All About Spelling is certainly not meant for two year olds, but since I already have the materials this is what I am currently doing with them. Right now Bruce(6.5) is on a break between Levels 2 and 3. We will be starting up again when he turns seven. Right now he is still doing Evan Moore Spelling Grade 2 through his public school. In the interim, I decided to clear our AAS board and store the tiles so that they wouldn’t get lost, even though the board is usually safely stored behind our china cabinet.
In the middle of all of this, Jenna(2.5) still asks to “do spelling” quite frequently. Previously when I have tried this with her, it has been a somewhat meaningful time-filling activity that usually degenerated into playing with the tiles and making a mess. But I’ve had an “ah-ha” moment. The problem was that the board was set up for Level 2, instead of Level 1, Step 1! I realized this the first time Jenna and I “did spelling” with the board cleaned off. Putting the whole alphabet on the board isn’t supposed to be introduced to children until Level 1, Step 3.
One of the first lessons in Level 1, Step 1 is to go through all of the Phonogram cards with your child, to see which sounds your child doesn’t know, and which you need to practice. For some children, this first step could take several months, depending on what age you begin. Since Jenna really wants to use the tiles and the board like her brother Bruce, we have been practicing with one letter tile at a time, instead of the Phonogram cards.
This has worked really well for a few weeks now. Sometimes we get through the whole alphabet, and sometimes we only get through 12 letters. I let her natural attention span and curiosity at the moment, lead the lesson. The only problem we run into is the “funny looking a”. It is written a instead of a which makes things tricky at the moment, but will eventually fructify, by helping her make the transition to print books easier in the future.
Jenna and I are both enjoying “doing spelling” together and I’m glad that I have more sophisticated materials to work with than when Bruce was that age. But I’m guessing we might be on Level 1, Step 1 for a long time. She’s just not ready for blending consonant vowel consonant words yet, even though (sigh!) Bruce was already moving into that at the same age. Of course, there are lots of things that Jenna can do at two and a half that Bruce couldn’t. Remembering to say please and thank is one example for starters! 🙂