Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Several years ago I came to know AVKO. I actually wrote a post about it on my blog way back when... you can see the brief post hereSo, when I saw the list of vendors for this years crew voyage, I was thrilled to see AVKO listed!  As a member of the Homeschool Crew, we were each given a complimentary one year membership to AVKO, in exchange I would provide an honest review.

Not familiar with AVKO?

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.  Visit The History of AVKO for more information.

Mission Statement

The AVKO Educational Research Foundation, founded in 1974, has as its mission the following:

  1. To determine what makes the learning of reading and spelling so difficult for some and so easy for others.

  2. To determine what it is about our language that good readers learn without being taught that poor readers don't.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. To widely disseminate its discoveries of techniques and materials that enable dyslexics to learn to read and to spell.

I had a struggling reader, he was dyslexic. I had read many books trying to figure out how to help him. It wasn't until I read To Teach a Dyslexic, by Don McCabe that I was really able to help him. After reading Don's book, I went on to purchase a membership to their website, as well as, purchase the entire set of Sequential Spelling.  Those few steps opened up a world of words for my son, who was struggling so. 

AVKO, is very confident that their method of teaching will help most, if not all students. One of the quotes from their website is this;

"AVKO claims the underlying cause of illiteracy or dyslexia is a failure of our educational system to teach"

This is a bold statement to make. Except in a situation where there is a reason why a child is not learning to read... learning to read... brain damage, seizures, autism, just to name a few, I believe this statement is spot on.  Especially when you look at learning in a classroom setting. I have a high respect for classroom teachers. I am not sure how they can balance trying to meet all the needs of all the children in their classroom. While I believe they do the best they can, if you have a child with dyslexia, or other reading issues, you may not be able to give them the time they need, and they will then struggle and perhaps  not learn.  Also, I want to also point out, that I had a child who struggled with reading, and once we followed the methods from AVKO, my son was able to make progress in reading that he had not been able to make prior.

Is AVKO the answer to every reading problem a child might have? Probably not. Though I do believe that AVKO will be a piece of the puzzle!

When you purchase a membership to AVKO you gain access to their members only site. As well as receive a discount on purchases you make through the site.

  Even if you are not using Sequential Spelling, and even if you do not have a child with learning disabilities, you will benefit from all that is offered to members. Using these resources you will be able to put together your own spelling program using the methods that was used to design the Sequential Spelling Program.

Also, you recieve  an e-book version of To Teach a Dyslexic ( a $14.95 value). If you do have a child that you are unsure how to reach, I highly recommend you read this book.

The Teaching of Reading and Spelling from K- College....$59.95 value

The Reading Teacher's List of Over 5,500 Basic Spelling Words.....$29.95 value

The Patterns of English Spelling... $359 value
( this is an awesome resource and something that it referred to throughout Sequential Spelling. It is not necessary to do the curriculum, though it would be a great supplement) Also, would benefit you with spellng in general.

That is just a few of the ebooks. Now in addition he has workshop recordings, teaching tips, pre tests and placements tests and much more!

Purchasing a one year membership  will help you in the realm of reading and spelling with your kids, even if your child does not have a learning disability. If you suspect dyslexia or a different disability it just might be the answer. As it was for us.

Also, if you never purchase Sequential Spelling, you would benefit from the materials.

Please visit the crew blog to see what my crew mates have to say about AVKO!!!

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