Which Spelling Level Should We Start With?
The All About Spelling program is a building block program: one level builds upon the previous one. In order to build a strong foundation, we recommend that most students start with All About Spelling Level 1. If the child has worked with a phonogram-based program before, though, he may be able to go directly into Level 2.
A few questions to help you decide
Does the student know how to segment words into their individual sounds? (Shrimp is segmented into /sh/–/r/–/ĭ/–/m/–/p/, for example.)
Has he completely mastered the multiple sounds of the phonograms for a through z, plus ch, th, sh, ng, and ck? For example, O has 4 sounds, CH has 3, S, has 2, and so on. Can he write them from dictation?
Can he easily spell most short vowel words?
Does he know the basic spelling rules and how to apply them? For example, does your child know how to determine: when to use C or K at the beginning of a word, when to use K or CK at the end, when to double F, L, and S at the end of a word, when to use S or ES to make a word plural?
Can he easily write out these sentences: The map can help us. Hand me the red backpack. Stick a stamp on the box. Fill six cups with milk.
If you answered no to any of the questions, start with Level 1 of the All About Spelling series. Even if the student works through it quickly, Level 1 will form a solid foundation for future lessons. Level 2 does include a very quick review of the concepts taught in Level 1, but does not include the Phonogram Cards and Sound Cards 1-32 which were taught in Level 1. If you decide to begin with Level 2, you should purchase the Level 1 Student Packet so that you have those cards for review purposes.
Try out a sample lesson.
Take a look at the sample lessons. Go to the Dictation section of the lessons and see if your student can easily spell the words or if he needs help at this level.
If your student needs remedial spelling...
The All About Spelling program is perfect for the student who needs remedial work. All holes in his knowledge of spelling are filled in. You can move as quickly or as slowly as your student needs. If you are working with an older student, he probably understands some of the concepts but not others. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that he already knows and slow down on the parts that he needs to learn.