In the past I have mentioned that dictation alone isn’t enough for my kids. That is still true. I’ve mentioned my use of a large variety of OG spelling programs and my favorite being All About Spelling. I’ve given several years and 4 levels to AAS and I no longer care for it for my kids. My ds8 is at grade level, but my dd12 has stayed where she was when we moved to AAS from SWR. We are returning to Spell to Write and Read. AAS is easier and more open and go, but the results are not what I’d like. I thought I would mention it since I’d given glowing reviews in the past.
AAS is likely very effective for many, but I just wanted to briefly share my experience. I am confident that I can do SWR in 30 minutes per child going forward.
How long would you suggest someone try AAS before they decide if they like it?
My post should have read recommendation. I could not think of the word.
nerakr – I’ve no idea. I know so many have succeeded and I was blissfully going along, but the same mistakes keep happening in dd-2’s writing. We used SWR for 1st and 2nd grade and then jumped around trying several things (looking for my ease bs SWR was working beautifully for dd) and settling in at AAS which she completed 4+ levels of. Honestly, she’s learned a few words, but I don’t think we’ve gained ANY ground.
With SWR, I am more confident in my abilities now and comfortable setting a timer for 30 minutes and calling it done than I was then. I intend to put dd12 in list M and ds8 in list A and just go as we can 4 days a week.
Again, AAS may be great for some kids, but the syllabication and markings of SWR were more effective for us.
Incidentally, I have many levels of AAS I can sell. I also have logic of English essentials I can sell. It looks very good, but I know how SWR works and I’m trying to make things simple.simple homeMember
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have done a few programs in the past with no marked improvement.
BUT Spelling Wisdom has helped so much. I do it slightly more intense than what is suggested because I feel my son needs it. For example, he is learning a lengthy paragraph right now. After studying all week, I dictate a new sentence (they are long ones) by Friday. HOWEVER, he is required everyday to be ready for a previously learned review sentence of the same passage and I choose one to dictate while he writes it on the chalkboard correctly. This way he does not forget and even can tell himself the whole passage by the end of the lesson.
Also I have a handy list (actually it is from Spell to Read and Write, but I have another list from an online resource) of common words to know and spell. Going down this list, I simply pick a few every week and my kids actually give each other spelling tests. This really helps solidify the words even more. And it only takes 10 minutes for this kind of test.
In my experience, my kids get very confused with homophone words. I found a great resource that I use when I see a word that they struggle with. Today in fact, my dd6 was confused with there and their. I took a practice page from the homophone book and she finished it quickly. She usually “gets it” after doing this. I intend to review it again soon to make sure.
That’s probably more than you needed or wanted to know. Hope you find what fits your family soon!!
Simple Home. I did 6 months of straight dictation with Spelling Wisdom alone. It was a no-go. My kids need the rules. AAS simply focuses on one at a time and it isn’t as effective for us. My plan at this point is to return to SWR and use it for 1-2 years as written and thrn trasition to Spelling Wisdom with word analysis like in SWR.
I want to kick myself for trying to make things easier on myself to the detriment of my dd12’s learning.Rebekah PParticipant
Just wanted to chime in here. I did SWR for one year with my 7 year old. Before that she had experience with Riggs, which is another orton gillingham program. I took last year off from SWR because it was so intensive and my daughter hated the finger grams. She is now 9 and her spelling is excellent. I don’t feel she needs much more spelling instruction. She may be a natural speller, but I do believe her knowledge of the phonograms is what helped her immensely.
I look back on the experience and I feel some of the rules she was not ready to connect with (maturity) whereas now she is getting it. I am disappointed by the claims of some of these programs that say you MUST follow them to a T. I feel SWR is like that (although it is a wonderful program.) I would just like to caution people, if you are finding that something is frustrating your child to no end, you really aren’t teaching them your just frustrating them. This is very counter productive. In hindsight, I think I would have slowed down to her pace, not the books. Unfortunately, this is something we usually only learn by experience because we want the best education for our kids.
I just thought I’d share and maybe someone out there would take the advice and not have to experience this. Everyones maturity is so different it’s really impossible to make a blanket statement that works for everyone. After all, God created us as individuals, not robots!!
Misscegee, please don’t feel defeated!! I did that year and it was horrible. You know your children better than anyone except for God. He will give you direction. And with all the added knowledge you’ve learned you’ll be better able to meet your children’s needs.
Hope this wasn’t too off topic.
I would like to know more about SWR. I did a search and am not entirely sure about it. What is really necessary to purchase? How time consuming is it to prepare daily lessons? Thank you.
momof3 – I taught my oldes to read by following SWR to a t. I spent 1-1.5 hours a day on it with my 6 year old. CRAZY! I also spent weeks/months learning how to do it (perfectionist here). I moved away from it because of the time commitment from me. However, several years later, I am not seeing the results I saw with SWR.
I intend to do 30 minute lessons with my kids daily. Some things like phonogram review will be together. Others like dictation will be one on one.
To implement you need:
- Spell to Write and Read
- WISE Guide
- Phonogram Cards
- Spelling Rule Cards
- *Pronunciation cd, if you’re unsure of the phonograms
- *Primary or Black Learning Log – these are pre-formatted composition books, not necessary, but a time saver.
- Red pencil
There are many other items available, but not necessary.
Here is a link to a quick start guide on lulu for free.
Learn phonograms (letters with all sounds) is step one. You do learn the program as you make your log.simple homeMember
Momof3, I have many of those SWR materials if you would like to buy for cheaper prices. Pm me if interested.curlywhirlyParticipant
With my oldest I used Sequential Spelling with quite a bit of success. I used the adult version as he was in high school so I can’t speak for how CM or not CM the application in the elementary school books might be (or not) My son has multiple learning challenges and *nothing* was working until we tried Sequential Spelling. It might be worth a look.
I just want to clarify. I am not looking for anything new. I KNOW intensive phonics and spelling instruction (meaning with phonograms and rules) works very well for my kids. SWR was a huge success that I as the teacher was unsure how to tweak time wise to fit us. I switched to AAS to make it easier on me as the teacher. AAS is very similar in philosophy, but the presentation is different and the method is different. I gave AAS a significant trial of a few years and I am not happy with the results. So, we are returning to SWR and I have the confidence now to set the timer for 30 minutes and call it done. We do use dictation like Spelling Wisdom along with whatever else we do. My kids and I just like the phonograms and rules. It makes sense to us.
AAS does not have kids mark words, but uses the tiles. The markings are more effective for my kids. AAS focuses on one rule at a time while SWR mixes them all in. I guess AAS is more mastery and SWR is more spiral in that regard. I love mastery math (MUS), but have found the opposite is true for us in spelling.
After a year or so with SWR to reacquaint ourselves with markings they teach, we will switch to prepared dictation with Spelling Wisdom and use our SWR marking skills to analyze unknown words. I am confident in this plan.
My regret is switching from what was working to make it easier on myself instead of making SWR work for us from the beginning. That was part of my learning curve. I am sharing here because I have praised my original switch from SWR to AAS and after extended use, it isn’t as effective for us.
Our experience may or may not be relevant to anyone else, but I felt it only responsible to update my recommendation. I am sure many people find success with many programs and methods.
Hi, Christie. We use the SWR word lists and then move to Spelling Wisdom dictation using the SWR markings as well. I like SWR because it presents all the phonograms and spelling rules upfront giving us the big picture to customize. It is more of a method than a curriculum. I highly recommend the SWR charts. I am finding that the charts don’t take much time yet are effective with the spelling rules. We do a spelling diagnostic test the first Monday of each month, and I am seeing great progress. I started using the Sound Literacy app…we mark the words we build using the draw switch on the bottom of the screen. I agree with you that writing the markings by hand is essential so the children must write their words in their log books too. And we still love finger spelling.
Can you elaborate more about the app you use? I looked it up but it’s hard to tell if it would really be worth 24.99! Thanks!JanellParticipant
Well, momof3, I was given an itunes giftcard which helped me to get the app…yes, it’s expensive. I like it though because it allows us to build a word (like AAS) using phonogram, suffix, prefix, root word “tiles” with the ability to draw around our word (SWR markings). It isn’t glamorous, but anything on the ipad is fun.
Thank you, Janell!
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