. They are authentic, kind-hearted, wonderful to speak with, and they truly care about children and parents. They really, seriously, are in this to help kids read and spell well and the help parents help their kids succeed in literacy and in life. And that is a very good starting point for the kind of products I want to use in our home every day. I’m sure you agree!
this year, and Alex completed
and is nearly done
.) They both frequently have asked to do their All About Reading work. Not only do we love it – it is incredibly effective. This year, they have both progressed leaps and bounds in reading and I accredit it hugely to All About Reading.
. It is one of the best known reading and phonic programs on the ‘homeschool market’ today, and for good reason. I am really excited to be working through it so I can really speak honestly and openly about our experience with this amazing program.
because the concepts are more challenging and Audrey was also reading other readers along with her All About Reading work.
And it’s reading.
Learning to read is (in my opinion) the most important ‘academic’ skill your children will learn in their young years and I believe a good program is worth every penny. If you are committing to All About Reading, don’t go half in- buy what you need to REALLY do this program. The materials are so beautiful, so colourful, so high-quality… we were drawn to them and wanted to use them! (Let’s just say, this is not the case for all reading programs!)
The Different Elements of the All About Reading Level 2 Program
for the very first time and you have no other All about Reading Resources, you will need to buy the following:
(includes the Teacher’s Manual, Student Packet, and the 3 Readers)
(you choose if you want the Deluxe or the Basic, we got the Deluxe – if you already own the Interactive Kit from Level 1, you do not need to repurchase anything!)
Some snapshots of the children enjoying the program.
Figuring out where to place your child in All About Reading can be a bit tricky. You can use the All About Learning Press website to help you as well, you can contact their super friendly and helpful staff. You can also use their Placement Tests which will give you a pretty good starting point.
How the Lessons Actually Work
1. First we do our Review– We start with a review of the Phonogram Cards and Word Cards we had in our “review” sections in our word box. These are cards that have previously been taught but that the children still need to practice until they are mastered. All the Phonogram Cards are yellow, and the word cards are green. This ‘review/mastered’ pattern follows for Level 1 to 4 of All About Reading.
Word Cards with the All About Reading Review Box. I love having this box, it is such a tidy, colorful way to store our cards which we use daily. The kids recognize it as their ‘word box’ and they know where to find it.
2. Then we do our New Teaching – Here we are presenting the new concepts. This often includes new letter sounds (here we use the Phonogram Cards), new reading concepts, new rules, etc. This starts very simple and gets progressively more difficult.
Here are some examples of what the New Teaching looks like in the lessons for Level 2:
Lesson 1 – Closed and Open Syllables and reviewing words from Level 1 with the Feed the Anteater game.
Lesson 14 – Introducing the idea of silent E to change the sound of the initial vowel. For example, changing dim to dime.
Lesson 27 – Here we are learning how to combine words by using an apostrophe. So, he will = he’ll, she had = she’d, etc.
Lesson 50 – The Third Sound of A is the new teaching for this lesson. We are talking about yet another sound the vowel can make. This time, it makes the sound “aw” as in call, ball, fall, mall, etc.
4. Next there is usually some kind of Activity or Game to complete. The games and activities vary in difficulty, length of time, and style or learning.
Some examples of activities/games for Level 2 include:
- Be a Lumberjack – children use a paper ax to ‘chop’ compound words in the middle. For example, given the word admit, they would place the ax between the d and the m.
- Bug Hunt – children practice plural words by placing word cards in a bug ‘net’ and then reading the new plural words with an ‘s’ at the end.
- Hammers and Feathers – children choose either a hammer or a feather to place beside word cards that either have a hard C sound or a soft C sound. For example, the word cold would have a hammer next to it, since it makes the hard ‘ck’ sound at the beginning.
- Word Flippers are also often used to help with reading practice (shown below from Level 1).
Once we took the pages out of our Student Activity Book, we kept our sheets in a plastic folder. This was an easy way to store all our games, fluency charts, print-outs, and progress charts and stickers.
5. Now – We Practice our Reading Words! This is the part of the lesson where we apply what we’ve learned. I took out the required Word Cards and we flipped through them together, having Alex read each word as it came to the top of the pile. If the child is able to read the word, it moves to the ‘Mastered’ section of the Word Box, if not, it is placed in the ‘Review’ section.
6. On to Fluency Practice! The Fluency Practice sheets are found in the All About Reading Blast Off Activity Book which comes in the Level 2 Materials Pack.
There are various parts to these sheets including, New Words, Mixed Review, and Phrases and Sentences. These sheets will combine what children have learned in previous lessons to build on their reading skills. These sheets can seem a bit daunting to some children. There is quite a bit to read though and practice. We often didn’t read through every single word. These are meant as a tool to practice what you’ve learned. They are a great resource!
Hooray, if your child has completed their lesson, it is time for a sticker on the All About Reading Level 2 Progress Chart! This is a cherished and favourite part of the program for our children! They love the feeling of putting that star on that chart and seeing their progress!
And… that’s what a typical Lesson looks like!
Sometimes, it would take us a couple days to a week to finish one lesson, just for reference.
The ‘Reading’ Lesson
No new concepts are taught during the Reading Lesson. The child simply focuses on reading the story or stories assigned.The main idea is to snuggle up and read together, having your child read his best through the assigned stories. Once they have successfully read the stories for that lesson, they earn another sticker for their Progress Chart!
A peek inside the Level 2 readers, showing the progression from the easiest (top row) to the hardest (bottom row) reading levels.
“What will this look like on a daily basis? How would I use this with my children?”
This is how we worked through Lesson 4.
First, I talked briefly about what we would be learning. I introduced the idea of words that have the letter Y at the end that says the “eye” sound. I then built some words using our Letter Tiles and our large magnetic white board. Some of the suggested words were: my, try, by, fly, cry, dry, sky, shy.
We then looked at our Y phonogram card (phonogram cards are the yellow, word cards are the green).
After that, I encouraged Audrey to test out various letter and vowel sounds on the Phonogram Sounds App.
One of the really fun, hands-on components of the All About Reading program (and the All About Spelling Program!) is the interactive Letter Tiles. Our children love working with the tiles, building words, and playing games with them.
The next step after the Phonogram App was working with the Letter Tiles. We first worked on our review of Closed and Open Syllable words. Audrey built words that were Open Syllable (we, she, be) and also some Closed Syllable words (slept, cat, dog, Mom).
Then we worked on the main concept of the lesson – Y as a vowel, saying the “eye” sound.
We built the word CRY and then played the “Change the Word” game. Both our children love this activity. I make CRY and ask Audrey to change it to DRY. Then we go from dry to pry to fry to try to fly to sly and so on.
After working with our Letter Tiles we moved on to our Activity Sheet component. Our children also really enjoy this portion of the Lessons. For Lesson 4, Audrey chose word cards from a pile and decided whether they belonged in the “Y like Yak” column or the “Y like Fly” column.
Next came our Reading Word Practice using our Word Cards. I love the organization of the Phonogram and Word Cards. They are just fantastic for both ‘teacher’ and child. Here’s the way they work in a nut-shell. All cards are placed in the Reading Review Box in the order they will be used.
The cards are clearly labelled with lesson and card numbers. As we work through the lessons, we use various phonogram and word cards along with the lessons. All cards we haven’t yet used are behind the “Future Lessons” divider. All the cards the child has mastered go behind the “Mastered” divider, and all cards that still need review are placed behind the “Review” divider.
Boy, do the kids ever love to see those cards get filed behind the “Mastered” section!
Phonogram cards and Word cards are kept separate, as you can see from the photos below. Color coding helps too!
In Level 2 there are also “Leap Cards”. These cards are showing high-frequency words that don’t always follow the regular rules or that have phonograms we haven’t covered yet. I love the large graphic of the frog on the card – it is a very visual reminder that these words are different.
You can see also below the way the cards are labelled along the bottom so you never lose one or have a hard time figuring out where the word places in terms of lessons!
For this lesson, we reviewed two “leap” words, your and are.
After the Word Card work, we move on to the Fluency Practice Sheets. Some days, Audrey will read through all of the Fluency work because she really wants to accomplish her lesson. Other days, she will chose to read half and continue the following day. It really depends upon how she’s feeling.
I personally love the way the Fluency Sheets are written and I find they really help solidify what we are learning in the lessons. They are typically a combination of new words, mixed review (with new words and previous words together), phrases, sentences, and challenge words.
Hooray! Audrey completed Lesson 4 and earned the Lesson 4 sticker for her chart! I never thought the progress chart would mean much to our children, but they LOVE it. It really motivates them to want to achieve the lessons. Audrey will often accomplish one lesson every day or 2 because she is really focusing on accomplishing this level. Many children will not accomplish a lesson every day. The lessons are full of new concepts, lots of learning, and many different steps. Some parents even focus on one lesson per week, and that would be totally fine for many children. As long as they are learning and progressing, that is the goal!