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All About Spelling vs. Megawords


StacyinKS
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We are going to be starting a Spelling Program this year. I was all set on buying Megawords but saw some mention of All About Spelling here..so I went to check it out on Rainbow Resource-read reviews etc...And I see that there are wonderful, raving reviews for All About Spelling, but none for Megawords.

 

I greatly value your opinions, etc...so would love to hear your opinions and reviews on both of the programs.

 

Cost is also a big concern as we are on a tight budget right now...I saw that you need some extra's for All About Spelling-are the extra's necessary, etc? :)

 

Thanks in Advance for your feedback.

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I never used MegaWords but I love AAS. We tried Spelling Workout and Sequential Spelling last year and my son could learn the test words, but the spelling rules didn't stick. Now he loves spelling and is retaining the rules and able to carry it over into his writing and reading. I don't usually get excited about curriculum, but I wish all of our subjects and materials were this easy. The only negative I can think of is if you prefer that your child do spelling independently. It doesn't take a lot of time, 10-15 minutes but not independent. Whatever you choose good luck.

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We love AAS. We're 1/2 way through level 1, first time homeschooler. It is not independent, but it has worked great for us so far!

 

The only extra thing you need is the magnetic whiteboard. I got one at Target for 17.95 on sale, but if that's out of reach, you could do it on the table top OR check freecycle or craigs list for a cheaper one--thrift stores and garage sales too. My son doesn't *LOVE* using the tiles on the board. He wants to take them off b/c they're eaier to slide around to build the words.

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Yes, you MUST have the tiles and magnets to use this program. If a magnetic white board 2ftx3ft is too expensive, you could use a large metal cookie sheet.

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Here are a few threads with positive reviews of Megawords:

Wow -- Megawords looks really good

So impressed with Megawords!

 

We used Megawords 1-8 in 5th-8th grade. It was effective, painless, not teacher-intensive, and uniquely complaint-free. I have no experience with AAS, but it gets positive reviews. I'm sure either program would be effective.

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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We used Megawords 1-8 in 5th-8th grade. It was effective, painless, not teacher-intensive, and uniquely complaint-free. I have no experience with AAS, but it gets positive reviews. I'm sure either program would be effective.

 

Did you use it as your sole spelling program? I've been using AAS with dd (11). We did Level 1-3 last school year and I was thinking of continuing with it, but ds is going to need more 1 on 1 spelling instruction this year so I'm thinking of switching dd to Megawords and using AAS with ds.

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You DON'T have to have the magnets and whiteboard to use the program. I'm on level 3 and have not used them thus far. It is probably a convenience, but not necessary. We keep the tiles in plastic bags divided up into "use now", "use later", and "save for level (fill in the blank)". Setting them up takes about 2 minutes and is good practice for the kids. It is a wonderful program that could be used w/out the tiles for a natural speller.

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We are going to be starting a Spelling Program this year. I was all set on buying Megawords but saw some mention of All About Spelling here..so I went to check it out on Rainbow Resource-read reviews etc...And I see that there are wonderful, raving reviews for All About Spelling, but none for Megawords.

 

I greatly value your opinions, etc...so would love to hear your opinions and reviews on both of the programs.

 

Cost is also a big concern as we are on a tight budget right now...I saw that you need some extra's for All About Spelling-are the extra's necessary, etc? :)

 

Thanks in Advance for your feedback.

 

AAS and Megawords follow a similar philosophy and sequence, but AAS uses simple words for younger kids and Megawords uses multi-syllable words.

 

For AAS all you need is the main pack, and tiles if they are not included, unless you are teaching multiple kids in the same book. The phonogram CD can be nice, but not necessary. The readers are nice but again nor necessary.

 

Heather

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I think we would have loved AAS as well had I discovered it earlier. My 11 yo dd struggles with spelling. We decided to try AAS but they suggest that you start at the beginning no matter how old you are. This was the hang up. My 8 yo ds spells better than she does and here she was working on "baby" spelling words. It was hard to do. I needed to work one-on-one with her and she knew that we had to start at the very beginning. She was willing to get through it, but it added to her frustration and she felt like she was dumb. It's a great program but I wish there was an "Older beginner" program and that it was easier to speed up or slow down according to what the child understood or didn't understand. For those that are starting in 1st-3rd grade, I think AAS is great. For my older student it just hasn't worked.

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We are loving AAS! DD currently in level 3 and DS level 1. My plan is continue through all 7 levels and then on to Megawords or possibly a spelling via dictation program. Certainly if your DC is in 4th or above you might consider going straight to AAS. I guess it depends on how strong their basics are.

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Did you use it as your sole spelling program? I've been using AAS with dd (11). We did Level 1-3 last school year and I was thinking of continuing with it, but ds is going to need more 1 on 1 spelling instruction this year so I'm thinking of switching dd to Megawords and using AAS with ds.

Yes, we used Megawords as our sole spelling program. I saw no need to use anything else as ds's test scores indicated no need.

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I think we would have loved AAS as well had I discovered it earlier. My 11 yo dd struggles with spelling. We decided to try AAS but they suggest that you start at the beginning no matter how old you are. This was the hang up. My 8 yo ds spells better than she does and here she was working on "baby" spelling words. It was hard to do. I needed to work one-on-one with her and she knew that we had to start at the very beginning. She was willing to get through it, but it added to her frustration and she felt like she was dumb. It's a great program but I wish there was an "Older beginner" program and that it was easier to speed up or slow down according to what the child understood or didn't understand. For those that are starting in 1st-3rd grade, I think AAS is great. For my older student it just hasn't worked.

 

Yes, an "older beginner" level would make it easier.

 

However, I started my kids at ages 9 & 11, and it really can work for the older beginner. What I told them was that I knew they didn't need to spell the easy words in level 1, so that wasn't going to be our focus. We were just going to fill in any knowledge gaps so that they would know how to spell longer and harder words. The same rule that applies to why we use C for "cat" and K for "kid" applies to words like emergency (my son figured that out on his own when we were no where near words like that in AAS).

 

We only spent 3 weeks on Level 1 of AAS, just teaching things they didn't know & skipping the words and dictations. If a child can demonstrate that they understand the concept, you can move on and skip the easy stuff. Then in lessons where they don't know all of the words, you can slow down.

 

I've heard of people going through Level 2 fairly quickly too. My kids needed level 2, so that's where we slowed down.

 

If your children already know all of the concepts in Levels 1 and 2 from another OG based program, then you can look at the scope and sequence links online and see what info they know and don't know, and start them where they have gaps.

 

Merry :-)

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My child who is a natural speller but wanted to study bigger words is using Megawords. We like it so far.

 

This same child used 2 levels of AAS before I decided that being a natural speller, we didn't need to spend so much time on spelling. It did give him a good foundation in spelling rules and noticing how the sounds in words work though. And he liked using it.

 

My youngest will use AAS this year. Tbh, I find AAS to be a pain. But I want him to have the phonics foundation. He's a good reader but can't seem to take a word apart and hear the sounds when he wants to spell. So I plan to suck it up and use the 2 levels I have with him. Then, if he needs it, we'll continue. If not, he'll go to Megawords in 4th grade like his brother.

 

So I think they're both good programs and I would look at what your individual spelling needs are, the age of your child, and if a workbook or more visual, hands-on type program would work better for your child.

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