When it is time to switch…

Homeschool Reading

All 3 of my children learn differently.  Homeschooling gives me a unique advantage to tap into this and really learn how each one of them learns best.  It is a challenge for me, but one that I gladly accept!

Recently I noticed Krash begin to struggle and not pick up on some literacy skills presented in his Calvert 1st grade curriculum.  I used this same program with PacMan and he flew right through it all, still does for the most part.  Krash is a different story.  He is a smart child who is very able to learn, just needs to be taught a bit differently.  He is very active and doesn’t enjoy sitting for long, which wasn’t usually a big problem for Pac, nor is it for Ladybug.

We hit a lesson in Calvert that I dislike, as it introduces some phonics skills too early, too quickly, and unclearly.  I remembered the lesson with PacMan and although he struggled a bit too, he moved right on.  Krash hit a wall and began to get super frustrated and negative, so did I.  Instead of dragging it out, we made a change.  Since we are under a cyber school, I emailed and got permission to do it my way for awhile and then come back to Calvert when I felt he was ready.  We are blessed with an unbelievable support system, so it was totally fine with them.

I stopped ALL Calvert literacy the very next day, and only kept the math {which he flies through}.  I decided to use ONLY All About Reading Level 1 and Spelling Level 1. The first 2 days, he fought me, then things began to click.  He slowly stopped complaining about “board school” and seemed more and more eager to learn.

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What did we do exactly?

I did one lesson from All About Spelling 1 and All About Reading 1 every single day {5 days a week}.  Other than his math from Calvert, that’s all we did, for 3 weeks! When we started this blitz, he was on lesson 9 with spelling and lesson 32 in reading.  Prior to this we had been using these lessons about once a week as a supplement to his Calvert.

When did the change in attitude occur?

After a few days, he became more accepting of the idea and wasn’t giving me as much attitude. After about 2 weeks, I really began to notice the confidence boost, which is what I was aiming for!  Then one day, he said it, the words that I was praying to hear!

“Mom, I like reading now!”

My mouth dropped, as he has never expressed a positive feeling towards reading!  He does it, but has never liked it. 

Why do I think All About Reading/Spelling helped?

It is by far the most comprehensive program I have seen. It honestly teaches ME things I didn’t realize were spelling or phonics rules! The hands-on approach helps so much; the little games included, the letter tiles, the stories, and how it all ties together is just wonderful.

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What has happened since?

We do love Calvert, and are sticking with it as our main program and since it is a box curriculum, we use their literacy portions too.  I do love a lot about Calvert’s literacy, just the sequence of certain spelling and phonics rules rub me the wrong way! After the 3 weeks, we got right back into our Calvert and it was a totally different experience.  He felt so much more confident and was able to understand better because his attitude was better.

No, it hasn’t solved all of our problems, I still struggle with a few aspects of Calvert’s literacy program and feel it moves a bit too fast in 1st grade overall.  We will stick it out this year and then I will revaluate for next year, as I always do.  We are a one year at a time, one child at a time kind of family.  Calvert works beautifully for PacMan and seems to be a perfect fit for him.  Will it be for Krash in the long run? I am not sure!

What about All About Reading/Spelling now?

We are still using it, just not as frequently.  I am back on the once or twice a week format.  He completed AAS Level 1 and is up to lesson 46 with AAR 1, which is only 4 lessons from the end.  We have All About Reading Level 2 already and will begin using that soon!

Why both Calvert and All About Spelling/Reading?

Because I like portions of both.  I like the stories in Calvert, the sight word emphasis, the comprehension portions and a lot more.  I love the sequence and speed of All About Spelling/Reading much better than Calvert’s spelling or phonics.  I use both because they reinforce each other in totally different ways.  Krash needs reminders and using both allows this overlap a lot.  I initially added in All About Reading Level 1 so I could review it and provide feedback on my blog.  I continue to use it because I love it and it works.  You can see more about that in the FAQ portion of this post.

All About Learning Press Giveaway

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know we have been using products from All About Learning Press.  Specifically, PacMan used All About Spelling when he was struggling a few years ago.  Krash is currently using All About Reading Level 1, and Ladybug is using All About Reading Level Pre-1.

IMG_9643 All About Reading Level Pre-1 All About Reading Level 1 IMG_1786

I am thrilled to host a giveaway for you, for a $50 gift certificate to All About Learning Press!   I know many of you have been eyeing products from All About Learning Press, and I love that one of you will win this to help with your purchases for the upcoming school year!

Not sure what you would want to purchase?  Here are some links to some of my favorite resources on the All About Learning Press website {which is so helpful and informative}.

You can enter to win using Rafflecopter below.  If you don’t see the widget, be sure you are reading on the blog itself, and not in RSS/email.

This giveaway is open to anyone, and ends on July 9, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All About Spelling…Snazzy New Website!

Have you peeked at the new All About Spelling/All About Reading website?  I am just so impressed with the fancy makeover and wanted to help them spread the word!

We personally used Level 1 & 2 with PacMan who needed the additional help {in addition to his Calvert curriculum}.  You can see a post I wrote about him using it here.

If you haven’t chosen a spelling program yet or if your child is in a program and struggling, I highly recommend All About Spelling!  If you are wondering about the program, here’s a few links to take you to some wonderful sources of information…

Is All About Spelling Right for Your Child?

What Level Should We Start With?

Visit the Spelling Resource Center for even more information!

All About Spelling ~ Level 2!

We began Level 2-finally! We LOVE All About Spelling!!! IMG_9664

We are doing this in addition to the spelling words he has in his Calvert program, I personally didn’t feel like Calvert’s spelling program was enough. Thankfully we found AAS and we both absolutely love it and it is working! Even I am learning spelling rules I never knew were actual rules!

We completed Lesson 1 and already can see that this level will be filled with much more for Pac Man! As his teacher I am thrilled…he isn’t so thrilled with more writing but still loves the program!

If you are looking for a great program I highly recommend it (and yes I do get an affiliate fee if you order through my link-but you know I would never recommend something unless we really love it!).