Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Review of All About Homophones

My dyslexic son has finally started making progress in spelling with the help of All About Spelling (read review here) and other resources. However, as his spelling improves, a new problem has surfaced. He'll correctly spell a word, but not the correct one contextually. For example, he may write, "I went over to there house," or "I want to go to." For a child that is finally learning how to spell words correctly, it's a bit frustrating to hear, "Well, that word is spelled correctly, but...not in the manner that you used it." While I am ecstatic that my son is spelling well enough to have this problem, it has become apparent that I need to start teaching homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same, but are neither always spelled nor mean the same.

All About Homophones: Your Complete Toolkit, authored by All About Spelling's Marie Rippel, is an excellent resource for teaching your children about the confusing world of homophones. Most children, and many adults, have trouble with homophones. This is one area in writing where spellcheck will not help you! All About Homophones tackles 101 pairs or sets of homophones throughout its 241 pages with graphic organizers, worksheets, puzzles, games, and more. This is a multi-level resource, covering grades 1-8.

An introduction and clear instructions are provided for all of the activities. There are six different graphic organizers from which to choose. Graphic organizers are visual tools for learning. Students can get creative by drawing pictures, including definitions and writing sentences in a way that helps cement the different meanings of the homophones.

Each of the 101 worksheets covers a homophone set with ten fill-in-the-blank sentences. Also included on the bottom of each worksheet are interesting facts, fun activities, tongue twisters and more relating to the homophones being taught. Marie Ripple gives many ideas and suggestions for implementing the worksheets through vocabulary, creative writing, speaking, art/drama and other exercises, staying true to the multi-sensory method of her spelling program. There are fourteen crossword puzzles that correlate to the words taught on the worksheets, giving students several different ways to practice using the homophones they are learning.

All About Homophones is rounded out with instructions and printouts for six card games, a list of book resources, a student record sheet, tongue twisters, a list of the riddles and puns from the worksheets, answer keys and a 6-page mega list of homophones found in the English language. You can see a 32-page sampling covering each section of the book by clicking here.

All About Homophones has proven to be an excellent resource to help my son learn these frustrating sets of words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. A couple of times a week I would integrate a worksheet right into our spelling lesson, either before or after. Since the worksheets and activities were short, he didn't mind the extra task and it was easily completed while I was setting up our spelling materials for the day or cleaning up. We haven't had the opportunity to try any of the games yet, but I'm sure they will be a welcomed addition. Furthermore, this tool isn't just for beginning or struggling spellers. My 12-year-old daughter is a strong speller and writer, but there were many homophone sets included which she would benefit from the practice.

While I have seen short workbooks and picture books addressing homophones and other activities on the internet, this is the most comprehensive resource on homophones I've seen. All the work is done for you, there is no prep time, and it's written in a direct and easy-to-use style. If you are teaching several students at different levels, this is one of those rare resources that can be used by all. It is also a great choice if you have a beginning speller, giving you the tools to teach homophones right along with your spelling and language arts instruction for many years.

All About Homophones is available in a softcover for $29.95 or as an ebook for $27.95.** The ebook is great for quickly printing off just those pages you need, when you need them. If you have a copier at home, the softcover will appeal to those who need to hold resources in their hands and physically flip through the pages. This product comes with a thirty-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. Be sure to visit the All About Homophones website where you will find sample pages, articles, and free resources. Don't miss the very fun Homophone Machine and discover just how common homophones are in the English language! You're student will knot bee thee only won who gains incite from this grate free tulle! (Your student will not be the only one who gains insight from this great free tool!)

**For a limited time, get $10 off!

Just enter the coupon code "FUN" in the customer code box during
checkout. The coupon code is good for one week, now through
Monday, February 2, 2009.

To read more reviews on All About Homophones, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.


Anonymous said...

great review Heidi! With the coupon, I am definitely going to give this a try...even older kids can benefit from review in this area!

SisterTipster said...

I've given you an Award~come see!