Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 10 Spelling Resources

There are many spelling instruction paradigms used in the homeschool setting and in classrooms today.  I have tried several methods throughout my teaching and homeschooling years.  Please choose the method that works best for your family and see if any of the resources below may help.

I feel that it is important that children learn to spell correctly so that they can be understood and taken seriously when corresponding in written format.  I have searched the internet this year for spelling resources and wanted to share my findings with you.  Please keep in mind that I have not used all of the available resources below so you'll need to preview them first and decide whether they are appropriate for your needs and children.  Most of the activities are free.  Our family enjoys exploring a variety of methods that engage and motivate while learning new spelling words.  I love having the freedom to give our daughter, Alyssa, the opportunity to learn her spelling words using different methods and types of activities.

There are actually more than 10 top ten resources ... I kind of cheated and combined a few.

1.) All About Spelling - This is a hands-on, multi-sensory, mastery-based spelling curriculum utilizing the Orton-Gillingham approach. This spelling curriculum must be purchased.  The company also sells decodable readers that can be used with All About Spelling Level 1 and 2.  Don't forget to sign-up for their newsletter!  The Spelling Resource center provides access to FREE spelling resources, articles, etc. Alyssa adores this program and has completed Level 1. She will begin Level 2 with the decodable readers in the fall if not sooner.  We are currently reviewing all Level 1 rules and words in game format over the summer.  All About Spelling has made spelling fun for us both.  I love the scripted lessons and how easy is it to implement.  We are definite supporters for this curriculum!  I am not currently an affiliate ... we just LOVE this curriculum!

2.) Free Spelling Curriculum
  • Jett Games offers a free curriculum or program called, Spell by Color, based on color-coded spelling rules.  You must scroll down to the 4/30/12 updates and click on the link to download the zip file for Spell by Color Year 1 PDF's.  Year 2 is not currently available for free.   
  • K12 Reader is another free curriculum meant for 1st through 5th grade.  It is based on word lists and uses dictation.  The curriculum provides 36 weeks of word lists, worksheets, and dictation sentences.
  • Zaner-Bloser Spelling Conenctions - Spelling practice workbooks and worksheets for grades 1-8.
  • Spelling Matters - This ESL online spelling program that progresses in difficulty with the number of words and types of words studied.  There are several interactive spelling games for students to play in order to practice spelling words on a weekly basis.  The words are situational which makes it easy for children of different backgrounds and languages to use the program.    
  • Splashes from the River - This is a free homeschool curriculum appropriate for older students in grades 6-8.  
  • Garden of Praise - This may be a supplemental resource for anyone studying the Bible with their children.  This is a Bible-based curriculum with 35 units beginning with a creation unit. It may be more suitable for older elementary children based on the types of activities presented.  
3.) Interactive or Online Resources
  • Spelling City - This is an online, interactive way to practice customized lists of spelling words.  Sign-up for a FREE account and create your own spelling lists for your children. Your child will play word games to practice the assigned words.  Spelling City offers a free or paid account - read the website for the differences between the two accounts.  We currently have a free account.  This can supplement and be combined with any curriculum including AAS, Sequential Spelling, Natural Spelling, Spelling Power, A Reason to Spell, etc.  You can even do a search for lists already made by parents or teachers for particular curriculums.  For example, here is one for Sequential Spelling and there is also a beginning spelling curriculum link.  
  • AAA Spelling - Create a free account.  Accounts are easy to create but are not required.  Read the information on the website about how this resource is used in the classroom and at home.  This website provides activities in several subjects including spelling, vocabulary, math, alphabet, and geography.
  • Kids Spell - The parent can create custom word lists or select from the provided lists.  The word list will be used for every game once selected or created.  The child can choose a game play while learning new words. 
  • Big IQ Kids - This is an interactive tool or program that enables parents to create customizable word lists for their children to study or you can simply use the provided word lists.  Weekly word lists are studies until mastery is reached. This can be a great supplement to any spelling curriculum. You can enter the words from your curriculum for the child to study.       
  • Scrabble Sprint - Challenge your children or yourself to practice spelling with this timed game.
  • The Spelling Monster - Another way to practice spelling words using the word lists they created.
  • Spelling Bee - Challenge yourself or students in a spelling bee.  The word is pronounced and you type the correct spelling in the box.  
  • ICT Games - This is a LOOK COVER WRITE (TYPE) CHECK game.  This is a great opportunity to mesh two activities together.  Try implementing Charlotte Mason's visualizing method here before the child types the word and checks it.   
4.) Don Potter's website gives you access to McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book, Don Potter's Webster 1824 American Spelling Book, and his Webster's Spelling Book for the 21st Century including supplements.  You should spend some time exploring his website! He also has a Word Mastery and Blend Phonics curriculum on the linked page that may be suitable for your child.  Check out the freebies he has posted for all subjects (even though some people may consider them old school) - they may be very beneficial to your homeschooling needs.  Those of you using or considering Alpha-Phonics should check out the link titled, Samuel L. Blumenfeld Reading Clinic for additional resources.  They may also be helpful to those of you not using the program.  I always try to find a way to adapt almost anything I find.  There are lesson plans, charts, cursive writing resources, and alphabet teaching ideas.  His website also contains resources for learning languages such as Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.  The kid's page has links to Google E-books such as The Science Reader and Good Health for Boys and Girls.  There are several links to websites with online games for children.  The phonics page consists of free phonics drill lessons for grades 3rd and up on video - these may seem a bit boring to your students and she explains this at the very beginning of the video.

5.) Spelling Methods - Montessori spelling activities are also a hands-on way to learn how to spell.  E how explains how Montessorians use the method to teach spelling.  You can also do a Google search for more information on his topic.  Charlotte Mason Help posted several articles discussing the topics of Visualizing the Word and Dictation using Charlotte Mason's methods.  Simply Charlotte Mason has a recent post about teaching spelling included in their Subject by Subject series.  I have been intrigued by Charlotte Mason's teaching methods - we use this method when learning new spelling words.  I will often ask Alyssa to visualize a spelling word during All About Spelling lessons before building it with tiles.

6.) That Resource Site - I have mentioned this resource in previous posts.  This is a free resource however they do ask for donation (if possible) so that resources will remain free.  If you find this resource helpful, then please consider a donation.  They have several spelling units and activities available at their website.

7.) Spelling Notebooking and Lapbooking - Check out the spelling notebook page at Notebooking Fairy and the spelling notebook resources available at Training for Triumph Training Hearts While Training Minds.  Alyssa and I have used spelling rule notebooking pages in the past.  I hope to create a spelling notebook this year and include it in our homeschool lessons.  Homeschool Share also has a wonderful spelling and phonics rules lapbook by April Reeves - scroll down the master list that is in alphabetical order - it will immediately download to your computer.

8.) Jimmie's Collage - There are about a zillion ways to practice spelling words.  Jimmie posted 30 creative and fun ways to practice spelling words with your children.  Try incorporating these learning activities into your day and watch your children participate actively during spelling lessons.

9.) Spelling Words Well - This website provides many spelling resources including grade level word list, worksheets, activities, games, etc.  Go take a look and you'll see what I mean!  Spelling It Right is another website containing many resources and materials to supplement your spelling curriculum.  It is filled with activities to help your child learn how to spell correctly.  

10.) Phonogram Tiles - Are you teaching a spelling curriculum with multiple children?  Do you need more than one set of phonogram tiles?  If you use more than one set of tiles, then you can work with one child while the other children are independently working at the table with their set of tiles.  Here are a few options to consider:
  • Learning Abled Kids - Free color-coded phonogram tiles to use with any spelling curriculum
  • Mama Jenn's DIY Magnetic Phonogram Tiles - Magnetic phonogram tiles to create and use with your curriculum.
  • All About Spelling Magnetic Tiles - Durable color-coded phonogram tile tiles to purchase.  We prefer these tiles because they correspond with our current curriculum. 
  • Criss-Cross Applesauce - She created an ingenious lima bean moveable alphabet.  She used the color red for vowels and black for consonants.  Here is a link to how they were used in her writing activities.  This is a cheap way to create alphabet or phonogram tiles.  They can also be color-coded using fine point markers to match the All About Spelling program or any other spelling curriculum.    
  • Colored Post-it Notes - You can use colored post-it notes to create spelling tiles during lessons.  You could also buy plain yellow post-it notes and use colored markers for the letters.   
  • Living Montessori Now has a thorough post containing links to many Moveable Alphabet Materials.  I love this post! Be sure to visit this blog. 
Do you know of any other amazing spelling resources?  What spelling curriculum do you use?  

Thank you for stopping by!!!  Please feel free to comment below.  I love hearing from my readers.

I will be linking up at Many Little Blessings Top Ten Tuesday, Blogging Through the Alphabet, Preschool CornerTeach Me TuesdayHomeschooling on the Cheap, and Freebie Friday. Click on the links above or the buttons below to read other blog posts.
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little BlessingsBlogging Through the AlphabetPreschool Powol Packets

3Boys&aDog DEALS!Homeschool FreeBEE Fridays


  1. Thank you for this helpful list of Spelling resources. Most appreciated. :o)

  2. What a great list of resources! We used All About Spelling for a few years and loved it.

  3. New follower from the Crew!

    ...danielle - Raising Little Rhodies

  4. I'd like to find out more? I'd like to find out more details.

    Also visit my web page :: workouts for vertical leap