Friday, February 8, 2013

Getting Started With All About Reading

Thanks to the generosity of All About Learning Press, we just completed our first week of All About Reading Level 1 with Alex. 

It has been a really fun week.  While we’ve tried other reading programs, All About Reading is BY FAR the most fun I’ve ever had teaching reading - either as a classroom teacher or as a mama.  Alex really enjoyed it, too!

Take a look at the pictures found in this post – I never asked Alex to smile for a picture; these are all natural smiles from a little boy who is having fun while he learns!


All About Learning recommends using a 2’ by 3’ magnetic board for the letter tiles.  We have a magnetic board hanging on the wall in our school area, but we’ve opted to use the letter tiles on a cookie sheet for now.   That way, we can put the tiles up on a shelf after each lesson.  In this house, there are still too many little fingers that would love to wander away with pretty alphabet magnets!


Alex came into the program already knowing how to blend CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, so these early days are just right him.  Because of that, we were able to complete 4 lessons this week.   I wanted to start from the beginning to make sure we were getting the full AAR instruction, and the extra practice will only help build Alex’s fluency in reading these words.

I imagine we will slow down the pace a bit before long, but the novelty of a new program and the fact that he’s already familiar with blending short words have made it easy to go at a quick pace for now.


Alex really enjoyed reading and sorting the rhyming words into the correct ice cream cones.
My little boy, who doesn’t care too much for coloring, was SO excited to color different flavors of ice cream for everyone in our family.  He couldn’t wait to show this page to Daddy!


This monster page was, BY FAR, his favorite AAR activity of the week.  He was having so much fun that he forgot that he was learning. 


Here is Alex, making me laugh and practicing his reading while we did this fun monster activity.  He was pretending to BE the monster while he read the words.   My favorite is when he got to the word ‘dad’.  The monster’s reaction was pretty cute :D

Yes, he is still really working at recognizing the difference between lowercase b and d. 
This is addressed in the AAR Level 1 manual, and we are working on it!
Also, I have no idea why he read ‘can’ backwards – he did the first 8 words without any difficulty – but I couldn’t resist posting this video of him having fun!

It’s even fun seeing how many word cards he can read correctly on the first try!


He loves to put the star on his achievement chart at the end of each lesson.


Next week Monday, Alex will have his first experience with READING A STORY in the first All About Reading book.  He is so excited to read a full story all by himself!

We’ll continue to update every few weeks, definitely with pictures and occasionally with videos, to let you know how it’s going as Alex and I continue with All About Reading Level 1.

Disclosure: We received a free copy of All About Reading Level 1 and the Interactive Kit in exchange for blogging our experience with the program.  The links in this post are affiliate links, and I will receive a commission for each purchase made through these links.  All opinions are my own.


Lindsay said...

I loved reading this and listening to Alex read! he is doing GREAT!!! This also motivated me to video tape Sammy reading some books!

Holly said...

This is wonderful!! I LOVED the video, he did awesome sounding out the words, that's fantastic!! I loved that he didn't want to put dad in the monster lol! I am doing the All About Readling pre-reading level with my 4 year old son, and we like it too. My son grumped his way through our "circle/calendar time" this morning but was all smiles when I brought out the zebra puppet for the All About Reading game! How did you teach your son to sound out the letters, do you think My Father's World helped with that or did you use another pre-reading phonics program? Just curious. Great job! Thanks for sharing!!

Dawn @ Our Little Monkeys said...

Hi Holly,
I'm glad your son is having so much fun with it! I'll bet he will know all the letter sounds by the time he's finished with pre-1, and then you could move on to sounding out simple words quite quickly. Do you plan to move on to Level 1 when you're finished?

Alex kind of picked up letter sounds on his own. He learned the names of the letters when he was 2, when we played with foam letters during his bathtime. We'd make up silly games like sticking the foam letters to the tub wall & using a spray bottle to "shoot" the letter that I called out.

He probably learned most of the letter sounds from Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. He knew the letter sounds before we started My Father's World K. We also did the first 12 lessons of Funnix before deciding to go with MFW K, and I *know* that helped solidify the letter sounds and teach him how to sound out the shorter words. MFW K can definitely teach that to a child who is not familiar with letter sounds/blending, though. (As a matter of fact, MFW K is designed to do just that! From the first week, you are slowly learning to blend letters. We're ready to start week 14, and Alex can read simple sentences.)

With Max, we're going to try Heart of Dakota's Little Hands To Heaven program in the fall when he turns 4. It's very hands-on, and it teaches letter sounds, Bible stories, simple math skills, and other preschool level material in about 30 minutes/day. I picked up a used manual online for $25.

I hope that helps! :)