All About Spelling and/or Spelling You See

Erica had a post on Facebook saying how much they are liking Spelling You See. Her post has gotten a lot of replies. I know she has used All About Spelling in the past so people are curious. Lots of questions from lots of folks including me. Would love to hear from everyone hear what your thoughts are on each program. After reading all the posts/questions I would love more details from those using either program. Pros, cons, have you used one and switched to the other?

Hopefully you’re reading this @erica :wink: and will give a glimpse into why you are using it, if you are going to use both programs or do away with one etc…

Thanks everybody. Love that we have this resource!


FOLLOWING! I am buying my spelling curriculum in the next 2 weeks so I need to know this :slight_smile:

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I have used All About Spelling off and on for several years. I just can’t get my boys to memorize all the phonograms and rules. Impossible! Because of that they have moved very slowly through the program and were not improving enough to justify the time the program takes. I think it depends on the child. Some children will love learning all the spelling rules and are able to apply them and will thrive. Some will not do well with this approach. Cons to this program is all the cards and tiles. Pros is that there is hardly any teacher prep (just having cards and tiles ready).

I started using Spelling You See two weeks ago so I don’t have much to say. I got no complaints over the program. My son felt successful after the first week. He was able to tell me how many words he was able to learn to spell and felt confident they would stick. Time will tell. Pros is that there is zero teacher prep, you don’t have all they stuff that AAS has, and takes much less time. I haven’t found any cons yet unless you want to memorize spelling rules then of course SYSh as none of that.


I am at a loss. My 3rd grader - 9 1/2 yr old - has struggled with spelling from the beginning. In K he was doing well with reading but hated the curriculum. So, I took a break halfway through and switched to AAR in 1st. He totally excelled from that point and is a great reader. Now, spelling has been a nightmare. We started with AAS, but what made they’re reading curriculum so awesome - all of the hands-on stuff - is nowhere to be found in a AAS. we moved on to be Ju this year and, although he’s liking it, still no retention. Just did placement test for Spelling U See and he would place in level B - Ugh!!!

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I like to use AAS with younger kiddos because I do like to drill the phonics rules with them. Level 1 and 2 are really good for learning the basics. I was finding that it wasn’t working quite as well for my older kids anymore though for whatever reason. And so I tried Spelling You See with them this year. I will say that it’s kind of hard to assess if it’s working or not because there aren’t any tests and it is mainly copy work and dictation. They do highlight vowel teams, consonant chunks, etc in the passage before writing it though.

Anyway, after testing this year, like I mentioned in my FB/Instagram post, their scores improved drastically from last year’s scores in spelling. I was quite amazed and honestly didn’t expect SYS to make that big of a difference.

I used AAS and SYS with my 3rd grader, and BJU Press with SYS for my 5th and 6th graders. They were the ones whose scores weren’t great. I will say that my girls have always been fairly good spellers, and my son has always struggled with it. So I was pleased to see that everyone did good, and the main change this year was the SYS added in.

The good thing about it is that it can work for handwriting and dictation too, so you’re kind of covering two birds with one stone so to speak. I will continue to use AAS for the younger grades to get the phonics rules down pat, but will probably add in SYS to theirs as well, can’t hurt :slight_smile: It’s the joys of being a blogger kid, you get to do two spelling programs LOL!

I hope that helps some of you out there, and we will be using SYS again next year.


Thanks for responding Erica! Really appreciate your insight.

Erica if you could only use one with your kids (I will have a 3rd and 5th grader next year and it’s our first year HSing) which would you choose? Honestly we can only handle 1 right now and I am really torn between the 2. I am using Math U See for math and feel like that is a good fit for them.

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Hi Lindsay at this point I would probably use SYS since your kids are a little older. If they were in 1st or 2nd I would probably still refer you to AAS to get the basic phonics rules down pat.

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I appreciate your input!

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Hey Lindsay, I hope I don’t confuse you, but we are in the same boat as you and that is why I started the thread. Although we already started this the end of November last year.
When we first started, I realized that my 2nd grader (I have one in 2nd, one in 4th and one in 5th) did not know any of his phonics and was not able to sound out words. We started AAS and within a week he was a different boy and his confidence soared. At school, they had him reading at a 3rd grade level, yikes. That means he was skipping lot of words and not comprehending. Now he is doing great. I had my older doing Abeka spelling. My 5th grade does great, but my 4th grader is really struggling. I have noticed in her writing and book reports, she misspells quite frequently.
Now with all that being said, we have been trying to figure out where to go. Since she is struggling so much, and I have seen such an amazing turn-around with my 2nd grader, I have now decided to do AAS with my 4th grader. We will go back to 1, but like my 2nd grader I think she will fly through it. We might even do a little during summer to catch her up. I really want her to learn the phonics and all the rules and reasons and AAS is great with that.
As for my 5th, I might try SYS, or I might just stick with Abeka since it’s working for him. We use MUS and love it so I am still curious to try SYS… So many choices…
I guess I am telling you all this to say you might want to choose according to how strong of spellers they are. When I asked my 4th grader she did not know any phonics or rules - maybe she forgot them, or she just didn’t learn them in public school. Hope I didn’t confuse you. Best of luck!!!


thank you for starting this tread - my 8 year old has hated AAS from the start - two years ago… I try to go back to it… and no go… I have tried three different programs and have looked at this one, seriously… good to have some feedback on it!

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I plan on trying spelling you see next year also. My 3rd grader has tried all about spelling, Sequential Spelling, BJU spelling and just word lists. He is struggling even with some words in BJU level 1. he’s a great leader, thanks to all about reading. The rest just have not been a fit.

I am thinking of trying Spelling You See for next year too. We have had a combination of spelling with phonics and rules from AAS & LOE Foundations, but DD is now struggling with knowing which phonogram to use in some words where multiple phonograms make the same sound and don’t break the rules. I think she needs something a little more visual oriented for spelling at this point.

For those of you who say you’re switching to SYS next year, what grade levels are you teaching?

I am looking at switching for 2nd grade.

ETA: By the time we finish up with LOE Foundations, we will have covered all the spelling rules and all phonograms as well as learning to break apart and spell multiple syllable words. I imagine that we will continue to review these even doing SYS. While I do think that spelling has a lot to do with visual memory, there are some words that I have always struggled with remembering how to spell, learning some of the rules with my daughter has helped me not struggle so much.

Erica suggested sticking with AAS through level 2 so kids can gain the fundamentals. We haven’t been total fans of AAS, but we just finished level 1. I think we’ll do level 2 next year (second grade) and supplement with something on the side (I’ll try a few different curriculums… SYS, etc)… then in third grade we’ll switch to the curriculum we liked best from the ones we try out/supplement with in second grade. Does this make sense? I’m not always clear… :smile:

@erica, Did your kids mind coloring or chunking the letter combinations in SUS after using different combinations many times for the phonograms in AAS?

No it was really easy for them because they were used to looking for them already, and they’re very similar.

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@erica - Thank you for your help!

Thanks everyone for feedback on AAS vs. SYS–we are working through AAS level 2 with our 2nd grade daughter this year and while she’s doing great (never misses a spelling word), it seems like a chore for me to get to teaching the lesson for some reason. Not sure why. I’ve considered SYS and also The Phonetic Zoo by IEW as we move forward into 3rd grade next year. So these answers, especially by @erica who has used both, were very helpful! Thank you!