303

The Orton-Gillingham Approach to Reading and Spelling

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

Owl pointing to the words "The Orton-Gillingham Approach"

What Is Orton-Gillingham?

Orton-Gillingham (OG) is a powerful approach to teaching reading and spelling that uses instruction that is multisensory, sequential, incremental, cumulative, individualized, phonics-based, and explicit. Though often touted primarily as an instructional method for children with dyslexia and other learning challenges, the OG approach helps make reading and spelling easy for all children.

Who Were Orton and Gillingham?

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

Why Does the Orton-Gillingham Approach Work?

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

7 features of Orton-Gillingham infographic

In a nutshell, Orton-Gillingham works because it …

  • instills confidence;
  • helps children overcome learning disorders;
  • makes it easier for children to learn to read, including children with dyslexia and other learning challenges.

Are you ready to explore all the features that make the Orton-Gillingham approach so effective? Read on!

What Are the Key Features and Benefits of the OG Approach?

  1. Multisensory

    Multisensory

    Multisensory instruction is the hallmark of the Orton-Gillingham approach. This technique focuses on the idea that when children learn through three major pathways to the brain—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—they learn more than when they are taught through only one pathway. But the real power comes when you engage the senses of sight, sound, and touch all within the same lesson. So with the OG approach, you don’t have to figure out if your child has a particular learning preference because all three pathways are already built in to every lesson.

  2. Sequential

    Sequential

    When instruction is sequential, lessons are presented in a logical, well-planned sequence. This sequence allows children to make easy connections between what they already know and what they are currently learning–an important step in achieving long-term learning. And that makes learning a rewarding experience for your child.

  3. Incremental

    Incremental

    With incremental instruction, each lesson builds carefully upon the previous lesson. This helps your child move smoothly and naturally from simple concepts to more complex ones, ensuring that there are no gaps in his learning. It’s a lot like climbing a ladder: when lessons are incremental, each rung of the ladder helps your child get closer to the goal of reading and spelling. Even students who have experienced failure with other programs can learn to read and spell with this approach.

  4. Cumulative

    Cumulative

    Two of the most important components of cumulative learning are mastery and constant and consistent review of previously taught skills. When instruction is cumulative, students master one concept before moving on to a more advanced concept. Those concepts are further reinforced with review that is integrated into every lesson. The goal of mastery and review is to make sure that the brain permanently stores, manages, and retrieves information for later use; in short, to achieve learning that “sticks.” When a concept is learned and mastered, the goal of long-term learning has been reached.

  5. Individualized

    Individualized

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

  6. Based on Phonograms

    Based on Phonograms

    The Orton-Gillingham approach simplifies the English language by focusing on why words are spelled the way they are. By teaching the phonograms and the rules and patterns that spell the vast majority of English words, the OG approach takes the guesswork out of reading and spelling. When a student has a working knowledge of the phonograms and their sounds, reading and spelling are much easier. In fact, even children with reading disorders like dyslexia can overcome the language processing issues associated with these disorders.

  7. Explicit

    Explicit

    In an Orton-Gillingham reading or spelling program, students are taught exactly what they need to know in a clear and straightforward manner. Students know what they are learning and why they’re learning it. This direct instructional approach helps children master skills and gain confidence. When instruction is explicit, there is no guessing, no ambiguity, and no confusion.

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

For more details, be sure to download our free e-book, The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach. And let us know in the comments below if you have any questions about teaching reading and spelling. We’re here to help!

The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach

orton-gillingham pinterest image
< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Taylor Wright

says:

I found it interesting that engaging sight, sound, and touch in a lesson can be powerful for those with dyslexia. My sister just found out her daughter has dyslexia and wants to find a school that offers the Orton-Gillingham approach. I’ll be sure to pass this along to her as she continues to look for the best school for her daughter.

Tamara Hanks

says:

I have used and loved Sing Spell Read Write, but have been lost after level 1 as the program seems to merely repeat , loosing it’s singing, and I was disappointed. Are you familiar with it? You seem to have the same underlying phonics approach as they do? We took 2 years to cover their level 1 after a year of public school 1st grade. Where should my basics-mastered “4th” grader start?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tamara,
All About Reading and All About Spelling and Sing, Spell, Read and Write are similar as both are based upon the Orton-Gillingham approach. However, there are many differences between the two programs. For example, one difference is that Sing, Spell, Read and Write includes phonics, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Marie, the author of AAR and AAS, has found that most students learn reading, spelling, and writing at different paces. She purposefully made the All About Reading and All About Spelling independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling.

For All About Reading, you can use our placement tests to help you decide where to start. At the end of final level, AAR 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though 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…

For All About Spelling, we also have a placement test. However, with our child’s background with SSRW, he or she may be able to start higher than level two. Keep in mind that All About Spelling seems to focus on syllable division rules and how they apply them to spelling more than other programs and that begins in level 2. If your child is very confident in syllable rules you may be able to start higher. However, if that’s an area of weakness, then you’ll probably want to start with 2 but fast-track through the easier steps. This blog article has a good example of how you might fast track through level 1; the same strategy can be applied to other levels as well.

You can see the complete samples and scope and sequence links for each level here: All About Spelling samples and scope and sequence links. If you decide to begin with a higher level, you may want to purchase the Student Packets from all previous levels in order to have those cards for review purposes.

The program comes with a one-year “Go Ahead and Use It!” guarantee, so feel free to test it out.

I hope this helps, but let me know if you need more information or help with placement or anything else.

Tamara Hanks

says:

Thank you so much, Robin. Your reply help tremendously. I think we’ll start with Level 2 as spelling rules associated with syllable divisions are not taught in Sing Spell Read Write. Thank you again, and we look forward to spelling “class”.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m happy to help, Tamara. Let me know if you need anything else.

Megan

says:

THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOME RESOURCES!
With your help, our homeschool year is going great. My 4 daughters are using both AAR and AAS…We are enjoying it together.
THANKS AGAIN :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are so welcome, Megan! I’m super excited to hear how great your school year is going. Keep up the amazing work!

Hope

says:

We love All About Reading!

Katy

says:

Always a good reminder about *why* we teach this way! Thanks for making it so easy for me to teach this way!

Cathy

says:

Found you while searching for help for me , grandmom, to help my granddaughter who is really struggling in school and exhibiting self esteem issues. THANK YOU for the detail about your program. Ordering books today!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a wonderful thing for a grandmother to do, Cathy! Let me know if you have any questions or need anything as you begin.

Monica

says:

Our second son has dyslexia and AAR is teaching him how to read-and remember- what he has learned day by day! We are saving AAR for our youngest child too.

Kathy

says:

Glad I read this post! I am teaching my son math using a method just like this and have been searching for a reading program that might do the same. This program looks like the perfect fit!

Megan Flowers

says:

What is the math program you are using?

September

says:

This is very good information I will have to look into more. My boys are strong readers and spellers, but I never know how fast or slow to take them through spelling and vocabulary. I like the quote, “Go as fast as you can, but as slow as you must.”

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

September,
Yes, that is a great quote! It can apply to so many types of learning too.

Stephanie l Ferguson

says:

I am very new to this so all information is very helpful

Stephanie Murray

says:

I really didn’t know all that much info about this approach to the AAR program, so this was a good read for me. Thanks for the insight :)

Christie

says:

We love, love, love All About Reading and All About Spelling!! What an amazing program this is! I wish I had leaned by this method. I find myself understanding our language so much more now that I ever did as I teach using this approach!! Thank you!!!

Sam

says:

I love this program! It taught my boys who were struggling to read to read!

Amy P

says:

Interesting info—thanks!

Michelle Knauff

says:

This is great! Thank you for explain this method! I love it!

Jenny

says:

I thoroughly believe in the OG method!! I have tried other curriculums for my son, but the steps and method of the OG method seem to make sense and stick for him as well as my daughter. Have absolutely loved all of my AAS (level 1-4) and the AAR levels 1 & 2. Getting ready to start level 3 :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenny,
It’s so wonderful to hear that All About Reading and All About Spelling have worked out so well for your family! Thank you for sharing.

Jennie Kay

says:

My 8yo son is struggling with reading and while I plan to him tested for dyslexia, I also plan to start him on AAR here soon. Thanks for this info on the Orton-Gillingham method.

Chelle

says:

Well written post. I learned a lot.

Mary M.

says:

Thanks for breaking this all down. Very helpful.

Christine

says:

Very helpful article about this style

Amery

says:

Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Darla Peduzzi

says:

This is such a great article and so informative. My grandson is learning to read now and this would be so helpful.

Dawn

says:

Such a great article! I wish all schools would you this program to teach reading and spelling. I see so many kids who struggle with reading and spelling these days it’s unbelievable. We even have friends with college students whose spelling is not so great. I plan on starting AAR 1 soon with my daughter. Thanks for the opportunity to win any level.

Tiffany Robbins

says:

I’m very interested in this program. I have children who will definitely benefit from these learning techniques in reading.

Amy Jo

says:

OG is an amazing method to teach all readers to be better readers. Thank you for sharing this article!

Tayler

says:

After learning that one of my boys has dyslexia, I researched curriculums and quickly found yours. Can’t wait to start using the lessons!

Olivia

says:

I am so excited to get started using this program! It looks amazing.

Suzanne

says:

Great read!!!

Amanda Taylor

says:

I use all about Spelling and really love it. I like that there is minimal prep work since I homeschool and have several grades to teach. I like knowing that I don’t have to research or rack my brain for ideas to meet the needs of my children. The main learning styles are already considered and activities are already provided that are not just cute (I’m looking at you Pinterest and TPT) but also RESEARCHED BASED. Since I love All About Spelling so much, my interest is peaked to give All About Reading a try. Unfortunately, it’s not in the budget at this time since I only recently discovered this life changing program and school is starting in September. If you are on the fence about AAS, I’d recommend giving it a try. I’m not just saying this as a homeschooling mama, but also as a former public school teacher of 11 years. I taught first grade and this was just the kind of Multisensory curriculum I feel could have made a real difference in their literary skills. Thank you for a well designed product with actual KIDS in mind.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you so much this, Amanda. I really appreciate your viewpoint on All About Spelling and your detailed review of it.

Amanda

says:

My pleasure!

Cherie

says:

Love the program!

Cheerie

says:

Great Program!

T Wolf

says:

I wish Orton Gillingham method would be used more in schools today! I’m looking forward to reading and seeing more of your posts and materials.

Amber

says:

I love how the readers only use the words that have been taught. Sets the child up for success!

Tara B

says:

I am just about to start the Pre-reading program with my son! I’m excited!! Thank you!

Angie M

says:

Spelling 1 has made spelling connections for my son. Writing is less of a.chord because he’s more confident in his ability to spell

Elizabeth

says:

My daughters have been using All About Reading Pre-Reading and All About Spelling and we are loving the program so far! So easy to use for me and my students!

Jessica C

says:

So thankful for the giveaway opportunities you offer! We LOVE All About Reading!!

Kristin Girod

says:

This method – and AAR in particular -has been just what my dyslexic kiddo needed. I wish I had known about it when teaching my older kids to read.

Kyla

says:

This approach to reading and spelling has helped my child tremendously. I believe it to be especially true for boys. I am a mother of four boys. If I do not include a number of their senses into a lesson, particularly touch, they are not as involved and there is definitely not as much learning going on. Thank you AAR and AAS for a fantastic program!

Brittany

says:

We are just finishing up level one and excited to start level two!

Talia

says:

Wonderful information!

Iheartdragon

says:

Just started level 3 with my son and we are both loving it!

Jeree

says:

Sounds similar to Spaulding in a way? I think the phonograms and spelling rules are so much better than how I learned back in the day

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re correct, Jeree. The Spalding method is based upon the Orton-Gillingham approach, so there are a lot of similarities.

Kelli

says:

This is our first year with AAR. We are on week 3… and doing well. Everyone is enjoying! Thank you!

Cassandra Bernard

says:

We started this program with my five-year-old now six-year-old about six months ago and have seen great progress I’m looking forward to what this next year will bring thank you so much

Stacy Whitaker

says:

Yes, yes, and yes! I’m getting my M.Ed. in Reading and Literacy right now. Thankfully, this is beginning to be taught in most teacher preparation programs, but there’s still a long way to go to ensure all children learn how to read.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stacy,
I wasn’t aware the Orton-Gillingham approach was being taught in most teacher preparation programs. That’s great news! My experience with teachers, even teachers with degrees in special education, is that they haven’t even heard of Orton-Gillingham. I think future students will be well served with teachers knowing this approach to reading and spelling!

Stacy Whitaker

says:

It certainly wasn’t 20 years ago when I did my teacher preparation. Texas A&M is doing a fabulous job (there are even some professors who suggest AAR/AAS!) and they are working hard to ensure all students in Texas, at least, get systematic, explicit, multi-sensory instruction.

Stephanie May

says:

This has been great for my son. We have been using it for 3 years and has been the best curriculum to help him learn to read.

Jackie

says:

This curriculum has been amazing for all 3 of my children. I wish I found it sooner in our homeschool journey.

Julie

says:

I am really looking forward to teaching with AAR. No doubt I will be learning lots of the “why” alongside my kids.

Elizabeth

says:

We are almost done with Level 1 and I have seen so much improvement in my son’s ability to blend sounds together.

Amber

says:

Great content!

Rachel Pelsang

says:

This looks so neat!! A friend at church was just telling me about this.

JessicA

says:

Im excited to try this with my oldest. He has struggled to read for years and I really think this will help him.

ae minx

says:

I love reading. I don’t read anywhere near as much as I should anymore. Taught my son to love to read as well

Naomi

says:

Love to read! Want to teach all 5 of my children to love it too!

Amy

says:

Hello my name is Amy Sparks and I am the principal at The School of Hope. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization that is looking for a reading series that meets the needs of our students at The School of Hope. I would appreciate any help that you might be willing to give to me.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
I think you will find our blog post 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling helpful. If you have any questions about implementing All About Reading and All About Spelling in a classroom, please let me know.

Mariah Arnett

says:

We are looking forward to using this approach for our girls. I love that it is multi sensory too.

Jennifer Tucker

says:

I love that it’s multi sensory and individualizing.

Jessica

says:

Your posts help us all teach better. Thank you.

Jennifer Lynch-Laughter

says:

Great information! I plan to use this method with my two littles!

LeAnn Harbert

says:

This sounds like it would be a great program for my granddaughters.

Julia A Cosgrove

says:

Thanks for the background! I love All About Spelling!

Judy

says:

Very interesting! Can’t wait to read the free e-book.

Amanda Skinner

says:

I’ve used all of the All About Spelling levels with my older girls and they have an amazing foundation in spelling. It’s been a huge blessing! Now that my son is getting close to school age, I’d like to try the All About Reading program!

Stephanie Wright

says:

I am very interested in the spelling program. It sounds very interesting.

Starla

says:

This is truly so interesting and I have never heard of this before. Pinning for later definitely! Spelling is so very important and it seems this method would definitely help!

Charity

says:

Fascinating! I had never heard of this method before.

Jennifer

says:

I have never heard of this before, and I wish I had. My 16 year old, has a lot of disabilities and one of them is dyslexia. I am going to check more into this. Thank you

Kristen Mathewson

says:

So helpful!

Cori

says:

We are using level 3 of AAS this year and my children’s spelling has improved so much! We are all having a lot of fun while we learn too. I highly recommend this program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Cori! It’s great to hear that All About Spelling is working out so well for your children.

Lori H

says:

This info is so informative. Thanks for sharing 😊

Sarah Miller

says:

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this program and look forward to looking into it more as a possibly for my kids.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
The video on the main page of our websites does a good job giving an overview of our programs. Let me know if you need more information or have any questions.

Jelena

says:

I’ve had great success so far with AAS so this method had really helped my family.

Amy Barger

says:

I adore All About Reading!! Would love to win!

Debra

says:

This method has helped our son!

Jessica W.

says:

Sounds like an effective method in learning.

Cherie

says:

I recently completed my dissertation on phonics and researched the O-G approach! I’m so glad I stumbled upon yoke blog because I believe in the approach after extensive research and plan to start implementing some components next year!

Nancy Barton

says:

This is wonderful and so informative.

Inês David

says:

Very interesting!!

Lisa

says:

I love how this is hands on and Multi-sensory.

Dianne Witzell

says:

I have known about Orton-Gillingham approach for some time and wanted to use it, however have never been able to afford the training.

Kelly

says:

I wish I had know about this approach earlier! Looks absolutely amazing!

Monique Dewey

says:

I have been homeschooling for over 25 years and have had what seems success from a worldly perspective with college graduates and confident adults; however my tenth child has proven to be more needy in certain areas. Spelling has proved a huge hurdle, even with using phonetics. I am hoping that this spelling curriculum might help her understand the whys and then the hows of spelling.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Monique,
Let me give you an overview of how All About Spelling helps students succeed with spelling. The video on our main page is a nice start.

All About Spelling is multisensory. This means AAS approaches learning through sight, sound, and touch. This helps kids remember what they learn because they take in information in various ways and also interact with it in various ways. It focuses on encoding skills, spelling rules, and other strategies that help children become good spellers.

The program is laid out in an orderly form for the teacher so that each day you can simply open and go. It is easy to do at home without special training or previous experience.

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. The program is designed for you to move at your child’s pace, so you can go as quickly or as slowly as your child needs through each step.

Lessons are Incremental. AAS 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.

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

The lessons are scripted, so you can concentrate on your child. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage. We also have a Letter Tiles app that can be used in addition to or instead of the physical tiles.

AAS has built-in review in every lesson. Some children need lots of review in order to retain concepts, while others don’t need as much–so you are free to adjust this to your child’s need. Your child will have a Spelling Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things that your child needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that your child already knows.

Lastly, we offer a one-year money-back “Go Ahead and Use It” guarantee. If the program does not meet your needs, return it at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price even if it is used. Marie never wants anyone to feel “stuck” with a purchase.

I hope this gives you an idea of All About Spelling’s focus and approach. However, I’d love to help you with any further questions you may have.

Niki Miller

says:

cool!

Rebekah

says:

I can’t wait to try your program for my son. He’s just starting to learn to read.

Emily

says:

My aunt teaches kindergarten and she loves this approach to learning. Sounds like a logical great approach!

Michelle Damon

says:

I think this might be able to help my little guy! He struggles sometimes and is actually so much better with Math; which to me, is harder! Thank you for the opportunity!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
I’m more of a mathy person myself, so I understand your son. I think you will find All About Reading and All About Spelling helpful. They teach reading and spelling in an organized way as possible for English, and that is often helpful for more math-oriented minds.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Stacy Duncan

says:

AAR and spelling have been amazing in our homeschool!!! Certainly my most highly recommended product!

Jenna

says:

This totally works for my son. We are thrilled with AAR.

Rick

says:

Very cool

Shai PW

says:

I’m looking into this reading program for my son. I’ve heard nothing but great news. This blog post just reinforces it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shai,
Let me know if you have any questions or need more information. You may find the video on our main page helpful.

Kristi

says:

I homeschool both of my children. They both have autism. I have a child that is struggling with Apraxia. This looks like it would definitely help him learn to spell and read. I really like the approach. The multi sensory looks like it would get and keep their attention.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristi,
Have you seen our blog post on Teaching Reading and Spelling to Autistic Children? You may find it helpful.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Sandra M

says:

Want to learn more and All About Spelling, loving All About Reading so far

Heather Young

says:

The way reading should be taught.

amanda

says:

Excited to research more about this as my youngest struggles with spelling and reading.

Dusty Haayema

says:

Interesting to read why it works so well. We love AAR!

Tjae

says:

Love this program!

Donna L Holder

says:

great information

Natalie

says:

Such a great program. Would love to buy the next level!

Lindsey

says:

I am so glad to have found this program. Having seen what it’s done with my second grader’s reading level, I can’t wait to start with my kinder. I feel like I’m learning along with my kids, being a product of a whole language education.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lindsey,
It’s wonderful to hear all well All About Reading has worked for your child! 😊

Donald Errol Knight

says:

This was very useful and informative!!

Amanda

says:

Would love to give this a try with my kids?

Diane Eflin

says:

We just completed Auditory Processing Therapy and are excited to give AAR a try because they use the Orton-Gillingham method.

Alysia Anderson

says:

This has by far been the best program for my kids.

Jeannie

says:

I would love to use this for my son!

Tara St. Martin

says:

The individualized component has been crucial to my kids homeschool. Every kid learns differently and at their own pace. Great method and great program!

Erin

says:

We’ve used this approach and seen lots of improvement with our kids’ spelling

Amanda Segur

says:

This approach seems as though it might be perfect for helping my little guy to learn.

Sarah N.

says:

We just received the pre reading program and are excited to see how this program works! These comments are very encouraging.

Amy Herrera

says:

My son really took off after one year in AAR and is working on chapter books by himself this summer.

Carly

says:

Our son has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia & there are so many programs as we are now homeschooling – We have just been told about All About Reading & could be just what we need! It makesense

Danielle S

says:

I am excited to try this system with my child. I have really struggled with teaching spelling, and I hear her making mistakes when she’s reading aloud. We’d like to correct these, so that they do not become a habit.

Jacy

says:

Thank you for such a detailed post!

Fran

says:

Thank you, this is a great start! I am trying to learn all I can about this approach and deliver it explicitly to my students in the resource program.

Susan Powers

says:

Thanks for the information. I can always use extra tips!

Cynthia Jayne McBAIN

says:

I like the way the information is presented in a easy format.

Eilene Glasgow

says:

Hi, as a tutor, I’m using your spelling materials with several students . They are all in 6th and 7th grades, and reading books and texts with multisyllabic words in them at school, while being on level 3, almost 4, in your series. The words we work with are still short words, but they need strategies for longer words. When does your series get to them? In the meantime, what can I be doing to strengthen their abilities to take words apart accurately? Do you have additional materials that would help with this? Also, I wish illustrations and examples that are oriented towards older students were available so they don’t feel that what they are doing is for babies…

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Eileen,
The strategies used in the shorter words of the lower levels are the same strategies used in longer words. The syllable division rules are the same whether it’s a two-syllable word or a six-syllable word. However, as you move into each higher level, you will find the words get longer and more difficult. Level 7 of All About Spelling is the final level of the program.

It takes practice to be able to take words apart accurately. I recommend doing a word analysis exercise with your students at the start of each day’s spelling time. This is done at the beginning of most steps in All About Spelling 3. You can use follow the script for those but can also choose your own words based on what your students are having difficulties with. These exercises ask questions to get students thinking about words, how they are divided, and why they are spelled the way they are. This is very helpful to get students do this kind of thinking on their own.

However, I am unsure what you are referring to about the illustrations. All About Spelling doesn’t have illustrations. Can you point me to a specific example or other portion of All About Spelling that you have found to be too “young” for your students? All About Spelling is often used with even teens and adults with good success.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need more information or help.

Elsie Joe

says:

Sounds terrific! Thanks for all the information.

Jeanne Bosley

says:

I have been a certified Orton-Gillingham reading instructor for years and I can tell you that there is no other method that works for all children. It’s fun to teach and the children love to learn this way. I’ve been able to help every single student that I’ve had with this method. Thank you for promoting it. I firmly believe that this method of instruction will help every child
Sincerely
Jeanne Bosley

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Jeanne!

Nancy

says:

I am a teacher assistant and am very interested in your program to help struggling readers.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
You may find our blog post 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Charlotte

says:

Interested in this programme as I am about to start teaching Reading for K5…please email me a samole of your pre-reading programme

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Charlotte,
You will find samples of our Pre-reading program and all the other levels as well available on here. Please let me know if you need anything else.

Sherry

says:

I have a question . My son is thirteen and not a good reader. He has been tested and found to have a slow processing. We have started level 1 in AAR this year. He is in the 7th grade. Is there any suggestions you may have for me teaching an older student?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sherry,
Marie has tutored teens and this is what she recommends:

Follow the new-concept lessons in the Teacher’s Manual, which include flashcard review, “Change the Word,” Activity Sheets, Fluency Practice, and reading aloud to your student. Approximately every other lesson is a “new concept” lesson, and every other lesson is a “read a story” lesson.

In the Activity Book, you can skip the activities that your students might think are too young, but some of the activities in the upper levels would be more acceptable; you can evaluate as you go. They are there to provide fun review activities for those that would need and enjoy them. As we state in the Teacher’s Manual, the activity sheets aren’t necessary for older learners; however, the fluency practice pages and warm-up sheets in the activity book are necessary for helping to build smooth, fluent reading.

Marie and many tutors include the readers, too. The readers become “older” as you progress. With regard to the level 1 readers, sometimes it depends on the student. We’ve talked to tutors of adults, and the adult students are so happy to be able to read a story that they are thrilled to read the level 1 readers. They don’t mind the content. But if you are dealing with a “cool” teen, you might want to stick with the fluency practice pages and warm-up sheets and wait until you get to the higher readers. We use realistic line-drawings with soft color pencil to appeal to the widest age-range of students.

You also don’t have to use the letter tiles if your student would find these too childish (though some older students do still enjoy them). They are a scaffolding step, but older students don’t always need them. You can use underlining while writing on paper or a whiteboard, or colored markers, to show when letters are working together as one phonogram. We also now have a Letter Tiles app, which often appeals to older students.

I hope this helps but please let me know if you have additional questions.

Stacey F.

says:

I don’t even know where to begin. My son is 10 and his private school told me at the end of his second attempt at 3rd grade that “he had too many issues for them to help him with.” So I politely told them in the meeting that he would not be attending next year anyways as he would be homeschooled from here on out. They scoffed that I would be teaching him, because if Professionals couldn’t help him that he needed serious professional tutoring. I then went home and immediately ordered All About Reading and Spelling. We started with Level 2 reading and level 1 Spelling. Since the beginning of summer I have watched my sad, reluctant, hard working and determined boy blossom into a confident and happy kid! I love hearing him say “Is it time to homeschool mom?” He knows that this program is helping! He knows that he can read better. All of a sudden it just clicked for him and now I hear, “Really, this is easy!” We laugh and spend lots of quality time together during his reading and spelling. He’s in level 2 Spelling now and it’s a struggle for him, but he knows I’m in his corner and we’re never giving up! I feel like my son is back to his old self before reading became a problem and the repercussions of failing at school entered the very core of his soul. That’s all gone away now! Thank you Marie Rippel! There’s one sweet boy in FL and his Momma that’s so very thankful for you! God Bless you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, Stacy! This brought tears to my eyes. I love what you have been able to do to help your dear son succeed and find that joy and confidence in learning again. I’m going to share this with the entire AALP team as I know they will appreciate it as much as I have.

Keep up the amazing work!

Ruth Grigg

says:

Yes please send the OG Approach

Rustum Geonzon

says:

This approach to beginning reading instruction is very effective!

Kate Davy

says:

This sounds wonderful! We are a multi- cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual family. This method appears to be able to span our needs. Thank you for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Kate. The Orton-Gillingham approach has been shown to be effective with all kinds of learners. You may find our blog post Real Moms, Real Kids: English Language Learners useful, as it details one mother’s success using All About Reading and All About Spelling to help her children master English.

If you have any questions, just let me know!

Danika Recore

says:

I had to go to a $200 seminar to learn to use SWR! My gosh, so much work to teach that program. It was definitely not a good fit for me as a homeschool parent (I’m just not that organized as this program needs you to be). AAS was so much simpler to learn and start using immediately.

My daughter has dyslexia, and had a much easier time with AAS than SWR right from the start. So much less frustration for the both of us. I wish I’d found this before spending the time and money on SWR.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Danika,
I’m pleased to hear All About Spelling has worked so well for you and your daughter!

Catherine Tata

says:

Looking for ways to supplement my grandson’s 2nd grade education. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia. He is also a child with very high iQ so although he struggles, he has been staying on grade level so has not had accommodations. His self esteem is beginning to be effected as he feels dumb when he now compares himself to others. He is beginning to understand that he can not focus or “get” the level of learning that others do.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your grandson’s self-esteem is being affected, Catherine! Poor guy.

Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based, which is a proven approach for helping students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. It’s also the approach that the International Dyslexia Association recommends. The author of AAR and AAS, Marie Rippel, 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. She is also a member of Pro Literacy, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literary Task Force in Wisconsin, and tutored students for more than 20 years. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out (they were told he would never read). It’s quite amazing!

You might like to visit our Dyslexia Resources Page.

Here are some ways that All About Reading and All About Spelling can help kids with learning difficulties:

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

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

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

– AAR and AAS are scripted so you can concentrate on your student. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage.

– AAR and AAS have built-in review in every lesson. Children with learning difficulties generally need lots of review in order to retain concepts. With AAR and AAS, your grandchild will have a Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things that he needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that he already knows.

– All About Reading 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 Spelling has a gradual progression for increasing the student’s stamina and fluency in writing, from words and short phrases in Level 1, to phrases and short sentences in Level 2, to 12 dictation sentences per step in Level 3. Partway through Level 3, the Writing Station activity is introduced. In this exercise, students write sentences of their own that they make up using some of their spelling words. In this way students have begun to use words in a more real-world context through dictation and writing, to help them transition to longer writing assignments.

All About Reading and All About Spelling have a one-year guarantee. You can try them, and if for any reason you feel that they aren’t the right match for your grandchild, return them for a full refund.

Lastly, we recommend working All About Reading and All About Spelling for just 20 minutes a day in each. This makes it possible to work in AAR and AAS around his school schedule.

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

Peggy

says:

I have been reading with great excitement about your program!! I am a sixth grade teacher of 18 students whose spelling abilities range considerably. If I were to begin the spelling program, would you suggest starting with the first book, then the second, etc.?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great question, Peggy!

All About Spelling is a mastery-based program, so each level builds upon the last. However, since your students are older, you may be able to start with level 2 instead of level 1. The article Which Spelling Level Should We Start With? has more information on the concepts taught in All About Spelling 1 and will help you decide if your students can skip level 1 and go into level 2.

If any of your students really struggle with spelling, however, they would be better starting with level 1. We have found that many students simply memorize easy words like “cat” and “kid” but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher level words such as “concentrate.” Other students switch letters or leave out letters entirely because they don’t know how to hear each sound in a word. Level 1 has specific techniques to solve these problems. The good news is that older students that need level 1 are typically able to move through it quickly and will make noticeable progress in their spelling with it. Our blog post on Using All About Spelling with Older Students details how to fast track through lower levels in order to ensure your students have the foundation necessary without spending lots of time on things they already know.

With a wide range of spelling ability, it will likely be best to break your class into two or three spelling groups. This will allow you to move at a faster, slower, and possibly middle pace with students.

I have emailed you a document that details what you would need for your classroom and the larger classroom-sized materials we have. You may also find our blog post 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling helpful as well.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

TerraBeth Jochems

says:

Hi! I am a certified tutor for the Barton Reading and Spelling System. This OG approach has helped me teach hundreds of children how to read and spell by teaching them rules of the English language. I am in a desperate search for a classroom OG method for our district. Is this program powerful in a classroom setting? Sounds like something I REALLY would enjoy and about which I would feel confident teaching! Can you send me a sample of a teacher’s manual for any level of your choice.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

TerraBeth,
Yes, our programs have been very successful in classrooms! Our blog post, 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling, will have a lot of information and downloads to help you. I have also emailed you.

Limor Tager

says:

I’m a big believer in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, and have been using it in my work. I was exposed to the program in Israel, where they use it as well after some adaptations to the English language curriculum in the schools.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Limor,
Interesting! I didn’t know that Israel used the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Thomas Mokua

says:

This is a master piece post on how to teach children with disabilities in general Nd dyslexia in particilar. Thaklvyou for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Thomas.

John

says:

Does the tutoring have to be done in the same location each time to be effective?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

John,
No, tutoring doesn’t have to be done in the same location each time to be effective. However, having a specific location for learning can help students get focused and into the right attitude to learn more quickly. It is like when we get a bit hungry every time we go into the kitchen; we can develop habits tied to locations. Also, new locations tend to be somewhat distracting to students, as they look around and take everything in. Another benefit of using the same location is that the student will be accustom to it and less distracted.

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

Mel Vaughan

says:

Hi I am a mum and teacher form Australia. i am extremely interested in your spelling program, but your postage is prohibitive -$85 for the first program to be sent. Are there any distributors of your program in Australia?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mel,
Yes! We have an Australian distributor, Educational Warehouse.

Jeanine

says:

I have the same problem with excessive postage, but am from Zimbabwe. I am homeschooling both my boys and would love a decent O-G approach spelling program. Do you perhaps have an agent in South Africa?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jeanine,
We do not have a South African distributor, although not for a lack of trying. Another option to consider is using a shipping company that will give you a “box”, a US address that we can ship to, and then they, in turn, will ship it to your address. A recent customer told us they had a good experience with Aramex Global Shopper.

If you want to comparison shop, here are some other companies that provide this kind of service (please note that we don’t have personal experience with these companies):

Borderlinx
BundleBox
comGateway
MyUS

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jeanine,
I was just informed that we now have a South African distributor! She does not have a website so you will need to email Lindie at lindie.bull@gmail.com.

Leigh Tuccolo

says:

Hi, I was told by my 1st graders reading specialist that my son is too young for Orrin-gillingham, is there any truth to this? He is 7.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Leigh,
Our Pre-reading level of All About Reading, which focuses on phonological awareness and other Reading Readiness Skills, is aimed at 4 and 5 year olds, and children start All About Reading 1 right after. Many 5 and 6 year olds thrive in All About Reading 1. We recommend starting All About Spelling 1 after the student has completed All About Reading 1, or the equivalent reading level. So, most students begin All About Spelling 1 when they are 6 or 7 years old. Our Orton-Gillingham programs are perfect for 7 year olds.

There are some Orton-Gillingham programs that are aimed at older students, and there are many policies that don’t start specialized work with students until they are around 3rd grade. Maybe your reading specialists was referring to one of these? However, research suggests that the earlier an Orton-Gillingham approach is started with children, the less problems they will have as the years progress.

We have a page that can help you with placement, or we would be happy to discuss placement or anything else with you. We can answer questions here, through email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, or by phone at 715-477-1976.

Lisa

says:

My Son is 9, diagnosed Dyslexic. He’s in 4th grade with an IEP. He’s making progress with Corrective Reading program..should we switch to rovate with OG approach?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lisa,
I haven’t seen this in person, and Marie also wasn’t familiar with it. So what I can offer as a starting place to evaluate this program is online information only, unfortunately.

We believe strongly in an Orton-Gillingham approach, which is what our programs are based on. Corrective Reading is not an O-G based program. Orton-Gillingham is what the International Dyslexia Association recommends for remediation, as it has been shown to work for many struggling learners and specifically for dyslexia.

As I was looking for information about Corrective Reading’s effectiveness, I came across these two opinion pieces from Philadelphia citizens and teachers concerned about the separation of comprehension from decoding, as well as some of the other methods used. Obviously, these are just opinion pieces, but they might give you a starting point to ask some questions of your son’s teachers to find out how the program is structured and how certain elements (like the clickers) are used.
http://thenotebook.org/blog/102275/corrective-reading-raising-questions
http://thenotebook.org/blog/102107/corrective-reading-and-math-stirs-debate-among-teachers

In the comments section of this second article, you can find discussion on the lack of research, and the lack of long-term proven information within the research that has been done. You can also hear some pros and cons–it seems some teachers like it and some don’t.

Overall, I feel somewhat skeptical reading about this and wonder if it’s just another in a series of attempts to change up reading instruction (and unfortunately our educational system has had many “popular” approaches that have fallen by the wayside over the years because they didn’t work). I certainly would ask more questions about what is taught and how, consider how and whether comprehension is taught alongside decoding strategies, and what research might be out now about it’s effectiveness (the articles I found were 6 years old, and are the most recent information regarding research I could find). If you don’t feel confident about what you hear, you may want to consider a tutor, or teaching your son after school (or even homeschooling) with an Orton-Gillingham based program.

I hope this helps somewhat as you consider what to do. If you have additional questions, or if we can help in any way, please let us know.

Ellen. Callahan

says:

I am interested in this program for my school. I am a reading specialist in Hillsborough NJ.
Can you send some product samples?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ellen,
I have emailed your samples and an information sheet on using our products in a classroom. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Amy Summers

says:

Does this curriculum teach phonemic awareness?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

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

Did you have any specific questions I could address?

Jessica Caswell

says:

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

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I emailed you, Jessica.

DC

says:

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

Merry

says: Customer Service

Will Do!

Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists

says:

Thanks for sharing. Very useful post.

Cameron Parham

says:

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

julia

says:

For what age is the Orton-Gillingham appropriate for?

Merry

says:

Hi Julia,

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

Krevill

says:

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

Julie

says:

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

Holly

says:

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

Suzanne

says:

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

Laura Saenz

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Laura,

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

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

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

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

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

Level 1 will start right off with sounding out words.

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

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

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

Sabrina L.

says:

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

Nur

says:

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

Shannon Nelson

says:

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

Hannah K

says:

Thank you for this!! Very helpful!

Aimee S

says:

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

Katie Roberts

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Katie,

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

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

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

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

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

Lori

says:

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

Sherry

says:

We love AAS…no questions here!

Laura

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Laura,

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

Sara McGuire

says:

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

Molly

says:

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

Michelle S.

says:

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

Mary

says:

We love AAS!

Pam

says:

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

melanie

says:

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

Alesha Dicken

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Alesha,

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah C.

says:

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

Jennifer

says:

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

Carol Woods

says:

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

jeannie

says:

How much time would a daily lesson take?

Merry

says:

Hi Jeannie,

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

Laura Clark

says:

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

Teena

says:

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

Jennifer

says:

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

Are there manipulatives in the All About Spelling?

Merry

says:

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

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Stephanie Bondlow

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Stephanie,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emily Copeland

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Emily,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Danica

says:

Just purchased AAS, excited to get started!

Teresa

says:

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

Merry

says:

Yes, AAS is used in ESL classes in the US and around the world. The thing that sets AAS apart is the emphasis on the sounds of the English language. We approach spelling from sound first, and then we translate that sound into written letters. ESL teachers appreciate the fact that we teach the sounds, and we have the Phonogram CD-ROM, which is also helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

carrie

says:

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

crystal

says:

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

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

Hylary

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Hylary,

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

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

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

barb

says:

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

Traci

says:

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

shauna

says:

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

Sally Lane

says:

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

Carol

says:

Love helping kids with the OG multisensory tools!

Caitlin

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Caitlin,

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

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Tara forehand

says:

I love it.

Linda

says:

Would love to try this!

Kelly

says:

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

Jodi

says:

We love AAR and AAS!

Shara

says:

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

michelle

says:

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

SAsha

says:

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

I love the all about reading and spelling program

Dana

says:

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

Lisa

says:

must try!!!

Michelle Jernigan

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Michelle,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MamaLovesHerBlessings

says:

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

Shannon

says:

Looks neat and more engaging than worksheets.

Sarah

says:

Great stuff. Thank you!

Kelly R

says:

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

Anastasia

says:

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

Kendra Ahlborn

says:

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

Sarah Winn

says:

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

Lisa G

says:

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

Kyla Davis

says:

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

Debra

says:

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

Tia Stevens

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Tia,

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

Cindi Davis

says:

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

Debby

says:

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

Jacque

says:

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

Karma

says:

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

Carrie

says:

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

Stacy M.

says:

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

Jamie

says:

This looks like a really good spelling program

Terrie

says:

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

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

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

Meghan

says:

Looks like a good approach to spelling.

Edie

says:

This sounds like a great program.

Jackie

says:

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

Patrizia

says:

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

Amanda Depablos

says:

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

Amber

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Amber,

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

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

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

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

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

kristen

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Kristen,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy S.

says:

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

Keri A

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Keri,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this helps! Merry :-)

Jill

says:

Spelling is so important! This looks great!

Gennie Shelor

says:

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

Libby Inglett

says:

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

Sharlene

says:

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

Pamela

says:

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

Erika

says:

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

Donna Marsh

says:

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

Jaki

says:

This looks so do-able!

Carrie

says:

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

Katie

says:

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

Sheila

says:

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

constance

says:

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

Merry

says:

Hi Constance,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave a Comment