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Real Moms, Real Kids: Teaching Active Children

Real Moms, Real Kids: Teaching Active Children with Jenny Herman - All About Learning Press

Teaching active children can definitely be an adventure, but it’s a wonderful adventure! Today we have the privilege of chatting with Jenny Herman, a homeschool mom who uses All About Reading and All About Spelling with her two very active boys.

I first met Jenny online via Facebook. Isn’t it interesting how you can get to know someone’s personality through online chats? From our interactions, I knew that Jenny was a sincere, hardworking homeschool mom.

Jenny’s husband works long hours, and they are a one-car family, so Jenny spends a lot of one-on-one time with her seven- and nine-year-old boys. It always makes me chuckle to see photos of the boys, often shirtless, running around their 950-square-foot apartment, burning off energy by engaging in very physical games.

I asked Jenny if she’d share with us how she’s able to use AAR and AAS with such active offspring.

Here’s Jenny:

Marie is right: my boys are great big bundles of energy! Here’s how I make All About Reading and All About Spelling work in our homeschool.

  • I teach reading and spelling in my bedroom on the bed. I set the white board on the bed and my sons either stretch out on the bed or sit on an exercise ball next to the bed. Why do I teach in my bedroom? So I can close the door and shut out distractions. While I teach one son, the other one works on school work in a different subject in another part of our apartment.

    Real Moms, Real Kids: Teaching Active Kids with Jenny Herman
  • I store my materials in the bottom drawer of my dresser. We don’t have a lot of storage in our apartment. I used to keep our school materials in a desk drawer in the living room, but usually ended up leaving the materials out on the trunk in my room. That makes my room look messier. Then it dawned on me—just put it in your dresser since you always teach in here anyway! Our magnetic white board gets stowed on its side between the dresser and the wall.

    Real Moms, Real Kids: Teaching Active Kids with Jenny Herman
  • Sometimes I allow snacks and stuffed animals during lessons. It all depends on their level of self-control on a particular day. It’s hard to concentrate on learning something new when you’re hungry. And if the stuffed animal wants to read, hey, it’s extra practice!

  • Even though I’m a mom of a special needs child (my oldest has Asperger’s), at this point my boys are great readers and pretty good spellers. They don’t have a lot of struggles understanding the information. Their biggest struggles are focus and cooperation. My biggest struggle is patience. When he’s building words, my Aspie loves to make the letter tiles crash into each other with loud sound effects. It can take for-e-ver and it drives me crazy. But if I stop and think about it, does it really matter? He’s practicing his skills and he’s still learning. I sometimes employ a tip from Merry, AALP’s customer service superstar. She limited her son’s “tile crashing” to a certain number of words. Then both parties win.


  • My Aspie and I have learned to compromise. When we started All About Spelling Level 3, I reminded him of the sequence of spelling a word with tiles, starting with segmenting and dragging one tile at a time. He got very upset and I couldn’t understand why. He explained, “It makes me feel like a little boy.” So I told him we could skip that step for now, but if the words get harder for him, we may go back to that later.
  • Another trick I employ is one that an AALP mom shared with me. She combines the 15 minutes for spelling and 20 minutes for reading into a single 35-minute session. Some days more may be spent on spelling and less on reading, other times vice versa. As a result, if one subject has a harder concept one day and needs a bit more time, the other can be light. I’ve started to use a timer to keep me from frustrating the boys with the temptation to “just finish this little bit more.”
  • Depending on the day’s energy level, sometimes I have my sons do jumping jack breaks between reading and spelling.
  • Sometimes I try to come up with different ways to review spelling words. I still need to get better at this. Writing is hard for both my boys, but they’re good at spelling. I have let them draw their words in a tray of colored sugar. They’ve also typed their words on the computer or written them on a white board. I just bought some colored sand to try out an idea from the AALP Pinterest boards. I hope to find even more ways for them to practice besides on paper. Anything to keep these busy boys happy!
  • With my youngest, we had to take a few months off from reading in the beginning. Since he’d already been reading three-letter words, I thought he was ready to learn how to read. But when we started with Level 1, he was having lots of letter reversals and confusion. After much frustration for both of us, I decided perhaps he wasn’t as ready as I thought. We took two or three months off, and when we started up again he had much less trouble.

I hope some of these ideas will help you as you personalize All About Reading and All About Spelling in your own homeschool!

Here’s What I Love about Jenny’s Story

These points about homeschooling a child with an abundance of energy really stood out to me:

  • Jenny doesn’t let lack of space or transportation deter her from doing a great job homeschooling her boys.
  • She recognizes her boys’ need to burn off energy.
  • She has found a place in her bedroom to organize the curriculum and teach her kids, and she is able to shut her bedroom door to block out distractions.

Products Jenny Uses with Josh and Noah:

Did you enjoy Jenny’s story? Read more stories in our Real Moms, Real Kids series.

Teaching Active Children: Tips Recommended by Our Readers

  • We bought a swing that hangs in a door frame, and my daughter swings in that while I am reading to her. When it is nice outside, I sit on the front porch and read to her when she rides her scooter up and down the driveway. (Recommended by Carrie A. via Facebook)
  • My kids love to jump rope while spelling the words. (Recommended by Kim A. via Facebook)
  • We do short segments of school and some trampoline jumping in between—and healthy snacks while we’re studying. (Recommended by Rebecca H. via Facebook)
  • I allow my children to stand during school, unless they are doing handwriting pages. (Recommended by Judy L. via Facebook)
  • We use an exercise ball to sit on. (Recommended by Sara D. via Facebook)
  • Do some exercises mid-morning! (Recommended by Noel G. via Facebook)
  • Cut the fluency sheets into strips. Make a paper chain with the strips as your child reads them. (Recommended by Kim via blog comment)
  • Spell outside on the driveway with chalk. (Recommended by Lisa via blog comment)
  • Shoot flashcards with a nerf gun when they reads them correctly. (Recommended by Cassandra M. via blog comment)
  • Hide word cards around the house for your child to find. (Recommended by Nicole M. via blog comment)
  • Place word cards on the stairs for your child to read as he goes up and down the stairs. (Recommended by Bekki via blog comment)
  • Jump on a mini trampoline while spelling words. (Recommended by Erica K. via blog comment)
  • To review words, scatter letter notecards around the room and have your child jump from letter to letter to spell words. Also works outside with sidewalk chalk! (Recommended by Cookie via blog comment)
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Leave a Comment

Rita Guihan

says:

I let my early learners chose between paper/pencil, white board, slate/chalk, paper/ colored pencil. Sometimes I let them write the same word 3x – 1xrainbow with every letter a different color, 1xwith balls attached to the letters, 1x with faces.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rita,
How much fun would this be! I know my kids love to decorate their words at times. Thank you for sharing this idea.

Bethany

says:

Awesome ideas! I’m Starting to tutor a 10yo boy who hasn’t had a great experience learning to read. I want to keep it fun and engaging and build a positive experience.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sounds like you have a great plan, Bethany!

Megan Thomas

says:

What great ideas! It helps to know that learning does not have to occur seated at a desk.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
Yes! There are lots of way to learn desk-free. Spelling review with sidewalk chalk outside is one of my children’s favorites.

Erin Rodriguez

says:

Great ideas!

Maya

says:

I found such good suggestions in the post and the comments. I think implementing some more active ways o doing our AAR and AAS lessons will make my children happy. We only use a white board for spelling. I think that the handwriting practice on paper is enough for K and 1st grade. But I will try chalk on the driveway now that the weather is so nice. And some more jumping. Jumping is always good. :-)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

The comments are such a treasure trove of information! I’m glad you have found helpful suggestions for your children!

Ginny H

says:

Great ideas; thank you!

Cookie

says:

I have a rambunctious 7 year old boy who, though a creative storyteller, is a reluctant writer. To review words, I’ll let him jump from letter to letter with notecards we’ve scattered on the ground. Also works outside with sidewalk chalk :)

Robin

says:

I’m late reading this, but enjoyed it! My kids are very active too. :) What we do is a little unorthodox but it works. My son does fine spelling with the letter tiles but gets really fidgety and gradually deteriorates with writing out words. Sometimes we use sand or cornmeal but if I pull out the marker, I also get out his scooter board (the little square of plastic with four wheels). After each word, I throw the marker across the room and he has to scooter to get it and bring it back. The first time I did it, it was because I was so frustrated I felt like throwing something so did and told him to fetch it, but it worked so well that now it’s part of our routine. We also will alternate gymnastics and spelling. “Put up the letter tiles and then I’ll time you to see how long you can hold a hand stand.” I sometimes feel a little crazy, but it works for my very active son!

Deana

says:

Thanks for sharing. It’s good to know I’m not the only one dealing with bundles of energy and it’s okay if school looks a little different with these energetic kids.

Deana,
“School” can look so different in different homes, or even in the same home with different kids. I’m glad this blog post was encouraging to you.

Have a great week.

Dawn Johnston

says:

This is great advice! My kids have a ton of energy and it can be very trying for them and me to sit down and focus on a lesson. This is just the thing I needed.

Dawn,
I’m glad you found this post helpful. Active kids can be somewhat more difficult to teach, but it can also be so much fun.

I hope you have a lovely week.

Alia K.

says:

I have a ton of little boys so this post definitely resonates with me! I’m always looking for good ideas to help them learn and without stifling their need to burn off energy.

Alia,
These movers and shakers definitely keep us on our toes, huh? I get tired sometimes just looking at my wiggly one.

This article has a long list of kinesthetic ideas for spelling practice, and many of them would be easily adapted for things other than spelling too. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/how-to-use-kinesthetic-spelling-activities

Have a great weekend!

Maria Nelson

says:

Good read as I’m evaluating beginning the reading and spelling program in tandem.

Tiffany Weber

says:

I’m new to homeschooling and my active son is enjoying the AAS but it’s nice to mix it up a bit. I LOVE the ideas here. Especially the nerf gun one!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Ha, ha! Well, what’s not to love about Nerf guns, right? :)

Renee M

says:

Thank you so much for this post. We have just switched to All about Spelling for our very active daughter!

Rebecca

says:

We love both AAR and AAS here. We haven’t been as good as I’d like about getting through the levels but that has been more for momma’s exhaustion level than the kiddos. Trying to get better about it as baby girl gets older.

Lida

says:

It’s great to get some inspiration on how to get organized.

brenda

says:

this program is, by FAR, the MOST helpful, easy to implement, comprehensible spelling program I have seen in my 12 years of homeschooling.

I HIGHLY recommend it to all new (and seasoned) homeschool moms I meet.

Brenda,
Thank you so much for such high praise!

Since you are recommending All About Spelling already, you may want to check out our affiliate program. http://allaboutlearningpress.net/go.php?id=103&url=10

I hope you have a lovely week.

Crystal

says:

Thanks for the tips! I just finished my first year of homeschooling, and am still trying to find a truly productive system.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I hope you find a system that works perfect for you, Crystal. Finding what works for your homeschool is worth the time and effort you put into it!

Etudiant

says:

Thanks for the great tips! I think exercise goes hand-in-hand with effective learning for all kids.

shumi

says:

these are good tips to use with my two energetic sons. i let them run around the apartment like a track field and they love it because they say they are exercising like their father.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Like father, like sons! :) Sounds like a great way to burn off some excess energy!

Kim

says:

As a mom to 4 very energetic littles and living in a small space, this post has so many great ideas for dealing with both! Thank you!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Kim!

Michelle S

says:

Love AAS! Best spelling program ever!

Gina Hilton

says:

These are fabulous tips that I will take from and use with my highly energetic eight year old son. Thank you!

Jessica S

says:

Thanks for the tips. It is always helpful to hear tips from other moms with boys and special needs boys at that.

Connie

says:

I have my kids run laps around the kitchen table after spelling words correctly or finishing a few problems on their worksheet. Burns off energy and keeps them guessing when the next lap will be.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Way to keep your kids on their toes, Connie! I love that your kids wait and anticipate that next moment of burning rubber in the kitchen!

Lisa

says:

All About Spelling is great for visual learners.

Karli Mason

says:

AAR and AAS are just what I have been looking for. I can’t wait to get started!

Rebekah Robinson

says:

This looks great! I think it would work well with many types of learners.

Kimberly

says:

Love this idea

Barbara

says:

I have been teaching phonics skills to adults and am looking forward to trying out your program.

Meredith

says:

Love the suggestions and can’t wait to try out this curriculum!!

erin

says:

I have decided to use the program all about reading with my two daughters ages 4 and 6 next school year. Can’t wait to try it out. Did you start off with both the reading and spelling program together or is it best to save the spelling program for a little later?

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Erin,

Marie recommends completing All About Reading Level 1 first, and then adding in the All About Spelling program. This way students get a solid start in reading first, and have a strong basis for spelling as well. See our article on the Right Time to Start AAS: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/aas-right-time-to-start/

Hope you have a great year! Let us know if you have any questions along the way.

Forever Blessed

says:

Great idea to keep the books stored in the bedroom. Having supplies where we actually use them makes up clean up a lot easier!

Kristin C

says:

These are some great ideas! Thanks!!

Kim K.

says:

Thanks for the encouraging ideas!!!

Judi Slaman

says:

Loving your program.

Laura

says:

Staring AAS and AAR next month! Can’t wait!

Dawn

says:

Just switched to doing lessons on the couch instead of sitting down at the kitchen table with my mover and it’s working much better.

Jen Huston

says:

Excellent tips and ideas! Thanks!

Faith Robeson

says:

this was a good read…thanks

Tamara

says:

My son likes to act out the words he reads … for example word is “fast” so he will make-up a sentence with the word while acting it out (running around the room real fast). He has done that since the beginning on his own. I added in jumping on our backyard trampoline between/during (I’ll sit down and he will jump) fluency lists, word cards. :)

Stella

says:

Thank you for sharing!

Lydia

says:

I have heard so much about this program. Would really love to try it for my 8 year old who is way way behind. Unfortunately it’s not shipped to my country. :(

Lydia,
I’m sorry we are unable to ship to your country. Here are other options for you:

Rainbow Resource (rainbowresource.com) ships worldwide via Air, and they carry All About Reading, All About Spelling, and All About Homophones. Sonlight Curriculum (sonlight.com) carries All About Spelling and they ship worldwide as well.

Sometimes what people in other countries have done is to have us mail to a shipping company, friend, or relative in one of the countries we ship to and have that company/person ship the package to them.

Another option to consider is using a company that will give you a “box”–a US address that we can ship to, and then they in turn will ship it to your address. Here are some companies that provide this kind of service (please note that we don’t have personal experience with these companies):

Borderlinx (borderlinx.com)
BundleBox (bundlebox.com)
comGateway (comgateway.com)
MyUS (myus.com)

I hope you can find a way to make it work.

Heather L

says:

I love this program!

Shannon A.

says:

Great tips! Thank You

Jennifer M

says:

Thank you for the tips and tricks. It is great to see how different families make homeschooling work for them.

Kathleen Vogt

says:

Great tips! Thank you!

Tej

says:

great post!

Abigail Carpenter

says:

What a wonderful program

Laura

says:

Thank you for all of the inspiration and ideas!

Merlyka

says:

I love the ideas and look forward to using some of these techniques with my daughter.

Lauren

says:

Great ideas!! I like the 15 min on spelling and 20 on reading! We love AAL :)

We used to homeschool in the basement, where we have a big steel beam and support pole. My son used to climb all over that beam and pole for most of the homeschool day. While doing flashcards, while I was reading aloud, pretty much any time I would allow it! I have also done flashcards with him while he was jumping on the trampoline or “climbing” the doorway or hallway.

Kelly

says:

We are loving all about spelling.

crystal

says:

I let our son put a ball under his foot and roll it around. Sounds like it would be a distraction but it helps him focus.

Tracey

says:

I put words cards on our stairs and my son goes up and down reading them.

Jennifer

says:

We are so excited to use this program for 3 of our children in the fall!

Melanie

says:

We love the cup stack with math and vocabulary

Verena

says:

This is the kind of flexibility that I am still working hard to be okay with! I went to public school and the idea of school being “sitting up straight at your desk filling out worksheets” is hard to let go of, even though I know it may not be the most beneficial way to learn at times.

Verena,
I think many of us can understand the feeling comparing our homeschool to public school. I recommend asking yourself what the purpose of each lesson or activity is. As long as your child can complete that purpose, or at least move toward completing it (some purposes do take longer periods of time), whatever way they want to learn it works.

My youngest is quite active, and the only activity she does sitting in a chair is handwriting (and I use Handwriting Without Tears which is known for having short daily practice). It is the only part of school where there is a direct benefit to being seated properly. The rest of school she is squatting, standing, lying on (or in) pillows and blankets, behind the furniture, under the table, upside down, or curled up with the dogs. And she learns.

Anyway, thank you for sharing. I hope you have a lovely week.

Gale

says:

Your lessons sound a lot like mine (snacks and stuffed animals). I love the ability to be flexible. I’m subbing one or two days a week and flexibility like that is usually impossible to do in a regular classroom.

Jenny

says:

Thank you for sharing.

Ember

says:

I have been considering this program for an active 6 year old next year. Thanks for the tips!

Joy Long

says:

Thanks for the great ideas!

Heather

says:

This was very helpful. Thank you!

Stephanie L

says:

We love your curriculum!

Jessica r

says:

This was great. Thanks for sharing

Abigail's Mommy

says:

This was so helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Amber Hicks

says:

I love the idea of using an exercise ball while doing the lesson!

Carrie

says:

I am using AAR/AAS with my VERY energetic 8 yo boy. He also has dyslexia. I will usually break the fluency sheets into 2 – 3 days and those are the days I will work on the spelling lessons. What I will do sometimes with spelling and working on segmenting, instead of the tokens I have him dribble the basket ball (one bounce per sound). We get outside that way too. Something that I’ve just started doing is making the fluency sheet a game. I use 2 different color highlighters and alternate the colors every other line. Then he picks the color he wants to read and I read the other. Use 1 die to roll, if you roll a 4 you read that many words. The first to get to the end of their color wins. It works well…he is very competitive.

Carly

says:

I would love to try this with my daughter!

Danielle Coleman

says:

Ready to start AAR and AAS level 4 with my daughter and level 1 with my son! Love them both!

Beth

says:

Great tips, especially ones with working in a smaller space. Love the paper chain idea as well! Thank you for sharing!

Christy Aguirre

says:

Thanks for those great tips! Helps a lot to know you don’t need a lot of space to make things work!

Jennifer

says:

Looking into getting AAS and AAR for next year to do with my child who will be almost 6 when we start. I like the tips you shared. Very helpful.

Valerie Butler

says:

Thank you for sharing! Love your blog!

silver

says:

I love the ideas to make it work in a small learning space!

Emily

says:

I have 3 very active boys with another on the way so this blog post was very pertinent to me. The giveaway sounds great!

Jennifer Keene

says:

I’m super excited about this giveaway!

“active” perfectly describes my third child! Thanks for the tips!

Kayla

says:

My eldest sounds just like your boys. He has to “crash” the tiles together and make rocket-ship noises. I cleaned out a metal can and made movement Popsicle sticks. Each stick has some action to do. When my boy needs to move, he grabs a stick and does what it says. Some examples of sticks are: do 20 jumping jacks, hop around the room twice like a kangaroo, crab-walk across the room, pretend you are a volcano erupting, do Hokey-Pokey, etc.

I tried to pick things that got him moving, but could be completed in a short amount of time. This has saved my sanity a little.

Kayla,
This is a GREAT idea! Thank you for sharing.

I hope you have a lovely (and active) week :D.

Sharlene

says:

I would love to win this giveaway.

Melinda

says:

I loved seeing that you teach on the bed. It is what works best for us here also!

Meredith

says:

We will be homeschooling our 2 children starting this fall so I love all these ideas to keep them engaged!

Vera

says:

Great tips! I have two active little boys, as well, although I only have one working through AAR Level 1 currently. He usually has to bounce while reading, especially during the fluency sheets. He gets to do a check mark for each “section,” which always helps him regain his focus again for the next section.

Laura

says:

These are some great tips! My older kids flew through All About Spelling, but my younger two seem to struggle a bit. I’m going to use a lot of these ideas with them!

Brandee

says:

I set up race tracks with letters at check points for my son to practise, gather and read. It’s fun and great practice.

Jessica B.

says:

She’s really doing a great job meeting the needs of her kids in special circumstances.

Karmen

says:

There’s some good info in this post. Some. Dry practical advice that I can apply to my own homeschooling routine. I really liked the idea of combining the 2 lessons into one.

Linda

says:

Some good ideas here! Thanks.

Sabrina

says:

Thank you for these tips! I have an active boy that we are just beginning the adventure of homeschooling with. I will file this information away for when I need it. Thank you!

Belle

says:

Great ideas! I will probably need to implement these when my almost 4-year-old gets ready for AAS.

My daughter is completing 7th grade. She is very bright, on grade level, creative, has a tremendous work ethic and is most probably dyslexic. (We haven’t had her tested, but she has struggled/worked/persevered to read well.) Her spelling is extremely creative (ok, terrible). We’ve tried a variety of spelling curriculums and nothing has clicked yet. I want to try your curriculum but am concerned about ordering Level 1 for a 13 year old. Any thoughts?

Dawn,
I’m sorry your daughter is struggling in this way, but I think All About Spelling really can help.

All About Spelling is a building block program–each level builds upon the previous level. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. We find that many students simply memorize easy words like “cat” and “kid” but have no idea why one uses a C and the other uses a K, or that the same rules that apply to these words also apply to higher level words such as “concentrate.” Other students switch letters or leave out letters entirely. This usually occurs because they don’t know how to hear each sound in the word. Level 1 has specific techniques to solve these problems.

Level 1 teaches very important concepts, such as segmenting, the multiple sounds of the first 32 phonograms (O has 4 sounds, CH has 3, S has 2, etc.), and basic spelling rules: when to use C or K at the beginning of a word, when to use K or CK at the end, when to double F, L, and S at the end of a word, when to use S or ES to make a word plural, and so on. It is important that kids know why words are spelled the way they are. This information applies to more difficult words later in the series.

We encourage parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, you will very quickly skim the parts that your daughter already knows and slow down on the parts that she needs to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure she understands the concept being taught, and then move on. Here is an example of how you might fast track. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

Also, your daughter doesn’t have to use the tiles if she would find them too childish. You can use them to demonstrate concepts, and then she can skip spelling with the tiles and move directly to paper, if she prefers. However, some older kids do still enjoy them.

If you’d like to see how All About Spelling works with older students, this blog entry demonstrates how my co-worker used the program with her 15-year-old son. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/all-about-spelling-in-action-2/

Lastly, we have a 1-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/guarantee We also provide lifetime support for all of our programs, so you can always ask questions.

Please let me know if I can help you further or provide more information.

Thank you for your answer. This really helped me to feel much more confident ordering. I appreciate the examples of working with older students as well. Can’t wait to get started!

Kim

says:

This is my daughters first year of homeschooling and first year using All About Spelling. She is an advanced reader and writer and so far is moving rather quickly through the curriculum. I’m happy it’s providing an excellent review of phonics for her. Love this program!

Rachel

says:

I am considering homeschooling my son who has ADHD & SPD. He’s having a really rough year in public school full day kindergarten. I am looking at AAS & AAR for his 1st grade year at home.

Rachel,
I think homeschooling is a great environment for ADHD kids. Just the fact that they can get up and move around while learning makes a huge difference for them. My daughter is likely undiagnosed ADHD (no diagnosis necessary when you homeschool), and she only sits in a chair for school for about 5 minutes a day when she practices her cursive. The rest of the time she is standing, squatting, lying on (or in) pillows and blankets, hanging upside-down off a chair, hugging the dogs, dancing, organizing drawers, and a myriad of other activities (all in a 2 hour period!). And she learns.

I imagine homeschooling will benefit his SPD as well, as you can more closely control the things that bother him.

If there is any way we can help you, let us know.

Katie Phillips

says:

New to AAR & AAS -but looking forward to using with our two youngest children next year. Used Ziggy Zebra one day last week, and they were very excited.

Katie

says:

Considering All About Spelling for next year’s curriculum and would love an opportunity to try it out.

Cheryl

says:

as a mom of 3 boys, this was a very helpful and encouraging post! thank you!

Hannah Mainolfa

says:

How similar to Wilson Reading is this program? What are the noticeable differences? How easy is it to implement with a group of students, or is 1:1 required?

Merry at AALP

says:

Wilson, All About Reading and All About Spelling are all Orton-Gillingham based, which has been found to be successful for students with dyslexia and other reading struggles. 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 story 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.

A few differences: With AAR and AAS, parents don’t have to go through specialized training 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.

Another 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/

Wilson includes finger tapping, which can be difficult for kids with dysgraphia or coordination struggles. AAR and AAS use tokens, letter tiles, and syllable tags instead. Tiles can also make it easier to discuss mistakes (some kids take it more personally when a finger is wrong than if it’s a tile that is wrong).

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.

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.

The programs are easy to adapt to group instruction. AAR and AAS are used in lots of schools and other group situations. If you’d like to see an FAQ file for using them in a classroom, co-op, or for tutoring, email me at support@allaboutlearningpress.com.

I hope this helps!

Kristin Farley

says:

Thanks for the tips! We’ve been looking into this for our very active boys who are having trouble grasping spelling and reading. :)

Krisa Winn

says:

Great ideas!

Amberly

says:

Is there anyway to find out what kind of magnetic white board jenny is using?! 😀

Jenny

says:

Hi, Amberly,

I don’t remember what brand, but I’m pretty sure I got it at Target. We have asked our Facebook fans for ideas on their favorite place to snag a white board as well as for storage. I’ll leave you the links. Hope they help!

Where to purchase white board: https://www.facebook.com/allaboutlearningpress/posts/813532588721563
Store letter tiles: https://www.facebook.com/allaboutlearningpress/posts/777971972277625
Options other than white boards: https://www.facebook.com/allaboutlearningpress/posts/806462239428598

Jhuana Hale

says:

Thanks for the tips. I might have to borrow some of those. We like AAS and I planned to use it with the rest of the kids.

Misty Thomas

says:

Thanks for the great ideas!

Looking forward to planning my next year of homeschool!!

Amanda O'Neal

says:

Thanks for the tips! I especially like the sidewalk chalk and mini-trampoline ideas.

Jodi M

says:

We do short 15-20 minute increments and run outside, jump on the trampoline or just get up from the table for a bit!

Corinna

says:

My first year with AAS and my first born was awesome and I’d love to win one for next year/level studies or one for my 2nd boy .
Good luck to EVERYONE :)

susanna

says:

For my busy kids we take long breaks between subjects, so they can play outside, ride bikes, skate. Lots and lots of hands on learning, and now that it is getting warmer we head outside to learn.

Shelly Hunter

says:

I LOVE AAL resources! We have used levels 1 and 2 of AAS and AAR and they’ve been SO helpful to me, a former teacher, who is now homeschooling my 4 soon to be 5 kids! We love the hands on approach:)! Thanks!

teresa

says:

My kids love running with their dogs and riding the scooter in between lessons

Mel J

says:

I found a dry erase tape the width of duct tape. Stuck some to our work table and use to practice words. Easy to wipe clean and fun for my daughter.

Sarah Howard

says:

Thanks! I really appreciate these real life insights.

Teresa

says:

Some really good ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Jaime B

says:

We take regular trampoline breaks and I recently had my middle child underline the words and sentences as she goes along on her fluency sheets. I need to try the sidewalk chalk idea!!

Marta Deely

says:

My kids and I love all about spelling!

Melissa

says:

Thank you for great ideas! I have a very active one who will appreciate some sidewalk chalk spelling time!

Desiree

says:

Thanks for posting!

Janet

says:

so helpful…thank you!

Jenna s.

says:

Thank you for posting this.

Jenna

says:

Thanks for posting!

Melissa Perkins

says:

This is very encouraging for me as I will be adding my son to the home school routine in the fall.

Randi

says:

Love the idea about making paper chains with the fluency practice sheets. My 5 year old loves this and needs a break at the end of each row so it works perfect.

Debi Schuhow

says:

I want this! :)

Kim

says:

These are great suggestions. Thank you!

Marie M

says:

I’m planning to try All About Spelling. Thanks for your insightful article. My 8 year old is a very different learner than my older children. I think this will be the perfect solution for him.

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Marie,

I hope it helps your son! Contact us at support@allaboutlearningpress if you have questions along the way.

Michelle

says:

This is full of awesome ideas for any child who has a bundle of energy! All kids need lots patience. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Tammy

says:

Really good information and ideas! My son is now 8, but he was evaluated at age 6 and was found to have Asperger’s tendencies. I can see him doing everything you described! I think patience is the hardest part of all (for me). I work full time and homeschool 3-4 days a week. AAR has been a life-saver for us. He refused to read at all or be read to (unless it was a dinosaur book lol) as well. After just two weeks, he’s reading the short stories with very little, if any, help from me. I love it!

Merry at AALP

says:

That’s awesome! What great progress, I’m glad the program is encouraging him to read.

Michelle

says:

I can’t wait to try all about spelling!

Beth Sommer

says:

What a great article! I have an active 12 year old and over the years we have learned to do many subjects in a very active way. Love the All About Spelling Program! I will be trying it for next year to reinforce the phonics that my son missed out on when he was in a traditional classroom.

Susanne

says:

Thanks for the great tips on teaching active boys and a peek into your day!

Sydni Bamberg

says:

I am loving AAS this year with my dyslexic child. I am wanting the next level AND will give AAR a go this coming fall as well. Thanks for wonderful materials!

sarah johnson

says:

what a wonderful program!

CCHall

says:

It’s so encouraging to hear about how other homeschooling moms, living in the real world, make it work! We also have 2 boys and we live in a 700sf space. My boys would probably enjoy “crashing” letters together and shooting flashcards with nerf guns, too!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m thankful to hear that this day-in-the-life post was helpful for you! It is nice to see someone else “making it work”! I hope your boys enjoy crashing their letter tiles together, and maybe even those nerf guns too!

Britani

says:

I LOVE AAS and AAR!!!

Jen

says:

I am excited to learn more about AAS. Doing lots of research!!

Robyn Owens-Miille

says:

Love the product for my kinesthetic learner!

Alithia

says:

Thank you Marie for developing such wonderful products for us.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Alithia! The pleasure is all mine. My team and I get much fulfillment and joy out of creating this curriculum for families like yours!

Candace

says:

Awesone!

Great article highlighting a hardworking homeschool mom. Love how she makes things work for her kids in the space she has.

jenny

says:

Thanks for the reminder that there is no perfect time frame for learning. My daughter also struggled with reading at the “traditional” beginning age, so we put it on the back burner until she was 10 yrs old. In the meantime, she found topics that interested her which motivated her to work on her reading. It was a bit difficult not to worry about the fact that she was not yet reading by the time she was 9, but I’m so glad we stepped back and waited until she was ready. Something finally “clicked” and she began reading at the “typical” level for her age within 6 months. (One of the beauties of homeschooling – time frames to fit individual children without the pressure of not learning at the same pace as classmates) Now we’re using AAS to hone her spelling skills.

melissa

says:

not being afraid to teach outside the box, thank you for this!

Dawn

says:

I’m a mom of twin 5 year old girls who feed off each other’s energy. I was recently struggling with how to make reading fluency pages more interesting to capture their attention and make the process less painful for all. I saw Marie’s article on Teaching Active Children and tried her suggestions. It made the day enjoyable for the girls and me! And no more protesting!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

That’s great news, Dawn! I’m glad that your daughters’ (and your) day is more enjoyable! Here’s a blog post you may be interested in to help make the fluency pages more palatable: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/5-tips-for-practice-sheets/

Elizabeth

says:

We use All about Spelling, but I would love the try the Reading program as well!

Lorelie Yuzek

says:

Love, love, love these books!!

Lori Raines

says:

Thanks for the great ideas!

Corrie David

says:

Lots of great ideas! I especially like the jumping rope while spelling. My kids will love that!

Bethany

says:

Lots of great ideas for working with an active child. In really taking to heart the above about spraying and decreasing distractions. My daughter is able to sit for awhile but her mind is always active.

I look forward to trying out the free downloads since I’ve heard many good things about “All about Spelling” I will try it based on how it helped the children of a family read in a week!

Merry at AALP

says:

Awesome! Let us know if you have any questions along the way.

Kelly

says:

Good read – being new to homeschooling it is easy to fall into the trap of “it has to be traditional”.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was helpful for you! You certainly don’t have to follow tradition if it’s not in the best interest of your child. Feel free to blaze your own path in finding out what suits your household best!

Since you’re new to homeschooling, I’d like to take a moment to wish you all the best in your homeschooling journey! If you ever have questions, please feel free to get into touch with us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or 715-477-1976. We’re here to help!

Eleni Kallaur

says:

These are great tips! Can’t wait to try them.

Amanda Burt

says:

We have a mini trampoline that the kids love to bounce on. We will incorporate, bounce out each letter as you spell ;)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

That will certainly put a spring in your kids’ steps. :) That’s a good way to burn off energy and get school done!

Cynthia Trejo

says:

Anything getting them moving helps. I remember using little scavenger hunts for words or letters to get them moving and learning at the same time.

sallyk

says:

We have an indoor basket ball hoop that my boys love to shoot on to burn off energy!

Brigitte

says:

I’m starting to feel a bit relieved after reading about how parents are successfully homeschooling their active kids. I have a 3 year old girl that is very high energy but loves to learn. I was a bit nervous about beginning teaching her at home, but the schools here are awful. After looking over the All About Reading Prereading program and it’s reviews, I’m actually getting excited about it. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Merry at AALP

says:

I’m so glad you are feeling relieved about the possibility of homeschooling. I think most of us were nervous when we started. Just like when you start a new job and hope you’ll do well, only we heap extra pressure on ourselves because this is our child’s education! There certainly are challenges, but also a lot of joy in teaching our children, so I’m glad you are getting excited; you can do this!

Lexi

says:

I also need an extra does of patience when I’m teaching reading or spelling. Nothing has tested my patience like teaching those two subjects!
My son usually jogs on the treadmill for about 15 minutes before his school time. It makes our day so much smoother!

Carrie

says:

We let our child roam around the kitchen table while he is spelling things out loud. Then he is better able to focus when he needs to pay attention or write something. It gets some of his wiggles out.

Carrie

says:

This is our first time using the program. Our child is going to be home schooled next year. He will be entering 4th grade. We are using the first level merely as an introduction to the program and review. He is enjoying the lessons.

kristi

says:

great article

melissa

says:

Let them sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. Works like a charm!!

Abigail W

says:

These are great ideas for creating multi-use spaces and for dealing with distractions. I’ve been slightly panicked (ok, a lot . . . ) about finding a new house. So few available homes seem to have space that works for homeschooling. I just need to remind myself that rooms are adaptable, that their functions are not limited.

Merry at AALP

says:

Moving can be so stressful! I hope you find a home that fits your family. Our homeschool areas have always been multi-purpose!

sheila

says:

have a student who could use some help with spelling!

Niki P

says:

I’m very interested in trying this program with my son!

M ashby

says:

We love this program for our active boys!!

Doretta

says:

I am really interested in trying this with our adopted daughter!

Jennifer Turpin

says:

Thank you for sharing your experiences and what you have been learning along the way. It’s going to be a tremendous help to have some ideas already in place before my first year of homeschooling.

Merry at AALP

says:

I hope you have a great first year!

Jeniveer

says:

Thanks for the great ideas! I have 2 active boys and will be employing some of the suggestions soon.

Donna Y

says:

Thank you so much for sharing Jenny’s story and the reader tips!! I have two little boys who I struggle with when it comes to getting them to focus so they can learn. This will be very helpful!!

Cathy Boatright

says:

I have a dyselxic child, and am currently looking for curriculum for our first year of homeschool. Love these tips, and I would love to win this and give it a try!

Marie

says:

Very useful and practical tips.

susan navas

says:

I have heard great things about the All About Reading curriculum. I would love the chance to try the All About Spelling!

Marion M

says:

I’ve got a very active 8 year old who also struggles with focusing, but loves to do the spelling and reading on the bed or snuggled up on the couch. Patience has been a struggle at times, but Professor Owl, the hand puppet who teaches spelling, has been a real help at times!

Katie L

says:

I love these tips! I really enjoy finding different areas to teach as well, I think it makes things less boring. And I wholeheartedly agree that lots of play and “exercise” for the kiddos is a huge help, and very much needed for their development. Thanks for the great post!

Katie,
I’m glad you found this post helpful, and I know Jenny is too. You may be interested in this article in Kinesthetic Learning, especially now that spring has hit most all of the country. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/kinesthetic-learning/

Have a great week!

Nancy S.

says:

With my extremely active beginning K (and likely dyslexic) child, I have been using a variety of movements with every letter phoneme he’s been learning. So we do the crab walk around the house saying (shouting) |k| |s|. There’s a different movement for each one. It has helped him memorize the sounds.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

That’s awesome, Nancy! I loved hearing about your crab walk for learning the phonogram sounds of C. Kids truly do learn more when they can actively participate in their lessons. Thank you for sharing!

AnaMaree

says:

I love AAS, we have level 1 and are moving slowly (she is 5). Small, VERY small space. I taped file folders together and used magnetic sheets inside so it is wide enough when opened up, short enough for little arms to reach AND folds up to the size of a file folder holding everything together!

Christy A Beach

says:

Great tips! My highly visual/tactile 10 yr old struggled with spelling for years until someone told us about AAS, now he actually looks forward to it and has blown through books 1-5 in a year and a half! He loves the using the tiles. We’re looking forward to books 6 & 7 this year.

Christy,
WOW! Levels 1-5 in a year and a half is a whirlwind pace. You must have a very bright and motivated student on your hands. Feel free to slow down your pace for the last two Levels. Remember that Level 7 takes students through high school level spelling, so he is already ahead if he is working in Level 6 this coming year.

Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great week.

Misty

says:

This article was very informative. I’ll have to try some of these suggestions.

Beth Z. Patt

says:

Cool idea.

Danielle

says:

This is a great product.

Greta D

says:

We are doing AAS book 1 and love it. Thanks for the tips

Melissa S.

says:

These tips were fantastic! I have a very energetic dyslexic daughter and I’m slowly but surely learning ways to personalize the program for her. I think I’m going to have to try the tip to do the lessons in my bedroom to minimize distractions. We have been cutting the fluency sheets into strips for a while now and that has made a HUGE difference.

Melissa,
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Good for you in finding ways to teach your child in the best way she learns. Keep up the great work!

Here are a couple articles you may have seen, but just in case you haven’t:
Kinesthetic Learning http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/kinesthetic-learning/
Our Top 5 Tips for Using Practice Sheets http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/5-tips-for-practice-sheets/

Have a lovely week.

Sigrid

says:

I like the tips because we are just starting this program today!

Cassandra

says:

Great tips!

I like to utilize a whiteboard that’s hanging so that my son is standing during part of his lesson.

CD

says:

This looks like the help we need!

Kathy C.

says:

My youngest son used to go through his flash cards while doing jumping jacks

Kathy Manta

says:

I would love to win All About Spelling curriculum. I’ve tried several others with my son and we haven’t had much success with getting his spelling to improve. He’ll learn the words but take a test two weeks later and the same mistakes appear. He does read very well and now that he’s older he just wants to use spell check. Spelling was never fun for him or me. Trying this out by winning would be no risk and might actually help the both of us.

Renee

says:

Great tips! Thanks.

Jarica

says:

Wonderful tips!

Lisa

says:

Thanks for this post!

Cat

says:

Great tips!

Ashley M

says:

These are some great tips. We also live in a small (880 sq. ft.) home with 2 active little boys. I will be implementing some of these ideas!

Margriet N

says:

Thankyou so much for sharing!

Kimberly D Spain

says:

All About Spelling has been working great with my children! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Krista Smith

says:

I will be homeschooling my 9 year old who is dyslexic next year. I am excited to use all about spelling and reading with her.

Janice

says:

We take short “brain breaks” (short bursts of physical activity, like jumping jacks or standing on one foot or hopping 20-30 hops. . .) during the morning as the kids need them. These short breaks help them focus on the academics better.

Danae

says:

Thanks for sharing…these tips are already helping!

Rebekah

says:

I found that chewing gum satisfied the need to move enough that the rest of the body could be still and work on something for a longer time.

Kimberly

says:

We have a inflated seat called a wobble that our chiropractor gave us for exercises. It holds true to it’s name! Perfect for wobbles while we learn!

Carrie Phillips

says:

Thanks for sharing your ideas!
C.Phillips

d moran

says:

This soumds like such a great idea.

kelly

says:

Im very excited to learn more about this!

Anne F.

says:

Thanks for the tips for active learners. The tiles themselves already seem a help that way.

Anna A.

says:

Great ideas. Can’t wait for my DS to be old enough to try this out.

Sherry

says:

Both my daughter and I are “high energy” learners! We are both enjoying this program!

Heather

says:

Nice tips. My daughter can be calm or very fidgety depending on her mood. I might try some of these.

Melissa King

says:

Great tips. Very helpful. I cannot wait to get started.

Dawn

says:

Great ideas, thanks for candid sharing

Naomi

says:

Great ideas for burning energy and getting school done. Thanks!

CW

says:

Thanks for sharing some good ideas.

Robin

says:

We just got finished with Level 1. My son and I both liked it.

Michele

says:

This spelling curriculum looks like a refreshing change for our children! Love the logical approach.

jennifer mathesz

says:

Great tips!! i have a very active son

Ruth Bohn

says:

Interesting…
Good information…

Amy

says:

I love the creativity of learning in unconventional places! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jacci

says:

I love this post because it is a great reminder that our “normal routine” doesn’t need to (in fact, probably shouldn’t!) look like anyone else’s. Great job Jenny!

Jennifer Roberts

says:

We try to go outside and run around/play for a bit prior to school time…and we take breaks when I can feel he needs to burn off more energy!

Jenny L.

says:

When we do our spelling review, my boys pace around the room as they spell their words. Honestly, they do so much better than any form of writing the words and I really think the movement helps them to think!

Michelle

says:

Great article! Thanks!

Jennifer M

says:

Thanks for the help! My younger daughters always seem to have the wiggles!

Katie B

says:

Thanks for the tips! I have 4 very wiggly children, so I love all the ideas. At this point we do everything in short sessions and take lots of breaks for “getting your wiggles out”.

Andrea

says:

Thank you for all of the great information.

Kristin Albee

says:

Great article!!

Gita Suchland

says:

Great ideas!

Ashley Hoopes

says:

Thanks for sharing these tips. I will be homeschooling my active boy soon.

Kelly

says:

Thank you for the great ideas!! I will have to try some of these with my active bunch!

Chrissy S.

says:

Very helpful, thank you!

Amber

says:

Great ideas! Definitely going to have to use a few of these.

ELIZABETH Parker

says:

So many great tips!!!

So many wonderful tips for homeschooling!

Katie

says:

Thank you for sharing so transparently. It helps to see non traditional ‘schoolrooms’ at work.

Brandy

says:

Great read. Thank you

Amanda

says:

Great ideas! Thx!!

Dawn Melancon

says:

Thanks!

Alyssa

says:

Thank you! There were some seriously helpful ideas in this post!

Angie E.

says:

Thank you, great read!

Becca @ThreePlusMe

says:

Love this article. Thank you

Carmen N

says:

Great ideas – learning can take place anywhere :)

Nicole D.

says:

We do many of our spelling lessons while my daughter jumps on her mini trampoline lol

KatieH

says:

We are looking into AAR/AAS for fall (1st grade) this was very helpful. I’m only seeing good things about this program.

Morgan

says:

My daughter is a very compliant, eager, able to sit all morning student. My son starts school in the fall and this article was extremely helpful in giving some great ideas for an energetic, always moving, fun boy! Thanks!

kelli

says:

This was very helpful we are just starting with All about Spelling next year.

Amanda Duncan

says:

I’ve used AAS with my daughter, who has convergence insufficiency. Its been a great fit for her. She’s a reluctant reader. I hope to try AAR soon; maybe it will work as great for her as AAS has.

Jenni C.

says:

I can’t wait to use AAR! We already use AAS and love it. Thanks for the tips! I have wigglers and never thought about some of the activities you suggested. We usually end up taking breaks which can turn into a nightmare trying to get back to work.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Ha, ha! Well, I’m happy to hear that we’re helping you avoid disasters and nightmares! Also, I’m glad that AAS has been good for you. I hope that these tips will help keep your kids happily learning, too! Have fun!

Rhian L Landowski

says:

So excited. I just bought level 1 because I couldn’t wait.

Terese Smith

says:

Thank you so much for some great ideas !

Davina Barager

says:

All about Reading; I finally found something that is working for my daughter

Marta Joanna Trznadel-Skah

says:

I would like to know if I can enter giveaway to win program for reading and spelling if I live in France?

Raquel cook

says:

i would love to win a program for reading and spelling . My daughter is struggling in both areas, mostly out of boredom. She is entering 3rd grade homeschooling .

Kelley T

says:

Thanks for the great tips and the honest writing.

Beth Koenig

says:

Great Ideas! We use a exercise ball also.

Iris

says:

The ability to read well is one of the most important steps to future success and this program makes it possible for any student. Thank you.

Julee

says:

everyone learns differently,it is really good to read and see different methods

Audra

says:

Love the hands on approach. My son has to be on the move all the time.

Shelly

says:

I would love to receive this! I use AAS, and have been looking at AAR to round everything out! :D

I have a 7 year old with Autism who is an advanced reader, self taught. I’ve wondered what exactly to do about him. He doesn’t seem to need any help.

Becky,
In this situation, I would first recommend looking at the placement guides for All About Reading to decide if going with a higher level would be beneficial. 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://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/content/samples/CobwebTheCat_Sample.pdf
Level 2 sample story http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/content/samples/AAR-L2-QueenBee-2ndEd-Sample.pdf
Level 3 sample story http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/content/samples/AAR-L3-Shipwreck-Sample.pdf
Level 4 sample story http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/content/samples/AAR-L4-Charlies-Sick-Day.pdf

Also, consider starting All About Spelling with him. It supports reading and also writing. It, like All About Reading, is designed to be used at the student’s individual pace, so you can move through the Levels as quickly as he needs.

I hope this helps. Let us know if we can help further.

Tara H

says:

I love your ideas! We have used AAR yet but I’ve read that it can be good for those who are dyslexic. I suspect my 8 year old may be.

Tara,
All About Reading is based on the Orton Gillingham method which has been found to be successful for students with dyslexia. The author, Marie Rippel, is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and is an instructor for the graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check out their story. Quite amazing! http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/about

However, since All About Reading is designed to be used at the individual student’s pace, with individualized review, it works great with typical learners as well.

You might find this Symptoms of Dyslexia Checklist helpful. http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/content/downloads/Symptoms_of_Dyslexia_Checklist.pdf

Let us know if we can be of further help to you.

jen t.

says:

Sounds like our house. Great ideas.

Kristina U

says:

Great idea about stretching out on the bed, my boys would really enjoy that.

Kristin N

says:

Sounds similar to my house! Thanks for the post!

Kristen

says:

Sounds just like my boys! Great ideas!

Cindy green

says:

great post!

Keslie

says:

I’ve loved using AAR pre reading with my oldest child!

abby

says:

Thanks so much for these great ideas for keeping kids active while learning! Such a good reminder that you don’t need the “perfect” yard or home school room to teach at home…you just need to be creative and willing to let your kids move while learning!

Abby,
Jenny does a wonderful job of making use of her small place, doesn’t she?

Moving while learning is so important for so many students that simply getting out of a chair can increase their learning. You might find this article on Kinesthetic Learning interesting. http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/kinesthetic-learning/

Let us know if we can help in any way.

Amancia

says:

i love AAR. We have AAS but haven’t started but I e noticed my daughter is quite good at spelling and I think it is from all the great reading she is doing!

Lisa

says:

My active boy loves to spell outside on the driveway with chalk. He will spell about 20 words at a time without me harping or helping him stay on task.

Jenny

says:

What a great reminder to get outside with chalk in hand! I have a big bucket of chalk and often forget about it.

Ashley Moore

says:

I should try a timer because I so often fall prey to trying to check things off! Good tip!

Cassandra Maddox

says:

My two sons are bundles of energy. We try to make reading fun. When they do the flashcards the get to shot them with a nerf gun if they get it right. We also do a lot of our work outside.

Karen

says:

This program has been a Godsend for my dyslexic 10 year old. We are almost ready to move on to level 4. The most change took place when we started the sections on prefixes and suffixes. Thank you!

Heather

says:

Perfect post for me to read- I have three boys!!

kim

says:

With a son who has ASD, I found this super helpful! Ty!!

Tiffany Matthews

says:

Excellent ideas!!! I, too, have a busy child. Her sisters are not as easily distracted but she is. The stuffy needing to read also is a great idea!!

Cheryl Smith

says:

I would love to try the reading program with my son who is 13 and is struggling to learn to read. He has auditory processing disorder . We use the spelling program and he has moved on to level 2. Seeing some small victories but stuck in a coue places and can’t move on. This is the only program we have had success with. He’s behind in every subject because of reading. He’s an awesome kid and very bright. He’s creative and can make things from any thing he finds. He’s great at hockey, golf, and soccer. He’s passionate about hockey, cars,and the outdoors. Enjoys fishing and working with his dad and brothers. He helped his brother build an a ice rink in our back yard this past winter and made benches to sit on. He feels stupid because he can’t read and I feel like a failure.

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Cheryl,

Where is he stuck with AAS 2? If there’s any way I can help, please feel free to email me at support@allaboutlearningpress.com. We’re always here to help.

Have you seen our article on auditory processing? http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/auditory-processing-disorder/

A kid who can make things from anything he finds, build benches and so on is definitely not stupid! Is he familiar with the story of Thomas Edison and how much he struggled in school? That’s a great one to share with kids, look for a good biography like Childhood of Famous Americans to read out loud to him.

You are definitely not a failure. You are still engaged in helping your son, and that’s a great thing. He’s fortunate to have you for a mom.

Is your son able to learn from audio books? We used a lot of audio books for science, history, literature etc… over the years (I did a lot of reading aloud as well). They’re great for in the car or while cleaning one’s room or building with legos…

Cindy Neeson

says:

I can relate with three boys but my youngest(almost 10) has the wiggles all the time! we sometimes do our language arts on the bed and now that the weather is getting nicer hopefully we can start doing more outside. thanks for all the tips!

Naomi Cambridge

says:

I love that the lessons have an activity or game to go with them and that you can shorten or lengthen them according to the needs of the child being taught.

Nikki

says:

With my little guy, for spelling we did a lot of stuff outdoors when it was nice weather, and with chalk :) For bad weather days, I got a huge sheet of dry erase board from Home Depot, and he can put it where he wants so he can stand and wiggle around while he is writing – it has helped significantly. He used to hate spelling because he had to sit. As long as he can move around while working, he does wonderfully. Our magnetic board is set up for him to stand, but where my oldest can still sit since she doesn’t like standing while working….

Breana

says:

Would love to try this curriculum for my son who is struggling to learn to read!!

Kirsten

says:

so excited to try this curriculum :)

Anne

says:

My 6yo is definitely a ball of energy! Sometimes it is so hard to get through a lesson as she is upside down and spinning and running and ANYthing but remotely still!

Kristin

says:

Great ideas!

Michelle S

says:

I love AAS and AAR! So glad I found them. :)

Kelly U

says:

We also took time off last year with my son (1st grade age) and did very little reading. This year he flew through Level 2 and is half-way through Level 3 and he loves it! Favorite subject of the day! He is reading “Little House on the Praire” on his own also! So glad we slowed down and didn’t push!

Natalie Cassell

says:

I LOVE All About Reading! It is so easy to personalize, which makes it perfect for my daughter.

Katie waalkes

says:

I’m excited to try out some of these tricks with my two very active boys!

Michelle

says:

Great ideas!

Nicole M

says:

Our daughter is also very active, and we do use some of the techniques others employ, but I never thought of cutting the reading sheets into strips and stuffing them into eggs, etc.–great idea! I hide the cards around our family room/kitchen area for her to find and read.

Debbie

says:

Great ideas!

Cynthia Clancy

says:

I am so looking forward to continuing my journey with AAR. We have taken a break since my oldest had a distaste for school. We will be starting up again soon :o)

Melanie

says:

Love this

Stephenie S

says:

Love storing it where you use it! Such a good idea!

Jenny C

says:

I’m just starting on my journey of homeschooling ACTIVE children. Thank you SO much for all of these tips!

Trisha b

says:

Love reading different ideas!

Lauren Briehl

says:

We do jumping jacks too! This week we did jumping jacks to count syllables, instead of clapping.

Stephanie

says:

i am very excited to give all about reading a try. U r very inspiring.

Missy

says:

We love AAS…after 3 different programs … Finally found the one that works for us!

Melissa

says:

I thought I was the only one to store school materials in my dresser!

Nancy B

says:

My son is finishing first grade. I have been using AAS the last two years for my daughter who is now finishing up fourth grade. I loved the spelling program’s multi sensory approach. So when time came to teach reading, I was thrilled to start AAR with my VERY.WIGGLY.LITTLE.BOY. He too loves playing with the letters, “chopping” them and making them crash to the bottom of the board during the word change sequences (like Shock would do on Electric Company). He is finishing Level 4 and can decode ANY word he sees anywhere. If he struggles, all I have to do is remind him to break the word into syllables and he then naturally applies the rules. It’s amazing!!!! I have recommended this program to so many families in our homeschool group. Next year he will begin the AAS and I suspect the transition will be seamless! Thank you for these awesome programs!!!!!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Nancy! I loved hearing about your son’s superhero approach to chopping the letter tiles! Congratulations to both of you for completing Level 4!!!

Erica

says:

Some great tips. My eldest is much easier to sit down and learn with…. Not so much her very energetic younger sister, so we’ve definitely needed some new strategies!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I hope some of these tips work for your youngest, Erica! :)

Jodi C

says:

Love the hands on factor of these materials!

Amy

says:

For my dyslexic boy I find short burst of learning along with always changing the tactile part works wonderfully.

jenb

says:

Great ideas!

Lain

says:

Great ideas! I have 2 active boys as well and I will start using some of these techniques!

Whitney

says:

LOVE All About Reading. My daughter (5) is a whiz at sounding out words. She is learning to read much quicker and much more confidently than my public schooled child. We have completed Level 1 and have started Level 2.

Erin R

says:

I am anxious to try All About Reading this fall with my very active son. I think he will love it and learn a lot!

Laura Blackman

says:

I have three young boys who all love to sit and hop on a bouncy ball. The boys are free to move around during lessons and reading. Thankfully, they still like to cuddle up with me and read together too! They like to practice writing on Boogie Boards.

Our break in almost always outside!
Oops, I have 5 boys. Yep. Five.

An old teacher’s teacher once said that schools were designed for girls: sit still, raise your hand, wait patiently until your turn, draw nouns (horse, house, and people).

My boys need to run, dig, mow the lawn, catch frogs, and draw verbs (in chalk on the driveway… Outside!)
We recently moved into a 2 story house. I place things on the stairs for them to memorize and have them do “up/downs” through out the day. Right now one of the boys is memorizing multiplication facts with up/downs!

(Someone will wonder- boydraw verbs.this means their drawings tend to show a ton of action. A mom (a girl herself) cocks her head to one side and says, “OK…” Try this. Say your son, “Wow! There is a lot happening here, tell me about it.” Hold onto your seat.)

Wow, Bekki! You are a wealth of knowledge on teaching active kids!!! Thanks for adding to the discussion!

erica k

says:

I also have my 7 y/o do jumping exercises. She jumps on the mini trampoline while practicing her spelling. She loves spelling this way instead of always writing. : )

Steph

says:

Our go to break between subjects is balloon volleyball. Who knew you could be out of breath and sweaty from hitting a balloon back and forth.

My oldest makes his letters crash, explode, drive, fly, etc. It makes me a bit batty because towards the end of the lesson he will ask why it’s taking so long, but at least he’s having fun!

In addition to colored sand in a 4-sided tray, additional options for kinesthetic spelling practice include pudding and whipped cream. You can also have students trace letters to spell their words in shaving cream, but make sure they don’t eat it thinking it’s pudding or whipped cream!

Additional spelling can be to cut letters or syllables from a newspaper or magazines and “put them together” by gluing them on paper as whole words! (also good for visual perception and for visual motor skills!) Kids really enjoy this type of spelling practice because it doesn’t feel like work!

Kim

says:

I have copied and cut the fluency sheets into strips and put the strips in plastic eggs. Before school starts I hide them around the house, when my son finds them he has to read them. We also made paper chains with the strips. Anything to make reading fun.

Jenny

says:

I love this idea, Kim!

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