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Spelling Woes...5th grade


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My 5th grader has a hard time with spelling.  We didn't have a lot of money for curriculum and this is our first year homeschooling, so we have been attempting Spell by Color  (which was written by a mom who felt All About Spelling was too pricey).  I don't feel like it's working, it just doesn't seem to be enough for my daughter.  We are pretty sure she is dyslexic but hasn't officially been tested. 

 

So I'm looking at All About Spelling and Apples and Pears Spelling.  I can get AAS Level 1 right now-the teacher's manual and student packet for just $20 (but it doesn't have the whole "kit").  The kit is another $30 (plus shipping).  The thing is, I'm not sure I will be able to find the deal I found for the following levels, but it's $40 new for each level.

 

Apples and Pears is $35 for each level, and I don't seem to find those used at all.  So it would save a little money on each level, but it doesn't seem like it saves a ton of money.

 

Would you just invest in AAS?  Have you used it or Apples and Pears?  Are there things you liked and didn't like?  Did you need everything in the kit?  Was there anything you could have made yourself instead of purchasing the kit?

 

Thanks for any advice :)

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Would you just invest in AAS?  Have you used it or Apples and Pears?  Are there things you liked and didn't like?  Did you need everything in the kit?  Was there anything you could have made yourself instead of purchasing the kit?

 

Thanks for any advice :)

We use and love Apples and Pears (well, I love it, the children, not so much!)It has really helped my children. The words are used over and over again in different ways and different angles. It has dictation, spelling tests, fill in the blanks, word searches and more. It only has 4 levels where as AAS has 7 or 8 I believe, so you would save money using Apples and Pears.

 

That said, I like AAS, too. I used the first 2 levels with my third bc he was not ready for the writing in A&P. Now he is using A&P.

 

I guess I am not much of a help. LOL I like both programs and I think both will work well for your child. A&P may be a less expensive option in the long run, though.

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We use and love Apples and Pears (well, I love it, the children, not so much!)It has really helped my children. The words are used over and over again in different ways and different angles. It has dictation, spelling tests, fill in the blanks, word searches and more. It only has 4 levels where as AAS has 7 or 8 I believe, so you would save money using Apples and Pears.

 

That said, I like AAS, too. I used the first 2 levels with my third bc he was not ready for the writing in A&P. Now he is using A&P.

 

I guess I am not much of a help. LOL I like both programs and I think both will work well for your child. A&P may be a less expensive option in the long run, though.

 

Thank you so much!  I looked closer and wrote it out and totally agree, A&P ends up being like half as costly over the long run.  I am seriously considering using DHs OT pay to buy the big package of A&P since you save another close to $60 by doing it that way.

 

We haven't used a whole curriculum yet (I've been building it) you make this sound so easy with everything it has in it!  I appreciate your input, and if you like both it sounds like A&P is the better option, from a financial standpoint :)

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We use A&P for my son, who is also in 5th. He doesn't love it, but he doesn't hate it. It works much better now that I don't do the tests with him. Contrary to what the authors claim, that a child doesn't mind going back if they fail the test, my son felt completely defeated after failing a test. We just keep going now. The words are repeated so much that he eventually picks them up. The program does rely strongly on visual memory, which may or may not be a problem for your child. My son really struggled with A&P last year but is doing much better with it this year.

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We are using AAS without any of the "extras"--no cards or any of that, just the teacher manual. I think the cards look fantastic for younger kids, but my 5th grader would have been offended. It's a very easy program to use without them; we use a white board and discuss a rule pretty much every day. He writes the rule in his spelling journal along with some examples that he comes up with, as well as exception words.

 

I realized last year that spelling lists just weren't working for him; he could memorize the lists just fine, but when it came to actually correctly spelling the words in other writing, they didn't stick. Switching to a rule-based system is working very well for him now; he really needs to know the WHY instead of just memorizing. We started with the 2nd book and are quickly working our way through the 3rd already, not for the words but for the rules. Eventually we'll slow down when the words get tougher, though I already see a huge difference in his every day spelling. It's making him more aware of how words are built, and for him that's definitely key.

 

HTH

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I've tried both AAS and A&P and much prefer A&P for a struggling speller. It's not only less expensive, it has fewer rules to memorize, and has fewer pieces to keep up with. 

 

I do modify A&P very slightly, because DD needed more practice with certain words. We do a half lesson each day, and for every review word she misspells, she has to spell it correctly 5 times on a separate sheet of paper. Occasionally I quiz her by asking her to spell her trouble words aloud. This also helps prevent careless mistakes, since she doesn't want to have to rewrite words she already knows. 

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The program does rely strongly on visual memory, which may or may not be a problem for your child. 

 

Thanks for this, Tara. One part of me has always been curious about A&P. Knowing this helps me be at rest that it would be a terrible fit in my house. My kids have very poor visual memories (which is one of the reasons they are poor spellers).

 

Y'all are being very helpful with talking about WHY you like a certain program over another. What works well for one family might be exactly why it would fail with another. (AAS having more rules was listed as a pro for one poster & a con for another.) Good stuff!

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you want something very affordable as well as focusing on the rules of spelling, I am really liking Rod and Staff. I chose to start him in the 4th grade book after looking at it and reading reviews here. He'll finish it up before Christmas and will start 5th in January.

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We used a rule based method (like AAS) for longer than we should have. My son knew all the rules. But they didn't make my weak speller a good speller! We switched to Apples and Pears, and it's been fantastic for my weak speller. I've posted about our experiences before, but I'm a true fan of the program.

 

Another option, if you want to try something like AAS without the cost, is the How to Spell workbooks. They teach spelling with the same principles in workbook fashion.

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I would also look into Rod and Staff. It is VERY christian, that isn't always easy for us in this family. But, it is an excellent and challenging spelling program. It is phonics based and very good. It is also dead cheap. I use the teacher's book, because it has lessons and ideas of things to do in the lesson.  I don't follow their schedule, I don't give tests for example, but I do find it to be an excellent spelling program.

 

If you can get past the heavy handed religious aspect it is a great program.

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Logic of English is wonderful but VERY expensive, HOWEVER she has a wealth of free resources for the mom/teacher on her website and a complete teacher training course on Youtube. Look up "Logic of English Teacher Training Section 1" (2, 3, 4, etc as you need them). These will help you become facile with the program/rules method so you can use any program to its fullest.

 

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=logic+of+english+teacher+training+section+1&oq=logic+of+english+teacher+training+section+1&gs_l=youtube.3...2933.4273.0.5690.8.8.0.0.0.0.175.681.3j5.8.0.eytns%2Cpt%3D-30%2Cn%3D2%2Cui%3Dtl..0.0...1ac.1.11.youtube.j2bz3q4Z2XQ

 

http://www.logicofenglish.com

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My son has been working on spelling lately by using Spelling City online (free part)  with words he doesn't know and has needed for writing and lists of 1000 or 2000 most common words.

 

At one point I had also found an online free word generator where one could generate lists of words that had certain patterns, but I have lost track of that now.

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Spelling Workout is simple and can easily be done without the TM. I highly recommend it. 

I am going to second this.  We pulled Dd from school late elementary and the three major changes the system made to spelling instruction methods really left her with a mess.  She is/was a very bright kid, but came to homeschooling with spelling that was awful.  Three years of working steadily with Spelling Workout consistently worked wonders.  We didn't need the teachers manual and we omitted/altered a bit of the weekly practice work.  We used the older version, but I think I would look at the newer one if starting now.

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There are a lot of good free spelling options out there, too!

 

My spelling lessons:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Spelling/spellinglessonsl.html

 

The program at the end of my how to tutor page can also be used for spelling, read a few words and spell a few from each section while going over the rules and patterns.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/howtotutor.html

 

Also, Don Potter has links to a lot of free older spelling programs:

 

http://www.donpotter.net/education_pages/spelling_books.html

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I also second Sequential Spelling. 

 

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Sequential+Spelling+Level+1+Revised+Set/SS1REV/fee65c2d358b857b8628fb21?subject=8&category=1876

 

16.85 will get you through an entire year of spelling. 

 

http://www.avko.org/free/Rough%20Placement%20Test%20for%20SS.pdf

 

Here's the placement test. My 5th grader is working in Level 4 this year. They're leveled not graded. The number on the cover doesn't mean 1st grade...but level 1. 

 

I love it. It doesn't work for everyone, but it's my hands down favorite spelling program.

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