Jump to content
ATTENTION: Forums search will not work until re-indexing is completed. Please follow these instructions for search
Sign in to follow this  

All About Spelling VS Spelling You See

Recommended Posts



I was wondering if anyone would offer me any insight on AAS vs. SYS. My son is 7 and a proficient reader which I know doesn't necessarily correlate to a good speller.  In his case, he is. At his last assessment, he was able to decode words on almost a 7th grade level.  Please know, this isn't a bragging statement.  I'm thoroughly confused on what to do next. Last year, we used the spelling from Sonlight's Language Arts 2 program. Although spelling was a non-issue, he is a reluctant writer so I felt like this level was a bit advanced in terms of writing whereas the spelling offered zero challenge. We've decided to elevate to the next level of the language arts when the time comes because eventually he will get more comfortable with writing and we will go at his pace which is paramount because he is a perfectionist. So, I wanted to find a different spelling program to add to their language arts program. We haven't used AAS and starting from the beginning as they recommend (but I fully understand not missing foundational information) will be a challenge for him because he will get bored.  I recently looked into SYS. I was very excited about it until I gave him the assessment. According to their guidelines, he will be at the last level which I worry about putting that pressure on a just turned 7 year old.  It's like the language arts 2 we were doing with him when he was 6....he comprehends, he reads beyond that level, he spells every word correctly the first time but his brain wasn't mature enough to handle the workload so he got frustrated and discouraged. My daughter is 5 1/2 and appears to be reluctant reader therefore I won't have a problem placing her in a level but again, I'm having trouble deciding between the 2 programs. My father was taught sight words and to this day, if it's not a word he recognizes, he doesn't have the skills or confidence to break it down therefore learning new things or expanding on new ideas is a challenge for him so he doesn't read anything he doesn't have to. This breaks my heart because I'm a lover of books and I'm raising little bookheads so I want to make sure my daughter doesn't get stuck in the mindset as my dad. That's what appealed to me about AAS BUT since she is a reluctant reader, SYS seems like it would engage her.  I apologize for such a lengthy post! I appreciate you taking the time to read it and value any advice you would share.


Have a great day!!!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak to SYS but we love AAS. My 7 year old reader is a natural speller too. How much does he write? When we started AAS we sped through 1 and then slowed down for 2 as he worked on his stamina for writing. AAS generally teaches a concept then there are words, phrases and sentences to write out. They do advise using the tiles to make the words but we just did it all as writing for handwriting practice. He was spelling everything fine but he wasn't ready to write so much so we broke up. Even in 3 for the most part he's still spelling everything right but we still break up the lessons, though not as much as before. It's been great practice for keeping things in his head as he writes the sentences. AAS does a great job with rules, like English rules don't end in I, which he has incorporated when he's writing for other things and trying to spell an unfamiliar word. I'm very impressed with the instruction. Since you have another child who could use it I would start with 1 and just speed through it if it's review. Then do the same with 2 until you find a spot that's challenging or slow down if he needs to practice his stamina for the writing. The TMs are reasonable and reusable and it's a very thorough program so I don't think you'll be disappointed. AAS will also reinforce phonics rules that might be helpful for your daughter. Did you do a phonics program with her? Is she a reluctant reader because it's hard? I only found AAS because we used All About Reading (AAR) which is amazing. They have tests if you want to consider it for her and aren't sure of which levels. I'm a bookworm too so reading instruction was my first priority in teaching. You can't go wrong with AAR.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you can fast-track in AAS for a more advanced student (or for an older student--I started my kids at 9 & 11 and we only took a few weeks to fill in gaps from level 1). Here's a blog article that shows what that can be like.


AAS has a gradual progression for increasing the student’s stamina and fluency in writing that’s very helpful for reluctant writers, so you could use for that purpose too. It starts with just words and short phrases in Level 1, bumps up to phrases and short sentences in Level 2, and progresses to 12 dictation sentences per step in Level 3. Then the Writing Station is introduced, where students start to make up their own sentences (or little stories if they want) using a given list of words. My kids used to like to see how many words they could fit into one sentence. Or, the words seemed to go together and suggest a story to them, and they'd write a short vignette. (Since they didn't really like writing, I'd been dreading this exercise, and was pleasantly surprised that they liked it!) This really helped my kids start to make that transition to more outside writing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.