Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All About Spelling Review

TOS Crew Review

Product: All About Spelling Level 1, Level 2 and Starter Kit

Publisher: All About Learning Press, Inc.

Author: Marie Rippel

Price: Level 1 is $29.95 (Teacher’s Manual and student pack) Level 2 is $ 39.95 Starter Kit is: $26.95

*I received this product from this company (for free), for the purpose of sharing my opinion.*

During my 19 years as a homeschooling teacher, I have tried many spelling programs. Most have word lists based on grade level and require memorization techniques. Children are not actually taught to spell. They are taught to memorize. So I was delighted to receive All About Spelling. It is an excellent program that really teaches. It also offers a full one- year guarantee policy!

Who is Marie Rippel?

She is “a literacy expert who helps educators and parents teach spelling. Using multisensory techniques and research-based strategies, she has helped thousands of children learn to spell.”

Our Experience:

I opened the Level 1 package and starter kit. It contained many items. I sighed. But as I started looking through all of it, I got excited and settled myself down to begin this fun project. I actually sent the children out of the room so I could organize and arrange everything. First, I took the perforated cards apart and neatly stacked those into an index card file box. The kit came with labeled dividers with titles such as: “phonogram cards review;” “phonogram cards mastered” and “phonogram cards future lessons.” There are yellow cards for the phonograms, red ones for “key cards,” and blue or green for “word cards.” These are all neatly stored in an index card file box which does not come with the kit. (I happened to have my very own on hand and it is a bright, colorful pink.)

Next, I got out my scissors and cut out all the letter tiles. These are surprisingly sturdy and colorful. I then took the little magnets and removed sticky tape so these could be placed on the letter tiles. I stored them inside small Ziploc baggies. I was, sadly, interrupted and had to put everything away to make dinner. A few days later, I was able to pull this back out and finish the prep work.

The really exciting part came when I sat down with John (12) and we began the lessons. He was given some little game-type tokens. At first I didn’t understand this part, but as we went on, using the scripted lessons (all I had to do was read my script or lines), it all became very clear. I was actually an actress and didn’t have to think at all. This was sheer bliss for me! John followed all the instructions and breezed through a couple of the lessons. I noticed he needed review in a few areas and was delighted this was made clear as we worked.

The Kit came with a CD. I put this into my computer. An interactive screen came up. John simply clicked on a letter and a voice said its sound! How fun! John enjoyed playing with this for awhile (he is easily amused). Then we reviewed the lesson again. The packet comes with a progress chart so he was able to color in each section (or lesson) as it was completed. This made us both happy to actually see he was progressing. When he finishes the entire level, he will get a certificate (included in the packet).

What I love about this:

It uses three of the senses to help the student learn:
1. Touch
2. Sight
3. Sound
I saw this in action when John had to use the game token as he sounded out words along with me. He was able to follow very careful instructions and really think about how words were broken up into syllables and sounds. I loved this! I can see John (who is dyslexic) making great progress already.

I plan to have Amy (14) work on this with me too, just so I can see if she has any weak areas we can work on. However, like most children, she is not the greatest speller in the universe and can learn from this as well.
I do feel it is best to work separately and privately with my children. I think they will concentrate better and really focus if they are not interrupted or disturbed by one of their siblings.

The nice thing is that each lesson only takes a short period of time. Maybe 10 to 15 minutes depending on their age. It should also be done consistently (daily).

Level 2 is similar to Level 1. It includes a teacher’s manual (where you can be an actress too by following scripted lines – my favorite part!), and a student material packet. Again, you just need to purchase an index card file box.

The Starter kit is required for all 6 of the lessons and only needs to be purchased once. It is high quality and can be re-used year after year with all of your children.

This program does not use Grade Levels, so you can start from Level 1 no matter the age or grade of your child.

I love the motto of this program: “Help your student become a successful, independent speller.”


To find out more about my reviews, please visit "Introduction to our Homeschool Parlor"

1 comments:

Debra said...

Oh, I totally agree about working separately and privately with each child. I know I've been more successful with All About Spelling when I do.

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