I was SO excited to be chosen for this review. I thought for sure J-jo was ready to learn to read. He has his letter sounds down cold. However, he isn’t quite there yet. He really needs more I Spy work and sound discrimination games. I would really have needed to review All About Reading PRE Level 1.
ETA: I found AAR Pre level 1 for sale, used, and I am SO glad I got it. It complements nicely the Montessori work I do with J-jo but will make his learning-to-read time a bit more silly and interactive and gives me a bit more guidance (I love the easiness of open-and-go).
Nevertheless, I can still speak to the quality of the All About Reading Level 1 program. We are already All About Spelling users and the layout of the teacher’s manual for All About Reading is similar to AAS. This is a great thing for me. I have read through all the lessons in All About Reading Level 1 and am very impressed at the thoroughness of the lessons and at the inclusion of teaching tip boxes throughout the manual to help me be more effective at teaching J-jo to read.
For those of you who are not familiar with All About Reading:
All About Reading is a scripted open-and-go program perfect for busy parents.
It is a multisensory program that involves your child through sight, sound, and touch. Your child learns to read in context and gets to apply what she learns right away. Each concept builds on the previous one; it is a sequential program. The program teaches the five key components of reading:
- Phonological Awareness
- Phonics and Decoding
All About Learning Press also provides a Go-Ahead-and-Use-it one year guarantee and provides life-time support. It can’t hurt to try it if you can get your money back, right? 🙂
The All About Reading Level 1 kit is $99.95 and includes the teacher’s manual, the student packet, and 3 decodable readers. (I love those readers. They are hardcover, are nicely illustrated, and the stories are even a bit humorous. Bear is enjoying reading them even though she is beyond the reader stage.)
However, if you haven’t used AAR Pre Level 1 you will also need to purchase a basic ($28.95) or deluxe ($48.95) interactive kit. The basic interactive kit includes:
- letter tiles (these are the same as for the AAS program so if you already use All About Spelling, you wouldn’t need these tiles)
- magnets for the letter tiles
- the basic phonograms CD-ROM
- reading divider cards (you can purchase these individually if you already own AAS)
The deluxe come with all of the above plus:
- Reading review box
- tote bag (it has become our new library bag)
- star stickers for the progress chart
Note: This program did not exist when Bear was learning to read. I was able to teach her to read (well, actually, she mostly taught herself) without any program by using Montessori principles and methods; however, I know that Bear does not learn like MOST children. So, although one can teach his child to read without a program, or with a program that is a little less hands-on, a little less multisensory, or a lot less expensive, I have to say that All About Reading is a wonderful, complete, and thorough program and I highly recommend it. I am thrilled to be able to use it with J-jo.
A peek at the program:
Each lesson begins with a Review of the phonogram cards and the word cards that your child has not yet mastered. Next, there is New Teaching, in which the new letter sounds are introduced, or a new story is read (further along in the lessons). Sometimes there is a game to play, such as changing a single letter in a word to form new words. An Activity Sheet usually comes midstream and then another section of New Teaching, followed by some Fluency Practice. The Activity Sheets are game-like and many involve cutting and pasting. Others are games of Bingo. There is a nice variety.
This program is more expensive than some other reading programs. You need more than one level to learn to read well. There are more levels (6 more) to come out. These levels may or may not be ready when your child is ready for them.
Some definite pros:
If you use All About Spelling, the levels of All About Reading correspond perfectly.
Both AAR and AAS are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach and the latest research.
Marie Rippel developed the program as a result of trying to teach her struggling son to read. (You have to read her story! She tells it much more eloquently than I could.) This makes her program a result of a true heartfelt passion and you can feel that passion emanate from the pages of the manual, truly!
You can purchase All About Reading Level 1 (or Prelevel 1), as well as All About Spelling (which we use) here. (This is an affiliate link and I thank you if you decide to use it!)