Saturday, November 15, 2008

All About Spelling

All About Spelling
The Multisensory Program for Spelling Success

Any of you that know me very well, know that Lee struggles with spelling. Although he doesn't actually have any hearing problems, he doesn't hear all the phonetic sounds in words. When he was 3 he went to speech at the public school with no results and that is the main thing that lead us to homeschooling. Although his speech is much improved and he is a great reader (although he doesn't enjoy it), we still struggle with spelling.

All 3 of us love our current spelling program, so I will admit that I was hesitate to stop using it to try out a new one. I am so very grateful that I did! All About Spelling (AAS) is a very comprehensive program that seems to meet Lee's need to "hear" the individual sounds in words. The introductory letter that was sent with my package suggested that we begin with the first book, moving through quickly, until we reached where our student needed to slow down. We are zipping through Level 1, as suggested, but I can't begin to tell you everything that Lee is learning!

***Greg is also going through this program. It is also useful for him, but I will be using Lee as an example most of the time, because he needed the most help.***

AAS starts with basic phonetic sounds and then builds from there. So far, Lee has greatly benefited from segmenting the sounds in words. I think he finally sees the difference! The program is also forcing both of my children to master alphabetizing. They hate doing that, but daily reviewing (I never took the time before) has made great strides in this area.

This program requires very little writing (at least in the first level - the upper levels look similar). Everything is VERY hands on. This was perfect for Lee - a very hands on person. The student can see the way the sounds fit together in words and they are "touching" the sounds (through letter tiles) as they say them. There is also an audio CD to help them get the sounds right. My boys are learning the basic spelling rules and seeing how they can apply them to the words they need to spell. They aren't just memorizing a list of words, they are learning why they are spelled that way!

I am very excited, also, about the possibilities for beginning readers in this program. Since it takes such a phonetic approach, this is a wonderful companion to a phonetic reading program and can be used by much younger students than other programs. I imagine that spelling would be learned with much more ease if it was learned while learning to read. I am eager to try that theory out on little Bear in a few years!

I cannot express how grateful I am to have been able to give this program a try. Already, Lee is coming to a basic understanding of spelling and applying the things he is learning in his daily writing.

Currently, there are 4 levels of AAS. Two more levels are being added in 2009 and the program will be complete through high-school level.

If you have a struggling speller, please, take a look at All About Spelling. It might be just the thing to turn your student around!

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