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What Happens after All About Reading?

What Happens After All About Reading - from All About Learning Press

If your child has recently finished All About Reading, my first piece of advice to you is…celebrate! Have a piece of cake. Call Grandma and Grandpa. Take the rest of the day off and go to the park!

And of course, don’t forget to document this milestone and send us a photo! It makes my day when we hear from kids like Katie who complete our program! The accomplishment feels fantastic, doesn’t it?

Now your child has a rock-solid base upon which to grow in reading ability. First celebrate–then come back here for some ideas about what comes next.

Let’s take a quick look at the big picture, then we’ll dig into specifics.

The Two Major Stages of Reading

There are two major stages of reading: “Learn to Read” and “Read to Learn.”

After your child has competed four levels of All About Reading, she’s officially done with the “Learn to Read” stage.

She now has the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out just about any familiar word. She can figure out words by dividing them into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, and recognizing suffixes and prefixes.

Now your child is ready for the next major reading stage: “Read to Learn.”

At this stage, reading is used to gain knowledge. Your child will grow in her ability to react to information and connect ideas. The possibilities for her to explore the world around her are limitless, and she can embark on this exploration through reference books, trade books, text books, magazines, and an endless array of literature. Ideally, this stage has no end; your child will “read to learn” for the rest of her school career—and beyond.

Download our Mastery Evaluation to be sure that your child has mastered the “learn to read” stage and is ready for the “read to learn” stage.

downloadable mastery evaluation

Recommendations for the “Read to Learn” Stage

The “Read to Learn” stage does not require formal instruction like the “Learn to Read” stage does. As your child moves away from learning to read, her knowledge and vocabulary should grow and her reading should become more automatic. But that doesn’t always happen entirely on its own. You will need to be proactive to ensure that your child continues to grow as a reader and as a learner.

Have your child read for 30 minutes every day.

Help your child choose reading material that is interesting to him, both fiction (such as great chapter books) and nonfiction (such as kid-friendly magazines). For more ideas, check out resources such as Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and IEW Book Recommendations (from IEW’s free download page).

Work on building your child’s vocabulary.

For most kids, reading and being read to are the best ways to do this. But for some great practical tips, be sure to check out this comprehensive article about building your child’s vocabulary.

What About Literature?

A study of literature is an important component of the “Read to Learn” stage, but for many kids, studying literature can easily become a “drag.” Remember, your goal during the “Read to Learn” stage is to encourage reading and to help your child continue to develop fluency and confidence, so it’s important to let your child be drawn into the joy of reading.

How do you make a study of literature more interesting? Here are a few ideas.

  • Engage in discussions about things in the book that interest your child.
  • Have your child search for great descriptive writing that really pulls her into the story.
  • Discuss a character that your child empathizes with. How does she feel about a choice the character makes? Would she make the same choice that the character makes?
  • Is there a particularly interesting setting or theme in the story?
  • Discuss a character in the story that your child would like to know in real life.
  • Discuss how the story relates to an interesting period in history that you have studied with your child. How does understanding that history help you understand the story?

While encouraging your child to read independently is important, reading good literature aloud to your child is a great way to model your own thought processes. This will help your child learn to engage more effectively with what she’s reading, and will help her grow more confident in her own comprehension ability.

Whether your child reads alone or together with you, be sure that your discussions are light and natural. You’ll have a good feel for how well your child is understanding the reading as you talk with her about the book or story. Too much “analysis” can make a child dread reading, or worse, make her think she isn’t doing it “right.”

If you are looking for a more formal approach to teaching literature, here are a few literature guides our customers have found helpful.

Please Share Your Experience!

Has your child finished All About Reading Level 4? Share a photo on Facebook or Instagram, or email it to us at [email protected] We’d love to celebrate with you!

And if you have ideas for encouraging the “Read to Learn” stage, please share in the comments below.

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Crystal Shumaker

says:

Thank you for this! I’m not there yet but I always see people asking this question on facebook.

Heather

says:

We have loved collect investigate and analyze, which is part of read side by side!

Becky H.

says:

When my son finished All About Reading, I started using Word Roots from Critical Thinking Press with him. It is a good next step to continue working with prefixes and suffixes as well as vocabulary development.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great idea, Becky! I find the study of word root meanings fascinating, and extremely helpful for building vocabulary. All About Spelling spends time on this in level 7. We have a blog post on Teaching Latin Roots with Word Trees that has printables for it as well.

Natalie

says:

We are set to complete AAR level 4 within the next few weeks. My daughter and I have really loved the AAR curriculum. So easy to teach and so fun for the student. AAR gave her the tools needed to excel in reading. So amazing to see your child learn to read. She has loved the main characters associated with each level from Pluto the dog, to Froggy the frog, to Melinda the monkey, and Dusty the bird. Such a great program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, Natalie! I love that your daughter has enjoyed the animal friends in each level of All About Reading!

Congratulations on nearing the end of the program!

Carrie

says:

I would love to leave a picture of my two children finishing AAR level 4 but I can not. My son loves it too much to finish. We slowed down to only do 1 lesson a week just to make it last longer. Now, he does not want to read the last story because he is so sad that it will end. We are also doing AAS but my son says he is waiting for an AAR level 5. Thank you for such a wonderful program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carrie,
If you wanted to email me a photo at [email protected], I’ll make sure the entire AALP sees it!

I love that your son loves All About Reading so much, but I feel bad for him that there will be no All About Reading Level 5. When a student finishes Level 4, they have learned what they need to know to be able to sound out high school level words. They are ready to go on to reading to learn and to explore all the wonderful books out there!

Jen

says:

So helpful for new homeschoolers, like me.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this is helpful, Jen!

bella

says:

Hi guys i am a teacher my name is Mrs. Young

Gillian

says:

We are almost done with AAR 4 and I will be missing this curriculum! My daughter has such a solid grasp of reading and decoding and I am thrilled and she is so proud of how far she’s come since Level 1.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Congratulations on nearing the end of All About Reading, Gillian! How exciting! I’m pleased to hear your daughter is doing so well!

Patty

says:

My daughter completed all 4 levels of All About Reading and is a great reader! I wish I knew about it when I was teaching my oldest to read.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Congratulations on your daughter completing all four levels, Patty! That’s quite an achievement!

Krista

says:

We’re going to be starting level 1.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Krista! If you have questions as you begin or anywhere along the way, just ask! We’re happy to help.

Karrie

says:

This program has been so helpful! It took away the frustration my son felt with learning to read. We are getting ready to start AAR 4 and I was wondering what steps to take next so this post is very helpful! We had started AAS but doing both seemed to confuse so we will continue on with that, but this helps guide how to keep him reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so happy to hear that All About Reading has helped your son, Karrie. I’m glad this blog post has been helpful for you in knowing what to do next as well.

KAte cOle

says:

I always wondered this!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad this helped your wondering, Kate!

Juley Adolfae

says:

Really interesting post!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Juley.

Jassie

says:

Just purchased AAR4! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s great to hear you have enjoyed All About Reading, Jassie! Thank you.

Anna Arvidson

says:

We finished AAR level 4 a few years back. I am still going through withdrawals. We have one more level before completing AAS. I don’t know how I’ll handle no more box art from the shipping department.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s wonderful to finish, but it is sad to be done, Anna! I understand as well.

Sarah C

says:

We will finish AAR4 this year and I was just thinking…what’s next? This was very helpful.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was helpful, Sarah. However, if you have more concerns or questions as you transition to the “reading-to-learn” stage, just ask!

Eliza Burkholder

says:

Thank you! What a helpful resource you are offering.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Eliza.

Going crazy mama

says:

My son still tries to spell phonetically and he’s technically in 6th grade. We recently took an online test to see where his reading level was and he scored in a third grade level. I think he panicked with the buzzer and knowing he was being tested. He also has a hearing loss so there may be words he doesn’t recognize. Help! I don’t know where to start! He is smart and has a great vocabulary!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m happy to help as much as you need.

It sounds like your son would do well with All About Spelling! Please see our Spelling Placement Test to help you decide which level would be best for your student. In this program, most students need to start in Level 1, but older students will go quickly through the first level or two.

All About Spelling is a building block program with each level building upon the previous one. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. Placement for spelling is based on the student’s knowledge of spelling rules and concepts rather than grade level, reading level, or the words a student has memorized.

For example, we find that many students simply memorize easy words like “cat” and “kid” but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher-level words such as “concentrate.” Other students switch letters or leave out letters entirely. This usually occurs because they don’t know how to hear each sound in the word. Level 1 has specific techniques to solve these problems.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in level 2, and then more in level 3 and up. For this reason, we don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

However, we encourage parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that he already knows and slow down on the parts that he needs to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught and can demonstrate it back to you with the tiles or app, and then move on. This blog article on Using All About Spelling with Older Students has a good example of how you might fast track.

If you have any questions, please let me know; I’d be happy to help!

going crazy mama

says:

Hello Robin! I need help. I’m trying to do the placement tests for both reading and spelling and I think I need to start pretty much at the beginning with my 12 year old. Do I have to buy all the levels even though we will fly through at least level 1 spelling and reading? Anyway I can talk to you?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, we will be happy to talk with you! You can email me at [email protected], or you can call and speak to someone on the phone at 715-477-1976.

I’m not surprised that your son needs to start with Level 1 of All About Spelling; most students, especially those that struggle, do need that level. Yes, he will go through that level quickly, but you will see a marked improvement in his ability to hear each sound in words and in his spelling even in that short time. Level 1 teaches how to segment words into their individual sounds and teaches the first 32 phonograms needed to spell almost all words. Level 2 will quickly review these things, but not with enough depth or practice for a student that struggles.

However, from what you described, I am surprised to hear that your son needs to start All About Reading at level 1.

When you go over the All About Reading placement tests, start with level 2. Have him read the story in the placement test first. Can he read it smoothly and fluently, needing to sound out no more than a few words per page, and misreading or needing help with no more than a few words total? If he can read the story that well, he is ready for at least level 2. Then try with the level 3 placement test story.

You will be looking for the highest level that he can read the story smoothly and fluently like that. Then, if there are other items on the placement test he has difficulties with, let me know. I can direct you to free resources for teaching him those phonograms, concepts, rules, and such. It is his fluency with reading the stories that is most important when determining placement in All About Reading.

I hope this helps more, but we are available to help as much as you need to feel confident in purchasing.

Also, don’t forget our one-year money-back “Go Ahead and Use It” guarantee. If you purchase directly from us, you may return items, even used, up to a year after the purchase date for a full refund, excluding shipping. Marie Rippel, the author, never wants anyone to feel “stuck” with their purchase, and wants them to feel free to really try the program.

Kaaren

says:

Sounds like a great program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Kaaren.

Malana

says:

I will definitely be looking into this!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let me know if you have questions, Malana! I’m happy to help.

Kara

says:

I am currently in the process of teaching my daughter to read with an unrelated curriculum at home. She is a kindergartener and i homeschool her. She is doing incredibly well with all of the sight words shes learned so far since we began our school year on Sept 1st. She is right around 30, give or take, as far as how many sight words she can recognize and recite. I am looking into your program to possibly use in teaching her to read as well because i feel like she would benefit from something more in depth than what she is currently doing. I definitely am interested in ypur spelling program because i do not have a specific spelling program that i am teaching her at this time. So glad ive stumbled upon your program here!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Please let me know if you have any questions about placement or need anything else, Kara. Here are a couple of articles you may find helpful:

Sight Words: What You Need to Know
The Right Time to Start Spelling Instruction

Jennifer Greenwald

says:

I have used All about reading. It’s a great program that works!

Kristen Hale

says:

Love all about reading wanting to try out all about spelling

Heidi

says:

Have not tried yet but really interestes in all about spelling program.

Ashleigh

says:

Love all the tips here. Thanks!

Amanda

says:

I absolutely love this way of teaching: “Learn To Read! Read To Learn!” I am new to homeschooling my daughter and I have never heard this before.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this had something new for you, Amanda!

Sarah

says:

I have never heard of these before. Now I am researching them and loving the way it sounds. Very interested in the spelling as my son struggles very much. I love the visual of the reading when it shows the kid their path to success.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let me know if you would like more information about All About Spelling or anything else, Sarah.

Cerra Dilyard-Lopez

says:

Would love this program for my grandkids

Kristina

says:

Love that you have a way to assess that they are truly finished! Thank you for such a great program! We love it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kristina! I’m pleased to hear it is working so well for you.

Anna

says:

That transition from learning to reading to reading to learn is huge! And for some reason, I hadn’t really considered that until reading this article – excellent tips for the transition!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was helpful for you, Anna!