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Real Moms, Real Kids: Waiting for a Breakthrough

Real Moms, Real Kids: Waiting for a Breakthrough from All About Learning Press

Have you ever felt like your child just doesn’t “get it”? You push and you teach and you teach some more, but you’re just met with resistance. A wide range of things can cause resistance when you’re teaching reading and spelling.

1.) Perhaps your child has undiagnosed vision problems, like this child or this one.

2.) Maybe your child is a word-guesser, or handwriting is difficult.

3.) Maybe your child has dyslexic tendencies or undiagnosed auditory processing disorder.

4.) Perhaps you are spending too much time on reading lessons (or spelling lessons), and you need to back off a bit.

But it’s also possible that your child simply needs more time (and more of your patience). And when you finally get that breakthrough moment, it is glorious! Just ask Liana!

Liana* is a homeschool mom who uses All About Reading. She recently shared her breakthrough moment with us.

Here’s Liana:

I want to share an incredible moment that happened with Olivia, my seven-year-old daughter. She has always been a reluctant reader. Her pace was that of a snail and her interest near zero. The sight of a fluency practice sheet would cause her to groan in frustration and want to run. She didn’t have confidence in her ability to learn to read.

Real Moms, Real Kids: Waiting for a Breakthrough from All About Learning Press

For months, whenever Olivia did her work, including the fluency sheets, she would doodle and draw on the words. She would draw smiley faces, slash marks, squiggles, dots around the letters, and so on. Sometimes it would take us several minutes to get through just one three-letter word. I’m ashamed to say this frustrated me more than it should have. I would try to get her back on track and bring her attention back to reading. It was pure struggle for both of us.

After months of struggle, I decided to see what would happen if I just sat back and let her do it her way. To me, it seemed she was wasting time and avoiding the work, but maybe for her there was value in that method.

Real Moms, Real Kids: Waiting for a Breakthrough from All About Learning Press

After a few days of me keeping myself out of her process, something amazing happened. She naturally starting reading more smoothly each time we sat down together. The doodling continued and she even added color coding and symbols for the letters and words she hadn’t mastered yet. After a few more days, she began to read a few words at a time without making any “notes” on her page.

But then came the breakthrough.

Olivia was moving more quickly through her fluency sheet on that day, marking each word as she read it. Then, completely out of the blue, she tossed her highlighters aside and proclaimed, “Enough of this slow reading!” and just flew through it. I stared wide-eyed at my little girl who was confidently reading words that made her cry just a few short weeks ago.

She turned to me and said, “Mom, I’m a FABULOUS reader!”

Real Moms, Real Kids: Waiting for a Breakthrough from All About Learning Press

Olivia is now reading everything she can get her hands on. All About Reading was the one thing that reached her and unlocked her newfound love of reading. The lessons are easy to follow and allowed us to move at the right pace for her. Here’s a video taken soon after she realized that she CAN learn to read.

So, there it is. My fabulous reader is full of smiles and confidence thanks to the wonderful All About Reading program. I’m glad I trusted her to know what she needed to do to get there.

P.S. Olivia is the second of three of my kids who are using All About Reading. My nine-year-old took off when we started using AAR a few years ago and my five-year-old is already reading like crazy thanks to All About Reading. My toddler will be starting as soon as he’s ready!

We are an AAR family!

Here’s what I love about how Liana approached her daughter’s situation:

  • Liana didn’t push Olivia faster than she was capable of learning, but gave her the freedom to move at a pace that was comfortable for her.
  • To minimize frustration, break up fluency practice over multiple lessons. Liana didn’t force Olivia to do the entire page in one sitting, but instead broke up the fluency practice as it was designed to be used.

AAR and AAS products Liana has used with Olivia

Additional Resources

Did you enjoy Liana’s story? Read more stories from Real Moms and Real Kids.

Are you in need of a breakthrough moment? Post in the comments below or contact us!

_________________________
*To preserve the privacy of the child featured in this story, we did not use the family’s real names.

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Eli’s mom

says:

I once read a comment that said you can spend weeks or months trying to teach a young child a concept or you can wait until they are ready and watch them learn the concept in 20 minutes. It’s so very important to understand that no two children are alike and they need to go at their own pace! If this bright young lady were in public school she may have been targeted as having learning or behavioral difficulties or worse…just pushed through the system. Thank goodness for AAR! I tried with my son when he was 4 and it was not very successful. Being my first child and first homeschool experience, it was very worrisome to think that he’s not keeping up with the other kids his age who have been in preschool since they were 3. So we waited one more year and the readiness to learn was mind blowing! He’s zooming through AAR pre-reading and we’re getting ready to start level 1! He may have started a little late, but I have a feeling he will be ahead of the game before it’s over! We ❤️AAR!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

YES! If given time and additional learning opportunities, many children that “struggle” early on will catch up or even be ahead later.

Thank you for sharing your experience with your son. It’s great to hear how well he is progressing through All About Reading.

Amanda Morgan

says:

Oh I hope to have this type of break through soon. My 11 yr old really struggles. It’s enough to make me cry all the time. Thanks for the encouragement!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
It can be difficult when you are in the middle of struggles. We understand. Please let us know if you need help, ideas, or just further encouragement. We want to help you help your student succeed!

Abilene

says:

Congrats to Olivia and her Mom! Confidence is soooo important to little readers. This is a touching story and encouraging to all of us waiting for that “breakthrough” moment.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Abilene,
Yes, we completely agree! We love confident readers here at AALP!

Naomi

says:

What a lovely story to read! So reassuring as my daughter is a late reader and I’m struggling with how to help her. Thanks for sharing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Naomi,
Many of us have had a student that has struggled with reading and have moved through and past the struggle until our child is a confident and successful reader. You can do the same. We are available by phone at 715-477-1976 and by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com in order to help you help your daughter.

Ellie

says:

Unique!

Ramona Hamilton

says:

I’ve seen my grandson do the same little “doodles” on his school worksheets. Thank you for sharing about this. It has been very helpful and encouraging.

This story is very encouraging, as I often find myself frustrated with my youngest daughter’s reading lessons. I will follow Liana’s lead, and just step back a little and watch what she does when there is no pressure. Thank you so much for posting this.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
You are welcome. After observing your daughter for a while, please let us know what you see. We may be able to help.

Ana Tham

says:

Wow That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing it.
I was going through the same with my son. He is almost seven, and he has been struggling since we started homeschooling two years ago.
This year, in February, we started to use AAR 1 with him, and for my surprise and joy he is enjoying it and progressing a lot, as never before!
And for me, a part time working mom, the lesson plans are such a great help.
He is slowly getting there. I know there is a long road ahead but i think we are finally on the right track.
Thanks for this great material.
Planning to start AAS next year.
Ana Tham

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ana,
I am sorry your son has struggled but very happy to hear that he is now enjoying reading and progressing in it. Teaching a struggling learner is a slow process, even with All About Reading, but you and he will meet success and he will learn to love reading along the way. This is from personal experience, as my youngest child has progressed through the All About Reading levels very slowly. However, she has now started AAR 4 and she is reading chapter books in her free time for fun. Your son will get there too!

Jennifer

says:

This program is great for my kid who is a tactile learner.

Sherry

says:

My daughter is in fourth grade. She can read almost anything, but spelling has been a struggle for her. She just finished All About Spelling level 1! This is a major breakthrough! She struggled minimally with the last lesson, not on the spelling list, but with the concept of open and closed syllables. I think it was a bit confusing for her because she was also thinking about short and long vowels. For her it was just an overload. We stopped for a week and came back to it. It no longer was a problem— on to level 2!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sherry,
Great work allowing that last lesson to sink in a bit before mastering it and then moving on! I’m pleased to hear that All About Spelling has helped her already.

Rebekah

says:

I backed off and everything seemed to suddenly click 6 months later even though we didn’t really do any work on reading in those 6 months. We tried a lesson 3 months in….nothing, but 6 months in and suddenly everything was making sense to her.

JD

says:

The multi-sensory approached really worked for my middle child who never wanted “to do letters today, mommy.”

Melissa

says:

This is very encouraging! I am working through AAR3 with my son. After SEVERAL different curricula, All About Reading seems to give the best success. I love the incremental approach, and flexibility. I never feel pressured to complete a lesson in a certain number of days. My son does not yet consider reading to be fun (sigh!), but he has improved greatly.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
I’m pleased to hear your son has improved greatly. Keep him reading, and keep reading aloud to him, and his enjoyment of reading should come.

Heather

says:

I am so grateful for this multi sensory approach to read in and spelling! It’s working well for my active boys!

Alice

says:

This is encouraging to read. I find my girls at times like to highlight their lists too. I put them in page protectors so that they can do it more than once if needed and then pass it on to the next child another year. It also keeps the pages neater in the binder for review. For me the breakthrough with my oldest struggling reader came when she started reading things on her own outside of assigned time. I don’t think she ever read a cereal box or most signs until she was in like 5th grade and the All About Reading program (and vision therapy for her focus and scanning problems) really paid off. It’s not always easy in the day to day, but learning and practicing (hopefully one day mastering) reading is really worth it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alice,
We appreciate you taking the time to share the way you use the practice sheets, and sharing how your daughter didn’t attempt to read anything but finally started reading on her own outside of reading time. I am very pleased to hear that she is doing so well now. Thank you.

Candice

says:

My daughter LOVE to read, however if you mention spelling she will burst out in tears. I’m hoping that AAS will change that for us.

We had a similar experience with my first. She hated the fluency sheets. So I backed off on them. It didn’t help her younger sister was already reading them fluently. Ouch! But I backed off, gave my oldest some space and she got it, in her time. Now she loves them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, Rebecca! I’m very happy to hear that your daughter is now enjoying the fluency sheets.

Genevieve Campbell

says:

We are enjoying AAR pre-reading, and Mom is learning to relax a little ;). Looking forward to AAR 1 next year!

Jenn

says:

We love AAR!! It has been a blessing to our family.

Jessica

says:

I wish I would have had this program the first year I taught my daughter. She really didn’t like one of the other phonics curricula I used with her, there were daily tears. I knew she needed something different. There were so many suggestions, but AAR kept coming up. Now she wants to do reading and spelling. I’m so happy for her, she has so much confidence now. My younger daughter loves it too, especially Ziggy!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
We are ecstatic to hear that your daughter has gone from tears to wanting to do reading with AAR. Thank you for sharing this.

Becki

says:

We’re waiting for that breakthrough moment with our 7 year old. We have taken level 1 slowly and started over twice. He is slowly making progress, but hasn’t had that “ah ha” moment yet. We’re very much looking forward to it!

Also, how do you teach reading to a child who is barely verbal? We are looking at a possible apraxia diagnosis. We’re not anywhere close to being ready to takle reading, just trying to get ideas for the future.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Becki,
I am pleased to hear that your 7-year-old is slowly making progress, but if you have questions or concerns about how he is doing please ask us. We can provide help and insight. We are available here on our blog, on our Facebook page, by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, and by phone at 715-477-1976.

As for your child that is not anywhere close to tackling reading, we had another inquiry about using our Pre-reading program with a child who has apraxia, so maybe this will be helpful. Here is what Marie had to say:

“First of all, I totally appreciate your desire to make your son feel good about his speech. This is so important. My son had Tourette’s Syndrome with repetitive speech and involuntary motor movements, including head and eye tics, and at the time it was important that we communicate with him without making constant corrections. My husband’s sister had adult verbal apraxia due to a stroke, so I understand some of the challenges and patience required.

I tutored one child who had childhood verbal apraxia, and here are some observations and ideas:

The child I tutored had regular sessions with an SLP (speech-language pathologist). His daily homework consisted of building vocal motor skills, with much repetition on specific sound combinations (including rhyming words) and mouth motor skills. All About Reading Pre-reading includes rhyming skills (recognizing rhyme, repeating rhyme, and producing rhyme), so that may be beneficial for your son. If your son is not yet able to produce rhyme, the work on recognizing rhyme is still very beneficial.

For young children with any disability, teaching time woven into playful activities is very motivational. One of my main goals with our Pre-reading program is to motivate children to want to learn to read, and playful activities is a big part of that. When I observed the SLP work with the child with apraxia, she incorporated playful activities into therapy time.

Apraxic children have to work harder than other children to communicate, and perhaps Ziggy would provide a reason for your son to make the extra effort. It is generally easier for people with apraxia to imitate speech than to come up with words to say. In other words, if you ask the child to repeat after you, it is easier for him to produce the words. With a bit of tweaking to the lessons, I think that Ziggy could be a good model for the child to imitate.”

I hope this gives you some idea on how to begin with your barely verbal child. Please let us know if you have further questions, and let us know how things continue to go with your 7-year-old.

stacey

says:

So encouraging! My daughter is making progress, but sometimes not as quickly as I would like. What a good reminder that they all learn at their own passe and we need to be patient while waiting for the breakthrough.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stacey,
Yes, it can be frustrating when your student is moving slowly, but it is best to go at your student’s unique pace. It will pay off.

However, if you have concerns or need help, just ask. We are available for you here, on Facebook, by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, and by phone at 715-477-1976.

Dlayni

says:

Can any of this program help my child who has Auditory Processing Disorder and Dysgraphia?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Dlayni,
Yes. Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is a proven method for helping students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the author’s story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out (they were told he would never read). Quite amazing!

We have a blog posts about Auditory Processing Disorder and about Dysgraphia that discuss how our programs can help.

Here are some ways that All About Reading can help kids with learning difficulties:

– Each lesson time is simple and explicit, and will include 3 simple steps: review of what was learned the day before, a simple new teaching, and a short practice of that new teaching.

– Incremental lessons. AAR breaks every teaching down into its most basic steps and then teaches the lessons in a logical order, carrying the students from one concept or skill to the next. Each step builds on the one the student has already mastered.

– AAR is multisensory. Research has shown that when a child is taught through all three pathways at the same time, a method known as simultaneous multisensory instruction, he will learn significantly more than when taught only through his strongest pathway.

– AAR uses specially color-coded letter tiles. Working with the All About Reading letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

– AAR is scripted, so you can concentrate on your child. The script is very clear, without excess verbiage.

– AAR has built-in review in every lesson. Children with learning difficulties generally need lots of review in order to retain concepts. With AAR, your child will have a Reading Review Box so you can customize the review. This way, you can concentrate on just the things that your child needs help with, with no time wasted on reviewing things that your child already knows.

– AAR has lots of fluency practice. One of the things that Marie noticed when she was researching reading programs is that few programs have enough review built in for kids who struggle to gain fluency. AAR has fluency sheets or a story to be read with every lesson, so children can practice reading smoothly with expression and confidence.

All About Reading has a one-year guarantee. You can try it, and if for any reason you feel that it isn’t the right match for your child, return it for a full refund.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Celeste Battig

says:

I realized my middle daughter was a visual learner and that has helped immensely to help her succeed with the right curriculum in place.

Calista Smith

says:

I love your programs! My children enjoy doing All About Spelling together, and my youngest daughter loves All About Reading. If only I had found them sooner!!

Anastasia

says:

Thank you for sharing your story! I ‘m at the start to teach reading to my second daughter and she doesn’t catch it so fast. Your story helps me to calm down.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anastasia,
I’m glad this blog post has helped you to be more calm about your daughter’s need to learn more slowly. Many children need to learn to read at a slow and steady pace.

Tiphanie Duffy

says:

Thank you for this!! I have 6yr old twins that I’m homeschooling and they are at Kinder level; then K/1 level and it’s hard for me to sometimes want to get in the way of “their process”, because really, I know “we” should be further along than we are. So, this blog was just what I needed “to read”!! 😉😉

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tiphanie,
While we are often hearing of young children that are reading chapter books by the stacks, most children actually learn to read in a slow and steady pace. It sounds like you and your children are just where you “should” be.

However, if you have concerns do let us know. We can help.

Michelle

says:

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I have a seven year old who is a reluctant reader as well. He struggles with focus and confidence. I’m going to give this program a try. I think it’s the Reading component that’s missing from our homeschool program. What I use now, just isn’t working for my son. Looking forward to a similar outcome!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
I’m glad this blog post has been helpful and encouraging to you. Please let us know if you have any questions, or need help with placement or anything else.

Dana

says:

Thank you so much for sharing this video and your success!!! This is very encouraging when I start to feel like panicking!!! Slow and steady and patient wins the race!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Dana,
Don’t panic! Please, if you feel at the edge of panic, contact us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or at 715-477-1976. We can help, and many of us have first hand experience with teaching struggling learners how to read and spelling.

Christina

says:

Ready for AAR level 3!!! Slow and steady wins the race has been how most of this has gone. We took a break from AAS to focus purely on the reading and will go back to the level we r on for AAS to focus on that. You will find what works!!!

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