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TOS Crew review — All About Spelling

December 11th, 2009

“Yeah, spelling!”

Not words you hear too often. Not words I recall hearing in our house until we started using All About Spelling after receiving it through the TOS Crew to review.

The perfect spelling curriculum for a variety of learning styles, from the beginner through middle school, students needing remedial spelling help (or phonics review — this was great for my third grade daughter), or parents seeking a solid curriculum geared specifically toward the homeschool environment.

spelling

Product: All About Spelling
Details: A multi-sensory, logical, gap-free, mastery based, review-filled, and easy to use spelling curriculum for preschool through middle school.
Price: $26.95 for the starter kit (used throughout all levels); $29.95 for Level 1; $39.95 for each level 2-5 (level 6 coming in the near future)

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What we loved . . .

  • This curriculum is clearly designed with the homeschooler in mind. Not some rewrite of a classroom program. Scripted lessons geared toward a one-on-one interaction with your child.
  • Very hands on. Lots to look at and touch to keep the learning interesting and keep the student engaged.
  • It works! My third grader has had a few glitches in her reading. We’d resolved most of the issues, but I hadn’t been able to nail down one or two last areas that she was missing because she has a tendency to read whole words (despite her phonics upbringing) :-) This program has helped her slow down and helped us both identify and solve these remaining problem areas, already making a huge difference. I know it’s not plugged as a reading program, but it ended up working that way for us.
  • Based on ability not grade level. We know that kids don’t often fit the mold they “should.” All About Spelling presents spelling in a progressive format, but not restricting it to grade level classification. While Level 1 had lots of easy material for my third grader, it ended up being a great place to start her off to make sure that we didn’t miss anything.
  • Easy to use. A quick glance through the lesson and all the materials on hand and we can quickly jump right into the lesson.
  • Comes with just about everything that you need. With the starter pack and Level 1 (and we also received Level 2 which we have just begun to work with) you have everything you need. Letter tiles, magnets, CD, Phonogram cards, sound cards, key cards (with rules to learn along the way), and the spelling word cards. You do also need a magnet board, a file box for the cards, and possibly a dry erase board or chalkboard for spelling practice.

But, the downside . . .

  • Yes, this is a little expensive for “just” a spelling curriculum. However, most of the material can easily be used for later children with little or no additional purchase depending on your methods and preferences. And, I really felt like it reached into far more than just spelling. If I did not know how much we would love this product the price would turn me off, but in my opinion, it is definitely worth it.
  • It does take a little time to set up at first. Cards need to be torn along perforated lines (LOTS of cards), letter tiles need to be cut apart, and magnets affixed to the backs of them. With some extra hands this isn’t a huge project, but it does take some prep before the first lesson.
  • Others have done it, but I had a hard time working through two students in the same level at the same time. Trying to keep their cards straight did not work well for me. I kept forgetting and putting them back in the wrong divider, or reviewing the wrong set with each child. So, since my younger daughter is just in kindergarten, and my third grader is moving pretty quickly, I am just waiting until she is done with level one at least to begin my younger daughter.

We really love All About Spelling. I am pleased with the quality of the product, the ease of use, and the excellent academic standard. If you think it might be for you, I would encourage you to visit their website. They have a free download with 20 spelling tips that everyone can take advantage of on their home page. You can also view their FAQ page and their advice on what level to order for your child(ren).

I definitely highly recommend this product.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This spelling curriculum was provided to me free of charge from All About Spelling as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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