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Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Reading and Dyslexia

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Reading and Dyslexia

All About Reading and dyslexia: have you ever wondered if AAR works for students who struggle with this learning challenge?

Marianne Sunderland is mom to eight children, seven of whom have dyslexia. She is also the author of Dyslexia 101: Truths, Myths, and What Really Works.

As a trained Orton-Gillingham practitioner, Marianne designs courses specifically for parents of dyslexic children, and is a sought-after speaker on the topic of teaching reading at homeschool conferences.

With all of her experience, you’d hardly think that Marianne would be in the market for reading curriculum, but she is an avid All About Reading user.

All About Reading and All About Spelling are structured programs with a carefully planned sequence. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Having the lessons, stories, and activity sheets readily available makes the job of teaching much easier, even for an expert like Marianne.

With seven dyslexic children and one traditional learner, Marianne has a unique story to tell. I love to get these peeks into other family’s lives to see how they homeschool and what is important to them!

Here’s Marianne…

Here’s a common scene from my household:

Ben (age 7): “Mom! Can we do school?”
Me: “It’s Saturday, Buddy. We don’t do school on Saturdays!”
Ben (with dramatic emphasis): “Awwww. Bummer!”

How far our family has come from our early days teaching our seven kids with dyslexia to read!

Those were long, hard days before we understood that our kids’ reading struggles were caused by small differences in the wiring of their brains. What a relief to learn that our kids’ struggles didn’t mean that they were willful and lazy and that we weren’t the worst parents in the world!

I’m pretty sure that we’ve tried every method and reading program available over our past 20 years of homeschooling. If you’ve been teaching kids with dyslexia to read for any amount of time, you know that traditional methods of teaching reading don’t work.

I always knew that our kids with dyslexia were bright, even though they struggled mightily with the written word, both reading and spelling. What I didn’t know way back then was that the reason most reading programs don’t work for dyslexic kids is that they are using the wrong methods.

During those years of slow, frustrating progress teaching our kids with dyslexia to read, I began to research learning, reading, and dyslexia—anything that might point us in the right direction. We tried all kinds of programs, supplements, and exercises in the hopes that their dyslexia would be “cured.” Turns out dyslexia is genetic—dyslexic kids become dyslexic adults.

What I learned was that instead of looking for a miracle cure, I needed to look for the way in which my kids could learn to read. Enter All About Reading!

Why It Works: All About Reading and Dyslexia

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Reading and Dyslexia with Marianne Sunderland

There is no magic in the All About Reading program, but there sure seemed to be miracles when we began using it three years ago!

Until we discovered AAR, it seemed like all of our reading instruction leaked out of our kids’ ears during the night. I would teach a reading lesson. My child would understand and apply the rule. But the next day it was as if he had never heard that lesson! My kids could read a word on one line and in the very next sentence, forget the word entirely.

The hands-on, multisensory aspect of AAR has made an amazing impact on our kids’ ability to remember what they have learned. Reading still doesn’t come as easily for my dyslexic kids as it does for my one traditional learner. But the games and hands-on activities are fun, and that helps motivate them to push through their difficulties.

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Reading and Dyslexia with Marianne Sunderland

I cannot tell you how many tears of frustration have been shed in our home over the years as we tried one reading program after the other that just didn’t work.

First I was annoyed. “Why can’t you remember this?!” and “Pay attention!

Then the kids were upset. I had no idea that they really were trying!

No one likes to do things they aren’t good at. But having fun and being able to experience success day by day is very motivating, not to mention much more enjoyable. Kids are almost always willing and eager to do things that are fun!

Real Moms, Real Kids: All About Reading and Dyslexia with Marianne Sunderland

We started using All About Reading three years ago, and now my kids:

  • enjoy school
  • are motivated to try hard
  • don’t hate reading time
  • are learning to read!

And as for me…

  • I feel confident
  • I’m motivated to keep pressing on
  • I enjoy teaching
  • I’m thrilled to finally be able to teach my kids to read in the way that they learn!

Here’s What I Love about Marianne’s Story

Marianne’s story highlights the power of multisensory curriculum when teaching children who learn differently. After Marianne discovered curriculum that works with the way her children learn best, they remembered the concepts, they were motivated to do the lessons, and their reading ability improved dramatically.

Another thing stood out to me as well: Marianne’s tenacity! I know how hard it is to teach one child with dyslexia, and she has seven! I appreciate the fact that she shares her hard-won wisdom so freely with the homeschool community.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Marianne!

Products Marianne Has Used with Her Children:

If you are homeschooling a child with dyslexia, you may enjoy these helpful resources from Marianne:

  • Marianne’s blog Homeschooling with Dyslexia is packed with encouraging articles and resources.
  • Marianne’s training course for parents of dyslexics is available here.
  • Find out more about what Marianne says about All About Reading in her detailed review.

Did you enjoy Marianne’s story? Read stories from more Real Moms, Real Kids.

How about you? Have you tried program after program hoping to find a miracle cure for your struggling reader?

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Leave a Comment

Anja

says:

Thank you for your great blog and learning material.
Through it we have finally come to understand that our son is struggling with dyslexia and is not just lazy.
A big relief and at the same time a challenge.
Thank you.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Anja,
I’m glad that our materials have helped your son and you in this way. Please let us know if you need any further help!

Kate

says:

I have an older child who has dyslexia, who is now a senior in college and hopefully! graduating next spring. When this child was in third grade, he had already been held back a year, and was really struggling. I had received training in Orton-Gillingham and decided to homeschool him at that time. Unfortunately, the AAR and AAS programs had not been developed at the time, but using the materials I had from my training, I was able to use this approach to teach him to read and spell fluently. He went from failing and needing constant help, to doing well, and has gone through college, with minimal assistance. While my younger children do not have learning disabilities, they are thriving with this program and reading at grade levels above where they are. One child was struggling with learning spelling the traditional way and after six months of using this program, spelling has now become one of our the favorite subjects here. Even though I had training in this method, this program makes it so much easier and Ziggy adds to the fun of learning every day!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kate,
Thank you for sharing this. Marie worked really hard to make AAS and AAR not only complete with the Orton-Gillingham method, but actually easy and fun to teach and learn from too.

roslyn harris

says:

I started the year using my Orton Gillingham training to teach my son. But he wanted his school to be “fun” like little SIS’s was and i was pregnant and due in the spring. So I started to look for a program that would be easy for me and fun for him. I am so glad we found aar he and I like it…especially if I get creative with the fluency sheets : . Why reinvent the wheel? I do have him trace the new phonographs he learns in birdseed or jell or just on the table as I was taught to do in my training and have him trace them to remind himself of them also but that is a minor addition. He decodes very well and is very slowly moving word cards to the mastered section–but he is only 4 and we are slowing down to work on fluency.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

It’s great to hear that All About Reading has provided the “fun” your son was needing! Thanks for sharing this, Roslyn.

Christine

says:

This was so incredibly helpful. I started crying because I can relate. I’ve been rating for an answer and I believe God has answered it clearly.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Christine,
I’m glad you found this post helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions, or if we can help you in any way. We want to help you help your child.

Kim

says:

This sounds excellent! I’m excited to give it a try in my special education classroom.

Kelli Poll

says:

It is so helpful to hear from others that are farther down the road of teaching a dyslexic child. I only have one, my youngest, and it really threw me for awhile. He was so different from the others and it has been quite a journey to learn what is normal for him (lots of repetition, slow but steady, hard work, not lazy) and how to help him progress.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kelli,
I’m glad you found this post encouraging. Most of us here at All About Learning Press have experience with dyslexia, so let us know if you ever need help. You can help your son succeed!

Reed

says:

Thank you sooo much!

Ginny H

says:

We did our first lesson of All About Reading Level 1 today. LOVED IT! I have one kiddo who is naturally good at reading, and one who won’t do more than get the sounds out..and the sounds might not be in the order they’re listed. They both seemed to really enjoy the lesson. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Ginny,
It’s great to hear your first day went so well!

Laura

says:

How does this work for kids who can already “read” but are dyslexic?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Laura,
Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based, which is a proven method 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 was an instructor for the graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin for 3 years. 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!

All About Reading has 4 levels, taking students through the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words. (Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…) However, All About Reading goes beyond just word attack skills, and also teaches comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, beginning literary analysis, and more.

In addition, All About Spelling helps students spell with confidence.

I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have further questions or need more clarification.

Heather

says:

Thank you so much for this encouragement. My son is only mildly dyslexic but had eye tracking issues as well. Once we figured this out and once he completed his eye therapy he began to read quite well, but he still struggles with spelling so much. I am glad to learn that AAS is helpful to struggling learners!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Heather,
I’m glad you found this post encouraging! Let us know if we can help in any way.

SHARON BAZZELL

says:

What kind of eye tracking therapy did you do? My son is dyslexic and has this issue as well.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sharon,
Just in case Heather doesn’t see this (she commented months ago), eye tracking therapy is typically prescribed by a specialist eye doctor. You can find more information at http://www.covd.org.

Shavi

says:

Have you got a similar programm for Maths?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Shavi,
We do not have a math program, but I can give you some ideas to look into.

Marie had one student who struggled with math, and one who did well. Teaching Textbooks worked well for her struggling student, so that’s one you might look into. Her student who did well in math used Aleks.

I use Math-U-See with my one student that struggles with math. To me it is the closest to AALP, in that it uses multisensory instruction. However, instead of the step-by-step teacher’s guide, it uses video instruction and the teacher’s guide is more of an overview of what the video teaches.

My other students that don’t (or didn’t) struggle with math have all used Singapore in the elementary years. It’s not so hands on, but the textbook does a great job of helping me walk my students through the concepts. The textbook uses lots of illustrations of manipulatives too, so while they aren’t assigned to be used it is easy to add them in if needed.

However, my co-worker, Merry, used Horizons in the elementary years, and Math-U-See for Pre-algebra and above. Both Marie and Merry always liked Singapore because it fit their styles, but it did not fit their kids well.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if we can help in any further way.

Amelie

says:

Can you tell me how AAR compares with the Wilson Reading Program?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amelie,
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!

So, the programs do have a lot of similarities in that the teaching is based on learning phonograms. However, there are a few differences:

With All About Reading (AAR) and All About Spelling (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 our 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.

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.

I hope this answers your question. Please let us know if we can help any further.

Renae Redekopp

says:

NO one likes doing things they aren’t good at––so true! Thanks for this thoughtful post!

Christianne

says:

Wonderful and inspiring to hear about others and their success stories. Thank you for sharing!

Danielle McCammon

says:

We struggled and struggled until we got a private tutor who is trained in Orton-Gillingham approaches and she uses All About Reading as a source! My daughter went up to grade levels in reading after 4 months of this approach!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Danielle,
That is a great improvement! Thank you for sharing.

Lisa

says:

I have two quick questions.
How are the AAR and AAS interactive kits different?
Do i need a white board for marking purposes or can i just use a cookie sheet to manipulate the magnetic letters on?

Robyn Williams

says:

I feel this is an answer to prayer. I’ve asked many homeschool moms and they have recommended This curriculum over and over. Teaching my children to read seems very overwhelming, but with this program I feel it is possible. I’m a mom of 5 from ages 4 to 12. Two of my boys have ADD and dyslexia. Spelling is very challenging for them. I love the simplicity and creativity of this program. I’m extremely interested and praying I win this opportunity!!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Robyn,
Let us know if we can help you get started! These programs have helped so many ADD and dyslexic children, including my own!

Robyn Williams

says:

I feel this is an answer to prayer. I’ve asked many homeschool moms and they have recommended This curriculum over and over. Teaching my children to read seems very overwhelming, but with this program I feel it is possible. I’m a mom of 5 from ages 4 to 12. Two of my boys have ADD and dyslexia. I’m extremely interested and praying I win this opportunity!!!

Heather

says:

We used AAR level 1 for my daughter with Visual Processing Disorder last year, and it was fantastic. She loved the workbook activities!!

sheris

says:

School is not my daughters favorite and I believe its because she has a hard time remembering what she learns it doesn’t stick and as much as repetition is sometimes well boring it is truly needed for learning.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sheris,
You may find our Memory series to be helpful. The Funnel Concept is the first in the series, and the links to the other four blog articles is at the end.

Jeanne Marie Marks

says:

Always an encouraging word from the makers of an incredible program. Keep up the great work!

Kimberley Q

says:

This is very encouraging to keep persevering with our special needs!

E

says:

Very inspiring story

Heather

says:

AAS is easy to use for busy moms!

Adriene Arkwright

says:

This is a 5 star program. We love these programs. I love how all about reading and spelling programs compliment each other and reinforce each other. They go hand in hand and are excellent reviews for each other. By using the programs at the same time you know if your child is “getting it” or not. We had a top tutor but these programs cover what she did and more! Plus no more travel time; no more $50.00 an hour tutor fees. You are saving me thousands of dollars. Best of all my child loves to read now! We started at level 1 and are currently in level 3. We will be purchasing level 4 soon. From the bottom of my heart thank you and may God bless you.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Adriene, this makes my heart glad! I’m so happy that AAR and AAS have helped your family (and saved money and time too!). May God bless you as well; thank you for your note.

autym

says:

I realized that I have to move much slower with the spelling than I expected. Pacing it out over a week seems to help the rules stick.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Yes! Good for you, Autym. This is often hard for people to realize, but short, daily lessons with lots of review tend to produce better long-term retention. It sounds like you’ve found a good pace now!

Stacey

says:

I just started the program with my five year and I love that she asks to do it every day. Even on the weekends!

All About Reading was not available when I was struggling to teach two of my 4 children to read. I was able to use All About Spelling with the youngest child. That is when I began to learn about the Orton-Gillingham approach. I really didn’t know what dyslexia was or even that my children had it. I just knew that they struggled to learn to read, and they struggled even more with spelling. Fast forward a few years. I returned to my profession as a substitute teacher. Needing to supplement my income, I began to tutor. As I gained students, they all were bright but struggled with reading. This is when I discovered All About Reading and learned much more about dyslexia. Two of my kindergarten aged boys, yes, I do tutor kindergartners, use the All About Reading Pre-Reading Program. One is almost finished and they other is about half way through. AAR has helped make these two boys very successful and confident with their letters and letter sounds. I use AAS with my older students, and I’m looking at how to incorporate AAR into our tutoring sessions.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s great, Jennifer! By the way, we do have a short “FAQ” file for tutors that you might find helpful. If you haven’t seen that, email me at support@allaboutlearningpress.com. Let me know if you have any specific questions too–I’d be glad to help!

Heather

says:

I’ve been using All About Reading + Spelling for 2 years, (I’m about to start my third year). My boys love the hands on approach. They are two very energetic boys and aren’t able to sit still and learn just by looking. They need to hear and do also. I’m so happy to have settled on something that works very well. I also have confidence in this program. The rules are systematic and build on each other. Each step is a slow, easy advancement, so that the kids do not get overwhelmed (and neither do I!)

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Heather,
Thank you so much for sharing. It’s great to read how our programs work with children with all sorts of learning needs.

Ashley

says:

I just received level 2 in the mail & am excited about getting started!

Cathy

says:

All the wonderful testimonies has given me hope with my struggling reader.I can’t wait to see the difference your program will make for us.

Yvette

says:

Great article. Thank you for the encouragement!

Lisa Dean

says:

I am glad you have programs like this.

Melissa

says:

I’m so hopeful that AAR will be the answer to my son’s reading difficulties!

Shannon

says:

AAR Level 1 has really helped my struggling dyslexic son. We’ve gone from tears to can we read another story! Thank you so much!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Oh, I love that, Shannon! Congratulations! Your hard work (and his) is paying off.

L v Vuuren

says:

I have a little cousin that seems to have dyslexia. I forwarded this post to her mom.

Julieta

says:

I am a 31 year old dyslexic, who could not read until my early teens. My nieces and nephews and probably my son are dyslexic. I can’t wait to try some that really will work. I checked out the previews lesson plans and even I can benefit from this. I’m so excited to get started!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Julieta,
Wow. Good for you to want to make a difference for so much of your family. Do let us know if we can help in any way.

JK

says:

This program is wonderful. My son has become a more confident reader and seems to look forward to reading more and more. We both enjoy the read aloud time together. And I left out one small detail, he is on the Autism Spectrum. This program is effective and I would highly recommend it to ANYBODY.

Barbara bennett

says:

Can’t wait to see how well this works for my dyslexic son!

Indra Remender

says:

Excited to start the Pre-Level with my son!

Elaina

says:

We just started with All about Reading/Spelling with my 8 year old son. Immediately it was a huge hit. I’m so blessed to have found this program! Thank you!!

teresa

says:

I have been homeschooling for 13 years.I have a rising 1st grader that is extremely strong willed and
complains that his reading materials are too boring (didn’t have this problem with my other two).I think the multsensory of AAR will help.

Amy Cobb

says:

Great article!

Krista

says:

We don’t have children with dyslexia, but I can see how your program would be a huge help for those who do. Love this spelling program. It’s one of the things that keeps me from going to a all in one curriculum supplier.

Geegee coldiron

says:

I’ve never left a blog post before so this is new to me. I’m looking at any information I can on homeschooling and dyslexia. My son has dyslexia and I want to homeschool him next year for his fifth grade year. I’ve never homeschooled before and I’m nervous about it. I just want my son to succeed. His personality is that he wants to win all the time or he feels like a failure. I try and explain to him that it’s okay to loose sometimes but he has a hard time with that. So anything that I can do to help him with confidence would be great.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Geegee,
All About Learning Press is committed to helping parents just like you help their children succeed! We are readily available for you through email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com and by phone at 715-477-1976 (Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm CST).

I have two kids that get very upset if they get something wrong. It is very frustrating for them and for me.

First, make him aware of how mistakes can lead to wonderful things. You can read or summarize this article for him, 9 Brilliant Inventions Made by Mistake.

Then, discuss with him that you expect him to make mistakes. Why? Because if he got everything right the first time, then you would have nothing to teach him. When he makes mistakes, both you and he then know what it is he needs to learn better. You can help with this by when he does make a mistake saying things like, “Oh, I’m glad you made that mistake so I can show you this,” before reviewing a concepts again.

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

I hope this helps. Please let us know if we can help you with placement or anything else as you begin this exciting (and a little scary) adventure.

Mandi Hartzell

says:

We are a family of terrible spellers, so I was very excited to hear friends praising the All About Spelling program. This will be our first year to use it, and we have high expectations! I’m hoping it will even teach “mom” to be a better speller.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Mandi,
Oh, I have learned so much teaching All About Spelling. I’m sure you will too!

Denise

says:

All About Spelling was incredible for my children. I really want to try All About Reading!

JK

says:

That is what I did and I have NOT been disappointed! I love it and my son does too!

Tara

says:

I think this will be just the ticket for a couple of my children!

Julie

says:

We haven’t tried AAR, yet, as my oldest son started reading early, but we have started AAS, and I really like the format.

Viktoria Goedecke

says:

We just started and love it!

Katrina Chastain

says:

We absolutely LOVE the AAR program! My daughter HATED to read, but since we have started using AAR she actually reads for fun now!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s Wonderful, Katrina!

Melissa

says:

I have read so many great things about the AAR and AAS programs. I think it will do wonders for my reluctant read. Can’t wait to give it a try.

Kristin Wood

says:

I am looking forward to trying this program with my son who is “reluctant” read.

Kristy

says:

I can relate to this. I have a dyslexic child and possibly another one coming up on school age. I have heard great things about all AAS and AAR.

Kris

says:

Teaching a beautiful, athletic daughter with dyslexia is such a challenge. Thank you for this

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kris,
You are welcome.

Ellen

says:

Thank you! I need to share this article with a friend. It’s perfect timing!

Dava Thomas

says:

We are just getting started with AAR and so far I love it! My son is 9 and has dyslexia. I trust this program because of Marie Ripples history with her 7 dyslexic kids!! Thank you!

Mary Jo

says:

AAR and AAS look like just what I have been searching for.

Isabelle L.

says:

I agree – AAR is a great program. We started and restarted another reading program which had worked with our three boys for our daughter. She was struggling, crying, panicking…. I was lacking patience because I couldn’t understand why she was having much more trouble. But a friend sold me her AAR Level 1 and it made all the difference in the world for her. We are half way through the 2nd level and even though she still struggles sometimes the results is much better as she venture into reading other words at times.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Isabelle,
I’m so glad that you were able to find what your daughter needed to succeed. Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing.

Kimberly

says:

After trying several reading and spelling programs, we finally found the right fit with All About Reading and All About Spelling. I cannot express just how happy I was to see my struggling reader choosing to read in her free time!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kimberly,
Thank you so much for sharing! Congratulations on this huge milestone with daughter!

Stephanie

says:

Would love to try this amazing program. Hear so much about it and have an in-home reluctant speller. ;) Thanks for the opportunity!

Nikki Howell

says:

reading was a failing battle in my house with my 7 year old. Come to find out he has dyslexia. I was clueless where to go until I came across this program. We are only 2 weeks in but my son is actually enjoying it and learning!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Nikki,

I’m so glad your son is enjoying and learning now! Reading can be hard work for a child with dyslexia, but if we can help in any way, please let us know. Keep up the good work!

Jessica

says:

I’m excited to start AAR and Spelling this year for my child with dyslexia.

Stacy Gray

says:

It doesn’t seem like my son has dyslexia, but concepts I have been trying for months to get him to understand take literally minutes (generally one game with Ziggy!) and he’s got it! Love this program!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Ziggy just has a knack!

Kaikki

says:

I haven’t tried this program, but have been looking for something that sounded like it would fit for us and this just might be it! Thanks for your inspiration.

Sarah

says:

We are excited to begin our first “real” homeschool year!

jennifer mathesz

says:

this really does look awesome

Jacque Gilmore

says:

Love this product!

Michael B

says:

Good info! Excellent product!

Alicia Winkler

says:

Thanks for this information!

Mandy

says:

Helpful!!

Kari

says:

This sounds like a really great product!

MaryAnne

says:

This was just what I needed to encourage me about our upcoming school year.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad, MaryAnne! Sometimes we all need a boost in motivation. I hope you have a great year!

Aysha

says:

Dyslexia runs in my husbands family. My kids are too young to really detect it now but I am sure I will have at least one with it. Thanks for your story!

Ellen W.

says:

My child also struggles to focus and gets easily fatigued while reading. Hoping the multu-sensory approach will work better for my kids, as well!

Katrina

says:

I can’t even begin to imagine how overwhelming it must have been at first for Marianne and how mug of a relief it must have been to find something that worked for her family. I look forward to learning more about All About Reading and if it’ll be a good fit for my family.

Jen

says:

I think this will help with my 2E struggling reader!

Charitid Place

says:

I struggle with getting my son to read. This would be awesome!

Andrea Flynn

says:

I will be starting homeschool kindergarten next month & would love to use this curriculum! Hoping I win!

sayed naqwe

says:

I’d love to win the level 1 for my daughter or AAR level 3 for my son. I wish we had been able to start with your program. We had started with “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons” with my son and then he placed at level 2. It was such a positive change for him. I’d love my daughter to start with AAR!

Melisa

says:

I am excited to see a program that uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading and spelling! My oldest child has always thrived in a Montessori type learning environment so I am trying to create that at home. Thank you for providing such great support as well!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Melisa!

Caroline

says:

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful knowledge! It is very helpful to me as a mom struggling to teach my son to read. He has strong signs of dyslexia.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Caroline, It’s definitely a challenging job to teach a child who struggles with reading. I’m glad the info has been helpful!

Jeannie

says:

The multi-sensory approach used in AAR and AAS has been a welcome addition to my curriculum as an Education Specialist. If you want to create new neural pathways in the brain, use all of the child’s sensory channels. The best teaching practices are good for ALL learners – with and without disabilities.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Yes!

Tracie White

says:

I have a friend with a dyslexic child. I’ll have to share this post with her!

Kalli

says:

I do not have children with dyslexia but my son really struggled with reading in kindergarten and first grade. I tried a few different curriculums and several reading tips but nothing seemed to help him understand phonetic concepts past the basic beginning sounds. Then someone told me about All About Reading and he went from a kid who was frustrated and struggling to being an excited reader and caught up to his grade level and more in one year. I LOVE All About Reading! It’s a great reading curriculum.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kalli,
Thank you so much for sharing. Keep up the great work with your son!

Michelle

says:

I’m a mom of a child with delays and this blog has given me so much hope. I’m looking forward to trying out the All about Reading Pre-reading Deluxe Package!!!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad, Michelle. Let us know if you have questions along the way. We’re always glad to help.

Katherine

says:

Hello,

I am new to homeschooling as far as doing it myself. I am raising my two year old granddaughter and her mom and I decided when she was in the womb, that she should be homeschooled. Now her mama is not doing well and here I am at 61 raising a child again. So I hope I win my choice of these books because Lord knows I need all the help I can get.

Thank you for your time.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Katherine,

I’m sorry to hear that your daughter isn’t doing well. What a blessing you are to your family, raising your granddaughter and taking care of your daughter!

Laura

says:

This is the best reading program I’ve ever used. My 12 yo dyslexic child is finally reading! I attribute this to the fact that AAR is so easy to teach even though it uses the Orton Gillingham method. I haven’t found that anywhere else. Don’t think that this is just for dyslexic children. I’ve used it with my other children as well and it’s been great.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s terrific, Laura, and congratulations on your 12 year-old reading! What wonderful news.

Sarah

says:

We love this program! I would have started using it sooner if I would have known. After a few years of struggle and frustration, my first dyslexic child is now reading well. She loves these lessons. With my six year old I’m still going through the pre-reading program. He can’t get the rhyming concept and has difficulty with several of the letters and sounds, but we are moving forward, however slowly. My non-dyslexic kids like this program, too. The hands-on, multi-sensory approach seems to be good for everyone. Thank you!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Sarah,

I felt the same way when I started All About Spelling years ago–wishing I had tried it sooner! I’m so glad you have AAR now and that it’s helping your children.

For your son who struggles with rhyming and some letter sounds, you may find some of the tips in this article on auditory processing help (even if he doesn’t have an auditory processing issue, many of the tips can be helpful for kids who are struggling): http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/auditory-processing-disorder/

Rhyming can be difficult. There are three stages of rhyming:

Hearing rhyme

This is what we do in Lesson 1 with Ziggy Body Parts and Lesson 2 with the Rhyming Cards. In this type of Activity, Ziggy plays a game where he says the wrong word and the child corrects him:

Ziggy points to the child’s hand and says, “This is your land.” and the child says, “No, it’s my hand!”

Here’s another way to help kids hear rhyme:

“Listen to this sentence: There’s a goat in my boat. Now you say it.” Child repeats the sentence.

“Boat and goat rhyme. They have the same sound at the end: oat. Say these words with me: boat, goat.”

“I’ll say another sentence, and you’ll repeat the sentence and say the two words that rhyme. ‘There’s a fox in the box.” Child repeats the sentence, then identifies the words ‘fox’ and ‘box’ as rhyming.

With some kids, this activity may need to be repeated every day for two weeks straight before they catch on. Keep practice very short but frequent until the child catches on.

Differentiating rhyme. This is what we do in Lesson 3, 4, 6 with the Get Out of the Wagon game, Lesson 5 with Rhyming Concentration, Lesson 7 with Stand Up or Sit Down. (Don’t start doing this until the child is able to hear rhyme.)

Game ideas:

Matching games: On index cards, draw or paste on clipart of rhyming items such as bat/hat, men/pen, bee/tree, house/mouse, king/ring, snail/jail. (We have ready-made cards and instructions in our Level Pre-1 program.) Mix up the cards, and work with your child on pairing up the words with identical endings. Really emphasize the last sounds in the words as you pronounce the words).

Lay out three picture cards, two of which rhyme and one that does not. Say the words aloud with your learner. Have the learner identify the picture card that does not rhyme.

Concentration–like the matching game but with the cards face down, so the student has to remember where the rhyming word is.

Say two words and have your student decide if they sound alike at the end. For example:

mad – sad “YES”

bear – chair “YES”

ball – wet “NO”

Producing rhyme. This is what we do in Lesson 8 with Forgetful Zebra, Lesson 9 with What’s in My Bag, Lesson 10 with Read a Book with Ziggy, Lesson 11 with Name the Animals.

Here the child produces a rhyme to fit a sentence, such as:

Ziggy says (emphasizing the word to rhyme), “Look at the purple bunny. Doesn’t he look ______?” (funny)

or Ziggy asks for help since he keeps saying the wrong word, and then says sentences like, “Let’s read a look together.” (“No, a book!”)

Or, take common objects–pen, spoon, sock, book–and have the child pick one up and try to rhyme, using a real or a made-up word, as long as it rhymes.

You are doing the right thing by continuing to play those rhyming games with Ziggy. Read lots of books that contain rhyme. I’d read several books a day, and really emphasize the rhyming words by making the rhyming words a bit louder that the others. Here is a blog post round-up of reviews of rhyming picture books: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/rhyming-picture-books/

Nursery rhymes, rhyming games, songs, poems…anything that he wouldn’t mind hearing over and over again. Activity engaging kids in a play routine is much more effective.

When a young child has a problem with a phonemic awareness activity, Marie tries to turn it into a kinesthetic activity, when possible. Let them “feel” what we are asking for. This can work with rhyming too–clapping games like Miss Mary Mack can add a kinesthetic activity.

Rhyming songs are also good, because they let kids experience what we mean in a different way.

Rhyming is such an important phonemic awareness (and auditory discrimination) skill; good for you for continuing to work on this!

Kim

says:

I’m excited to try AAR with my youngest daughter. Ever since she was diagnosed with dyslexia, I’ve been searching for a way to help her. I think AAR might be just the thing!

Kathy Welsh

says:

Dyslexia impacts so many areas of life that I am excited to help my child learn how his brain works best just the way God made him.

I like the hands on approach! Children learn so much better using all their senses. Dyslexia is hard! The struggle to read would be that much more difficult and you would be need to be more innovative about teaching.

Kelly

says:

This program has given me the confidence to teach my children to read. This program had filled in the gaps my struggling reader has had. Worth every penny!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Yay! I’m so glad it’s helped both you and your struggling reader, Kelly!

Emma

says:

What an awesome program. I am teaching my 5 year old to read and would love to use this.

Tori

says:

So thankful to find this program and this post was encouraging! Teaching our second dyslexic child to read and wish we would have had this program for the 1st several years ago! Can’t wait to get the program and jump in!

April Bearden

says:

After much research, I am very impressed with the layout of this curriculum. I’m feeling hopeful that this may be just what we need to help with dyslexia.

I am dying to use this program!

Wendy Walker

says:

After having tried numerous reading programs leaving both myself and our daughter with dyslexia frustrated, we finally found, in the All About Reading program, the help we needed. Our daughter is knowing, for the first time, the joy of success, and I have found the lessons well-planned, engaging, and diverse enough to make teaching our learning-disabled child a pleasant endeavor rather than a tedious chore.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

That’s wonderful, Wendy! I’m so glad AAR is helping your daughter!

amber core

says:

I suspect that my son is dyslexic. He is entering 5th grade this year. He is a very good reader, but his spelling and writing are horrible. Do you have any suggestions?

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Amber,

I would use All About Spelling for him. Have you seen this post: How AAS Saved My Dyslexic Son: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/real-moms-heather-cole/

Like AAR, the spelling program is also Orton-Gillingham based, so it’s very helpful for kids who struggle with spelling. Plus, AAS has a gradual progression for increasing the student’s stamina and fluency in writing that’s very helpful for reluctant writers. It starts with just words and short phrases in Level 1, bumps up to phrases and short sentences in Level 2, and progresses to 12 dictation sentences per step in Level 3. Partway through this level, the Writing Station 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.

Dictation and the Writing Station both serve as an important bridge between spelling words in the context of lists (where the patterns are similar), and more “real world” writing. By the end of Level 3, students have mastered about 1000 words from the regular and reinforcement lists, and they have developed stamina and some beginning editing skills that will help them when they start a formal writing program.

I found with my own kids that they were better equipped to tackle writing after AAS 3, and that gradually it became easier for them and less overwhelming.

Let me know if you have additional questions, or feel free to email us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com. We’re glad to help!

Bethany S.

says:

I would like to try this program with my daughter. She definitely has a different learning style than her brothers and displays some of the characteristics of dyslexia. Thanks for the post.

Brittany

says:

we have heard great things about your program!

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