- Reviewed on Thursday, December 11, 2014
- Grades Used: Pre-reading-level 3
- Dates used: 2011-2014
I started using the Level one books with my daughter after having tried and struggled with several other reading curriculums. At first my daughter moved incredibly slow through the book, but seemed to be getting it (now I believe this was the result of me trying to start things with the other curriculums before she was really ready, so she developed bad habits). Then, it was like a light bulb clicked on in her head and everything just started falling into place. She loved every lesson and asked to do her reading lessons. She would read a story in one of the readers and then, in her spare time, would read it again and again. She moved quickly through the last portion of Level 1 and moved to Level 2 and thrived. By the time we got to Level 3, she was very comfortable with reading and was reading everything she could get her hands on. Now in 3rd grade we are seeing there are still gaps with the larger and more difficult words, so we plan to purchase Level 4 to help solidify everything and offer her the foundation necessary for a lifetime of reading. She is VERY anxious to begin Level 4 after Christmas. I am thrilled because my daughter was a very reluctant reader at first and through the process of this curriculum, she has become very fond of reading and I will often find her reading in bed much past bedtime because she can't put a book down.
We felt so strongly about this curriculum that when my next child was asking to read, I purchased the Pre-Reading Level and got Ziggy to go with it. We had so much fun with that level, even my then toddler wanted in on the fun. I moved him on to Level 1 and he did wonderfully and continued to love it, though he is not as much of a book lover only because he can't sit still for much longer than a few minutes. Speaking of, this is another great reason I love this curriculum. I do his reading lessons in short segments, rather than one long stretch and it works wonderfully. Because each book doesn't contain more than 50 or so lessons, you can move quickly through them, or more slowly if necessary. With the start of Level 2 in 1st grade, I realized he was not quite ready for it. We took a few months break and just spent time reading stories from level one readers, which increased his confidence. Recently, we picked it back up and he is doing fabulous!
My suggestion is if your child is struggling, take a little break and just work on what you have already covered. Then, after a break, jump back in and see if that helps.
I have loved this curriculum so much, we will be using them with my next child this next year and with my toddler once his time comes. The nice thing is, this curriculum caters to all learning styles. I have children with all different learning styles and I am seeing that it is great with each one. I will never again need another curriculum to learn reading. The only thing I will have to replace is the workbooks since I have let my children use these so far, but it would be easy to buy it once and make copies of the games.
As the other reviewer stated, the customer service has been top notch. Any questions I have had, I have gotten a quick and helpful response.
We also recently started using All About Spelling and really are liking that one as well. It is great having the same "rules" and ideas they have already learned from the reading curriculum.
- Reviewed on Friday, March 7, 2014
- Grades Used: 1st-3rd so far
- Dates used: 2012-2014
So far, we have used the first 3 levels of All About Reading. My daughter is finishing up second grade. The 4th level is due out sometime late 2014. We really love it. It is very teacher intensive, BUT for reading and spelling, I want to be very involved. I want to be sure that my kids are "getting" everything before we move on.
Here is how a typical lesson goes:
1.) Brief review of past concepts (using flashcards and magnet tiles)
2.) Introduce new "rule" or phonogram
3.) I build words on the white board with magnetic phonogram tiles, she divides the syllables, labels the types of syllables, and decodes the word based on the syllable types.
4.) She plays a silly little game (which, even though I sometimes think they are too hokey, she LOVES!) to reinforce the concept
5.) She reads a page of words and sentences to increase fluency. (In levels 1 and 2, this was painful, as there were too many words and sentences. In level 3, they keep each fluency sheet to ONE page, much better!)
6.) The next lesson is reading a story in the hardback book that uses the concepts learned.
A Few Notes:
-We usually do 2 lessons per day (the learning the concept and the reading lesson)
-It is somewhat pricey, but VERY comprehensive. You won't need anything else to teach your child to read.
-The company is AMAZING. Anytime I have emailed with any questions, I receive a quick, thorough response answering my question and MORE. Example: I emailed to ask when level 4 would be released. I received not just an answer about the expected date, nor a canned response, but a thought-out, helpful recommendation with tons of ideas for what we could do between levels 3 and 4 while waiting for level 4 to become available. I was floored! Their service is a huge reason that I will keep using them!
-We also use All About Spelling. I think it is incredibly helpful to use the same "rules," tiles, and concepts for both reading and spelling. When we learn a new concept in spelling, it is much easier to grasp, since we already learned that concept in reading!
-There is a decent amount of phonogram memorization and rule memorization in the book, which some would dislike, but I find helpful.
-There is almost 100% focus on phonics and almost none on sight words, which I think makes much more sense and has more chance of turning out life-long strong readers.
-The hardback readers that come with the curriculum are great! They are decent stories and the curriculum includes a lot of opportunity to grow comprehension skills.
-I don't recommend buying the phonogram sounds DVD. We haven't used it, and they have a free Smartphone App that is the same thing now.
-The workbook is non-consumable and completely reusable. But at first I had trouble figuring out how to organize it to save to use with my son. I ended up getting a 2" 3-ring binder for each level, filling it with sheet protectors, and putting each lesson's pages each in one plastic sleeve. Now they are all ready to pick up and go!