Award-winning author, curriculum developer, speaker, and literacy expert
Marie Rippel is the author and publisher of the award-winning All About Spelling curriculum and the newly released All About Reading program, a breakthrough reading curriculum that starts at the preschool stage. Through her publishing company, All About Learning Press, Inc., Marie is living her passion for teaching children to spell and read. As Marie puts it, "Our mission is to open up whole new worlds of learning for children by providing them with simple yet effective curricula that enable them to understand and master language arts."
All About Spelling is a unique multisensory approach to teaching children to spell. Developed to fill a void in the educational market for a curriculum that works for children who really struggle with spelling, the program was introduced in 2006 and has taught tens of thousands of children to spell successfully.
It was Marie's own experience as a homeschool mom with a child who struggled with spelling that served as the catalyst. "One after another, spelling programs were failing me and my son because they weren't designed to teach him the way his brain worked," says Marie. "It was scary. He was so gifted in other areas, but spelling was a great challenge for him. In fact, at one point doctors told me that my son would never learn to spell, and that was unthinkable to me! As a language arts specialist with experience as a private tutor, I knew that with the right approach, I could teach my child to spell."
To develop her own program, Marie began by drawing on her extensive education and background in language arts, putting the focus on the phonetic and morphemic methods. A natural researcher, Marie then read even more widely on the subject, adding in elements from the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching spelling and from various other innovative approaches to literacy. The result was the first level of what has become All About Spelling, a comprehensive, seven-level multisensory curriculum that teaches the core principles of spelling in a bold new way. Not only did Marie's son learn to spell, but—after Marie shared the program with other parents and tutors facing the same challenge—so did many other struggling children. The need for such a program quickly became obvious, and in 2006 Marie published the first level of All About Spelling, making it available to the educational community.
Multisensory curricula that enable children to engage in their lessons through sight, sound, and touch are the hallmark of Marie's language arts programs All About Spelling and All About Reading. The programs also feature simple step-by-step lessons in which children learn one new concept at a time with lots of built-in review, all taught with fun and creative activities. Plus, the programs are mastery-based so children can learn at their own pace, and parents and teachers can customize the lessons for each child. Over the past couple of years, Marie has also worked to develop supplemental readers that correlate with the concepts taught in both programs. Integrated right into the lesson plans, these story collections are 100% decodable by the child every step of the way.
It is this comprehensive "total learning approach" that has made All About Spelling the resounding success that it is today, teaching tens of thousands of children to spell every year, including many with special needs and learning challenges, such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.
Besides successfully teaching children to spell, Marie's All About Spelling program, supplemental readers, and All About Homophones activity book have also received numerous awards from children's publishing organizations, including several Mom's Choice Awards, an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, and a Moonbeam Children's Book Award. The program has also garnered awards from homeschooling publications like "The Old Schoolhouse Magazine" and "Practical Homeschooling."
Marie's newest program is the breakthrough curriculum All About Reading. Starting with Level Pre-1, the program begins reading instruction at the preschool and kindergarten age when children first become interested in learning to read. Rather than just presenting random ABC activities that children typically engage in at this age, however, All About Reading focuses on activities that teach real pre-reading skills like phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, listening comprehension, and motivation to read, which Marie calls The Big Five Skills™.
As Marie states, "These skills are important to help children understand the basics of language and how it works, preparing them for learning to read. The beauty of the program is that as the child plays special games, enjoys creative little crafts, and engages in charming storytime activities, he is also effortlessly absorbing these all-important pre-reading skills."
All About Reading Levels 1 and 2 are also on target to be published this year. The program will ultimately have eight levels.
"Over 34% of children struggle with learning to read," says Rippel. "And that is such a shame, because with the right approach, learning to read can be so easy and enjoyable for children. That's why I created All About Reading."
As a literary expert and a successful award-winning author and curriculum developer, Marie maintains a busy schedule that includes numerous speaking engagements and webinar and homeschool convention presentations. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Literary Task Force for Northern Wisconsin, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and is a guest lecturer for the Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.