As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew our family received a complimentary one year membership to AVKO for the purpose of offering our honest review.
If you have a new or struggling speller or reader, possibly one with dyslexia, you may want to check out what a membership to AVKO Educational Research Foundation can offer you.
AVKO Educational Research Foundation is a non-profit organization with the following mission statement:
- To determine what makes the learning of reading and spelling so difficult for some and so easy for others.
- To determine what it is about our language that good readers learn without being taught that poor readers don’t.
- To determine whether or not that which poor readers don’t learn is ever systematically taught and if it isn’t, if it can be.
- To devise techniques and materials to enable teachers (or parents) to systematically teach poor readers and/or poor spellers that which schools presently are not teaching.
- To widely disseminate its discoveries of techniques and materials that enable dyslexics to learn to read and to spell.
With a Basic Membership, you receive the following benefits:
- 25% off AVKO printed materials
- Hundreds of dollars worth of free ebooks
- Access to the Members Only section
- AVKO newsletter with freebies, discounts, resources, and promotions
- Access to workshop recordings in MP3 format
- Supplemental curriculum materials including worksheets, word games, and activities
- Access to Pretests and Placement Tests
- Access to Answer Keys to Unscramblers and Family Reunion Exercises on the site in the Engaging Language Kits
The Deluxe Membership provides you with the benefits listed above plus the following additional items:
- 25% discount off all materials ordered
- Read-only access to all AVKO materials (excluding Sequential Spelling and Engaging Language Kits
- Access to AVKO’s newest ebooks – Word Family Supplements 1-7 for Sequential Spelling and Spelling Remediation Test Kit
To give you an idea what kind of information these ebooks and materials have to offer, I will describe them below:
The Patterns of English Spelling Volumes 1-10 with Word Families in Sentence Context
This book contains all the word families with lists of words following each vowel-consonant pattern, “r” and “w” controlled words, suffixes, prefixes, and Latin and Greek roots. It provides sentences using the words following these patterns in context for dictation. The idea behind using this book would be to refer to the word family having that root word your child is having trouble with and have him copy that root repeatedly as it is used in a list of words, so he sees it being using in multiple ways. Like the Charlotte Mason method, he is copying the correct spelling of the word and when he writes it incorrectly he corrects it himself.
This 1,631 paged book normally sells for $359.90. So if you want to develop your own spelling program using roots and word families based on consonant/vowel patterns, you might be interested in this website.
The Reading Teacher’s List of Over 5,500 Basic Spelling Words
This 134 paged ebook lists the most common spelling words in order of difficulty. It is also referenced to The Patterns of English Spelling, described above. This is a good reference if you want to put together a spelling program that progresses from easier to more difficult words. It normally costs $29.95.
The Teaching of Reading and Spelling: Starting at Square One and The Teaching of Reading and Spelling: a Continuum from Kindergarten through College
These books are valuable for parents of those children just beginning to read and spell or those who are having trouble picking up on reading and spelling. The “Square One” book is a beginner level giving detailed instructions to the parent how to approach teaching your child the sounds of the alphabet and writing the letters. I was quite impressed as I read through this title.
The other book, “Kindergarten through College” is more of a book of theory in teaching your child to read, write, and spell. It discusses the “learning to read and write processes”, and the “spelling and reading connection.” It contains diagnostic and prescriptive tests and activities and materials for the classroom. So if you are looking for a book about theory behind Mr. McCabe’s method of teaching reading and spelling, this would be the book you would read.
To Teach Dyslexia
This last ebook describes Don McCabe’s journey, the founder and author of these texts, as a dyslexic and teacher forming his philosophy and methods in teaching reading and spelling to dyslexic children. It is an entertaining, interesting, and informative read. It simply states what it is like to be dyslexic, how a dyslexic person perceives and learns, and how Mr. McCabe’s methods are used.
Other Membership Resources
The remaining resources on the website are activity worksheets and reading comprehension and dictation material. You will want to preview these before working with them with your children, as I thought they were more adult oriented. I enjoyed reading some of them (quotes, puns, etc.), but I would not necessarily use them with my children for their reading and spelling instruction.
I thought the ebooks were the real bargain for the price of a Basic Membership of $25. A Deluxe membership is $100.
If you would like to read more reviews of these membership benefits, visit the Homeschool Crew.
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