Many Hats Mommy

live the Power of One

>Wednesday’s Woman–Marie Rippel, All About Spelling

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>I think I found Marie’s company at the end of December. She was listed in a freebie report from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I clicked over to her site, and was hooked! She has created a multi-sensory approach to…are you ready…SPELLING! I sent her a message asking if she’d like to be featured, and she accepted. I will be reviewing her brand-new product All About Reading hot-off-the-press, so be watching! And now, here is Marie in her own words.

I loved being a homeschool mom. I think it was because as a child I loved to learn, and teaching my own children seemed like the next logical step for me. Little did I know that one of my children would have special needs, and in the process of learning to teach him I would find the purpose God had for my life…

My homeschooling adventure started out easily enough. My daughter dove into reading with the same love and passion that I had. It was so rewarding to see her surrounded by stacks of books, and to see her excitement as she learned new and fascinating things.

My son, on the other hand, really struggled with reading and spelling. At one point, my husband and I were told by a neurologist that our son would never learn to read, and we should prepare him for a life without reading. That was not only heartbreaking, it was just unthinkable!

I tried every reading and spelling program I could find, discarding one after another for its ineffectiveness. Finally I just put them all aside. From my intensive language arts education and teaching experience, I knew that children learned in three different ways—through sight, sound, and touch—the way the brain works naturally. Instinctively I knew that this multisensory approach was a big part of the solution.

Carefully and thoughtfully I created a program for my son, based on simple step-by-step multisensory lessons of logical concepts, each presented in an easy, understandable order with lots of built-in review. And I made the program mastery-based so he could progress at his own pace and enjoy the feeling of success with each small achievement. It worked! My son learned to read and spell!

The transformation in my son was amazing, and one by one other homeschool moms with similar problems were asking me to help them. I did. But I kept seeing the bigger picture—if this method could help a handful of children, it could help so many more. The most difficult area of language arts for most kids is spelling, so I decided to help in that area first. In 2006, my husband and I published All About Spelling, our program that takes the struggle out of spelling.

Since that time, tens of thousands of children have learned to spell with this multisensory method, including many with special needs like dyslexia, ADHD, autism, and auditory processing disorder, and that just makes my heart sing! I know first-hand the agony of having a child who struggles to learn, as well as the frustration, anger, and hurt that the child experiences. Being able to write a curriculum that helps so many parents and children break through this barrier has been thrilling, to say the least.

Then, many parents who had found success in teaching their children to spell with the All About Spelling program started contacting me to say they wanted a reading program as well—one that would really teach their children to read—because learning to read is not something that just magically happens to every child when they start school. In fact, over 34% of children struggle with learning to read.

That led to All About Reading, our second program. I wanted to create a program that would ensure that a child would be successful in learning to read, and All About Reading does just that.

All About Reading starts right at the preschool and kindergarten level, when children first become interested in reading, and it builds from there. All About Reading begins by using fun and creative ways to teach young children the “Big Five Skills”, fundamental pre-reading skills that help them understand the basics of language and how it works. This prepares them to learn to read. Then, when they move on to Levels 1-7, they build on that knowledge by learning the core principles of reading using simple, creative, multisensory lessons and original beautifully-illustrated readers that are 100% decodable.

All About Reading teaches children the way they learn naturally. Even if they have learning challenges, All About Reading works because the simple step-by-step lessons are specially sequenced, mastery-based, and allow children to learn at their own pace.

I sometimes think back now to those daunting days when I worked so hard to find a way to teach my own son who struggled so with spelling and reading, and I wonder how we all got through it as a family. But I can also look back and see the mighty hand of God in all that and how He ultimately used it, and me, as a tool to help thousands of children to learn to spell and read. It humbles me. But it also makes me smile as I realize what an inspirational message it is for all of us… and I encourage all of you moms to remember, even in the midst of your most challenging days, God is still at work! Who knows what doors He will open in your own situation to lead you to your purpose in life as well!

Author: Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman is not anyone special or a hero. She's just a working special needs homeschool mom who uses the Power of One to "just keep swimming". Visit her blog to learn more.

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