I mentioned at some point earlier that we’re LOVING our All About Spelling curriculum, and someone asked for more information on it.
I was going to wait to start it until 1st grade and then I won a copy of it and started looking through it and realized it’d be perfect to go along with our reading program and is almost a reading program in itself (for any former teachers that used Open Court Phonics it reminds me of parts of that, but is less scripted).
Here’s how it works: First the kids memorize all the sounds a letter can make. That’s step 1 (they don’t give timelines for any part, just steps).
Some sounds have ones I hadn’t thought of prior to this, so I’m learning a lot. For instance “a” has 3 sounds a in apple, a in cake, and a in was (notice that one is a short u sound).
From there the program (in level 1) takes them through important steps needed to be able to spell. Hearing beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, so on and so forth.
After 5 or 6 steps you actually start spelling, but by that point it’s almost easy for the kids. It’s very hands on. To figure out the sounds you pull down the letters you need from a white board, right now we’re just using the letters you see above because I’m still working that out.
Eventually when the child is ready you move on to paper and pencil. That’s what I’m having the kids do right now for their spelling to practice handwriting.
Aside from the ability to move at our speed without having an artificial deadline I also like the review that is built in. Each step has cards that can go in 3 categories: not yet taught, review, mastered. If your kiddo has mastered something then move it into that category and only review it every once in awhile.
We’re about to introduce our first digraphs next week, and we’ll see how that goes. I’m intrigued because it’s introducing them, and talking about it, but we’re not using them in the spelling words yet. Just learning the sounds. I’ll be curious to see how well the kids do with it.