Topic | Question for All About Spelling Users

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  • MamaSnow

    I am currently about halfway through AAS Level 2 with my dd7. We like it and I feel like it has helped her a lot in terms of thinking through how to break down words and figure them out. I already have Level 3 too, so we will probably continue at least through that over the next year. We also do a lot of ‘natural’ spelling (she is keeping a word books of words that she is always asking how to spell when she is writing – she’s big into writing letters, stories, lists, etc.) And I also find there are a lot of words that she is picking up by sight – she knows they are right just because “they look right – I’ve seen that word before Mom”. Anyhow, after she has finished level 3, we’ll probably transition to dictation. The question I’m debating with myself is whether we continue to use the remaining levels of AAS alongside dictation, or just drop it.

    On the one hand, I kind of feel like working through the first several levels have helped her learn some valuable skills with analyzing words, but that she’s also kind of a natural speller and may not need the same kind of “hand-holding” once we go to dictation. We can apply what she has already learned to the unknown words there (referring to a phonics reference as needed for rules/phonograms we didn’t cover in AAS). AAS isn’t cheap and while I’ve been pleased with the results so far, I don’t really want to be paying that much for a program that she doesn’t really need to be using.

    On the other, I really like how everything is broken down for me with AAS, everything all organized and logical and incremental with the review work written in for me. There’s part of me that feels safer with that type of approach. (I like things orderly and logical! I like not having to think of what I am going to do next!)

    So..thoughts here. Those of you who use AAS – how many levels did you complete? At what point did you feel like your child was ready to drop it? Have you continued to use it with a child who has begun dictation? Have you ever used the TM only and skipped the student packets – we already never use the cards, I wouldn’t mind so much continuing with it if I only needed to buy the TM? I need to decide soon because I am gathering the next 3 years worth of school materials before we head to Africa in January.

    Thanks for any thoughts.



    Jen –  My current plan is to finish Level 4 and then evaluate.  I don’t think I’ll go beyond that with my one of my boys, but not sure on the second.  One is a natural speller, the other one really struggles and AAS has been amazing for him.  Both boys (age 12) have been doing dictation for a few months now.  Third son, age 8, has also started dictation.  They’ve all been doing copywork since 7 or 8 and will keep doing that for a bit longer.  

    I never use the AAS cards either.  Just the TM…and whatever magnets/reading sheets/lists/charts come with the student packet.  So I guess I do use the student packet!

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