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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All About Spelling!

A spelling program to get excited about! Did I really say that? Yes, I can honestly say that this is an exciting program. All About Spelling uses a unique multi-sensory, engage-the-whole-child approach that kids really love!

You may already be familiar with studies that show that when information is introduced in several different forms (through reading, writing, listening, etc.), rather than just one way there is much better retention. All About Spelling engages the whole child through listening activities, writing activities and kinesthetic activities. Your child will learn all the phonograms, write letters and words from dictation, learn the spelling rules from flash cards, build words with letter tiles and more. The program starts with the simplest spelling building blocks (phonograms) and moves in a logical, steady progression.

And you, the parent, are never left to guess what comes next. Each and every lesson is carefully scripted with a built in review. And it's completely customizable. You move at your own pace, with no particular schedule to keep. As you complete each step of a level, your child gets to color in that step on their chart.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was blessed to receive the complete program including the letter tiles, letter tile magnets and the phonogram CD-rom. At first I wasn't sure about using this program with my kiddos. David (age 8) is a natural speller and spelling lists have always bored him, so we have used a very informal approach where I just make a note of words he tends to misspell. Mary (age 5) and Peter (age 3) are not really ready to spell yet. But the program intrigued me and I was impressed by how well it was designed and put together. Why not see how well David knows his spelling rules?

I thought I would meet with resistance, but David was actually caught off-guard with the novelty of the program. He genuinely enjoyed segmenting and building words using the letter tiles. He didn't even complain about doing the dictation exercises. And, I discovered, that while he seems to spell and pronounce words intuitively, he's a little iffy on the spelling rules and some of his phonograms...this program will fill in the gaps nicely.

An unexpected bonus was the reception this program received from my little ones. Of course, they always want to do everything their big brother does, but Mary in particular was very happy learning phonograms from the flashcards and made real progress in distinguishing individual phonograms in words while working alongside her brother. Up until now, she could hear the first sound in a word, but had difficulty separating out the other sounds. By doing the segmenting exercises, she has a better feel for each individual sound in each word. And practicing with the phonogram cards has had an effect as well. I think this program has had a real impact on her reading readiness. She is trying to sound out letters she encounters on her own, even when they are her little brother's scribbles!

As a Mom, I greatly appreciate the way each lesson is set up with what to do and what to's foolproof! And it requires no real preparation on my part, beyond the initial separating of the letter tiles and cards (the cards come on sheets of cardstock and need to be cut apart, though they will soon have perforated cards available). The letter tiles can be used either with or without the magnets. With the magnets, the tiles can be used on a magnetic whiteboard, a metal sheet or even on an easel or refrigerator. The Phonogram cd-rom is a great tool for teaching the proper pronunciation of the phonograms (especially for parents like me who can be a little unsure of them ourselves). Best of all, this is a non-consumable program, so you can use it with all your kids. You will need to purchase a separate set of letter tiles for each child, however, if you are teaching more than one at a time.

There are 4 levels of All About Spelling available.
Each set includes the teacher's manual and student material packet.
The Level One Set sells for $29.95
The Level Two Set sells for $29.95
The Level Three Set sells for $39.95
The Level Four Set sells for $39.95
The Letter Tiles (one set for each student) sell for $9.95
The Tile Magnets (optional-turn your tiles into magnets) sell for $5.95
The Phonogram cd-rom (optional, but recommended) sells for $14.95

You can read more reviews of this product by other homeschoolers by clicking the banner below:

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