen

says:

I never looked at it this way before. It does sound good for my struggling spellers.

Jessica

says:

Interesting information!

Michelle

says:

Thanks for the clarification on teaching these separately.

Michele Robinson

says:

I would love to give this program a try.

Paige

says:

My daughter has dyslexia and this curriculum had helped her grow leaps and bounds in her abilities. Thank you All About Learning Press!

Amy

says:

Love this program!

Sarah Ter Maat

says:

I love this approach! My oldest was in public school until 5th grade and this approach would have really helped her. She never learned how to sound out words and only learned to spell by lists and repetition. I plan on using this program with my 2 youngers.

Naomi

says:

I was just talking with someone about this the other day. I love being able to refer people to the wonderful blog here!

Tia Mayfield

says:

Makes alot of sense. Sometimes it feels like an all in one would be easier then juggling the different curriculums, but it was always harder to balance the pace when the subjects were together.

Marifer Hunt

says:

This will be my first year us My AAS! I am so excited to try it!!!

Karen

says:

We couldn’t be happier with AAR and AAS!

Tami B

says:

Love the way your programs approach reading and spelling! I’m excited to start using both programs in our homeschool.

Nichole Burke

says:

This us really good info. Was curious as to why!

Lydia Hostetler

says:

I have struggling readers. My 7 yr old is soo close. I’ve been trying different methods and programs, trying to be patient. I’d love to try this one.

Erin F.

says:

My daughter can read quite well, but can’t spell even small words. It’s a struggle to teach the words. That’s one reason we homeschool. The education anywhere we live is not noted for quality, rather pushing kids through.

Tamata

says:

My son struggles so much with spelling. It’s slow steady progress for him there but he just took off with reading. It was so important for us that these be 2 separate subjects with separate pacing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Tamata, for sharing this great example as to why it is important to separate reading and spelling.

Michelle

says:

I’ve struggled with spelling all my life. And as I start to teach my own kids I’ve been really nervous about it. I really love the info and empowerment your materials give me as a teacher. And especially to my students

Tabitha

says:

Such great information!

Teri

says:

Hi I was wondering with my first grader who is finishing up AAR level 1 by this November, would she start AAS level 1 and then do AAR level 2 after AAS1? Is it recommended to use AAS1 and AAR2 at the same time but given different time allotment each day?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Teri,
We recommend using both AAR and AAS at the same time but independently of each other. We recommend spending 20 minutes a day on AAR and another 20 minutes a day on AAS. You would allow your child to progress at his own pace in each.

Mercedes

says:

Simple/genius explanation: There are more than 250 ways to spell the 45 sounds in the English language.

Lynne

says:

I have recently been trained in OG, and that program encourages decoding and encoding go hand in hand. As an OG practitioner, I was surprised to see that you go against that theory. I thought the current theory was to teach how encoding/spelling impacts decoding. In fact, assessing in OG includes spelling of lessons taught, even though kiddos might know of other spellings and get confused about when to use which one, but can read them just fine. Would you then also see them assessed separately?

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Lynne,

Great question! Most Orton-Gillingham programs do combine spelling and reading, but they don’t have to be combined to be O-G. Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based. Marie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and has instructed 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!

One reason to combine spelling and reading is that spelling reinforces reading concepts. However, that still happens with our programs, but at a pace within each program that meets the child’s needs. The programs are independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Throughout over 20 years of tutoring, Marie has found that kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling.

Since the programs are separate, the instructor is free to take each at a pace that works for the student. For a majority of students, we find that means being able to move on in reading without giving up mastery in spelling. However, there are some students for whom spelling seems to unlock reading for a child–and progressing at the child’s pace in each skill area allows the instructor to also meet that student’s needs.

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

As far as assessing students, we do encourage separate assessments both for placement and for determining mastery. As you have observed, a student may be able to read a word easily, but may not have mastered it for spelling purposes. Separating the subjects makes it easy for the instructor to keep track of what has been mastered with regard to both reading and spelling, and what needs ongoing review.

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

Harun

says:

Thanks for sharing this great idea

Aaron Schofield

says:

I do appreciate this post, but I have a question on implementation. Do you mean to say that we should wait to teach spelling until our child is reading fluently? Or just that lessons should be on different days? And how does handwriting practice figure in? For example, my 8 year old really needs spelling instruction. She is a very advanced reader, and gets bored easily. I think Level 4 would be the best fit for words she doesn’t always spell correctly, but she does not have the foundational rules for the earlier levels. How quickly can we go through the earlier level rules?

My 6 year old reads aloud slowly from Charolette’s Web, but naturally cannot spell well at all. I do not want to teach her spelling yet, but I am not sure when to start. However, I do want to help her with handwriting, so she is holding her pencil correctly, starting letters in the right place, and can distinguish bs and ds, etc.

Thanks!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Aaron,

Marie recommends completing All About Reading Level 1 first (or the equivalent), and then adding in the All About Spelling program sometime after that. This way students get a solid start in reading first, and have a strong basis for spelling as well. See our article on the Right Time to Start AAS: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/aas-right-time-to-start/

It’s fine to wait on spelling for your 6 year-old if you find she isn’t ready yet. Some people do focus on handwriting first and add in spelling later in the first or second grade year. If you had a child who was very interested in spelling or who was already trying to write down notes or stories, then you would want to teach spelling sooner.

For your 8 year-old, you would want to start with Level 1, but fast-track through those beginning levels. Most students get through 2-3 levels the first year, but if all of the early words were super easy for her, she might get to level 4 this year. Here is an example of how you might fast track, taken from level 1: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

You can apply this same strategy to the other levels until you get to harder words. Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows 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 she already knows and slow down on the parts that she needs to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure she understands the concept being taught, and then move on.

Both reading and spelling should be done daily. If you are using our reading program, we recommend spending about 20 minutes per day on that, and 15-20 minutes on spelling.

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

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

By the way, with regard to distinguishing b and d, Marie has a wonderful article about reversals with tactile ideas, activities using large arm movements, and analogies: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-solve-letter-reversal-problems/

Kacie

says:

This is a brilliant analogy! I’ve always been a great reader but a horrible speller. I was taught spelling by random word lists I had to memorize. Makes no sense. I’m thankful I didn’t learn to read that way.

I am looking forward to AAS with my children. Perhaps I’ll improve my own spelling skills while I’m at it :).

Also? I want spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

At my son’s first elementary school, they taught phonetic spelling. The important thing was to encourage young children to hear sounds and recognize letters and dipthongs and use their skills to attempt to spell rather than how to spell a word correctly. The result is now my son is not afraid to learn new vocabulary or write. I don’t criticize his spelling when it’s not correct, I just say good effort and that sounds right. I actually do admire when he takes on a big word, e.g. one of those funny words (like special vs speshul) or words with many syllables.

Eric Rolf

says:

Very nice and simple way of learning…i enjoyed reading this article.

Sabrina

says:

I learned of AAS when my oldest was in 3rd gr. We quickly went through levels 1 & 2 in the course of the yr. which found the culprits causing him to struggle that I couldn’t figure out. In 4th gr. he completed levels 3 & 4. I must say we were very sad that there aren’t any readers for these as yet. He loved the readers from levels 1-2; I couldn’t believe how much he enjoyed them.

We are currently working through level 5. I clearly see how he reads much easier than spells as you explain in the video. He still struggles with other subjects when he needs to write a word. He can read it in a heartbeat, most of the time, but figuring out which way to spell it is a different matter.

My youngest is currently doing the AAR Pre-K, and will move up through the levels, hopefully missing out on the issues that my oldest experienced. Tonight I researched our local library to find they have most of the wordless books you mentioned in another article. I’m so excited and can’t wait to get them! Could you recommend a similar list for say, level 5? :-)

Thanks for explaining the reason for the split.

Crystal H

says:

We just finished level 1 AAR and are about to start level 2 AAR and level 1 AAS. I have noticed my kids can read SO many words but have no idea how to spell them. So obviously they need different curriculum to learn each.

Wendy Pierce

says:

Teaching the 2 separately has made a world of difference for us. It has taken a lot of stress and pressure off my 9 year who reads “on grade level” but struggles tremendously with spelling.

Nicole

says:

This makes a lot of sense to me. So many times we’re looking for ways to kill two birds with one stone, but often times this kind of multi-tasking means what is getting done isn’t as effective.

Amanda V

says:

This seems really logical. Excited to explore more.

VIVIAN Mcwhiney

says:

love thise i always said it but did’t know why

Kelly

says:

I agree – I like the two separate – we are currently just working on learning to read – before we add spelling.

Sara K.

says:

I think it does work better to teach them separately. We already do this in our home school. I think it works out much better. I know our son knows more words that he can read than he can spell.

Sasha

says:

My oldest son went to public school for Kindergarten and 1st grade, where he learned to read really quickly. Then we brought him home to school him for 2nd and now 3rd grade, I have found that even though he was an excellent reader he had no concept of spelling. We began using your spelling program last January and he has made tremendous progress!! I am now considering beginning my kindergarten son (as soon as he is ready) learning to read using your Reading program. I love your system and the way that you teach the sounds along with the reasoning behind it.

Kensey

says:

I love the idea of teaching reading and spelling separately! My 5 year old reads exceptionally well even though he’s in prek but spelling has been a lot more challenging. I like that AAR and AAS are designed so he can go at his own speed!

Donna Y

says:

I guess I’d never thought about it, but it makes sense! This approach would definitely help us.

Chris Van Den Berg

says:

I for one agree that reading and spelling, while essential to one another, should be taught separately. How many children get bogged done with the spelling part of any given reading program, and therefore don’t excel at reading because of low self-esteem issues? I think that the idea of splitting the two makes perfect sense.

Keziah Campbell

says:

Yes I feel that spelling and reading separately would make a big difference in our homeschool. My kids need to know their letters first and then understand how all letters put together can make sounds and then into words.

Carrie Adkins

says:

It makes so much sense to teach reading and spelling separately. You are using different processes in your brain (decoding and encoding) for each skill so it makes sense to teach them separately. As an ESL teacher, I see that kids can take in much more (reading/listening) than they can produce (writing/speaking) as they are learning the language so it stands to reason that as a kids is learning to read and write, they should be taught separately as they can probably move at a different pace in each skill–reading will progress faster than writing.

Amy

says:

This makes sense to me! We are doing it this way, and I think it gives my kids more confidence in their spelling.

Rachel B

says:

I didn’t know people taught it together but I have only home schooled for a few years. I never thought about doing it together.

Heather

says:

Would it be odd to say that I wasn’t aware that the two were taught together at all? I grew up with reading and spelling being separate subjects, and that is how I teach my children. It just made more sense to focus on them separately since the child wouldn’t be able to give adequate focus to either one simultaneously.

Lindsay

says:

We definitely found that teaching them separately works so much better! We’re very glad that you’ve come out with AAR now – we love using them both separately.

Lisa Brennan

says:

I love the singular focus. And slowly introducing spelling.

Cindy

says:

Three of my kids have all learned how to read before spelling was taught. Makes sense to me!

Rebecca Kim

says:

I agree that reading and spelling should be taught separately. Maybe someone who naturally sees both spelling patterns and reading patterns would require little instruction but this has not been true for me or my children. I have started AAR and AAS with my oldest child and I am seeing great improvement in both her reading and spelling.

tina

says:

I would like to the two separately.

Sarah

says:

Yes, I agree that reading and spelling should be taught separately. It can helped immensely as we’re starting with the foundations of spelling and continuing on with reading skills.

Angie

says:

I definitely believe this to be true, and should be taught separately since those readiness skills happen at different times. Reading comes very easily for my 7yo boy, but spelling is not his strong suit…yet.

Suzanne

says:

We didn’t intentionally teach reading and spelling separately, we just naturally fell into it that way. I teach reading first, and then when they start asking “how do you spell …” I start with spelling. It has worked well for two out of three so far.

Kim

says:

I will be starting the level 1 reading program with my youngest soon and start speling at a later time. I agree that they should be taught separate.

Paula

says:

We are teaching reading and spelling separately. It does make a difference for my children.

Autumn

says:

I’m teaching my daughter how to read now and spell later, though she’s constantly asking me how to spell things that she wants to write in her journal. They are much different subjects, and should be treated as such.

Kira Ehlenbeck

says:

In my experience, teaching reading separately from spelling seems to have afforded my children more confidence in both areas. They also seem to enjoy the challenge of learning to spell words by playing games and following rules.

Ami

says:

We love having two programs! My son’s reading skills out pace his fine motor spelling/handwriting skills. I like that he can progress at both at his own abilities.

Suzanne

says:

I never thought about it when I started homeschooling my girls (now age 9). After trying unsuccessfully to teach reading and spelling together and failing miserably, I tried All About Spelling and it is working miracles! I can’t wait to try All About Reading! I know it will help speed and understanding of what they are reading!

carolyn b

says:

It makes sense when you think about it, decoding and encoding seem to be quite different skills!

Kathy Eubanks

says:

That makes perfect sense to me. Some of my children have struggled with spelling and when I backed off and only focused on reading the spelling improved with little effort.

Andrea

says:

I 100% agree that reading & spelling should be taught separately. I’m eager to start spelling when we finish aar1!

Sarah

says:

I think it is a great idea to have reading and spell taught separately. I think this would better for my daughter!

Caitlin weaver

says:

I have never thought about it before, but teaching them seperately makes a lot of sense! I think this system would work great for us because I have a hard time explaining why certain sounds aren’t always spelled the same way.

Christina

says:

I completely agree! In our house, learn to read first, then concentrate on spelling.

Michelle

says:

This makes so much sense to me! I never thought about it like that. I’m looking forward to using your programs with my boys!

Victoria R

says:

I am looking at All About Reading and All About Spelling for next year for my son. Good article about having them separate – I honestly hadn’t thought about it too much before looking at your curriculum!

Mary

says:

This article makes a lot of sense. We are doing very well using your reading program. I’ve had a hard time setting aside time for using All About Spelling, although we have already purchased Levels 1 and 2. Any suggestions on scheduling both programs into our week?

Sabrina

says:

I think separating the two is a very good idea.

hong

says:

I love teaching them separately using your curriculum. It just makes sense :) and my kids are able to excel in both because of it!

Nicole

says:

I completely agree that they should be taught separately! I love to read but spelling is difficult. I’m also dyslexic and learning along with my children with AAS has really helped me!

Kim

says:

They should be separate. Some kids excel in one area but not the other.

Kendra

says:

We tried to do both and both suffered! It affected my son’s fluency and decoding skills. Also he didn’t know why words were spelled a certain way, so spelling was frustrating! He dreaded our reading time together because he hated constantly being corrected and he hated misspelling words. I can’t wait to introduce him to this program! I’m hoping his love for our reading time will come back and Language Arts won’t intimidate him anymore.

Maria Swift

says:

Reading is very different then spelling. I have a great reader, but spelling is whole different ball game. AAS makes spelling fun and easy to learn.

dawn

says:

Makes sense. We tried spelling & reading together & the spelling wasn’t “sticking”. Now I know why

Rhonda

says:

We have always taught them separately thanks to AAL press! I could not imagine it any other way!

Michaelle

says:

I think teaching reading separate from spelling in homeschooling helps a lot. My kids were early readers but it took them years to be able to make a connection and start spelling. I think it smarter to focus on reading first and wait until at least 2nd grade to begin a spelling program.

I would love to win this months giveaway..

Jessica

says:

We just started this year and are really enjoying it!

Jacquelyn Binger

says:

My children love AAR. My daughter was struggling learning to read until we started using AAR. We will be finishing level 2 this week.

Christina P.

says:

This is a great article. I teach my kids reading and spelling separately already; it’s nice to see some good feedback to that approach.

Kathy Harris

says:

Your explanation makes a lot of sense. Spelling has always come easily to me, but I assume that is due in part to the fact that I have always been an avid reader. I can definitely see how teaching them separately might benefit my daughter.

Ashleigh S

says:

I do think It makes a difference. My daughter is ready to learn to read, but spelling would be lost on her. Less headache for me!

Lauren K

says:

We do teach reading and spelling separately using AAR and AAS, and it is working fabulously!

Abby

says:

Spelling and reading are very different. I love to read and I’m a terrible speller!

Toni Langille

says:

Teaching Reading and spelling made a huge difference in our home school. My daughter really struggled with both. I chose to focus on one at a time so that all her energy could go to the one subject instead of being frustrated with both and feeling down on herself. This was the best decision for her. Thank you All About Learning!

Laura

says:

Love this curriculum! My daughter is finally learningt o spell!

michelle couch

says:

Would love to have this!!!

Louise O'Neil

says:

We are loving our AAS and hope to add the AAR as soon as possible now that I understand the difference!

Cameron S

says:

Spelling and reading should definitely be learned separately because it’s less confusing with all the weird words the English language has that don’t follow any rules.

LeAnn

says:

I agree that reading and spelling are very different skills. I am a strong reader and a bad speller.

Amanda

says:

This is my first year homeschooling, but I am a former 1st grade teacher. We are doing spelling and reading separately….it just felt more natural that way, but now I know why!!! I LOVE your program and wish I had it when I was teaching public school!

KT

says:

I homeschool, but taught professionally for 15 years. While reading and spelling are obviously related, I have always taught them separately and have found the explicit instruction in one inherently helps progress in the other.

melissa

says:

Great information

Julie G

says:

We have really enjoyed AAR and are just beginning with AAS. We do the lessons separately.

Lacey

says:

We are loving the Pre-Primer curriculum at our house this year and as a former teacher who has taught many children to read… I whole heartedly agree that Reading and Spelling should be separate things!

Carrie

says:

Love All About Spelling and All About Reading!!!

Elyse

says:

I have always taught them seperately, but now I know why!

Jenni

says:

I think it would benefit my child at a kindergarten and 1st grade level when they are trying to learn to read.

Aimee S.

says:

Great article! It makes perfect sense. My son is a great reader, but when it comes to spelling, he has a harder time. Glad I teach them separately or I would be holding back his reading.

Julie Eyler

says:

together :) makes sense that way

Patricia

says:

Sounds reasonable to teach spelling and reading seprately.

Lisa

says:

I plan on teaching reading and spelling separately using both of your programs.

Susan

says:

I think teaching them separately is the way to go. I never even thought to teach them together!

Marna

says:

Good read! Thank u.

Karra

says:

We ae currently using AAR 1 so haven’t come to this issue yet, but thankful to have the information

Melanie Nygaard

says:

I am teaching reading and spelling separately. I am using several reading programs, but I have started AAS Level one to reinforce the phonics rules and we’re loving it!

Leigh

says:

Well, it makes a difference for us. My daughter’s reading level is much higher than her spelling vocabulary. Focusing on spelling separately keeps the stress off and she integrates those rules into her reading. I’m starting to hear “oh, that word is what we learned today,” as she reads.

Cheryl Babrick

says:

We do both, but mostly because spelling is a requirement in our cover school.

Patty W

says:

I use AAS but would love to use AAR as well. Your curriculum is fantastic. Thanks for doing what you do to help homeschooling parents.

Brandee

says:

Great info, thanks for the article.

Jennifer Salas

says:

We use your spelling program and love it. I do agree that spelling and reading should be taught separately. It’s too much for a kid who has dyslexia like my son to grasp too many things at one time.

Kristi

says:

We are teaching reading first, and will pick up with spelling after reading is well established.

Sarah Hill

says:

While closely connected (especially in the beginning) I totally agree that Reading and Spelling are two different subjects and need to be taught separately.

Jessica

says:

I would LOVE to win! We’re planning on using this in our homeschool curriculum!

Christine Schmitz

says:

We absolutely love AAR and AAS. My 5 year old is currently half way through AAR Level 2 and AAS Level 1. This program is absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t imagine trying to teach her with any other program!

Amy

says:

We use both AAS & AAR and teaching them separately is working for my kids!

Vanessa

says:

Already using AAR – getting ready to add AAS to our routine! :)

Cari S.

says:

Love this program!! My girls are doing great and breezing through it!

Darcy H.

says:

We just started with AAS – we tried for a number of years to combine reading and spelling and her reading far surpassed her spelling – which suffered significantly. We’re moving along SO much better now that we’ve split the two subjects!

Janee Campbell

says:

I agree. We use both your reading and spelling curricula. I start the reading first and then I will begin the spelling later when reading is well established. While the curricula go together they each teach different aspects. I really like though that the manipulatives are the same for both.

Jenny

says:

I agree with teaching reading and spelling separately. Reading has come easier for my son and I wouldn’t want to hold back that progress to keep it on par with spelling. I love keeping them separated and teaching to the individual ability.

Christine

says:

We use your programs…and use them separately :) I have nothing but positive things to say about both AAS and AAR. In fact, I’ve recommended them to many homeschooling families I know. We skipped AAR with my eldest daughter who taught herself to read. Using AAS with her was a great way to make sure that she didn’t miss any crucial phonetic instruction. Good reader doesn’t = good speller! We’ve loved the AAS program with her. This year, we have begun AAR, Level One with my Kindergartener, and what a fun year we’re having! She is gradually making progress and her confidence has grown so much! Thank you for such wonderful, reliable programs!

Nicole Walters

says:

I’m intrigued by this concept and I’d love to give it a try. What you say makes a lot of sense.

Lisa Glendinning

says:

Loved this explanation, as I was not sure the difference between the two programs. I have not tried either program yet, but am hoping to be able to afford it soon!

Pamela Bradley

says:

My daughter just finished all about reading level 1 and we started all about spelling level 1 with reading level 2. The spelling has been a breeze for her now and she is having fun!

CASSANDRA JOB

says:

Hmmm…I do not yet own AAR, but I have been using AAS with my 7 yr. old son. I have found myself intertwining reading into the spelling lessons, as I was taught in my OG training. I understand the points made above, but sometimes I think students who are struggling with spelling need the reinforcement that comes from reading the sounds they are struggling to spell. It also breaks up the lesson to move back and forth. I do not think they have to be limited to the skills taught in spelling, though. Why not do a little of both? Often, the current spelling skill/sound can be applied to more advanced words for reading. For example, my son is struggling to spell “ch,” and he has just learned to spell open syllables. He spells syllables like “cho” in isolation, but he reads words like “chosen” that apply the open syllable to reading.

Stacia Emory

says:

Thanks so much for this post. We love AAR – we are in level 2 and are just beginning level 1 of AAS. Your explanation makes this so much clearer as to the “why” of teaching these two subjects separately.

Jenelle Prather

says:

My son has always struggled with spelling. I can’t imagine if I had stopped reading until he could spell the words. He would never have learned to read! On the other hand, I did just stop working on spelling altogether for awhile. It caused him tears and frustration and I couldn’t find a program that he understood. Finding AAS has been so wonderful. He feels accomplished and confident after each lesson. He is still behind in spelling, but he is quickly closing the gap, and smiling while he is doing it. I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you AAS!

Jennifer

says:

I never really thought about spelling being harder that reading but I do think that it is true. We have started this year with AAR and after 10 weeks, we will be adding AAS. So excited!

Erin

says:

I enjoyed this post…however, we teach spelling and reading separately.

Cara

says:

Thanks for this information! We are a first year homeschooling family (starting with kindergarten for our oldest), and I am realizing I could use as much help as I can get for both myself and our son :) I have been looking at the AAR/AAS for months now, and it just seems to make sense… Decided to take the leap and ordered our pre-reading level today. So excited to jump in once it arrives!

Shana R.

says:

I agree with teaching reading and spelling separately. Definitely will be using your curriculum when I begin homeschooling my son and daughter next school year.

Jennifer

says:

I think they are best taught separately.

Mariejkt

says:

For some reason I have never connected teaching spelling and reading. I am glad I haven’t taught them together.

Arielle

says:

Thank you! This method has finally given my child breakthrough in her reading and spelling.

Mary

says:

Thank you! This makes so much sense. My son is working through reading in Level 1 and he struggles alot. We just started Level 1 AAS since he’s almost at the end of Level 1. He isn’t a good writer or speller and would definitely be held back further in reading if we had pushed spelling at the same time. Starting spelling as we are finishing level one reading reinforces skills he learned in reading and is naturally progressing into spelling!

Jeanee

says:

We just started AAR Level 1 this year and I definitely wanted to hold off on AAS until we got a grip on reading. It just makes sense. I didn’t want to complicate learning to read with being frustrated with not being able to read. I can’t wait to start AAS level 1!

Jenny Challand

says:

I will totally be teaching these 2 separately from each other. I’ve tried explaining WHY to my husband for quite some time, but not been very successful. This post has made it all crystal clear to him, so THANK YOU! I love that there will now be unity on our decision for this part of homeschooling.

Kristina Womack

says:

So glad to find this out. Was wondering how to teach both.

Karen Carlsen

says:

I think that teaching reading and spelling together is too overwhelming. It is as simple as that to me. Especially with a child that has a difficult time learning to read. I believe that the spelling should wait until at least those beginning reading skills begin and with my homeschooling only simple spelling starts then. I believe the spelling issues would hold my son back in moving forward in reading, its as simple as that to me.

Kerri Wartnik

says:

I have a twelve year old with dyslexia just finishing AAS 2, and her spelling has improved dramatically. We are certainly grateful that you have two separate programs for reading and spelling! We also regret not knowing about your reading program when my daughter was learning to read.

Cynthia

says:

Great advice

Cheryl Baranski

says:

Thanks for the wonderful info.
Would love to win this to use with
my son. I have so wanted AAS & AAR
for him. This would make it so possible for
me to get it for him.
I so want to see him succeed!!!!!!!!!

Elesha

says:

We love AAR and AAS! I agree with teaching them separately and I’m so thankful for this curriculum that walks me through how to teach them!

Terri Hanenkamp

says:

We teach them separately, using All About Spelling for spelling. My son was reading long before we did any kind of spelling instruction.

Paula

says:

I definitely see the benefits of teaching reading and spelling separately. Reading first! My son is enjoying your programs very much!

Kelly Cunningham

says:

We would love to try your approach! I’ve been teaching reading and spelling; reading skills are great, spelling skills are sadly lacking.

Garilyn

says:

I can definitely see the benefit of teaching these separately.

Heather Culp

says:

I agree that reading and spelling are best taught separately. My son is currently completing AAR 3 and AAS 2 and it is a great fit for him.

Jennifer

says:

This makes so much sense. So glad we are using All About Learning! My kids love it.

Cheryl

says:

I believe they need to be taught separately too. My second grade son can read but cant spell to save his life. I have been looking at this program for quite some time and really want to try it with him.

SnowyRow

says:

I can’t wait to start using your curriculum with my boys! It looks like too much fun!

Carole

says:

Great explanation! I totally agree, and I appreciate your curricula so much! :)

Tinasha

says:

Completely agree with teaching them separately. Now to find an approach that works for each. Have looked into your products but haven’t purchased, would love the chance and the $100 gift card would give our family just that! :)

Laura M

says:

We are currently using AAS1 in our homeschool. My kindergartener loves it (and so do I)!!
Reading is taught as a separate subject. I cannot thank you enough for your programs – they are a staple for our homeschool!

Cindy

says:

I love AAS and AAR. My kids love to do school.

Hannah Mudd

says:

I love the AAL systems. We are going to start AAR with our 4 year old. I definitely agree they should be separate subjects. So far we love AAS in our HS.

Jessica Spencer

says:

I agree that they should be taught separately. As an adult, I’m learning how to spell right along side my son because I never learned how to spell properly. As a child reading came quickly and easily for me so my teachers assumed I could spell. My son is the same way and he memorizes a way something is spelled but doesn’t know why it’s spelled that way and can’t figure out how to spell something he’s unfamiliar with. All About Spelling has been great for teaching him!

Brenda Walker

says:

Thank you for this article! Reading and Spelling would be a great addition to our homeschooling

Heather McKenzie Carter

says:

I never really thought about it that way honestly. It makes a lot of sense. I had heard rave reviews about All About Spelling which is why we used this program. With twins in Kindergarten now this year (HS), I’d love to use the AAR program with them.

Sarah

says:

Very interesting! Thank you

Catherine England

says:

We are teaching reading to our six year old, but have not even begun to tackle spelling yet. I think that teaching them separately makes sense.

Sarah V.

says:

This makes so much sense! Looking forward to reading more about this approach.

Kerrianne Gahr

says:

Highly recommend your products – they are making a difference in our homeschool – with one student who has difficulty with reading and spelling. Wonderful products, wonderful quality….we’ll be continuing!

Bethany M

says:

Never thought about WHY to do it seperately before. I think both AA programs would be an asset in our homeschool!

Suzanne

says:

We are very excited to start All About Spelling soon!

Kathy L

says:

I think teaching them separate is important.

Lisa

says:

Just starting K with my son and have heard great things about your program. Would love to give it a roll!

Carrie

says:

Teaching reading and spelling separately is a great idea. My older jewel loves reading but gets so absorbed that she would rather guess the meaning that stop and look up the definition. My younger jewel will try to get out of reading if she can and I believe if she was confident with her spelling, then reading would be more enjoyable as she likes to know the meaning of words as she reads them. C.

Jessica Pope

says:

Yes, I do teach reading & spelling separately for my daughter. We haven’t used your curriculum yet, but I have been looking into trying it. Thank you for the information!

Leonard S

says:

I think the aas is already helping my son and would love to use the aar with his.

Jillji

says:

Thank you for the clarification! I am just starting out with two kinders and trying to learn what works best and why.

Shelby

says:

Your teaching method is brilliant and works wonders in our household! We’d be lost without your programs!

Rhonda

says:

I agree with this blog site. I taught reading first and am now adding in spelling with my second grader and he is doing very well.

Madonna

says:

Definitely think you have to teach the seperately. My son picked up reading quickly, but I can’t say the same for his spelling. Spelling is definitely more difficult, especially with all the spelling rules in the English language.

Juliana Park

says:

we haven’t started but I would love to win so I can help 1/5 kids that struggles with reading!

Sarah

says:

I think this is a great point! My oldest is actually doing AAR 2 and AAS 2 simultaneously, which is interesting because she’s covering the same topics at the same time. However, that’s because she’s doing a reading program far behind where her actual reading level is (we’re reviewing concepts to make sure she actually knows the rules and hasn’t just memorized words). My younger daughter is also doing AAR 2, about 10 lessons behind, and is just starting the first lessons of AAS where you memorize the phonemes, and I think it works great that way, too. We really love AAR/AAS and Ziggy around here!

Sarah

says:

I have never really thought about this. My oldest is just beginning to read and write. This is good information to think about as we make curriculum choices.

Jodiann

says:

I did teach spelling and reading separately. your explanation makes perfect sense.

Danielle

says:

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. My daughter is a much more proficient reader than speller at 6 years old. The curriculum her UMS school uses is, in my opinion, awful for spelling. We plan to do AAS at home to give her a solid foundation.

Amy Myers

says:

I am using both at home with my sons. It sometimes takes more than one day for us to complete a lesson but we are seeing improvements in both areas. I really like both and will continue using both as long as we can.

Melissa

says:

Great explanation!

Definitely agree! I love having my girls go at the pace they need in each subject!

I agree…they should be taught separately.

Ashley Marquis

says:

My daughter reads much better than she spells! This would be so helpful!

Hillary Hester

says:

I agree! Seems to work so much better!

Sarah

says:

Wow, I never really thought about this before. I always assumed that learning to spell what we are reading would reinforce the new words we’re learning. But, since this hasn’t been working, I see the point of NOT teaching it together. My concern is in it becoming too many new words at once, which can be very overwhelming to my add/dyslexic son. I’m willing to try something else, though, since he’s still struggling to read at a 2nd grade level as a 4th grader. Better start saving my money!

Linda

says:

I do not teach reading and spelling together, but I have considered it. In the past I have not produced good spellers. My children all love to read. I have level 1 & 2 All about Spelling this year. I thought if Mom could learn a few tricks maybe it would benefit my ability to help my children spell correctly.

Sarah

says:

I love this idea! I think this would really help with our daily lesson struggles.

Tara

says:

I feel it is important to break most lessons down to it’s simplest form. [unless my homeschooled child prefers me to speed things up :) ] that’s why we homeschool, it’s all our way on our time. yay!

erin

says:

I agree that spelling and reading should not be bundled. Too often our children are on different levels academically. My 7 year old just started AAS 3, yet he reads on a forth grade level. Being able to purchase curriculum a la cart makes for a better fit for most children

Mel

says:

Great article!

Amber Ellis

says:

Thank you for explaining this! I am using both AAR and AAS with two of my children, so I love your curriculum!

Kristina Watt

says:

I do think teaching reading and spelling would make a difference in my homeschool!

Chana Madvig

says:

My son can all ready read, but spelling is a different story. Looking forward to using All About Spelling.

Lyssie Silver

says:

I have already had success teaching my son phonics which he needed desperately through these methods and All about Spelling.

Terri Slemp

says:

We recently started using AAS with my son (a struggling reader who attends public school). My sister homeschools her children and introduced me to AAS & AAR after I mentioned to her that my son was struggling with reading. She already had the AAS curriculum so we began using it immediately. I have already seen an improvement in my son’s spelling tests at school!! I am hoping to to be able to start him on the AAR soon, but can’t start until we can save enough money for it. I can see how teaching AAS & AAR separately would benefit him. With such a wide range of spellings with only a few sounds, he is struggling with his current spelling list. (i.e. paid vs made) It is hard for him to keep them all straight. But if we had AAR he could read the words and move on without having to keep them separate in his mind.

Cherie

says:

I focus on reading. But, I also teach spelling. They are on Lev. 1 AAR. They want to do some writing. Kind. and 1st grade. I do not focus on spelling. I started AAS Lev. 1 and it is easy for them. They are moving along quickly. I wish I had started it earlier. I make the kids “pass” everything. Sounds, “lightning fast” word cards, Fluency sheet sections, stories in the books, and other simple reading books that compliment AAR. They have to not miss a word on a section, word, story, etc. to “pass”. It’s been slow for awhile, but recently it is going faster. They are so happy and excited when they pass. I use 4 different reading sets to get lots of reading practice at the level they are at. Bob books, etc. I just make sure they compliment where they are at in AAR. This gives variety without reading beyond their lev. I’ve found that the kids need to read a lot at each lev. before moving on. I am a grandparent homeschooling my grandkids. These kids are dyslexic, mine were not. Even more reason to not move too fast. Slow start, but, now they are both moving faster. Kindergartener got 20 words “lightning fast” one day. For KInd. I write the word on 1/2 notecard and staple them in a column and put that on the wall. They love to see how long their word list gets. !st grader this year had 70 words last year at the end of Kind. Real sight words (the, of, etc,) go on another list. It is very short.

Kathy

says:

Your “grandmotherly” commitment is commendable! Keep up the good work and do not hesitate to let us know if we can be of assistance to you!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Tristan

says:

Yes, we prefer to teach them separately! If I’m being honest, we skip teaching spelling until a child has been a fluent reader for a few years. They need a lot of print exposure first. Then we begin working on their trouble areas. We did use AAS for a while several years ago. It just became too much time teaching with 8 children age 12 and under. We love the AAR readers and wish we could afford the readers for level 3.

Kathy

says:

Hi Tristan,

Glad to hear you were able to give AAS a try! I hear from moms often who have a “quiver full” of little ones and my heart goes out to each one of you! I noticed this link on our Facebook page which discusses ways to involve the kids in the actual teaching process for AAS: https://www.facebook.com/allaboutlearningpress/posts/528399000568258. Maybe this will inspire you? Not sure what you’re currently teaching but just thought I’d throw it out there! Give us a call (715-477-1976) or email us (support@allaboutlearningpress.com) if we can ever be of assistance to you!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Sherri

says:

I don’t really know if it would be good to teach spelling and reading separately, but I would be willing to try it!

Julie Williamson

says:

I think the reason we have weak spellers is because we have weak readers. The more you read, the easier spelling is!

Martha

says:

Interesting. I certainly makes sense.

Tori

says:

My 5 year old Daughter would cry when I would ask her to Read to me. We started AAS 2 months ago and completed it today. I now find her reading words wherever we are on her own. Thank you AAS We love this program. I’m wondering where I should go from here AAS level 2 or try AAR level 1. What would you recommend?

Kathy

says:

Hi Tori,

You may want to look at the Placement Tests for AAR before committing to a level. If you would like more focus on decoding skills, reading fluency and comprehension , then the AAR program will benefit you. If you would like to continue what you’ve started with spelling skills, then you would want to continue to the next level of AAS. If you choose to do both, one program will reinforce the other and your daughter’s confidence will grow in both reading and spelling. Just be sure to schedule separate sessions (approximately 20 minutes for each) in your day, perhaps one in the morning and the other a little later on. Call us (715-477-1976) or email us (support@allaboutlearningpress.com) if you have questions! We’d love to help!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Jenny P.

says:

I like the idea of teaching the separately. The flow also works well as a preview/review method if you use both the AAS and AAR programs. My daughter strength was actually in Spelling over Reading. Focusing on her spelling and learning the rules to that process helped boost her confidence in reading as begun to further her progress in that area as well.

Meg

says:

I’d never thought of teaching them separately, but it makes sense to allow a child to progress as quickly or slowly as they need in each area.

Jen

says:

In reading we do okay. There is definitely room for improvement. We pulled our oldest two out of public school 4.5 years ago. I was very nervous about teaching my youngest to read & put it off until he was 7. His favorite thing to read is the Bible. Spelling is the area everyone could use help in. My middle child struggles with it and with confidence in spelling what he already knows. Today we are making them all do the same level of words as a review. We can’t wait to try your curriculum.

Kim

says:

This makes a lot of sense. I see it in my older three children. The first two read well but their spelling is atrocious (hope I spelled that right!). The next one is really struggling with reading, but has very neat writing and is concerned about proper spelling.

BreeAnna McManus

says:

Interesting… They are taught separately at the school my son goes to.

Sara

says:

I think that everything I’ve read points out the brain uses different parts of the brain for reading and spelling and it probably agree because the English language is so confusing that you use different rules to sound out a word read it but different rules to spell it. I like be able to have different levels in spelling from what we are reading.

Melissa

says:

This makes a lot of sense. Would love to try this curriculum with my son.

melisa

says:

When I started homeschooling I thought my kids would automatically learn to spell when they were learning to read, but soon discovered that was not the case. We implemented spelling and saw how that was necessary. I love the foundational understanding that AAS provides!

Karen

says:

I would love to win a gift certificate to help pay for our homeschool needs!

Yvette Townsend

says:

Maybe that is our problem. OK starting tomorrow we will teach them separately. Wish us luck!

Mrs Long

says:

Thanks for all of the helpfull information,

Teaching reading and spelling separately makes complete sense. We just started using AAS this year, and so far ut is going pretty well. :)

Anna

says:

I absolutely agree. I did not understand this when I first started homeschooling because spelling always came very easy for me in school. Now that I am teaching my own children, I realize the importance of a separate spelling lesson, apart from a reading lesson, so that they can develop their spelling skills as well as their reading skills. Great post!

Shelli

says:

Wow! What a difference this has made in the life of my youngest son. We worked through our previous spelling program since I owned it and it was sufficient for my three older children. We pushed through and although he was a great reader, he stuggled to spell. I LOVE the way All About Spelling teaches using tactile methods. We started at the beginning of the program when Peter was in the 4th grade. We flew through the first three books that year. Now he is finishing Level 6 and looking forward to Level 7! How about All About Grammar?? Thank you!

Sandi

says:

That was really good information to know. Thank you for making it so easy to understand why they should be taught separately.

FGVance

says:

My son reads very well but just cannot spell well. We decided to keep these separate for the very reasons you mentioned because we didn’t want him to fall behind in reading.

Daily Woman (Lacey)

says:

I already teach Reading and Spelling separate and I agree I think it is better that way.

Bethany Furness

says:

I’ve just started looking into both of the All About series, and what I’ve seen so far is great. I think it’s a good idea to teach reading and spelling separately and your explanation makes so much sense. I feel like my daughter is already teaching herself to read, and I don’t remember “learning” to read myself. But I know my spelling education could have been much better and All About Spelling will be a great tool for helping me teach my daughter.

Christy Ormston

says:

My family just purchased the spelling and reading program. We find that they are easy to use and fun too! We also really appreciate the affordability of both programs!

Marisa

says:

I have used another well known curriculum for my son who is dyslexic, we have changed to all about spelling and all about reading and we love it! It is very easy to use and I love the daily practice and review that they get in each lesson. My son has gone from exasperation to feeling very proud of himself and that is priceless. Thank you for this program.

Elizabeth

says:

I understand why my son has problems with spelling and that this is normal and that there is not a problem after watching your video. Thank you.
Elizabeth

Yassi

says:

I would have never thought the importance of separating reading and spelling. I did always belief they went hand in hand and would be taught together. But I also see that as we have moved away from traditional teaching we have lost the ability to spell as ours grandparents did. Being able to spell correctly is vital as an adult and I hope with this All About Spelling program I will be starting my children on the right path to successful adults.

Johnne Orelchikov

says:

Thank you for explaining this. Now I have a place to send those Moms who ask me this question. We love AAS!! The best thing that I have ever used with my dyslexic daughter.

Amy P

says:

Interesting! Never thought about the advantages of splitting spelling and reading in this way. Makes total sense though. Would love to try both curriculum’s for my 10 y/o son who struggles with reading and spelling and is going through vision therapy for difficulty with smooth eye tracking. This is the type of program that I think would benefit him.

Beth S

says:

Reading & spelling definitely work better when they’re taught separately. :)

Diana

says:

Loved, needed and appreciated the necessary differentiation made between spellin
and reading, in both instruction and learning. Absolutely love the difference I’ve seen in both my children and their abilities t understand, and get excited about having time using AAS everyday.

Amy E

says:

We are new at homeschooling as my daughter is just in Kindergarten. But I have a background teaching the young ones and I totally agree with everything you say. I think it would reduce much frustration at home to keep them separate. I actually haven’t started any kind of spelling work with my daughter. That will come much later. Thanks for this article!

Micia Rogers

says:

I agree that it works best to teach reading and spelling separately. I have been using the spelling books for my oldest daughter who already knows how to read well and we both love it. I want to try the reading curriculum for my youngest daughter and the $100 would be a blessing for us so we could start the reading with little one and purchase the last level of spelling for my oldest.

Mrs. Cordova

says:

Hi, I have enjoyed your spelling program and it had help my children, we are doing now level four, however I have a young son who is 7 and is dyslexic how your reading program will help him.

Love the way you put this! A friend asked me this question recently and I feel my answer was a little too full of teacher jargon. I’ll be sure to send her link to this!

I always wondered why you separated the two subjects. That makes a lot of sense though! We love your products so much! :-) I now also know why I am not a great speller ;-)

Bethany

says:

I love your spelling program! I look forward to using the reading program in the future!

Nicole

says:

I teach reading and spelling seperate because my son has loved and excells at reading but was not quite ready to sit down and focus on spelling until recently. We love your AAS program, just started Level 2. Thank you for this program!

mandy

says:

This reminds me of the book, “The Logic of English.” Makes sense to do it this way!

Tara

says:

Wow! I learned a lot just by reading this! I am currently teaching reading and spelling separate…and different texts for both children. I would LOVE to try All about spelling after reading this!

Amy

says:

Thanks for a great curriculum

Susan W.

says:

I was teaching reading and spelling together but about a week ago I decided to teach them separately. I had noticed my daughter having a hard time spelling words and since I have changed things up, she has improved. This is good information.

Leslie H.

says:

I made the mistake of trying to teach my daughter both last year. Unfortunately, reading was falling by the wayside and she didn’t make hardly any progress last year. This year, we are doing reading only (she’s only in 2nd grade) and will start the spelling again next year.

Thanks for affirming what I had unfortunately learned by experience!

danielle

says:

I believe in teaching reading and spelling separately. The English language is difficult, by breaking it down it becomes more manageable. Reading has been learned more easily in our house, so now we can focus specifically on spelling.

Alida Rodriguez

says:

This would be AMAZING in my homeschooling my 4 dyslexic kiddos, and two non.

Sharon

says:

I have always struggled with spelling. My favorite quote is, “Tis is a poor man who can only spell a word one way.” Of course throughout history, there were often many accepted spellings of a word.

Lindsay K

says:

Very interesting and definitely makes sense! :)

Maya

says:

Very interesting article and well defended position. It totally makes sense, and I admit I would have spelled two out of your 3 words (from the beginning test) incorrectly. :-) I love the logic and simplicity of your program. We are doing AAR with my preschooler now, but I can;t wait to get to the spelling curriculum as well.

Terri Moore

says:

I think it does need to be a separate subject. My ds is a good reader and great at figuring out the meaning of unknown words while engrossed in a story. The spelling however does not always stick. I have read great things about AAS and it sounds great even for older students.

samina

says:

I am doing AAR 1 with my son and feel that among other books/ programs out there, AAR is really a good fit for him.

Katy

says:

Very interesting perspective, we are researching your program now.

Judy

says:

Thank you! That was very helpful. I have a daughter that I am getting ready to start level 1 with and I was wondering about combining them. Now I know it is best not too. Thanks!!!!

Carrie

says:

Thank you for sharing this information! I am just starting homeschooling and bought both All About Reading and Spelling for my 1st and 3rd graders. I cannot wait to get started next week :) And I am excited to see my kids learning through your program!

Debbie F

says:

I totally agree with teaching them separately. My daughter has always had trouble with spelling but loves to read. She also loves to write. To not squash that love, I try not to over-mark her paper with the spelling corrections.

Melody

says:

I think it makes a lot of sense to teach reading and spelling separately.

Alyson Noto

says:

Thank you so much for this! When I decided to homeschool my children this year I planned on a buying a complete package, and that fell to the wayside. I have been so lost, it’s three months into the school year and I still find myself trying to find a real starting point, especially with reading.

Cristina

says:

Great article and awesome line of thought.
I never thought it that way!
English is not my first language, and AAS has been helping ME to help my children learn how to spell well.
Thanks!!!

This makes so much sense! I am starting to homeschool my children. One is a natural reader but is struggling with spelling, and the other is not really struggling with reading but she is not the natural reader that her brother is. I’ve been at a loss as to what to do with them, but I think I have the answer now! Thanks so much for all of your hard work! I can’t wait to check out your products. :)

Jessica A.

says:

Thanks for explaining and I do agree that reading and spelling should be taught separately. I never thought about it until I read your post and it makes so much sense. That’s how I’m going to teach my son I believe that it will make a difference.

Katie

says:

I am just starting this journey of homeschooling, and my oldest child is in first grade. He is learning how to read, but we haven’t touched on spelling yet. Your approach seems to make sense. I am interested to learn more about your products.

clara

says:

When I first started looking into your curriculum, I read this same thing on your website. I thought about it for a moment, then realized it made complete sense. Our first grader is much more comfortable with reading than spelling at this point. We’ll certainly be taking your advice by continuing with level 1 of reading, and once he’s mastered that, move him onto level 1 spelling. Thanks for the awesome advice! By the way, our son absolutely loves your curriculum…especially the little stars at the end! :)

Suzanne

says:

Wow! Great article! It really made sense! I am looking forward to using your program with my son.

Barb

says:

After reading your information on it, I think they definately should be taught seperately. Thanks for this information. I was going to buy next years curriculum that had them together!!

Liz

says:

I’m learning about your curriculum, as it comes highly recommended, and I’m interested in trying it.

Marie, I have been receiving your emails for quite some time; but today’s piqued my interest! I am an OT with a clinic that specializes in the assessment and remediation of children’s handwriting skills. My work is gratifying, to say the least; however, my students’ inability to spell is not. I strive for functional use of their handwriting skills, especially when it comes to cursive; but their spelling errors can often override their success with legibility. Sometimes I can’t comprehend their meaning in their sentences, and sometimes neither can they! I am most distressed with this and am looking into the link between handwriting struggles and spelling challenges. I am interested in your program and am considering giving it a try.

Lindsey

says:

Teaching reading and spelling as separate subjects makes sense. My older son learned to read quickly and I did not push spelling. Now I am having regrets about that decision. I am thinking of started AAS with him. I am using AAS with my 9 yo son and he is doing very well. I do hope it will help with his reading because he struggles with that.

Kathy

says:

I’m not sure if your “older son” is the 9 yo or if there is another, but you might find this article from our Blog of interest (http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/). I’ve just reviewed some comments above yours which testify that doing AAS has greatly helped with reading skills.

Let us know if we can be of help to you!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Melissa Shoop

says:

I think teaching reading and spelling separately is a great idea, and I know it would help my daughter!

Sonya Milu

says:

My son really enjoys you curriculum and it is such a joy watching him learn and build his confidence as we progress through the lessons! God bless you!

Dena

says:

I am loving AAR for my son. Awesome program!

Tricia Roush

says:

I found teaching spelling using your program improved my kids reading! They had a basic phonics foundation, but really, once they had the basics, your program kicked up their reading a couple of notches. (2 of my 3 are probably dyslexic, so your program has been a god-send!)

Marilu

says:

Thanks for the explanation. I am using All About Reading and All About Spelling with my kids and love it!

Christine Pogon

says:

I ABSOLUTELY believe teaching reading and spelling separately is a wise idea. We do it in our home school, too!

Odemaris

says:

I wonder if the writing program will be appropriate for adults with dyslexia?

Kathy

says:

Hi Odemaris,

Did you mean “reading program”? We do not currently have a writing program, though in All About Spelling there is an element of writing included in dictation exercises. There are adults using our spelling program (not counting those that confess how much they are learning by teaching their children!) with great success. This Orton-Gillingham approach is noted for its success in teaching people of all ages with dyslexia. You might find this article from our Spelling Resource Center helpful as we explain the key characteristics of our approach (http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/orton-gillingham-approach).

Let us know if we can be of assistance!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Odemaris

says:

I wish they teach my kids in school the same way like in this program.

Debbie

says:

We are loving your AAR 1 with my four yr old!!

Mary Beth

says:

Makes sense to me!

Shanna

says:

Awesome! My son will benefit greatly from this, he has struggled. I will look into the All About series soon will benefit gr

Hillary Hester

says:

Very well put! I highly recommend this way of teaching language. I use the All About Spelling program for my son. He is advanced in reading but slower in spelling, at least for now.

Catherine Hafer

says:

Thank you so much for your program!! I have two kids that were struggling readers and now are enjoying the reading program and my oldest is doing your spelling and we have seen a drastic improvement in her spelling! So thankful for the All About Learning programs!!

Karin Swanson

says:

I think it would be good to teach them separately because each child seems to pick up on reading and spelling at different rates. I need to focus on each one separately to make sure she has the tools she needs for both.

Melissa

says:

That makes perfect sense! Our oldest is a great reader and speller, but our kindergarten aged twins would really benefit from this.

Jaime

says:

We are using both the AAR and AAS programs. I can see a huge difference in the way my son learns each subject. These two programs have been a great help for him.

Steph T

says:

We were introduced to AAS through IEW, and so far I have really appreciated this program.

Karrie Richert

says:

I love that the two are separate, and can be taught at the student’s pace!

Andrea

says:

I love separating reading and spelling. It has really taken the stress off my daughter. In fact, since I started AAR with her, we have chosen to complete a level and then go through that level for AAS. Less subjects all at once, which means we can focus on the one were are doing more. So happy to have found All About Learning! Wonderful curriculums! Wonderful resources – like this article! Thanks!

Paula Sauder

says:

As a classroom teacher turned homeschooling mom, I can wholeheartedly agree with the need to teach spelling and reading separately. It is true that spelling takes more time to master than reading. The great thing is that while I am teaching spelling, my boys are learning spelling rules that in turn help to make them better readers. My kids love using the All About Spelling program and so do I. I highly recommend All About Spelling and All About Reading!

Laura K

says:

Good information for us newbies just starting our homeschooling experience. Looking forward to using this curriculum soon.

Christine Mayfield

says:

Yes I think it would be better for our children. Right now we are teaching reading and spelling together but this does make a lot more sense. To separate the two, teach reading first and then spelling. I will have to try this on our younger 3 children when it is time for them to start school.

Rosie

says:

I enjoy teaching spelling and reading separately. Spelling is so much fun when you spend time teaching the spelling rules and give children the tricks of the trade for spelling.

Cassie

says:

We love this program and will continue to use it.

Lori Duncan

says:

I agree totally, great info presented here.

Ruwaydah

says:

Thanks for the article. By trial and error I realized that just because my boys could read, it didn’t mean that they would know how to spell. I ordered All About Spelling and I’m looking forward to seeing my boys becoming great spellers. I was/am so thrilled that you ship to South Africa! Thank you for that!!

D Kim

says:

This idea of separating spelling and reading is really something to think about. We are doing All About Spelling now and I like the way it smoothly progresses and celebrates achievements of even the slowest reader. I’ll have to look into the All About Reading more. If it has the user friendly style of the Spelling program I just may have to get it.

Amy D

says:

I agree that a child’s reading level is very different from their spelling ability – We study both separately around here too!

Sylvia

says:

Thoroughly agree with you about teaching reading & spelling separately. I live in India and ordering a great curriculum like this is out of the question. If you could have an option to offer it without the physical components, it would be great.

Lynn

says:

It totally makes sense that reading and spelling should be taught separately by the way your article explained it. I would love to try using your products on my kids.

Kristen

says:

This does make sense. We have used a curriculum in the past that taught reading and spelling together and I can see how it slowed down reading progress.

Billie Jean

says:

Wow, great point! Definitely taking this approach!

Melanie

says:

Great post! I agree!

Kim

says:

We’ve almost finished AAR Level 1… a couple more lessons and we’ll be ready to start AAS Level 1. Thank you so much for writing this curriculum! We love them both!

katie

says:

I can see where teaching them separately and together at times will help the child. I also think it depends on the child.

Lyndsay

says:

I am loving this program and am hoping to incorporate it next year!

Shelly

says:

I really enjoyed reading your post and was following all your reasons why it is best to teach spelling and reading at the same time! currently my twin daughters are in 1st grade and we are 3/4 done with AAR 1. We are looking forward to starting AAR 2, and I was wondering if we should be doing AAS 1? I would love to try doing AAR and AAS together, thanks!!!

Kathy

says:

Hi Shelly,
I hope the blog was clear enough in presenting reasons NOT to teach reading and spelling together (your comment mentions “why it is best to teach spelling and reading at the same time”). Yet, your question raises a good point … while letting your twins progress confidently in reading as you begin AAR L2, you may at any time also begin to introduce them to spelling concepts beginning with AAS L1! So you can teach the two subjects concurrently in your day, but technically NOT at the same time. Scheduling separate teaching times for each subject will continue to provide the benefits mentioned in our blog!

Hope this helps!

Shelly

says:

Handwriting is a struggle for my son. He is an excellent reader, but we waited until second grade to work on spelling because correct letter formation just took extra practice. I’m glad we could teach the two separately.

Kathy

says:

Absolutely great point, Shelly!

For the benefit of students who aren’t yet ready for writing, our All About Reading program does not require any handwriting! This gives you freedom to allow your eager reader the benefit of solid reading instruction without having to be held back or slowed down to wait for writing skills. We’re glad this worked out to your son’s advantage!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Chris

says:

We’ve always taught them separately. I agree they should not be combined.

Marsha Wells

says:

We love “All About Spelling”! I teach reading and spelling separately, but I never thought about why. Your explanation makes a lot of sense.

Margarita Rivera

says:

You make very good points to do them separately! It makes a lot of sense to do it that way. I love this program. Thank you for making this for all of us.

Tia B.

says:

This is our first year with AAR. I love it and my daughter is doing really well with it. It makes sense the way they explain keeping AAR and AAS separate.

Marilois

says:

Makes so much sense! Thank you for giving me a new perspective!

melissa

says:

I can’t wait to try this program!

Krista

says:

Our 7 yr old was having such a difficult time learning to read that we decided to try All About Spelling this year and see if that would help his reading. It has and it is slowly removing his fear of reading. We love it! Thank you so much!

Tabitha

says:

We use both of your programs and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. With 3 children in our family we go through both your curriculum a lot… we would love to get a gift certificate!

Julie S.

says:

I appreciate this post; it makes so much sense. We use AAR and AAS, so we are teaching separately.

lin

says:

my son has already learned the reading, but struggled with the spelling. I am very excited that I may be given the opportunity to do both, TOGETHER!

Michelle

says:

I taught them separately to my oldest and am ready to start AAS with him!

Esther

says:

We tried a couple of other spelling programs before we found AAS and neither worked well (and one of them gets rave reviews!) for us. My son and I both LOVE AAS — it totally makes sense to me and it’s really nice to have something that is laid out so that I can open it up and go — no prep required! I wish AAR had been around when I started out teaching reading.

lauren martin

says:

We began teaching them separately this year and I can tell a big difference. He catching on to the process of spelling a lot easier. We use AAR and AAS. Thanks for two great curriculums.

LW

says:

We are using AAR Level 1 and don’t plan to begin AAS until next year. I am so glad that your program’s design doesn’t jump in to spelling too quickly. It allows children to read well enough to understand that spelling has a purpose. Painless, perfect and twaddle-free. Thank you!

Kimberly

says:

It makes sense to teach them separately. I just ordered and can’t wait to get started!

Carrie Pulzone

says:

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on AAAR but finances just won’t allow right now :(

Julie

says:

We’re currently teaching reading and spelling separately and it’s working out wonderfully!

Victoria

says:

I really would like to get this curriculum. I have 2 boys that I think are ready to read.

DB

says:

Thank you. Looking forward to the chance to win!

Renata

says:

I totally agree that reading and spelling should be taught separately. It makes sense that children will (usually) pick up reading first. The bonus of that is that the more they read, the more it helps in their spelling!
Very interesting post -thanks!
Blessings
Renata:)

Trina

says:

Thanks for explaining this in a way that is easy to understand! I’m very excited to start your programs with my kids. I can’t wait to see how it helps my dyslexic son, especially with his spelling.

Tara S.

says:

I have been teaching reading and spelling separately, without formally thinking about why I was doing it. Thank you for your explanation. It has been working very well for us!

Shannon F.

says:

Thank you. We are just beginning with AAR and look forward to starting AAS after we finish level 1.

Erin Smart

says:

I do teach reading and spelling separately, or at least with my first grader we move on with our reading and don’t worry about going a separate pace with spelling. I really agree with this post.

Carrie

says:

We are using AAS and AAR and it has been great to see my kids move forward at their own pace in each subject.

Dorothy

says:

food for thought. Makes sense

Melissa

says:

Yes, I think it would make a difference for my kids. At the moment, I’m teaching only my oldest, but her younger brother is not far behind her. My daughter is excelling in reading, and at almost six is already reading at a solid second grade level. But she can’t spell much of anything. We just started AAS several weeks ago. It has been slow going, but I am glad we can move at her pace with spelling as well as continue to challenge her with her reading skills. My son is speech delayed, and I think it will be even more important for him to go at his pace as we begin teaching him to read and spell.

Jamie

says:

We are just beginning our homeschool adventure, but I can see how his reading skills are already far ahead of the level of comprehension needed to start spelling. I hope we can try out both AAR and AAS!

Barbara

says:

You make a decidedly sound argument for teaching the subjects separately. I agree! Thank you! for having a giveaway!

Christine

says:

I can not wait to begin using AAR and AAS with my children.

Angela

says:

I definitely think it would make a difference. My son’s aren’t that great at spelling and I’m hoping to change that. I also think it could help my daughters when they start.

Kara

says:

I hadn’t really thought about teaching them together or separate because we’re just getting started. This gives me some interesting things to think about.

Julie Knopp

says:

I agree. I had never thought about it before I started teaching my son. He is a great reader but that doesn’t always translate into being able to spell those words. Fascinating stuff…

Alexandra David

says:

Spelling is not as easy as reading. If you can ‘t understand a word, you can understand it often in context. That’s why it should be taught separately.

Marcie Po

says:

I agree with what you are saying. In my own life, I really struggled with spelling as a child, because of all of the different options of letters used to form a particular sound. I think its a great Idea to perfect the reading first and then move onto spelling. Im excited to use this approach with my children!

Audrea Fuller

says:

I now completely agree! Which is why even though I’ve homeschooled for 10 years, I’ve switched to using the All About Reading/Spelling program to fill in my older students’ gaps and pave a smooth road for my younger students (the first time!).

Jennifer

says:

Good explanation.
We’ve always done reading separately.
What actually slowed my children down at first in AAS was the writing. Level 1 was slow-going for us, but Level 2 has been much smoother.

Jennifer Holmes

says:

My daughter is a great reader (partly due to AAR) but spelling is a disaster. She is just finishing up level 1 (which filled some good holes for her) so now we are going to start AAS. I GUESS she can do AAR 2 and AAS 1 at the same time meaning separately but do both curriculum alongside each other. To get $100 toward these would be great of course!

britt

says:

I agree and love your method. I´m so thankful that I can use it with my kids.

April L Norman

says:

Thank you for posting this. It helps a newbie like me so much!

Sarah

says:

This explanation for teaching these subjects separately makes a lot of sense! With a strong reader, and struggling speller, I’m hopeful to try the spelling program to see if it helps. This confirms that all good spellers are good readers, BUT, not all good readers are good spellers. Spelling will be forsaken no longer in our home education!

naomi

says:

I like that my child can advance in reading even if spelling is taking a while longer.

Ayesha

says:

Yes and no.. I generally take words from what they are reading in a story (words they miss or cannot read well) and turn them into spelling words for the week.

karen

says:

I’m so thankful to have found this program! I have a child who is a natural speller. My other child, who is not a natural speller, is a great reader, but definitely needs a hands on curriculum for spelling. All About Spelling is just what I was looking for!

Marjorie Anderson

says:

I tried doing the AAS and AAR together but I stopped, it just didn’t work for my son or for me. I love the programs and I love the hints you get during the book (ie: let your child finish what they are doing before you correct/ give feedback, it makes a big difference) they seem to come when you start to slip into bad habits.

Rachel

says:

Great explanation. I have also learned that not all strong readers are strong spellers. A lot of time it is assumed they go hand in hand.

Caris Maloney

says:

I really like the way you explained the reason to separate them. I kind of taught my 18yo to read first. Then she learned spelling in school. I’ll be home schooling my 3yo.Can’t wait to be using your program when she is ready.

Michelle

says:

250 ways to spell 45 sounds!? I would be confused too.
I am definitely going to consider getting a set of the AAS and AAR to help my girl who is beginning her journey in learning to read and write

Joani Walton

says:

I never thought about this before, but my daughter has the problem of spelling all of her words phonetically and all wrong, so I’d like to give it a try.

Rebekah Van Der Hengst

says:

I agree. I have a daughter who was recently diagnosed as dyslexic. Believe it or not, her reading is almost grade level. But her spelling is several grades below level. The treatment program we are using uses a format that would work very nicely with All About Spelling!!

Carrie J

says:

Your article makes so much sense! Thank you!

fenna

says:

I can see the benefit of teaching them separately. I think the English language needs an overhaul in how they spell things!

Edith

says:

I recently switched from a different Orton-Gillingham system that combined the spelling and reading and we were struggling with exactly the problem you warn about….my son’s reading progress was being inhibited by his slower spelling and writing. He was very frustrated with spelling tasks that were too hard and not enough forward movement on the reading. Now that the two are separate he is facing much less frustration because he does not realize his spelling is behind his reading. He’s just enjoying putting the progress stickers on his charts and the sense of accomplishment that goes with that is steadily building his confidence. This post also clears up the concern I had about his spelling progress. Since we are progressing steadily I will not worry that it is behind the reading. Thank you for another gold nugget to get us through these challenges!

Barbie

says:

Understanding this distinction has transformed the way I teach my children, and alleviated stress for all if us.

Teaching reading and spelling separately is working nicely for my struggling learner who requested spelling (though we’re not happy with our current program). I appreciate the explanation; it gives me reason to begin spelling with my other children, who I guess I expected to pick it up by osmosis.

That makes so much sense. Thanks for the explanation. I definitely see how it works in our homeschool. My daughter loves reading and is not liking spelling now because it is harder. So it is nice to teach them separate with your program.

Shari Ringering

says:

If I taught reading and spelling together I dont think my daughter would be reading at all. At 12 and being dyslexic there are somethings about spelling that she is just now starting to get. I had actually never thought about putting them together and after reading this Im glad I kept it all separate.
Thank you so much Marie for your reading and spelling program and all the info you have on dyslexia.

Amber Davis

says:

Looking into all this for next year!

melanie

says:

I wish I never sold AAS… I had a natural speller and it seemed as though we didn’t really need it.. .but now my younger kids would do so well learning with AAR and AAS at the same time.!!

Jenny

says:

Reading this article confirmed what I’ve been thinking this year in teaching my 2nd grader. Reading is much, much easier than spelling. Thanks for your great article!

Tabitha Wren

says:

I completely agree with teaching them separately. My 4th grader is reading on a 6th or 7th grade level, but he is not a natural speller by any means. He is doing much better thanks to All About Spelling, but “simple” words can be difficult for him. I would hate to have to hold him back in reading because of his spelling.

Joyce V

says:

I think you are right on with the idea that they are 2 separate ideas. My eldest is a great reader but struggles with spelling and if I would have forced him to spell alongside his reading, he would hate both right now.

Thank you for your hard work on your program. Everything I’ve seen and heard about it is what I want to do with my kids. I look forward to using your program soon! ;)

Crystal

says:

Great article. We haven’t officially begun homeschooling yet since our daughter is 3 1/2 but I love reading up and doing tons of research before we begin. This article helped a lot thanks!

Shay

says:

Thank you so much for all this wonderful information and awesome product! We live in South Africa and cant wait to purchase it!

Kelley

says:

Thanks for the info, looks like I may need to delve deeper into this in our own home school.

Julia Herro

says:

You are absolutely correct! This is exactly what we do. Thank you for your work!

Karen

says:

We currently use All About Spelling and, “YES” I do believe that they should be taught separately…..for many of the reasons listed in your explaination.

elizabeth

says:

Reading and spelling go hand in hand, From my own kids they picked up reading faster when we did the two together.

Marcia

says:

Our previous program taught spelling with the reading, plus it was just a cumbersome program in general. Both skills were suffering because of it, that’s how we found AAR and AAS. Already in a very short time of using AAR, we’re seeing progress! I’m excited and eager to continue, and our son has fun :-)

Yuna

says:

This makes so much sense! I didn’t realize how tricky spelling could be for someone just learning to write! We are in the middle of AAR level 2 after finishing level 1. Thank you for such a great curriculum!

Rachel

says:

I completely agree they should be taught separately. My daughter Loves to read and in her own tries to spell/sound out words but does become discouraged easily when she doesn’t get something right. I can see her getting frustrated and sad with spelling leSsons and it carrying over to her reading if they were combined. Plus she does not know the rules of words very well yet since she is a beginner reader and so that too can affect her spealling and then confidence in reading. My son ids a different story. He Barely had any confidence in reading, has only just made a little break through but if he was taught spelling at the same time as reading he would get stuck on the Spelling of a word and not focus on how to read it. By the way they are 6 year old twins. I teach them together but work on their individual weaknesses one in one. Thank you for the video and how you explained your reasoning. Helps make it easier to explain to others.

Samantha Nave

says:

This makes so much sense! I can’t wait to introduce spelling to my son in January! Thank you so much for all that you have put into these programs!

Rochele

says:

I totally agree that teaching reading and spelling separately would make a difference for my son. What age do you typically start each program?

Merry

says:

Hi Rochele,

There isn’t one “right” age. For reading, students can start in the pre-reading program in preschool or kindergarten, and then progress through the levels. For children already reading, or who need remedial reading help, here is a link to all of our placement tests for AAR: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-placement/

The spelling program can be started any time after completing AAR 1 (or the equivalent, for students who are already reading).

Deanna K Bren

says:

I totally agree. However, I do have to say, that by teaching All About Spelling to my beginning reader, he has made huge strides in his rading comprehension! Unlike my three older kids, he understands why words look different than they sound. For example he knows the third sound of “a” in words like “what” and “was” and why there is an e at the end of “give” and “have” but the vowels say their short sounds. I love this program and recommend it to every homeschool parent I talk with!

Amy

says:

Great explanation. We love AAR. And will start AAS next year.

Michelle Freeeland

says:

Thank you for this post. We have been using AAS and it has helped my kids immensely. This article was helpful in helping me see why even though they can read chapter books, they can still struggle so much with spelling.

Lorna Wilson

says:

I chose to teach reading and spelling separately in our homeschool – I started together but she needs to focus on reading first, build confidence and then try and spell

Jaimi

says:

What a great idea. reading and spelling require two different skill sets so teaching them separately makes sense.

Jarica

says:

We currently use both of your programs and are on the same level of both. I agree with your statements, but we are usually learning the same concepts. We sometimes go ahead in reading, but often catch up in spelling.

J

says:

I just received AAR 2 in the mail and can’t wait to start!

Nikki W

says:

Teaching reading and spelling separately has helped tremendously with my daughter, who struggles at both reading and spelling. She has been able to learn tricks from spelling to decode words while reading, and has been able to apply the spelling rules of syllables to spell words. I don’t think she would have ever learend those tricks had everything been taught all together.

Karolyn

says:

We love your spelling program! Thank you for explaining why reading and spelling should be taught separately.

Jeni G

says:

My daughter definitely needs spelling and reading taught separately. She is reading quite well now, but her spelling is awful! I even asked her recently why she can read certain words without a problem, but she can’t remember how to spell them correctly! We have completed AAS1 and are ready to move on to AAS2. I’d love to win this giveaway in order to purchase the next level or two! Thanks for offering it.

Cyndy

says:

I agree that it’s best to teach them separately. My kids would have been so frustrated being held back with their reading so they could progress with their spelling concurrently.

MaryEllen

says:

I don’t teach reading and spelling together, but only because I’m following a curriculum and that’s how it is set up. Now I know why – great post!

Terra

says:

Thank you for this! I was JUST introduced to AAR and AAS yesterday (we’re just embarking on our homeschool journey) and fell in LOVE with the concept and materials! This would be so beneficial to us as we begin to dive into home-learning with our boys!

Deborah

says:

I’ve always assumed that reading and spelling should be taught separately–they’re two different, though related, skills! Reading is all about recognition; spelling is all about recall. Ask anyone who’s having trouble remembering something–recognition is much easier than recall!

Cathy Woods

says:

Great video! I would love to try teaching my son reading and spelling separately! Makes so much sense! :)

Kerri

says:

Learning to read with dyslexia is a task all it’s own. Trying to learn correct spelling along with that is nearly impossible for my daughter. Thank you for your insight and your continued support!

Michelle

says:

Yes I will agree that teaching reading and spelling separate works well. When children learn to spell it improves their reading ability.

Sara

says:

Yes I believe that teaching it separately would make a difference.

Michelle

says:

Hmmmmm. Interesting. I have always taught spelling and reading separately, simply because I see them as distinctly different subjects…I guess partially for the reasons you outlined, but I never really thought about it before. To me, reading not only includes decoding the words for meaning, but also things like comprehension, literature appreciation, and other literacy skills. I affiliate spelling much more with writing…being able to communicate with others by having a system to write your ideas down. Both reading and spelling are just two pieces of a larger puzzle called “Language Arts” in my mind. There is also grammar/usage, mechanics of writing, etc. and I teach each of those things separately…not that there isn’t a time to also bring them all together and practice putting those micro lessons into something “real”. I hope that makes sense.

I do see the benefit to learning separately. Do you find that people are overlapping the two though?

Merry

says:

Many programs integrate two or more language arts skills, or provide “all-in-one” types of programs–and that kind of program does have a certain appeal. People often want to know why we don’t line up our programs, or why we would choose to separate reading and spelling–it’s one of our most commonly asked questions.

Karis

says:

I completely agree with the reasoning behind teaching reading and spelling separately! I will teach the two separately to my kids as well.

Carissa

says:

I would love to win.
All About Resding has been wonderful for my family!

Sally Wolf

says:

Yes, we have separate lessons for reading and spelling in our home school because they are so differently learned.

Sonja Z

says:

This is a great explanation! I’ve encountered this problem when learning a second language. It’s much easier for me to read it than it is to spell it, especially because it uses a totally different alphabet. Now I know why AAL has separate curriculums for reading and spelling.

Carrie Gowan

says:

Our son, 6 years old, has been using All About Reading and All About Spelling for kindergarten and 1st grade, and has blown us away with his ability to learn so easily. I was worried when we decided to homeschool that reading might be a struggling subject for him since it is for so many other kids in school. He loves both the reading and spelling program, and has excelled in both. I am so proud to hear him reading right along so well, it is music to my ears! Thanks so much for your wonderful programs!

Allison

says:

Love your curriculum! I also love reading the newsletters! Thanks

CHANCHAL MUKHERJEE

says:

I like the video. I want to know more about dealing with DYSLEXIA (CHILD SUFFER WITH).Like, how to behave with them ? how should I proceed with them in the learning process? etc.I feel that you will definitely help me as we both are in the same profession which i hope will aware off.So your advice to me from time to time will definitely help me to improve my teaching (beside i am a teacher of PHYSICS for GRADUATE LEVEL).
thanks & regards

Merry

says:

Hi Chanchal,

An article that I found very helpful in teaching my kids is: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/working-memory-funnel-concept/ It reminded me to break subjects down into doable parts, to not move forward too quickly, but to work for mastery along the way. It reminded me not to expect too much, to plan on doing lots of review (rather than getting frustrated by it!), and helped me enjoy the process with my kids. Another key–short daily lessons are going to accomplish better long-term retention than longer but fewer sessions.

All About Spelling and All About Reading have taught me a lot about teaching kids with learning disabilities like dyslexia as well!

Both our reading and spelling programs are explicit and tell students exactly what they need to know in order to spell or read. We don’t make them guess. The lessons are laid out in an orderly form for the teacher too, so that each day you can simply open and go. The programs are easy to do at home without prior training.

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

-The programs are incremental and mastery based. Our sequence was very carefully tested to reduce confusion for the child. A student will master one concept at a time before adding in others.

– AAR and AAS are multisensory. They approach 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.

– They use specially color-coded letter tiles. Working with the letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

– AAS and AAR are scripted, so you can concentrate on your child. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage. Marie also spent a lot of time researching how to word the rules. Our rules are worded so they are as easy for children to remember as possible.

– Both have built-in review in every lesson. Children with learning disabilities 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. With AAR and AAS, your child will have a 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. One of the things that Marie noticed when she was researching reading programs is that few programs have enough review built in for kids who struggle to gain fluency, which is why AAR includes lots of reading practice.

– AAR and AAS are logical and incremental. They provide the structure, organization and clear guidance that kids who struggle need in order to learn.

-AAS includes dictation that starts out very short–Level 1 starts out with just words and then progresses to 2-word phrases. Level 2 includes phrases and shorter sentences, while Level 3 moves up to slightly longer sentences. 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. You can always break things down more to meet your child’s needs, too. The dictation is meant to be spread over several days, so you can take as much or as little time on that part as your child needs.

I hope this helps!

Leslie/NoUglyOneYet

says:

This makes a lot of sense – thank you!

stephanie

says:

I’ve been teaching them together! Now I’ll back off on the spelling and focus on the reading only. Thank you!!

Kristie

says:

We love All About Spelling! It has been a huge blessing in our homeschool. I would love to try out the All About Reading program.

Hannah Gardzina

says:

I am still figuring out if I want to do spelling separately but this post gave me some stuff to chew on.

Trisha Ratliff

says:

Wow! I knew the English language was so screwy to teach already, but even just reading this post complete illuminated that even more so ! I am loving what I see so far with your program.

sara s

says:

I think teaching them separately will make a difference!

I do teach them separately and still get excuses for not wanting to try to improve. I know empathy and compassion work, but how to quickly get past these programmed ‘reasons’ for failure is elusive. I guess there is no instant fix, just hard work and patience. Our society has been socially engineered over a long period to accept a diagnosis and use it to avoid working to full capacity.

Hi,
I have just one kweshchun 4 U. I have several students who tell me they are ADHD, ADD, dyslexic or that they have a doctor’s letter telling why they won’t be able to write legibly. How would you go about getting them to work on improving rather than relying on these as excuses not to try?

Blessings,
Walt

Merry

says:

I would try inspiring them with stories of famous people who didn’t give up just because of their struggles. Consider Thomas Edison! If you google famous people with dyslexia, you’ll find all kinds of wonderful names–Leonardo Da Vinci, Frank Lloyd Write, famous actors and actresses…

Can you devote any time in school to handwriting practice–even 5 minutes? Have your students circle or put a star above the letter or word they think they wrote the most neatly. Note on their papers when they write something neatly (or at least more legible than normal! Or even showing the slightest sign of improvement)–show them success and encourage them to pursue it.

I had a writing instructor in college who only used green ink. He would write a “plus” next to any line that inspired him. He would underline words, phrases, or sentences he liked. Sometimes a line got two plusses or a comment. I never worked half that hard to avoid getting red ink on a paper as I worked to get GREEN ink on those papers!

I used that model and praised my kids when they spelled a word correctly, when they wrote something neatly, when they said something in a unique way–anything I could find.

Marie has a wonderful article on Tips for Emphasizing the Positive: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/tips-for-emphasizing-the-positive/. Try it with your students!

KMarie

says:

Loved your explanation of why we should teach the two subjects separately.

Stephanie

says:

It has made a difference in my daughter. Spelling is a struggle for her. Not giving spelling the time she needs to learn it would quickly lead to her resenting spelling, which would cause her to give up, So, thank you for AAS!

Alabamafrizzle

says:

I have always taught reading and spelling separately simply because my daughter advanced in reading so quickly. To have made her stop and learn to spell all those words she was reading would have been frustrating for her, slowed her down, and probably would have discouraged her love of reading. I had never considered the reasoning behind teaching these separately (very clearly shared in Marie’s article). I give praise to God for leading me on the right path!

Cherie

says:

This is helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

Alabamafrizzle

says:

I have taught reading and spelling separately just because my child advanced in reading so much more quickly. If I had tried to focus on spelling all those words she was reading, it would have slowed her down, probably been frustrating, and likely would have adversely affected her desire to read. I had never considered the reasons (very clearly presented here) re: why teaching these subjects separately is a good idea. I give praise to God for guiding my steps aright!

Alison

says:

It makes a lot of sense and I have seen the effectiveness of both programs.

Krista king

says:

We are recent AAR and AAS converts and we LOVE these programs!

jami c

says:

We have always taught them separately. Makes sense to me!

Jenn

says:

So far we’ve just focused on reading with our son. He’s able to spell simple words, but I do see the struggle with the many different ways to spell the same sound. Great info!

Shannon

says:

It would definitely make a difference for my children, my 9 year old ADHD child is an excellent reader but struggles terribly with spelling, I just purchased the AAS for him and his 3 younger siblings and am looking at the AAR program for them as well.

Danielle

says:

Thank you for all the hard work in putting together these great programs! We just starting AAS this year and would definitely love to add AAR in the years to come!

Anna Daniel

says:

It never hit me to separate the subjects! What a “light bulb” moment! I have totally noticed how my son can read far better than he can spell. This will be great! Thank you Marie!

Hi Marie, thank you for that explanation, it seems logical put that way!

I wanted to introduce myself to you for two reasons. Firstly, I am a Barton tutor and a Reading & Dyslexia Specialist who came across your program and I have a LOT of children at school who can read well but who struggle with spelling. I have started recommending your Spelling program to parents who can do this at home themselves, and I hope at least some have contacted you or bought your program. In fact, I would love more details about your Spelling program so I can talk about it with more in-depth knowledge. At this point all I know is that it is separate from the Reading program you offer…

And secondly, as I tutored children with dyslexia who struggled with sight words in particular, I realized many were visual learners who needed a picture so, like you, I created my own products in an attempt to help children all over. I would love for you to look at my cards and spread the word if you like them. We tutors need to stick together! :)

Thanks – it’s always a pleasure to meet someone else who’s paved their own way with a great idea!
Roma

Kimberly

says:

Now that makes sense. I am learning along with my 4th grader.

Nancy

says:

My son is proof that reading and spelling work best when separated. We started using your program this year and it is helping so much already. Thanks for all your hard work at putting this program together!

Ann

says:

Love, love, love this program. We use AAS-1, AAS-2, AAS-3 and just ordered AAR-1 for my youngest. As a former classroom teacher I truly feel this is the best spelling program out there!!!

Andrea

says:

This was informative, Thank you.

DebraBell

says:

I believe the program will help my 11yo son and plan to start using it soon.

Rachel Ramos

says:

I had never really put to much thought into it because we teach reading and spelling separately anyway, but the article made sense about why it should be done that way. This is out first year using your programs, so far we have only used AAS and love it!

Jill D

says:

I think they need to be taught separately. Spelling and reading are both valuable skills. I have taught my older sons with other materials and had success with spelling once reading was solid and progressing.

Amy

says:

Really made me think about why my advanced reader isn’t a strong speller–thanks!

Marci

says:

Very good explanation. I did have one kid learn to read using your spelling program at age 5. I didn’t know I wasn’t suppose to teach it after he learned to read. You didn’t even have a reading program at the time.

Paige

says:

I love love love AAS and AAR. Now could you write something for grammar PLEASE? After 9 year of homeschooling I STILL can not find a grammar that makes me giddy like AAS and AAR do.

Loving AAS and AAR both here at our house. keep up the good work and please consider writing a grammar curriculum in the near future :-)

Merry

says:

Marie is considering it! There’s a discussion on our forum about “A Grammar Program Wish List:” http://community.allaboutlearningpress.com/showthread.php/263-A-Grammar-Program-Wish-List Feel free to add your comments! Merry :-)

Julie Smith

says:

I have never thought about teaching these subjects separately. All About Reading has been such a blessing to my 3rd grader. Reading and spelling were two of her least favorite subjects. It is a tremendous relief to her that we are only focusing on her reading right now and will add spelling as her reading progresses. Thank you so much for helping to make our school day so much more enjoyable and fulfilling!

Cherilu DuVal

says:

I think this curriculum could be helpful with its separation of reading and spelling.

Patricia

says:

My son is almost done with AAR Level 1. When he gets to lesson 45 where he learns all the different sounds of the vowels then I plan to start AAS. I plan to go through each book independently like suggested. Thanks!

CHRISTINA CONNER

says:

I agree. My 6 year old daughter can read at a 4th grade level, but is no where near that for spelling! So teaching reading and spelling separately is definitely a must.

Monica

says:

Absolutely! Reading came easily for my boys, but spelling is still a challenge. We’ll be starting the program soon!

Heidi

says:

I love both your reading and spelling programs. It has helped my phonemic speller to learn how to spell words correctly and my new reader learn to read! I would love to have the next level of each of these programs.

Megan

says:

I can see my little one putting sounds together to be able to read certain words but remembering the spelling of a word comes at a very different time.

Teena

says:

We started using AAS this fall and really love it! Thank you!

Erin

says:

We are first year homeschoolers, as my daughter is “in” kindergarten. I had not thought about teaching spelling yet, but I think you make very valid points. I think your approach is excellent. I am glad I found your programs.

Monica

says:

That does make sense. I never really thought of the things mentioned in the video. We currently using AAS and have using one AAR reader along with it. It would be great to be able to use All About Reading also.

Megan H.

says:

I think teaching reading and spelling separately is important. My son is only 3, but I’m hoping to teach him a love of reading, not spelling :) Looking forward to exploring your site!

Danielle May

says:

After struggling with both reading and spelling while in public school and not using AAR/AAS, complete with the possibility of being held back, our daughter is now THRIVING!! She is above grade level in both reading and spelling and I have seen such a boost in her confidence as a reader and speller. She is now a reading fanatic!

Christy

says:

We teach reading and spelling separately at our house!

sheryl

says:

Too true my daughter who loves to read and reads quite well is not much of a speller but she is getting better

Jamie Carter

says:

I teach reading and spelling separately too. My kids have learned to read by themselves after simple introductory lessons (so they are basically self taught). They have needed more work to learn to spell, especially past the basic 3 and 4 letter words. We enjoy using the AAS curriculum to help them learn to spell, and I am learning phonics with them.

Adrien S.

says:

Loving all about reading level 1 this year and excited to add spelling to the mix next year!

Chris

says:

We really enjoy your curriculum. I think teaching spelling and reading separately is a great idea!

T. Wilson

says:

This was very informative. I agree that it is better to teach reading and spelling separately because it is much easier to read a word than to spell it.

Hanna

says:

Wow, never thought of that. Thankyou for this inspiration. I”ll do this when my kids are learning to read… uh… spell… :D

Christi

says:

I do feel reading and spelling can be taught separately. My daughter has been a wonderful reader since kindergarten. She picked up reading quickly and has never had issue with reading. Spelling has been quite a different story. She dislikes spelling very much. It is the one subject that has not come easy for her. My failure to expect mastery of the many spelling conventions and rules has crippled her efforts in spelling. Brief mentions of the spelling rules and “memorization” of a weekly spelling list as found in most spelling curriculums has been a painful process for us both! After reading over your All About Spelling program, I am sure that this is the correct way to teach spelling. My frustrations as a former public school teacher, a homeschool mom, and as an adult remembering her own elementary years with painful nights of memorizing “the list” have caused me to search for a better approach to teach spelling. I am in the middle of my child’s third grade year and arguing with myself as to whether I should just switch cold turkey. I guess our lack of progress and the fact that every curriculum we have used so far has been torturous should hurl me toward A mid year change.

valerie

says:

That makes sense. We suffered through spellin some in 2nd grade before we dropped it. I am starting with my 4 1/2 year old and wonderinrg how to advance. I’ll look into this.:)

Karla

says:

Interesting. Great perspective- things I never thought of.

Jamie

says:

I love your program and how reading and spelling goes hand in hand. My son has just finished level 1 in reading and is about half way through level 1 in spelling. I would suggest using both the reading and spelling program for anyone that has a struggling student because the programs reinforce each other so beautifully.

Kristin

says:

I agree they should be separated. I love your materials.

Tami

says:

Thanks for this article. It helped me to understand why teaching reading and spelling separately can be beneficial for a child!

Nikki

says:

Thank you. I would love to try these curriculums!

Rhoda

says:

It makes sense to teach reading and spelling as two separate subjects. My 7 year old son is enjoying this program.

This will be our first year of homeschool! This would be a huge blessing to us!

Kristy Buck

says:

I am so glad I found your curriculum. The whole family is enjoying it!!

Melissa Wagner

says:

All about Spelling has literally changed my homeschooling world. After having my son, who has severe dyslexia, receive tutoring with Gillingham- Orton methods under a different instructor for the past year, I felt it was time to teach him on my own. However, I was looking for a way to implement more spelling practice into out daily schedule. I saw this program recommended on someone’s blog and decided to give it a try.The instructor’s manual is easy to follow and brings direct results. Truly an amazing program…I cannot recommend it enough!

JenRay

says:

It makes perfect sense to me, and I do teach them separately. We use AAS with my older child, but she is reading well enough that we no longer do any explicit instruction for that. I would love to use AAR with my younger child.

Kristi

says:

I like the way you explain it. I’m currently schooling my 4 yr old and 3 yr old and knowing how different they are already, it makes sense and I’m sure they would be on different levels of reading and spelling as well. I’d love to win the $100 giveaway so that I could try out the lessons and see how I like them. Thanks much for the opportunity. =)

Vanessa R

says:

This is the most logical explanation I have heard. Thankyou.

Annmarie Fagot

says:

I am a homeschool mom of 7 and stumbled upon this wisdom early on and have used it ever since…even with my sons who read late. It is golden!

Heather

says:

Teaching reading and spelling separately has made a huge difference for my son!

Kari

says:

I have been using AAS with my 6 yo and 9 yo and have been very pleased. I thought I would also begin using it with my 4yo teaching him to read. This post has me reconsidering how much he would benefit by teaching it separately. I had never considered how it would deter him from the enjoyment of reading if he were held back by the spelling. Thank you!

Sarah Ronk

says:

This makes so much sense… And totally explains why I’m horrible at spelling :-P

Melissa Lister

says:

I have been wanting to try this curriculum but it just hasn’t been in our budget. I believe that spelling and reading should be taught individually as the rules for spelling take a little longer to approach than learning to read.

kristen

says:

my son took off in reading quickly and is now an avid reader, but it didn’t take long to figure out spelling was not as easy for him! AAS has really helped him so much!! thanks for your clarification and yes, it does make sense to teach them separately!

Casey

says:

Yes I think teaching them separate will benefit our children.

Jennifer S

says:

I definitely teach reading and spelling separately. But it’s difficult sometimes when kids ask how to spell things, that they know how to read, and then ask why is it spelled like that. I just explain the best that I can and let them know it’s ok to need my help to spell for a few more years.

Christine

says:

This all makes a lot of sense… My 1st grader just wouldn’t be able to handle spelling right now. All her energy is focused on reading right now.

Nancy S.

says:

I am about 3/4 of the way through Level 1 of AAS with my 10 yo son, and already I am seeing some progress in his spelling. Though he has been reading well for a couple years now, he still wasn’t able to spell even high-frequency words, or sound out simple words. He’s thankful to be working with a program that is actually helping him to learn! :)

Sandra Norman

says:

Love the AAS program.

Melanie

says:

I think teaching reading and spelling separately would definitely benefit my child especially since she is dyslexic. However, if this is combined in a curriculum it is easy to go back and cover the spelling component if you focus on reading first.

Karen

says:

I am noticing that for my beginning reader, selling and reading are clearly two different skills. I sometimes ask her how she would spell a simple word and it’s like I’ve asked her to recite the periodic table. It’s clearly a different way of thinking and, for where we are, it really makes sense to take advantage of the quick progression in reading without feeling caught up on spelling right now.

Melanie

says:

My daughter is an excellent reader, but has a hard time with spelling. So your post makes sense to me!

Georgette

says:

This makes sense, but I had never thought of it quite this way. I have been using AAS 1 for a couple months now with a different reading program that my children are hating. They LOVE AAS so I am ordering AAR 1 to make sure to fill any gaps and I will probably be ordering AAR 2 and AAS 2 around the beginning of the year. I was worried about how I would use the two programs together where my kiddos are already about halfway through AAS 1. This idea just takes alot of pressure off and I can let them move through each program at their own pace. AWESOME!!!

Davina

says:

Thanks, just what I needed. With 2 children with special needs your curriculum has been a life saver.

Sara Stafford

says:

I definitely think reading and spelling should be taught separately. A good reader doesn’t necessarily mean a good speller. Example–ME!! I am a good reader but cannot spell at all. I have really enjoyed learning some rules along with my child in the AAS program!

Cheryl

says:

Love AAS level 1. Thanks for the great crriculum and information.

Kimberly

says:

This has been the case for our family for sure. My 8 year old was still very much struggling with spelling but reading easily at a 5th or 6th grade level. We tried different ways of learning spelling and none were the right fit for us until we landed with AAS – we started with Level 1 and will be finishing up Level 2 in just a few days. It has been exciting to see her progress and learning to spell what she has so far has given her much more confidence in other writing because she’s learning to apply strategies to new words. So, not only has her spelling improved, her willingness to write has also greatly improved.

This curriculum has really helped my family. My 6 (ok, she’s 7 tomorrow) is a struggling reader, but she wants to learn to spell. We’ve started very basic use of AAS level 1 while she’s finishing up AAR level 1 because she wants to do it. I think the additional practice of the spelling concepts is reinforcing her reading skills. Instead of filling like I need to review and do extra practice with the reading lessons, I know we’ll review the concepts again in the spelling and we can move at a pace that is appropriate in reading – even if it isn’t always fluent she can do it. Then when she practices the spelling concepts she seems to really cement the reading along with it.

Lydia R

says:

I’m all prepared for AAS1; just waiting for a less busy/stressful day to begin lesson 1.

I’ve been using 100 Easy Lessons to teach my 5-y.o. reading. We’re on lesson 52 now. I write my own example sentences for him to read, because most of 100 EL’s sentences are nonsensical. I figured we might as well keep on until lesson 70ish before retiring the book.

It would be great to teach my second child reading with AAR1.

Julie

says:

We also teach reading and spelling separately. We use AAS and it is very thorough and logical. Thank you!

Tanya

says:

We have been using All About Spelling and just started reading program. Love them both.

Nicole

says:

We’re teaching spelling separately with the AAS program for my 10 year old super reader.

Jessica saunders

says:

I haven’t really taught reading to my 6yo daughter since she is way above her grade level. We are doing the level 1 spelling, but it is too easy for her. We are almost done with the entire book, guess we’ll move on to level 2 before the year is over.

Anne D

says:

That makes perfect sense. It’s part of why we love AAS and AAR!

Dianne

says:

I don’t consider reading and spelling to be the same subject, so it makes sense to teach them separately to me.

April Morgan

says:

I’ve seen the difference with my own children. Thanks for a wonderful explanation.

Gretchen

says:

Thanks for the great explanation for keeping reading and spelling lessons separate. It has really helped our lessons and progress especially for my youngest who is learning to read.

Jennie

says:

We are just strating the pre-reading of your curriculum. Yes, I think teaching reading and spelling separately will make a difference. Interesting blog post on it. Enjoyed it.

kristen

says:

I always just assumed that the two would go hand in hand, but after trying the AAR program, I really want to try the spelling program and see if it helps!! thanks for the opportunity!!

Bianca Wyatt

says:

We can not wait to get started! So glad we found this curriculum. I am confident this will work for my children!

Jen Law

says:

My daughter is a very competent reader in English as well as Hungarian and Finnish, howver she has a lot ofdifficuly with spelling, particularly in English. Spelling and reading develop at such different rates thatit would have killed her enthusiasm for reading if they weretied.

I am justabout to stadt this wholething with my 4 yo son.

Julie Winslow

says:

I started using Spell to Read and Write curriculum before I heard about yours, so we use that for spelling. My son practically taught himself to read before we started working on spelling, so he’s quite advanced for his age in that area. I think learning proper phonics is a necessary foundation for learning to read, but I can also see that practicing the two separately can be helpful and practical.

Nancy

says:

I think spaghetti and meatballs is a wonderful analogy to use! The stories kids read will always have words that they can read but that they haven’t learned to spell yet. Heck, some of the books I read have words I can read but not spell. When I was teaching, I really didn’t like it when the week’s spelling words were taken from the week’s reading lesson.

Elisa B.

says:

Well explained and certainly make sense! Thank you.

Kim Culp

says:

We are starting level 1 in Jan. looking forward to using this program. I have heard good things about your curriculum’s.

Timothy

says:

AAS worked wonders for my son. Hope to see results with AAR.

Jenna

says:

I’m starting to see the light. I used a program that taught phonics very well. The program taught phonics and reading together. In the end I found my kids did learn to read well but they had become terrible spellers. We’ve been focusing on spelling now with your program and things are quickly clicking for my kids. It is such an easy program which encourages me to do it everyday which in turn is helping my kids progress. Thank you

Jenn O.

says:

I have never thought about why it would be good to teach these two subjects separately. This makes sense to me though because I did not teach them separately with my older daughter and she struggles with spelling.

Sonya

says:

Your explanation makes a lot of sense! I am definitely considering using your programs with my younger child in the near future. Thank you!

Stacey Linsalata

says:

My daughter was a struggling reader and speller, and I tried sooo many different curriculums…this has been a keeper for us, and she’s finally taking off! We love both programs!

Amanda

says:

Love AAS can’t wait to try AAR. Great idea to do them separate!

Betty

says:

This sounds great! Would love to try the curriculum.

Katherine Brown

says:

This makes so much sense! I would hate for my child to be held back in one subject because of another. While both are important, if I can teach to their level individually, it seems like we will avoid a great deal of frustration in the long run.

Karen

says:

I’m a first time user of All About Reading and I love it! My daughter begs for more. Your strategies make so much sense and have proven successful. Your recommendation to teach reading and spelling separately is advise worth taking.

Lacey Dawn

says:

I had never thought about separating reading & spelling into 2 different subjects/lessons until my 4.5 year old started reading. I can’t imagine stopping his progress just for some spelling words!

Sandra

says:

I love this, I think it is wonderful to teach reading and spelling separately. It would make for much easier lessons!

Jessica

says:

I can definitely appreciated teaching spelling and reading separately. We started All About Spelling first because we were using a different method with reading, but since we’ve started All About Reading we took break from spelling and now we are doing review since we’ve gotten ahead in reading.

Valentina

says:

I personally did not even think of teaching it together, by teaching them together can bring on a lot of confusion for a child, I think.

Robin

says:

I’m loving AAR 1 with my 5 yr. old daughter! We’re about halfway through it and learning so much, so easily!
Thanks for providing such an awesome product!
Blessings,

Robin

Deanna Cotten

says:

I was just asking this very question today. Thank you so much for this post! This is such a great program and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about using it!!!

Julie

says:

My oldest can read quite well, but has always struggled with spelling. We started using AAS Level 1 this fall, and I really appreciate how well it is organized. My oldest is in 3rd grade, and we will be moving on to Level 2 soon. This is the third spelling program we’ve tried, and it finally seems to be sticking! I have two younger kids and am looking forward to getting AAR for them once they are old enough to start it!

I think it makes a lot of sense to teach the two subjects separately. The decoding a word does seem to come more easily than encoding it. Thank you for your work on this curriculum!

Katie

says:

Wow! Look at all these comments. I think this is makes a lot of sense. We aren’t working on spelling yet, we are still working on AAR Level One, but with as much success we’ve had with it we’ll probable use AAS too.

I’ve always separated because I didn’t know any different. My oldest son is a much better reader than speller and I think trying to teach both at the same time would be too much. I do like that as we work on spelling his reading is improving though.

Marcia S.

says:

I really enjoyed this post. I have a preschooler so everything is new and I really didn’t think it would matter to teach together or separately, but now I’m reconsidering. Thanks.

Elana

says:

I have 4 children and I always teach reading and spelling separate. Their reading skills seem to move much more quickly than actually being able to spell using the “spelling rules”. I ‘ve seen a lot of good reviews from this program and would love to try it for myself.

Shannon

says:

I think that teaching reading and spelling separate is a great way to help my son learn!

Alisa

says:

I have always thought they are better taught together to a certain level but I can see Marie’s point of view. I have two horrible spellers but amazing readers. If I had waited until they could spell all the words they can read it definitely would have hampered them.

Joyce M.

says:

It definitely made a difference for my daughter to learn reading and spelling separately. She started reading around 2 and was reading chapter books by 4. Although she got most of the reading of the words correct, she couldn’t spell any of it, and if it was a long word, she didn’t have the knowledge of the spelling rules or word sounds to figure out how to read it. All that to say, that even though it was frustrating for her to go back to learn the basics, she is proud of her achievements.

Karen

says:

We love AAS and would love to get started with AAR…

silver

says:

My son could encode CVC words long before he could blend them together to read them. So using a AAS in K and 1st to teach phonics works for him to learn to read. He’s doing it as a spelling lesson, moving at the pacing of a typical reading lesson, and I figure that we’ll work on spelling as its own proper subject in later years.
My daughter (preK), however, is fantastic at “gluing” sounds together to get words. Or if I ask her, “Which of these pictures starts with /b/” she can answer it. But if I ask her what the first sound in “ball” is, she has a really hard time. I’m guessing for her, I’ll need to teach reading using a proper reading program, because using AAS will likely frustrate her.

Kari Fanguy

says:

My son struggles with letters already at the age of 4 1/2. I can tell studying these subjects separately will keep from overwhelming him and allowing him to take one step at a time.

Abi

says:

That makes so much sense! Thank you

Jillian Yates

says:

I love the way that spelling and reading are separate subjects at All About Learning Press. My first born suffered hated spelling because I was trying to make her spell on her reading level. It took starting all over at the beginning with All About Spelling to build her confidence again and help her to love it. My son has enjoyed the benefit of being taught with All About Reading and All About Spelling right from the start. When my youngest is ready he will too. We’ll be loyal learners with your program for many years to come. Thank you so much!

After 2 years of teaching my kiddos how to read I realized that just because you can read something doesn’t mean you can spell it. I’ve been amazed at all the ways/rules to LEARN to spell. In my school days it seemed that we just memorized everything. I LOVE how AAS approaches spelling my son has learned so much our first year using it.

Krystal

says:

If all about reading is as great as all about spelling, we’re in! Great program.

Amanda B

says:

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to explain this! It was very informative & I do strongly believe that teaching reading and spelling separately with make a big difference for my children…especially my child with special needs! =)

Trisha B.

says:

I like the idea of teaching reading and spelling separately. I think to add in spelling rules with reading would just be a lot for my child to take on.

Linda

says:

I don’t have the financial means to purchase the program right now but when the funds become available I will. Reading has been such a hardship for all of us and we sooo love to read. It makes me so sad to have this hardship around the very thing we love to do together. I think All About Reading and Spelling has it right. We just spent $300 on a reading camp over the summer-I feel sick just thinking about it because it was terrible. I wish I had heard about All About Reading and Spelling first. I think Marie has it right.

Charlene

says:

It make perfect sense to teach spelling and reading separately. We just started All About Spelling Level 1 and love it.

Michelle

says:

I teach them together and it makes sense to me to do so (especially when the lessons within a level correlate almost 100%). But, I have always shared that Marie doesn’t recommend this. And this article doesn’t change my mind. I don’t believe that one or the other have been sacrificed at all. I’m on my 3rd level of teaching AAR/AAS levels together and I am happy with the results! My 3rd grader’s reading level has advanced way beyond level 3 and his spelling is on target with level 3.

Karen from CO

says:

I love that your program separates reading and spelling. My daughter asked (at age 4) if I could teach her how to read. I’m pretty sure that if I had added in spelling rules, it would’ve been very daunting for her. But to start with reading then tie in spelling later, she feels really confident in her spelling.

Shannon G

says:

Yup! The two skills don’t go hand in hand!

Paige

says:

I can see how reading is easier for my children than spelling. Your website and materials have been helpful in reteaching my middle son spelling. Thank you.

Keisha

says:

My kids have started the All About Learning programs this year. I can tell it is very beneficial to teach these two seperate, my 2nd grader is in level 3 reading but we started level 1 with spelling. He spells words the way they sound. Can’t wait to see how far he comes this year!

Tiffany

says:

I can’t waitAAR start AAR. Thanks for explaining the reasoning behind the two programs.

Rebecca Walters

says:

I can see this is true for my daughter! !

Cyndi

says:

One of my children, who is an exceptional speller, did fine learning both at the same time. However, my other five children really benefit from reading and spelling being taught seperately due to their spelling skills not progressing as quickly as their reading skills.

Dana

says:

i will be teaching them separate, i agree it is better to not combine reading & spelling, i believe in getting a strong grasp on reading first, before throwing in a confusing subject as spelling

Kathy

says:

I myself cannot even remember the rules of spelling! Help me by picking me Rafflecopter!

Rebecca

says:

I like the idea. It makes sense.

Jennifer Valko

says:

We teach them separately because of your recommendation and its going very smoothly so I wouldn’t change a thing for the next kiddos!

Rebekah

says:

Teaching them separately makes so much sense!

Crystal Aulin

says:

I love this program. I think you are very correct. Teaching spelling and reading separately is key to great spelling.

Sara O.

says:

I know it makes a huge difference for my son. Now that I teach them separately, he is excels in both areas.

Amy Mac

says:

I have always agreed with this. I just could never put it as well as Marie did. Thank you.

This makes so much sense! I’m a great reader, but a horrible speller. I’m not sure why I’ve spent so long trying to teach them both at the same time. Duh!

Angie

says:

I used this with my son and it made spelling much easier.

Claudia

says:

Great points. Thanks!

Jill

says:

Great explanation! We love your AAR program and can’t wait to start the spelling. I wish I would have started with this spelling with my two oldest boys…think it would have made a big difference! Thanks again!

Tirsa Myler

says:

I used another phonics based program last year and while my daughter learned to read well, spelling was still a struggle. After reading about AAS and your theory to teach them separately, we tried it and it worked! She now can spell words without just memorizing a list. We will be continuing with AAS, thanks!

Rebecca

says:

We just started using the reading program. Will add the spelling when ready.

Rebecca

says:

We are currently using this method and AAR and AAS and so far it has worked great! Thanks for all your great products!

Lindsay Jenkins

says:

Thank you for making spelling easy!

Amy

says:

We’ve been considering AAS and AAR for quite some time. I’ve just ordered AAS for my two youngest students and am looking forward to an enjoyable learning experience with them! :)

Jade

says:

I agree! I love to read, but my reading and spelling are two different levels.

Cindy Fetner

says:

This program has helped my daughter tremendously. I have seen the benefit of teaching spelling and reading separately. Thanks for such great programs!

oyin

says:

I think we have being doing it wrong all these while, learning to read and spell the same time. We have progressed very slowly. Now we will have seperate lessons for each and learn to read and spell effectively

Sara

says:

I cannot believe how fast our 4 year old son learned to read! We will be starting Spelling 1 tomorrow!! Love it, love! Thank you!

Amanda

says:

Thank you for this post!

Deanna

says:

I think it makes so much more sense to teach them separately, and especially for my son. As a 5 yr old, he reads encyclopedias and anything you put in front of him, definitely a high school reading level, and he completely just taught himself when he was 3. We have now started spelling, and his being able to read at such a high level helps his spelling, but he cannot spell everything he can read. :) thank you for the opportunity to win, we are almost to level 2 in spelling and my daughter is in Pre-1 of All About Reading.

Kiah Pepper-Martin

says:

I love using AAR and AAS with my 3 ASD children. I have tried so many programs over the years and got no where. Finally my children are reading for pleasure! And learning to spell! I can’t recommend this program enough.

Michelle T

says:

Thanks for the great explanation! We love using AAS!

Celestine

says:

I have never considered teaching both at the same time. In my search for a solid LA program, I found AAR and AAS and haven’t questioned the reasoning behind having two separate programs. I appreciate the explanation given here. It makes perfect sense!

Valerie Beasley

says:

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Brenda

says:

I think this is a great idea. I do teach them separately, but now I have a good reason and can explain it to other people better.

Robin

says:

I just purchased the reading program. I love that it teaches so many aspect of reading that I forgot I even learned, and my daughter actually enjoys it and it’s the only subject she doesn’t fight me on. I will be getting spelling soon.

Kristie S

says:

I can see the ease of doing them together (one less subject to teach), but we generally do them separately…just how they fall in the day and since we use AAS the words are generally not connected to their reading. So it works for us to do them separate.

Kimberly Smith

says:

That makes since…I just had someone question me about this.

Rae-Lynn Rosefield

says:

I think it’s so important to teach kids reading and spelling seperately. Being given the opportunity to be really successful in one area can build confidence in kids and help them succeed in other ways.
Spelling is obviously not my best subject. If reading and spelling had been taught together when I was learning I would have HATED to read, instead of loving it!

Laura

says:

This makes perfect sense. I wish I had known this before. I learned it the hard way with my dyslexic daughter.

Kristin

says:

Now that you mention it, I can totally see how different spelling and reading are. I’ve noticed since getting a leg up on reading, spelling does come easier, but are challenges with exceptions to the rule, etc. With a strong reading foundation, I find that spelling is easier too.

Heather Brandt

says:

When I taught in public school, I taught it separately because I just think it is logical that these 2 subjects be taught separately b/c it otherwise can cause some confusion.

Tawnya

says:

With a child who is dyslexic, teaching reading and spelling separately has done wonders. We love your curriculum! Because we do it with her we have seen how much easier it is to teach them separately, so the rest of the kids follow suit!

Marcia Lietha

says:

We’ve been using All About Spelling, but haven’t been using a reading curriculum. My daughter struggles somewhat with reading and, I believe, would benefit greatly by having a reading curriculum.

jami

says:

Love the completeness of your curriculum. After much study, yours is what I’d like to begin using

Emgee

says:

Teaching reading and spelling separately definitely makes a difference in our homeschool class, both at the K level and at remedial grade 5.

Cheryl B.

says:

I think teaching reading and spelling separately is definitely the way to go. My son has struggled with ELA a lot but since dividing up the teaching into different subjects (reading, spelling, grammar, writing) he has done much better.

Ruth

says:

Thanks for the information, I’m really hoping to get started with your curriculum!

Melodie Harder

says:

This made sense while I was researching curriculum options last year before starting teaching my first son. Now as He’s finished AAR level one and started Level 2 along with AAS level 1 its very clear why you should keep the subjects separate from each other. It was so exciting this year to get our new materials and start my second son who is now in preschool with AAR Pre-reading. He loves it, and my son in 1st grade begs to come listen in during his read alouds. I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of these materials. It makes so much sense to the way I process things with teaching and learning. I couldn’t believe all I learned during my son’s Kindergarten year. Lol.

Rachel Henneberger

says:

We love your program!

emily woodall

says:

We just started AAR with my sweet 7-year-old daughter who has dyslexia and dyspraxia and my 5-year-old little guy. We are on lesson 8 in AAR 1. So far…this is AWESOME!!! We are finally making some break-throughs with my sweet Avery Jane and I am profoundly grateful! We have not started AAS at all yet. I am focusing on getting them loving to read, working on fine and gross motor skills and playing with math skills each day. AAR and Handwriting Without Tears are the 2 best things that have happened to our little homeschool! I am looking forward to continuing our journey with AAR and AAS! Thanks so much for this wonderful curriculum!

Robyn McLeod

says:

Teaching them separately has already made a difference in my homeschool! My son is a natural speller and flies through his lessons. We’ve been taking the long scenic route through reading, though, and it works well for us :)

Jennifer

says:

My daughter can read and her comprehension is great however she has a difficult time with spelling, All About Spelling has helped us get her on the right track.

Ranae

says:

Sounds great. Would love the opportunity to try them out.

Jennie

says:

I really like the way you explain such an important aspect of teaching. Thank you for creating such a wonderful curriculum.

Amanda

says:

I agree. It is much easier to read and the further ahead on reading my daughter is the easier it is for her to learn spelling because the sounds are already firmly entrenched. She gains confidence and doesn’t hate spelling.

Thuy

says:

great information! i totally agree in separating the two.

ED

says:

Great Post. Thanks!

Dena

says:

Great article! I teach my boys this way because of your great products.

Tara

says:

My daughter is on lesson 26 of level 1 reading. When would you recommend starting her in level 1 spelling?

Merry

says:

Hi Tara,

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.

I hope this helps!

Amancia

says:

This makes sense! My 5 year old just completed AAR level 1. She reads Magic Tree House books but still spells most things phonetically (even words she reads easily). We are looking forward to beginning AAR level 2 and AAS early next year!

Shannon

says:

This makes a lot of sense. Spelling definitely takes longer to grasp and needs the time to develop.

Hanna

says:

I teach the two separately and love your spelling program.
Thankful to God for you!
Hanna

Misti

says:

Great advice!

Krista Case

says:

I like the idea of teaching them separately for the sake of the child being able to read sooner. I’d hate for them to be slowed down to wait on their spelling to catch up.

Angela M.

says:

We love AAS! We have 2 dyslexic children that have made incredible gains in reading and spelling!

Shannon W.

says:

This makes perfect sense when explained this way……..I’ve always noticed how much easier it is for my kids to read words than to spell them. I am using AAR for my Kindergartner and am amazed at how quickly she is learning to read and what a joy it is to teach. I look forward to using AAS when she is ready!

Makes more sense to teach them separately to me, because if a child learns one first it will help with the other.

Christie Walters

says:

This is the fourth year that I have been using AAS with my daughter and we love it! Thank you!

Liz Escareno

says:

We used both AAR & AAS Level 1 last year, and are currently using AAR & AAS Level 2. Thank you, Marie for your detailed phonetically-based program. It goes so much deeper than what my daughter would be taught in public school. Also, it is so crucial that a child learn the distinction between reading & being able to spell words in the foundational years of life.
AAS provides me (the parent/teacher) the tools to train my daughter’s mind correctly at an early age. Thus, preparing her for a lifetime of literacy without struggling later down the road!

PS. THANK YOU also for being open-minded to customer feedback. For, my daughter, Madison & I are the ones who noted the lack of mention of “S” making a 3rd sound (other than the “s” & “z”) on the phonogram card/CD. Madison (AGE 5 then) noticed this! “Mommy, why does “S” say SH?” while reading the word, “SUGAR” in AAR Level 1. Also the indescrepencies in LESSON# 46 with the sounds of Long “U”. Hopefully, you are able to successfully record the all consonants on the phonogram CD WITHOUT the short vowel “u” sound too. (example: “P” says, “PUH” on the CD) I am so happy to see all the details above! THANK YOU FOR “LISTENING” TO YOUR CUSTOMERS! Sincerely, Liz Escareno

Kathy

says:

Hi Liz,

Glad we could benefit from your keen observations! We are thankful when you can help us make meaningful improvements. We’re very happy for Madison’s progress! Keep up the good work!

Kathy
Customer Care Representative

Kristi R.

says:

COMPLETELY AGREE that they should NOT be taught together! All 3 of my children could sound out easy words to spell BEFORE they could read them! Reading came much later and hard spelling words come LONG after the reading started! We LOVE your programs and are VERY thankful for them!

Kristi E

says:

We love your program, and we are very thankful that we have found it. I agree 100 percent that the lessons should be taught separate. Thank you for the video so I could share with my husband.

Katie

says:

Makes sense. Spelling definitely seems like a separate skill from what I’ve seen.

Gina

says:

We are just getting started with AAR2, this is our first year using it. When we decide to add in AAS, we’ll be teaching it separately as well. Thanks for the explanation!

Sarah Godwin

says:

Thanks for the explanation. It makes perfect sense. I am planning to buy the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs for my children.

Rachel

says:

Only heard great things about All About Spelling. Not as familiar with the Reading program. My kids are 4 and 2 so I’m just beginning. =)

Anissa

says:

So glad I don’t have to teach both together she is reading like a champ and spelling is harder ;-)!! Thanks for all you do! We appreciate you!

Anissa

says:

So glad I don’t have to teach both together she is reading like a champ and spelling is harder ;-)!! Thanks for all you do!

Jamie S.

says:

I do teach spelling and reading separately. Yes, it’s better this way. My boys are much slower at spelling.

Lisa Imerman

says:

I totally agree, and I am loving your products for my kids!

Rachael

says:

So very interesting! Thank your for sharing the reason why behind the approach of your curriculum.

Hope

says:

We are using AAS Level 1 with my second grader and love it. We are almost finished. We are not progressing in reading as I’d like. We really need to try your reading program, too. What you’ve posted her makes perfect sense. It would be such a wonderful gift to be able to win and purchase AAS 2 and the reading level my son needs!

Cindy N.

says:

I have never really thought about benefits of teaching reading and spelling separately, but it makes sense to do so after reading this post! I have wanted to use all about products for both a struggling reader and speller.

Andrea

says:

I’ll be homeschooling for the first time soon with my 4th grader and Kindergartener. This is a great post that I find so helpful. I’m planning on using your curriculum and I’m so excited to see my daughter learn to read.

Bonnie Boucek

says:

Yes, taught apart would make it easier for my daughter.

Darby

says:

I LOVE using your material in our homeschool day!!! The kids love it too!

Martha B.

says:

I am currently using AAS to teach both reading and spelling to my child simultaneously. I certainly do agree that reading is easier than spelling. However, my son has autism and is nonverbal. Spelling a word when I dictate it to him is one of the primary ways I can determine whether he can actually read. I can have him match words to pictures also to demonstrate his reading capabilities but that has its limitations. As his reading/spelling skills advance from single word to sentences and paragraphs we can test for comprehension. While reading and spelling are frequently loosely linked in first grade, many curriculums separate them in subsequent grades . I am enjoying using this program with my son. It is similar to what I had in mind that he needed and was I ever relieved to find something already made, rather than needing to plan and make all my own materials. Thanks so much!
—Martha

Jackie

says:

My daughter struggles with both reading and spelling, so I think teaching them separately gives her a better chance to absorb it all instead of just one or the other.

Erin C

says:

Oh how I need this! I have a very strong reader but he is very weak in his spelling, unfortunately he takes after his mama! We so need spelling separate!!

Julie Goodson

says:

Love this concept! I cannot wait to use AAS and AAR with all three of my kiddos!

Jonana

says:

We love AAR and will be starting AAS soon.

Alta Tucker

says:

My daughter is doing better with the spelling than with the reading. I guess we need to spend more time with the fluency part.

Jennifer M

says:

I’m not sure how it would work because I haven’t started teaching spelling yet. It seems like it would be easier to keep them separate though.

Bec

says:

Hi Marie,

Thanks for this post. It was a great reminder! Thanks for such a great program.

Tracie White

says:

I definitely think that reading and spelling being separate makes a huge difference. My daughter had some trouble with reading last year, so we switched to AAR this year. It’s made a huge difference, but I’m still not sure she’s quite to the point of being ready to tackle the spelling! I’m glad it’s separate!

SNC

says:

We instinctively separated reading in our schooling but did note that spelling was sacrificed. Thank you for putting the reasons why into words. We love All About Spelling… it gives the kids tools to use when they begin to spell a word. It also provides us with some reinforcing copy work, which I wanted to include in our school, to help them with creating those pathways. Additionally, when I remind my child how to spell a word I can tell them the tool they need to help them remember. Thanks!

Brianna

says:

Teaching each alone will be a great help for my 8 year old. We are just starting AAR and it’s already helped her grow by leaps and bounds. Cannot wait to start AAS and move through the program with her. Our (just turned) 3 year old will be starting the Pre-reading program in Jan. and cannot wait…she loves sitting in on her big sister’s lessons. Such a great program for kids who have struggled and felt that they were doing something wrong in a traditional classroom. Thanks!!

Kathy Sothman

says:

I have a struggling 4th grader. She is reading her Level 4 Reading books and last week I humbled myself and dropped her back to First grade Spelling. We are BOTH less stressed and she’s actually ‘getting it’ this time around!!!!

Christina

says:

Just wanted to say thanks for your blog/products. I use to use The Writing Road to Reading for homeschool curriculum. Your program breaks that up in a much easier to digest (for the parent/teacher) format taking much of the stress off me as my children’s mother/teacher :) Thanks again

Karen

says:

My older 2 students did AAS, but I stopped with the younger two when we began AAR. Now, I see why we would go back to AAS with them. Love the explanation!

Susan

says:

We love, love, love the All About Reading Program! My daughter was struggling tremendously to decode words and read fluently. We finally pulled her this past year and started her with the green level of reading. What a difference this has made! She is already reading with more confidence! I plan to start the All About Spelling Program this month. I look forward to using it. THANK YOU Marie for such a great program! I agree that they should definitely be taught separately.

sarah

says:

I hadn’t thought about the reason for separating reading and spelling. Thanks for the informative explanation!

Anna

says:

I wish that I had started All About Reading last year with my son. It has been the boost he has needed in reading and enjoyable all at the same time. We did start the All About Spelling last year and I just love that now that we are doing both the lesson formats are similar, which means less work for me. Wonderful program!

Juliana

says:

I tutor students who are struggling with reading and I agree reading and spelling should be taught together! I have been trained in a great program but want to use All about Reading and All about Spelling with my daughters when they starts school.

Shelby

says:

We just started All About Reading Level 2 and All About Spelling Level 1 – it is working GREAT!

Mrs. H

says:

Makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

Kala

says:

This makes perfect sense! This is our first year with AAS and we love it.

Barb

says:

This makes sense. Thanks for such a great product. My children are learning the why of spelling, not just do it.

Cindy S.

says:

We love using both of these programs! They make teaching reading and spelling so much easier on the teacher, me!

This makes perfect sense!!

Marla

says:

My son finished level 1 AAS and is so excited to start level 2. Spelling has become one of his favorite subjects. I must also admit that I have learned a lot too. “So, that’s why that word is spelled that way!” Spelling has become rules to follow not memorization. Thanks so much.

Sharesa

says:

I think that teaching them separate sounds like a good idea, thanks for sharing why you have two programs!

I have never thought of it this way! Thank you for sharing this. I now understand that I should start my son with the reading program instead of the spelling program.

Jennifer Burney

says:

Reading and spelling should be taught separately, as I do agree reading comes more quickly than spelling, but sometimes I like to generate a spelling words list from sight words and challenge words my daughter (age 6, 1st grade) has trouble reading. I was only taught phonics formally in 1st grade (called “phonics and patterns,” but that have been a great foundation for me , since after that, my reading took off and spelling eventually became very easy. I easily got my bachelor’s degree in English and then my MAT, all because I think I started with a great foundation in reading and spelling. I am a product of the public school system, but feel so blessed to be able to homeschool my two young daughters.

Sophie

says:

Good thoughts here, and very helpful, esp. with my one struggling reader…

Grace

says:

Great Concept. Makes Perfect Sense To Me!

Brandy

says:

This is exactly how we do it…using AAS and AAR!

Hi I have three children that are having trouble with both spelling and reading. I would love any help, my husband has been layed off and money has been tight. I have also been wanting to try this program to see if it could help my kids.

Mindy Sims

says:

I tried to teach reading and spelling simultaneously to my son in our homeschool, and his spelling was sacrificed while he learned to read. This post is an explanation as to why!!! I LOVE All About! Thank you so much for providing excellent material and knowing why it needs to be done this way. :-)

Jenni

says:

We love All About Reading! My daughter is progressing so well even though this is the first time I’ve ever taught anyone to read.

Wendy Walker

says:

After raising several children to nearly adulthood, we adopted a son from Uganda and a daughter from China. Our daughter has significant learning challenges and I made the mistake of trying to get her reading and spelling simultaneously (through the same program). Only by separating the two subjects have we begun to see success.

Kate D

says:

Thank you for explaining your stance so clearly. I spent half of my son’s 1st grade year using a program that combined spelling and reading. It sounded great but didn’t produce great results. This year, we’ve separated the lessons, though we do them back to back, using AAR and AAS and the results are starting to show already!

Carie

says:

My older son has followed his own path with reading and spelling. I plan to try to keep my younger son in line with the AAR program and then start AAS a year or so later.

Lacey M.

says:

Definitely agree.

Patricia

says:

This is our first year using AAS. I have been very interested to learn more about AAR though as my son seems to struggle with reading right now. Thank you for the informative post.

Christine

says:

Yes teaching reading and spelling separately will make a difference in my house because of the fact that I have special needs child who thinks “literal” its best to break the two apart. He would just be confused teaching it at the same time. You can compare it to teaching adding and subtracting at the same time. You can’t understand subtracting until you get adding. It’s just easier. Good article!

Brittany Meiners

says:

We didn’t start AAS until my oldest could read and I learned quickly that my younger daughter definitely needed a reading program, not just AAS.

Jaime B

says:

Ww, this is a really great explanation of why you teach them separately. My oldest is just finishing AAR level 1 (and is finally devouring everything in sight that she can possibly read!) and we are about to start on spelling. I am so, so glad we have this program. She is a very concrete learner and I know she will excel at spelling because of All About Learning- thank you!!

Liz

says:

Thanks for this explanation. I completely agree and I’ve seen this in my own kids. I’ve always thought that if you can SPELL a word, you can READ the word. But teaching that way slows down the reading process. Kids who are anxious to read are held back until they learn the spellings of the words. On the other side of the coin, the more kids READ, the better their SPELLING becomes via constant exposure to printed words. I whole-heartedly believe in a balance. For my kids, spelling instruction just reinforces what they’ve already learned in reading.

Especially for very young children, I think teaching reading and spelling separately makes a lot of sense. It removes the stress of needing to focus on every single letter and sound, and lets the child learn to read more fluently. Teaching spelling along with writing makes much more sense to me.

Deann

says:

I am excited to start using AAS soon. we’ve only focused on reading so far and I think my child is almost ready to start spelling separately.

Michelle

says:

We do teach reading and spelling separate and I have recommended it to other homeschooling families as well. I was a strong reader growing up and a poor speller. It was common sense to be that these subjects would need to be taught separate in our homeschool.

Tracey M.

says:

I teach them separately, because my daughter’s reading level is way above her spelling level. I know that she could use more practice spelling. I am also very eclectic so I tend to mix and match curricula, because we like variety and the way particular companies teach subjects.

Sarah Stark

says:

Just added All About Reading to our line-up of curriculum. We are already doing All About Spelling! I am even learning rules right along with them!

Carla

says:

Hi, my son is 8 and is in 2nd grade for the 2nd time…..and wasn’t a reader AT ALL even though I repeatedly worked on it for 3 years until we started using All About Reading. He has major medical conditions that affect his learning and he also has dyslexia. AAR was the best thing to ever happen to him in school. He actually enjoys learning now because he loves the letter tile approach. Having the different colors and having blends on the same tile help so much. After reading this article, I know we need to switch from Spelling Workout to AAS. In SW, he memorizes the word and gets it right on the test if given in the same day as reviewing the words back to back, but doesn’t usually remember how to spell it later. Also, it is a traditional list on Monday and test on friday approach. Since it takes him so long to learn, I can see that AAS would be just as great for him as AAR is….much better than SW. Thank you so much for this program and thank you for creating a level three in AAR…now we have something to go to when we finish level 2! :)

Dora

says:

I’ve always taught reading and spelling separately. I agree that it makes the most sense. We love AAR!

Amber

says:

I’ve started using AAS Level 1 and AAR Level 2 this fall with my 12 y/o son. I completely get what you just explained! The words he’s learning in AAR L2 are pretty much a review for him, but if he were to try to spell them, we’d both be having daily meltdowns! The AAS L1 has been perfect for him…systematically teaching and reviewing sounds and rules. Also good for him is the structure and repetition of the programs! By far, the best programs we’ve used for these subjects. Thanks!

Candiss

says:

We do teach reading and spelling separately, and haven’t started spelling yet. Thanks for the blog post!

Tanai

says:

This is great!!!!! I really appreciated the video and the blog post. This has really raised my interest on the issue of teaching children to read.

I look forward to receiving your emails.

Tanai

Abigail Carpenter

says:

Yes, I think teaching spelling and reading separately would benefit my kids. Any opportunity of reinforcement is also a reason for me. Would love to win the giveaway by AALP. :)

Rachel Pairolero

says:

We haven’t started spelling yet but are halfway through AAR1. It seemed like it would be redundant to do the 2 separately, but now that I’ve read your explanation it makes sense. We look forward to starting AAS next year!

Kathleen

says:

Thank you for your insight. I have a child who loves to read,yet is a horrible speller. Now I understand why. I have tried so many things to try to remedy this problem,with no successes . Your explanation of what is going on was helpful!

Celinda Rosborough

says:

Great sense and we teach them separately using your programs. Thanks!

Elisabeth

says:

I think it’s a great idea to teach reading and spelling separately! I think reading is just more fun than spelling, so teaching them together might drag the fun of reading down. Plus I can keep my time teaching spelling time relatively short.

We love AAS and AAR! :)

Carla Buss

says:

I’ve only just heard about your program and it’s looks great. I think it would really help my daughter who is a struggling reader. Thanks for providing this help!

Cheryl

says:

I was wondering why my son and I have struggled to “juggle” reading with spelling! Thank you!

stacy

says:

We started level 1 all about spelling this fall & it seems to have hit the spot w/ my struggling reader/speller! We are very happy with it! :D

Rebecca

says:

This is how my daughter learned spelling and she did great! She was already an avid reader for her age, but coming up with how to spell the words on her own and from memory was harder. She did great using this method.

Nicole

says:

Just yesterday we completed AAR 1 and will begin AAR 2 and AAS 1 tomorrow. Thank you for your wonderful curriculum.

Katia Jones

says:

Zipping through spelling and he us having fun . Who knew you coukd do both?

Eileen

says:

And handwriting, too, let alone composition. They’re all processed differently, and just because they seem to “go” together, doesn’t mean they are learned the same way or at the same rate. It always drove me crazy that reading programs insisted on introducing spelling at the same time as reading, or that little first graders, barely able to read — let alone spell! — were expected to write in paragraphs.

Sure, if they’re ready for it. But what if they’re not?

It seems like educators believe that if they introduce it all at once and early, kids will have the best chance to succeed. But my observation is, the only ones who do succeed in that type of program are the ones who were already competent at all of them, and never really needed the instruction. If kids genuinely need instruction in one or more of these areas, their heads will spin as they try to keep up, and they will feel (and possibly treated as though they were) “dumb,” unfairly.

There’s just no need to rush. And rushing doesn’t help, anyway.

Kathy

says:

Ahhhhh …. refreshing!

Lisa R

says:

I recently heard about AAR and AAS from a relative. I will start homeschooling my oldest daughter in kindergarden next year. Your explanation of why you teach them separately makes so much sense! As someone who STRUGGLED to learn to spell, I think your method for teaching spelling makes SO much sense. I still struggle to spell many words that I have no problem reading and I am looking forward to learning how to spell better myself as I teach my daughter.

Samantha Michael

says:

I completely agree with teaching these separately – which is why we use BOTH All About Reading AND All About Spelling! : )

Laura

says:

Very helpful!!!! We are almost finished with AAR 1 and ready to start spelling.

Elizabeth Jaeger

says:

Thanks for this post. It describes what happened when I first started using both programs and tried to keep my granddaughter “together” with the words and lessons. She was falling behind terribly in kindergarten, basically totally lost, confused, and going in a downward spiral. I recognized that she was primarily a kinesthetic learner, but was also very bright and a quick to learn, so I figured she was probably just daydreaming while the teacher was explaining things in class. I got an email about this program in April, ordered it right away and began “afterschooling” her and then worked with her nearly every day all summer.

Like I said, I did start out with Level 1 in both programs and taught the spelling lesson, then the same words in the reading program. I thought that was what you were supposed to do. It worked well for Level 1 since I was primarily catching her up, and a lot of Level 1 was review for her until we got close to the end of that level. When we got into Level 2, I did notice that the spelling lessons were taking longer, and that she seemed to need to go on faster in reading to keep from being bored, so I called the AAL company and received the advice to go ahead with the reading at a faster pace, even if it meant being a whole level ahead in reading. I started doing that, and her interest increased.

Now that she is in first grade, I only get to work with her a few afternoons a week for just a short time after school. I have had to start skipping around in the spelling so I can teach what they are learning in school that week with her spelling list. This year, they are actually spelling by the phonemes, unlike her kindergarten class (another school). At least that’s how it is for now. So far, nearly everything has been from Level 1 and 2, but I need to purchase 3 and 4 to introduce those phonemes and spellings when they come up in her class. I don’t like to do it this way, but since I am “afterschooling”, I don’t have a choice. I have to go in the order they are learning them at school. I wanted to homeschool my granddaughter, but my daughter wanted her in public school. This is the next best thing, I guess.

After just 7 months of using the program, I can tell she is a better speller and reader than the other kids in her first grade class, and she was probably the furthest behind of anyone in her kindergarten class. What a difference this program has made. I have since told all my other homeschooling mom friends about AAL, and they are ordering it and starting to use it, too. I wish the program had existed when I was homeschooling my own. I wish there were some way I could have a tutoring business and teach this program all day long. It is so rewarding to see kids “get it” and succeed in reading and spelling and really enjoy it. Thanks for all the hard work in putting it together, Marie.

Amanda

says:

That’s a really good point, especially about how you’d be sacrificing one for another by making necessary choices regarding when you move on. Thanks!

Crystal

says: