Wednesday, January 6, 2010

All About Spelling

Recently, one of my readers asked me what I thought of our spelling curriculum, All About Spelling. When I was about to start Little Bean with Kinder work, I purchased All About Spelling because a few of my favorite homeschooling blog friends use it, and they seemed to give it really high praises. I looked into it, and thought I'd give it a try with Little Bean.

We are on Lesson 11 out of 24 now, and I'll just be honest, I'm still waiting for this curriculum to get exciting. The lessons are long, and Little Bean gets tired of them quickly. As a result, we are moving through this program very slowly. We do spelling twice a week, and it takes at least 4 school days to complete a lesson.

Each lesson starts with review of the different flash cards. Sometimes I include this, sometimes I don't. The only reason I don't is that because sometimes, by the time we are done reviewing the cards, Little Bean is burnt out already and doesn't want to actually spell anything! He is not a flashcard person, so that may be part of it.

Following review, usually there are a few little exercises for the child to do. This particular lesson asks the child to count syllables by clapping. Little Bean actually really enjoyed this lesson, and it was probably the first time he showed so much enthusiasm for spelling:
Next, you generally use the letter tiles to spell words. To begin, you and the student work together to alphabetize the tiles. Again, sometimes I just set this up for Bean. He gets bored when we have to spend so much time alphabetizing in order to spell a few words. He'd almost rather just write the words with a dry erase pen and board than set up those tiles! Below you can see how you alphabetize them by singing the abc song:
Next there are spelling exercises. Sometimes it's segmenting words as you pull the tiles down, sometimes it's spelling three letter words with the same vowel sound, sometimes it's filling in the missing letter, as shown below:
The activities ARE quite varied, and the use of the letter tiles is what makes this curriculum quite tactile, which are the things that drew me to it in the first place. But frankly, Little Bean already knows how to spell all his three letter words and words with consonant teams like th, sh and ch. So even though we are nearly half way through, he has yet to really be challenged to learn to spell something! This results in him just being drilled with spelling words he knows and bored much of the time. That does not make me happy.
Still, I really feel it will get better. I keep feeling that if we can just get past the lessons on short vowel sounds we will get into something more challenging/interesting for him. I'll have to update when we get there!


Jackie said...

Thank you for an honest review. I HS'd both of my children. My son was a natural speller. He just knew when a word didn't look right. My daughter on the other hand has always struggled with spelling (she is know 25). Your son sounds like mine. He already knows it, and let me tell you if a subject makes them bored they just won't learn anything from it. I am now helping my daughter with HS (preschool) her son, and we shall see which one he is like. Like you I have heard many good things about this program. Don't know quite what we will do.

Jackie said...

Obviously I can't spell. It should read NOW not KNOW!! Yikes.

Too Many Hats said...

I do love this program, but I am using it with an older child that spelling just never clicked for. I will say the first book is super basic, perhaps your son needs to just move onto level 2 now.

Whoz Your Doula said...

I am not really familiar with this curriculum. Thanks for the review of it. My oldest daughter learns by repetition and has chosen her own way of learning. We got our spelling lists off line and she writes them 5 times each Monday, writes sentences with them on Tuesday, writes them 5 more times Wednesday, writes a story with them on Thursday and practice tests and on Friday is the test. She learns better that way and she is active with her learning because it is all her idea how it is done.
My oldest son who is 8 uses Abeka and is happy and not bored with that. I guess it just depends on the kid. We do use for practice and they seem to enjoy hangmouse quite a bit there. Good luck finding what works best.

Karen said...

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