Hi everyone and welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum! Today we’re discussing the every so popular subject of spelling.



It’s no secret that I LOVE All About Learning Press products. And I’m particularly fond of the All About Spelling program. I started using them last year for our phonics and spelling help and we’ve never looked back.

One thing to note, there are only about 25 lessons in both the first and 2nd level books. I’m used to doing 1 lesson/day with my other curriculum, so obviously that wasn’t going to work. Some of the lessons for my 1st grader are pretty easy so we’re blazing through them quickly, but you are to teach to mastery with this program so after talking to the super nice people at All About Spelling I realized that you don’t need to go through 1 lesson each day. Instead you are to stay on that lesson until they’ve got the rules down pat, so we’ve slowed down a bit.


Why do I love All About Learning Press so much?

  • It’s easy to do with no prep work on my part
  • The phonics rules are reviewed often so kiddos remember them
  • It’s a hands-on learning style that makes learning fun
  • Results: I personally witnessed in overnight improvement in all of my children’s spelling and reading skills
  • The kiddos love it. ‘Nuff said.

We also rotate around how we do things, some days they use tiles, some days a white board, and some days my iPad chalkboard app. We’ve stamped words, said words orally, and something we lovingly refer to as Stair Phonics. I love the flexibility and effectiveness of this program, and my kids love how fun it is.


  • Hands-on.
  • Great review using flashcards and key questions.
  • Easy to teach.


  • Can be pricey if you purchase multiple levels at once. To help combat this we share the student flash cards.
  • Is teacher intensive time-wise as you direct all of the lessons so it’s not something you can hand to your students to do on their own.
  • Word lists are appropriate for each skill, but typically too easy for my students, so we’ve added in BJU Spelling workbooks for a  spelling list each week.


So, now comes the fun part!

What are your favorite Spelling curriculum, resources, websites, etc? Leave a comment below discussing your choices for this year and why.

Feel free to ask questions or reply to each other too!

It’s my way of doing a forum without actually doing a forum haha!

And hopefully this will help us all as we start the process of researching curriculum, and trying to decide what will be the best fit for our homeschool.

Note: Please keep today’s conversations geared towards SPELLING, I will be posting one for each subject separately so we can keep our comments organized.

Click here if you missed my previous Homeschool Curriculum Forum posts!





Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post, I may however be affiliated with one or more products mentioned. The opinions expressed in this post were not influenced by the company. They are products I have used and felt like sharing, cuz’ it’s my blog and I can if I want to.


  1. With the all about spelling, if I was to start it next year for my 6th and 3rd graders, would I need to start on level one? How do you find the right starting place?

    1. No matter the grade level, start them all on Level 1. It’s recommended as the best way to ensure there haven’t been any gaps in their learning. If one child has a concept grasped well, you just move quickly to the next concept, and vice versa if one if having trouble you keep reviewing it until they’ve mastered it. You have to work with each child independently regardless so it’s simple to pace it at their individual need. My son is in the fourth grade, has an accelerated reading comprehension and we found that he lacked a concept in this area so the added review and reinforcement helped. With that said, we love AAS and plan to follow through the levels. And like Erica said, the words are not very challenging for my fourth grader so next year we’re adding in vocabulary spelling words.

      1. Also, like Erica mentioned, we only need one set of cards, I just use colored clips in each section to show where my adavnced child is compared to my younger. And the certificate you can copy and reprint on stock paper so savings there!

    2. LeCricia ~
      All About Learning Press has a blog, there is a recent post on how to use AAS with older children. The basic concept is that you go through it at their pace, if they get it/know it – just keep pushing through. They also have a PDF explaining how she customized the first 16 lessons for her older students. Here is the link to the blog post:


      Hope this helps! :o)

  2. I do Spelling Power. I like it alot. It is really quick and easy and uses the spelling rules to teach kids to sound out the word and then spell it. I really like that they do tests instead of writing the word over and over again to commit the word to memory.
    The program is just a book that is for all grades. It seems a little complicated, but is really easy. The book is a little pricy, but it is reusable and you can use it for all grades. You only need the book for the program. The words are the most misspelled words in the English language and they get harder as you go through the levels.

    1. I LOVE Spelling Power! It’s an all-in-one program for grades 3-12. The initial cost is around $60, but you are receiving the ENTIRE program — for all grades! I love that my kids are only re-tested on words they automatically misspell. There is plenty of review and delayed recall “programmed” in, so fear of your child misspelling the same words over and over is basically eliminated. Also, there are spelling and dictionary activities included in the book — for all levels of learning. You don’t need anything fancy to complete the suggested activities, either. I bought magnetized letter tiles from Amazon and have not bought anything else in the two years I’ve used this program. I also love that there’s a printables CD-Rom included, so I don’t have to purchase workbooks or extra paper — I can print off (two-sided) what I need each week.

      I can’t say enough good things about this spelling curriculum! 😀

    2. I just wanted to add that is is sooooooooo important for the child to write the words over and over, this makes it more concrete in their brains. It seem tedious and boring for us adults, but it is super important for the kids to be doing this.

    1. We do both for my second. It wasn’t around for my first. They just released level 2 this year. I may be mistaken in my memory, but I think Tinker Bell is using AAR this year. I loved AAR 1 and 2 so much that I ordered the Pre Reading version for my 4 and 5 year old.

    1. We use and like sequential spelling, too! Price is hard to beat! I printed off and spiral bound my own book. The kids like having candy involved to encourage them. I can’t say it’s fun, but it certainly does the job for the right price. Even my 5 year old is doing it and it’s helping boost my 7 year old’s confidence. The program is based on word families.

      Erika Hargrave
  3. I just purchased All About Spelling but I must admit I’m having some reservations. We’ve been using Spell to Write and Read but boy was it difficult and complicated to get going. I didn’t get the STWR in the mail until about 2 week before we started school and I was absolutely not ready to start teaching it when school started even though I’d been preparing for those 2 week . Having said all that I’m still not ready to let it go completely because I’ve read some reviews that say that STWR is more comprehensive than AAS. I too have noticed that the spelling words in AAS are really easy. Also, AAS seems to include “Word Jail” which appears to me to be a way to teach certain words that don’t follow the rules (am I correct?). I think STWR teaches rules for most words so there would be fewer words, if any, considered rule breakers which could cause confusion for kids. I guess I feel that if I were to persevere with STWR it would be the better program. I wish I could attend the training seminars but they’re about $180, I believe, and I can’t afford that. I found 3 videos that may provide some training but based on their description I can’t tell if the training would be complete and thorough enough. I guess I’d like to know has anyone out there used both AAS and STWR, has anyone purchased any of the STWR training videos, and is the “Word Jail” in AAS what I think it is, a way to teach words that don’t follow the rules. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lily,

      The words in AAS do start easy because they use words that *only* follow the concepts taught up to that point. The concepts are used in more advanced words, but those words typically contain other concepts not yet taught. So…while it starts easy, the word lists go all the way up to high school in Level 7, and include teaching on Greek and Latin roots, words borrowed from Spanish and Italian, and so on. It’s very comprehensive. Also, there are not many words at all that will end up in “Jail.” Only a few per level. AAS and SWR both draw from the same base–Orton Gillingham. (SWR is based on Spalding which is based on OG). So there are many similarities in the two programs. One of the biggest differences is the one you have noticed–the order that words are introduced. SWR introduces words in order of frequency, while AAS introduces them in order of concepts. This order in AAS can also make words seem deceptively easy, because you first see them in the context of other words following the same pattern. But you will also get plenty of mixed review with the dictations and with the card system (you shuffle the cards when you do reviews so that they aren’t in order). Also when the Writing Station is introduced in Level 3, that adds another layer of review, and also acts as a bridge to writing independently. I hope this helps! BTW, for other differences between AAS and SWR, check this article from their FAQ file: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/spell-to-write-and-read

  4. I know AAS is a good spelling program but because my kids are naturally good spellers, I don’t want to devote too much time to spelling so we use Spelling Workout, which is recommended by Susan Wise Bauer. For each lesson, we discuss the phonetic/spelling rule and I give them a pretest each week. If they pass the pretest, no spelling for the week, and if they don’t pass the pre-test, they work through the workbook on their own and take a final test at the end of week. Every few weeks I give a review test of the words they have missed. It’s not glamorous or exciting but the lessons are quick and it is definitely a solid spelling program. They don’t complain as it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete the exercises. And, as a bonus it is VERY inexpensive. You don’t even need the teacher guides really but since they are only $10 I get them as they give good sentences for the pre and final tests and some additional review worksheets. If your kids are naturally good spellers, I highly recommend the program as an efficient, inexpensive way to cover spelling.

  5. I am so very thankful you are doing this forum! I have been looking at AAS and Spelling Power ( & some others I can’t remember!). I like AAS, but they are a little pricey (I just ordered My Father’s World so trying to be careful where $ goes!). I am still open to getting it, though. With Spelling Power, do they go over the rules and such like AAS? With my (limited) research, I just kept finding how they teach common words and the kids just work on the lesson until they get them all right. M oldest is 8, but I have 3 boys total… so I need a boy-friendly curriculum- which is why AAS seems a better fit. Any feedback from experienced users? Thanks!

    1. Spelling Power is pretty much just lists of words with a spelling rule at the top. They are supposed to write the spelling rule and then take a test on the words. You are supposed to stop them after they miss like 3 words or they take the test for like 10 minutes. I find it VERY good for boys who don’t like to write a lot. All he has to do is write the word once and he is done. It is pretty motivating for my son. He just turned 7 in March; we started it in August 2012.
      I don’t really follow the program super well (this is a common theme in my homeschooling). I have adapted it to fit us really well. My son is a natural speller. He hated the workbook style spelling of copying words, putting them in alphabetical order, and unscrambling. What we do is I made a list of the rules. I just looked through the lists and typed up the rules from each list for each level. I give him the list to look over twice a week as “memory work”. Then when he takes the test instead of getting him to write the rule (he hates to write), I say how do you spell oy (or whatever). He will say oy can be spelled oy or oi and then I write it on his paper and test him until I feel like he is done. Sometimes he will do a whole list which is anywhere from 15-20 words and sometimes he will do half of a list. I keep track of what he misses and make sure to retest him, but they do have tests in the program of the harder words called review tests and delayed recall tests. I do really like the program. It is really easy to use.

    2. We used Spelling Power for awhile, but didn’t find their rules as helpful. The lessons would say things like the long A sound can be spelled ai, ay, eigh or a_e, but wouldn’t really say if there was a rule for any of these spellings. AAS teaches these one at a time, will tell you if there is a rule that applies, and lets children master each one before putting them together in one lesson for a mixed review. My kids needed this more incremental approach.

    3. I have an 8 year old son that we started usin AAS with in January. He loves it! It’s very tactile and hads on which is a good fit for his wiggly body! We went through level 1 really quickly, like in a month. Then level 2 took us just a bit over a month. So it’s totally been worth the money for us. I know in the beginning it’s a bit of sticker shock, but really if you have multiple children its worth it. I highly recommend AAS especially for struggling spellers, and boys! 🙂

    4. I also recommend AAS for boys. My 8 year old likes this way of doing spelling. I do not make him write all of the words they say to. We do a lot orally if he seems to be getting the lesson. He LOVES that he can just zoom through and doesn’t have to do a bunch of busy work when he gets it. I love that it is catching areas of weakness that we had missed because he is a good reader and decent speller already.

  6. In all my years of homeschooling, I have found the best way to learn to spell and remember what you learned is to write sentences. I try to get my children to write one sentence a day for each grade they are in. If they are in 5th grade, they write 5 sentences.

    I have one really bad speller that went through all kinds of workbooks and still doesn’t spell well. I think that just because they complete a workbook, it doesn’t mean they will remember how to spell the words in the book.

    We used AAS and Spellquizzer (computer program) with our youngest for one year and they worked well.

  7. I just started using alas level 1 with my 6 yr old and we are flying through the first lessons. He is finishing up his kinder yr but working at a first grade level. I love the program so far. Simple compared to other programs I looked. He is not sitting in front of a workbook. I like the cards and we turn them into some kind of game often. Also, he loves putting his sticker on the included progress chart! He is so proud to show papa and others his progress!! I have seen improvement in his journal writing!!!! Will be ordering all about reading because of the success with AAS.

    Teri h

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