Sequential Spelling was AVKO's premiere seven-level spelling program for the teaching of the patterns of English spelling within seven normal public school years.   Sequential Spelling is great for schools as well as homeschoolers.  The sequences are not based on grade level curriculum. They are based on building from easy words to advanced words as from all, tall, stall, install, installment, installation.


Your children will get immediate results with Sequential Spelling.  Originally developed by author Don McCabe to teach how to spell and read through a multi-sensory approach, Sequential Spelling teaches students to recognize patterns of spelling based on the rules of the English language, but without all the complicated explanations.

Through seven progressive levels of difficulty, Sequential Spelling never asks your students to "study" more words only to spell them. (Note that volume levels do not necessarily correlate with grade levels.)  As students recognize more and more patterns and begin to spell words correctly that they've never seen before - all without "studying" - their confidence and spelling skills will soar!

JJH Publishing is the software developer, manufacturer, and technical support for computer based Sequential Spelling.

What Makes AVKO's Sequential Spelling Program Different:

Traditional Spelling Program
1.Gives the child a list of words to study (and he forgets them after the test at the end of the week). 
2.Tests the child on individual words. 
3.The tests are corrected by the teacher/parent with the looming red ink pen - after the tests are done. 
4.The rules of the English language are presented in dry, hard-to-understand ways outside of the spelling program. 
5.The overall emphasis is on a grade for one week over one set of words. 
6.The emphasis is on a theme of words (colors). 
7.The sequencing of the words may be due to introduction of words into the curriculum, instead of the relative difficulty. 
8.There may be a guilt reaction when the child studies but doesn't do well on the test on Friday.
Sequential Spelling
1.The child doesn't study anything (he remembers the patterns used to spell the words - even after the test). 
2.Tests the child on patterns of the English language. 
3.The child corrects his own paper as he is taking the test immediately. 
4.The rules of the English language are embedded in the program, without lengthy explanations. 
5.The emphasis is on learning the patterns of spelling for mastery of the language. 
6.The emphasis is on the meanings of the words (root words, suffixes). 
7.The sequencing of the words is based on research and the building of English words from the root word to expanded forms. 
8.The child builds confidence when he can spell words he has never seen before without studying.
Sequential Spelling FAQs

At what age should I start using Sequential Spelling?

All students should be at a second grade reading level before starting Sequential Spelling. 

Where should I start?  If I'm working with fifth graders, do I start with Sequential Spelling 5?

No.  Unless your students have been exposed to Sequential Spelling before, you should start them with Sequential Spelling 1 or maybe even Sequential Spelling 2.   Use the AVKO rough placement test download here to determine more specifically where your student should begin if level 1 will be too easy for your student(s).

The word scatter is a 7th grade word in our school's regular spelling program.   What is it doing in 1?
Regular spelling texts, as a general rule, pick grade levels for words according to when the specific words first begin to occur in the regular subject matter curriculum. This would seem to make sense, but it does bring about some rather odd sequences. Since the word ice may not occur in the curriculum until the 4th grade when it appears in the science class, its introduction is delayed until that time. Note that in one spelling series the word nice occurs in the 1st grade, twice in the 2nd grade, price in the 5th, and rice in the 6th. AVKO believes in teaching all the ice words in the same unit. 

Regarding the word scatter, AVKO teaches it only after the -at sound has been taught in 30 different words. After the -atter sound has occurred in eight words, and directly after the initial c in cat and the consonant blend sc in scat, then and only then do we teach scatter. Nearly every student gets it right the very first time. See: AVKO's Approach vs. Traditional Approaches.

Do I give my students the words to study?

No. This is one of the starkest contrasts between Sequential Spelling and traditional programs. However, if you feel you must, go ahead. We have found that students prefer not having to study and that when they correctly spell words that they haven't studied, their self-confidence about spelling begins to zoom.




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