As a former language arts teacher in the public schools (and YEARS of paying for tutors for one with dyslexia)–I have a true appreciation for this spelling and reading program. (No more tutors needed here!) When reading and spelling programs overlap–there will always be more gain for the student, and I can’t say enough about All About Reading and All About Spelling (published by All About Learning Press) which is Orton Gillingham based.
At first, it may feel like a lot of hands on as it’s multi sensory learning (NO WORKSHEETS/WORKBOOKS!)–but it’s so worth it!! Here’s a great article about these two programs, their differences and why doing these together is so beneficial: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/whats-the-difference-aar-aas/
If you are looking for a strong OG program for your kiddo–regardless if your child has a special reading need or is a strong reader (I have both and they both benefit greatly from this program)—and I’m so glad I found it!! (I wish they taught this in college to language arts/reading teachers–it took me 3 years of homeschooling to learn how to really teach phonics to my kiddos, and I wasn’t confident enough to fill the gaps myself so I went to OG tutors despite having a teaching degree in reading as they don’t teach OG in college–which I think is hands down the best phonics approach.
BUT if you just follow the prompts in this program–it is truly amazing how it will strengthen their reading and spelling skills! Many kids miss phonics, memorize words and you don’t realize this until 3rd or 4th grade when their brains can no longer retain as many difficult words. If they start to struggle in 3rd or 4th grade–taking them back is so important…and catching the phonic weakness in 1st or 2nd is even better. (JUST a little treasure I couldn’t help but share!!)
And y’all. I promise they didn’t ask me to write this;). Although I wish they did so they’d hook me up with the next set–HA! Seriously. If you don’t know where to start or it seems overwhelming–here’s the low down.
1. Go to this page and go to “Choose a Level”: https://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/all-about-reading/
2. Print off the placement test to see where your child should start. They give clear directions on how to give the test for you to follow.
3. If your child completes Level 4 easily–begin with Level 4. If they miss a few in another level–you can remediate just that area or simply start on that level. (I have one that was older that needed to start on Level 2—and another that could whizz through Level 4–so I actually chose to do Level 2 with BOTH. It will only help a child to review phonics no matter how basic they may seem. You may even realize you memorize words yourself and don’t have a solid foundation of phonics also.
4. What spelling level should you start on? You should start on Level 1 if your child hasn’t been in a phonics program before. If he/she has–then they recommend going straight to Level 2. (You can see sample lessons on the website. Level 2 will have words like: hinge, sweet, sweat, dentist. He/she will have dictation sentences to hear and correctly write like: The loud truck when into town.) If your child isn’t reading and writing yet, there is a Pre-Reading Program and Level 1 Spelling would be the place to start:).
Hope this helps! It may seem very simple and basic at first. I have discovered most kids have missed a solid phonics program in schools. If you aren’t sure if your child’s school has a strong phonics program–just ask! Ask what phonics method program the teacher implements in the room. If you get a blank stare–take on teaching your child phonics yourself. If the teacher quickly answers The Wilson Method, Orton Gillingham, the Barton System, etc–then you are good. Just ask how you can reinforce at home. If the teacher says the alphabet, phonic workbooks, etc–you might want to supplement at home. It’s much easier to take a 1st or 2nd grader back to basic phonics than a struggling 5th or 6th grader–so covering this ground early and filling in gaps is definitely a benefit to everyone!!
Happy reading and spelling!!