Spelling is one of those subjects that can often go overlooked when homeschooling, especially if you have big readers. For some gifted kiddos, like my Molly, spelling is intuitive, basically absorbed through all of the literature she goes through. Other kids, though, especially twice-exceptional kiddos like my Logan, spelling can be a difficult hurdle. When learning differences like dyslexia muddy up the ability to process words on a page, the rules of spelling don’t make themselves naturally apparent.
Because we’ve had such great success with All About Reading in the past, I was thrilled to use their spelling program, All About Spelling, with both Logan and Isaac, my youngest. Even with over a decade of public school teaching and over a decade of homeschooling experience, I still needed help when it came time to teach spelling, and the AAS program was the perfect fit.
It’s often easy, as adults, to take spelling for granted. Sure, we may still rely on sounding out certain words, like “Wednesday”, but for the most part we just go about our lives and jobs, writing, typing, and spelling without much thought to the mechanics of it. Much like walking, we forget that something that we do so naturally began with a lot of stumbles, missteps, and practice.
Because my older two kiddos were such good spellers – Molly seeming to have absorbed the ability while still in the womb – I almost forgot that it was a skill that needed teaching. I write for a living, spelling things every day, yet I still neglected to include formal spelling instruction with my younger kiddos. Fortunately, they’re still young and haven’t missed out on much, but I am very glad to have to safety net and support of the AAS program to help make sure this skill doesn’t fall through the cracks.
I used level one and level three with them, having first completed their free online placement test. The All About Spelling website has some very helpful information regarding when to begin spelling and when to wait, and spelling scenarios to help you decide whether AAS is right for your homeschool.
A very helpful metaphor is used to explain to parents (and their kiddos) the importance of and difference between reading (which they refer to as decoding), and spelling (which AAS calls encoding). Using a combination of the four main strategies of spelling – visual, phonetic, rules-based, and morphemic – the All About Spelling program teaches children to to build upon spelling skills, not simply memorize a few i-before-e rules.
The AAS program is fully scripted, meaning it’s ready to go and the perfect ability level for any parent to implement, whether it’s your first day or 14th year. Just open and get started! Everything you’ll need is included in the specific levels ordered and the interactive spelling kit, which can be used over and over with every level of AAS you use.
To build your kiddo’s confidence, All About Spelling uses continual individualized review, building upon previous lessons and skills to not only solidify the skill, but to give each child the boost of recognizing something familiar. Each 20-minute lesson begins with a small review, allowing your kiddo to dip their toes in and work up to more difficult concepts. This process is continued throughout the program, across all levels, building familiarity as well as skills. By the end of level 7, AAS promises, your child will be comfortably and confidently spelling high school-level words!
The multisensory approach has been great for my wiggle worm, Isaac. Using flashcards, sentence dictation, even colored squares, the lessons are never too long and never too dull for us to easily complete. One of the aspects that I appreciate the most as a parent of gifted children is that the program offers flexibility when dealing with asynchronous learners. So often formal homeschool programs lack in the ability to adapt to differently-wired learners, basically forcing students to stay on a specified path for a certain measure of time, which results in either boredom or frustration. The AAS programs allow for strong spellers to move forwards as quickly as they need to, and for students who need a little more support to take as much time as they need. The flexibility of All About Spelling also makes it a perfect fit for large families and multi-age settings.
Just as with All About Reading, All About Spelling offers not only an incredible 1-year return policy should you decide the program isn’t a good fit, but also lifetime customer support. Lifetime! For as long as you are teaching, the team at AAS is available to walk you through hurdles, answer questions, and support your homeschool however possible.
If you’ve let spelling slide, are new to homeschooling, busy, catering to multiple ages, or just plain could use the help, check out All About Spelling. Head over to the website and look over some sample spelling lessons they’ve made available and imagine how the simple, scripted, fully-supported program would work in your own homeschool. The program is comprehensive, helpful, flexible, and even uses the Orton-Gillingham approach for teaching kiddos with some learning differences. AAS, with their methods, help, and flexibility, appears to actually be all about students.