Thursday, January 7, 2010

All About Spelling~ TOS Crew Review


Last Spring, a good friend of mine raved on and on about a spelling program [All About Spelling] that she was using. She was seeing some amazing results in her children and she knew I was looking for a program to 'play catch-up' with my daughter [5th grader] and to use as a starter program with my son [2nd grader], so she encouraged me to look into using this spelling program as well. Needless to say, I was beyond excited when I realized All About Spelling [AAS] was 'on deck' to be reviewed! And I was even more excited when I found out I would be reviewing Levels 1 & 2.

Here is what I received from AAS:
  1. Starter Kit [Letter tiles, Magnets for letter tiles& Phonogram CD-ROM] $26.95
  2. Level One (includes Teacher's Manual and One Student Material Packet) $29.95
  3. Level Two (includes Teacher's Manual and One Student Material Packet) $39.95
My first 'struggle' was do I start my 5th grader at Level 1? She can spell, but I know she has gaps. I found my answer quickly on the FAQ page! It led me to a wonderful article titled, Should We Start in Level 1 or 2? According to the article...ASS is a building block program (one level builds upon the previous one), so they strongly recommend that you start all students on Level One. I still felt a little uneasy about starting my daughter, who actually spells pretty good, at the VERY beginning. Then I read this statement:

If your student needs remedial spelling...
The All About Spelling program is perfect for the student who needs remedial work. All holes in his knowledge of spelling are filled in. You can move as quickly or as slowly as your student needs. If you are working with an older student , he probably understands some of the concepts but not others. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that he already knows and slow down on the parts that he needs to learn.
That calmed my anxiety and I set forth with the 'set-up phase'. At the beginning of each manual there is a section titled Preparing for Level _______. It completely outlines everything you need to gather, read, organize, and set-up. The Starter Kit, which is used in all 6 Levels, is GREAT! The tiles work very well with the magnets! I purchased a large, 2'X3', magnetic dry erase board that is the perfect size...plenty of room for the magnets and room to 'work', plus room for me to write, if needed. The Phonogram CD-Rom was a 'life-saver' for this 'phonogram-challenged' mom (with a deep-rooted, Texas accent)...I learned a lot!

It took about an hour to carefully follow the directions [I listened to the CD-ROM while I cut out the tiles and organized the cards]. I LOVE the organization of this program...a breath of fresh air! I cannot tell you how many programs I have considered buying, but decided it would be too difficult to set-up and use OR have bought a program and soon put it on the shelf [to gather dust] because it was too complicated to set-up. I'm an intelligent person, but I like things that are simple, yet amazing...ASS is both! The set-up phase built my confidence in the program even more, and I was ready to begin.

The day-to-day lessons were an absolute breeze! As a matter of fact, several times I re-read that day's lesson plan to make sure I did everything right. It took ZERO set-up time! Each lesson clearly states:
  1. WHAT you will teach during that lesson.
  2. What you need to teach that lesson (i.e., tiles, tokens [colored disks included in the materials pack, word cards).
My daughter moved through Level 1 very quickly. She surprised me by knowing some phonograms I thought she needed to learn! And there were a few she did not know [that I thought she did], so it worked out great to begin at Level 1!! Once Level 1 was completed, we jumped right into Level 2 and she will be ready for Level 3 soon. I'm going to start my son in Level 1 next week. You can have two children in the same level at the same time, but you will need to buy an additional material packet {$14.95 for Level 1, $19.95 for Level 2}.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with this fabulous spelling program! It truly 'teaches' your child the how & why of spelling. Even though my daughter was already a 'pretty good' speller, I definitely saw a difference in her spelling skills after working through Level 1! And most importantly...her spelling confidence shot up tremendously! I'm hearing her say, "Oh, I know how to spell that" a lot more often.

I know this program would be a blessing to those of you that have children that struggle in spelling. On the home page of the website, founder Marie Rippel, outlines Why All About Spelling Works:
The website also has some wonderful articles on teaching spelling. One article that I found extremely helpful was Teaching Spelling in Your Homeschool. And the section on dyslexia might be beneficial to those of you that have a dyslexic child, or for those that think your child might be dyslexic. You can also sign-up for the Spelling Newsletter.

I'm positive that you will LOVE this spelling program! And the company is as well...they offer an Unconditional One Year Guarantee! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to review All About search for 'the best spelling curriculum' is over!

To read more reviews, including from those that have children that struggle with spelling, go HERE.

I received this product for free in exchange for my review as a member of the Crew. No further compensation was received and I offer my honest opinion.

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