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Overcoming Obstacles When Reading AAR Stories

boy reading with his dog

One of the most important things you can do when teaching your child to read is to provide lots of reading practice. That’s why the All About Reading program includes such a wide variety of activities, games, and decodable stories. But sometimes things don’t go perfectly according to plan!

Learning to read can be hard work! Many kids see this as a fun challenge, but some kids just get discouraged.

So what do you do if your child hits a roadblock and suddenly doesn’t enjoy reading the short stories?

This post will give you lots of solid ideas to get your child back on track—and enjoying reading again. Let’s dig in!

Determine What Is Making the Stories Difficult for Your Child

The first step is to get to the root of the problem. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your child working in the correct level? (Check out our placement guides or contact us for placement help.)
  • Have you been moving through the lessons too quickly? (If so, back up a few lessons and slow the pace.)
  • Is your child guessing at words instead of decoding? (If so, start with the tips in this article on Breaking the Word Guessing Habit.)
  • Have you been following the lesson plans as written? (If not, strongly consider including each lesson component without skipping any. Each element is important.)
  • Does your child have vision problems? (Check out the signs of vision problems in children.)
  • Is your child actually making good progress, but the stories just seem harder or longer than he would like? Does he have a short attention span? Or maybe he has extremely high expectations for himself. If so, the tips in the next section will be invaluable!

6 Ways to Help Your Child Read Short Stories

Download our free Quick Guide on how to help your child read short stories! 

After you’ve ruled out underlying reading issues, you can tackle the problem head-on. Whether you’re using All About Reading or not, here are some suggestions:

yellow kitchen timer

Set a timer. Have your student read until the timer goes off. Choose the length of time according to your student’s ability and attention span. You may need to start with a short time such as three minutes, and then gradually build up to ten minutes.


blue book with bookmark

Divide the story into two or three parts. Have your student read just one section in a sitting. Bookmark the page. At the next reading session, have your student listen as you reread the part he has already read, and then have him continue reading on his own.


All About Reading decodable reader

Reread. Rereading stories from previous lessons will help your student gain fluency and confidence. During subsequent readings, your child will be “warmed up,” allowing him to experience better comprehension and helping him to enjoy the stories more.


mom and child buddy reading

Try buddy reading. Split up the reading duties by reading with your student. Alternate pages by reading a page yourself and then having your student read the next. For more practice, try buddy reading twice, switching pages each time, and then have your child read the story on his own.


green AAR word cards

Review. The more familiar a child is with the words in a story, the easier it will be for him to read the story. So be sure to spend plenty of extra time reviewing words with flashcards, activities, and Practice Sheets before reading the story.


great job - blue ribbon

Encourage your child. Reading stories takes a lot of mental effort—especially for kids who haven’t yet developed automaticity (the ability to read the words without conscious thought). The other tips in this section will help as your child develops automaticity, but be extra supportive in the meantime.

Do you have a child who is struggling with the stories? Sometimes it only takes a little extra push to build a child’s motivation to read, but if your child continues to struggle, please know that we are here to help.

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Leave a Comment

Deb

says:

We started using All About Reading this year for 1st grade. My daughter attended preschool and was encouraged to repeat her kindergarten year in public school. She struggled with reading and teachers felt she just needed more time. After much research I really liked All About Reading’s approach. After completing 13 lessons my daughter is still sounding out almost every single word. She has only mastered about 6 words. Our review stack is pretty huge. Is this normal, especially after pre-school and 2 years of kindergarten? I know children learn at their own speed and I don’t want to pressure her. I guess I’m just wondering when things might start to click for her.

Roslyn

says:

We have used the reread and buddy read with success for this also the decodable readers from American Language Series fit in pretty well with AAR and the stories are shorter…another way to practice:)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the tip about the American Language Series books, Roslyn. I looked at them a bit online, and it looks like the first couple titles fit pretty well with AAR 1, while the next couple would fit with AAR 2, and the last two “On the Trail” and “Sounds of the Sea” would probably be best with AAR 3 as the AI and EA phonograms aren’t taught until AAR 3. Would you agree with this?

Roslyn

says:

Yes that’s what I decided. Though with my son i have taught some phonograms ahead because he wanted to read the word. For non struggling students this works too. The stories are short, so they aren’t overwealming if your child is not decoading automatically yet. They helped us reach automatic decoding of more words. They have nice pictures that don’t give the story away. The books are definitely Christian.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you! We maintain a list of books that may go along with AAR well. I’ll be adding these to our list.

Sarah L

says:

Very encouraging. I’m always afraid I’m short changing my child’s education when I alter lessons and expectations . It really helps to hear someone else say it’s okay!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
It is okay! In fact, it is the best way to teach as it individualizes instruction to your unique student. If you keep the goal in mind, that is that your student learns to read fluently and easily with great comprehension, then making adaptations to help your student toward that goal is beneficial.

However, if you wonder if what you are considering doing may not be beneficial, just ask! We are available on the blog here, on Facebook, through email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, and by phone at 715-477-1976.

Sherry

says:

Love All About Reading. Just tailor longer stories to meet the attention span of you child

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sherry,
Yes! The goal is for the student to be able to have the stamina and reading ease to handle even the longer stories, but definitely make adaptations to help your student build up to that goal.

Megan

says:

These are such helpful tips!! I’ll be using them with my daughter working trough level one!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
We’re glad to know these tips were helpful for you. However, if you ever need further help or have questions at all, we are available at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or at 715-477-1976.

Kaitlin

says:

Great tips! As always.

Carol Davis

says:

Can’t say enough good things about this program. Thank you for all of the suggestions and the encouragement.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Carol!

Susan

says:

Thanks for the tips! Love this curriculum- about to begin Level 4.

Jessica

says:

Thank you for your support and encouragement and continued training!

Kelly

says:

Begin again and again and again…

Jaclyn

says:

Great ideas! Thank you!

Tara

says:

Thank you for these suggestions on how to proceed with a struggling reader. Now I just have to figure out how to get my daughter to try them. She doesn’t like repeating the stories, because they’re still taking so much effort for her to decode them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tara,
Have you tried buddy reading with your child? My daughter struggled a lot because of the effort to decode the stories, but buddy reading helped her both to get through the stories more easily and to build her fluency so that her ability to read smoothly increased. On the first day of a story, she read one page and I read the next until we finished the story. The next day, I would read the pages she read the day before and she read the pages I had read. On the final day, the story was familiar enough and her practice with the words allowed her to read the story herself with a fair amount of fluency. In addition, buddy reading made reading a social and together activity that was more fun.

You can also do a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as closely as possible. Do this for approximately five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

Lastly, you may find this blog post on ways to keep lessons motivating helpful.

Please let us know how things go, especially if you try these ideas and find she is still resistant to rereading.

Tiffany

says:

I just love how encouraging and helpful All About Learning Press is! Thank you for your great ideas!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Awww, you are welcome, Tiffany!

Laura

says:

Thanks for this! Good tips.

Lauren Myers

says:

A lot of libraries have a program that allows children to read to therapy or shelter dogs. What a special opportunity to buddy read! 😀

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
I’ve seen that! It is a great program and the dogs seem to love it as much as the children.

Hollie

says:

Just downloaded the “Feed the Monster” game; I really feel this activity will help my struggling reader. Thanks for the free download!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Hollie! Enjoy!

tina

says:

We have done the buddy reading but I will also try diving the story into three parts. We are 2/3 into AAR1 and I see he can read the stories but he is getting overwhelmed with how many words are on the page. Thanks.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tina,
One aspect of building reading skills that some children struggle with is reading stamina. As you increase in reading difficulty, stories naturally increase in length and there will be more and more words per page. Buddy reading and splitting the story over multiple days can help your student as he slowly builds his stamina. However, but sure to move forward slowly while he is in this stage, to give him time to build up his stamina before moving into AAR 2.

Please let us know if you have further questions or need anything.

Ashley

says:

Excited to try the program after hearing great reviews. This additional tips will be useful.

Patsy Foy

says:

Great ideas, as always. Thank you!

Lauren

says:

great tips!

odile bicette

says:

I was researching Reading Intervention Programmes and I came across this one. The free advice, suggestions, strategies and tips are very helpful and will be used in assisting the remedial students from my class. Thank you for sharing..

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Odile. If you have any questions or concerns, we would love to help.

Kara Haakenson

says:

These are wonderful words of advice! My oldest had so many struggles learning to read and these suggestions would have made all the difference! Now, 10 years later, as we prepare to teach our youngest child to read – these will be such a treasure trove of ideas! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kara,
I’m sorry to hear your older child struggled so. If you ever have any questions or concerns with your youngest child, please just ask. We want to help you help your child succeed with reading!

Joyce

says:

Thank you for sharing!

Jaime

says:

Great suggestions

Amanda

says:

Helpful tips!! Thanks for these!! :)

Stacia

says:

Those are really helpful tips! Thanks for posting them. :)

Angie

says:

Enjoy buddy reading especially on days where we are struggling.

Gina

says:

My son and I alternate paragraphs when we read a story. It helps to keep his attention.

Nicolette W.

says:

My son is just beginning to read, but it is already becoming a challenge because he has learning delays, so this article had excellent tips to use to help both of us. It would also be a great addition to our homeschool supplies.

Christine

says:

Buddy reading worked great for my second daughter who didn’t want to stop playing long enough to read a story! It made it a game for her and she finally began to enjoy reading time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
Way to go, being creative to teach your active little one! Some learners can be such a challenge, but it sounds like you met this challenged and led your daughter to excel!

Corina

says:

I am excited to try this program with my daughter

Elena

says:

Rereading is one way u help my little learn.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Elena,
Yes, rereading a story or practice page multiple times is very effective, especially for children that struggle to read smoothly and fluently.

Mary c Cota

says:

I am excited to try this program. I’ve heard so many good reviews.

Melissa

says:

I like the idea of Buddy Reading. Thanks.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
Buddy reading made a big difference between struggling and success for my daughter! It’s a great method to help students transition to more fluent, confident reading. My daughter is now halfway through AAR 4 and still asks to buddy read every once in a while even though she doesn’t really need it anymore. I do it, however, as it makes her happy and she is getting so near to being done with All About Reading.

M

says:

Thanks for the ideas!

Kelli A.

says:

Trying to research between Barton and AAR to give my child the best education I can.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kelli,
Barton and All About Reading and All About Spelling are all based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, which is a proven approach for helping students with dyslexia and other reading struggles. Marie Rippel, the creator of All About Reading and All About Spelling, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and has instructed graduate-level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She is also a member of Pro Literacy, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literary Task Force in Wisconsin, and tutored students for more than 20 years. Marie’s son is severely dyslexic, and being told by experts that he would never learn to read led directly to her creating the programs. You can see a short video about her son’s story here.

So, the programs do have similarities.

An important difference with our programs 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. Students 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.

Another difference is 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 in AAR and AAS 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.

We recommend working for just 20 minutes a day with AAR, and another 20 minutes per day for AAS. We find that short lessons every day are very effective for long-term retention.

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

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

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

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

– AAR and AAS use specially color-coded letter tiles. Working with the letter tiles can make the difference between understanding or not understanding a concept.

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

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

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

– All About Spelling has a gradual progression for increasing the student’s stamina and fluency in writing, from words and short phrases in Level 1, to phrases and short sentences in Level 2, to 12 dictation sentences per step in Level 3. Partway through Level 3, the Writing Station activity is introduced. In this exercise, students write sentences of their own that they make up using some of their spelling words. In this way students have begun to use words in a more real-world context through dictation and writing, to help them transition to longer writing assignments.

All About Reading and All About Spelling have a one-year guarantee. You can try them, and if for any reason you feel that they aren’t the right match for your child, return them for a full refund.

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

Shandora

says:

I have never used AAR but love AAS.

This is our first week of using All About Reading (with two of my kids) and All About Spelling (with two others)… and so far they are very enthused about the experience, which is HUGE in and of itself! Thanks for a great program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Elizabeth,
Yes, enthusiasm is a great tool for learning! We’re happy to hear your first week has gone well.

Lacy

says:

My kids love AAR. I have two more kind de to go through it with.

Pam

says:

My daughter is a master at guessing. She has gotten better this year (since starting AAR) so I’m definitely encouraged by that. Vowel sounds always seem to trip her up so I have her slow down and look at the word/letters again.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Pam,
I have found asking my daughter to “touch the vowel” when she misreads them is very helpful. Asking her to touch the letter, even when printed on the page, forces her to slow down and focus. Anyway, you may try that with your daughter. If she continues to have difficulties or if you have questions, let us know.

megan

says:

I have found my kid does better with rout memoery. but does decode well.she just doesn’t memorize well decoding all the time. so I use AAR for phontics so she can decode if she ever needs it but we read the stories and I tell her the words till memorized as long as she has learned the new phonic.

megan

says:

Also AAR is helping me with spelling and we have only done 2/3 of level 1 reading. I’m dyslxic

I feel like my son may be the same way. He’s so stuck into the routine of sounding out words that I’m not sure if he tries to blend-as-he-goes (if that makes sense). Instead he’s super-focused on saying each sound. His decoding skills rock, but he’s not moving to automaticity despite loads of practice. For example, words that start with consonant blends such as “sn”, he always says clearly /s/ —–/n/ and hasn’t moved on to saying the two sounds back-to-back as a blend. He does great with the leap (sight) words, however. We’ve already tried all the suggestions above for long periods of time in the full calendar year we’ve been using AAR1. We’re going to try doing some review with a hope for better word mastery before starting level 2.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Have you asked your son if he is able to read the word without sounding it out? Ask about a word that he has been exposed to many, many times. It may be that he thinks he is supposed to sound each one out and telling him that he can just say the word if he knows it might be all that is needed.

On the other hand, he may need to sound each word out still. This happens sometimes. It happened with me and my youngest daughter. She finished AAR 1 after spending a year on it and still needed to sound out every word even words from the very first lesson. I initially went ahead with AAR 2 with her, but it quickly became frustrating. The stories were longer, and new phonograms and concepts were being added with each Lesson, yet she was still sounding out almost every word.

So I restarted AAR 1 with her, going back to the first lesson and focusing on the fluency sheets and stories. I had her reread the stories 2 or 3 days in a row in order build up her ability to read smoothly. I also started buddy reading with her as a further help toward fluent reading. I wouldn’t move her past a story lesson until she could read the story with at least a moderate amount of fluency.

We spent about 5 months going back through AAR 1 the second time, but it was time well spent. By the time she finished it the second time, she was able to read the later stories with having to sound out just a couple words per page. She has needed to move slowly through the other levels as well, at the pace of about one per year, but now she is more than halfway through AAR 4 and reading very well. The extra time at the beginning made a large difference.

In addition, when I restarted AAR 1, I started All About Spelling 1 with it. My daughter seemed to find spelling easier than reading, and working through AAS 1 provided her with another angle to work with words. Having her read all the words she spelled also allowed a bit more fluency practice too.

In short, moving from the choppy must.sound.out.every.word, to the smooth, fluent reading takes some children lots and lots of rereading the same stories and fluency pages. You can also play games with the word cards and redo activity pages for further review.

Please let us know if you have questions or need anything. I completely understand how frustrating this stage of reading is, but it won’t last for ever.

Frances m

says:

AAR is the only program that is finally working for my dislexic 9 year old.

Chamir

says:

In the beginning reading was a real struggle for my daughter (who I think may be dyslexic). After trying 2 other reading programs, I finally decided on AAR and it has helped so much. She is doing so much better and she just loves the stories. I have used several of the tips and reading is so much more enjoyable for the both of us now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Chamir,
Thank you for sharing how All About Reading has helped your daughter and you to enjoy reading!

susan

says:

my child hates reading and it makes me crazy

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Susan,
I’m sorry to hear this. Are you using All About Reading? What level is your child working in? How long do you spend daily?

Have you seen our article on the Matthew Effect in reading? In short, the more children read the easier it becomes and the easier it becomes the more enjoyable it is and the more the child wants to read. This becomes an upward spiral leading to more and more success and enjoyment in reading.

Please let us know more details about your child’s dislike of reading and what he or she is doing for reading. We would love to help with this.

Cindy

says:

I will definitely have to make use of many of these tips.

Julie S

says:

My son loves that hr can actually read the stories by himself. He reads them to me and the later on in the week he reads them to dad.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Julie,
The stories are hugely motivating for many students! I love that he is so happy to read them twice. It shows his confidence and enthusiasm and rereading the stories also is a great way to build fluency, expression, and ease of reading.

Renee

says:

Some of these we already do, but it definitely gave me some extra ideas to try. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Renee,
You are welcome. However, if your student continues to have difficulties, let us know.

Bridget

says:

Good reminders to take a step back in order to move forward.

Nicole Thomas

says:

I’ve noticed that my son becomes exhausted when reading anything. Smaller chunks of time work best for him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicole,
What a great teacher you are to adjust your lessons to help your son to succeed! Reading can be very tiring for students.

Shannon Schultz

says:

My son is loving AAR! Thanks for developing such a wonderful program!

Cynthia L Mercado

says:

I love the ability to see where they are struggling.

Britny

says:

AAR and AAS are amazing programs! I’ve loved them both, and now I need the pre reading program for my 4 year old.

My student is ten and I believe he may be dyslexic; would the program help him?

Tamara

says:

My son is 9, and we believe he is dyslexic as well. We started using AAR and AAS in June. We have already seen a huge improvement – not only with his decoding skills, but his reading endurance and confidence.
We have a long way to go, but it’s amazing the progress we’ve seen so far.
Good luck to you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Hollie,
Yes, our programs are very helpful for dyslexic students. Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based, which is a proven approach for helping students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. It’s also the approach that the International Dyslexia Association recommends. The author of AAR and AAS, Marie Rippel, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and has instructed graduate-level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She is also a member of Pro Literacy, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literary Task Force in Wisconsin, and tutored students for more than 20 years. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out (they were told he would never read). Quite amazing!

You might like to visit our Dyslexia Resources Page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HL

says:

We are at AAR 1, he can do most of the parts well but my son is refusing to do the Practice Sheets. What can I do at this stage? Thanks.

Terri

says:

My son started this way, too. Together, we would divide the practice sheets into smaller sections and he would choose which two or three he wanted to do on each side of the page until the whole thing was complete. We started this during our school hours and would continue it at bedtime if we needed more time to finish.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Well, the practice sheets are the most difficult part of the program. They aren’t a single word in isolation, like the word cards, but they don’t have the storyline or pictures like the stories. It is understandable to not enjoy difficult things.

You may find our Top Tips for Using the Practice Sheets blog post helpful. It has a number of ideas, but be sure to look through the comments as well as there are lots there too.

Have you asked him why he doesn’t want to read the practice sheets? It might be something simple, like the number of words on the page is too much. You could “fix” this by cutting the page into strips (note, we give original purchasers permission to photocopy the pages from the Activity Book for use with immediate family, so you can copy the page before cutting it). Another idea is to write one line at a time on a whiteboard and have him read from there.

With my daughter, I found that requiring her to read a little bit of a practice sheet every school day for just 2 or 3 minutes made the practice sheets no longer a problem. She didn’t like them, but having to do it for just a few minutes daily made it like a little chore you just have to do whether you like it or not, like cleaning your room. It was kind of strange to do the pages more often to remove the issue, but it worked with her.

If you can’t find something that helps him to be motivated for the practice sheets, let us know. However, there are a lot of ideas here.

Courtney

says:

This would be awesome for my struggling reader

Nichole

says:

At the beginning of the calendar year, my son (4 and 1/2 years old) had just finished the AAR pre-reading program. He is such an eager learner who loves “doing school,” so I didn’t want to just wait until our school year officially started to begin teaching him how to build simple words, however, we were not in a position to afford the AAR Level 1 at the time. I spoke with a family member who had been successful in teaching her children to read and she suggested an inexpensive alternative (a widely used resource that sells for ~$20). So, in an effort to continue learning, I went ahead and bought it. I don’t regret my well-meaning desire to move on with my son’s eagerness to learn, but to put it bluntly, the resource I purchased nearly wiped out his love for learning. We made it through nearly half of that book’s lessons before I told my husband that SOMETHING had to be done…we needed to make the purchase of the AAR Level 1 program possible. So, we did! The difference is night and day. I LOVE this program. I had researched the AAR program loooong before my son could identify any letter of the alphabet and knew that this was the multisensory curriculum that I wanted to go with for all of our children, but unforeseen circumstances caused a short little detour. All I can say is…I’m pretty sure we aren’t going to let THAT happen again. This has truly been an investment into our children’s education and we are so thankful that this program exists. Thank you All About Learning Press!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nichole,
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with reading with your son! We are very pleased to hear that All About Reading has made such a big difference for him.

Jennifer Schutz

says:

I love the idea of buddy reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
Buddy reading was the difference between struggling and success for my daughter! It’s a great method to help students transition to more fluent, confident reading. My daughter is now halfway through AAR 4 and still asks to buddy read every once in a while even though she doesn’t really need it anymore. I do it, however, as it makes her happy and she is getting so near to being done with All About Reading.

K.S.

says:

We are using AAR Level 2 and I also appreciated the suggestion in the back of the book to use highlighters. My daughter gets to highlight the words on the practice sheets when she reads them correctly and she thinks that is fun.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s funny how motivating something like highlighters can be, isn’t it? With my daughter, she liked to put a large checkmark at the beginning of every row she read correctly.

Monique

says:

I have 7 & teaching 6 right now, happy to say I’ve loved AAR & AAS for so many years now! Unfortunately, one of my daughters has finished all 5 levels of AAR & she HATES reading now. I’m trying to do short stories of comprehension, as I have noticed she is not understanding anything…short stories as in one standard 8.5X11″ sheet of paper, max of 6, 3-4 sentence paragraphs…IT IS A PAINFUL PROCCESS!!! I don’t get it…where did I go wrong? She did so well & passed AAR early last year…I feel like it’s at times back to square one. Help!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Monique,
I’m sorry your daughter is struggling like this now.

My first recommendation is to have your daughter’s eyes checked. This change is could be related to a vision issue that wasn’t a problem before.

How old is your daughter? What do you have her reading? Are there some things she likes to read more than other things? You mention “short stories of comprehension”. Are you having her do some sort of comprehension workbook?

Is your daughter struggling in any other areas either related to school or not? Sometimes school problems are symptoms of non-school related issues.

I am concerned about this problem and would love to help you get to the root of it.

Nicole Brown

says:

We just had this struggle end of last week. This week we are spending time playing word review games, and re-reading past stories. Thank you for the other suggestions.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicole,
I’m glad this blog post was timely for you.

Taking time off of forward progression in order to review and enjoy reading for a while is a great idea! Please let us know if you have further questions or need anything.

Jenn

says:

Just got my copy of the pre-k reader and I love it! Can’t wait to start using the workbook!!

Coral

says:

This is our fourth year using All About Reading and All About Spelling. I love that you can just open the book and start from that page, no prep at all. My younger daughter is a reluctant reader so I let her choose the first story and I choose the second story. I have found it helpful to have her run her finger under each word while reading, because she memorizes the stories. We use the program 20 mins everyday, so my daughters know we have an end time, which is important to my fidgety daughter.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Coral,
Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story here. It sounds like you have found wonderful compromises to make the lessons more enjoyable for her. Keep up the great work!

Amara

says:

Our son has used AAR 1 & 2, and we’ve been blessed by the variety within each lesson. I love that simple games and the letter tile work keep the lesson from stagnating. 👍😁

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great point, Amara. The changing from activities, to tiles, to book keeps the lessons moving and the children interested!

I’ve been home schooling for four years; this is my first year teaching my own in addition to my fifth grader and I have felt like a failure……………until I tried flash card words; they really work to reinforce reading!

I am curious about the timer: Does this method really work to help reading or does it pressure the kids too much?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Hollie,
Great question.

The timer is not about finishing before the timer runs out. The timer tells children that the lesson, or the reading, or whatever won’t go on “forever”; that it has a definite and clear end-time. When the timer goes off, you stop, even if it’s mid-page or even mid-sentence. If your child wants to read beyond the timer to finish the sentence or page, that is his or her choice. But do not require it.

Most children find this very comforting and will work with more focus and accomplish more because they know they only have to do it for a little while. I have never heard of a child being pressured by a timer, because, as I said, trying finish before the timer goes off is not the goal.

Terri

says:

My son was struggling with reading in the books, but loved the flash cards, so we’ve just finished AAR 2, but are continuing with the flash cards and a timer… He loves the challenge of seeing how many words he can read correctly before his 15 minutes are up. We keep a running chart so he can see his progress and his “off” days. He is excited about reading (at least on the cards) since we started this review work.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Terri,
I love your son’s love of a challenge!

R G

says:

I’m new to this program. So many times a parent is promised a lot in a curriculum and then it doesn’t work for their learner, so I would love to try it, but I am a bit skeptical… sorry, just being honest.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

This is understandable. In fact, we understand it so well that we offer a one-year “Go Ahead and Use It” money back guarantee. We don’t want any parent to be “stuck” with a curriculum that isn’t working for their child.

Do you have any specific concerns or questions we can address? You will find samples of all of our levels here and they may help you get a better idea of All About Reading.

Kassia

says:

Great ideas! I’ll be implementing the timing one tomorrow!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kassia,
The timer is a powerful motivator!

Stephanie

says:

Would love to win the next level! My daughter is doin so well with AAR.

Stephanie

says:

Would love to win the next level!

Jessica

says:

AAR has been so great for our family. Finishing Level 2.

Diana K

says:

We love AAR! Nearing the end of Level 1 and excited to move on to level 2 next month.

Kati Skrdla

says:

I love All About Spelling and would love to try All About Reading!

Jena Siegrist

says:

Very helpful article! We love this curriculum!

Lari

says:

Would love to win a set!!

Crystal P

says:

Thank you so much for all the helpful information you post. I absolutely love this curriculum and the wonderful, helpful people

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Crystal!

Sara

says:

Very helpful artical.

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