Over the years of homeschooling we've tried quite a few different reading programs.
Some have been wonderful.
Some have left us scratching our heads.
And some have brought tears to the eyes -- theirs and mine!
For the past two years I've been hearing awesome reports regarding All About Reading. Having a fairly large age gap between child #3 & #4, I never had the opportunity to try it for myself, until now!
All About Reading Level 1
"Easy to Learn. Easy to Teach" read the enclosed flyer. I was super excited to find out first hand if this statement was true!
In the All About Reading Level 1 Kit, I received:
Student Activity Book,
Hardback Readers: Run, Bug, Run!, Runt Pig, and Cobweb the Cat
Phonics and Word Cards
All about Reading Level 1 covers:
Learn techniques for syllable counting
Isolate sounds in three- and four-letter words
Practice phonemic substitution
Learn phonograms A-Z, plus TH, SH, CH, CK, NG, NK
Read short vowel words containing the new phonograms, such as man, set, pup, quack, class, bench,trunk, king,and gasp
Read words ending in FF, LL, and SS, as in hill and kiss
Read words with initial blends, as in step and flag
Read words with final blends, as in next and lost
Decoding (Structural Analysis)
Read plural words with suffix s or es, such as pigs and lunches
Read compound words, such as windmill
Discuss new words in the context of the story and one’s own life
Connect new words to familiar words
Read with accuracy
Read with meaningful expression
Read with natural phrasing
Connect text to own experiences
Give and discuss opinions
Set a purpose for reading
After some initial separating of the Phonics and Word Cards, I was reading to begin the program with my 5 year old.
**note: I did not have a set containing letter tiles. I was able to use the phonics cards in their place without any issue.
Cracking open the Teacher's Manual, I was delighted to see the well laid out instructions. Having taught 3 previous children, I already have a basic idea of what I'm doing - however, for the neophyte homeschool Mom, this is an absolutely perfect start to reading instruction!
Setting up lessons proved to be a breeze! It is possible to grab the Teacher's Manual, pull the appropriate cards and rip out any corresponding work sheets. The work flows succinctly and easily!
Within the curriculum there's a nice mix between phonetic introduction, phonetic work and practice, reinforcement worksheets and actual reading from the provided readers.
"Over Easy" Reinforcement Exercise. Flip over the eggs one at a time and have your child read the word that is on the back side of the egg. If they get it right, they keep the egg. If not, the egg goes back sunny side up onto the table for another try.
The readers by the way, are beautiful! Filled with pleasant stories and eye catching black and white illustrations bundled in a hard cover book. I appreciate that these drawings are not obnoxiously colored so that the child is reading the words and not distracted by the pictures.
While the lessons are well laid out, no premade schedule is included. This gives the parent total freedom to determine pace of instruction. Go as fast or as slow as your child is able.
Final Thoughts on All About Reading Level 1
Overall I have really enjoyed using All About Reading. It's easy to use, interesting, and has enough variety to not bore the student. Also, there is no senseless fluff or odd markings over vowels that disappear after a certain level is obtained. This is one curriculum I would have loved to have used when I started homeschooling over a decade ago!
My ONLY complaint is that there's not enough instruction on how to teach rhyming words within the Teachers Manual for the rhyming work sheets. Because this isn't the first child I've taught to read, it didn't affect instruction. However, for the beginning homeschool parent this may be an issue.
As for my son, his reading abilities are growing in leaps and bounds! We have completed up to lesson 18 thus far and are looking forward to continuing learning with All About Reading. This curriculum is truly easy to learn and easy to teach!