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AAS vs Spalding


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#1 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:09 PM

I've been on the fence about spelling for a while. We will do afterschooling for spelling. DD is reading fluently at a 3rd grade level. We did OPGTR for phonics and I don't really desire to use it for spelling. I'm torn between aas and something all in one like Spaulding.

She writes decently. Her Kindergarten will work on cursive though. Her spacing and sizing is off a bit, but pretty normal for a 5.5yo. Her spelling is decent. She can spell cvc words and words such as chip, love, kite, etc. so simple digraphs and silent e words.

So pros and cons of aas vs spalding? I know aas is more expensive than spalding, but I worry that spalding is too teacher intensive. We plan to do spelling 2-3 days a week max.

#2 medawyn

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:46 PM

I'm going to get this in and then run from Ellie  :lol:

 

My background: I was a very early reader (fluently reading chapter books by age 3), and I attended a school that used Spalding.  The spelling instruction was invaluable to me.  I was a fairly natural speller, but the rules helped me be a better speller, and certainly helped me be a better reader of high level vocabulary that I was unlikely to encounter in regular conversation.  I have also taught Spalding in a classroom, at both the K/1 level and the 2/3 level (our school had mixed grades).  I have been through their teacher training, etc.  Obviously I *get* Spalding.  I'm a fan.

 

I'm planning on using AAS.  I'll probably tweak it a bit, using some of the Spalding rules I'm familiar with (mostly because I've used the same phrasing/rules since I was five, and it's hard to overcome that kind of internalized dialogue), but overall, I like AAS' approach.  The word lists are designed for *spelling*, and I like that they focus on a rule or a phonogram.  I like the review built into the dictation in AAS, and I like that there are opportunities for more or less practice depending on what your child needs.  While I am waiting for spelling until my current little reader can write (because if you aren't writing, why are you using spelling?), I do like that AAS can be writing-lite by using the tiles.  I think both programs are teacher intensive, but AAS helps with the scripting right there for you.  Less flipping around in the manual, etc.  For Spalding to be really open and go, I think parents need to create their own spelling notebook, but that requires time some of us don't have.

 

Honestly, you can't go wrong with either, but this former Spalding teacher is about 98% certain she's going to use AAS.  (We're already into AAR 2, so I'm happy with their products.)


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#3 Ellie

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:05 PM

See, I think that Spalding is open-and-go. You teach the phonograms, and review previously taught phonograms--you don't even have to open the manual to do that. You stop wherever you are in the spelling list, and start there the next day. Easy peasy.

 

But yes, it is teacher-intensive. The only way to make it less intensive is to break up the lessons during the day: oral/written revew of the phonograms; later on teach new phonograms; later on do the spelling list. None of that requires flipping through the manual, either. :D

 

FTR, I prefer the fourth edition. I can do it with the fifth edition, but I dislike the sixth. Too many references to the not-necessary-for-homeschoolers teacher guides.



#4 Farrar

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:02 PM

From what I know about Spalding, they're both about equally teacher intensive. Like, if you're thinking that AAS is less teacher intensive, I think that's incorrect. Again, I haven't used Spalding, but there's maybe a bit more work up front to get your cards made and system set up (though with AAS, you have to put together the letter tiles and all that, which also takes a little time), but after that, they're both teacher intensive. 



#5 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:49 PM

From what I know about Spalding, they're both about equally teacher intensive. Like, if you're thinking that AAS is less teacher intensive, I think that's incorrect. Again, I haven't used Spalding, but there's maybe a bit more work up front to get your cards made and system set up (though with AAS, you have to put together the letter tiles and all that, which also takes a little time), but after that, they're both teacher intensive.


From my understanding, AAS has lessons designed for you all ready to go, whereas Spalding isn't as straightforward lesson wise. That's what I meant by teacher Intensive. I don't want to have to lesson plan that much.

#6 Finlandia

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

From my understanding, AAS has lessons designed for you all ready to go, whereas Spalding isn't as straightforward lesson wise. That's what I meant by teacher Intensive. I don't want to have to lesson plan that much.


Yes, AAS has the lessons planned out for you. They are clear and easy to follow, but require the teacher's involvement for the entire lesson. There is no part of the lesson that the child does independently (at least for level 1, but I think it's true for all the levels.)

AAS is a great program, but it was overkill for my DD. She simply didn't need all those steps. She hated the letter tiles and the tokens. She didn't need the cards. It ended up being an expensive list of spelling words for her. I would still use it again for a student who needed it, but if your child is a somewhat natural speller I think AAS is unnecessary.
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#7 medawyn

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

From my understanding, AAS has lessons designed for you all ready to go, whereas Spalding isn't as straightforward lesson wise. That's what I meant by teacher Intensive. I don't want to have to lesson plan that much.

 

This is exactly what I mean when I say that AAS is less teacher intensive as well.  Both programs require parents to teach the whole lesson.

 

I love Spalding, but I do think that before you begin teaching it, you need a thorough understanding of the whole program.  You need to know the phonograms and the rules.  That's a lot of pre-studying for most parents.  At least with AAS, there is scripting with each lesson and the reminders about the rules etc. are right on the page with the words.  I also think the systematic review via dictation helps parents see more easily which rules students have internalized and are applying independently, and the format allows parents to pick up review more easily if necessary.  I think this is helpful especially if you have a younger student who may not be doing much writing across the curriculum, when it can be easier to spot whether or not spelling is being applied elsewhere.

 

The are both excellent programs.  I'm looking down the road for myself, when it is likely I will have three need me at their elbow students for reading/spelling, and for me, I think AAS is going to be the program that gets done more thoroughly.



#8 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:20 PM

This is exactly what I mean when I say that AAS is less teacher intensive as well. Both programs require parents to teach the whole lesson.

I love Spalding, but I do think that before you begin teaching it, you need a thorough understanding of the whole program. You need to know the phonograms and the rules. That's a lot of pre-studying for most parents. At least with AAS, there is scripting with each lesson and the reminders about the rules etc. are right on the page with the words. I also think the systematic review via dictation helps parents see more easily which rules students have internalized and are applying independently, and the format allows parents to pick up review more easily if necessary. I think this is helpful especially if you have a younger student who may not be doing much writing across the curriculum, when it can be easier to spot whether or not spelling is being applied elsewhere.

The are both excellent programs. I'm looking down the road for myself, when it is likely I will have three need me at their elbow students for reading/spelling, and for me, I think AAS is going to be the program that gets done more thoroughly.


Have you done AAS? I'm trying to decide if I start with level 1 or 2. DD can spell cvc words and words such as have, chip, bath, etc. a friend was saying that level 1 does cvc words and simple digraphs such as th

#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:16 PM

Honestly, your dd probably is going to find AAS tedious and overkill. Why don't you go to the library and get WRTR? Our library has it. It's only $17 to buy on amazon. If it doesn't click for you, fine. 

 

High IQ, no reading or spelling issues, natural and intuitive learner. The faster pace of WRTR is an obvious fit. It can get her spelling at the level her brain is going to write at much more quickly. AAS would take multiple multiple levels and be very tedious to get to the same place.  

 

As far as the tiles, she'll probably be bored by them. If she wants them, print off a set or use a tile app. But I'm just guessing she won't want them. My dd was fine with WRTR/SWR. Kids like that don't need AAS. 

 

And btw, I own AAS 1-6, used them for review with my dd after her VT, and use Barton with my ds. So I've been through most of the common stuff. I'm just saying your dd is going to be bored stiff and find AAS overkill.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 13 August 2017 - 05:17 PM.

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#10 MerryAtHope

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:24 PM

Have you done AAS? I'm trying to decide if I start with level 1 or 2. DD can spell cvc words and words such as have, chip, bath, etc. a friend was saying that level 1 does cvc words and simple digraphs such as th

 

Yes, it does that and also short-vowel compound words, and simple open syllable words. It teaches segmenting skills and several rules (how to know when to use C or K in words like cat vs. kept--which also applies to longer words later on--when to use K vs. CK at the end of words, when to double F, L, and S, when to use S or ES, and open/closed syllable types). Level 2 will quickly review those things, so if you have a student with no struggles, you can sometimes start there. This article on which level to start in might help. If you do need level 1, you can go through it quickly just to fill in gaps if she can already spell some of the words. Have fun! It was very helpful for my kids.



#11 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:02 PM

Honestly, your dd probably is going to find AAS tedious and overkill. Why don't you go to the library and get WRTR? Our library has it. It's only $17 to buy on amazon. If it doesn't click for you, fine.

High IQ, no reading or spelling issues, natural and intuitive learner. The faster pace of WRTR is an obvious fit. It can get her spelling at the level her brain is going to write at much more quickly. AAS would take multiple multiple levels and be very tedious to get to the same place.

As far as the tiles, she'll probably be bored by them. If she wants them, print off a set or use a tile app. But I'm just guessing she won't want them. My dd was fine with WRTR/SWR. Kids like that don't need AAS.

And btw, I own AAS 1-6, used them for review with my dd after her VT, and use Barton with my ds. So I've been through most of the common stuff. I'm just saying your dd is going to be bored stiff and find AAS overkill.


Our library does have it but no available copies. I may try and find a cheap uses copy. I'm not sure if she's like the letter tiles.

#12 Ellie

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:06 PM



This is exactly what I mean when I say that AAS is less teacher intensive as well.  Both programs require parents to teach the whole lesson.

 

I love Spalding, but I do think that before you begin teaching it, you need a thorough understanding of the whole program.  You need to know the phonograms and the rules.  That's a lot of pre-studying for most parents.  At least with AAS, there is scripting with each lesson and the reminders about the rules etc. are right on the page with the words.  I also think the systematic review via dictation helps parents see more easily which rules students have internalized and are applying independently, and the format allows parents to pick up review more easily if necessary.  I think this is helpful especially if you have a younger student who may not be doing much writing across the curriculum, when it can be easier to spot whether or not spelling is being applied elsewhere.

 

The are both excellent programs.  I'm looking down the road for myself, when it is likely I will have three need me at their elbow students for reading/spelling, and for me, I think AAS is going to be the program that gets done more thoroughly.

 

You do need to study the manual before you begin teaching. I see nothing wrong with that. We should always be prepared before we start teaching something, don't you think? :-)

 

But everything *is* scripted in the manual: explicit instructions on how to teach each single-letter phonogram, script for teaching the first [I forget the exact number] of spelling words, but after that, you don't need a script; you're just going to rinse and repeat. Everything you need to know is right there in the manual; you can't open the book today and start teaching tomorrow, but neither do you need to agonize over it for weeks before you teach.

 

Truly, I don't care what people use to teach their children to read and write. If it works for them, it works for me. Millions of children have learned to read and spell without ever having heard of the five reasons for final silent e, or that an "a" begins at 2 on the clock...I just feel compelled to explain Spalding a little bit. :-)



#13 medawyn

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:51 PM



 

You do need to study the manual before you begin teaching. I see nothing wrong with that. We should always be prepared before we start teaching something, don't you think? :-)

 

But everything *is* scripted in the manual: explicit instructions on how to teach each single-letter phonogram, script for teaching the first [I forget the exact number] of spelling words, but after that, you don't need a script; you're just going to rinse and repeat. Everything you need to know is right there in the manual; you can't open the book today and start teaching tomorrow, but neither do you need to agonize over it for weeks before you teach.

 

Truly, I don't care what people use to teach their children to read and write. If it works for them, it works for me. Millions of children have learned to read and spell without ever having heard of the five reasons for final silent e, or that an "a" begins at 2 on the clock...I just feel compelled to explain Spalding a little bit. :-)

 

I see nothing wrong with studying the manual and being prepared, either! It's just that not everyone does or can, and I think that should be recognized as an integral part of Spalding.

 

I'm going through Miquon math with the same mindset right now.  Not sure if we'll be using it, but if we do, I need to thoroughly understand the program - beyond reading the manual - to teach it effectively. 

 

I have lived Spalding almost my whole life - everything after age five.  I will always recommend it at as a - and maybe on of the best out there - program.  But I do think the manual can be intimidating (and we've seen many parents on this board who feel that way) and that it can require more prep work up front than some people have energy for.

 

I always like to see you advocate for Spalding, because I do think it's worth the time investment for parents.



#14 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:00 PM

I see nothing wrong with studying the manual and being prepared, either! It's just that not everyone does or can, and I think that should be recognized as an integral part of Spalding.

I'm going through Miquon math with the same mindset right now. Not sure if we'll be using it, but if we do, I need to thoroughly understand the program - beyond reading the manual - to teach it effectively.

I have lived Spalding almost my whole life - everything after age five. I will always recommend it at as a - and maybe on of the best out there - program. But I do think the manual can be intimidating (and we've seen many parents on this board who feel that way) and that it can require more prep work up front than some people have energy for.

I always like to see you advocate for Spalding, because I do think it's worth the time investment for parents.


I do like that with spalding I can go at her pace without spending more money. And hit the handwriting as well. I'm feeling pulled towards it again.
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#15 Ellie

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:56 PM

I do like that with spalding I can go at her pace without spending more money. And hit the handwriting as well. I'm feeling pulled towards it again.

 

Yup. Spalding is a whole literacy course in one fell swoop. :-) And it's infinitely flexible.



#16 homeschoolkitty

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 04:24 PM

Spalding is a little teacher heavy at the beginning if you are not familiar with it, but later on it becomes a natural flow to your day.
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#17 ReadingMama1214

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

Yup. Spalding is a whole literacy course in one fell swoop. :-) And it's infinitely flexible.


What exactly do I need to do Spalding? In terms of supplies.

Also, do you think it would be too much to do for afterschooling? She's going to a Spanish immersion school, but there's no homework in K. There is the adjustment to Spanish which can be difficult.

Some families do no English teaching at home, but since DD is reading (3rd grade level) and writing and trying to spell, I don't want to let her develop poor spelling skills. She is a decent speller, so I don't think spalding would be too hard. I just don't want to overwhelm her. We'd do it twice a week. I work 3 evenings a week so 2x is all we can do unles we did a Saturday.

#18 Ellie

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

What exactly do I need to do Spalding? In terms of supplies.

Also, do you think it would be too much to do for afterschooling? She's going to a Spanish immersion school, but there's no homework in K. There is the adjustment to Spanish which can be difficult.

Some families do no English teaching at home, but since DD is reading (3rd grade level) and writing and trying to spell, I don't want to let her develop poor spelling skills. She is a decent speller, so I don't think spalding would be too hard. I just don't want to overwhelm her. We'd do it twice a week. I work 3 evenings a week so 2x is all we can do unles we did a Saturday.

 

 

  1. The manual (Writing Road to Reading). If you can get the fourth edition, that would be best.
  2. A set of phonogram cards
  3. A purple spelling notebook (optional; you can get it on the Spalding site. It's recommended because the line spacing is wider than the black-and-white composition notebooks)

And that's all.

 

Spalding is never "too hard." Each child starts at the beginning, and moves ahead according to his own ability. :-)

 

Before you begin teaching, you will need to study the manual, by which I mean you'll want to read it cover to cover (and I do mean "cover to cover") about three times: the first time just as you would read a novel, the second time making notes, the third time making the plan in your head. :-) Also, take it to Kinko's/FedEx and have the spine cut off and the book drilled for three holes. Put the book in a three-ring notebook; it will be much easier to use that way.