All About Spelling Review

I was first introduced to the All About Spelling Program in the lovely month of February when I watched a home school video by Tic Tac Toy Family for fun. Let me stress that, I had no intention of homeschooling I was watching it for fun. My son had been struggling on his spelling tests so I vaguely thought about trying out the program. Very vaguely, not enough to pick it up or anything or even go to the website. Maybe I would find it in the summer. How different life was then in February. Sure it was cold and there was lots of snow on the ground, but I could come an go as I pleased. Enter the month of March 2020...things got really crazy really quickly. We had just finished competing in our Odyssey of the mind competition and coming in first place for our division and were talking about heading to the State Finals in April. In little over a weeks time I went from planning a trip to the State Finals to becoming a home school mom. Guess how much warning I had? Oh maybe a few hours.

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That Monday morning I woke up completely overwhelmed. What was I going to do? How was I going to teach my children? My daughter had an iPad with access to some school apps so we did that the first day. And then I scoured the internet clicking on over 100 tabs trying to find something that would help us...Anything. I texted all my home school friends and asked what they did. I found that flicker of a memory in the back of my head about the spelling program I had contemplated in February. What was the name of it? I went back to Tic Tac Toy Family and found it aha...ALL ABOUT SPELLING. I looked at the website and decided now was the time to help my son with his spelling. I emailed the company and asked it I could get Level 1 of the program in exchange for an honest review. And let me give you a little spoiler alert...I am so glad I did! Read on to see how this program has become an indispensable part of our now home school day.

All About Spelling: What's In The Box?
The Level 1 materials include a teachers manual and a student packet. The packet includes key cards, word cards, phonogram cards, sound cards, Level 1 progress chart, phonograms tracking chart, and bee stickers to track progress. The kit comes with a Basic Spelling Interactive Kit; letter tiles, magnets, phonogram sounds app, and divider cards. The Deluxe Spelling kit includes everything in the basic kit and then a spelling review box and a spelling tote bag. We use the bag and the box everyday. I would definitely recommend getting the deluxe kit.
All About Spelling: How Does It Work?
I have two kids in home school right now. Their ages are 9 (3rd grade) and 7 (1st grade). My son in first grade was the one struggling with spelling. I knew my daughter could use some help in the area too. She has a photographic memory which serves her well for spelling tests, but I did notice she was not 100% with her spelling when she was trying to write on her own. I tested my daughter and she did not know everything in the placement test so I decided to start her on Level 1 also. I hoped she would not be too bored.

Once we got our materials in the mail we punched out all our cards, made copies of the chart because I was teaching two students, installed the phonograms app, set up our box and I read over the introduction. The next day we started and it has gone really well. I teach the lessons to both kids individually because they are at different levels with their spelling and reading. My daughter is 2 lessons away from being done with level 1 and my son is halfway through the program.

The All About Spelling program uses a multisensory approach to teaching spelling. 
  • Visual-spelling concepts are taught visually, spelling words are written down, and students look at flashcards
  • Auditory-students review flashcards orally, they segment words, and say sounds as they write them down
  • Kinesthetic-students write down words, phrases and sentences and build new words with tiles
We start the lesson by my child setting up the letter tiles in alphabetical order. Then we start the lesson. The lessons are set up to review old concepts with flashcards, and sometimes the letter tiles. Then we learn new concepts. If I see my child has mastered that concept we can move on quicker, if I see them struggling we take more time. Our whiteboard is a little small, but it works great for now. We do not want to chance going out the store to get a new one.
One of the great things about this program is I can go as slow or as fast as my kids need. We spent the most time on the first lesson, going over all the phonogram sounds. I could tell my son was getting bored so we moved on a little early, he mostly struggled with the vowels. But because this program reviews all the concepts each time in the form of flashcards he has now mastered all those phonogram sounds. There are twenty four lessons in the first level. My daughter has been moving through them about 1 a day, sometimes we take two days if she she needs. My son was doing two or three days for a lesson at first, but wanting to catch up with his sister most days he insists on doing a whole lesson a day now. That is why this program is so great. The kids can lead their learning and learn at their own pace.

The key to the whole program and the lessons is the word FLEXIBLE. The lessons are not set up in a have to do this mode. They are set up for accommodating to each child. They offer advice if the child is struggling with a certain concept or if they are grasping it fairly quickly. For example there is a list of words to practice after a concept is taught. In the explanation they say if the child has grasped this concept, have them spell a few and then move on, if they have not grasped it, have them use the tiles, segment the words and then spell the word. For now I am having my kids spell all these words. If I see them struggling then I will pull down the tiles.
I have made one change to the lessons. In the lessons it says to grab a piece of paper and have them spell them on the paper.  I am having them use a dry erase marker and write it on the board instead. We switched to this a couple weeks ago. It has helped tremendously. Now they are not searching for a new paper and pencil every time we do spelling. And if they need to change a letter they can do so easily with a swipe of a finger. My son likes it too because the tiles are already on the magnetic board and he can look at the letters as he is writing the words.
All About Spelling: What Did We Think?
What did we think? I was worried that it would be boring for my daughter, but it has been the opposite. Yesterday she told me she is learning new things every day. She may have learned them in school, but with the difference with All About Spelling program the concepts are repeated until they are mastered. In a classroom setting 20ish kids are taught the same concept. It is not always practical to review the concepts with each child each day and make sure they remember the previous concept.

My son has really excelled with this program too. It has even helped him with reading. I was worried that he would not get the segmenting concept, in the lessons they teach kids how to segment words into phonogram sounds. He struggled with it and we spent a few days on the concept. Finally it clicked one day and he even uses the concept when sounding out words to read. My kids love making the vowel phonograms sounds. When we had spring break a couple weeks ago they kept saying the phonogram sounds for i and y over and over again.

The only thing I would recommend which we have not done yet is get the app that goes with the program. My kids do not always like to set out the tiles. The app presets the tiles and organizes them according to the lesson the child is on.

I would definitely recommend the All about Spelling program for parents who want to help their kids with spelling. It is good for kids across the spectrum, from kids that are doing well and kids that are struggling with spelling. The program teaches basic concepts and reviews the concepts until they are mastered. I would do the placement test with the child before purchasing a level. If the child does not know everything in the test definitely start on Level 1. If the child is proficient in spelling they will probably go through the first level quickly, but they will learn LOTS according to my daughter. And have a good foundation for the coming levels. We can not wait to do more and my daughter is so excited to start Level 2 soon!

Click here to get All About Spelling!

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