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Phonics Pathway for Spelling?


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Hi All!

It's been a hot minute since I've been on the boards.  Yowza.. reading my previous posts was fun. Apparently every August I had an existential crisis about being a perfect mom and teacher 🙈 . Thankfully, now that I'm homeschooling all 4 of my kids AND at different ages/learning levels, I've had to lessen my grip on everything (either that or I've just lowered my expectations significantly 😂). It really is amazing what a few years and some perspective can do!

Anyway, my DD10 needs help with spelling. She knows all of the phonograms and is reading decently challenging books (thank you to everyone who encouraged me when I was panicking about her not being able to read much at 8yo! Turns out she DID have some visual issues and once we addressed that her confidence soared!) I'm well versed in the OG method of teaching phonograms. We used RLTL and even did most of the spelling lists. If I sound out a word to her using phonograms, she will spell it correctly and most of it is automatic, but if she is trying to spell a word on her own... Lord I don't even know how she comes up with certain combinations. In gently speaking with her about it, she just doesn't really know or remember the spelling rules. She'll say, how do I know if I'm supposed to use /c/ or /k/ for this word, or if it's /ow/ or /ou/ in the middle of the word? I know we've gone over these before since she's capable of writing and encoding (and decoding) words with spaces between syllables, underlining multi-letter phonograms, bridging the silent e back to the vowel, etc... however, we haven't really used any curriculum that was ONLY for spelling based on phonograms to reinforce the rules. I'm about ready to pull the trigger on AAS1 because she still loves tactile games/cutouts etc and as much as I'm sure I will despise the physical tiles, she will probably excel with them. My only question is, since I just purchased Phonics Pathway (to help my DS8 with reading), could I use THAT for spelling also for DD10? I'm seeing it also teaches spelling but I have no experience with it and am unsure if that means it actually discusses spelling rules and gives space for practicing them or if the spelling is a by-product of learning phonograms to decode words. I would obviously be teaching them at separate times since my daughter would be able to start farther along in the book and they both need one on one time for his reading and her spelling.

Yay? Nay? Is AAS just worth the money? I'd be going low-key with just the Teacher Manual, Student workbook (she loves having something physical that's hers) and Tiles. I really want to help her now before 'bad' spelling sticks in her mind... She LOVES to write little notes and made up plays etc, but is starting to be embarrassed and frustrated about knowing something isn't right, but not knowing how to fix it.  I'm a visual learner with a photographic memory, so this sweet kiddo's education process has been a huge learning curve for me also!

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I’m a huge fan of AAS, so personally, if money wasn’t an issue, I’d just go with that instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with something else.   It’s a great program.  There’s actually a whole thread about AAS over on the General Education board right now that you might want to check out!

That being said, I totally understand being in a situation where the budget is tight and you have to make do with what you have.  Either way, hopefully someone with personal experience with Phonics Pathways can chime in with some thoughts! 

If you do go the AAS route, there’s an app you can download in lieu of the physical letter tiles; it was $20 last I checked, but a HUGE sanity saver over here.  It might also be helpful to know that the “student packet” isn’t actually a workbook, but is mostly comprised of flashcards used for review.  Some people (myself included) find they don’t end up using much of the student packet, and just use the teacher’s manual and tiles.  There’s more info about that in the other thread as well!  Hope that helps🙂

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Thank you! Just wanted to see if I could make 'less is more' work with Phonic Pathways, but after looking through the teaching guide samples of AAS on their site, it appears to be the best fit for her (and something I am confident I can teach).  I appreciate you confirming its awesome and for pointing out that thread about AAS! I originally did a search for phonic pathways and not AAS, so I missed all that good information. I also haven't been on the boards in a while... I really had to pare down last year for a variety of reasons and it was all overwhelming.

1 hour ago, maptime said:

It might also be helpful to know that the “student packet” isn’t actually a workbook, but is mostly comprised of flashcards used for review.  Some people (myself included) find they don’t end up using much of the student packet, and just use the teacher’s manual and tiles.  There’s more info about that in the other thread as well!  

So, for the writing portion of AAS, do you ONLY use a whiteboard, or do you also keep a notebook? I know DD10 has enjoyed reading through past spelling lists as practice and also to feel confident in what she's already accomplished. I'm fine with not getting the student packet if its not any significant benefit 🙂 Thanks again for your reply! I guess I could have done a better search and spared a long-worded post 😂

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My syllables lessons have a list of all the rules.

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/spelling rules1.pdf

She could watch through them, they do a lot of spelling work. If she's reading well, she could just watch and not do any of the exercises.

http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

It would be a good overview before you start AAS. 

Phonics Pathways does include a few spelling rules and a bit about how to use it to teach spelling, but it's not good as a complete spelling program. You could have her help your DS8 with the spelling in Phonics Pathways, combining them and having her do some of the work, a good way to get in repetition.

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I used Phonics Pathways for spelling with my first 2 kids. We did not have the money for anything else at that point. It worked well. They are both better speller than me. 

I did buy All About Spelling with my 3rd child. I still needed to be frugal. So, I only bought the Teacher's manuals and the initial magnet set. I was able to create any notecards and whatnot, that are usually found in the student set, using what the teacher's manual described.

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5 hours ago, Msweetpea2 said:

So, for the writing portion of AAS, do you ONLY use a whiteboard, or do you also keep a notebook? I know DD10 has enjoyed reading through past spelling lists as practice and also to feel confident in what she's already accomplished. I'm fine with not getting the student packet if its not any significant benefit 🙂 Thanks again for your reply! I guess I could have done a better search and spared a long-worded post 😂

A whiteboard or a notebook would work equally well.  In fact now that I think of it, I have one kid who uses a whiteboard, one who uses a notebook, and one who uses whatever scrap of paper is nearest him😂  If a notebook would afford her a feeling of ownership, I say go for it.  An added perk of using a notebook would be the ability to mark a section in which to keep a list of words she’s misspelled (either within a spelling lesson or in other work) and needs extra practice with- something I’ve always intended to do, but have yet to make happen😜

Edited by maptime
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