An All About Reading Level 1 Review. It is the perfect curriculum for dyslexic or struggling readers and here I share what I loved about it and why I wholeheartedly recommend it after doing it for the past year.
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When my oldest was 5 years old, I decided to teach her how to read. A little voice in my head told me that she wasn’t ready, but I felt pressured to hurry up and get her reading. I also didn’t want to spend much money on a reading program and so I ended up using a popular traditional homeschool curriculum that someone gave us for free. Every day I would work with her for 45 minutes or longer trying to shove the information into her brain and forcing her to do tons of worksheets (#momfail). There were tears every. single. day.
Needless to say, that didn’t last long. We were both so scarred from that (and she didn’t retain ANY information) so I decided to take a break from trying to learn to read.
Learning to Read: Curriculum #2
When she turned 6 I decided to give reading another try. I actually spent money this time on a new curriculum that seemed much gentler. We were both excited to be done with worksheets and a more rigorous approach. Things started out well but after a couple of months, I was realizing that she wasn’t actually retaining any of the information. She was discouraged that she had been working so long and still couldn’t read. And to be honest, I was too.
Through that curriculum, I realized that words were really hard for her. She read from right to left, got letters mixed up all the time and it was a HUGE struggle for her. I knew that she needed extra help, but wasn’t sure what I should do.
Trying a THIRD Reading Program
By this point, we are reaching age 7. I had heard about All About Reading many times, but had never thought about buying it because I knew it was on the expensive side. I had always heard such great things about it though. So I went to the website and looked at the samples. It seriously looked like the perfect reading curriculum for my daughter.
My husband and I talked it over for a couple of days and decided to take the plunge. We were at our wit’s end. If this worked, it would be worth every penny.
All About Reading Level 1: The Homeschool Curriculum that Was Just Right
As soon as I got it in the mail and started pouring over it and prepping, I knew it was exactly what we needed. And over time, I learned I was right. We are now wrapping up Level 1 and I can’t believe how far along my daughter has come. It is night and day from the time she started this curriculum. Here are the things we have absolutely loved about it.
Why Get All About Reading Level 1?
- Perfect for dyslexic and struggling readers. When we started using this program, I was so relieved to finally be holding a curriculum that was made by someone who really knew how to teach a struggling or dyslexic child. It is a multi-sensory program and is chock full of games, activities and hands on learning. The color coded magnetic learning tiles are perfect for helping differentiate between letters. Getting the letters mixed up was one of my daughters biggest struggles.
- You can “go at your own pace.” Even though there are specific lessons, it works seamlessly to just stop and go. I would set the timer for 20 minutes and we would work until it went off. I would then just put an arrow where we were at and close the book. The next day we would just pick up where we left off. I loved this because we could spend two days on just one small part and not feel rushed to hurry along.
- It is open and go. Seriously. Every day I go into our school room, get out the books and materials, open the book, and off we go! I don’t have to worry about “prepping” the night before. Everything is all laid out for you and it is organized really well. It has reduced so much stress around learning to read and is perfect for a busy homeschool momma.
- No writing! If you have a young child who is wanting to learn to read but can’t write yet, this is the perfect curriculum for them! There is absolutely no writing involved. I love this because it helps my struggling reader to focus on JUST reading and focus on that. We have a penmanship curriculum we do at a different part of the day. I think that has been a one huge reason for her loving this.
- The readers. These are excellent readers. My daughter loves the readers and so do I! If you need to just add some more wholesome, interesting readers into your home, I would highly recommend these. They are not boring and progress perfectly for the beginning reader.
Possible Cons to All About Reading Level 1
Now with all of that said, you may be wondering if there are any downsides. I personally don’t think so, but I definitely want to give you a full picture of the curriculum so you know what you are getting yourself in to, so I will share what I think may cause some people to hesitate before buying.
- It requires prep. Ok, so didn’t I just say that it is open and go? Yes. But what I meant was that it requires no prep if you do the prep-work up front when you get the curriculum in the mail. Gather the materials, put them into one place, cut out the worksheets, make the Ziggy games, etc. Then organize them and seriously you will be SO happy you did. I only do prep for 15 lessons at a time. Then when we get through all of those, I do the next 15. That way, it isn’t too overwhelming. If I had decided it wasn’t for us, I wouldn’t have wasted time prepping 53 lessons. If this feels like a lot to you, I plan on posting soon about how to organize and prep so that the curriculum truly becomes open and go for you. And in the meantime, please feel free to email me, send me a message on instagram or comment below and I will help show you how to prep.
- There are some word sheets that can be overwhelming. Some of the worksheets that the child needs to read from can be four pages long with words all over. This overwhelmed my daughter, but they have added a few things that help with this. With some of the worksheets they give game ideas to use while you are doing it. They also have included a really neat decoder that you put on the sheet. It eliminates the words around a particular word so the child can just focus on reading one word at a time. And as I said earlier, sometimes we take days to just read through four pages of words. I go at my daughter pace. Sometimes she really does need that practice. Sometimes we play games with them, and sometimes we don’t do all of them. Make the curriculum work for you.
- The price. As you saw earlier, I had the same hesitation. But after years of my oldest struggling to learn to read, the joy it has brought me to be able to see her excel has been so precious to me. We are on a tight budget, but this was worth the price and even with the price, I will be buying the second level without hesitation.
What do Lessons look Like?
If you’re now curious what exactly each lesson entails, here it is. For the most part each lesson alternates between learning new material (reviewing material previously learned, learning letter sounds and new words, and putting those into practice) and practicing what the child learned by activities, a warm up sheet to read and then reading the Reader. So Lesson 2 will be all about learning new words and sounds (with lots of hands on learning!). Then Lesson 3 will be putting that into practice like I said above. But as I said earlier, we hardly pay attention to the lesson number. We just go at our own pace.
The All About Reading website has tons of samples for you to look at as well as what all is involved when you buy the curriculum. I was really impressed with their website because I felt like I got a really good idea of what I was getting. So head over there if you need an in depth look at what the inside looks like!
The Perfect Curriculum for Struggling Readers
So there it is: An All About Reading Level 1 Review. I really cannot recommend this curriculum enough. Integrity is very important to me and I am very intentional about what curriculum I endorse. I purposely will not recommend a curriculum until we have gone all the way through it and I wholeheartedly loved it. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, I will be using this with my younger child and I am getting ready to buy Level 2 for my oldest.