Friday, March 23, 2012

Changes and Adjustments Part 2

Changes are a part of life. I am learning that just about the time I think I have something set the best way I can imagine, something comes along that forces a change. Whether it's a physical, tangible reason to change or just that tugging at my heart telling me a change is needed. I sometimes really want to fight the latter - ignoring or dismissing those persistent thoughts. But what I really need to do is pray. Find out whether it is God leading me in another direction or not. And follow Him! Whether a big decision or a smaller one, sometimes it's just not easy to change. And leaning on God is the only way this stubborn girl can manage. 

Another change we recently made is with our spelling program. My Little Buddy was using Spelling Power this year. It's a nice program with some great ideas, but it just didn't click for us. It was hard for me to forgo the money I spent on that and spend more money on another program mid-year. But we finally hit a wall and I
(with my hubby's encouragement) finally just placed the order. We switched to All About Spelling.

Click here to check out All About Spelling for yourself!

  We are only three weeks into the program and it's very easy for him considering he's in 3rd grade and starting out on level 1.  So far it has focused on things he already knows - letter sounds and segmenting simple words. But in order to not have gaps in his learning, we need to start here.  He's really having fun with
it and looks forward to it each day. We are flying though! Each level is divided into steps. The steps are not necessarily designed to be accomplished each day, although with my Little Buddy he is completing a step a day. For younger children, they suggest 15 to 20 minutes a day. Moving at the child's pace and only advancing when your child is ready.  We are moving rather quickly now, so I think we will be caught up to an appropriate level for my Little Buddy in no time.

Even though it's mostly review at this point, my Little Buddy is learning a few new things, too.  I like their approach of teaching the multiple sounds a letter can make right from the beginning. For instance, teaching that c says /k/ and /s/ or that s says /s/ and /z/ or that ch says /ch/, /k/, and /sh/. 

He just came to check on me blogging, so I asked him what his favorite part of spelling was.  He said it was the segmenting of each word, especially using the coins.  I say a word, such as map, and he slides a coin for each sound /m/, /a/, /p/.  Or sometimes we use the letters and he segments out the sounds as he builds the word.  The curriculum is very well written and easy to follow, even without reviewing the lesson in advance - which I'm not very good at doing anymore. 
They recommend using a 2' x 3' magnetic dry erase board. It holds your magnetic letter tiles, which are used each day. And also gives a spot to write out words for more practice. We don't have a board this size - only a lap board. But we do have magnetic cookie sheets from Barker Creek that we put our letter tiles onto.  Maybe next fall I will invest in a magnetic white board, but for now this is working out great for us.

We are at the halfway point of Level 1, and I am very pleased so far. In fact, I am looking forward to using All About Spelling with my Curly Girlie starting next fall! She struggles a bit more than her older brother, so I'm even considering the All About Reading program for her, but I haven't taken the plunge on that one yet.  If I have time this summer when her current seatwork is finished, I may dive into All About Reading with her.  Otherwise, I plan to wait and see how she takes to the spelling program first. 

Change is not easy, but this change has definitely been a positive one!  I am even looking forward to spelling time each day!   I'd love to hear who else is using All About Spelling or All About Reading.


  1. I really enjoy your blog! Great post!!

    1. Thanks, Ashley! You are such an encouragement!