239

7 Ways to Make Spelling Logical

“English spelling is crazy!”

I hear that a lot. Perhaps you’ve even uttered that phrase yourself!

Indeed, English spelling can seem ridiculous at times. With a nod to George Bernard Shaw (who jokingly claimed that fish could be spelled ghoti), I’d like to present the following crazy spelling for the word farmer:

7 Ways to Make Spelling Logical - from All About Spelling

Makes sense, right? After all, PH can say /f/, ARRE can say /ar/, MB can say /m/, and AR can say /er/.

7 Ways to Make Spelling Logical - from All About Spelling

No, we’re not nuts, and thankfully, such a word does not exist. But our crazy spelling for the word farmer does illustrate an important fact: there can be multiple ways to spell a single sound. But although English spelling is much more logical than the illustration above seems to imply, there is still a little problem to overcome.

Typical Spelling Programs Don’t Make Sense

Many educators believe that spelling is too unpredictable and random to make spelling instruction worthwhile,1 and that’s why so many schools have given up on teaching spelling. Simply put, the methods they were using didn’t produce good spellers, so they dropped spelling instruction altogether.

But good spelling does matter, and spelling isn’t nearly as random as you might think.

In large part, English conforms to predictable patterns, and those patterns can be taught to your child. That means there is a better—and more logical—way to learn to spell than by rote memorization of list after list of unrelated words. (Check out my post “Does Your Child’s Spelling List Make Sense?” to find out why most spelling programs don’t work, along with a solution.)

How to Make Spelling Logical

The best way to make spelling logical is to teach it logically! The seven tips below will help make sense of spelling for you and your student.

Teach the reliable sound-symbol correspondences of the first 72 phonograms.

A phonogram is a letter or combination of letters that represent a sound. At the most basic level of instruction, it’s important to show that these letters and letter combinations are the building blocks of language. Our free downloadable phonograms app makes it easy to get familiar with the sounds of the phonograms.

Teach how to segment and spell phonetically regular words.

It’s critical that there are no gaps at this stage. Learning to spell is like climbing a ladder, with each skill representing a rung on the ladder. When instruction begins on the most basic “rungs,” we are explicitly providing children with the skills they need so they don’t have to guess. This helps them learn to trust their own abilities and lays the foundation for a lifetime of spelling success.

Teach the six syllable types.

Teaching the six syllable types one at time, and showing how words fit into these patterns, helps make spelling more logical. Studies have shown that students who learn the six syllable types score higher on reading and spelling assessments than students who were not given this explicit teaching.2 Learn more about the six syllable types with this handy chart.

Point out predictable spelling patterns.

The English language is full of predictable patterns such as “CK is used after short vowel sounds” and “OI is used in the middle of English words, but never at the end.” For an example of this type of explicit teaching, download this lesson plan where we teach kids how to spell the sound of /j/ at the end of a word.

Eradicate “The Myth of Silent E.”

Dozens of phonics programs teach that Silent E makes the previous vowel “say its own name,” as in the word home. But that’s only part of the truth, and it doesn’t explain the Silent E in hundreds of words such as have and hinge. To make spelling logical, it’s important to teach all the jobs of Silent E. Download our infographic to learn more about all the jobs that Silent E performs.

End “Suffix Confusion.”

As you teach, it’s important to make the process of adding suffixes crystal clear and logical. We make teaching suffixes simple in the All About Spelling program. As an example, here are two spelling lessons that provide an introduction to vowel and consonant suffixes.

Teach the morphemic structure of words.

Words are composed of morphemes, which are the smallest meaningful units of language. One way we teach morphemic structure is by analyzing clues to the origin of words, such as words originating from French, Spanish, or Italian. Another fantastic way to study word structure is by teaching Latin and Greek word parts with word trees.

Bottom Line for Making Spelling Logical

  • Use a step-by-step explicit approach, with each skill carefully building upon the previous ones.
  • Draw attention to the organized, logical patterns behind English spelling.
  • Highlight the consistencies of the English language and its morphemic structure.

Are you curious about the logic behind how a certain word is spelled? Post it in the comments below and I’ll choose a few words to analyze from your suggestions!

___________________________________
1Simonsen, F., & Gunter, L. (2001). Best practices in spelling instruction. Journal of Direct Instruction, 1, 97-105.
2Blachman, B. A., Tangel, D. M., Ball, E. W., Black, R., & McGraw, C. K. (1999). Developing phonological awareness and word recognition skills: A two-year intervention with low-income, inner-city students. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 11, 239–273.


Six Ways We Make Spelling Easy Report

< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

AJ

says:

Thank you for these tips! I know that I’ll be putting them to use.

Melissa Jerusalem

says:

My son has done SO much better since learning the rules of spelling, it’s a world of difference! He is on level 6 now, thank you!

Jennifer

says:

I enjoy learning the rules behind words I already know how to spell (and a few that I don’t!) as we use AAS.

I’m a slow learner, though. On more than one occasion, when my student misspells a word, I have to go to the book/lesson where that word was taught before I can explain WHY it is misspelled. An index which includes locations for ALL of the words from all of the levels would be handy. : )

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Thank you for this suggestion. I will definitely pass it along.

Rebecca

says:

Love the tips you offer! They are so helpful especially with children who struggle with spelling!

Karen

says:

This is fascinating to me! Spelling has always been easy for me and it was my best subject in school, (I’ll admit I’m a geek about it) but I have never seen it taught this way! I love that by using AAS, my children will not have to guess at spelling new words!
So, I have a word for you to analyze as to the logic of how it’s spelled: THEREFORE. We already have the word ‘for’ without the e, so why put it at the end of this word?
Thanks for caring so much about spelling!
Karen

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
Great question!

Therefore and therefor are both words and have different meanings. Therefore is much more commonly used, meaning “as a consequence of” or “hence”. Therefor is more of a legal word, meaning “for that” or “for it”. Here is an interesting discussion of the two words on the Grammarly blog.

So, the silent E in therefore is performing it’s 7th job, clarifying the meaning of word pairs. Another example of word pairs with one having a silent E would be by and bye.

Does that clarify it for you? I love questions like this!

Karen

says:

Yes! Thank you! I am in ‘awe’ of how much I learn from AAL compared to how much I *thought* I already knew. Fascinating! I will no longer say our language is illogical.

Alice

says:

My daughter felt so hopeless when she started reading because she had so much trouble deciphering words. Your program has helped us so much. After a few years of helping her, I remember thinking, “How did I ever learn to read without this?” It seems so much easier when you know, for example, that you use -dge after a short vowel and only -ge after a long vowel. Oh! I have had so many aha! moments while teaching her. We did all 4 reading and are still learning through the spelling books.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alice,
Thank you for sharing this. I know exactly what you mean about “aha! moments”, as I have had so many. We are very pleased to hear your daughter is doing so well now.

Brandi Skidmore

says:

This is why we are starting your program!

Shelley

says:

I am looking forward to doing this program with my son when he is older (he is 4), in part so that I can learn the correct spelling framework!

Lisa Hall

says:

We are finishing level 1 with my second grader. I just wish I had found it sooner. She has learned so much this year. We both enjoy the logical, easy, and fun progression of the lessons.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lisa,
Thank you for letting us know that your student has learned so much this year. Keep up the fabulous work!

Carly Staub

says:

This list of suggestions makes so much sense! My 10 y.o. really struggles with spelling, so I am eager to give All About Spelling a try.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carly,
You may find our article, Using All About Spelling with Older Students, helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Lisa Ann Ward

says:

I would love to give this a try with my son.

Martha Vaught

says:

I must disagree. In my past experiences as a reading instructor and, more importantly, as a current mother/teacher of a daughter with profound dyslexia, I submit written English is a frustratingly complex language to master. One must only work with people who do not possess the intuitive wiring necessary for sequencing to understand this. For every spelling rule, there are a few – if not dozens – of exceptions.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Martha,
I’m sorry that your daughter has struggled so much. Marie’s experience is similar to yours. She has over 20 years of tutoring students with reading and spelling challenges, and she also has a child with profound dyslexia. Being told by experts that her son would never learn to read led directly to her creating All About Reading and All About Spelling. You can see a short video about her son’s story here.

English is definitely complex. However, 97% of English words actually do follow regular rules and patterns. Many methods of teaching spelling avoid the rules and, with their “just memorize the list” approach, they imply that all English is illogical and without patterns. That is simply not the case. Yes, the language is complex and there are “rule breakers” to learn, but thousands of words follow the rules and patterns well. In this article, we are simply trying to highlight the logic that English does have.

Teaching a child with profound dyslexia definitely takes patience, perseverance, and creativity. Your daughter is blessed to have a mom who works so hard on her behalf.

Kerri

says:

awesome program! cant wait to try!!

Shannon

says:

Thank you so much for elaborating on the many rules (and patterns!) in our English spelling system! It always helps to understand they why behind something!

Samantha F.

says:

I am so excited to start all about spelling with my daughter! All about reading as help us both so much get her reading well and I have great confidence all about spelling will give us the tools to help her spell also!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
Thank you for letting us know that All About Reading has been so helpful for you and your daughter!

Mandy

says:

Thanks for the great information!

Julie Worden

says:

My brother and I were just talking about this. He shared his kid’s spelling list – oh my! They have to spend every night drilling words that do not fit together in any logical pattern. I will have to send him a link to this article. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Julie,
Poor kid!

evie

says:

Logical is good! My daughter’s number one complaint about schoolwork is “But it doesn’t make sense to me!”

Sarah P.

says:

Thank you for all these tips!!

Carey

says:

This is such a helpful resource! Thanks so much for sharing.

Crystal

says:

We have just started this program after using other various one and have seen so much improvement!

Sandra

says:

Thank you for these excellent points. We are wrapping up AAS Level 4 and looking forward to the next level. This program has helped my daughter overcome some letter reversal issues in her younger years. In the Fall I will be homeschooling a good friend’s son who has had so much trouble in public school since Kindergarten. We will be using AAR and starting from scratch so he can fill in the missing gaps and “blast off” to a lifetime of meaningful reading and learning. Thank you for developing these curricula and helping us implement them with your blogs and feedback.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
We are happy to hear that All About Spelling has helped your daughter. And how wonderful that you will be helping your friend’s son in this way!

Ashley

says:

As a new homeschool mama, I need all the help I can get :) Thank you for a very informative article!

Heather Martin

says:

I love having a program that explains specific spelling rules rather than focusing on memorization.

Kym

says:

Looking forward to using this to help build back confidence in my son. Thanks!

Chloe

says:

Hoping to make more progress switching to All About Reading and All About Spelling! Thank you for these products and this on-line help!

Cassandra N Mahana

says:

We are excited to start using this program!! Thank you for your help.

tina

says:

I love all your blog posts…so timely

Charlotte

says:

I’m looking to get the pre reading program for my soon to be 4 year old that is showing signs she’s ready to read! I love all these tips and tricks you put out!

Jessica Hamer

says:

These were great tips! Thank you!

Jennifer Haig

says:

Love the logical way AAS is laid out. We’ve seen so much improvement in all of our kids since starting AAS and AAR programs!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
We love improvement and progress! Thank you for letting us know AAS and AAR have helped your kids.

Jen Spencer

says:

I have kids in Level 2, 4, and 7. I appreciate the logic in the way this program is put together!

Dena

says:

Love this program!

Victoria

says:

This makes total sense! We are going through phonograms right now in our spelling. Dissecting sound has helped my son so much with his reading!

Beth

says:

I have always struggled with spelling, but I am so happy to have come across AAS for my daughters, I only wish I had found it sooner!!

Megan

says:

Spelling has always come naturally for me, but when you pointed out the alternate for farmer it really made me think about why it can be super hard for some people! I’ve heard so many good things about your peogram. I look forward to using it in the future!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
Yes, “pharrembar” is a good reminder that spelling really can be hard!

MarilynL

says:

I love seeing students helped to diagnose words by breaking them into syllables! Thank you so much! And on a fun thought- Im challenging by faculty to figure out what ‘pharrembar’ says….. sometimes they need reminders of what its like to learn to read!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marilyn,
I love your idea of challenging teachers to “read” this word! It is a great reminder of how difficult learning to read can be.

Monique

says:

I need to remember this for my son when he’s a tad older

Audra

says:

This is so helpful to see why we are teaching our kiddos the way we are! I love how you equip parents to teach our kiddos!

Leigha

says:

We love love love AAR!!!

Sarah Ter Maat

says:

Thanks for the downloadable charts! I’ll be sure to print off and keep them readily accessible.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Sarah!

Natasha

says:

This post was very helpful.

Angelie

says:

Thanks!

Megan Preedin

says:

Can’t wait to start All About Spelling this year!

Rhonda

says:

I am so looking forward to using this curriculum with my child!

Esther

says:

Thanks for this!

Rachel Neufeld

says:

Interesting to read the list. We are only on AAS level 1 so we haven’t reached all these concepts yet. We are really liking the program so far though.

Barbara joensen

says:

I enjoy this curriculum so much.

Odalis Romero

says:

Thanks for this!

carolina simmons

says:

Can’t wait to utilize this curriculum already have the apps and we love it!

Tamara

says:

I have learned so much about spelling from AAS. Makes it easier to teach with each kid

Andrina

says:

I loved how in depth you get with your lessons!

Zorayda Faustino

says:

Enlightening tips! Cannot wait to implement these with my kids.

Chantel King

says:

❤️ it!

Kristina P.

says:

😃

Kayla Campbell

says:

Definitely going to implement these ideas!

Kayla

Emily Gibson

says:

We are loving All About Spelling!! My daughter is just beginning Level 3, with AAR Level 4 and she loves every day with this program. I’ve also noticed my 4 year old picking up on sounds and rules just by hearing our lessons!

Sarah Lukitsch

says:

My 6 year old had completed aar1 and we are now on aar2 and aas1. He is so excited to be encoding now. I love the light bulb moments. I am so happy to have found this program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
We are so happy to hear that All About Reading and All About Spelling are working out so well for your student. Thank you!

Jennifer Sherrill

says:

My 7 year old son is struggling. This may help it to finally com together.

Sarah

says:

Love AAS for my son! He has developed into a proficient speller already at the age of 7!

Jennie

says:

Love AAR for my dyslexic child. Helps her so much!

Elizabeth

says:

We’re currently using AAS level 1. I love the logical way it’s presented to the student!

Kim

says:

As a reading tutor, I find many students read more words than spell the same words they can read. Most programs focus so much on teaching the student the rules for decoding a word but then that knowledge does not transfer over into encoding. This goes for decodable words and sight words. I’ve learned to incorporate other programs to build upon the students’ spelling lexicon. Curious if others have found this to be true. What have other teachers done to remedy this situation?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great observation, Kim! Decoding skills do not directly translate to encoding skills; encoding needs to be explicitly taught. Also, for most students, reading is easier than spelling. We remedy this situation by teaching reading and spelling separately.

Yes, this is vital and so important. Thank you for making it simple enough for us to teach at home.

Meredith

says:

Very eye opening and helpful post! I need this just as much as my kids. We have been so thankful for AAR and need to start AAS!

N

says:

This information is awesome. This will be very helpful for my grandchild. Thank you so much!

Jessica

says:

We are loving both AAR and AAS. I’m so glad your programs were recommended to us!

Bee

says:

Makes so much sense! Thank you for this helpful information.

Kylie

says:

Hi, I love this post, thank you! I will show my children the great graphics. They love AAR for the activities and games and sometimes AAS feels a little dry compared to AAR (however both are absolutely excellent programs!). Any tips on making AAS more fun like AAR would be great! Most of al thank you for these wonderful reading and spelling programs.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kylie,
One way to make All About Spelling more fun would be to play games and activities with the cards. Our blog post, 8 Great Ways to Review Spelling Review Cards, has more than 8 ideas if you also scan through the comments.

Another idea is to flip through old All About Reading activity sheets and see how you could make them spelling review. For example, in our Reading Review download, you’ll find the egg flip activity from AAR 1. Instead of having your student flip the egg and read the word, you would read the word and have him spell it in order for him to make a breakfast.

You can use our Feed the Puppy and Feed the Monster (scroll down on this page) activities with the All About Spelling Word cards as well. You read the card, he spells it, and then he gets to feed the dog or monster.

Lastly, our Winter Review, Popcorn Party!, Penguin Pack, and Polar Bear Pack downloads all have spelling activities within them.

I think this should get you started with helping spelling to be more fun. Let us know if you need more ideas!

Fawna

says:

Thank you for this! We are looking forward to our first spelling book this coming year! We are finishing up aar1.

Thank you for this information. We are just starting aas2 . Aas1 went very well till the last couple of sections then he got stuck. Now we are at the beginning of aas2 and he is still having a little trouble retaining some of the rules. Any suggestions?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Janet,
Which rules, exactly, is he having trouble retaining? It is difficult to give specific help without knowing specific details. Do not continue to move forward in All About Spelling 2 until he has mastered the things he is having trouble with. It may even be best to go back to All About Spelling 1 and redo the Steps from it because AAS 2’s review of the AAS 1 concepts is kind of quick.

Your son may need more regular review in order to succeed with these concepts. He may need to review the mastered cards periodically to help him. Here is the system I use for two of my children that need more regular review of the mastered cards in order to not forget concepts.

I keep an index card in the mastered section of each color. I shuffle all the cards, and then put the index card at the back. Each day I draw 2 yellow cards, 2 red cards, 2 blue cards, and 5 green cards from the front of the mastered sections. If my son gets them correct without hesitation they get filed behind the index card in the back of the mastered section. If he doesn’t get them correct they go back into the review section and get reviewed daily for at least a week. At the end of the week I put them back in mastered, but mixed in in front of the index card so that they will be reviewed again within another week. When the index card works it’s way to the front, I know it’s time to shuffle the cards again and put the index card to the back. I prefer this way because my kids really dislike master reviews, so there is less crumbling when they do just a little bit every day.

I would love to be able to help you further as well. Please let us know what difficulties your son is having.

Shikha

says:

My daughter is 8 and has just been diagnosed with reading difficulties. Hoping this programme will help. Thanks

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shikha,
Here are some ways that All About Reading can help kids with learning difficulties:

– Each lesson time is simple and explicit, and will include 3 simple steps: review of what was learned the day before, a simple new teaching, and a short practice of that new teaching.

– Incremental lessons. AAR breaks every teaching down into its most basic steps and then teaches the lessons in a logical order, carrying the students from one concept or skill to the next. Each step builds on the one the student has already mastered.

– AAR is multisensory. Research has shown that when a child is taught through all three pathways at the same time, a method known as simultaneous multisensory instruction, he will learn significantly more than when taught only through his strongest pathway.

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

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

– AAR has built-in review in every lesson. Children with learning difficulties generally need lots of review in order to retain concepts. With AAR, your child will have a Reading 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.

– AAR has lots of fluency practice. 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. AAR has fluency sheets or a story to be read with every lesson, so children can practice reading smoothly with expression and confidence.

All About Reading has a one-year guarantee. You can try it, and if for any reason you feel that it isn’t the right match for your child, return it for a full refund.

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

You are a wonder. Thanks for the good work!

Brittany Alessio

says:

My son is speech delayed and I have exhausted every source possible to help him. Winning this would help me get him him this. Thank you

greta collins

says:

We love AAS and AAR !

Julie Bryce

says:

This resource is a great one!

Malinda

says:

I really appreciate the time, effort, and thought you’ve put into AAS and AAR – I feel like I’m learning right along with my 2 kiddos…and it’s making SO much more sense now! Thank you!

B

says:

AAS does make SO much more sense than anything else I’ve used with my three children!

Evelyn

says:

Thanks for organizing the material in such an understandable way. It looks like it really would make teaching spelling easy.

I love all your materials. Please keep them coming!

Jezzabella

says:

This program sounds awesome! I’m ready to get started! We are having major issues with getting our spelling program together! It hasn’t clicked for my youngest yet! Time for a change!

Mildred

says:

Thank you for the tips!

Laura

says:

Fantastic! I love it when you post downloadable charts with rules. We add them to our AAS! Thank you!

Kelsy Marrazzo

says:

Thank you for the great tips!!!

Debby Ahmad

says:

Encouraging! Thankyou

Joann Triplett

says:

Love this! Simple doable advice for something that seems complicated. Thank you!

Julie Patterson

says:

I love the way AAS teaches spelling logically!

Amery

says:

Great tips for spelling!

Logical – but still really confusing! I think the hard thing is that despite there being a lot of logical rules, there are a ton of options, and as you demonstrated with the farmer example, there is often no clear answer for why one word is spelled with a certain combination of phonograms rather than another combination than can make the same sounds. It’s FRUSTRATING! And it does turn into just memorizing at some point.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Karen,

English is definitely a challenging language to learn! AAS includes a lot of other tips that help too though (for example, the spelling patterns in our farmer example are very low frequency patterns–in AAS, we teach the most common and likely patterns first). Good spellers tend to use a variety of spelling strategies (phonetic, rules-based, visual, and morphemic), which we teach systematically throughout the program. So while some memorizing is definitely required, there are ways to make that time spent much more effective and productive.

If your student is struggling with a specific pattern, you can always email us for more support–we’d be glad to help!

If you are not already using All About Spelling, you might check out our Spelling Can Be Easy series for more ways that we help make this subject easier to teach. Hang in there! My kids were older when I found AAS and we had lots of spelling issues, but taking them through the program made such a huge impact on their ability and confidence in writing. Let me know if we can help in any way.

Cassandra

says:

Thank you so much for the helpful information!

stefanie leach

says:

Great ideas and information! I would love to try this program with some of my Title students.

Merry

says: Customer Service

I hope you’ll be able to, Stefanie!

Kate

says:

This was very helpful. Thank you!

Holly

says:

I’ve also found that using AAR really sets up the kids to think logically about spelling before they’ve even started spelling!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Great observation, Holly! That’s our intention :-).

Karen

says:

Thank you so much for your wonderful programs. My kids love them.

Vrushali

says:

A scientific way to tackle the difficult task of teaching how to spell to young readers.

Kristen

says:

Great ideas and information. Thank you!

Ellen

says:

You always write informative and easy to understand blogs. Thank you!

Merry

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome! We’re glad you find it helpful!

Deirdre

says:

I never would have though spelling was so logical before AAS! Love this program!

Kathleen Roberts

says:

I LOVE my spelling and reading series from All About Learning! I working special education and it saved my students!

Heather

says:

We’ve just finished a very successful year of AAR with my 9 yr old & I’ve been thinking it may be time to add AAS. Is there any overlap between the 2 programs that we can consolidate? Thank you for such wonderful resources. It’s been amazing to watch as my struggling learner finally makes real progress toward reading!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Heather,

There is very little overlap in materials, so you will want to start with the AAS Level 1 Materials (Teacher’s Manual and Student Packet). However, you won’t need another complete Interactive Kit. The Basic Interactive Kits for reading and spelling are almost identical (these have the letter tiles, magnets, Phonogram Sounds download and divider cards). So, since you have a reading kit, you would only need one or two components from the Spelling Interactive Kit–scroll down to the individual products and choose the ones you need or want:

Spelling Divider Cards (you’ll need these to organize the spelling review cards)
Optional: Spelling Review Box (or use a card box you find locally)

I hope this helps!

Regina

says:

I enjoy getting all this information, it is very helpful.

Maria

says:

I love the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs! They’re logical and also simple to use. Thank you All About Learning Press!

Ellen

says:

This is so helpful! I am going to use this resource to evaluate what we are currently doing at our school.

Merry

says: Customer Service

I’m glad that helped, Ellen! Let us know if you have any questions. AAS has been used in schools as well!

Dawn

says:

I have learned so much about spelling patterns myself since using this program! I love using it with my children. I also use AAR and it is so fun to see how these two programs work together. Thank you!

Kathrine Miller

says:

Love these quick and on point posts about how to teach reading and spelling. Make it real easy to dive in. Looking forward to using All About Spelling.

Charlotte

says:

Love All About Spelling. I haven’t used it recently, but had great success when using in a small group intervention years ago. I would highly recommend this product.

Alison De Sota

says:

I’m going through the prereading program with my preschool sons and it’s exciting to see it working! I’m excited for going on in the series!

Ann-Marie Ulczynski

says:

I am learning the rules and my spelling is improving as I teach my children.

Colleen

says:

AAR and AAS are great! Thanks another helpful article.

D

says:

Thank you for helping us make sense of spelling.

Beth

says:

Love these tips!!

Katherine Galvin

says:

I wish I was taught how to sell this way when I was a kid!

Tiffany S

says:

Wow. I wish I had found this post at the beginning of this school year. It would have made teaching spelling to my oldest much easier! I will definatwly be using this with my youngest.

Sherna

says:

Wow what an amazing way to show spelling and learning how the sounds go together :) love it!

Joan

says:

Logical, okay yes. But easy, never. It’s a fun language though when when get to spell farmer this way.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joan,
You are not wrong!

Karina

says:

I wish I had known about this program when beginning our homeschool journey. Better late than never! Will be using this starting this Summer as a refresher for my older kids. Then in the Fall with the younger ones for sure :)

Amy Olson

says:

Our family could really benefit from this program.

Nicoline Blaker

says:

This program seems to be just what I need. After a year homeschooling my 2nd grader I have felt like we’re just not making much forward progress. This might just be what I need after thoroughly looking through this program! I can’t wait to try it.

Kelly

says:

I am currently using AAR with my daughter and look forward to starting AAS with her in the fall. These are great things to remember.

Laurie

says:

With kids of different ages working at different levels, it is always interesting to me when one of the younger kids gets to a new lesson and says – “oh yeah, I know this” because of hearing an older siblings lesson. The older ones seem to benefit from the review as they hear the younger ones lessons too.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Laurie,
Yes! To me, one of the benefits of homeschooling is that it is reminiscent of the old one room school houses. Children heard higher lessons and lower lessons, getting previews of what was to come and reviews of what was taught previously. It’s a great way to learn.

Erica

says:

We are half way through AAS level 5. My oldest daughter has a difficult time spelling, but the order and logic presented in the lessons has made spelling an enjoyable part of our school curriculum.

Judith Martinez

says:

I like these ideas. I always tell my children that different rules come from different languages as English has multiple origins.

Melissa

says:

Just started level 1 with my daughter.

Lindee Scales

says:

Great article!

Krystal

says:

Looking forward to trying out All About Spelling next school year!

Jennifer P.

says:

My kids use spalding at school and this is very similar although I think far superior. We plan on purchasing it to homeschool in the summer and assist during school year. Thank you for a great program. Oh and the app!! My kids want to do letters everyday!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
All About Reading and All About Spelling are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. The Spalding method is also based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, but there are some differences. One of the biggest differences between our programs and Spalding is that we separate the teaching of spelling and reading. Many students learn to read at a faster pace than they learn how to spell and separating these skills helps students progress at the right pace for them in each area. Here’s more information on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately.

For other differences, you might like to check out this FAQ file on All About Spelling and Spell to Write and Read, which is a Spalding program.

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

Judy Dickson

says:

I am happy to say that the 3rd grade boy that I am tutoring is doing well with the Level 2 spelling

Flowingcity

says:

My five year old just started spelling level 1, and so far so good. Thanks for all the wonderful supportive articles!

Jaime B

says:

I felt like we were moving really slowly with spelling at first, but now my daughter is taking off! I want to encourage those of you who seem like you’re spending forever on one step- it is worth it and you’re child will hit his/her stride! We’re only at the beginning of Level 3, but my daughter has internalized the spelling rules and is applying it to other words as she works on writing on her own. We are also moving at a faster pace for now. I know that we may sit for a while on a step here or there, but I welcome the “slow progress” now because I know that we have the flexibility to do that and it will pay off. I love that for many words now, instead of just spelling them outright for her, we can discuss what she has learned and apply it when appropriate as she works on her writing. And- she enjoys AAS and AAR so much!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jaimie,
Thank you for sharing this! I have found it to be true with my children as well; sometimes slow now leads to fast later.

Athena Davis

says:

Thank you for such an amazing product!

Pauline Burns

says:

Thank you for the helpful charts! I’ve also had your app on my phone since my daughter was 3 and she loves pushing the buttons and listening to the sounds just for fun! The sounds are familiar to her now that she is 5 and we are doing more formal instruction. Thank you for the wonderful resources!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Pauline,
I love that you had your daughter play with the letter sound app from a young age, so that now as she is beginning to learn to read it is all familiar. What a great way to make learning easy and fun!

Michelle

says:

I am very excited to begin AAR with my son. Your blogs make so much sense. I wish I would have known about this program when my oldest was going into Kindergarten.

Arianne

says:

My daughter has used AAS 1 & 2 and we’re starting 3. She has improved greatly, but most importantly- she enjoys it! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Arianne,
Yes! We love enjoyment in learning.

Kellie

says:

Great article! I could use some help on explaining cious, tious, tian etc.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kellie,
These are more advanced word endings that are covered in All About Spelling level 5 through 7. Students are taught to consider the root word of words to help them determine how to spell. Take musician, for example. The root word is music and ends in a c. So the last syllable is spelled cian. Egyptian, however, is from Egypt that ends in a t, so the last syllable is spelled tian.

This doesn’t always work, however, as some words don’t have a root word or the root isn’t an English word. For example, motion and vision. Neither have a root word; they just have to be learned as they are. Delicious is an example of a word that doesn’t have an English root word. However, if students know that Latin root of delicious is also the root of delicate, it can help them figure out to use cious.

For your student’s information, ti is the most common way to spell the /sh/ sound near the end of a word, with si next, ci third, and xi the least common.

I hope this helps some. These are tricky word endings that take analyzing words and lots of review in order to master. Please let me know if you have further questions.

Kellie

says:

Yes, this helps! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. I greatly appreciate it!

Rachel

says:

AAS and AAR is so helpful to my daughter with brain cancer. I can’t say enough about how much your programs have helped her excel!

Stacey

says:

I like the idea of using Greek and Latin.

Katherine

says:

We have used AAS level one and It is so helpful for my daughter’s spelling and confidence. What great tools- we appreciate your program so much!

Reni David

says:

Spelling is hard for kids! We are working our way through level 2 and I feel like we’re never going to get past Step 6! So many rules to remember!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Reni,

That step was hard for my children too–you’re not alone! This step can be difficult, but here are some ideas for you:

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

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

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

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

You may need to spend a lot of review time on these words. Some parents find they need to keep these word cards in the review section even after they get them correct because of their difficulty. Make sure to include them later on when the lesson says to review mastered cards. If your child struggles with any, put them back in the daily review for awhile. If you need fun review ideas, try these: 8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions. If you’re ever feeling like there are too many rules to learn, slow down your overall progress and spend more time in review to really solidify them. Make sure to do short daily lessons so that they stay fresh in your mind. Give yourself and your child time to master them. Your child will get there!

Christy

says:

I’m just starting AAS with my 6 yo ds. I’ve always struggled in the spelling area – I was just never taught. I’m hoping to give my ds a better foundation and help myself figure some things out!

Traci C

says:

These are fantastic tips, thank you so much! We started using AAS this year for the first time, and it’s making a big difference for my 2nd grader and Kindergartener!

Olivia

says:

A great way to implement these strategies is to use All About Spelling; they are integrated smoothly into the scripted lessons. I have used levels one through five, and the only one of the strategies above that I haven’t seen often is strategy 7. Is it used mostly in the highest levels?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great observation, Olivia! All About Spelling 7 is where we work with morphemes and word origins.

However, if your child is having trouble with a specific word or group of words, it can be beneficial to bring in morphemes earlier for just that word. For example, my son had a terrible time remembering to spell decide with a c and not an s. So I discussed with him that cide is a word part that means to cut off or kill. We discussed homicide, suicide, genocide, and other such words. I told him that the prefix de- means down, from, or off. So, decide pretty much means to make a choice by killing the other choices off. Okay, I exaggerated the meaning a bit, but it stuck with my son. He no longer has trouble spelling decide.

Debbie B

says:

Love your products! I’m learning along with my kids, used AAS with my oldest and now both AAS and AAR with my youngest.

Mariette Hosamsooi

says:

We love AAS . We finished level 2 and we go on with level 3. I’m so happy that my daughter is doing better.

Joy Lockwood

says:

We love AAS! I’ve learned so much myself that I originally only learned by sight memorization.

Miranda

says:

As someone who has struggled so much with spelling I appreciate being able to teach my children using your logical approach. I also feel like I have learned so much myself.

Amber

says:

We started using All About Spelling in March. It has helped my reluctant daughter feel more comfortable and confident with spelling. I love how you can move at your own pace and go over things as little or as much as you need to before going on to the next step. AND… it’s fun!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amber,
Thank you for letting us know that All About Spelling has made a difference in your daughter’s comfort and confidence in spelling in such a short time.

Dawn

says:

I am using AAS level 1 with my 6 year old and it makes so much sense to him! Thankful for the program.

k

says:

Thanks so much for sharing this information–we will use it. Though I had no problem with spelling as a child–it came naturally to me it seems–teaching it has been very challenging. We are getting there, but it is taking more time than expected.

Christine

says:

I felt my son had gaps in his spelling understanding and what we were using just wasn’t cutting it. All About Spelling is so logical and organized that he is excelling now.

Donald Knight

says:

Always interesting and practical.

Suanna

says:

Thank you so much for making a spelling program that makes sense and makes it easy to teach too!

Heather J

says:

Where do we get number spellings? “One” is definitely not phonetic…

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
Great question. Originally, one was pronounced with a long o, like the word only still is pronounced. However, sometime in the 14th Century it’s pronounciation shifted to wun, but the spelling remained.

The more common the word, the more likely its pronunciation has shifted over the centuries. However, since we have so much literature and writings from the late Middle Ages, spelling was already somewhat standardized. The result is the more common the word, the more likely its a rule breaker with phonograms saying sounds we don’t expect. One and two are among the poor words affected this way.

Nancy S.

says:

Does “two” have some sort of root word? (I’m thinking of twice, twenty, twin–all beginning with tw.)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
Two comes down to us from Old English twā and the w was pronounced. The words twain, twice, twelve, twenty, and twin all come down to us from the same word and, obviously, retain the /w/.

This is how I like to teach the word two:
Build the word twin. Ask the student how many babies do you have when you have twins. Two babies, of course! Under twin, build the word two. See the W in two? We don’t hear it in the word two, but it’s there because it takes two babies to make twins! Two is a rule breaker, but we have to remember the W because of those twins.

Nancy S.

says:

Thank you! I will share with my students :)

Jill

says:

I have thoroughly enjoyed the helpful tools you have created to make spelling easier. My daughter and I went to the App today to review which vowels made which sounds to help her spell the word “among.” Thanks for a great program for teaching spelling!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jill,
You are welcome!

Jenny Williams

says:

After trying 2 other reading programs and feeling like we were getting no where, I finally took the suggestion of a friend that I should’ve taken a year earlier and bought AAR. Now I wish I had from the start! I’ve been so intimidated by the idea of teaching spelling, but not anymore now that I know I can rely on AAS!! Thank you for your awesome products and attention to detail!

Kathy Dinkler

says:

AAS really does make spelling easier.

Lynnette

says:

I love this spelling program! Has worked wonders for my now 12 year old who struggled with more traditional spelling books.

Holly Scogin

says:

We love this program!!

Julie G.

says:

Wow! Amazing what I was never taught in school. I am glad I am going to be able to help .y daughter make sense of spelling in a way I never could.

This is the best spelling program I have used! Just finished level 1 and ordered level 2 next week! Very logical and progressive. My boys enjoy it and that is saying a lot!

Angie

says:

We love AAS!!! It’s made our 8 year old a great speller and even better reader! It’s one of her favorite subjects.

Caroline

says:

Can’t wait to try this curriculum when my children are ready.

Sondra

says:

My 5 year old is looooving all about reading this year and I do too!

Kristen

says:

Enjoyed this insightful and informative article!

Jen

says:

This is why I’ve been so impressed with All About Spelling. We are on level one and when my son starts to misspell a word, we can look to the rule that he has learned. As he has internalized the rules, he corrects himself before the mistake. It seems so much more of a proactive approach to spelling as he can spell any similar word, not just ones from a list he memorized.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
Yes! It’s wonderful, especially with children that don’t naturally have great visual memories for when words “look right”. Being able to apply reliable rules, phonograms, and patterns helps to limit the amount of words that have to be learned using the visual strategy. Some words will always need to be learned that way, but it is less than it would be otherwise. (For example, there is no rule for when to use ai or a-consonant-e to spell the long a sound. Rain is rain and not rane, and you just have to learn it.)

Kristin Windmann

says:

I love this! My husband is always saying English spelling is so illogical; I can’t wait to show him this article!

Michelle

says:

I’m so excited to try the spelling program! We have heard wonderful things about AAS :)

Michele Olivieri

says:

AAS and AAR have been a real blessing for our family. Our ten and six-year-old boys are learning to spell and read more fluently. The programs are gentle to implement. We really appreciate the organization and rules approach to spelling and reading; it makes both subjects more “mathematical” and understandable. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michele,
As a mathy person myself, and a mom and teacher of a number of mathy people, I greatly appreciate All About Spelling and All About Reading making spelling and reading as “mathematical and understandable” as possible too! What a great way to describe it.

Jessica

says:

I love this program! I actually get spelling now (ha!) and love that my kids are actually learning why we spell the way we do!

Alycia Spreeman

says:

Love the spelling program!

Christy Deason

says:

Would love to add the next level to my collection!

Josie Iverson

says:

Haven’t tried AAS yet- I plan to add it after we finish AAR 1 like suggested. I really need to the the AAR 1 for the fall, we will be finishing pre-reading soon!

Shelley

says:

We love All About Spelling!

Melissa

says:

Have really been enjoying folding in lessons from this program into my guided reading program. Would like very much to be able to trial a year of teaching systematically with this program as a point of comparison to Words Their Way, currently in use in our program. Finding that the latter is not transferring to student writing as I would have hoped, and takes a lot of time that doesn’t seem to pay off. Would love to attend some kind of launch training in All About Spelling!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Melissa,

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about using AAS in your school. One of the benefits of AAS is that it’s designed to be used without prior training–so it’s very open and go. You might like this article: 12 Reasons Teacher’s Love All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Melissa

says:

Thank you! I’ll print it out. Sounds like there isn’t any institutional training anyway?

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Melissa,

We don’t have a training course, but we are always happy to help if you have questions about a lesson or need more ideas on how to teach a certain concept–contact us any time!

Jen

says:

I just started homeschooling our 8 year old! She has dyslexia, and the teacher at the private school I sent her to wouldn’t work with me on implementing anything Maleia’s dyslexic tutor was teaching. It was very frustrating for her and sad for me. She would get in the car and ask me if she was “stupid” it broke my heart. Maleia is a very smart girl who just needed a little extra help, and her teacher didn’t “have time” to help her in class. The class size was only 10 students. I went in multiple times from September-January trying to work something out. Maleia’s teacher kept insisting she needed to go back into 1st grade. I knew that wasn’t right as I did homework and read with her every day! Did she struggle? Yes.. Did she struggle bad enough to put her back in 1st grade? Absolutely not!!! We made the decision for me to pull her out of school and homeschool her. I did hours apon hours of research on different dyslexic curriculum. I purchased AAS level 1. Maleia does amazing, and the things I’m teaching her make sen e to her because her tutor who teaches her for 45 mi. To an hour 3 days a week is doing the same curriculum with her! The tutor teaches the same rules by Orton Gillingham! I am using The Essentials of English by Logics of English also a Orton Gillingham based curriculum. I’m still going to order AAR because I’ve read how it goes great with AAS! Maleia is doing fantastic and loves me homeschooling her! I wish I would’ve started in September when I started having problems with her teacher making Maleia feel bad about herself. I have noticed a huge change in Maleia’s confidence with spelling, writing, and reading! It’s absolutely amazing and I will be forever greatful for a program that’s helping me get my fun loving, free spirited, talkative, beautiful daughter back on track!😊 Does anyone have a good math, science, and Social Studies curriculum they could reccome d for me? Thanks!!
Jen

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
Thank you for sharing Maleia’s story with us. I am happy to hear you have found a way to help her learn in a way that works best for her, and to help her know that she is smart!

When looking for other curriculum, look for options that have you read aloud to your daughter and that make use of hands-on learning. There are lots of options out there. We don’t get a lot of discussion between commenters on our blog, but if you ask on our Facebook group you will likely get lots of curriculum suggestions.

Carole

says:

Hard to believe this : Did you know that only 3% of English words are actually irregular, and the remaining 97% of words follows predictable patterns? It’s true! i think this program would benefit my two boys as well as myself.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carole,
Yes! This fact surprises so many people. The problem lies that English uses 250 ways to spell 45 sounds, so while it is predictable patterns there is a lot of variableness in those patterns. If you aren’t careful, that amount of variableness can seem unpredictable.

Elo

says:

I like your teachings, they are very very intuitive; and logical indeed..

Jennifer S

says:

We are in Level 5, Step 19. I wonder about the sound of /j/ spelled “age” at the end of these words. Why aren’t these spelled with “dge”? Why don’t they follow the rules for adding suffixes, like dropping the silent e in mileage? And why don’t damage and manage have long first syllables, since only one consonant ought to go with the later syllable and leave the first syllable open? Our crazy English language :)

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Jennifer,

Although we tend to pronounce these words with a short I sound “ij,” these are not true short vowels (the A isn’t a short A sound). What’s happening in words like this is that the vowel is in an unaccented syllable (called a “schwa” sound). Vowels in unaccented syllables get muffled. Often a schwa vowel will sound like a short U, but sometimes it can sound like another vowel instead. (Schwa vowels first showed up in Level 2, step 4.) So in this case, the “dge” ending actually wouldn’t make sense.

Mileage is an exception, which is why the lesson has the student divide the word into syllables to learn the pattern. I have seen “milage” as an alternate spelling, but don’t know if it will “catch on” and become a preferred spelling at some point!

Damage and manage are divided “dam-age” and “man-age.” Though a single consonant between two vowels usually goes with the second vowel, it doesn’t always, and there have been words along the way that the student has learned that follow the less common pattern. Some words the student has learned like this: copy, body, habit, finish.

Most of the time, you’ll see this type of thing happen in longer words–it’s less common in 2-syllable words, especially words that come to us through Old and Middle English, which tend to prefer to double the consonant to make it very clear whether a syllable is short.

Yes, these are definitely things that make English difficult to learn!

CabotMama

says:

Thank you for this detailed response to a higher level spelling question! We have used AAS for several years with multiple kids. Currently in Levels 6, 4, and 1. As the Levels have increased and the spelling rules grown more complex, I often wish there was more detailed info for the teacher to help explain. My kids can ask some really challenging “but why?!” questions!

Also, I’ve grown concerned about my kids’ poor spelling skills when writing for fun or another subject. For example, they don’t use the correct /er/ combination (i.e. use “er” when they should use “ur”) or they spell a long vowel sound with a silent e at the end rather than the correct vowel team (the word “showed” was spelled “shode”). Every other sentence will contain a spelling error. My 4th grader will want to use words containing spelling rules she simply hasn’t gotten to yet in AAS. Her active vocabulary is ahead of her spelling skills. My 6th grader is an avid reader of complex books (Tolkein trilogy, etc.) and yet he makes spelling mistakes that I would’ve thought constant exposure to the words would have prevented.

I don’t think I made these kinds of spelling mistakes when I was in 6th or 4th grades. My husband has questioned the quality of their spelling instruction. I’ve tried building the Tricky Word list with words consistently misspelled, but when three paragraphs written for a grammar assignment results in 20 words to correct, the kids are very discouraged and they shut down. They dreading any free form writing because of spelling. Any suggestions or perspective would be really appreciated!!

Merry

says: Customer Service

CabotMama, please feel free to email us any time that you or your kids have more detailed questions: support@allaboutlearningpress.com. We’re always glad to help or suggest ways of teaching a concept.

When you see your kids make a spelling error in fun writing, I wouldn’t correct that–let fun writing be just for fun. You really do want to encourage creativity and using their full vocabulary.

However, what you can do is make note of words that they misspell that they have already studied in AAS, and use them as part of your review time in your next lesson. For example, for the word showed, have your student follow the method that was modeled when she first learned about adding suffixes: first we write the root word, and then we add the suffix. If she thought about it, she would probably realize that “showed” is the past-tense of “show,” and that would remind her how to spell the word. If you dictate the word and she writes “shode,” use it in an example sentence for her: “Today I show you. Yesterday I showed you.” to help jog her memory, and ask her to write the root first.

Many students who are great readers like your oldest really struggle with spelling. Spelling is much more difficult than reading, as we discuss in our post about Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately. English spelling isn’t just a visual activity (it requires a variety of strategies to really master it).

Some students need lots of review–they might do fine with a lesson, but then a few days or a week later, as you review the cards, you’ll find some things have been forgotten. You really want to maximize the card review system so that your children are mastering things as they go. I had my kids teach the concepts back to me each day with the tiles until they could teach it to me without help (but help as much as they need while they are learning the concept). I would do that as part of my daily review (along with doing the review cards) before we picked back up in the book. I would ask a question such as, “We’ve been studying how to spell the /j/ sound at the end of a word this week. Do you remember what our choices are?” and then go into a tile demonstration and have them teach it back to me. Here’s a blog post showing how I divided the lessons up over several days, so that we could work in lots of review. I also didn’t move any cards to the “mastered” tab until a Monday–if my kids remembered the words over the weekend, they were much more likely to be truly mastered.

Another thing you can do with things like their grammar assignments: Give them a second day just for editing (no new grammar assignment that day). Let them find as many errors as they can, and underline them, and have them fix any that they are able to. Praise for all that they can find and fix. Then, for any they don’t find that are words they should know from AAS, put a light pencil X by the line to see if they can find the mistake in that line–and again praise if they can. Anything they are not able to find or fix, walk them through by asking questions: “Read exactly what you wrote” (great if they left out a sound or switched the order of some letters.) “Can you think of a rule that applies?” (if they forgot a rule.) “Can you think of another way to spell that sound? Try scratch-paper spelling.” (if they used the wrong phonogram, such as er instead of ur).

If they struggle with fixing a word, pull that card and put it back in daily review for a time. Use those word-analysis skills to help them think about the tricky parts of the word (I sometimes had my kids just read a word and talk about the tricky parts for several days, and then try spelling it again). If you don’t know where the card is, you can use a blank template to make up one for review. Put any related key, sound, or phonogram cards in review if the word was hard for them to fix.

I think you’ll find that by giving them a separate editing time, they won’t dread editing as much and they may be able to find more of their own errors. It takes time and practice for spelling in outside writing to become automatic (here’s an article on automaticity), but it’s time well spent. If they’re forgetting a lot from their AAS lessons, you may want to slow down or go back and review some earlier concepts.

Sorry this got long! But again, please feel free to email any time with questions or struggles–we’re here to help.

Debbie

says:

What age is this program for

Merry

says:

Hi Debbie,

All About Spelling has been used by people of all ages–preschool to adult! We recommend starting in first or second grade if you can, but many older students who need remedial work in spelling or who want to learn the spelling rules use it as well. Let me know if you have questions about getting an older student started; I’d be glad to help.

Leanna

says:

I love this program! My daughter is still confusing p d and b in lowercase form.
What tips or tricks can help?

Merry

says:

Hi Leanna,

This is a common problem for younger students, though I know it’s frustrating. Marie has a wonderful article about reversals with tactile ideas and activities using large arm movements.

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-solve-b-d-reversal-problems/

If you have an older student whose reversals may be more ingrained, know that it can take quite awhile to work on these. Be consistent–a little work each day can make a big difference. Work on one letter at a time and make it a focus until you see some improvement with that one. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.

Krista

says:

We have been talking about c making the /k/ sound or /s/ sound

S

says:

My kids have both become better spellers and writers because of this program! I’ve enjoyed watching them grasp the concepts taught to them.

Debbie

says:

I am working with teenage dropouts in another country who are trying to learn English. English spelling is very confusing to them. I am interested in trying some of these plans in the next week or so.

Tyra

says:

My 8-year-old daughter is an excellent reader, but she has a very difficult time spelling. We are using a traditional list spelling curriculum, but it’s not helping her really understand spelling. I’m going to try some of your sample lessons and see how she responds.

Leave a comment