AVKO is a non-profit, 501(C)3 membership organization that focuses on the development and production of materials and especially techniques to teach reading and spelling, handwriting (manuscript and cursive), and keyboarding. AVKO is dedicated to the teaching everyone how to read and spell, regardless of their mild to moderate learning disabilities, dyslexia, poverty, or opportunity.
As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschoool Crew, I received a membership to the AVKO Foundation in order to review its benefits. I had not heard of AVKO before seeing them listed on the Crew vendor list, but I had heard of one of their products: Sequential Spelling.
I’ve spent some time exploring the website and downloading much of the material that is included with the membership. From a purely financial standpoint, the membership is a good value. The value of the free downloads available to members far exceeds the cost of the membership. The question then is whether you need the material.
If you have children who have no difficulties with reading and are super spellers, then you probably wouldn’t be very interested in what AVKO has to offer. If, on the other hand, you have a child that is struggling to learn how to read, especially if you suspect dyslexia, then AVKO is an excellent resource.
A few years ago I would have had absolutely NO interest in this material. My oldest son learned to read at 4 years old. He reads well above his 6th grade level, and spells almost intuitively.
My older daughter, though not as easy to teach to read as my son, does read well. She was about 6 when blending sounds finally clicked, and she hasn’t had problems with reading since. Her spelling however, is an entirely different story. I’ve been looking for help with teaching her spelling. The problem is that I spell like my oldest does. I just know how to spell words. That of course, makes it difficult to teach someone else.
My younger son has had quite a struggle! He is 7-1/2 and we’re finally making progress. I think. Sometimes I think we’re getting nowhere because there are things he can read, and then the next day (or the next sentence) it’s like he hasn’t ever seen the word in his life! So, it is with him in mind that I will be looking further at the material from AVKO.
Here are the eBooks that are available for free with a membership to AVKO.
The Reading Teacher’s List of over 5,500 Spelling Words
The Patterns of English Spelling Volumes 1-10
To Teach a Dyslexic
The Teaching of Reading and Spelling
The Teaching of Reading and Spelling from Square One
In addition to the eBooks, there are mp3 recordings of seminars as well as some other resources, like dictation sentences and supplemental worksheets. Another benefit of membership is a 25% discount on all printed materials. (Like Sequential Spelling).
A year-long membership is only $25. I recommend that you explore the AVKO website and see if there are resources there that would help you teach reading and spelling to your children.