Have you ever wondered what’s involved in a typical day with AAR?
Robin E. Williams is a real mom who uses All About Reading and All About Spelling with her own kids. Robin is also a part of our Customer Care team. Join Robin as she shares what a typical day with AAR looks like in her homeschool.
Moms often ask what a typical day with AAR is like, and they particularly want to know how other moms divide up a lesson over many days. I’d like to describe what happens in our homeschool and give you a peek inside our lessons.
First, I start by gathering the All About Reading materials and my student.
We start the day’s lesson by reviewing word cards. My daughter, Belle, is grasping the concepts in All About Reading easily and well, but fluency is coming more slowly for her. Since I don’t move a Word Card to behind the “Mastered” tab until she can read it without sounding it out, she has built up a thick stack of “Review” cards. So I have her read through the stack for two or three minutes, picking up the next day where she left off.
Once a week or so, we review with games. Though the All About Reading Level 1 Ziggy Supplement specifically correlates with All About Reading Level 1, these games will work with cards from any level. So I combine my daughter’s All About Reading review with my older boys’ All About Spelling Level 5 and Level 3 review. In the picture below, they are using a game that requires the players to count syllables in words. In addition to doing the syllable activity, I also required them to read a Phonogram Card before moving the allotted number of spaces. They are all willing to review much longer than usual when they are playing a game!
After review, we move onto the New Lesson section in the Teacher’s Manual. Every other lesson begins with new concepts that are introduced with the letter tiles to make the teaching multisensory. I don’t have a lot of wall space in our school/family room, so I hung my magnet board vertically. I use a magnetic chalkboard instead of a white board, mostly because I had one on hand. (I keep my Spelling Strategies and Syllable Types charts for All About Spelling tacked up right next to the magnet board so we won’t lose them!)
After working with the new concepts, we move on to the fluency practice sheet. Because my daughter struggles with fluency, she really doesn’t enjoy this part of the lesson. I divide most sheets up over at least two days; some of the longer ones we spend as much as four days on. Each day I have her read some of the new words, some of the review words, some of the phrases, and some of the sentences. I allow her to choose which of each to read, and she marks off a row after she has read it.
On the second day of a new concept lesson, after reviewing the cards, we quickly review the concept with the tiles and then move onto the activity sheets. I do not pre-cut the activity sheets because Belle enjoys cutting them herself. We keep the pieces in an envelope in her pocket folder just in case we want to revisit the activity. We finish this day with more fluency sheet reading.
By the third day of a lesson (or fourth day, if necessary), the lesson’s word cards have been read over at least a couple times and have been shuffled into the stack for more mixed review. We revisit concept teaching with the tiles, mix in game review, and redo activity pages as Belle slowly works through the fluency practice sheet.
For lessons that have a short story scheduled, we begin the lesson as usual with review of the cards and then we “buddy read” the story. I read a page aloud, slowly but with good expression, and then Belle reads a page. We continue this way through the story. The following day, after reviewing the cards, we buddy read the story again but switch the pages we read. On the final day of a short story, Belle reads the entire story herself. By the third time through her reading is usually smoother and much more fluent.
I hope this gives you some idea how a reading lesson can be divided over many days, aiming for about 20 minutes on each day.
Did you enjoy Robin’s story? Read more stories in our Real Moms, Real Kids series.
What were your main take-aways from Robin’s story? Was this helpful for you?