Why I love All About Spelling: A Review

Last year when I bought All About Spelling, I planned to use it as a reading program.  It turns out that it has been a great reading program, a great spelling program, and so much more.  Honey is learning Reading, Spelling, Grammar, and Handwriting.  All from one spelling program!

All About Spelling teaches phonics rules.  While the rules are listed as spelling rules, it is not hard to use them as reading rules too.   To help Honey’s reading, I have her read the word cards that come with the program.  I also write out the phrases and sentences that are meant for dictation and have her practice reading those.

For Spelling, she spells all of the words as well as the phrases and sentences.  Sometimes she uses the letter tiles that come with the program to make the words, but often she just writes them.

I know what you are thinking now.  “That’s all good and well for Spelling and Reading, but how can a Spelling program teach handwriting and grammar?”  Actually it is a lot easier than you think.  When we started the first book of All About Spelling, one of the first steps was to have the Honey write the letters as I said the sounds for them.  I would read the sounds that each letter made and she would write them.  I decided that just making the letter wasn’t enough, she had to make the letter correctly.  She would bring her handwriting book to the spelling table and for months she had to look at how to make many of the letters.  But guess what?  She now has the best handwriting of any of my kids.  It was actually this feature that made me decide to use All About Spelling for Kiddo.

At first I was worried that if Kiddo did All About Spelling that she would quickly pass up Honey.  I would hate for that to happen, but honestly Honey wouldn’t care that much.  Then I realized that Kiddo would need lots of practice with the handwriting part of the program.  This will slow her down, and Honey has a year and a half head start on her.  Maybe it will work.

Now for Grammar, how about that?  All About Spelling does not just teach how to spell words, it teaches how to write sentences.  Each lesson has several phrases and several sentences for me to dictate to Honey.  Now Honey knows that sentences begin with a capital and end with a period (or question mark or exclamation mark), but when it comes to actually doing it she often forgets.  We haven’t gotten very far into the program, but at some point I expect the sentences to become more complex and include more grammar.  I may have to fill in the rules, but the chance to use them is inherent in this program.

I have heard that there will soon be an All About Reading, and I wish that I could have used it, but I must say that I am very happy with All About Spelling.

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