AVCO- Sequential Spelling: Anybody use this? pros & cons?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

Has anybody use this to teach spelling?  I have a 3rd Grader next year and I need a spelling program.

 

  http://www.avko.org/sequentialspellingsample.html

 

I was wondering what your experience was like with your kids.

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#2 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 01:05 PM
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I hated it.

 

Lots of people love it though.  My problems were many.  First, the pattern was expected to be noticed by the child rather than taught.  Variations were explained with "some words are like that".  But, my biggest issue was that they were really only focused on the current pattern.  

So, for example, on day 13 of level two the first five words work with "une" pattern.  The words are prune, dune, commune, opportune.  There is nothing to address when you double a consonant.  This is easily explained, but it is the mistake my dd makes most often.  After 40 days there is a "test".  I use this term lightly.  The child is given a sheet of sentences.  They will fill in the blanks.  The parent dictates/reads the sentence.  My problem with the test is that the child only needs to remember the pattern.  Not how to spell the word.  Example:  1.  Not all Irishmen love an Irish st____.  The child only needs to put "ew" in to complete the word "stew".  Here is an example from the second test.  16.  I hope you're not disapp________ in me.  The child just fills in "ointed" to complete the word disappointed.  So, truly, the program ignores whether or not they learn when/how to double a consonant.  In fact, the program doesn't seem to care if they can spell the entire word.  They just want them to understand the "pattern".

 

Maybe they get to it.  But things like that bothered me so much that I switched everyone to AAS.  My younger dd was already using it and we loved it.  Now both kids are using it and doing so well.  My oldest FINALLY understands the consonant doubling (and other things as well).

 

Amy


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#3 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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We use Sequential Spelling, and for some reason it REALLY WORKS for my two kids.  I can't really explain why, because it doesn't seem like much of a "program."  It really is just a bunch of lists of words, but they are sequentially organized (or so they would like us to think).  Every day I call out 5 words to my ds (almost 7) and 10 words to my dd (9.5).  After I call out each word, we both write the words on separate sheets of paper. I show them the way I wrote it and they correct themselves (they like that part).  If they get it wrong, they rewrite it, I circle it in the book and we redo it the next day.  That's it.  This is not exactly the way they say to do it in the book, FYI (they want you to do a LOT more words each day).

 

I do think it's strange that this extremely simple method seems to be working so well, but dd's spelling has improved so dramatically since we started doing this that I can't really think what else it would be?  We've tried other spelling books in previous years and the words never seems to "stick."  For whatever reason, not only are the words we have reviewed sticking but she is magically spelling other words correctly as well. 

 

One thing to keep in mind is that the book is pretty cheap....I think I got it used on Amazon for maybe $3?  At the rate we're going, it's going to last a loooooong time too because there are an awful lot of word lists in this book.


~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#4 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I also love it.  I wonder if the above poster started with level 2 with an older child?  You're supposed to start with level 1 whatever their age (unless they're, say, teenagers, when you can use the adult version).

 

Unlike most spelling programs, level one isn't 'easy' or 'baby' words.  They've got some pretty big words in there pretty early one -- they've been built up piece by piece in learning the patterns so that when the big word comes up, it's easy.  That's one of the (many) things I love about it.  Anyway, there's lots of stuff with double letters there... "in" becomes "inning", "win" becomes "winning", "spin" becomes "spinning"... 

 

My son is 12 and we're just days away from finishing level 1.  Most of it has been very easy for him, but I still feel the foundation and security of working through this level will be invaluable for him, he was a TERRIBLE speller before.  Now he still spells some things pretty strangely, but when asked to think about it he'll usually get things right.  

 

I love that it's not just memorization of an arbitrary list of words with no greater meaning, so it's just forgotten when the next list is memorized.  That sort of thing becomes just a task to do, unrelated to actual language acquisition.  My son enjoys it a great deal, he likes that the 'lesson' is quick and not too challenging, though he does have to use his brain!  ;)

 

If you find that learning by immersion in the patterns is not enough and your child does need the rules, AVKO does publish a book that goes along with SS that delves more deeply into the rules.  It's referenced quite often in the SS books.  We haven't used it, but it could be a good resource for those who need more.


Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#5 of 12 Old 04-29-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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It really worked well with my daughter.  We used all of levels 1-5 and most of 6 and 7 over the course of several years.  

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#6 of 12 Old 04-30-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post

I also love it.  I wonder if the above poster started with level 2 with an older child?  You're supposed to start with level 1 whatever their age (unless they're, say, teenagers, when you can use the adult version).

 


I did start at level two.  That might have been my problem.  But, I gave her the placement tests from the AVCO site.  http://www.avko.org/free/Rough%20Placement%20Test%20for%20SS.pdf  

 

Her testing placed her at a in the middle of level three.  Her mistakes were interesting.  And, while I spoke of double consonants as an example, there are many double consonants sprinkled throughout the placement test.  She got most of them right.  But, when she did make a mistake, it was usually because she did or didn't double a consonant.  Since you could keep moving forward with the test if they only missed one she tested very well.  I had her start at the beginning of level two hoping to figure out her spotty grasp of that concept and to build her confidence with spelling.  

 

Maybe the program would have worked better for her if we started at level one.  But, right now, AAS was a much better fit.  With it, you don't have the option of starting later.  But, I did go mighty fast through levels one and two with dd.  Once we went over the various syllable types, all these funky mistakes went away.  It was as if that one aspect of spelling needed to be explicitly explained to her.  

 

Amy


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#7 of 12 Old 05-01-2011, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you very much for taking the time to type out your response in detail.  It gives me something to think about.

 

Ds loves patterns.  He finds patterns in EVERYTHING!  But, he also likes rules.  So, I am debating between AAS or SP. 

 

When did everyone start doing formal work in spelling?  Since ds will be in 3rd next year but just this year started reading, I thought I would start spelling next yr.  He is reading Frog and Toad kind of  books.

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#8 of 12 Old 05-01-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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I started my dd in grade 2. She was reading at a 6th grade level/  She did terribly and was in tears most days. I think I will retry next year when she would be in grade 3.


.
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#9 of 12 Old 05-01-2011, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas_mom View Post

Thank you very much for taking the time to type out your response in detail.  It gives me something to think about.

 

Ds loves patterns.  He finds patterns in EVERYTHING!  But, he also likes rules.  So, I am debating between AAS or SP. 

 

When did everyone start doing formal work in spelling?  Since ds will be in 3rd next year but just this year started reading, I thought I would start spelling next yr.  He is reading Frog and Toad kind of  books.

We all know I am already biased towards AAS.  

 

But, since he just started reading this year--and the wordlists in Seq. Spelling are unique (meaning they have "easy" and "hard" words in the same list because of patterns) I think that if you go with SS, you may want to wait a year.  I think it would be very challenging (regardless of method) to learn to spell words you can't yet read.

 

If you really want to start formal spelling next year, I suggest you try AAS.  It has actually been helping my youngest two with reading.  Also, they have great reading books that correspond to the spelling.  My 8 yr old loves their 'readers'.

 

Amy

 

ETA: I started formal spelling this year with my 2nd grader.  My 5 yr old wanted to "do it too" and AAS works well for her too.  It starts with a great phonemic awareness foundation.  You will likely cruise through that part; but my 5 yr old thinks that the "spelling games with tiles" is so much fun.  I haven't moved her through the book at all--we just play with the concepts.  Also note: my 2nd grader is dyslexic.  My 5th grader and 5 yr old are not.  I love the program for all three. 

 


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#10 of 12 Old 05-02-2011, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks AAK--- I will have to look at AAS more seriously.

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#11 of 12 Old 05-04-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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We used Sequential Spelling. It is useful if you're looking for word lists. The way they grouped them does make sense.

However, for TEACHING your child HOW to spell, I wouldn't recommend it.

I highly recommend Phonetic Zoo by Institute for Excellence in Writing. The "Spelling and the Brain" audio is an eye-opener.

Here is an example PDF about the Phonetic Zoo: http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/files/EIS_How_to.pdf

That said, if your child is new to spelling in general, All About Spelling is recommended.

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#12 of 12 Old 05-04-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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My oldest (10th grade reading level) really likes it. That said, I do not. I have not seen any results, nor have I seen retention. I'm trying to switch her over to AAS. One of my biggest issues, is that they'll have word families but soooooooo many rule breakers in with them. That's really confusing.

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