I came into homeschooling being labeled as a "poor speller" and it caused me great concern. It didn't matter that I graduated from high school 10th in my class of 405, or that I entered college with 18 course credits from my AP classes or that I excelled in college and graduated magna cum laude with my degree in middle grades education. None of that mattered. I had been told early on in my education that I was a poor speller and I just needed to study harder. I did study. I studied a lot. Spelling was still hit or miss with me. No matter how had I tried this was my main struggle in elementary school and I dreaded the yearly spelling bees since I rarely made it past the first round just within my classroom!
What a relief when middle school came and spelling was no longer required! It was also about that time that computers were becoming more main-stream and they included spell-checker, so I basically gave up trying. Why should I try when I had basically been told I wasn't going to ever increase my spelling ability? The irony of it all was that my reading level was much higher than most of my peers. I was told high level readers usually translated into high level spellers. So what was wrong with me?
All About Spelling has changed my entire understanding of this subject. I searched it out when my oldest, an excellent reader, was clearly not transitioning to spelling easily. Rather than giving up, I started researching. I prayed for wisdom then scoured the internet, read numerous catalogs, and asked veteran homeschooling moms their recommendation. I settled on All About Spelling and haven't looked back!
Since then spelling has only become more and more fun! Here is an update on my two girls using All About Spelling...
Beth finished up her Kindergarten year a little over half-way through All About Spelling Level 1. I could have pushed her a little faster because she loved it and it seemed easy, but I chose to do only 1 lesson about every 2 weeks, practicing just a little bit each day. This worked well for her and I plan to up the pace a bit in the fall. She'll continue some through the summer to guarantee retention.
Something knew we tried and love is spelling using alphabet stamps in addition to the tiles. I try to switch ti up for fun. I always use the tiles for teaching and the first set of words we work on, but I try to switch it up some after that.
Another unexpected benefit for Beth has been improvement in handwriting. She really wanted to use a traditional notebook like her sister and in doing so, her handwriting has started becoming more mature. What a fun transformation to see this year!
Rose finished up 2nd grade and I am thrilled with her progress. We are about 1/4 the way through level 3 and will also continue during the summer. She used to ask me how to spell very short words she should not have a problem with, she now rarely asks how to spell anything, or tries it first and then just asks me to check it. I have also caught her making her own corrections. This is HUGE! She would frequently flip 2 letters and now she is seeing it. What a blessing All About Spelling has been for her! She especially likes finding Silent E in words and deciding which rule it follows.
She also really enjoys using the homophones book. It is divided into grade-level appropriate practice. She has only done a few of the pages, but she now quickly recognizes homophones.
Although we do uses the tiles for teaching, Rose never uses them for spelling practice now. It is faster for her to write and since she likes that better it is fine with me! She also has improved her cursive as a result. The transition for a student from copying cursive to writing their own words can sometimes be tricky. All About Spelling has been a good medium to make this transition. We still have some work to do here, but she's definitely well on her way!
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