Since the beginning of our homeschool I have come across ALL About Learning Press numerous times but never really took the jump in getting any of their products.
This year however was different. First let me tell you about our spelling adventure. I had tried various things for spelling in the past couple of years but nothing was really standing up for the child with whom I was hoping to improve the spelling skills. So this year, I decided to try out All About Spelling with him and his brother. First, I quickly discovered that it was preferable to start at Level 1 no matter in which grade the child is. The main reason for this is to teach the child the main bases of the program before going to a higher level. So we started to Level 1 and even though it was easy for them to go through it, I could see improvement in their spelling as they would ask me less often how to spell words and even start spelling words out loud just for the fun of it. We have since moved on to the next level and it is still easy for them as we are doing one lesson a day. Eventually, I expect that they will have reached their own level and a lesson might take two days or more to be completed. As I am writing this, I have already invested in Level 3 and 4 for the upcoming year. Eventually, I am planning to get the last three levels of the All About Spelling program as well.
I had heard and read that the program was demanding on the parent’s part. I would say that indeed it does require a lot of involvement from the parent in order to teach spelling with this program. But having used it and seen the difference it has made in our boys so far I would say that it is so worth it. This program is multi-sensory as it will ask your child to see it, hear it, manipulate the tiles and write it. It has been a delight to use it and now I wonder what I took so long to get it.
All About Learning Press also have a reading program that they have launched a few years ago. Before I go on about the All About Reading program, I would like to tell you a bit about our journey with reading. A few years ago, I was part of the TOS Homeschool Crew and received a program called Rocket Phonics. When I got this product, our second born was just at the age to start learning to read. So I used Rocket Phonics to teach him to read in English because I needed him to be independent for word problems with our math curriculum. At some point in the curriculum we realized that he had not mastered some sounds so we decided it would be preferable to restart from the beginning. The second time he was able to move on with his reading and that was it. Our third son didn’t experience any issues with that reading program when he started to learn to read. When our fourth child was at the same age, I started the same program to learn to read. For some reason, it wasn’t clicking with her. So we restarted once…. Twice…. And three times. The program was definitively not working. She was frustrated, was crying when it was time to practice the reading and would sometimes hyper-ventilate. We realized that this curriculum wasn’t a fit for her. What should we do?
A friend of mine posted the first level of All About Reading Level 1 for sale on one of the facebook homeschool pages and I jumped on it. All I had to do was to get the student book in order to do the activities with my daughter. Well, thankfully the first few lessons were available on the website and I printed these pages while we waited for our student book to come in. The best part was the free app that All About Learning Press had on the iPad. Our daughter started this Level 1 All About Reading program and quickly enjoyed her reading time. What a difference this program was making in her days! She laughed and rejoiced when a fun activity had to be done. She had more resistance when it was time to practice fluency but with time she got used to it. We would split a lesson in two to four days depending on how much reading was done. Within a few lessons, she had to take the first book associated with the program and read a story in it. She was not too keen in reading a story in a book but in the end she realized that she could do it. Her confidence slowly got built and she completed – on her own will – the first level the day before the conference. She asked me if I would get the third and fourth levels at the conference because she knew we would pursue the second level starting the following week. She really enjoys the activities and the stories in the books. The difference that All About Reading has made for my daughter is huge – like night and day to be honest. She was dreading the reading time before and now she thrives in her reading.
The program is also multi-sensory as it uses the same letter tiles as the spelling program. It contains a teacher book which will guide you in the lesson to be taught, a student book which contains the activities of all lessons as well as the fluency practice sheets. Each fluency practice sheets consists of new words, review words, phrases and sentences to read. As I am preparing the lesson 2 of the new level we had started this week, I saw that there will be harder words to try. I will encourage my daughter to try them if she can. I have learned that taking bites is easier for her in the process of learning to read and one lesson can sometimes be spread on two to four days if needed be. The program also has books in which the child will read stories after learning specific sounds. My daughter really enjoyed the stories found in the three books in level 1 and looks forward to discovering the new adventures in the two books in level 2. Each levels of the All About Reading program has the teacher book, the student books, cards with new words to learn, and books to read.
Here’s one of my highlight in discovering the All About Reading Program this year. Out of the blue a few weeks ago, even though she was still progressing in her level 1 lessons, she took the book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, sat down next to her dad and read to him. There were still words she had trouble with because she had not learned the sounds of some combined letters but it was a delight to see her being confident in herself and read to her dad. I am very pleased with the result of All About Reading and I know that she will be able to master reading like her brothers have done. Besides she knows that as soon as she masters it, her reward will be to go to the restaurant of her choice with dad and receive her own personal Bible (a tradition in our family). She is so looking forward to be able to read daily in her Bible like her big brothers are doing.
I am grateful for my friend who sold me the first level and for All About Learning Press for their reading program. My daughter has made tremendous progress while learning to read with this program. She is getting more and more confident each day. Her joy in learning to read has replaced the fear she had before.
All I have to say is that if you are a mom who is at your whist end because your child is struggling with their reading and/or spelling. Don’t give up. Maybe the curriculum isn’t a good fit for your child and you should try to see if something else would work. Take the time to investigate the programs at All About Learning Press.
Note: I have not received any products from All About Learning Press to write this post. This is our honest experience with their products.