The Journey of Learning to Read

At first, I didn’t see it when we began our learning-to-read journey with Hailey. But as we slowly progressed I noticed it more and more. At first it was that she was having problems with d’s and b’s then I noticed that she would throw letter sounds in the word that weren’t there. So, I backed off. I thought maybe she just needed a bit of time before we pushed forward. When we started back I noticed that while she was progressing in every other aspect of reading, she kept hitting the same stumbling blocks. I also tried to pay close attention at where she was having problems. I noticed that she would also sometimes flip a whole CVC word when reading – frequently.

I tried to keep it upbeat, but eventually decided to try something new and different. I dropped reading altogether. I liked the philosophy behind Spell to Write and Read, but it seems to have a number of steps and I was really hoping to find something that didn’t require me to study in order to teach. I found All About Spelling and decided we would give it a try.

AAS is based on the Orton-Gillingham method, as is SWR. However, I love the fact that AAS is an open-and-go curriculum. It also utilized colored letter tiles for illustrating spelling that we have magnetized and keep on a magnetic white board.

While the program is broken into steps we often spend two or three days on one step to assure mastery, but you can easily move quickly through each step as well. The steps have review for reinforcement and additional practice included at the end. It is truly made for moving at your own pace!

New concepts are introduced with the letter tiles. After introduction you can have your child write on paper (I like watch as Hailey traces words on a Ziploc bag filled with liquid soap).

I like the way that the sounds that might be visibly confused are introduced separately. This has been a huge help in getting past the dyslexia problem. Once mastery is achieved then they are mixed in for review. I can already see a marked improvement in comprehension.

The program does not include handwriting which was actually very helpful as we are teaching cursive first in order to help avoid letter reversals. It also does not cover grammar such as parts of speech or punctuation, but does introduce suffixes.

While we do read every day, we still do not have an official reading program. I really feel that by learning to spell the words first the reading will come much more naturally. I am excited to watch her grow into her reading capability through spelling!

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