Monday, July 14, 2014

She's Reading! {All About Reading Review}


In my last post I mentioned that my eight-year-old had reached a breakthrough in her reading journey. After effortlessly teaching my three older children how to read around the age of six using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, I just assumed I would use the same approach with all of my children. But (as I should know by now) we are all unique, and we all learn differently. What works for one person may not work for another. I went on a search to find something that would help my daughter become a fluent reader.

And I found it in All About Reading. 

After only a few lessons, I could tell that we had turned a corner. She was finally getting it! I loved watching her delight as she was able to read the simple stories in the All About Reading readers.

But I really knew she was getting it this past week when she read an email over my shoulder. She had never seen some of these words before, but she was able to sound them out and only needed help with a few of the more difficult words. Considering that we've been taking a summer break from lessons, I was thrilled that she's retaining and even advancing in her reading skills.


I am extremely happy with the All About Reading program. I'm using level one with my eight-year-old, and I went ahead and started the Pre-reading Program with my four-year-old (and as I mentioned in this post, he loves it so much that he begs to do it!).

We bought the complete Interactive Deluxe Kit (plus the Level 1 materials), and I think it was so worth it. I like knowing that I have everything I'll need. I also love the storage bag that comes with it. This program truly is "open and go," which is one of the many things I love about it. 


It's very simple to use. Honestly, at first I was hesitant about beginning this program because it looked like it had a lot of components and I was afraid it would be too much work. Right now I need simple. I'm not up to lots of prep time. And I have been so pleasantly surprised that the materials are so easy to use and there hasn't been any prep time. Each day I just open the book and follow the scripted lesson. It's extremely simple and enjoyable!


I love the illustrations in the readers.


Here are a few of the teaching methods utilized in All About Reading:
  • Multi-sensory approach
  • Built-in review system
  • Motivating, hands-on activities
  • Mastery-based, building block program 
From our experience so far, these methods really work!


I didn't have a white board, which is recommended for the program, so we use this cake pan (found at the Dollar Store several years ago). Since we don't have a dedicated school room, we have reading lessons in my bedroom. It seems to work better if we have a quiet, one-on-one time for reading. This cake pan with the magnetic letters just slides under my bed when it's not in use. 


I keep the bag full of materials in my closet and just get it out when I need it. I love having everything all organized in the bag. I also keep our current read-aloud in here for easy access.


I love the emphasis All About Reading places on reading good books to your child (read-aloud time is built into each lesson). My children love that one-on-one time, and I love the chance to cuddle with them and enjoy a good story together. It's a win-win all around!


And now I need your help! Since I'll have regular read-aloud time scheduled with my eight-year-old, I'm going to need a steady supply of good books that she will enjoy! We're reading through the Little House series right now, and those are always favorites.

What are some of your favorite read-aloud books for younger children, particularly girls? 



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14 comments:

  1. I love seeing the "light" go on when they learn to read. A whole new world has opened up to her.

    (Psst.....I am making another skirt from that pattern.)

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    1. I do too, Christy--it's a wonderful experience to be able to teach your child to read!

      And I'm so glad you're enjoying that skirt pattern! I've got some fabric waiting to be cut out from that same pattern. :)

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  2. Loved reading this post! I'm so happy to hear that you were able to find a program that worked so well for her! I purchased a book called Read For the Heart by Sarah Clarkson that you are welcome to borrow. The book is full of lists of whole-hearted books to read that are divided into categories. A website that we LOVE buying books from is Grace and Truth books website. http://www.graceandtruthbooks.com/category/christian-books-for-girls Mrs. Williams recommended all the books from the Moody Family Series by Sarah Maxwell. Hope this helps give you some ideas.

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    1. Thank you, Kristin! I'd love to borrow the book you mentioned. I've seen it and wondered if it would be helpful, but I've never had a chance to look at it.

      We've also been buying from Grace and Truth for about the past 10 years, and they do have a lot of good selections. And we do have all the Moody series except for one or two. Our older girls enjoyed those a lot, but I should read them to Faith. For some reason I had forgotten about them, so thanks for mentioning them! Very helpful suggestions!

      And thanks so much for the clothes--the girls were so happy to have them! :)

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  3. We're reading through the Little House series too. We're also reading "Grandma's Attic" and Aesop's Fables together. I'm interested in possibly using AAR with my younger daughters. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Oh, yes, Grandma's Attic! We have that series, too. Thanks for reminding me about them.

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  4. We love All About Reading! Started Level 3 this week with my girls. Every level has bren great! Some of our read alouds we've enjoyrd other then ones mentioned were, Caddie Woodlawn, Betsy-Tacy series, Milly Molly Mandy series, Five Little Peppers and my girls havr especially loves Prince Caspian and Horse and His Boy from chronicles of Narnia. We are reading Dr Dolittle right mow and they are loving all the interaction with animals.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your positive experience, Carrie! And thanks for the book recommendations! We do have Caddie Woodlawn and Five Little Peppers, and we just finished a Milly Molly Mandy book, which she loved (first time we had read it, checked out from the library). I've wanted to get a Betsy-Tacy book, too, I'll have to look for that. Even though I have some of these books, this is really helping me as I make a book list, so thank you! :)

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  5. Hi Joy!
    I'm thrilled for your new little reader. :-)
    Sometimes when I am at a loss for what to read aloud, I have looked to the reading curriculas from Veritas Press and from Learning Language Arts from Literature. (I don't use their curriculum, I just look at their reading titles.)
    Our family really enjoyed The Cricket in Time Square. We discovered a series called The Happy Hollister's, which we have really enjoyed as well.
    I've thought of you often this summer and hoping things are well with you and your sweet little family and that your husband is enjoying good health!
    I admire your schooling approach and as I work to get away from the workbook heavy style, I have appreciated your posts that are so practical (especially the one about how you prepared for BFIAR) THANK YOU!
    Warmly,
    Carol

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    1. Thank you so much for the book suggestions, Carol! I do have a Veritas Press catalog--I'll have to look through it as I make my book list.

      I'm so glad that post has been helpful to you--I love sharing things that actually help or encourage someone else! :)

      Thank you so much for thinking of us this summer! We've been doing well and staying very busy. My husband has had ups and downs healthwise, but I'm thankful that he's been doing better lately. Health is such a blessing. I hope you've been doing well and having a great summer, also!

      ♥Joy

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  6. Thanks Joy for the review. It is always nice to know what is on the market (especially with teaching how to read). My daughter's favorite easy-to-read chapter books for beginners was the Cobblestreet Cousins Series, Grandma's Attic series, Miller Family Series and Captive Treasure and Carolina's Journey (both from BJU). She also like the Mice of the Herring Bone Series by Tim Davis and the Boxcar Children Series (these are series that boys and girls would both enjoy).

    Thanks for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week! Nice to see some of your pretty pictures again ;)

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    1. Thank you so much for the book suggestions, JES! We have the two BJU books you mentioned, so I'll add those to the list, and several of the books you mentioned I hadn't heard of before (I'll look for them). Very helpful, thank you! :)

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  7. My "break-through" books were the Ribsy series by Beverly Cleary. Before I was 9, reading was not fun, not easy, not for me. But then I met Ribsy... and I had to keep reading, because there were more books and more stories about that dog and his boy!

    Thanks for sharing ~ I'll pin this for future reference! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Finaorlena! My husband said he had fond memories of those books, too, and we do have one of them--we'll have to look for more. Thanks again for helping with my growing book list! :)

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