All About Spelling

UPDATE 1/27/2024: All About Learning Press has released Spelling 3 and it is now in-stock!

UPDATE 4/18/2023: All About Learning Press just announced the release of their new Color Editions for All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2. The new editions now include a full-color activity book as well as flashcards; the teacher's edition has been expanded and colorized. While they're adding a number of features, the scope and sequence will remain the same, so you'll be able to jump into and out of these levels into 1st editions if necessary. (Levels 3-7 are projected to release in 2024.)

In addition, AALP has revised their letter tiles to a larger size that will include all the sounds needed for EVERY level of both spelling and reading; these tiles include magnets. The storage boxes have gone up a little, but now include the divider cards (for a net $4 savings!). These changes make the Interactive Kits unnecessary going forward. We're discounting the older editions while stock remains. See those here!

Many spelling programs are little more than lists of words for students to memorize and reproduce on paper. Others are too involved, heaping rules and exceptions on confused students. All About Spelling strikes a good balance, using a multi-sensory approach to teach phonogram-recognition and phonetic memory.

While Marie Rippel’s course isn’t a reading program per sé, it is phonics-based and could be used as one. Students are taught the rules of English spelling using a variety of audio/visual and tactile methods. The course is teacher-guided (no leeway is allowed) and the guides provide clear lesson plans and content to be presented to students.

How Do These Work?

All About Spelling is mastery, rather than grade, based. There are seven levels to be moved through at the pace best suited to your student, not simply one per year. You can begin as early as you want, though kindergarten or first grade is probably best. (The All About Spelling website has a very helpful article concerning student readiness.) The information contained in each lesson relates closely to what your child will learn in a phonics-based reading program, supplementing and implementing their knowledge of rules, etc.

The author contends that spelling rules are logical and progressive. Students need to demonstrate understanding of a concept before moving on. Each lesson is clearly laid out for the teacher, who then instructs the child directly, so there’s no need for guesswork on your part or on theirs.

Students begin by learning the 26 most basic phonograms. There are a series of perforated flashcards which form the basis both of review and of new material. The flashcards are included in the student materials packet. In the new color editions of Levels 1 & 2, that packet also includes an activity book. While the publishers indicate you need a student materials packet for each student, the flashcards are non-consumable and could be used for several children. However, having one packet per child makes things much easier, especially if your kids are struggling spellers.

Please note that for all levels, you'll need the All About Learning Letter Tiles, which you can purchase either digitally direct from AALP or below in physical form with magnets (for which you'll need a magnet board). A free Phonogram Sounds App is available here. AALP strongly recommends their organization box that includes "divider" cards (and while we have a hard time pitching a $16 cardboard box, we have to admit most other boxes are far more frustrating to use!). Since this is a phonics-based program, kids spend a lot of time learning the phonograms, their sounds, and their combinations. The basic phonograms are available separately as perforated flashcards to facilitate memorization to automaticity (being able to recall the information without having to think about it first).

Each lesson begins and ends with review, with new concepts presented in the middle. You can take as long as you want/need to make it through each lesson, as long as you don’t skip any of the material and make sure your student understands everything thoroughly before moving on. Some people complain that there isn’t enough review, but based on our analysis we wonder if they’re commenting on the same program.

All About Spelling is a mastery-approach program, meaning that you move at the pace appropriate for your student. Each level includes 28 lessons (or "steps") which build on the previous lessons, so we typically recommend students begin with Level 1 and proceed through the rest of the course. (More recently, the publisher has created a placement test, allowing you to jump in at other levels.) Many users implement a 4-day-per-week schedule with about 15-20 minutes spent each of the four days, though again this is a mastery program, and you should take as little or as much time as needed for your children to retain the information. Exercises are review-oriented, and can easily be repeated over and over.

Our Honest Opinion:

We can’t stress enough how easy this course is to implement, nor how complementary its use is to a phonics-based reading program. While it is teacher-intensive, preparing lessons is not difficult or time-consuming. The hardest part is cutting out the magnetic letter tiles. Other programs we recommend implement similar methods of spelling instruction, but this one accomplishes similar results with a rare economy.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Parent Categories

At a Glance

Type of Student: Kinesthetic learners, mild dyslexia, struggling spellers
Grade Range: 1st-7th grade
Method: mastery based
Parental Involvement: teacher-guided
Teacher Prep: little
What’s Essential: Teacher's manual, student materials, starter kit
Worldview: Secular
Time to complete series: self-paced (mastery)

Related Links
Cathy Duffy Review
All About Learning's Website (affiliate)
37 Items found Print
All About Homophones
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-8th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$21.95 $15.50 (1 in stock)
All About Spelling - Divider Cards
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$5.95 $3.50 (2 in stock)
All About Spelling - Letter Tile Magnets
for 1st-6th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$3.50
All About Spelling / All About Reading Letter Tiles
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$25.95
All About Spelling Level 1 - Activity Book
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 1st-2nd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$26.95
All About Spelling Level 1 - Student Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 1st-2nd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$45.95
All About Spelling Level 1 - Teacher's Manual
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 1st-2nd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$31.95
All About Spelling Level 1 - Teacher's Manual & Student Materials Packet (old)
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-2nd grade
$32.95 $25.00 (3 in stock)
All About Spelling Level 1 - Teacher's Manual & Student Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 1st-2nd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$64.95
All About Spelling Level 2 - Activity Book
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 2nd-3rd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$26.95
All About Spelling Level 2 - Student Materials Packet (old)
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 2nd-3rd grade
$24.95
All About Spelling Level 2 - Student Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$45.95
All About Spelling Level 2 - Teacher's Manual
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 2nd-3rd grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$31.95
All About Spelling Level 2 - Teacher's Manual & Student Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$69.95
All About Spelling Level 3 - Activity Book
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$26.95
All About Spelling Level 3 - Student Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$49.95
All About Spelling Level 3 - Teacher's Manual
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$31.95
All About Spelling Level 3 - Teacher's Manual & Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-4th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$69.95
All About Spelling Level 4 - Activity Book
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$26.95
All About Spelling Level 4 - Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$49.95
All About Spelling Level 4 - Student Materials Packet (old)
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
$27.95
All About Spelling Level 4 - Teacher's Manual
by Marie Rippel
Color Edition from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
All About Spelling Level 4 - Teacher's Manual & Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$69.95
All About Spelling Level 4 - Teacher's Manual & Student Materials Packet (old)
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 3rd-5th grade
$43.95
All About Spelling Level 5 - Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 4th-6th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$27.95
All About Spelling Level 5 - Teacher's Manual
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 4th-6th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
All About Spelling Level 5 - Teacher's Manual & Student Material Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 4th-6th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$49.95
All About Spelling Level 6 - Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 5th-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$27.95
All About Spelling Level 6 - Teacher's Manual & Student Material Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 5th-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$49.95
All About Spelling Level 7 - Student Materials Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 5th-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$27.95
All About Spelling Level 7 - Teacher Manual
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 5th-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
All About Spelling Level 7 - Teacher's Manual & Student Material Packet
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 5th-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$49.95
All About Spelling Phonogram Cards
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$13.95
All About Spelling Review Box with Divider Cards
by Marie Rippel
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-6th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$17.95
All About Spelling Tote Bag
from All About Learning Press
for 1st-7th grade
in All About Spelling (Location: SPE-AAS)
$9.95
Birds of a Feather
from All About Learning Press
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Something Fishy - Review Book
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