Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dearest Sisters, how are you? This blog post is a personal one because my eldest daughter has dyslexia, and several of my family members have dyslexia too.
It is estimated that 15% of the population has dyslexia so it’s likely that you yourself or someone you do know has dyslexia. Although learning obstacles vary, the main areas learners struggle with are reading, writing and spelling.
Dyslexia is a neurological condition thus there is no ‘treatment’ for it, but learners can overcome learning barriers by adopting certain learning techniques. Having said that, homeschooling a child with dyslexia can come with its own set of challenges. For example, even though my daughter is the eldest, her younger siblings often do better in Spelling and Reading with little effort. This can lead to a child being prone to feeling inadequate due to low self-esteem, so we must ensure we keep this in mind when teaching children with dyslexia however I will discuss this in more detail in another post.
Now, when it came to Spelling, this used to be one of our weakest subjects, and something my daughter would dread and because I knew she was dreading it, admittedly I did too…
The traditional spelling lists didn’t work for her the way they did for her siblings and she often made the repetitive mistakes which increased as the words became more challenging. And this was by no means her own fault, Allahumma barik my daughter is a go-getter and always has a positive attitude. But as is so common with dyslexic learners, she just wasn’t able to decode words, and even when she was able to in her head, what she wrote down on paper didn’t always match.
Hence, ‘daddy’ often became ‘baddy’ and ‘beautiful’ unintentionally became ‘butful’ (Yes, we still giggle about this to this day!).
So, a couple of years ago I started researching for an alternative spelling curriculum, and I came across All About Spelling*. The thing that drew me to it was that it was designed with dyslexic learners in mind, which was exactly what I was looking for.
When I looked into the curriculum, I could see straight away it wasn’t your usual ‘drill and kill’ style spelling list format. The lessons are clear, concise and not too long. The teacher manual has everything I need, so no pre planning required which is perfect for me especially when teaching multiple grades.
Plus, the curriculum isn’t textbook based only. There are coloured flashcards for reviewing words and spelling rule cards that are written concisely, making them easy for the kids to remember.
But my favourite part of the curriculum has to be the letter tiles; an absolute winner for my kids! These have brought the most transformation in our Spelling lessons as my daughter finds it much easier to decode words and therefore her spelling has improved drastically. She’s able to recognise vowel and consonant teams, prefixes and suffixes and syllabic structures much better, alhamdulillah. The hands-on multisensory approach brings the words ‘alive’ and gives her a much more vivid image thus aids retention.
For me personally, I love the organisation of the curriculum itself. The short lessons begin by often recapping rules and then introducing new rules, leading up to new spelling words and then sentences which combine previous and newly taught words. This repetition has not only been really helpful for my daughter but all my children as it helps to solidify their understanding of spelling and how the language works.
Alhamdulillah, I can safely say that she no longer dreads Spelling, in fact, she actually looks forward to it and so do I, its fun! And yes, her Spelling isn’t ‘perfect’, however, it has improved significantly but more importantly, she has regained her confidence and ultimately that is what matters. Not only that, although the curriculum takes into account dyslexic learners, it can be used for everyone and I use it for all my children who love it too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this review; I’ve never reviewed a product before but this is a curriculum I recommend to family and friends all the time. For more information about All About Spelling click HERE and feel free to ask me questions in the comments below or via Instagram.