Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All About Reading Level 1 - a review

Last year we were blessed to review All About Reading Pre-reading curriculum. You can find that review here.

We were pleased with the Pre-Reading level. It was a very gentle approach and worked well to teach Molly her letters and letter sounds. We have since worked with a couple of other reading programs working on blending letters to form words. It had not quite clicked for Molly yet. She knew her letter sounds but she did not quite get the concept of blending to form words. When AAR level 1 was released and I found out we could review it I was super excited.

All About Reading is designed to teach the 5 key components of reading which are:

-phonological awareness
-Phonics and Decoding

We received the All About Reading Level 1 Kit which sells for $99.95 and contains:

Level 1 Teacher's Manual
Level 1 Student Packet
"Run Bug Run" reader
"The Runt Pig" reader
"Cobweb the Cat" reader

As well as the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit which sells for $48.95 and includes:

Letter Tiles
Magnets for the letter tiles
Basics Phonogram CD
Reading Review Box
Reading Divider Cards
Reading Tote Bag
Star Stickers

We have progressed very slowly through this curriculum. With Molly being only 4 I am in no rush for her to learn to read (although she is in quite the rush to be able to read like her brothers). I was beyond impressed with the Teacher's manual and how easy it is to follow. It is truly an "open and teach" type of curriculum. After the initial prep work of putting the magnets on the letter tiles there really is no prep work that needs to be done from day to day. Which is such a blessing in our busy homeschool.

Molly loves the activities in the student manual. She loves the cutting and pasting and the multi-sensory approach is WORKING!

She also loves making and reading words with the letter tiles. The letter tiles are color-coded.  You can see the red and blue tiles (vowels and consonants) here.  These are the only ones we currently work with.  There are many more tiles for all the phonograms.

She has even created and read a few words that we haven't gotten to yet.

The readers are so well done as well. They are nice hard back books with a compilation of stories in each one. And the best part is that they can start reading the first story in lesson 5! Now, a little disclaimer here, lesson 5 does not necessarily mean day 5. It took us a good two weeks to get through the first four lessons! That is what is great about AAR though, you can go at your own pace. Once Molly "got it" we have now flown through the next several lessons and Molly is now beginning to blend the words in her head and doing amazingly well. I have tried to video her reading and she doesn't like it, so I will not be including that, but watch for a video of her reading very soon! If you have a child who knows their letter sounds they are ready for AAR level 1. If they are young it may take a little longer to do each lesson, but there are so many activities within most of the lessons it works well to go slowly. If your child is already blending his letters together then you can definitely work more quickly through the program.

The Phonogram cards and word cards that are a part of the student packet are another tool the curriculum uses to drill the sounds as well as the words the children are learning. Molly is not particularly fond of the cards but it has definitely helped her, especially with the rule breaker words we have learned thus far. I love the box and divider cards that come with the kit. It makes keeping up with the cards as well as keeping up with which ones your child knows so much easier.

If you would like to see what other TOS Crew Members have to say about AAR take a look at the Crew Blog.

Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for my review. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions are my own, honest opinions.

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