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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 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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Shauna

says:

This fills me with so much hope and encouragement! All About Reading was recommended to me, and I’m excited to start with my reluctant reader. Thanks for sharing your success!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Shauna! Let me know if you have questions, need help with placement, or anything else.

N. W.

says:

I’m very excited to see how this curriculum will work for my little one who’s a reluctant reader. I can’t wait for my All About Reading order to arrive!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

If you have any questions or need anything, just ask. I’m here to help as much as you need for your little one to have success with reading!

Heather Gorman

says:

All of a sudden she get it! This is our second reading program and she cried through the first one. This program has helped my daughter excel in reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Heather! Wonderful! I’m so happy to hear that All About Reading is helping your daughter to lose the tears and excel in reading!

April Stutzman

says:

What a reminder that our children can show us what they need to learn if we can only slow down and let them! I really appreciate this post and needed the reminder myself. Thank you for sharing it!

Greta

says:

What a great reminder to let our kids lead! I know I need to remember this more often!!

Amanda

says:

I can’t believe I waited so long to try this curriculum! We are just finishing All About Spelling 1 and my son and I are already seeing a huge improvement in his spelling. Thank you for the breakthrough!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful to hear, Amanda. I’m so pleased that All About Spelling is helping your son to have a huge improvement in spelling!

MommyBoha

says:

Thanks for sharing this story! My now 8.5 year old is only just now reading fluently after one year of formal reading lessons. He enjoyed school work so I knew he didn’t have any disabilities but reading just didn’t click. I am so thankful for the many story and posts to back off and let children come to read in their own time. He adores reading now and tells everyone school is his favorite thing to do! ? We did not use AAR and I regret that now! I thought it was too much for me to teach (I have 4 younger children and hates programs that are too structured). But we are now on AAS Level 2 and LOVE it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing this, and I’m pleased to hear that All About Spelling is working so well for you.

Jennifer Brillhart

says:

This program looks great!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Jennifer!

EmilyD

says:

What an encouraging story! Lots of patience needed here during reading lessons but my kids are enjoying AAR and I know our breakthrough will come.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad this was encouraging for you, Emily. I’m pleased to hear that your kids are enjoying All About Reading, because enjoyment in learning is so important, especially when things are difficult!

Lyn

says:

We need a breakthrough for my little guy. He’s made progress, but it is extremely slow and that frustrates him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lyn,
We may be able to help with ideas or tips to help your guy. You can reach out to us by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or by phone at 715-477-1976. We’re here to help as much as you need for your child to have success, even if it is just helping him be more encouraged.

Nicole Fuller

says:

I need a breakthrough for my child. She’s not reading and I think that learning spelling will help her.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicole,
Sometimes working on spelling can be helpful for older students that have not had success with reading. We discuss that a bit in our The Right Time to Start Spelling Instruction blog post.

However, it is very important to work on reading as well. While learning spelling can help students with learning to sound out difficult words, spelling doesn’t include fluency and comprehension work needed for students to be able to read smoothly, quickly, and easily with full understanding.

Please let me know if you have questions about placement or anything else.

Christine Romero

says:

My son struggles with perfection. If it’s not perfect the first time, he just shuts down. Does this coarse assist in helping with this behavior?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
All About Reading and All About Spelling don’t have specific lessons on overcoming perfectionist tendencies, but rather they offer a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling that removes the frustrating guesswork that many approaches have.

As for how to assist with perfectionist shutting down, my oldest child was this way too so I understand. I know how hard that can be at times. See if your library has the book Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg. Or, if he is the type that will find more comfort in real-world examples, summarize this article for him, “9 Brilliant Inventions Made by Mistake.” Get him thinking about how mistakes can lead to wonderful things.

Then, discuss with him that you expect him to make mistakes. Why? Because if he got everything right the first time, then you would have nothing to teach him. When he makes mistakes, both you and he then know what it is he needs to learn better. When he does make a mistake, you can help by saying things like, “Oh, I’m glad you made that mistake so I can show you this,” before going over the rule or pattern. You can also tell him that mistakes help you to be a better teacher. Only when he doesn’t get everything correct will you know the things that you need to teach or review.

Encouraging him to be more moderate in his disappointment with mistakes and being willing to take risks is going to be a work spanning a long period of time. Try to react without disappointment as each mistake is made. Instead of “You read that wrong,” try “Let’s try this one again.” Pretty much the same thing, but it can impact a perfectionist child quite differently.

I hope this helps some.

Jamie

says:

My 7 year old has been struggling off and on with spelling as well as reading. Every now and then it seems like she is making progress but there have been lots of tears and struggles.

Trisha G

says:

I do need a breakthrough moment! My 10yo boy is very reluctant to read. He just feels like he can’t or that chapter books have too many words (20 minutes is 20 minutes no matter how many words there are, but try telling him that, lol), and writing is even worse. Even a sentence or two can bring on a full-blown panic attack. It’s very frustrating for me because I know he can do it! Now he needs to know that.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your boy is having such difficulties, Trisha! When reading is so hard that there is no enjoyment from it, pages full of words and not pictures can be scary and daunting. Only when reading becomes easy and comfortable will many students be willing to take on chapter books.

Here are some blog posts you may find helpful:
Signs of a Reading Problem
10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner
Dysgraphia: How can I help my child?

Please let me know if you have specific concerns or questions or need further help.

Sarita

says:

This was a much needed reminder to let them learn at their own pace and in the best way for them, not necessarily the way we want to teach. I find myself in that situation with my oldest son quite often.

Kim G.

says:

I am hoping to use your curriculum soon. This is our first year homeschooling and what we have been using isn’t working like I would like and for what I think my daughter needs. This curriculum has come highly recommend and I am excited to try it out! Just trying to learn a bit more about it and figure out where we need to start!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Do you have any questions or need help, Kim? Just let me know. We have placement tests to help you figure out where to start, but if you need further help with placement or anything else, I’m happy to help.

Shanon Meigel

says:

This story is almost as though we are talking about my youngest child. The struggle is real and it has been rough some days, especially during the first month. I still need help getting her past whatever it is she is struggling with.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shanon,
If you have questions or concerns you would like help with, please let me know or reach out to us through email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or by phone at 715-477-1976. Sometimes children just need to progress slowly and the breakthrough will come, but often we have tips, ideas, and suggestions to help you help your child. Let us know.

Deborah Vessels

says:

I have looked at many programs and have decided to use AAR and AAS. I wanted a good orton gillingham approach and this won me over. I would be so excited to win this giveaway

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Deborah! If you have any questions, need help with placement, or need anything else, just let me know.

Jonie

says:

I remember my daughter “hating reading”, these were her words. We did end up splitting up the lessons and finding other ways to review the words and she eventually just got it. We are now on Level 3 and have been back to doing one lesson a day for awhile now. We are working on suffixes and I really thought I would need to split up these lessons, but I did not need to.

Since about the middle of Level 2 she has just been reading on her own time. She picks up books and reads them with her breakfast and random other free play times. I really think that has boosted her confidence. When I was prepping for Level 3 and cutting everything out, she was over my shoulder reading the new word cards that I had not taught her. She was so excited!

Even though it was a slow start with my reader, this has been easily my favorite subject to teach her. I look forward to every day she learns something new.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story, Jonie! It’s heartwarming and very encouraging to hear of a child that declared she hates reading to shift to choosing to read during her free time. Keep up the wonderful work!

Amanda

says:

Wow! Great job! The smile at the end says it all :-)

Brooke

says:

Great resources! Thank you.

Sheila

says:

Hoping to try this with my 11 year old son. Trying to spark interest in reading and improve spelling. It’s always a struggle with him. Hope this helps

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let me know if you have any questions about placement or anything else, Sheila.

Danielle Guntle

says:

I need all the help I can get!!

Nicole

says:

It was lovely to hear of Olivia’s increase in confidence and skill.

Amber

says:

This is amazing, thank you for sharing. It’s helpful to have reminders that sometimes we need to step back and let our kids lead the way.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Amber. I’m glad this was a helpful reminder for you.

Emily Whalan

says:

Sounds so much like my daughter. Thank you for a thorough blog on this product.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Emily.

Haley

says:

This gives me hope that it will also click with my daughter! Thanks for the tips.

Sheryl

says:

I started using this with my older elementary dyslexic son last year. The method really works well for him and there is a ton of practice, which he needs. Progress is slower than I would like, but it is consistent progress. I am starting to see positive changes in his reading with the extra therapies I am doing. He is not laboring over each word as much and reading is getting easier. I am most thankful for the practice pages that have so much. It makes it easy to divide up or repeat over a few days. This gives him a solid understanding before we move on.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Sheryl! I’m so pleased to see that All About Reading is helping your son make consistent progress with reading! Thank you for sharing this.

Renee

says:

Wow! This is so inspirational! Patience is such a gift to have with others. Pulling back and giving space is so important. Thanks for sharing this story!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Renee. You are so right too!

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