Two years ago, as I watched my daughter struggle with spelling, I went searching for a program that would unscramble letters for her. I needed a tool that would put sounds in their proper order...something that would set them all straight.
Since then, two of my boys have joined her in an ongoing quest to learn HOW to spell...not WHAT to spell.
Admittedly, with three different children doing three different levels of All About Spelling, it can sometimes be difficult to keep all the curriculum organized in a user-friendly way. By implementing three simple tweaks to the program, I've established a smoothness to our spelling time, making All About Spelling more manageable for multiple ages.
I add in "real world" words
And here's how I do that.
I use a "spelling binder.If you are familiar with All About Spelling, you know that each level comes with a student pack consisting of all the necessary flash cards for that level as well as a handful of helpful charts. I set all of the flashcards aside to be organized in the Spelling Review Box (more on that below), and then group ALL of the charts in a spelling binder.
Essentially, this is just a 3-ring binder that I've filled with plastic page protector sleeves. I use the cover pages of the student packs as the dividers of the binder in order to separate one level from the next. Then, I place all of the charts for each level right after its cover page. By keeping all the charts for EVERY grade level in one binder, I can easily flip through them to review previously learned charts. If my daughter, who is currently working her way through AAS Level 5, needs to review a rule learned in Level 3, I don't have to leave the work space to go dig out the Level 3 charts. I have them all with me in my binder and can easily use them for reference.
I alter the review card boxFor lack of storage space, its not conducive for me to own three separate review card boxes. Instead, I choose to add additional divider tabs to ONE box so that I can use it for all three of my current spellers. Since I color-code my kids (Yep, I'm THAT mom!), I've purchased small sticky-note packs in the three appropriate colors. I use these to mark the individual progress of each of my kids within the designated sections of the box. Since MY tabs are only sticky-notes, they can easily be moved around to different cards without leaving any residue behind.
Looking for a Great Spelling Program?I'd highly recommend All About Spelling. It has revolutionized both the general attitude towards spelling around here as well as the ability to spell correctly!
I always endorse starting a child at Level 1 no matter what grade level he/she is currently at for other subjects. Since AAS is based on learning the RULES of spelling and not just a list of random words to be memorized, starting at the beginning will help to ensure that he/she learns ALL of the rules in a progressive order.
If you decide to begin the program and are starting with an older child, feel free to breeze through the initial books at a faster rate and slow down when your child reaches any unfamiliar rules and concepts. When she first started, my daughter was in the fourth grade. She zipped through Level 1 which gave her a solid review of phonetical foundations, and then took a slower pace with Level 2 and 3. Each consecutive level has been a slow-and-steady progression. Although she is still not AT grade level (She is in 6th grade and is halfway through Level 5), her spelling has shown marked improvement.
Forward motion. Isn't that the goal?
Forward motion. Isn't that the goal?
Got any great tips for using All About Spelling for multiple ages? I'd love to hear them!