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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.

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 Leisa Heppelmann.

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

Here’s Leisa:

I want to share an incredible moment that happened with Alyssa, my seven-year-old daughter. Alyssa 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 Alyssa 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.

Alyssa 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

Alyssa 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 Alyssa’s realization 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. Alyssa 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 Leisa approached her daughter’s situation:

  • Leisa didn’t push Alyssa 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. Leisa didn’t force Alyssa 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 Leisa has used with Alyssa

Additional Resources

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

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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!

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!!!

Hannah Klement

says:

Would love to win this!

Kim Fielding

says:

I was having similar problems with my son moaning and groaning when reading lessons came around. He flew through level 1 so we kept that pace for level 2 which is challenging for him. I cut down our lesson time 20 min to 10-15 and that had helped. He groans a little less now, knowing the lesson will be short. Taking a much slower pace is not my style but it is helping my son be less frustrated.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kim,
What a great teacher you are to adapt the lessons to your student’s unique needs!

Lydia

says:

Looking forward to getting my son started with AAR.

Rebekah

says:

Really excited to try this program out. After my first 2 daughters picked up reading really quickly it’s been very frustrating for my youngest daughter who hasn’t had her ‘I get it’ moment yet. Hopefully this will help us fill in the missing pieces.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rebekah,
Please let us know if you have any questions, or if we can with placement or anything else.

Daphnie

says:

My 5 year-old daughter has taken off with AAR Level 1. She went from hating to be read to and would scribble and tear the pages out of her books, to now being one of the best young patrons of our local library. I tried numerous curricula and none of them hit the mark until now. My only regret is that I did not purchase AAR sooner.

Jenny

says:

LOVE this! We had the “aha” moment with our son late last year (I had started wondering if I was just bad at teaching a child to read before it finally ‘clicked’ for him). Since then I’ve been W…A…I…T…I…N…G for my daughter to finally take off. She’s starting to be less choppy and this post has reminded me to continue with the patience. She’s going to get there. She’ll have her “moment” and it’ll be worth the wait and patience.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great attitude, Jenny. She will get there!

Holly

says:

One idea that helped my son who initially was a slow, distracted reader was smarties. :) Every page he read when it was a story lesson resulted in a smartie. The next day, we read the same story again to help with fluency, but I gave a smartie for every two pages read. He is now a voracious reader, reading chapter books (as a 6-year old!)! Now the 4-year old loves the story lessons too, especially when smarties are involved! 😊

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Holly,
That’s a smart idea! 😉 Thank you for sharing it.

Jeanne Marie Crall

says:

My only regret is that I wish I had found this curriculum years ago!

Jocelyn Wofford

says:

I tried so many thing until I was blessed to find AAR. It was what my daughter needed. We have taken things very slowly. If she were not homeschooled she would be behind, she would be struggling. But it was her pace with this amazing program and one day it just clicked!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jocelyn,
I’m glad to hear that things have clicked for your daughter. Thank you.

Thelma H.

says:

Pushing got us nowhere. We progressed through level 1 very slowly but a few months ago things clicked and my daughter now reads on her own in her spare time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thelma,
It’s great when things “click” together and a child takes off in reading. Thanks for sharing your daughter’s story with us.

Tracy M

says:

My son is excited to learn!

Cassandra Hopkins

says:

I love being able to work at each child’s pace.

Elizabeth

says:

I have a doodler, too!😊 Great story!

Shari

says:

I so agree. Sadly I didn’t find this program until the sixth child! Thank you!

Elizabeth

says:

What an inspiring story! Patience is key (and hard)! Thank you for sharing!

Christine

says:

Love this story! Way to go Alyssa and Mama! It is so great to see what our little’s will do when they see the fun in it and the courage they gain instead of just seeing something as a task on a list of to do’s! Lighting a spark <3

Kimber Younker

says:

I love this story! Way to go Alyssa!

Samantha f.

says:

I have to set a 20 minute timer and no matter where we are we stop the lesson. At first I felt like we had to finish a lesson, no matter how long it took but that didn’t work for us.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
The timer is a great tool for keeping lessons short and moving right along!

Amabda

says:

Thank you, for sharing! Very encouraging.

Kelsey

says:

My child was having vision problems. Got her some glasses and she is good to go!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kelsey,
Thank you for the reminder about the importance of having our children’s vision checked!

Rosemarie

says:

Thank you for sharing your story. Very encouraging!

Leslie

says:

Still waiting on “the breakthrough” for my 8-year-old. He is definitely making progress, but he has to work so hard at it. Which I suppose is not a bad lesson to learn. Working hard for what you want to achieve.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Definitely, Leslie! There is much to learn from working hard to achieve something, and the lessons learned from that that can be applied to many other aspects of life.

Andrea Wolfe

says:

Great Advice !

Lauren

says:

I can relate to you. My son is seven and we have been having the hardest time getting him to read. I have tried almost every program out to get him to but to no avail it was not working. Until I found this program. He is starting to read he is fully ingaed and loves it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Lauren, for letting us know that All About Reading has made such a difference for your son.

Angelique

says:

My almost 9 yo son started AAR about 3 yrs ago. Progress has been super slow as he still decodes almost every word. However he recently started taking interest in reading signs and proudly runs to show me long words he’s decoded on his own. Breakthrough moments are such a relief, thanks for sharing this encouraging post!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Angelique,
I’m glad to hear that you have had some breakthrough moments with your son. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help.

Ellen P

says:

What a great story! My son hasn’t shown interest in learning to read yet (he’s 5.5) so I’m trying to wait patiently for him to be ready and motivated before we start.

Jori wachowiak

says:

That’s great advice, as I’m going to be teaching my son to read soon.

Gifton

says:

Love this! AAR has really helped my reluctant reader!

Claudia

says:

Thank you for this!
I believe ‘perseverance’ is a key word when teaching our kids. With a good program, our kids will progress little by little, almost unnoticeable.
My son has dyslexic tendencies. We’ve used AAS for 4 years (and AAR for 2 yrs.), and he is reading confidently now. He is now in 4th grade and is working on his reading comprehension like a boss. :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Claudia,
Thank you for reminding us that sometimes progress is slow, and may seem unnoticeable. We discuss looking back to where the student was before as a better measurement of progress than comparison to some ideal in our article Avoiding the “Big Pit”.

Kaci

says:

This is great! I have to admit that I sometimes fall into this trap of pushing my daughter too much and this article is encouraging to sit back and relax

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kaci,
It is an easy trap to fall into, wanting to move on. It’s so easy that sometimes the children themselves will want to push on to finish even when it’s not in their own best interest. It is better to step back when frustration or tiredness starts.

Melissa

says:

Love to see that smile of accomplishment!

Christine

says:

Thank you for this very encouraging article! My son is 10 and still struggling to read. He has long lost confidence, but is still progressing slowly all the time. All About Spelling/Reading have been a great help as they’re very thorough, step by step. I’m still waiting for the breakthrough moment with my son, but am confident he will succeed with your excellent curriculum.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
I’m so sorry to hear that your son has lost confidence with reading. Please let us know about how he is doing and any specific concerns or questions you may have.

Kristeb

says:

I’ve heard great things about this program!

kate craig

says:

Hi, my 8 year old son struggles with reading and writing. I would really like to try AAR. We are in Australia so its expensive with the exchange rate and postage.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kate,
We have an Australia distributor, Educational Warehouse. The exchange rate still comes into play, but it ought to save you on postage.

Liz

says:

Thank you for sharing this! I can see where letting the child take some time to really understand their learning is helpful!

Jenn A

says:

Thanks for the ideas and resources – I have research to do! I think my child would definitely benefit from this approach.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Please let us know if you have any questions, Jenn. We love questions!

SarahSa

says:

Sounds like an awesome product! Would love to try with my boys :)

Erin

says:

WE LOVE AAR! When my son started 3rd grade he was at a kindergarten reading level. He has epilepsy, but we had just found out that he also had cognitive delays, and I have since figured out he has an undiagnosed auditory processing disorder. AAR was AWESOME for him. The hard part was that he had 3 years of language arts/reading BEFORE we started this, so we had to unlearn the stuff that wasn’t taught right and try to get him to stop guessing words. He’s now in 4th grade and working on AAR level 2. The lessons are getting harder and there are more rules and phonograms he’ll need to remember, but his reading is amazing compared to what it was and what it would be had we not used AAR! **Also, he’s fidgety and likes to doodle on his workbooks. When he’s reading a story now, I’ve noticed he always plays with my wedding ring while he’s reading. I think it’s important to put something in their hands or let them play with sometime because it really does help them focus.**

Little brother is in kindergarten this year and using level 1. When we do a lesson, we usually do half of the fluency words/phrases/sentences and leave the other half for the next day. There are a LOT of sounds learned early on in level 1 so I think the extra day gives his brain a good chance to really let the lessons sink in.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great points, Erin! Having something to fiddle with is important for a lot of learners. My oldest is 20 now, in his second year of college, and he STILL needs to play with something while studying in order to help himself focus. A selection of his Lego collection was the first thing he packed before leaving for college!

Lacy van Vuuren

says:

Yes! My 6 1/2 year old is a good reader, and learned without much trouble. Lately she has started reading easy chapter books (Sheltie in Danger, among others), but she worries her bookmark to death during a book!

Melonie

says:

We’re on AAS levels 3 and 5 with older sons and thinking of starting AAR with special needs 5yo daughter soon! This blog post was very encouraging!

Wanda Brown

says:

Currently using AAS with my 8 year old and excited to start AAR soon with my son in preK!

Crystal

says:

My daughter has strabismus (both eyes turn in). She is 5 and we have been taking reading and writing slow in anticipation of her eye surgery which was today! It went well and I can’t wait to start AAR 1 with her when she is feeling better.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
I hope your daughter is feeling better already, and continues to heal quickly and well. Poor little one!

Amanda

says:

This looks like a great program. I can’t wait to start the pre-reading level with my three year old.

jennifer

says:

We love the All About Reading programs ! I
can’t wait to start spelling.

Leslie Kwait

says:

We love AAS and AAR. It only took a few lessons and my daughter gained confidence and started reading. Of all the subject we study, she begs to do Blast off to reading exercised!

Amy

says:

Waiting for our breakthrough moment with my daughter. Good reminder to break it down into segments. Getting eyes tested this week to see if that could be part of the problem.

Marlea

says:

I love the reminders (in the AAR teacher book) to not push to complete an entire lesson in one sitting if the child is getting fatigued.

Sydney

says:

Thank you for sharing! We have been homeschooling for just over a year now and reading comprehension, fluency and being willing to sound out certain words with out fighting back (I think she feels less smart if she has to actually sound out something out loud) are our struggles. I have heard great things about AAR, it’s always nice to read more success stories about it!

Alex fisher

says:

Love this article. This is our 2nd year homeschooling but have quickly found that if something feels forced or frustrating for either of us that that is a cue to set is aside and come back to it later. Sometimes that’s an hour break, other times we need to wait and revisit the material again in a week. Sometimes waiting can make all the difference.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alex,
Great point about if something feels forced or frustrating! Thank you.

M. Cagle

says:

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas!

Stacy

says:

Great tips!

Sarrah

says:

Thanks for these tips! My 5 year old has a severe speech delay so his teacher said it is making reading extremely difficult for him since he can’t not sound out letters and words. I’m excited to try some reading exercises.

Leisa H

says:

Sarrah, my five year old has a severe speech delay too! He’s had a lot of speech therapy but when it came to reading I quickly realized we were facing new challenges. I actually ended up using his All About Reading lessons as speech practice as well! It has been so good for him because he’s getting a chance to isolate sounds and at the same time see how they work together with other sounds in a word. His speech improved by leaps and bounds in direct relation to his AAR lessons. That is yet another reason I love this program. It is designed in such a way that you can easily adapt it to each child’s specific needs.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarrah,
Please let us know if you have any questions along the way or if we can help in any way.

Brittany

says:

Thanks for these tips!

Karen

says:

Every kid seems to be different but it’s great to have a wonderful curriculum like AAR to make it fun for them and help us teach our kids!

Bd

says:

My son is a guesser! We ❤️ aar!

My son was not making much progress with spelling, and after trying 2 other programs, we gave AAS a try. Now I am using it with both of my school age sons and they are both loving it and doing very well. When I became concerned that our reading curriculum was not working for us, we switched to AAR, and, of course, it is just as good as AAS. My children love these programs and look forward to them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Aimee,
It’s great to hear that AAS and AAR have worked well for your family! Thank you.

Chassidy

says:

We love All About Reading!! My daughter (7years) looks forward to AAR3 and AAS everyday!

Stephanie

says:

I love your story and your transparency. We all get frustrated at times, especially when encouraging our child to master something that comes so easy to us, or to our other little ones. How wonderful you let her take control of her reading and learning. If you hadn’t, she may not have made the progress she has! Way to go, mom!

Leisa H

says:

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Stephanie! I think we often put so much pressure on ourselves to perform to certain standards that we fail to appreciate the beauty of our child’s unique abilities and pace. Sometimes, one of the best things we can say to each other is “I struggle too”. I’m so glad my daughter persevered through my stubbornness while I came around!

Elizabeth Reyes

says:

We love All About Reading!! My 4-year old is reading 5-letter words, nearing the end of Level One.

Heidi

says:

We love AAR!!

Shelley

says:

I love when it clicks for my boy!

Hélène

says:

I didnt read this but just the title made me want to say, nay, shout…Yes! Waiting, just plain ole waiting, sometimes works well! My LD daughter seems to do so well, when we just stooooop. We just dont do it, be it math, or spelling, or whatever, for a few days or even weeks. Her brain somehow adjusts (I fret the whole time, silently…yes) and then we just start again where we left off, no discussion about how we stopped and CLICK. Now she can do it. It astounds me every stinkin time. Her anxiety may play a part so she needs to completely decompress. She only gets anxious with academics. But when shes not wound tightly anymore, well gee Mom, I did it. And she brings her book to me to check. :)
I call it a Hemispheric Integration Period. Sounds super fancy, huh. ;)

Hélène

says:

I just read this article and wow, the patience of Job that mom has. Good for her! Its so hard to teach a non neurotypical child after decades of only neurotypical, even gifted, children. They usually know what they need to do to get it in their brains, even if its not a conscious knowing. So hard for the parent…

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, Hélène. It is yet another example of how focusing on your own unique student and working with what he or she needs provides the best progress possible!

Mia

says:

We haven’t really had a breakthrough like this but have made good (albeit slower than I might prefer) progress. Maybe our breakthrough is still coming but either way, I think aar has been a good curriculum for us.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mia,
Some children don’t have a “breakthrough” moment, like Alyssa did, but rather learn at a steady pace throughout the All About Reading levels. The result is the same (strong, confident readers), but it looks different for different children.

Rachel

says:

I’m excited to continue to AAR next year. We have the pre-reading and love it!

Amber

says:

That’s so great! I’m excited to start AAR with my first grader next year! I’ve been eyeing the pre-reader curriculum for my preschooler.

M Walls

says:

Great story. I am realizing that I,too, need to give my little guy time and patience.

Anna

says:

I love this! I have learned my daughter needs certain freedoms and to not be pushed to fast. I have had to pay close attention to her “triggers” which is usually tiredness whether that means she needs a break or needs more sleep at night. We have adjusted and I am happy to say that she is thriving and really is loving reading!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anna,
Thank you for pointing out the need to closely observe our children in order to find how to best help them. A tired student cannot learn as well as a fresh one!

Layce

says:

We are finishing the pre-reading program and look forward to Level one. We are really enjoying it, and I expect my girls to take off with reading like Alyssa did! So exciting!

Michele

says:

Good blog post!

Bethel

says:

I love when the reading finally clicks with a child. That definitely happened this year for my first grader who is now reading in the 3rd level reader. :) You go, Girl!

Ruth Ann

says:

What a precious smile. Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

Mandy

says:

My first 2 children did not “get” reading. I tried multiple curriculum and multiple techniques. Once we started using AAR my oldest finally GOT it at the age of 9 and she now reads chapter books all the time and LOVES to read! My 2nd oldest is still getting there but I know we’ll see a breakthrough soon!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mandy,
Thank you for sharing this, and we are so happy to hear that your older child has taken off and now loves to read!

Sara

says:

We love AAR!!! My 9yr had his lightbulb moment this past month the and is able to read almost anything! He just started level 3

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sara,
Hooray for lightbulb moments!

Ashley

says:

We have been lucky so far to have quick readers, but you never know what the next 2 will be like. I’m glad to see a testimonial that shows waiting on the child is beneifcial.

Leisa H

says:

My oldest (Alyssa’s older brother) was a quick reader, too. He used All About Reading as well, but with him I basically opened the package, started the lessons and within a week we were doing 3 or 4 lessons PER DAY with ease. Then came my sweet girl. We were getting in one lesson per week if that. They both succeeded but the “getting there” looked very different for each of them. After a shift in my expectations and a willingness to be patient, off she went!

Brittany Adams

says:

This is very similar to my daughter she has been frustrated with fluency so we slowed down and she started coloring her fluency sheets and it has worked out great for her!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brittany,
It seems there is a fair amount of “colorful” learners out there!

Amy

says:

My son is a reluctant reader and we are doing many of these things too. It is slow going but inspirational that it will all work out.

Leisa H

says:

Some days it is so hard to believe progress is being made because we can’t necessarily see it yet. Then, one day, it all comes together. I think my biggest lesson was to trust the process and my child, even if it was painfully slow. It is so exciting when they finally “get it”.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Many children do need to learn to read at a slow pace, but it does work out. However, if you have any concerns or questions, please let us know. We are here to support you.

Mindy

says:

AAR has helped my daughter so much!! This is a fabulous program that I will be using again with my youngest child!

Suzanne w.

says:

This is great!

Shawnna

says:

We absolutely love this program.

Andrea

says:

This is an amazing example of how wonderful AAR is! We switched to AAR in the first grade. Our son is now in third grade and flourishing with AAR, as well as our first grade daughter. We love this program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Awww, thank you, Andrea!

Elissa H

says:

Thanks for sharing, it was informative.

These are all good things to look out for!

Laurie

says:

Can’t wait to start using it!

Samantha

says:

My youngest has not had the “reading click” yet. But when we discovered he needed glasses it helped tremendously with his reading. Just working on his comprehension and overall reading now

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Samantha,
Thank you for reminding us to get our students’ eyes checked! An undiagnosed vision problem can be the cause, or part of the cause, of reading difficulties.

Denise

says:

After teaching two sons who took to reading quickly and easily, my third son was a much more reluctant reader. I had to adjust my expectations and learn to adjust our pace and methods to accommodate his unique learning style. It took a lot of patience, but things eventually clicked for him and he caught up quickly after that.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your third son’s story, Denise. I’m sure this will be encouraging to others!

B

says:

I just started AAR Level 1 with my 5-year-old. She asked to do a lesson on a Saturday! After putting her off several times that day, we sat down that evening for about 10 minutes and worked on part of Lesson 3, and she was happy with that. She does not like to do handwriting but I tie it back to reading and it encourages her to do her handwriting. I am looking forward to starting AAS with her after we’ve completed AAR Level 1!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I love hearing how children beg to do their reading or spelling lesson even when they don’t have to do it! It makes me smile every time. Thank you.

Katrina G

says:

My daughter is a word guesser. I find it very frustrating especially when she knows the word but would rather guess than look at the word. I can’t wait for her to have reading click!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katrina,
Have you seen our Break the “Word Guessing” Habit blog post? It is a hard habit to break, but little things can help. One idea is to have your daughter touch the word before reading it (or if she is reading pretty well but guesses occasionally, have her touch the word after a guess). The act of putting a finger on the word is often enough to make a child actually see the word to read it.

Heather

says:

My six year old won’t do anything if she doesn’t think she came up with the idea. The fun activities in AAS 2 keep her engaged and excited with little fight. She even asks to repeat old activities. We still have days where she doesn’t want to read but I am seeing her electively pick out books off the shelf to read by herself. That is pretty amazing for sure.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
As a mom of a couple strong willed children, I commiserate with you. These kids keep us on our toes, but you just know they will go boldly into life!

Rachel Neufeld

says:

My oldest is a reluctant reader. We had to go very slow for him. The best thing we did was to stop all lessons for a few weeks and cuddle on the couch while we buddy read through the reader books. We would read each story together 2-3 times before he read it on his own (not all in one sitting). His fluency and confidence took off after that. We are now on level 2 and he is flying through it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
Buddy reading is a powerful tool for building fluent and confident readers! It made a huge difference for my child too. Plus, it’s fun and makes reading a partnership. :D

Lauren Myers

says:

Love this!! Just what I needed to hear as I am trying to pull back on “helping” my son and letting him take the lead. Thanks for the encouragement!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
I’m glad you found this encouraging. Let us know if you have any concerns or questions as you move toward your son’s lead.

Jessica

says:

I’m so glad to have found all about reading, it’s helped my kids so much!

Marcee

says:

Thanks for the ideas!

Rachel

says:

wow …. its nice to read stories like this … having three boys myself I know all too well how different they can be! … so glad to have found AAR for my youngest tho!!

Shauna

says:

Love hearing others encouraging all about reading stories :)

Kasey

says:

What an encouraging story!

Kasey

says:

We have a doodle bug at our house also! Thank you AAR for the encouraging story!

Emma Dear

says:

Great story! Son1 is almost through Level 2, Son2 just started Level 1 this week and both have caught the reading bug! I recommend AAR to anyone who asks about teaching their child to read! :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Emma,
Personal recommendations are the best! Thank you.

Kelsy

says:

Love this! Letting kids learn in their own time is so important!

Kelly

says:

This gives me so much hope for my child!

Crystal

says:

My daughter had been convinced by her previous public school teachers that she couldn’t read books. I didn’t realize the damage they had done until a separate incident caused me to homeschool both of my children. I had little patience with her as I tried to help her read until I realized she doesn’t process things like I do. After trying several methods, I began using AAR and AAS. My daughter’s breakthrough moment came while she was working with me to read a book. She easily sounded out words she didn’t know, and had very little help from me. She finished reading, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I am really reading!”. She now looks forward to our lessons, and doesn’t see them as a chore.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
This almost made me cry! What a difference. Thank you for sharing this. I’ll be sharing this with the entire AALP team.

Jenny Meyer

says:

We love all about reading! My daughter is always so excited to do her work.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenny,
Having excited-to-learn students make your day so much easier.

Nicole B

says:

This is so inspiring! We just picked up the AAR for both my kindergartener and 2nd grader. I’m hoping to have one of these Ah-ha moments (hopefully soon for all our sanity)!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you do soon, Nicole. However, please let us know if you have any concerns. We are here to help.

Molly Meyer

says:

This is wonderful! I too have had reluctant readers but all about reading has helped us so much!!

Mam Butterfly

says:

This is so wonderful! I love AALP!

Meredith

says:

This is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for the reminder that each child has a different pace. AAR has been so helpful for us!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Meredith,
I’m glad this week’s blog post was encouraging to you. Let us know if you need anything.

Karen

says:

My 6 year old is a reluctant reader as well. Thank you for the reminder to have patience and trust the journey.

Holli

says:

AAR and AAS have been an answer to prayer after the diagnosis of our son’s dyslexia. We had just switched to both programs, before he began testing for learning disorders, because of their methodical teaching with very clear instruction for every step. Months later, after words like “Orton-Gillingham” entered our world, we learned that we were already doing exactly what we needed to be doing to help our son. He has improved in both reading and spelling by leaps and bounds this year!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Holli,
It’s great to hear that your son has improved in both reading and spelling this year! Keep up the great work.

Amanda

says:

This is excellent advice. I found that with steady practice and reassurance that my daughter too had a sudden moment where it all clicked. It’s great watching the switch turn on.

Trina King

says:

So encouraging!!

Melissa Matias

says:

I am using AAR with my second child now. And it’s amazing how each child learns so differently!

Kelly

says:

AAS is making a huge impact in my daughters spelling and reading! Thank you so much for such an awesome program!

Ariel

says:

I’ve heard such great things about your products I can’t wait to try them for my son this coming school year.

Katenia A

says:

Thank you for your post. Loved reading it.

Jennifer

says:

My daughter has always been a little on the “slow” side with reading, conventionally speaking. I’d love to try this with her!

Jessika beyer

says:

This gives me such hope! Thank you for sharing!

Bea

says:

I am going to be starting the spelling program with my kids who are all deaf or hard of hearing. Phonetic spelling for kids who cannot hear all the sounds pretty much is asking for trouble!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bea,
Let us know if you need any help or have any questions. We have had good reports from those using All About Spelling with students that are hearing impaired.

Cathy

says:

We love your programs. Thank you so much.

Karen

says:

AAR has been a huge help in our house too! My son is a struggling reader and lost his love of books because of it, but it’s great to see that love returning!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Karen,
I’m so pleased that AAR has helped your son start to love books again.

Deborah

says:

Love this! Such a great program.

Heather F

says:

I remember that frustration with my oldest. When they finally get it it is really amazing to see. My second child was almost born reading, so I never had that with her. My third child I’ve been very laid back and we have had very little frustration as well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
Children are so different in their learning. One of the reasons that All About Reading works so well is that it allows for each child’s unique learning needs. Because it was designed from the beginning to be used at whatever pace the child requires, it works equally well with struggling learners and gifted ones.

Nicolette MAXEY

says:

My 8 year old needs this. He has struggled with reading and is just starting to read simple cvc words. He has horrible hand writing and cries whenever its needed. OT says its his vistibular system that needs to be fixed.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicolette,
Do you have any questions, or do you need help with anything? Please let us know.

Tami Diggs

says:

My second son just Was. Not. Getting. It. So, we delayed. Then, all of a sudden he took off and could complete one lesson in a day instead of two weeks! He finished AAR2, so we are taking a short break before starting AAR3! ☺️

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tami,
We always take a short break between All About Reading or All About Spelling levels too. A week or so off is a reward for the hard work, and then they are ready to get back to at it.

Congratulations on finishing All About Reading 2!

Kate McKinney

says:

Love this!!! ❤️❤️❤️

Genia

says:

We’re still working toward a break through.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Genia,
I hope your breakthrough comes soon. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. We can help.

Shannon

says:

Great program

Brianne H.

says:

We are just at that breakthrough point with my son and it is amazing!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Congratulations, Brianne!

Dawn Sibley

says:

I would love to try this program with my struggling reader!

Shannon

says:

I just ordered all about Spelling to use with my 8 year old. He is doing well with feeding but is struggling with spelling. Next year I plan to use All About Reading with my preschoolers and 1st grader! Can’t wait!

Shannon

says:

Lol! Supposed to say reading, not feeding.

Jennifer

says:

I love how much this program has helped my daughter. She finished level 3 a few months ago. We are saving up for level 4.

Carol

says:

What a great story! They all definitely learn at their own pace. Waiting for that takeoff moment with our #5 … any day now!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Here’s hoping that breakthrough comes soon, Carol! However, if you have any concerns or questions, please let us know.

Laney

says:

We love all about reading and want try all about spelling.

Katherine Abbott

says:

It is hard to slow down the schedule, not feel like you are failing, and give more time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katherine,
Yes, it is hard to slow down, especially if your child is already “behind”. However, if the child needs that slow pace, then he will make more long term progress toward becoming a strong, confident reader by sticking to his needs.

I understand how it feels to go so slowly. My youngest child spent two calendar years on All About Reading 1, not finishing it with a good level of fluency until she was almost eight and a half years old. I kept reminding myself of a quote from Ann Gillingham, co-creator of the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching reading. She said, “Go as fast as you can, but as slow as you must.”

Hope K

says:

We started using AAR this school year and my daughter has gone from a non-reader to reading 2 grade level books! This program is so amazing at giving the child the right building blocks for reading and the confidence to the parent to teach their child to read. We love All About Learning and tell everyone about the program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Hope,
Thank you for sharing the amazing progress your daughter has had in such a short period of time! Great work, both of you!

Shelley

says:

This program is helping my son gain much needed confidence in his reading. Thank you!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Shelley. We love confident readers!

Jennifer

says:

I have told so many friends that sometimes all it takes is time and reading to them to develop the desire to want to read themselves!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Yes! We are strong proponents of reading aloud to children of all ages!

Erica

says:

We made the switch and could t be happier! He loves reading now!

Cher

says:

Truly, sometimes slow and steady wins the race. My eldest son was a very reluctant reader. I had to back off and eventually he got it.

Katie

says:

I find that a lot of times when my child is struggling in an area taking a break can do wonders.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katie,
Yes, taking a break can be helpful. I find it beneficial to take a break from whatever concept the child is struggling with, and spend time reviewing and build up previous skills. Then, in a few days or a week, the child is usually ready to tackle whatever was causing the struggle.

Anne

says:

I love usng All About Reading and Spelling!

Vanessa Rodriguez

says:

All About Reading is the only one that has worked with my daughter. Thank you!

Jaime

says:

Thank you for this article. My 7 year old has been progressing too slow for me too. I sometimes get frustrated to the point of giving up, but I haven’t. She would rather make up her own words for the story that read the words on the page. I kept pushing her along thinking that as long as she understood how to decode the words from the lesson that it was okay to move on to the next. That backfired on me and now we are having to basically start over and go at her pace. I am inspired by this story to keep on keeping on. I know we can do it. She is the second of our kids to use AAR and it worked wonders for the first one. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jaime,
My youngest child had to move through All About Reading 1 at a very slow pace. I, too, tried to move her forward faster but ended up having to go back. Her pace picked up a bit as we finally moved into AAR 2, and then again in AAR 3. It has been slow going, but the pay offs in her reading abilities and confidence has been worth it. Some children just require a slow and steady pace to make long term progress.

However, if you continue to be frustrated or if she starts to become frustrated, please let us know. We may be able to help.

Michelle

says:

Encouraging, thank you

Melanie

says:

My 6yo is making verrrry slow progress through level 1. We keep slowly plugging along. My oldest is dyslexic. I know that’s a possibility. But I also have another child that struggled until just after her 8th birthday when she finally took off. Time will tell.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melanie,
My child moved very slowly through All About Reading 1, but was able to pick up the pace somewhat in AAR 2 and now in AAR 3. It’s been lovely witnessing her move from struggling with even very beginner books to asking the librarian for recommendations for chapter book series to read!

Catherine

says:

Love this article! I found AAR thru my own research because I knew my oldest was a struggling reader….Now he reads soooooo much better. Still is not his favorite thing to do, but it gets easier every day. Thanks AALearning team!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Catherine. It’s so great to hear your student is reading so much better and that it is getting easier every day!

MamaGames

says:

It’s absolutely been night and day working with my two kids… turned out that my daughter had visual tracking issues, diagnosed just before she turned 6, that were making it hard for her to start to make progress with reading and spelling. Things are moving along better now that we are working on the tracking issue.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We are pleased to hear that addressing your child’s vision issues has helped her to move along more easily in reading. Thank you.

Blake

says:

Love this!

Vanessa Ast

says:

So far it has been going really well teaching my daughter to read but I have two more coming behind her and for some reason the task of teaching to read is daunting for me. Thank you for these tips and creating a program that helps the task of teaching to read so much easier!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Vanessa. Also remember that we are here to offer help and support along the way. We are available through email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, by phone at 715-477-1976, here on our blog, and also on our Facebook page. We want to make teaching your children to read as undaunting as we can.

Rachel

says:

This was a much needed post! We’ve been struggling with this in our house! Hopefully a breakthrough is just around the corner!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
I am sorry to hear that you are having struggles in your house. If they continue, or if frustration starts for either you or your child, please contact us. We can help.

Alicia

says:

Some kids just need more help

Bekah

says:

I love this, my 6 year old was having a lot of trouble with blends, so I backed off and we waited until he was six and a half to try again, he was still really struggling, so I said we will practice and stay put. A week later and he’s blending and so excited!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bekah,
It IS so exciting when you work, slow and steady, and then your child “gets” it and succeeds! It’s exciting for us because we want them to succeed so much, and we have seen them struggle. However, think of how much your child is learning from the process beyond just learning to read. He is learning to keep working at something that is difficult, little by little, and then success comes. This is a lesson that will help him throughout his life!

Cassie

says:

Thank you for this. Truly a kiss from God this morning. I was in tears last night as my incredibly bright and articulate 2nd grader STRUGGLED yet again with spelling, as it was a list from public school. So this was encouragement and makes me think we need to get back at AAS and AAR which worked so well when I homeschooled out of necessity last year .

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cassie,
Please let us know if you have any questions or need any help. We want to help you help end your child’s struggles.

Tony Kerr

says:

Thank you for the post, it is really encouraging and has been of further help in my decision to purchase the AAR pre-reading material to help our son with his reading and later I will purchase the spelling set as well.

Aimee

says:

What a precious testimony! It is so special when that “break-thru” moment comes. I have seen it when teaching my children, also. Some of them got it earlier and some much later. They are each so different. It just takes a lot of patience and perseverance on mom’s part!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Aimee,
I think being witness to so many more “break-throughs” is one of the best things about homeschooling!

Kathleen M Walker

says:

I am grateful for this testimony. I teach in a classroom, (kindergarten) since October … I have been waiting for a breakthrough. I do see it coming slowly, after this testimony, I see it coming closer than I could expect. Today was just a part of the breakthrough. True enough, you just have to step back allow the child(ren) time to figure it out on their own.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kathleen,
We are glad to know that this was encouraging to you.

DoRena

says:

This is very encouraging, thank you for sharing!

Abigail F

says:

One of my fellow students in a graduate seminar, years ago, always made sure that professors understood that her classtime doodling wasn’t inattention or rudeness, but a strategy she used to absorb and understand the class discussions more thoroughly. I learned a great deal about different learning styles that semester. In a typical class period, she would spend 15-20 minutes doodling, without looking up at the rest of us, then suddenly put down her pen, look up, and calmly contribute a different perspective on whatever we were discussing. She truly was paying complete attention to everything we were saying, and she knew who had said what, since she could tell everyone’s voices apart.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Abigail,
This is very interesting. I recently read about a student that took more “notes” in doodle or picture form than in words, and that it worked very well for her in studying. I don’t think it was the student you mention here, as what I read was about a younger student. Anyway, I find learning about how people learn fascinating.

Teresa

says:

Interesting how your right brain dominant daughter knew exactly what to do (adding cues and color) to make learning possible for her. Does she add color to math too?

Leisa H

says:

It has been fascinating to observe! She doesn’t color code her math work but she doodles all over it with her pencil. She decorates the numbers and draws them in scenes. It’s almost as if she’s giving them a personality or individual style. I’m still trying to figure our her process there. Thankfully, I now have a willingness to step back and let it be.

Rebekah

says:

Amazing testimony.

Deborah

says:

have been looking for a reading curriculum that lays a solid foundation

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deborah,
Please let us know if you have any questions about All About Reading.

kendra

says:

I’m currently using All About Spelling with my 1st grader and contemplating All About Reading. It was good to see how this family used the materials

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