My kids (DS6, DD5) can read quite well and they have also learnt to write really well using Handwriting without Tears. But when they try to spell out a new word they are having trouble as they haven't learnt all the phonic/spelling rules.
Explode the code: Looks really good and has bits they can colour in which makes it a bit more interesting for the child.
All about spelling: Seems really parent orientated and more manipulatives are used. Minimal worksheets.
Spalding: Looks way too hard and I couldn't find any samples of their student workbooks etc, only teacher content pages.
I'd be very interested in everyone's opinion as I would like to get the kids started on a phonic based program before their reading accelerates.
P.S. We used Reading Eggs to teach the kids how to read initially.
All I can hep you with is Spalding: There are no workbooks. The kids make their own notebooks by the teacher's direction from the TM. They use those sewn-together "marble-backed" composition books. The TM tells exactly what to put on each page each day. The PS I used to work at used these.
Sorry I can't help with ETC or AAS. Haven't used them.
__________________ Lindina - American by Birth, Christian by the Grace of God! Mom to 2, G'amma to 3 - Teacher to 46 so far. Schooling Other People's Kids since 2001-02.
My oldest learned to read in PS but my younger two learned to read with a combination of Bob type books, Explode the Code, and computer programs like Starfall. That's what we did for DS for K,1, and 2 and he's a solid reader and an excellent speller. My youngest just started 1st and she's doing Explode the Code 3 right now. Learning all about silent e's and such and doing really well! So I recommend Explode the Code... granted I haven't used the other two!
My children's reading skills have always been above their phonics skills and I didn't teach them to read with sight words.
I've used ETC and AAS. I think ETC works well as a supplement or in addition to teaching phonics rules. I wouldn't use the online version though. I made that mistake.
AAS is a good program. The manipulates weren't necessary for my kids though and they preferred to use a white board. It is a good program, but it had a focus on memorization which did not suit my children.
With my oldest I ended up going toward a rule-based spelling program and Rod and Staff Spelling has been a good fit. My second child is doing Rod and Staff phonics and I don't love it, but I've gone through many phonics programs and never found a great fit. He is also doing Rod and Staff spelling.
I'm actually moving towards meshing together Rod and Staff spelling with rule-based activities with ABC's and All Their Tricks as a resource.
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We used Explode The Code along with All About Spelling last year. AAS really doesn't take long to do. I think a total of MAYBE 30 minutes. We started out with putting all the letter tiles in ABC order before each lesson. Then began working through the lessons. My daughter LOVED it.. It's totally scripted which helped me out but I did explain things in my own words to help clairify if needed. DD7 likes hands on and memorizing facts is right up her alley so this worked well for us. I also used the rules that she learned to help refine her reading skills. "remember when a c is in front of E,I,or Y it Hisses." She got a kick out of that. Not exactly AAS wording but it gave the idea.. LOL.
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7th year homeschooling
DS 17 Public school
DS 16 Public school
DD 13 Public school