Apples and Pears Spelling Curriculum A Homeschool Review

Apples and Pears

Apples and Pears Spelling is a British spelling curriculum published by Sound Foundations.  There are four different levels, A through to D.  Before starting a level it is recommended to use the placement test on the website to determine the appropriate level needed.  The program is a one stop programme for spelling, punctuation and grammar and is ideal for children of all abilities, including those with special needs.

In this post, we will explore what Apples and Pears Spelling is, how it works, why it is effective, and how home educating families can incorporate it into their curriculum.

Apples and Pears

The programme includes Student workbooks and The Teacher’s Notes for each level and both are required for this programme.  The Teacher’s Notes are written in such a way as it tells the teacher what to say to the child.  

Apples and Pears Spelling is a phonics-based spelling program designed for students of all ages and abilities. It is divided into different levels and stages, each building upon the previous one to gradually increase the student’s spelling skills. The program includes a range of exercises and activities, including word-building, word-sorting, and dictation, which help students understand the sounds of words and how they are spelled.

The phonics-based approach used in Apples and Pears Spelling is based on the idea that words are made up of sounds, or phonemes. By understanding the sounds of words and how they are spelt, students can learn to spell accurately and confidently. This approach is particularly helpful for dyslexic students, as it focuses on the sounds of words rather than visual memorisation.

The program has a range of benefits, including improved spelling skills, increased confidence in writing, and a deeper understanding of the sounds of words. It is also an effective tool for helping students with dyslexia or other language-based learning difficulties.

Apples and Pears – The Teacher’s Notes

At first glance the book that parents will use can seem slightly overwhelming but once you get used to ihe book it is  actually very useful.  Everything that you as a parent have to say is carefully scripted, making using the curriculum extremely easy to use.  

The structure of each lesson or level as they are called in this programme follow a fairly standard pattern.  Make sure that you have looked through the level before beginning with your child though as occasionally there are items to prepare beforehand.

How does Apple and Pears Spelling work?

The program begins with simple words and progresses to more complex ones, with each stage introducing new phonetic concepts and spelling rules. Children work through a range of exercises and activities, including word-building and dictation, which help them understand the sounds of words and how they are spelt.

One of the key features of Apple and Pears Spelling is its structured approach. The program is designed to build upon previous lessons, with each stage introducing new concepts and reinforcing previous ones. This helps students develop a solid foundation in spelling, which they can build upon as they progress through the program.

The program also includes regular assessments, which help parents track kids progress and identify areas where additional support may be needed. This allows for targeted instruction and support, which can help children improve their spelling skills more quickly.

Using Apples and Pears

The programme uses a fill in the missing letter, copy the word or sentence and then write from memory in most of the exercise.  At the end of every level there is a dictation section which reviews everything that has previously been taught.

My son loves the fact that in every level there is a puzzle or game to break up the level.  These include, word searches, crosswords and Bingo.

There are Mastery Tests at intervals throughout the book to ensure that the children have mastered the material and are ready to progress.


The books are printed on demand in the following countries to ensure that the spelling being taught is correct for that country:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Pros of Using Apples and Pears

  • No lists of words to memorise
  • All spelling patterns are constantly being reviewed in the workbook
  • Everything is set out for the parent so is really easy to use
  • Irregular words are introduced at a control rate.

Cons of Using Apples and Pears

  • Parent intensive.  You have to sit with your child and read from The Teacher’s Notes for every lesson.
  • Some children may be put off by the amount of writing involved.  (If this is the case, split each level into two or more lessons.)

Having used Apple and Pears Spelling in my own home education setting, I can confidently say that it’s an excellent program. Its phonics-based approach was effective in helping my child who struggled with spelling, while the structured curriculum ensured steady progress. I found the program easy to use. I wholeheartedly recommend Apple and Pears Spelling to any homeschooling parent seeking to enhance their child’s spelling abilities. Overall both my son and I love this spelling programme as we can both see a big improvement.

Similar Posts