Looking for more 10th grade curriculum suggestions? Check out my 10 Grade Top Homeschool Curriculum Picks post! It lists all of my favorites that we’ve tried over the years. There are multiple suggestions for each subject to give you a variety to choose from!
My Personal Experience Using All About Spelling with an Older Child ~ Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool and Introverted Moms
* My community, Introverted Moms, is open to new members through tomorrow (Wed)! If your heart is weary and could use a healing journey this fall, I would love to have you join us for more calm, less guilt, and quiet joy. Details here!
“Mommy, I think it’s time to start getting more serious about my spelling.”
My son uttered those words years ago on the way to look at Christmas lights, and they were music to my homeschool mom’s heart.
If you’ve been reading Simple Homeschool for any length of time, you know that our family has always marched to the beat of a different drum.
We’ve never followed any Scope and Sequence for long, but have always used healthy relationships as our measuring tool, our compass letting us know we’re heading in the right direction.
That became our priority because two of our three children joined our family via international adoption, but it’s interesting to look back and see how our biological son, Jonathan (starting his senior year), has also reaped the benefits of this interest-led, relationships-first model.
Note: Remember that there are a million ways to design a successful homeschool, and zero ways to design a perfect one! Though I’d encourage you to make healthy relationships one of your top priorities, it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) look exactly like ours.
Our Experience with Spelling
Here’s how our approach unfolded when it came to this subject:
2. Some children are natural spellers, who begin to “pick up” the spelling of words from activities like the ones above. You can usually tell by age 10-12 if your child is one of these.
3. If they are, they may not need formal lessons. This was the case with my daughter, who did so much creative writing on her own that her spelling slowly improved.
As the years passed with Jonathan, however, I could tell he would need more instruction. But I sensed the timing wasn’t right. I’ve noticed that allowing my young kids to focus mainly on strengths helped them develop a solid self-concept BEFORE we began to remediate weaknesses.
He was in his early teens, with a lot more self-confidence, when he said the words at the top of this post. I knew the right time had finally come. I let him know that I would look into some options, that we could choose one together.
I showed Jonathan a sample – this is key in my opinion when starting a new program with a tween or teen. You need buy-in if there’s any chance of it being a successful learning experience!
Once he gave a thumbs up, we got to work. Here are some of the features I’ve appreciated:
I love that it tells me what to say and when! I don’t have to worry about forgetting an important phonogram or spelling rule.
Even though my son was a teen when we began and had a foundational spelling knowledge, we still started with Level One, to make sure he not only knew the “what” but the “why.” We discarded or skipped any bits that felt too child-like or unnecessary for him.
It moves on to teaching using a magnetic white board, has students practice with the new concept, then proceeds to dictated sentences that incorporate the new material with what’s already been learned.
I’ve also appreciated the Memory Sheets, where students read words aloud to secure the spelling in their visual memory bank.
How We Do Lessons and How Long They Take
We usually do spelling around twice a week, making it through two “steps” (AKA lessons). We will do a 20-30 minute session together, take a break, then come back later in the day to do another 10 minutes of writing sentences.
Keeping to that schedule, we JUST finished the final level yesterday – woot!
That means it’s taken us just two and a half years to complete all seven levels – that’s what can happen when you’re working with an older, motivated student!
If You Begin with a Younger Child
I’m not at all saying that it’s wrong to teach spelling to a younger child. This approach is what our family needed, but there are many reasons why someone might begin earlier.
If you are planning to teach a younger child, I recommend waiting until after they are making solid progress on their reading journey (no earlier than age seven or eight for spelling). Even then, I would do short lessons (5-10 minutes!) with tons of encouragement – and bribery if needed. 😉
As you proceed, though, if you begin to sense that it’s putting a strain on your relationship, please know there are other ways to move forward.
A Different Way to Think of Spelling
Spelling is important, of course, but never more important than the overall health and well-being of your child!
Even with all the hard work we’ve put in, Jonathan is never going to call spelling his favorite subject, nor will it be his strongest one. The way I see it, that’s what spellcheck and dictation are for. 😉
I’ve asked him if, looking back, he wishes that I had pushed him to start earlier. He said, “Sometimes I do, but I think even though it might have made my spelling stronger, it would have made my love of learning weaker. And I don’t think I would be as interested in writing as I am now.”
My biggest advice, no matter what subject you’re covering with your child, is to remember to laugh! Because Jonathan chose to get serious about spelling, he was (almost) always a willing participant, which means we have had some of our best times and biggest laughs during our lessons.
When relationships are solid, you can journey through tough things together.
I hope this article has helped you decide whether AAS might be a good fit for your homeschool!
If you do decide to give it a try, keep in mind their incredible year-long guarantee:
Check out all of the step-by-step lesson plans and reading and spelling tips for ONE FULL YEAR. Treat the program like your own, and learn everything the program has to offer. If you bought it from us and decide it’s not for you, simply send the package back (in any condition), and we’ll refund your purchase price. No questions asked.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for All About Learning, which means I receive a commission on any purchases through these links. Please know I only ever share with you programs that have made a real difference in our homeschool! I received this curricula at no charge, but all opinions are my own.
Any specific questions about using All About Spelling with an older child (or any child)? I’d be happy to answer them!
Hi everyone! I’m excited to kick off 2021 with a fun giveaway for you all! I’ve teamed up with Friends & Heroes and What’s in the Bible to bring you some great homeschooling curriculum! And best of all, I have a $50 gift card to giveaway for BOTH What’s In the Bible and Friends & Heroes, so I get to pick TWO winners this time! YAY!
If you haven’t heard of them before, the What’s in the Bible DVDs feature Buck Denver and his friends, who take your children through the WHOLE Bible. They’re perfect for the entire family to laugh and learn together. In his first new project since VeggieTales®, Phil Vischer has set out to teach kids (and parents!) the story of the Bible, God’s great rescue plan! They share the stories of Moses, Noah, David, and Jesus, and in this groundbreaking new series, kids will learn how they all fit together to tell one big, redemptive story. This is one journey through the Bible you won’t want to miss!
This 13 volume video series is a hilarious and groundbreaking new way to help your children learn about God, the Bible, and faith! Our kids enjoyed it so much when they were younger, and still talk about some of the videos now that they are teens.
Each week includes 30 minute to an hour of video viewing (approximately)
Fun interactive lessons that dig deeper into many of the Bibles most important stories
Approximately 10 minute devotional to help apply the themes of the week’s Bible study.
Optional interactive games, puzzles to reinforce each weeks lessons.
CD-ROM printables that can be used with multiple children
Parent’s/Teacher’s Lesson Guide including answer keys and certificates of completion
Student Workbook of activities
Friends and Heroes DVD containing full length adventure episodes
Multi-Language Version including 10 different languages and subtitles!
Kids will learn to apply God’s truth from timeless Bible stories such as Daniel in the Lions’ Den, Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish, Ruth and Naomi, Saul on the Road to Damascus, and Jonah and the Big Fish.
Pre-K-12 instructional materials are just one slice of a publishing industry that broadly thrived over the past year.
Data released last week by the Association of American Publishers show that sales of educational instructional materials in March more than doubled, year over year.
Overall educational revenues for instructional materials climbed by $111.7 million, while revenues for pre-K-12 resources reached $61.4 million in March — an 82 percent jump over a year ago.
Sales of higher education course materials rose even more sharply, reaching $50.4 million in March, a 179 percent increase over the previous year.
Education publishers’ gains over the past year have come at a time when public and private investment in education markets has soared. Federal lawmakers have approved three different stimulus measures, the most recent of which will channel $130 million into K-12 education. Venture capitalists poured $16.1 billion total into ed tech in 2020, $7.9 billion more than the previous record set in 2018.
One factor driving the increases in education publishers’ revenues: Two of the three largest state markets for vendors in terms of student population – Texas and Florida – purchased significantly more instructional materials this March than a year ago, according to AAP’s PreK-12 Books & Materials Monthly Report for March 2021.
Florida and Texas K-12 leaders bought $8.5 million and $2.3 million worth of pedagogical materials, respectively, showing increases of 331 percent and 137 percent over March 2020.
On the other hand, sales of instructional materials in California, the state with the largest K-12 population, dropped from $6.1 million to $3.9 million.
In addition to higher monthly sales, Florida also generated a sizable increase in revenues for instructional materials across the full years of 2019 and 2020, growing from $6.9 million to $11.4 million. During the same period, annual sales for California fell from $12.1 million to $10.1 million, and yearly sales for Texas declined from $7.8 million to $7.2 million.
The educational sales data account for materials covering reading and language arts, science, social studies, math, English as a second language, career and technical education, as well as miscellaneous other subject areas.
Other segments of the publishing industry have also seen their revenues increase over the past year. Consumer books grossed $743.9 million in March, a 34.2-percent increase year-over-year, while professional books generated $33.1 million, a 33.2-percent gain.
AAP released the information based on questionnaires they sent to publishers, the group said. The monthly reports draw revenue data from approximately 1,300 publishers.
Publishing sales for this year are more comparable to 2017-2019 levels than to industry revenues last year, which was a “tough” time for the industry, AAP said.
Though the publishing industry posted striking growth rates in March, the industry typically sees stronger performance over the summer, and so the next few months will provide a better indicator of the sector’s resilience, according to the AAP.
Hi friends! We’re nearing the half-way mark for our homeschool year, and so today I’m sharing our 9th grade mid-year curriculum review, and letting you know what’s working and what’s not!
Since we’re doing mostly online work for my 9th grader this year, I knew it would be a bit intense and take more time than in years past. I think overall we’re happy with our choice, and I’m not ready to toss anything out at this point. But I will say that doing history, math, science, and Spanish, all online, has been a challenge.
Each of our online subjects take about an hour, and then of course she has English, Writing, and Literature on top of that. So she is definitely putting in some work this year! I think looking back I would probably choose the same curriculum, mainly because I want to keep her on track for graduation. However, I might have used something like Story of the World or Abeka (text book based) for history, or possibly skipped a formal writing curriculum for the year. I feel fairly confident in her writing skills, and since many of her subjects already require her to do writing assignments, we could have probably skipped it this year. As a matter of fact, as some of you may know, she’s already an author!
But in the spirit of not quitting, we have decided to go ahead and finish out the year! That said, I have eased up on some of the BJU assignments that are given out. If you’ve used BJU Press before you’ll know that they have several quizzes, reports, tests, essays, and projects due for each subject. As we go through our week we decide which of those we want to do and which we want to skip. I’ve also allowed her a little leeway on tests, so for example, she has had times where there were a few major tests scheduled all on the same day. If that happens I will usually allow her to spread them out and take one a day instead.
All in all she’s doing well with her schedule, and while I am giving her some leeway as I mentioned before, I also think it’s an good time to start teaching those important time management skills. When she gets to college she will be dealing with managing her classes, and most likely will have multiple tests per day. Especially around mid-terms and finals, so we’re working through that and making sure she has the necessary skills to manage her time without getting too stressed.
Hello friends! Well, we made it through our first semester of my daughter’s senior year! Honestly it went so well! She did a great job in her college dual enrollment classes and even won a $100 scholarship for her work in her graphic design course.
Since she’s doing dual enrollment, that means that her classes change at the semester mark, so I thought I would share what she’ll be doing for the 2nd semester of her senior year.
She’s continuing with her Word of Life Challenger Quiet Time for Teens, and Pre-Calculus with Geometry by Shormann Math as those are both going well. I do think the Shormann does a decent job at college preparatory math, it is also a CLEP prep course, so we may have her take the math CLEP and see if she can test out of that at the end of the year. She’s already tested out of the English CLEP so she earned 3 credits that way which was nice.
For her second semester she’ll be doing Psychology 101, Art History 101, Photoshop I and II, Adobe Illustrator, and Business Marketing for Social Media. The last few classes are a lot of fun and go towards her degree in graphic design, the first two are just standard general education courses she’ll have to take either way.
She is just staring there second semester, so I’ll keep you posted, but I’m fairly confident she’ll be able to keep up with all of her courses and by the end of this year she will have 27 undergrad college credits accumulated! We’re discussing the possibility of her taking 1 summer course so she can get a full 30 credit hours this year, then next year she’ll do another year of dual enrollment so she can transfer into a university as a junior.
There are so many different options for higher education now, and while we don’t know if this is the right path for everyone, it’s working for us so far and hopefully we can get her a leg up on college and graduate with as little debt as possible!