My son is 13 and a rising 7th grader. This will be our first year of homeschooling coming from public school. Quite honestly, I am concerned with my decision to homeschool because he thrives on being social but I know it’s the best thing for him academically. He struggles primarily with spelling, reading and math. Since he has been in remedial reading and math every year, I figured this is the best time to give him the individualized help he needs before it’s too far down tbe road. I have been researching both AAS and Spelling U See for a while now and still have not decided what’s best. Because he is not a beginning reader, I dont want something that seems too elementary and somehow make him feel “slow.” I read through the free dyslexic test from All About Reading to see if my son fit the description and he fits most of the items listed. He was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year but I didnt think he really had any other issues. We need help figuring out a good plan to help him while not tearing down his self esteem. We have already identified which Spelling U Can See he should take. Should we do both programs? Any advice would be helpful.
I have a 6th grader in Sept and I have avoided AAS for all these years so far, partly because it seemed pricey. I am doing AAR now with my now 2nd grader and I feel like the expense has been worth it so we plan to go ahead with AAS sometime this year.
I have always seen it recommended to start with Level 1 when you start the program regardless of the age of your child to avoid gaps because it teaches you the rules of spelling. If your child doesn’t know/understand the basic rules then words they learn later may be difficult for them to spell. I have also seen it suggested that because level 1 may be very easy for older students you just move through it faster and slow down when you get to a place of difficulty as you move through the levels.
This happened with AAR for my now 2nd grade daughter when she was in 1st grade, the first few lessons for AAR where we were just learning the phonograms we would sometimes do 2-3 lessons a day but we slowed right down when we got to a place of difficulty about 20 something lessons in where it would take about 3 days to finish 1 lesson. Then we sped up again to where we could do 2 lessons a day. Take it at the pace of your student and it shouldn’t make him feel ‘slow’. Also when you look at it in levels rather than grades this should help with that. Just like learning anything new even as an adult you start as a beginner and advance, let him know he is getting the skills he needs to advance to the next level and so on.
Neither of these were a good fit for my older kids but we loved Phonetic Zoo. Very independent and they are retaining it. Have you looked at it?
My son was older when I started AAS too (he was in 6th grade). It really turned so many things around for him (in reading as well as spelling). He did levels 1, 2, and most of 3 that first year, so you can go quickly at first. Since he was older, I explained that I knew he could spell some of the beginning, easy words, and that wouldn’t be our focus to start. Instead, we were going to focus on learning the concepts that make spelling easy, so that long words could be easier for him too. Kids like to know that things will be easier (who doesn’t!). I also compared it to a video game–level 1 of a game is always easy but it teaches you some of those basic skills you need to build up so that you can do the higher levels of the game. Here’s a link to the review I did on my blog. HTH some!