Who knew at the beginning of our homeschooling journey that spelling would be one of my favorite subjects? Certainly not I! I couldn’t have imagined the richness of a spelling curriculum before we started using All About Spelling.
The confidence building curriculum of All About Spelling has just gotten better and better with each new level we attain. We are currently in the early stages of Level 7 , and the later stages of Level 5 and Level 1 with our 3rd and kindergarten kids. And we, stated simply, love All About Spelling
This post may include affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase based on my recommendation, I get a small remuneration at no extra expense to you. I only recommend things I actually use and believe to be a blessing.
Here’s why I love All About Spelling lately:
One of the hallmarks of good education is consistent review. Not only is it a great way to ensure the student is ready to move on to the next step; it builds confidence. Students begin to realize they “know” the material and even begin to refer to it as “easy.” And easy is GOOD!
All About Spelling offers constant review combined seamlessly with incremental development. If you have read any of what I have written on these topics in relation to Saxon Math, you know I am a big fan of this tag-team. Students are not expected to learn a list of words and move on (whether they have learned them or not). Rather, they are taught common letter combinations and which words feature various combinations. They are also taught “Rule Breaker” words along the way, when they break the rule being taught.
But moving on to a new set of spelling words (or taking the next step), the students take the knowledge with them. It is translated and transferred to future steps in the practice sentences included at the end of each step. Parent-teachers are reminded to review concepts with their students at the beginning of each step, too. The first lesson of each level offers a comprehensive review as well. If you follow the All About Spelling path, your students will get sufficient review, for sure.
Critical Thinking Skills
One of the things I love about All About Spelling is kids are encouraged and taught to analyze the words they spell. There are warm-ups in each step which have the teacher spell a word and the student work to analyze it with a series of questions. In these situations they have a word spelled out for them, so the answers help them to see the “why” for spelling.
Then as they progress through the levels, the kids are taught to analyze the words they don’t know how to spell to “figure it out. Analyzing the word is one of the Spelling Strategies offered to All About Spelling students throughout the program. Thus, when they are analyzing unknown words for spelling, they learn the “how” for spelling.
Students of All About Spelling end up with two crital thinking skills. First, the ability to take a whole word and break it down to its smaller parts. And the capacity to build a word “from scratch.”
It is exciting to know something. Not in a show-offy way, but in simple confidence in one’s intellectual capacity. Students who have learned something and felt the sense of accomplishment are likely encouraged to learn more. I am convinced building confidence is the key to creating life-long learners.
Spelling confidence comes as a result of a balance the two foregoing points – constant review and critical thinking skills. When a student “knows” not only what they have already learned and can remember it, she is confident. But when a student is not intimidated by new material because she knows how to analyze it and attack it, she is on top of the world!
Success with Completely Different Students
I am currently teaching three different levels of All About Spelling to three vastly different students. My eldest student (fourth grade) is a perfectionist, who literally refused to even attempt spelling words until we started with All About Spelling. My second student (third grade) was chomping at the bit to start All About Spelling because she could already outspell her reluctant older sister. She is our “natural speller.” But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had to struggle through spelling. She doesn’t like taking the time to analyze the words, but the program stretches her in just the right ways. My little guy (kindergarten?) has insisted on doing All About Spelling for the past couple of years. I held him off of actually starting the program for quite a while. But there were only so many times we could go over letter sounds he already knew.
Each of these students learn in different ways, are at different reading levels, and spend different amounts of time doing spelling lessons. But each of them are phenomenal spellers for their age! This is not a bragging homeschool mom moment. They are each confident and strong spellers because of this program. Can you tell why I love All About Spelling?
Haptics are Happening
Haptic relates to the sense of touch and haptics have to do with the sensory input of a digital device. Like the feeling you get when you type on a keyboard, haptics involve sensory input. From the Greek word for “to grasp, percieve, or sense,” haptics are happening when a person is manipulating something with their fingers or hands (or feet, I suppose). All About Spelling involves haptics because students manipulate physical spelling tiles to spell out words.
Some parents have their students use the All About Spelling app, but I don’t like it. I have my students set up their spelling tiles every single day. In my opinion, this leads to connections in the brain. Simply manipulating the various letters of the alphabet, the vowel teams, and consonant teams into “order” each day helps the student learn to place things in an orderly fashion.
Moving the tiles around and searching out the right tiles to spell gets faster as they work through the levels. They are creating a physical “memory house” for their letters/sounds each day. And then they are visiting the “rooms” to get the information they need. Then picking up a tile (haptics) and placing them into a correct order. I love all the physical movement that is helping students to make connections in the brain.
Creativity on Display
Beginning in Level 4 of All About Spelling, students are encouraged to write sentences utilizing their spelling words (and reviewing previous words). My older kids love this! I have them use scrap strips of paper to write their sentences at the end of each step. We have had some super silly sentences over the past couple of years!
In Level 7, the kids are encouraged to write a paragraph using silly sentence prompts. The writing station gets a true elementary classroom update with a poster featuring prompts to select at the end of each step.
Our fourth grader’s first prompt was “Write a short biography of a sensitive French chef who has the ability to fly.” She loved writing it so much, she decided to share it with you!
Isn’t it fun?! I told her to include words from her lesson. She understood that to mean use ALL of the words from the lesson. And she did it! I was impressed!
Interested in more of what I have to say about All About Spelling?
Read these two articles:
Or, if you are using All About Spelling, check out these helpful resources:
- All About Spelling sheets – promote penmanship and organized lessons
- Alliterative Affirmations Bookmark – makes spelling a bit more fun!