I have been using All About Reading from pre-reading through level 2 since I started needing formal lesson plans for my children. My oldest just started level 3 and with each level my confidence in this Orton-Gillingham based reading program grows stronger. I sampled a few different reading programs before I chose All About Reading, after experiencing level one and two AAR, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.
If you’re interested I have a video where I go through Pre-Reading through level 2 and unbox Level 3:
All About Reading provides a multi-sensory approach using word cards, letter magna tiles, and a phonics app. I downloaded the app to my daughter’s IPad mini and she uses it to practice or as a tool to learn the letter blends during a lesson.
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A Typical Lesson
There are two types of lessons in All About Reading, a new concept lesson and a read a story lesson.
In a new concept lesson your child will:
- Preview letter(S) sounds by using the phonogram app
- Review phonogram cards (visual)
- Review word cards (visual)
- You will demonstrate the letter blending using letter tiles (visual)
- Your child practices using letter tiles (visual)
- Complete an activity sheet
- Practice fluency using fluency sheet
- Read aloud for 20 minutes
- track progress on progress chart using provided stickers
All About Reading incorporates in a game called “change the word” where the child swaps out the first letter tile or last letter tile to make different words that are still very similar. Children learn through play and by making reading a game, it makes it really fun for everyone. Then comes an activity sheet, followed by a practice fluency sheet. At the end of these lessons a recommendation to read 20 minutes aloud to your child is suggested and a reading record sheet is provided.
In a read a story lesson your child will:
- Review the phonogram cards and word cards
- New teaching such as building new words with letter tiles that will be in that days reading.
- Read the warm up sheet
- Activate prior knowledge and define vocabulary
- Read a story from the What am I or Queen Bee short story book
- Complete an activity sheet
- Mark progress using provided stickers on the progress chart
It sounds like a lot for one lesson but a lesson isn’t intended to be completed each day, a lesson is completed by gauging the child’s progress. When we started we were completing 1-2 lessons per week, my oldest (at the time age 5-6) soon progressed to 2-3 lessons per week. In All About Reading level 2 there are fiftyseven lessons. We are year round homeschoolers so by summer my oldest had ten lessons left, she progressed through them and completed them by mid July.
AAR and Charlotte Mason
All About Reading has some similarities with how Charlotte Mason suggested to approach reading, such as using both phonics and sight words and prioritizing visual learner over phonics. She even recommended using reading tools similar to AAR’s letter tiles. The fluency worksheets are a practice sheet that uses new words, phrases, and then sentences to master the learning to read process. This aspect of AAR would not be aligned with a Charlotte Mason philosophy.
Each lesson has an activity sheet or what my daughter calls “fun word games,” one of her favorites that she plays even in her free time is the fried egg game. She pretends to cook them in her little kitchen and reads the words each time she flips them. AAR has a cookie monster word game, which has cookies with words on the back and each time you feed the monster a cookie the child reads the word. This is a repeat game that she giggles about and likes to play for fun.
All About Reading has several suggestions on what to do if you come up against an issue that the child may need extra help with. Letter reversal is a normal occurrence that can develop when a child is young and may just sort itself out as the child gets older. Yet for my daughter it has become a frustration. Per All About Reading’s recommendations, I made this tactile sensory letter reversal tool to circumvent that rut and keep her on track.
To decide where to place your child All About Reading lists a placement test for each level.
Benefits for the parent educator
All About Reading is the most open and go curriculum I have ever come across. Each lesson is so thoroughly laid out for you and well organized, it is amazing. If you’re ever struggling on how to teach a new concept each lesson comes scripted. For example, All About Reading level 2 teaches Onomatopoeias which is when a word imitates a sound.
The script reads like this:
“Some words imitate sound.” (Knock on a solid surface and say knock knock)
(You already know a lot of words that imitate sounds. What do cows say?
“What do cats say?”
Meow or Purr.
“What do birds say?”
Tweet or chirp.
“What does it sound like when a balloon breaks?”
“Pop, moo, meow, tweet– these are all examples of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is when words imitate sound. Try saying this word: onomatopoeia.” Student says the word.
A scripted lesson plan makes it incredibly easy for any educator to teach a child how to read. However, it isn’t my favorite part of All About Reading. What I really love about All About Reading is how precise it can be. It does this by providing thoroughly explained reading rules. This approach not only teaches a child how to read but the why behind it all. My oldest is a rule minded individual so understanding the role of the Bossy R draws her into the lesson and builds a connection to the learning to read process.
Do you use All About Reading? If so, what do you like about it the most?