Jump to content


I think I misunderstood....AAS questions...

Recommended Posts

Okay, so I started a post about AAS but then looked more on the website. SO then I think I found out I am more wrong than I knew. But that means I have more questions.


Quickly, my kids are 4, 5, and 6. The 6yo is reading on a late 3rd grade level (as tested by her Kindy teacher using their K-3rd grade testing program). She also got the Kindergarten spelling award at the end of the year. My 5yo is about the end of Kindy level (asynchronous though...some skills a little higher and some gaps). My 4yo knows his letter sounds, but often can't get from m-a-p to map.


Am I understanding correctly that all three could start it?

That all three should start at the very beginning?

That they all three could go their own pace?

That somehow it can go slow enough for my 4yo

and fast enough for my 6yo?

I kinda am worried about starting all 3. It isn't like history where they will all three be doing the same lesson. They could all start day 1 the same place but by the end of the first month, I'd expect them to be in wildly different places. Or is that not really possible?

Well, with that, what *is* the fastest and slowest one can easily go? At what point is there too much work to keep progressing even if the work is too easy? At what point is there not enough work to justify the slowness of progress?


WHat are your thoughts???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only offer advice for your younger kids. My Dd started AAS 1 after she was able to read through her first BOB book. I believe that being able to read CVC words first is a recommendation in the intro to AAS 1. It has really, really, improved her reading skills, because it reinforces everything she learns in Phonics Pathways. Her reading and spelling skills are much more advanced than her writing skills, so we spell using the letter tiles only. We don't do the phrase dictations that begin about 2/3 of the way through the book. I plan on going back and doing the phrases before starting AAS 2 when we have gotten better at writing. I feel she is already ahead of the game, so waiting a little for her motor skills to catch up will be less frustrating in the long run. She started AAS 1 about a year ago. We took several months off, because Mommy got busy, and will take up to two weeks on a lesson when we are regularly using the curriculum. I think for your youngers, it could take a year, for your older, she could whiz through it in a month based on other people's experience that I have read. I might even purchase AAS 1-3 upfront, if your older child is a gifted speller. Love the program, and it is pricey, but non-consumable. I look forward to using it with all my kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for the younger two. Then start the spelling program. But be sure to start a handwriting program before the spelling program.


So people say start with Ordinary Parents guide reading which goes up to 3rd grade and I think they say midway you can start the spelling program

then a handwriting program like Handwriting Without Tears-start this a bit before the spelling program

then a spelling program like AAS.....


I could be totally wrong but this was what I got out of the Well Trained Mind and it makes sense to me because AAS does require the kids to write the spelling words out and it would be pointless if the child couldn;t write their letters yet. I forget the reason why it would be important to get the kids reading first but I can see how it could make sense based on what I have seen using AAS. We are on Level 3 and Level 4.


I am so so envious of all those starting to use these resources so early. Mine came in late (at the age of 8yrs and 9 and 10yrs) and it is remedial, remedial, remedial. They were in PS and wished I was more adamant with my husband at the time to let me homeschool them.


Nonetheless, do NOT keep them all at the same level. Start at the Book 1 for the six years old. 5yrs old make sure she/he can write comfortably and also start at Book 1 if you are certain he/she can read well. I would not start 4 yrs old with AAS yet unless you are using the tiles with Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading or some other kind of reading program first to get him further beyond. I have heard of people using AAR...and using the readers to go along with the spelling. I am not sure how that is working. Hopefully more will post and so will Merry.


My 10yrs old great natural spelling went through Level 2 in 1.5 weeks. I just wanted her to have the "vocabulary" or "language" that her other two sisters have when we talk about a spelling rule when she deals with harder words in Spelling Power. We used Spelling Power last year but it didn;t help her with understanding why a word was spelled a certain way. It was based on spelling patterns and memorization. There were no discussions or analyzing with the words. So we had to backtrack. I think I would use Spelling Power once my kids have gone through AAS 7 or whatever the highest level is and see how they fare. Spelling Power goes up to college level spelling. She does 1-4 STEPS a day and we skip all the spelling words and dictations because she knows all the words.


My other 10yrs old started at Level 2 (October 2011) and is now on level 4. She did well on the school spelling tests but horribly when applying spelling to her regular writing. I have seen a tremendous improvement in that department not to mention she is more apt to write more than before because she can spell much better. She does a WHOLE step a day but it wasn;t like that at first. I had to break the steps down over a few days.


My 8yrs old started at Level One (Sept 2011) and she is on Level 3 now. She is my slow one but she is plugging along. Her memory for the double letter phonogram is what is slowing us down. Sometimes I don;t know if I should just move on or stay at our standstill and keep reviewing those phonograms. Merry? She does a whole step a day now and again she didn;t start that way. I made her read Phonics Pathways with me too. She was already reading at a 2nd grade level when we started AAS.


I would "think" with even younger kids it would move even slower. As they may not have the writing ability/stamina to handle all the dictations in one day. You would have to break the STEPS down over a few days and just give a few dictation phrases/sentences over a couple of days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy, we do have a main reading program and supplements. I really figured ds4 isn't really ready. He, like most kids, learns in spurts and he's basking in a lull right now :) He'll get a LOT of exposure with ds5 though so that will be good. Ds5 can read all the first two level Bob books and first two levels of sight word books. We have some other set also, just the 2nd level which I think is late K or 1st and he can read some, not all. He is a bit Eeyore-ish though so I have to be careful to help him feel confident throughout rather than challenged. Dd6 is one that will step up to ANY challenge. Say she can't and she'll be doing it within a week. Anyway, she's reading chapter books, but I do want to re-iterate phonics, cover more advanced "rules," etc. I neglected to do enough phonics and spelling with my oldest (19) just because she could read anything and I feel it was a mistake and one I won't be repeating.


Ds4 is doing HWoTs while Ds5 is doing D'nealian. Ds5 can write and writes a lot though with some reversals we're working on. He is also a bit shaky (has an intention tremor and extreme anxiety issues). Ds4 cannot write at all (he has some developmental issues and an intention tremor so this is gonna be a bit of an ongoing struggle...my mom is an OT and we will be listening carefully). Dd6 is doing D'nealian and really can write (her work on the wall at school looked similar to the work of the average 2nd grader).


I think I'm going to stick with my original plan after your post and my follow up. I'll start dd6 first which will let me get the hang of it with just one kid. That'll be better for me too, I think. Later in the fall (whether a month or three or whatever), I can add ds5. By then, I'll probably have a good idea on what I'm looking for in ds4 to start it. We'll just wait and see.


BTW, with my first set of kids (17 and 19yrs old), we were SUPER laid back. We have a pretty educationally rich environment and lifestyle. My daughter was also quite motivated and picked things up easily and quickly. But we did *very* little schoolishness before double digit ages and didn't really ramp it up til age 12. So please don't feel like you are so far behind or anything. Some people consider it a style :) BTW, my son was quite "behind" and caught up in about 2½ years time and will graduate while 17. So it doesn't have to be "behind for always" or anything.


We are doing differently with the littles though. When I first read the WTM, I was SO put off by it. Now, I am so excited about it. My littles are too :)

Edited by 2J5M9K
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too was very laid back with my first set of kids. It is kind of funny. Have you noticed that most of the people who responded to you have a second set of homeschoolers.


Anyways, I regret being super laid back with the first set but at that time there just wasn;t all these resources for brain dead pregnant older moms. Oh scripted stuff is just pure heaven for me. Anyways they struggled a bit when placed in PS. Some things like life skills, science and history they were more advanced in but the math facts/math concepts/spelling/amount of writing just a bit slower.


With the next set, I feel behind because I didn;t get them until they were older. They were in a rather unstimulated neglected situation. Anyways, things just seem to take a bit longer or requires more effort to get them moving along. Two of my older sets just learned via osmosis just listening to special needs older brothers lesson. In fact it was my second child who is now 15yrs old who taught special needs older brother who is 18yrs old how to finally read after listening to me work with him for hours on phonics and such. So yes your 4yrs old will be learning right along with 5yrs old.


Heck my almost 3yrs old repeats "a, A, ah" and some other sounds too when we do the phonogram review--then of course he walks through the tiles. He was "helping" put the phonogram letters in order and heard him saying the "alphabet" as I never knew he even knew the names of the letter. He was just saying the alphabet and it wasn;t matching the tiles but still I was surprised as he must have heard his older sisters say while placing tiles back on top over and over again.


I think your plan by the way is perfect. I would have gone crazy starting all three at once with AAS and trying to figure out how the curriculum works. Better to spread it out. That way the older girl really feels like the older girl. (HEE HEE)


I think I might do a call out to people homeschooling their second set or more of kids on another thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you would start them at the beginning regardless of their reading level. I would start the 4yr old quite yet. You could always start the 6 and 5 yr old first as you get used to the program then add the 4yr old in later on.


I started with my 5yr old first when I got AAS , then added my then 8yr old in towards the end (where she needed to start anyways). This year I will have them starting out with level 2 together then if my 9yr old goes faster she does.

But starting with one, then adding the other in helped me get into the groove with AAS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...