Home Education – Reading and Spelling

As a home educating mother, I know how difficult it can be to teach children (especially boys!) to read and, even more so, to spell. With all the rules and exceptions to the rules, it is a wonder anyone ever gets it!

I guess, like all homeschooling moms, I have my favorite curriculums and tend to be stuck in my ways when it comes to trying new things. But last year, I did just that – I tried a new phonics and a new spelling program – and, I really like both of them. So, I want to share them with you. If you are a home educator or if your child needs extra help with either of these areas, give them a try! If you already use either of these or some other curriculum you like, leave a comment and let me know – I would like to hear about it!

1. Hooked on Phonics (HOP) is a learn-to-read program for levels Pre-K (3-4yrs) to 3rd grade and up (8yrs and up). I have been using the HOP program with our 6yr and 9 yr old sons and am very pleased with their progress. Each level has at least 2 non-consumable workbooks they read from, as well as, many story reading books. The program has games incorporated into it which help with word recognition. The child can proceed at their individual pace based on the amount of repetition they need. The boys love it and ask me to read with them!

As the name stated, Hooked on Phonics is a phonics based program which gives the necessary skills to unlock words at all levels. The workbook and readers build on each other with plenty of review. This program could very easily be used with older students needing extra help.

Hooked on Phonics also has a spelling program corresponding to each level and while it does help reinforce the words being read, I feel it is more rote memorization. My preference for a spelling program is “All About Spelling” which I will discuss in a moment.

Hooked on Phonics also has a math program. Here again, I prefer another math curriculum to this one which helps children understand the concepts behind what they are learning. I will save my math review for another time!


2. All About Spelling is as you guessed from the name, a spelling program. Marie Rippel has done a fabulous job in systematically building spelling rules upon each other. This is a multi-sensory approach utilizing (if you choose) magnetic letter tiles to manipulate, spell and illustrate the concept being presented. Flash cards are used, as well as, review of previous concepts at the beginning of each lesson. Once the concept is mastered with the tiles, the teacher then dictates the spelling words. Eventually phrases and sentences are added to the dictation. The teacher’s manual is easy to follow and even gives you the script for the day’s lesson. Each lesson is geared to last about 15 – 20 minutes.

Also offered is an “All About Reading” program which I have not tried. If it is as good as the spelling, it should also be great. Since I have already invested in Hooked on Phonics and am pleased with it, I will continue – remember, I am kinda stuck in my ways!!

Another plus is their one year guarantee – use either the All About Spelling or All About Reading program for 1 year and if you are not pleased or they do not meet your needs, just send the material back and they will refund your purchase price.


*Since I think these programs are so good, I have become an affiliate, so, the above links are my affiliate links. Whether or not you choose to use them, I am very pleased with the results from both programs and wanted to share them!


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  1. says

    Take a look at my book if you want to make reading easy for active kids. There are 10 free lessons on the website so anyone can try it on a beginning reader for free. It takes you through all 70 phonograms in 90 lessons.


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