Why We Needed To Take a Step Back with Spelling

Sometimes kids make wonderful progress in their subjects and sometimes they can stall. The trick is to know when you need to stop pushing and take a step back. Spelling is not my child’s favorite subject, if it were up to him, he’d do math and gym all day. It takes more effort for him to get spelling and writing done so it’s his least favorite subject. I had purchased All About Spelling while my oldest was learning to spell but because he was older, he was already past that level so I kept it for my younger son. I already had the starter kit with the tiles, cards, booklets and teacher’s manual for level 1 and 2. I was very excited to pull these out for my son because I love the idea of the program but never got to use it fully with my oldest. Because my boys are not a fan of writing, the tiles let them focus on spelling alone without the need to physically write it, at least in the beginning. He already new his letter sounds so we skipped that portion but did go over the blends like qu and ck. Slow things down with spelling to ensure that your child's learning is on track The lessons are in the teacher’s manual and from there you know what you need to do. The cards go along with the lessons, the spelling words are on the cards, if your child gets it right, you can place them in the completed file, if they struggled or needed help, you place them in the review pile. When you start the next day’s lesson, you can review the words that you missed or needed help on as well as go onto the new list as well. I keep all of the tiles on a baking sheet and we also have a set of magnetic letters as well. My son decided to color coordinate the magnets and used our tweezers to pick up each letter for his spelling list. At least he was able to practice his fine motor skills while he was spelling. As we progressed into the second book of AAS, I notice that my son was becoming more easily agitated with his spelling and he did not even want to get his books out. He would cry when he got a word wrong and it was so difficult to watch because it was only off by one letter or he was not taking the time to sound out each of the letters so it was frustrating him. There were tears and an ill feeling towards spelling so I decided to take a break. We stopped our spelling program completely for two weeks. When I decided to start again, I jumped back into the first book. Words that I thought were very easy for him, he was struggling with again so we jumped back to the portion about blends. We worked on them for awhile before we were able to move on. Once he did though, his momentum just kept going, it was like there was a roadblock he needed to get over before he could move forward. Those blends were really getting to him and because he felt like he couldn’t do it, it was stopping him from trying because he didn’t want to get it wrong. Mind you I’ve never cared or pushed him to think that he needed to be correct each time but he’s my perfectionist who has to do things right the first time. All About Spelling ReviewI have level 3 and 4 wait for us to start so I’m looking forward to seeing the lights turn on in my child’s eyes when they see that they totally get something new.


  1. I agree with taking a break. My son is almost 9 now, but the kinder and 1st grade years were a challenge. That said, too long of a break might be counterproductive. For us, I didn’t wait longer than a couple of weeks because I quickly learned that his spelling challenges went hand in hand with his reading challenges. Once he hit a stride we’ve had no issues.
    It always feels good when we figure out what works for our kids, doesn’t it?

    1. Yes, they’re always keeping us on our toes.

  2. Kristina @ School Time Snippets says:

    A math curriculum we used to use suggested taking breaks to let the information “sink in”. Breaks are something I agree with, but have such a hard time actually implementing. Not sure why! We ALL need them!

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