Essentials Spelling as a Review for All About Spelling

This entry is part 20 of 38 in the series Classsical Conversations

match-up for Classical Conversations Essentials spelling lists and All About Spelling - review the strategies behind the lists

We are embarking on our first tour of Essentials through Classical Conversations. And I have been spending much of the summer thinking about and creating resources to help my first time student with the work. I try to create everything beforehand and get everything lined up, so we can have breathing room during the year.

One of the things I came across when perusing the massive Essentials of the English Language guide, tucked in the very back, were spelling lists for each week, divided by tour. At first glance I didn’t think I would utilize these spelling lists. They seemed too easy for my first tour Essentials student.

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Our Experience with All About Spelling

We have been doing All About Spelling for the past two years with our two oldest students. We started Level 1 with our oldest at the beginning of her 2nd grade year. And we started our second student at Level 1 at the beginning of her 1st grade year.

Currently my new Essentials student is 4 lessons away from Level 6 and my 2nd grader just about half-way through level 4.

We have zoomed through these All About Spelling levels because we LOVE the process and procedures. I absolutely love All About Spelling because I am learning so many, many things I had never known before. It is unique because it teaches the student to analyze a word in order to break it down and follow the rules. Even I enjoy this analysis.

My students’ favorite part of All About Spelling is the homophones. They simply delight in them. The introduction to homophones is in Level 4 of All About Spelling. At least 4 times a week, one of them will run up to me and announce, “Mama, I have a homophone!” Then they will regale me with the two words, their spellings and will use them in two sentences to show me the difference.

I guess you could say we are creating little grammar nerds around here.

Essentials Spelling Meets All About Spelling

Anyway, back to the Essentials Spelling Lists – they are way over-simplified for my students. But I am a big proponent of review. So, I am taking the opportunity to review All About Spelling with the weekly Essentials Spelling Lists.

I have created some resources for these lists. I made some “bookmarks” for each week. There are 3 different versions for three different scenarios of Essentials classrooms within the home.

These versions should hopefully cover your current tour of Essentials, even if you have students in two different tours this year. You can get the appropriate sets of bookmarks to meet your needs in my shop.

OR, I put together a huge bundle of all the resources I have for All About Spelling and Essentials Spelling into one big downloadable ball of goodness! You can get that by clicking on the link below.

NOTE: if you are new to All About Spelling and/or Essentials, I recommend you go to Level 1 of All About Spelling for your spelling instruction. Or you can take a placement test for All About Spelling that will gauge your student’s appropriate level.

I do not recommend that you do All About Spelling and the Essentials Spelling lists concurrently. I am only using the Essentials lists to review material already covered by our studies in All About Spelling.

Matching-up Essentials Spelling and All About Spelling

I wanted to go a bit further and create a match-up for the All About Spelling levels and the Essentials Spelling lists. That way, if we run into trouble with a certain word or list, we can easily review the concept in our All About Spelling books – which provide superior instruction beyond a simple list.

As I did this, I was more and more convinced that All About Spelling is the way to go for teaching spelling. To me it is much more logical and incremental. For those of you that know my love of Saxon Math, you know I love incremental development!

It appears to me the Essentials word lists (based on Spelling Plus) are attempting to teach the student the different ways a phoneme can be used in a word all at one time. All About Spelling does the same thing, but in a much more methodical, review-heavy way. Both programs utilize the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching phonetics, but with drastically different time-tables.

I noticed there were many times when a particular Essentials spelling list included words taught in up to four different levels of All About Spelling. That said, I recommend All About Spelling’s pacing – it feels a bit less schizophrenic to me.

Grab your Essentials/AAS Match-up here.

match-up for Classical Conversations Essentials spelling lists and All About Spelling - review the strategies behind the lists
Get the Match-Up Here

Anyway, as I said, the match-up I created for Essentials Spelling list A shows the words in the list followed by the Levels and Steps you can find those specific words taught. I also noted Rule Breakers and words not taught in All About Spelling.

I hope it is a blessing to you as you endeavor on your first Essentials journey. Stay tuned for match-ups for Essentials Spelling lists B and C.

More All About Spelling Resources

As I mentioned I LOVE our choice of All About Spelling. I have some posts to help get you started and keep your kids motivated through the lessons. Here’s a handy reference list:

I have started writing enough about Classical Conversations that I created a segment of my mailing list devoted to CC. If you are interested in receiving updates on our CC journey, encouragement for your CC journey, and notification of new resources to help you, please sign up here. If you are already a subscriber, it will NOT double-subscribe you.

match-up for Classical Conversations Essentials spelling lists and All About Spelling - review the strategies behind the lists

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Amy

    HI! Have you created match ups for B and C? I am interested in them if you have.
    Thank you!

    1. Leah Hudson

      I am working on them! Thanks for asking!

  2. Marla

    Thank you! I tried the spelling lists in Essentials our 1st year… neither me or my boys are strong spellers and after a few months I knew it wasn’t working. It’s good to know the All About Spelling would probably make more sense.

  3. Samantha

    The link isn’t working for the AAS and Essentials match up. Can you help me?

    1. Leah Hudson

      Hi Samantha, Thanks for drawing my attention to this oversight. I edited the article to link to the match-up. Also, I added a link to the AAS + Essentials Parent Pack. Blessings to you!

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