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Decodable Books: Why They’re Important

Decodable Books: Why They’re Important - All About Reading

Some children seem to learn to read by osmosis; they just “get it” without having to learn the phonics code that makes sense of reading.

But learning to read isn’t always that simple.

Many children require a systematic approach to teaching reading that allows them to learn incrementally. And as children learn to read, decodable books become an important part of the learning process.

But now you’re probably asking a pretty important question.

What are decodable books?

Decodable books are books that contain only phonetic code that the student has already learned.

For example, a child at the beginning stages of reading who has learned the short vowel sounds could decode simple words like hat, bed, and pig, but would not be able to decode words like see and owl. A student at a higher reading level who has learned multi-letter phonograms like AI and OA would be able to decode more complex words like snail and goat.

When searching for books for your beginning reader, be aware that the term decodable books is often used incorrectly, particularly when it refers to texts in which only about half the words are decodable. Being able to decode only half the words in a book is very frustrating for most students, and does not support good reading habits. Truly decodable books are 100% decodable so the student is able to read every word.

Decodable Books - All About Reading

Why are decodable books so important for beginning readers?

When a child is expected to read books that are not decodable, he often becomes frustrated and starts guessing at words, thereby developing poor reading strategies. In the process, the child loses the direct connection between the phonics and word analysis skills he is learning and the actual text he is expected to read.

On the other hand, when a child reads a fully decodable book, he can use his knowledge of phonics and his word analysis skills to decode unfamiliar words. Because the child can figure out every word in the book, he feels successful, which in turn helps him build fluency and develop good reading strategies.

What is special about the decodable books in the All About Reading program?

Besides being 100% decodable, the stories in our reading program are designed to help students experience a real feeling of success and accomplishment. And that success sets in motion an upward spiral that results in even greater motivation to read.

Here are the features that make our decodable books so special:

The stories are engaging and entertaining. It’s a challenge to write engaging stories with controlled word lists, but the results are worth the effort! Each book contains a wide variety of story lines, subjects, and themes that capture children’s interest and give them lots of practice in reading words they have learned. Each short story helps kids expand both their minds and their reading ability.

Here’s an example of a Level 1 story from All About Reading.

Our stories use natural language. Most decodable books use stilted, unnatural language, mainly because authors find it difficult to create stories with controlled word lists. But those awkward sentences are hard for kids to read and comprehend, and may even turn some kids off of reading.

Kids shouldn’t have to suffer through the typical stilted language of most decodable text. If we wouldn’t want to read it, we shouldn’t expect kids to! That’s why we take such great care in crafting each story to ensure that it flows as easily and naturally as possible. Kids are delighted when they read these stories, and they want to come back for more.

Here’s an example of a Level 2 story from All About Reading.

The illustrations draw the child into the story. The right illustrations can go a long way toward enhancing a child’s motivation to read, and illustrations are an important part of our decodable books. Our illustrators create real personalities for each character so children can relate to them. Then they often add extra surprises and details to each scene for children to discover—and those discoveries delight the child and give him a sense of “owning” the story.

Here’s an example of a Level 3 story from All About Reading.

Since the controlled word lists may limit what we can write, the illustrations may also be called upon to “fill in the blanks” of the story. However, it’s important to note that while the illustrations enhance the story, they never “give away” the words—that is, readers cannot guess the words by looking at the illustrations. It’s vital for the child to decode each word rather than rely on the illustrations for clues, so the drawings don’t enable the reader to “predict” the words on the page.

Here’s an example of a Level 4 story from All About Reading.

The text and pages are formatted very intentionally. Our books contain four specific formatting features that make a difference in your child’s reading experience:

  • In the early levels, the text has intentional line breaks to encourage natural phrasing. The pages are formatted to allow beginning readers to read more smoothly and comprehend the text more easily. You have probably heard a child read a sentence choppily, like this:
    The. . .ten. . .kids. . .thank. . .the. . .king. . .for. . .the. . .gifts.
    With the line breaks and natural phrasing we use in our books, the child is encouraged to read one phrase at a time, like this:
    The ten kids
    thank the king
    for the gifts.
  • Subtle underlines in our Level 1 books help children with tracking issues follow the words across the page. The underlining goes unnoticed by children who don’t need it, but it is invaluable for those who do need it.
  • The Level 1 font was customized to be simple and clear. For example, the p’s are easily distinguished from the b’s and the q’s, which is important for beginning readers and dyslexic students.
  • Finally, our books are printed on non-glare paper specially chosen to be easy on children’s eyes. Small details like these make a big difference in the experience of a beginning reader.

Of course, students don’t read decodable books forever. But decodable books offer benefits that help beginning readers develop the skills and confidence they need to become strong readers. Soon enough, they’ll be able to read everything on the shelf!

Have you used decodable stories with your students?

Would you like to see more samples of our decodable books, as well as learn the “story behind the story”? Explore these other blog posts!

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Leave a Comment

Beth Morgan

says:

I’m in Australia and have 2 children with Dyslexia. Our school has only just been informed about Decodable readers. We too find it very hard to get or access these type of books at a reasonable cost. The quality of your books looks great and it’s wonderful to be able to access them with an iPad, Thankyou.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Beth,
We do have an Australian distributor that you can purchase from. Educational Warehouse.

Liz

says:

Truly decodable books are so important and so hard to find! I am excited that you have such quality ones available. I have searched high and low for them. I am thrilled to find these!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Liz,
We’re happy to hear you like our books and find them to be of quality!

Laura

says:

This is great advice and reading books that are not decidable has been a source of frustration for my 1st grader. Having two kids before her who learned to read quickly and without much of my help has left me with doubts about my abilities to help her learn phonics skills and apply those to reading stories. We are anxious to give AAR and AAS a try!

Paula

says:

We’re about halfway through AAR level 1, and my son loves the stories! It’s great to see him engage with the stories and the pictures, and his eagerness to see what happens next. I just wish there were more books out there like this. We’ve tried some BOB books, which are the most decodable series I’ve found besides this curriculum, but they seem to advance past my son’s level pretty quickly.

Sue Lewis

says:

My struggling reader loved Queen Bee! I use another curriculum at the moment, but I ordered Queen Bee because I wanted my son to have a book he would not have to struggle with words he could not decode. I ordered this for him to read a little each day on his own. Was I surprised when instead of reading the nine or ten pages I asked him to go read, he read the first two chapters! He said the illustrations drew him in. It was instantly his favorite book. Before he was half done he was already asking me to order the next one! Thank you for this great book.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sue,
It’s great your son enjoyed this book so much!

Sarah

says:

I love your decodable books! I wish it were easier to find other decodable books for practice while doing the different levels of AAR, though. I’d love for my 5-year-old to be able to take a pile of books to bed like her sister does and to be able to read through them. But because so many of the reading series out there either rely hugely on sight words or teach vowel combinations much earlier, she’s stuck on CVC books when she’s halfway through AAR2.

I wish you’d consider writing more decodable books that people could purchase as optional add-ons to the AAR levels, perhaps with shorter, simpler stories so they would be fun and quick reads!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
This is a great suggestion, and I will be passing it along. Thank you!

Melissa Hamilton

says:

My 4-1/2 year old son loves decodable books because HE can read them HIMSELF! The words are predictable, repeated and right at his level. The sentences may be highly structured and simple, but the illustrations add whimsy and excitement!

Mary

says:

Thanks for this! My son finished AAR level 2 months ago. He will turn 6 this week. Although he has no problem with any of the flash cards, his reading can sometimes be slow. He can read step 2 and usually step 3 books, but he reads so slowly that I have a question. Would it be better to stop, review level 2 by way of doing all the activities + sticking to easy level 1s? I figure this might build his confidence and encourage him. After I would move on to level 3. Do you recommend this approach?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Mary,
Yes, I would be inclined to recommend building up his fluency and ability to read smoothly at a normal speaking pace. AAR 3 stories are longer, and if he is reading so slowly it may become a struggle for him.

Reading builds fluency, so in addition to redoing the AAR 2 activities, also reread all the AAR 2 stories and redo the AAR 2 fluency pages.

I did something similar with my daughter, although she was struggling with smooth, fluent reading at the end of AAR 1. We went back and focused on the fluency pages and stories, and after a few months she was reading so much better and was ready for AAR 2. It was worthwhile for us.

Let us know if we can help in any way.

Tracy Hillwig

says:

I had a terrible experience with a reading program in which the “decodable books” were nonsense. The language was stilted and the stories all but incomprehensible because of the strange, forced word ordering. My son, then 6, could read the words but couldn’t figure out what was going on in the story. After initially being extremely motivated and excited to be reading like his older brother, he came to dread the daily drudgery of those books. His first experience with an AAR story was almost comical; he was so delighted and relieved to be able to comprehend what he was reading.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
Thank you for sharing this. It isn’t easy to write understandable, enjoyable, and 100% decodable stories. It is great to hear we hit the mark!

Kate Hall

says:

The decodable books are great, but I wish there were more stories for each level. We are stuck on the Robot story level and my son has read it so many times that he hates it now and refuses to read it. I wish there were some alternatives or suggested book lists that incorporated this level of reading, so he could practice more.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kate,
The story The Bad Robot is a difficult one for many students. Feel free to move on, but spend time reviewing the fluency pages from the lesson before The Bad Robot story.

Sadly, I do not know of other books that are a good match for exactly this level of reading. Most books that work with two syllable words like this, also have lots of words with more challenging vowel teams, like oi, ai, oo, ea, and such that AAR 2 hasn’t covered yet. You may consider helping your son use the word cards and words from the fluency sheet to write his own story. He could illustrate it too.

Monique

says:

I have been using AAR & AAS for 4 of my 7 children and I am very impressed. My 4th & 6th graders have improved on spelling, & my 5 yo is fresh & already reading successfully after 2 weeks!!! My question however is in regards to my 7 yo…on level 3 reading & still a little frustrated & slow when it comes to the reading sheets & stories. Lots of letter mix ups or combining letters from other words. Any suggestions? How do you know if your child has dyslexia?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Monique,
First, here is our Symptoms of Dyslexia Checklist.

Second, a 7 year old in Level 3 is doing well. Recall that at the end of Level 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though they may not yet know the meaning of all higher level words. (Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…)

It may be that you need to slow down your forward progress with your 7 year old and shore up his fluency for reading the sheets and stories. This blog post details how I spend 4 or more days on a single AAR lesson with my daughter. You can also build up your child’s fluency by having him reread a previous reader. You could spend half of your lesson time with new teaching and reviewing cards, and half of the lesson time rereading a previous reader to build up his ability to read smoothly and with good expression.

After this blog post was published, I gave up all forward progress with my daughter because of her struggles with fluency. She was still having to sound out every single word, even very simple ones from the beginning of AAR 1. So, we stopped AAR 2 and redid all of the AAR 1 stories, word cards, and fluency sheets. We spent about 5 months doing that, and then when we restarted AAR 2 from the beginning, she was doing so much better. It was time well spent, even though it means she is 8.5 years old and still in the first half of AAR 2.

I hope this helps some, Monique. Please let me know how I can help further.

Erika P

says:

Monique & Robin:

This thread has helped me a lot! I, too, have an 8-yr old who is still struggling with sounding out words and choppy reading. I was debating whether to move him forward in AAR2 or review some of AAR1 which he is almost finished with. I think we will work to finish out AAR1 and then spend the summer reviewing the fluency sheets and readers. That way he will hopefully be better prepared for attacking AAR2. Thanks for putting that info out there! My son gets frustrated very easily and goes to a very “angry place”, but usually if I make variation a key ingredient we make it through the lessons without it becoming drudgery.
Thanks again!

Millie N.

says:

After reading this post I believe I need to get some decodable books for my dyslexic son. I just need something to help him.

Julie Connors

says:

My 7 yr. old son made good progress with phonics and learning to read in kindergarten (he is homeschooled) and then last year he seemed to go backwards! I have been thinking about trying your program with him.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Julie,
Let us know if we can help with placement, or answer any questions or concerns.

CRYSTAL LADD

says:

Love AAS cant wait to try AAR with my preschooler!!

Jennifer Elkin

says:

As a homeschooling mom of a struggling reader, I am very impressed by your curriculum. It is reasonably priced, comprehensive, easy to follow and most importantly FUN for my daughter. I also appreciate the fact that you provide support if I were to ever need it. I genuinely cannot thank you enough!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Thank you. I’ll be sharing this with the AALP team!

Nicki B

says:

I love decodable books. It helps me realize why I was frustrated by Bob books. They weren’t decodable.

Jayne

says:

We are just about to start our home schooling journey and looking forward to beginning AAR 1. I think the decodable books are essential as my son really struggles with not knowing. I chose this programme as I believe it will gently support his confidence to learn. I think it will make him a very happy learner too!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I think so too, Jayne! If you ever have questions along the way, we’re here to help.

I’d like to say how much I appreciate the Decodable books in your program. Before we started All About Reading and Spelling, my children would get so frustrated with “beginner” books that had words and sounds that they had not learned. They could only read every other word or so. This was discouraging for them. Now they have confidence as they read. It truly is amazing what this program has done for our family.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad, Mandi, what wonderful news! Congratulations to you and your children!

Terry

says:

I love reading all the information you guys write about. So helpful and encouraging.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Terry,
I’m glad you find our posts helpful and encouraging, because that is exactly we we aim for!

Alicia

says:

The books look great. We have been using another program, but you may have convinced me to switch.

Katherine

says:

These books look great. I am currently teaching children #5 and #6 to read and I have found nothing more defeating or frustrating to most of my kids than picking up leveled readers full of words they cannot read. They find it so exciting to complete a story or book on their own!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Katherine,
Don’t you love that “I can read!” excitement? It makes it all worth it. :D

Amy

says:

Love the beautiful illustrations in these books. I have found decodable books to be absolutely vital to reading confidence and success!

Carla Jacques

says:

I love your decodable books. The stories and pictures are not “babyish” so my dyslexic children do not feel like they are having to read books written for younger children.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carla,
We love the illustrations! They are cute without being babyish and artistic while still staying cute. Such a hard balance to find in illustrations, and so well done by our wonderfully talented illustrators.

Megan Alshouse

says:

I want to try one of your programs for my boys, 9 and 5
Im a new homeschooler and money is so tight, but this program is one I believe that is well worth the cost!

Mary

says:

We are very excited to start AAR this year. My son has been struggling, and I think this is just what he needs.

Julia

says:

Also researching for homeschooling. My son struggles a lot with reading and I find this information very useful. Thanks!

Tracy

says:

Researching for homeschooling & found your method! Brilliant!

Gloria G.

says:

Wow! I never knew all about these important rules or ways of how to learn to read. Things like sight words, family words etc. I just remember knowing how to read but never knew that there was an actual method to my teachers’ madness. Glad I found all these great resources so I can teach my children! Thank you, I will have to try out these resources as I am new to all this.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Gloria,
What you described is not uncommon. Many children just seem to intuitively figure out the patterns and rules of English on a subconscious level. They pick it up they way children pick up walking, and talking, and other things. However, just as many children need to be explicitly taught the phonograms, patterns, rules, and more in order to become successful readers.

The good news, however, is that both types of children can learn from the same instruction. For the one group that needs the detailed teaching, they will be getting it. For the other, they can move faster, and still benefit from being taught the hows and whys of English.

Tauni

says:

I love the AAR books! It is so helpful to have decodable books for my boys to read after their lesson. It was so hard to find books for my older daughter when she was learning to read (not using AAR). Thank you for a wonderful program!!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tauni,
You are welcome, and thank you.

Laura

says:

My little girl got the biggest kick out of the short story “Jam”. We just started All About Reading level 1 and she is doing so well.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Laura,
This is great to hear! The stories just keep getting better and better.

Rebekah

says:

Are there any other children’s book series that you would recommend as decodable to go along with each level? My son is expressing interest in reading other books, but I want to set him up for success, not for frustration because he has already struggled to learn to read. Thanks!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Rebekah,
We don’t know of another set of readers that will correlate exactly with All About Reading, so you may have to teach some new patterns (or teach some words as sight words which they’ll later learn are not really sight words).

AAR 1:
BOB books, Sets 1 & 2

Sonlight’s Fun Tales (These and BOB books are the best match I have found for AAR 1.)

DK Flip the Page Rhyme and Read books: Pat the Cat, Jen the Hen, Mig the Pig, Tog the Dog, and Zug the Bug.

Usborne Very First Readers (http://www.usborne.com/veryfirstreading/)

Christian Liberty Press readers, (It Is Fun to Read, Pals and Pets)

I See Sam Readers (also available for iPad for free)

Fun Phonics–the first 3 books

http://www.progressivephonics.com – Free phonics books that can be read online or downloaded and used right away.

AAR 2:
All the AAR 1 list, plus:

High Noon Books Sound Out Chapter Books
The titles that start with Mr. Putter and Tabby. . . (after Level 2, with some help).
. . .Pick the Pears
. . .Paint the Porch
. . .Dance the Dance
. . .Spin the Yarn
. . .Stir the Soup
(and many more)

Christian Liberty Press has a set of 4 Phonics readers: It Is Fun To Read, Pals and Pets, A Time At Home, and It Is a Joy To Learn. Book 3 mainly uses concepts from AAR 2.

Sonlight Grade 1 and 2 Readers.

Henry and Mudge (a few concepts that are introduced in Level 3, but may be decodable by students who don’t struggle with reading–such as the /dge/ pattern)

Dr. Seuss books.

My Father’s Dragon trilogy–one mom said this was mostly decodable, some mastered words, some new words they’ll need help with after AAR 2. “When we came across a pattern that they didn’t know yet, I would give them the sound for that phonogram and then let them see if they could segment and blend the word. If not, I segmented to see if they could blend. Or, if I sensed they were near frustration, sometimes I just said the word so they could keep going.”

Now I’m Reading.

Bob Books (these start easy but the higher sets do use more advanced words. Older students may think they’re too childish however.) Levels 3, 4, and 5 include concepts mainly from levels 2-3 of AAR.

Fly Leaf, A Book to Remember has very nice pictures but can be expensive. You might check your library for these.

Fun Phonics might also be a possibility–the last 3 books include concepts mainly from AAR 2.

From EPS Books (http://www.epsbooks.com):
Primary Phonics Story Books
Spire Decodable Readers
The Alphabet Series

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/m#a5671 – the McGuffey Readers were used for YEARS from the mid-1800′s into the early 1900′s to teach reading. They are available here online for free in the public domain, but you can also find them in print.

http://www.webothread.com/webothread…ts/default.asp – These books are designed for the parent to read one page of more difficult text and the child reads the other page of easier text.

http://www.blendphonics.org – download the free book on Blend Phonics.

By the time they finish AAR 3, most children are reading elementary level chapter books or higher. At the end of AAR 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though they may not know the meaning of all higher level words yet. (Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…)

I hope this can give you some ideas. Let me know if I can help further.

Rebekah

says:

Wow! Thank you so much for all the ideas, Robin. My younger son is just starting AAR 1, while my 8 year old is working through AAR 2 and AAS 1. I will enjoy looking through all these choices. I actually have a set of McGuffy readers. I’ll have to start using them more often. :)

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, but we have compiled this list from moms like you sharing with us what they have found. So, if you find something I didn’t mention, please let us know!

Jennifer

says:

This is a great resource! Thank you for taking the time to write it up. I was also really happy to see Marie write about decodable readers. This is an excellent blog post. It took me several years and a lot of money to truly understand what decodable readers are and why they are so important. I had a lot of “unlearning” to do as a former public school teacher trained in “Balanced Literacy.” To top it off, as mentioned in the post, some self-described decodable readers are no such thing which can further confuse the matter. That makes your list of truly decodable readers all the more useful to AAR users and to me. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
You are welcome, and thank you for describing some of the issues people experience trying to find readers.

Lauren

says:

Just starting Level 1. Thankful to have found your program :)

Jen Steele

says:

Wow. I need to look in to this more. I had a struggling reader with my oldest. I really had a hard time figuring out how to help him. He reads well now, but my next one is starting to guess at words. This frustrates me to no end and I bet it does him too.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jen,
We have a blog post specifically about how to Break the “Word Guessing” Habit.

Megan Harrelson

says:

As someone with a background in the education field, it just makes sense to use books like these in the learning process for teaching reading. The last thing a teacher wants to do is make the reading process a burden on the child by using material that is going to cause them (the child) unnecessary frustration. Reading can be a challenging task so one does not need to make it feel impossible to be grasped by the child.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Megan,
I agree with you that it just makes sense, but, sadly, decodable books are rather hard to find. My local library doesn’t have any, not even BOB Books. We at All About Learning Press would love to see more publishers adding decodable books for young readers to the market.

Sarah Hibbard

says:

We absolutely adore All About Learning Products! My son who has had such trouble with letter inversion and handwriting has excelled under AAS/AAR! This company is truly a wonderful gift to homeschoolers and teachers alike. I also agree that I am brushing up on my own grammar and English rules and have learned so much during our homeschooling journey thus far.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
Thank you! I’m so glad that our products have been such a help to your son.

Nicole

says:

I love All About Spelling products for teaching the finer points of our language. As I teach my child I am learning the rules as well (as if I never knew them or probably forgot) and it is so exciting for me. I look forward to continuing through the levels.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Nicole,
I know what you mean! They say you learn things best when you teach others, and I completely believe it. I am so much better educated now that I have graduated my first.

Kelley

says:

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us! I am new to All About Learning
Press, and I have thoroughly enjoyed your website and information. ☺️

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Kelley. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

Karen

says:

Bob Books are great too!

Renae Redekopp

says:

How thoughtful! My 6 year old would love this!

Interested in trying the material !

Christianne

says:

We love your program! It has helped our son exand his reading ability and comfort level exponentially! We appreciate all the hard work and research that must have gone into this curriculum.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Christianne,
It is nice to be appreciated :D. Thank you.

Tina

says:

Yes, decodable books are a must at younger ages. It’s amazing to watch them become more confident in decoding more on their own as their skills develop!

Emily

says:

What a cool program!

raye

says:

I like the natural phrasing. Great approach.

Looks like a great program

Jennifer

says:

I have 4 children and would love to teach them to read with All about Spelling! I have heard wonderful things and enjoyed talking to the wonderful representative at the last Homeschooling conference!

Marisa

says:

Excited to start All About Reading!

Micha

says:

Love your program. It is great for my son. thank you!!!

nchoneybee

says:

We’re trying all about spelling for the first time this year. we used Bob books for decoding training, but these look great, too! Thanks for the post.

Dani

says:

I love McGuffey readers and Bob Books for this.

Laura L

says:

As an editor and homeschooling mom, I love the idea of decodable books. Thank you!!

Heather

says:

We used AAR Level 1 Last year and it was fantastic for my daughter with Visual Processing Disorder!!

Sherri

says:

Have never used this program, but I would love to!

Erin

says:

My daughter just finished AAR Level 1 and I was very impressed with the readers for the exact reason mentioned here. They are very readable and natural and don’t feel simplified, but at the same time they don’t present any words that she doesn’t have the skills to decode. For some reason, my daughter doesn’t share my enthusiasm, and I suspect it’s just because she’s not a big fan of having to work hard at something. Having the short little phonics readers with one short sentence per page is what keeps her motivated because she can finish one off quickly. But that’s just her personality. I love the AAR readers and we plan to use the program for my son when he’s ready as well. He already shows more persistence in his work and real satisfaction at completing something difficult, so I think it will be a good fit for him.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Erin,
It’s funny how kids take things differently. Thank you for sharing.

Tracy T

says:

I don’t currently have a child learning to read, but enjoy learning about new options available for homeschoolers. I like being able to share that information with families new to homeschooling or families who aren’t able to spend time researching.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
Thank you for your work helping other homeschoolers. Support is so important, and it takes a wonderful heart to be willing to give or your time to be that support.

Eddi

says:

We love All About Spelling! Would love to try All About Reading!

Kim

says:

This is a cool idea…might be good for my daughter.

Jori W

says:

These look gret!

tanya

says:

Very interesting! I have never thought about this before. Thanks for the information .

Brandie

says:

Your program looks wonderful, how much of a hassle is it to use AAR and AAS together?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Brandie,
Its not hassle at all. The two programs are designed to be used independently, so that the student can progress at his own pace in each. We recommend spending approximately 20 minutes a day in AAR and 15 to 20 minutes a day in AAS. This blog post shows how my co-worker, Jenny, teaches both AAR and AAS to her boys in one 35 minutes time slot.

sheris

says:

I found these books helpful and my daughter started to sound out words very fast however her attention span didn’t last with each lessons, I felt they were a little long, however you can alway move at HER NOT my own pace.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sheris,
All About Reading is designed to be used at the individual child’s pace. You do not need to complete an entire lesson in one day; some lessons may even take a week or more to cover.

Rather, we recommend spending about 20 minutes per day on reading, but you can adjust this up or down for early readers or for older remedial students. You’ll start each day by briefly reviewing some of the daily review cards, and then begin in the Teacher’s Manual wherever you left off previously. Some lessons may go quickly, and some may require more days. Work at your student’s pace and spend as many or as few days as your child needs on each lesson.

Mrs falls

says:

I ace never used this program but eager to try it

M Hemmeke

says:

I am so excited to start using these books, everyone just raves about how there kids love the books.

Maria Nelson

says:

These readers have been a great encouragement to my new reader. He’s able to practice decoding words and then we also talk about punctuation and grammar. He is excited to spot words in our read aloud time and he knows that his readers are readable.

Cheryn

says:

Interesting. Our 4y.o. keeps trying to read on his own encouraged by the birds he picks up from big sister’s lessons. Wonder if this concept would be more encouraging to him.

Karen

says:

Makes sense!

Vicki

says:

Thanks for the information.These sound great.

Pauline

says:

I teach first grade and I have all levels in my class. I use decodable books with all my students. If they are above the reading level then we use it to learn how to go back and find ‘evidence’ of ideas and answer questions. It is easier to teach this skill with short, simple books.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Pauline,
Thank you for sharing how you get even further use from these books. There are so many aspects of good reading.

Amy

says:

Getting this for my 5 year old. Looking forward to teaching him how to read!

Ruth Thompson

says:

These books are new to me. I have a 6 yr old who is doing well with learning to read. But I looked at one of your sample stories at Level 1, and was disappointed to see in it a group of words that looked like a sentence, but was not a complete sentence. Why did you decide to put things like that in the books?

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Ruth,

I wonder if what you are seeing is the emphasis on phrasing. Did you see this near the end of the article:

The text and pages are formatted very intentionally. Our books contain four specific formatting features that make a difference in your child’s reading experience:

In the early levels, the text has intentional line breaks to encourage natural phrasing. The pages are formatted to allow beginning readers to read more smoothly and comprehend the text more easily. You have probably heard a child read a sentence choppily, like this:

The. . .ten. . .kids. . .thank. . .the. . .king. . .for. . .the. . .gifts.
With the line breaks and natural phrasing we use in our books, the child is encouraged to read one phrase at a time, like this:

The ten kids

thank the king

for the gifts.

*****

The complete sentence is there, but it is broken up into phrases to teach kids this important reading skill.

However, if that’s not what you are referring to, please let me know which line from the sample story was of concern. Thanks!

I just got my all about reading program in the mail and I can’t wait to get started with my kids!!

Catherine

says:

Thank You for the helpful information. This really helps.

Julie B

says:

I’ve been recently eyeing your decodable readers, but I have to say that the number of editions has me a bit frustrated. Right now I have 1 child in AAS 2 and another in AAR-Pre. I had wanted to buy the level 2 readers as extra practice for my child currently using AAS2, but when I saw the frequency with which there are new AAR editions, I decided to hold off. My worry is that if I continue with AAR with my second child, the readers I bought for my first will be out of date and not compatible with the AAR2 materials that are for sale when my younger is ready for that level. While I appreciate your desire to keep improving, I have 4 children between the ages of 1 and 7 and it’s hard to invest in a program when I’m unsure how long compatible materials will be available.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Julie,
I completely understand what you are expressing. I am a homeschool mother of 5, with 10 years between the oldest and youngest, and too I plan homeschool curriculum purchases based on what will last through all my children.

The original readers were written two years before we had the full AAR Level 2 program. The main purpose for the old readers was to reinforce spelling concepts in a fun way. However, reading instruction follows a slightly different sequence than spelling, and we decided that rather than produce readers for each skill set, we would focus on optimizing the readers for the reading program.

For example, we introduce ED in All About Reading Level 2, but in AAS, we don’t introduce ED until Level 3. For reading purposes these patterns need to be introduced sooner, but learning the spelling concept requires a bit more advanced reasoning.

Just recently we rewrote all of All About Reading Level 2, to add additional Lessons, Activities, and stories to make this level an even better bridge between Level 1 and Level 3. Because we added additional stories, we did need a new edition of the books that included those stories. But we did not leave our customers hanging. We took the time to match up the different editions of All About Reading Level 2 and created charts so people could use the old Teacher’s Manual with the new Activity Book and other possible combinations. You can see more information on the new edition on this page, including the charts to coordinate the different pieces and a video.

Also note that All About Reading Level 2 is the only Level to have undergone new editions.

Please let us know if we can answer further questions regarding this or anything else.

Monica

says:

I am just looking into decodable books for my son. We are in the process of learning to read

April Dodd

says:

I wanna win a free prereading set. I wanna teach my kid to read!

Tracy

says:

If you have a child age 7 who has learned to read very well on their own, seemingly overnight, and can read some very hard words even though he has no idea what they mean (i.e. herbivore and carnivore), how would this program help him? I am considering level 2 but don’t want to waste time and money if it has no benefit for him.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
We would not recommend placing a 7 year old into Level 2 of All About Reading just because he is 7 years old. Rather, we would ask you too look at the placement tests for All About Reading to decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

Level 1 sample story
Level 2 sample story
Level 3 sample story
Level 4 sample story

Evaluate (without correcting your child) the following…

Your son’s ability to decode the words in the story.
His ability to comprehend the story.
Could he fluently read the story with expression?
Did he understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

In addition to teaching the skills to read difficult words, All About Reading teaches vocabulary, works on comprehension and fluency, gets into things likes what is slang and dialect, beginning literary analysis, reading words that originate in other languages, and more. You can get an idea of what is covered by looking through our Samples and Scope and Sequences.

Lastly, we have a one year “go ahead and use it” one year money-back guarantee.

Let us know if you have any further questions on how this program may help your advanced reader, or on anything else.

Tracy

says:

Thank you for your concern, but I already did the placement test with him before I asked my question, and found out he will need level 2. I do appreciate your assistance. Comprehension is what I am most concerned with since he can read higher words but not necessarily know what they mean. He is not ready for doing a vocabulary workbook and has vision issues that I also have to keep in mind, which is another reason for looking at your program. He needs more auditory and hands on learning and less time spent doing workbooks like Explode the Code or Wordly Wise. Although he likes ETC, he has to go slowly through it and I feel it is holding him back. I am hoping using AAR will help him move forward with his skills without holding him back.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tracy,
I”m so sorry I misunderstood. I guess I just got caught up and impressed with his ability to read words like herbivore and carnivore, even if he doesn’t understand their meaning yet.

I think the best way to determine if the program will help your son’s unique needs would be too look over the samples. The samples show a mix of Lessons from the beginning, middle, and end of the book to give you an idea of how it progresses. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-lesson-samples/ The Activity from Lesson 47 (in the Activity Book sample) shows one way we work on vocabulary in a more hands-on way.

As I mentioned before, we do have a one-year money back guarantee. Please let me know if you have further questions.

E

says:

Thank You for the useful information.

Jaime Schmidt

says:

We have used about all the I can read books at the library, which certainly have some hard words, and would love to try some decodable books. We are working through All about Spelling and would love the next level.

Eileen

says:

Just getting started and trying to figure out which reading/spelling program to use. All about reading looks great and i am hoping to learn more.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Let us know if you have any questions, Eileen!

Becky

says:

I have had to do this with one of my kids. He felt successful with it.

Jennie

says:

Wow. I’m new to homeschooling and this is so interesting to me. Thanks!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jennie! I hope you have a great first year homeschooling!

Jennie

says:

Thank you!

Sherry

says:

Decodable books do make a huge difference to struggling readers!

Sandy Grant

says:

All about spelling helped my daughter so much. She had been reading at the first grade level for years (from PreK to 3rd grade) and not making any progress. Between reading aloud every day and learning the “rules” she was able to move on to more challenging books. Now I have to watch her or she will stay up till midnight reading her books.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Ha! That’s great! Reading does make a night owl out of some kids! I’m so glad she is making progress and enjoying reading now. Your work has paid off!

Jarica

says:

We love All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Angela Hurt

says:

Thank you for this blog, such a great resource!

Alyssa Hammond

says:

I am so glad that I came across this article! I have always wondered what the method behind decodable books was. Thank you for sharing some insight and helping me to understand what I need to keep an eye out for and how best to use your system!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Alyssa!

js

says:

My son loves decodable books! So many “easy readers”, are not easy to read at all. Thanks!

Ruth Kershaw

says:

I’m sold. We’re just starting All About Reading, so I’m glad I read this in preparation for my children’s progress. I’m so excited!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Enjoy the journey, Ruth! Let us know if any questions come up along the way.

Debbie Erwin

says:

All about reading took my 8 y.o. daughter from frustrated to successful. She looks forward to the engaging stories and detailed illustrations.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s awesome, Debbie! Congratulations!

Sherri A.

says:

Thanks for the tips! Great article.

Diane

says:

I have a child with auditory processing so I would love a chance to win this to try it out!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Diane–have you seen this article? http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/auditory-processing-disorder/

Laura

says:

What level of All About Reading would you recommend for a 14-year-old boy who has had years of phonics training, and even understands the basics, but who still struggles with reading smoothly? He is interested in reading signs and information on cereal boxes, etc., but he won’t read even the simplest of books, because it takes so much effort.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

It really depends on where the struggle is for him–is it in not readily knowing certain phonograms? Is it trouble with breaking down multi-syllable words? And so on.

You’ll want to view the placement information I posted to JK, right under this post. To get an idea of which level to consider, here’s an overview:

Level 2 covers 3-letter blends (like spring, splat, scrub);
two-syllable words with open and closed syllables – hotel, pretend, student;
vowel-consonant-E pattern words;
VCE syllable combined with closed syllables – reptile;
contractions; r-controlled words – her, car, and corn;
soft c and g – face, page;
past tense – hugged;
vowel teams oi, oy, au, aw, ou, ow, oe, and ee;
y in shy;
wh in wheel;
i and o can be long before two consonants as in wild, hold, most,
silent e after u or v – have;
the third sound of a – all.
It includes two and three syllable words such as pullover, outnumber, sandpaper, saucepan, anything, because, blockbuster, buttermilk, caretaker, chipmunk, cornflower, different, globetrotter, forefinger, fanfare, grindstone, homespun, jackrabbit, killdeer, keepsake, milkweed, prepare, ringmaster, riverside, seventeen, porthole, simmered, silverware, stepladder, wildflowers, wintergreen and invoice, etc…
Here is the sample for the Level 2 Teacher’s Manual.

Level 3 covers prefixes and suffixes;
syllable division rules for reading multisyllable words (these start in AAR 2 and are continued in Level 3);
many literary terms like alliteration, similes, personification;
words containing the new phonograms, such as paint, play, boat, third, purple, soon, mean, light, match, budge, flew, wrong, know, sleigh, toe, and action;
words with the “pickle” syllable such as bubble and table;
and 2-5 syllable words such as armadillo, auction, banquet, celebration, butterscotch, chimpanzee, contraption, examination, education, government, hibernation, instruments, objection, mildew, migration, safekeeping, paperweight, semicircle, uneventful, wristwatch, spectacles, thermometer, and so on.

Level 4 is the final level of the reading program. At the end of Level 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though they may not know the meaning of all higher level words.(Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…)

Examples of some of the harder words covered in Level 4 include: acquaintance, aphid, beneficial, boutique, bronchial, campaign, chameleon, chauffeur, consignment, crochet, cuisine, cylinder, deficient, delectable, distraught, entree, epilogue, etiquette, facial, ferocious, glisten, gnashed, gourmet, graduation, guinea, Herculean, heroism, horticulture, hygiene, incompatible, isle, lariat, lasagna, limousine, magnificence, mayonnaise, malicious, meringue, mustache, neighborhood, nuisance, ocelot, onslaught, oregano, pendulum, perceptible, picturesque, plausible, premiere, prioritize, questionnaire, reassign, routine, sanitize, saute, situation, solstice, souvenir, specimen, spectacular, teleportation, temperament, tortilla, unveiled, vogue, warthog, zucchini.

Levels 3 and 4 also cover things like literary analysis for comprehension (for example, making predictions and inferences, comparing and contrasting main characters and stories, discussing the main conflict and character transformation), as well as literary terms (hyperbole, simile, point of view, and more), reading reference materials, reading with expression, English words with Greek, French, Spanish, and Italian influences, morphology, and much more.

Occasionally, a student is burnt out on reading programs, and sometimes you can use spelling as a back door kind of approach. It won’t work on fluency and comprehension like the reading program, but it will help your student with some word attack skills, phonogram knowledge, syllable rules, and so on. With this method, anything a child can spell, he or she has the skills to sound out. One of the differences that comes into play is when and how that child moves from sounding out to reading fluently and with confidence. However, some parents have successfully built in fluency practice alongside the spelling program, using demonstrations to work on tricky words before having their student read aloud.

I hope this helps! Let us know if you have additional questions.

JK

says:

My child is reading at the 2nd grade level, what level of All About Reading would that be? Thank you for your help in advance!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi JK,

The levels are not the same as grade levels. You can use the placement tests for AAR to decide which level would be best. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-placement/

Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

Level 1 sample story http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/samples/CobwebTheCat_Sample.pdf
Level 2 sample story http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/samples/AAR-L2-QueenBee-2ndEd-Sample.pdf
Level 3 sample story http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/samples/AAR-L3-Shipwreck-Sample.pdf
Level 4 sample story http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/samples/AAR-L4-Charlies-Sick-Day.pdf

Evaluate (without correcting your child) the following…

-Your child’s ability to decode the words in the story.
-Your child’s ability to comprehend the story.
-Could your child fluently read the story with expression?
-Did your child understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

I hope this helps! Let us know if you have additional questions.

Cheryl Watgen

says:

These decodable books maybe just what I need for my two children. Thank you!

Kristy

says:

Thank you for this article, very enlightening and interesting.

Linda

says:

Very thoughtfully done.

Shanda

says:

I do love the way these books are organized. Everything about it has been thought through to make reading more fun and accessible!

Sara

says:

I am excited about trying this program for my son in grade 1!

Annie Bleuer

says:

Can’t wait for my daughter to start reading these books. I know she will love them!

Rod Houck

says:

I am a grandfather who tries to support a home school program, three hours away from me. My daughter-in-law has expressed a concern about her 7 year old boy not liking to read. She does not have Internet access at home, so online examples of your books do not help. Is there a way you can provide sample content via a pdf or a sample book? I don’t want to spend money on a program without some way of trying it, first.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Rod,

All of our samples are downloadable PDF files, but I’m not following how that would help since your daughter-in-law doesn’t have internet. However, if you or she would like to call our office, we can narrow down what samples would be most helpful and put together some to mail to you. 715-477-1976.

Aaron Schofield

says:

We have AAR Levels 1 & 2 and have really enjoyed them. The illustrations are quite good. I really appreciate these blog posts exploring some of the finer nuances of learning. Thanks!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome! I love the illustrations too!

Jill Goldbach

says:

My son struggles to read and spell, so this product seems like it could be good for him.

Melissa

says:

My daughter blossomed with Level One this year. She worked through her books and felt such accomplishment with these real books that were attainable, but stretched her as well. The illustrations are wonderful.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
It’s wonderful that the readers were so helpful for your daughter this year. Thank you for sharing!

marie

says:

Thank you so much!

tiffany

says:

These are amazing books. I love how they have benefited both of my children who are so different in their learning abilities. Thank you!!

renee

says:

I absolutely love the illustrations, they are so beautiful!

Wendy

says:

My kids LOVE these decodable books, and I love seeing them being so excited about reading!

Valencia

says:

Love decodable books.

Yvette

says:

Looking forward to starting AAS with both of my girls this year!

Cathy

says:

Looking forward to trying this with my dyslexic son.

Debbie

says:

This is my first year to homeschool. I am excited about getting started.

Kelly

says:

This makes sense! Thankyou

Elizabeth Jensen

says:

Thank you for the informative blog posts. We enjoy your curriculums and products and look forward to trying more!

Jessica Mathys

says:

Back to school! My daughter really enjoys AAS, we look forward to the upcoming year!

Julie Patterson

says:

Decodable books are really important for beginning readers. Thank you for sharing samples of the All About Reading decodable books.

Joy

says:

AAS is amazing and we are looking forward to continuing in the program!

Andrea O.

says:

Thank you for these programs! The above describes my eldest entirely. We are having many more “ah ha” moments since using AAR! She even sat down and read a whole Magic Treehouse book today, and while I can tell she needs more practice, the interest is there because of AAR.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Andrea,
What an achievement to read a whole Magic Treehouse book! Congratulations to your daughter. Keep up the great work!

Carly

says:

My 8yo figured out how to read in spite of my trying to teach her phonics. it just fidn’t click for her. But, I’m thrilled that All About Spelling is a hit and it is effective! Her spelling is really improving! My 6yo, on the other hand, latched on to the phonics approach immediately. She loves decoding words, and my challenge is to build her confidence so she’s willing to try devoding the words that appear harder to her. AAR is working wonders for her!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carly,
Great to hear that AAR is working so well with your younger daughter. Thank you for posting.

Natalie A

says:

We loved the books that came with All About Reading level 1. It is hard to find beginner readers for kids that are learning to read phonetically. We’re looking forward to staring level 2 soon!

Ashley

says:

Love the all about reading! Hoping to win all about spelling!

cynthia lilley

says:

This program really works! We have two dyslexic children,two autistic children and one with cerebral palsy, we will never use another program, the difference is like night and day! Thank you !!! Blessings

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Cynthia, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad your children are doing well and you are seeing a difference. What a blessing.

Thank you so much for all of your programs. I didn’t realize over 15 years ago when I was trying to teach my son to read that he was dyslexic. By the time his younger sister was ready to read and spell she struggled even more than he did. I was able to use All About Spelling with her. She is now in advanced English in high school. Now, I’ve returned to my profession as a tutor specializing in working with students with reading challenges. Most of them are dyslexic. I use your All About Reading Pre-Reading program with two of my little guys. It’s really been a wonderful asset to my work as a tutor.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Thank you so much for the work you do to help students with reading challenges, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience with us here.

Ashley Rutz

says:

I had been looking for a program for my dyslexic son when I found the Barton Reading system. After this, I heard about All About Spelling. Because I had already ordered the Barton system, I wasn’t that interested. But since then. I have been following everything on this blog, as well as the web site. I have learned a lot and been very impressed with what I see. I wondered if anyone could do a comparison of the two programs? Thanks for any input you may have. Ashley Rutz

Hi Ashley,
I used All About Spelling with my own children. All About Reading was not available when they were young. I also use All About Spelling and the Barton Reading and Spelling System in my tutoring business. I can’t do a full comparison of the two programs as I’ve only begun to use Barton. I can say that many of my children need work on phonemic awareness. The Pre-Reading AAR and Level 1 of Barton both focus on developing phonemic awareness but they do it in a different way. Some children aren’t ready for Barton. I use AAR for those children. Some children don’t have the patience for Barton. Barton uses nonsense words to develop phonemic awareness. This can be a struggle for some, but with persistence they can get through it. Sometimes in a tutoring session I only spend 5-10 minutes using the Barton tiles before we go on to playing a game. Maybe someone with more experience with both programs can give you more information. All the best. Jen

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Ashley,

Barton, All About Reading and All About Spelling are all Orton-Gillingham based, which is a proven method for helping students with dyslexia and other reading struggles. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-orton-gillingham/

Marie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and was an instructor for the graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin for 3 years. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their video (4 minutes) about her son’s struggles, you may want to check out their story. Quite amazing!

http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/about

So, the programs do have similarities in that the teaching is based on learning phonograms.

An important difference is that reading and spelling are independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. Kids generally move ahead more quickly in reading, and we don’t want to hold them back with the spelling. They will still get all the reinforcement of learning the spelling rules, but they don’t have to wait for mastery in spelling before moving on in reading. For more information, check out this article on Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/why-we-teach-reading-and-spelling-separately/

Another difference: With AAR and AAS, parents don’t have to go through a seminar or watch training videos to learn how to teach the programs. Everything you need is right there in the book as you go through the lesson, so it’s very open and go.

The rules are worded so they are as easy for children to remember as possible, and we include fully illustrated kid-friendly readers. We took care to make sure that the illustrations don’t give away the words though, so students still have to sound out what they are reading.

AAR and AAS both include customizable review as well. This way, parents and teachers can easily track what students have mastered and what needs ongoing review.

Here are the All About Reading samples and scope and sequence links if you’d like to take a look inside: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/reading-lesson-samples/

And here are samples and scope and sequence links for All About Spelling: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-lesson-samples

I hope this helps!

Joanne S

says:

This program is helping my very struggling reader!!

Jenn Khurshid

says:

Thank you for all the great information!

Jamie Grossi

says:

Your site is a God-send! I cannot wait to get started teaching my daughter in a way that won’t be frustrating to her!

Sharilyn Ame

says:

My eleven year old son is dyslexic, and we have both benefited so much from the All About Spelling series. I never understood why English works the way it does, and now I have the skills to reinforce the patterns that it takes my son so very much effort to learn. Thank you!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s great, Sharilyn! I’m so glad you and your son are benefiting from AAS!

Teressa

says:

Would love to try out these books for my 6 year old who is struggling learning how to read

Kristy Robles

says:

We love All About Learning!

Sheryl Hansen

says:

I am very interested in both the reading and spelling products that you offer. I have 2 teenagers that have always struggled and am wondering if this could be the answer for them. Thanks!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Let us know if you have any questions, Sheryl. Both programs have been used for teens (and even adults) who have struggled with reading, spelling, or both subjects. Feel free to email any time: support@allaboutlearningpress.com or give us a call. We’re here to help.

Gale

says:

Decodable books are great. I like ones that incorporate humor…that really gets my child interested.

Lisa Dean

says:

This looks really interesting.

Jessica

says:

Thanks for the opportunity to win this prize.

Angie

says:

I have always been frustrated with books that were not decodable. When searching the library for early reader books I could never find books that were made up of only words my children could read. I would become just as frustrated as they would. Inevitably a couple of pages into the book they would toss it aside frustrated. I am thankful for the 100% decodable books in the All About Reading program.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I agree! When my kids were beginning readers, I was really surprised by the dearth of decodable readers at our library. The few they had were not engaging–seems like a shame to not have a good section of decodable readers!

Tiffany Gapp

says:

Would really love a chance to try out this curriculum it looks so fun!

Jessica B.

says:

I love All About Reading’s books. AAR was such a God send for my oldest daughter. All of my kids love the books!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad your children enjoy the books and that AAR was such a blessing for your oldest! Thanks for your note, Jessica.

MontieR

says:

When I was in school we had a program called SRA. It was a phonics based learning system that WORKED. we didn’t have high school graduates that couldn’t read. ALL of your new system of “mis education”, is garbage. We have home schooled all 6 of our kids at one time or another and ALL six can read far above their grade level because we taught them to read with phonics. Liberalism is a disease that has killed education in this country.

Jessica C.

says:

This looks really interesting!

Melissa

says:

I’m looking forward to using these with my entering-third-grade son whom I will be homeschooling for the first time this coming school year (except preschool). The public school in our area just hasn’t been meeting his needs.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Let us know if you have questions along the way, Melissa. We’re here to help.

Judy Dickson

says:

I am excited to try your spelling program with my year old granddaughter whom my daughter-in-law is about to strt homeschooling.

Alicia

says:

This looks like what my almost 7 year old son needs – books that build on what he’s already learned and continue his progress through phonics.

Jennifer

says:

The more I look at this style of curriculum the more I like it and want to get it.

Jessica

says:

This is our third year using AAR, and we love it! This info (above) is very helpful… my girls love being able to pull their AAR readers off the shelves and read whole stories themselves.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
I love that these readers are hardbound, so they really hold up to all the “love” kids give to them.

Crystal Campbell

says:

I love the books in your program. I wish there were more!

apple blossom

says:

This looks like an awesome series

Jessica Y. Kirdyashev

says:

Ode to AAS Decodable Readers!
I had tried various reading programs and then just picked up random “readers” along the way to give them practice. I was endlessly frustrated, however by the variety of skills and types of words. I would look through the readers and be like, “Ooooh….yeah… I don’t know if that is going to work because this keeps using “ough” and we aren’t ready for that yet. ”
I actually bought the AAR Readers because of the art work and because they seemed more unique in their story lines. But once I saw the progression, I knew I had to get the whole program so we could practice “ou” “ow” and then know that the next story will be one that includes “cows” and “clouds” and it’s so methodical. They feel so much more successful. It has been an invaluable purchase. The readers alone would have been worth it, but the readers combined with the whole program… A Godsend.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Wow, Jessica, what a lovely review and description of how our readers work with the whole program. Thank you.

Joy

says:

I am looking forward to trying AAR this year with my kindergartner!

Kristi

says:

My son did great with AAR level 1 last year, excited to do level 2 and 3 this year.

Annette

says:

This looks like a great program. I am excited to try it.

Jennifer

says:

We love AAR and I am so thankful for stories my kiddos can start reading early on. As mentioned below we have given away all other readers because by the time they can read of the words in them they are to young for my children’s interest. Thank you for such a great product.

Carmen

says:

Looking forward to Reading and Spelling more with my
children with your books. Thanks.

Sophia

says:

I love the readers in AAR. My son is one of those kids who “just got it” when it came to reading, but having the books still makes such a huge difference in actually being able to practice reading and fluency.

Joanna

says:

I wish more of the “easy readers” available were decodable. It bugs me when so many are supposedly designed for beginning readers, but many of the words can not be sounded out.

Sophia

says:

I totally agree! I got some for my son thinking they would boost his confidence (before we got AAR) and they were full of words we hadn’t touched on yet!

R Goff

says:

We love AAR and AAS! Winning a level would be very beneficial! Thanks for the opportunity!!

Malia Reynolds

says:

Love the sample reads! Genius!

Tanya

says:

We love AAS level 1! Hope to win level 2!!

Jamie

says:

I think these would be helpful to my special needs reader. She has a lot going on that makes reading in a standard fashion very difficult for her.

Melanie Dailey

says:

This sounds like an interesting program! I just recently purchased your All About Spelling program. I will have to consider this for my five year old.

Deann

says:

It’s nice to know more about the plans behind the stories. We love these books!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Deann,
Interesting, wasn’t it? I work for AALP, and I learned something in this blog post. :D

Beth Kirkwood

says:

Love the stories! Enter me you win. READ READ READ!

Melaura

says:

My kids are loving the stories in the All About Reading books. So easy and fun to teach and learn!

Courtney Halsmer

says:

Wow! I’m new to teaching my child reading and spelling, but I can’t wait to get started. All About Spelling sounds like a terrific curriculum, and decodeable books sound like just the thing to encourage kids as they get started reading!

Jaime B

says:

My first child has done so well with decodable books. She used to get frustrated with other beginning readers, but has really blossomed. We are still working our way through Level 3, but she can pick up another book now and ask me about a word she doesn’t know the rule for and transfer that to other words with the same pattern. We love AAR and AAS! The decodable readers are still her favorite.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jaime,
Thank you for sharing how our decodable readers have been a stepping stone to the world of literature for your daughter. That’s what we aim for!

Kelly Katsafanas

says:

Decodable books are so important and good ones can be really hard to find. My daughter has had magnificent success with All about Spelling and we are beginning All about Reading with our son. The step by step clear instructions are so easy to understand.

Laura Norris

says:

What a great way to encourage reading! It’s so much more fun when you can be successful.

teresa

says:

Exactly what I have been looking for.I have a rising 1st grader
That gets very frustrated because he can’t read every word in a beginning
Reader.Looking forward to ordering these books.

decodable stories allow for great practice and success for my children and yours are so fun, yet not childish, for the older student still working on their reading skills!

Mandi Hartzell

says:

We are a family of terrible spellers, so I was very excited to hear friends praising the All About Spelling program. This will be our first year to use it, and we have high expectations!

Emily Main

says:

I’m so grateful for decodable books. I never realized how few there are until, I started searching for them! You’re readers ar so much fun, that my older student always wants to read his little brother’s stories.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Emily,
I remember the searching for decodable books when my older children were little (before AAR was published). I am so happy to have all the beautiful AAR readers!

Jenn

says:

I loved each of the example stories! I am so excited to start using this product. It’s been on my wish list for so long!

Erica Gapp

says:

i’ve heard a lot of great things about AAR and AAS from friends, and am looking forward to trying them myself.

Michelle Danielson

says:

AAR has been the key that unlocked my son’s ability to read! He has dyslexia and for years he’s struggled to even get down basic phonics. To see my son finally reading has been amazing!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
This is great! Thank you so much for sharing your son’s success!

Jessica Conkey

says:

My oldest is one of those kids that just “figured out” reading without any phonics training. I’m worried that my middle and youngest won’t “get it” like he did. So these books really make me feel like it won’t be such a tough task after all!! =D

angie

says:

I need these! My 2nd grader was a natural reader, but my K son really struggles and gets so frustrated. I want to try these.

Laurie

says:

We love AAR and AAS. Have been using the programs for about 3 years now and it has made a huge difference in my daughter’s reading ability.

Dee Anne

says:

We just ordered AAR Level 1. I am so looking forward to helping my son become a fluent reader! I have heard such wonderful things about AAR and AAS.

Trcy S

says:

We love the decodable books. My son struggles with reading but decodable books make him feel successful.

KB

says:

AAPress is wonderful. Great resources and tips

Britani

says:

AAPress just keeps getting better and better! Love this resource and recommend it all the time. Thank you!!!

Lauren

says:

Such a helpful post. We are so thankful for the All About Learning blog and are loving AAR in our home school this year!

Tara

says:

I wish this had been around when I was a child. I’m so glad to have better tools to help my children.

Aryn S.

says:

My son who is 5 just started Run Bug Run. It is a great reader for beginners.

Amy S

says:

This sounds great, I’d love to try it.

Trish

says:

great INFORMATION! THX

Keenya

says:

Very interesting. I will definitely have to get so decoding books to use with my girls.

Maggie B

says:

Very informative post thank you.

Rebekah

says:

I was so excited to find this program. I have 3 kids all within 3 years of each other and so different from one another, but I use this program with my first two and they both love it. The third will join soon. My first started asking me to teach him to read when he was two years old- he’s always been a lover of books and with AAR he started really young. Decodable books have been fun for him because even at a young age he really was reading like he wanted to. My daughter is in the pre reading and though she’s never been much of a reader she LOVES ziggurat and singing and enjoys doing the AAR program (which is good because she’s a strong personality and you can NOT make her do something she’s decided she doesn’t want to!) Thanks AAR!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Rebekah,
Thank you for commenting about how All About Reading how worked with your children. It comforting for us moms to know that this program teaches to all learning styles, so it works with a wide variety of children.

Karen from CO

says:

I’m grateful for the decoding books because it gives my new and learning readers confidence rather than being overwhelmed by all the words they don’t know. I was amazed at how the AAR program with decodable readers gave my then 1st grader such a boost in her reading ability and comprehension!

Katrina Chastain

says:

My daughter is almost 10. We started homeschooling a few years ago when she was in first grade. She has done so much better since we made the switch and she has been using AAS. Spelling is actually one of her favorite subjects now!

Stacey Kotson

says:

All About Reading and All About Spelling works incredibly well in tandem for tackling the challenges of dyslexia. My child built a strong foundation of confidence and skill to advance to the next levels in the program. I am simply delighted how excited she is to continue her learning adventures with this wonderful curriculum.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

What a great comment, Stacey! Yes, it’s so helpful for kids struggling with dyslexia–I’m thrilled your daughter is doing well!

Karen

says:

It is so hard to find fully decodable books. Thank you AAR for providing some. And thank you Dr Seuss for many others!

Susan

says:

My son will be going into third grade? He does not like to read so I was looking at this program. I love the philosophy behind it but am wondering where I would start him. The level 3 reader example above is a long story and I don’t know if he’d be able to handle that long of a story in one sitting. Does it get broken up into maybe two lessons? Are there any placement tests to determine what level to start him at?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Susan,
You can use the placement tests for All About Reading to decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

Level 1 sample story
Level 2 sample story
Level 3 sample story
Level 4 sample story

Evaluate (without correcting your child) the following…

Your child’s ability to decode the words in the story.
Your child’s ability to comprehend the story.
Could your child fluently read the story with expression?
Did your child understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

The Level 3 sample story in the blog post, “The Slurp”, is from mid-way through Level 3. So you son would be working up to that length of reading. The sample story I linked here, “Cedric the Knight”, is from near the end of Level 3. Also, All About Reading is designed to be used at the student’s individual pace, so if he needs two days to read the story, you can take two days to get through it. Each story is scheduled as one Lesson, but each Lesson can take anywhere from one day to a week to complete. (Two to three days per Lesson seems to be about average.)

Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help in any further way.

Donna

says:

Decodable books are a great way for beginning readers to gain confidence in their new skills!

Lori

says:

It is amazing how much effort goes into the development of this program. I had no idea!

Sheila

says:

I have one who just learned by osmosis! It was amazing. But I know I have one coming up that will need more and I appreciate the added help that AAR is giving us

Anne Kerr

says:

We are well into AAS level one and I can already see the difference. Our 9 year old is “getting it”!! Thank you!

Kristin

says:

My kids have really enjoyed the books. They are excited for the next level, and next set of stories. :)

Bev

says:

I had no idea how deliberate these details were. The illustrations are so cute, too!

Suzanne

says:

These look great! I m looking forward to trying them with our youngest!

Angela

says:

These look great! It is a struggle to find appropriate books at the library.

Angela

says:

We love this! I wish we had these resources with my oldest.

Kate Hall

says:

Boy, I had no idea all the work that went into creating these decodable books. We love them. Thank you!

Heather B

says:

AAS is awesome! We are looking forward to using AAR with our youngest children.

Kristie Stoddard

says:

We love All About Spelling! It’s made a huge difference for my struggling 10yo reader. I’ve tried to find information on which is preferable, All About Spelling or All About Reading, or should I be doing both at the same time? we’re currently almost finished with All About Spelling One. Thanks!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kristie,
We do recommend using both. While there is overlap between them, as they both teach phonograms, there are many differences as well. This blog post, What’s the Difference Between All About Reading and All About Spelling?, gives a detailed explanation of the differences including examples of how the same concept is covered in each program.

For All About Reading, you can use the placement tests to decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

Level 1 sample story
Level 2 sample story
Level 3 sample story
Level 4 sample story

Evaluate (without correcting your child) the following…

Your child’s ability to decode the words in the story.
Your child’s ability to comprehend the story.
Could your child fluently read the story with expression?
Did your child understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

Please let us know if we can help you with placement or anything else.

Allison

says:

I would love more readers at each level for practice too. We love aar readers!

Jamie

says:

I love your readers! I would love it if you all could create more readers for each level so that kids could practice more at each level over the summer!

Kacy

says:

I so appreciate your posts. Thank you! :)

Debbie

says:

I’m so glad we have these books as an alternative to things like “Bob” books, which make me want to pull out all of the hairs on my head. Thanks!

Pyra

says:

Decodable books are one of the best things for building confidence in a reader and teaching them to self-monitor whether they are reading correctly. These are gems!

Indira Gutierrez

says:

I am using AAR and Spelling for my children and I see a big difference in my son who has a learning disability. I think it is a great product.

Sara

says:

I am interested in trying AAS with my 2 struggling spellers! Thanks for all you do!

Heather P.

says:

These look really good and just what I need for my special needs little man.

Jerretta Baugher

says:

Such great material! Thanks!

Kimberly

says:

Decodable books are so important, and an engaging story is required. We, as parents, get so sick of hearing “See Jane Run” over and over again.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kimberly,
This made me smile. I’ve taught 5 kids to read and it does get a bit monotonous at times, doesn’t it?

Heather Zaia

says:

After reading so many blogs, I really think this program will benefit my kindergartener.

Joni K

says:

Do you have a book list of other books that correlate to each level? I can’t find leveled phonetic readers! We are on lesson 22 AAR. He wants to read other books SO badly but gets really discouraged when he can’t. We do have Bob books. Thanks!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Joni,
We don’t know of another set of readers that will correlate exactly, so you may have to teach some new patterns (or teach some words as sight words which they’ll later learn are not really sight words). Some possibilities to go along with AAR 1:

Bob books, Sets 1 & 2

DK Flip the Page Rhyme and Read books: Pat the Cat, Jen the Hen, Mig the Pig, Tog the Dog, and Zug the Bug.

Usborne Very First Readers (http://www.usborne.com/veryfirstreading/)

Sonlight’s Fun Tales, and I Can Read it Book 1 (part of book 1)

Christian Liberty Press readers (It Is Fun to Read, Pals and Pets)

I See Sam Readers (also available on iPad for free)

Reading Teacher http://readingteacher.com/

Fun Phonics–the first 3 books

http://www.progressivephonics.com – Free phonics books that can be read online or downloaded and used right away.

Additional options: Use the words, phrases, and sentences from the AAR 1 fluency pages to come up with a little book together that your child can read. Put one phrase or sentence on each page, and let your child draw a picture, or cut and paste pictures from a magazine on each page. Many kids used to really enjoy making up little books like this.

I hope this gives a bit to look into. It gets easier to find other books once you are part way through AAR 2.

Joni K

says:

Thanks!! You guys are AWESOME!

Mary Jo

says:

Since learning of All About Reading I am very interested in trying it out with my two delayed readers.

Betsy

says:

We are excited to dig into AAR this fall!

Sumaiya

says:

Heard so much about this program, hope to try it sometime soon.

Jordan

says:

Such a wonderful program!

Stephanie

says:

This homeschooling momma of four kiddos would love to try this wonderful program!! We have a reluctant speller in our home and have seen rave reviews about “ALL ABOUT SPELLING”. We are on a really tight budget (aren’t we all?? lol.), so thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway!

Blessings!

Rachel

says:

AAR and AAS are amazing programs! I highly recommend!!!

alyce tenhaaf

says:

Would live to add All About Reading and Spelling to our resources!

Charnika

says:

I would love an opportunity to use this curriculum!

Kelly

says:

I would love to use this curriculum

micah marshall

says:

I love this!!

Diana N

says:

We have really enjoyed the stories.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Diana,

I’m so glad your family has enjoyed the stories!

Pam

says:

love your material

TToshia

says:

I wish i had read this when my son was starting out. It would have made a lot easier on him.

Heather

says:

Very interesting to see the different ways that your books support struggling readers.

Jennifer

says:

I just purchased All About Reading level 1 and I cannot wait to get started with my kindergartener. I am eager to see if it helps my child with learning issues to learn how to read.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Jennifer,

Let us know if any questions come up along the way. We provide lifetime support and are always glad to help!

Haley

says:

These are the best readers I’ve ever heard! We love them!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Thanks, Haley!

Kristin C

says:

We’ve used some decodable books with my youngest, but I find she really has a hard time being interested in them. The books in AAR look to be more along the lines of something she could be interested in reading.

Jana

says:

Excited to start AAS this year!

Shannon

says:

My oldest read early and quickly and is advanced, but I’ve noticed some gaps in her ability – mostly when sounding out new words or breaking down syllables; this could be in part to not using decodable books. I’m excited to start pre-reading with my youngest this fall and build a strong foundation for her.

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