While my husband and I were contemplating pulling our kids from public school and homeschooling, we discovered that our youngest, about to complete first grade, was going to be referred for dyslexia and dysgraphia testing by the school.
He wasn’t the best reader, but he had maintained an A average. We had worked with him all year, after school, to bring him up to level, but nothing we did helped. In the last months of public school, I spent a lot of time trying to uncover the source of his difficulty. I compared my observations (he seemed to be missing several necessary sounds and rules for reading which made him frustrated and quick to give up) to the markers for dyslexia and dysgraphia and determined that he showed none of the specific “symptoms” listed other than being generally behind in reading and writing.
Our fence walking suddenly halted and we knew we needed to homeschool Youngest, even if only for a year, to get him back on track. I spent hours researching curriculum and finally decided to just start over…take him back to preschool in both reading and writing.
We began All About Reading Level 1
in August of 2013 and began Level 2
at the end of October. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has changed our lives. My formerly struggling seven-year-old now reads above grade level. He begs to go to the library every week where we check out no less than twenty books solely for him. It’s not unusual to see him running up to bed at night with his arms piled high with books. He now has great confidence in reading and that bleeds over to every subject that he tackles.
Why did this program work for us?
Every lesson offers auditory, visual, and tactile reinforcements of the material covered. The parent/teacher explains the letter sounds and reading rules while manipulating magnetic tiles on the board. The child then uses the tiles to build sounds, syllables, and words. The child is tested on 10 new words every lesson with provided cards. The included workbook contains worksheets and games that reinforce the lesson. Each level comes with at least two hardbound books that contain fun short stories with the words the child has learned, allowing the student to gain confidence in reading actual books.
|The tile board serves both All About Reading and All About Spelling.
I was worried that taking Youngest back to the beginning of Kindergarten would break his spirit, but the program was so different than anything he had ever done before that he barely noticed. He sped through the lessons, filling in the holes that had caused him to hate reading. I figured that he would slow down when we got to Level 2, but the program continually reviews and builds on previous material so that the he was excited to learn the new words.
The teacher manual easily lays out what the parent/teacher needs to do each day, dividing the lessons into sections that can be completed all at once or at different times of the school day for kiddos who need shorter learning periods. Other than the initial set up, almost no prep-work is required on a daily or weekly basis. I cannot rate All About Reading highly enough. It has been an amazing blessing to this new homeschool family.
We used All About Reading in conjunction with All About Spelling
and IEW’s Primary Arts of Language: Writing
. The writing program includes the first level and student materials for All About Spelling. I will review those curricula separately since each could be used on their own if desired, but I highly recommend using them together since they all follow each other seamlessly and the child gets the optimum review of learned material.