387

Signs of a Reading Problem

child with reading problem

Do you suspect that your child has a reading problem? If so, you’re not alone.

Lots of parents come to us looking for answers to their children’s reading problems. My own son had struggles with reading when he was young, so not only do I have the help you need, I also understand firsthand what you’re going through.

Let’s get some answers for you!

As you read through this article, trust your instincts. If you think your child is struggling with reading, it is likely that he is. This list can help you be sure.

What Are the Signs of a Reading Problem?

Download my “Signs of a Reading Problem” Quick Guide for future reference.

A child with a reading problem may display some of the issues listed below.

  • Sounds out every word on the page, even if he has already read them. Reading-Problems-Blog-House-Vs-Horse-300x300
  • Doesn’t know the sounds of the letters.
  • Oral reading is choppy rather than fluent and smooth.
  • Reads words in the wrong order.
  • May recognize a word on one page, but not on the next page.
  • Substitutes similar-looking words, such as house for horse.
  • Guesses at words instead of sounding them out.
  • Lacks the skill to sound out unfamiliar words.
  • Ignores punctuation when reading.
  • Loses place on the page, skips lines, or rereads lines.
  • Inserts extra letters in a word when reading. For example, may read tail as trail. The misread word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
  • Makes up part of the story based on the illustrations or context clues instead of reading the actual words on the page.
  • Substitutes words with similar meanings when reading stories. For example, may read said instead of shouted.
  • Skips small words such as a, the, to, of, were, and from.
  • Displays poor reading comprehension.
  • Has a difficult time reading single words on a flashcard.
  • Resists reading. It’s a natural tendency for children to avoid what they aren’t skilled at.

What Causes Reading Problems?

If you recognize your child in any of the signs listed above, don’t despair! Reading problems can stem from a number of different causes, and most of these can be overcome.

Kids with auditory processing disorder often have problems learning to read. Though a child with APD faces many academic challenges, you can help him learn to read. All About Reading uses an instructional approach that is exactly what a child with APD needs!

Reading-Problems-Blog-Confused-Girl-Chalkboard-300x300

Dyslexia is a common reading and spelling disability. Approximately 10% of students are affected by dyslexia. Symptoms vary from person to person. If you suspect dyslexia, download our Symptoms of Dyslexia checklist.

Vision problems can cause reading issues. Work with your pediatric ophthalmologist to rule out vision problems such as far-sightedness or convergence insufficiency disorder.

Other causes of reading problems include autism and poor working memory. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause reading problems because it is difficult for the child to stay focused on the task at hand.

Is It Possible that My Child Doesn’t Have a Reading Problem?

Signs of a Reading Problem - from All About Reading

Yes, it is! Sometimes a child is labeled with a reading problem, but the real issue is that he hasn’t been taught in the way he can learn. We can’t expect a child to read if he has gaps in his reading instruction or limited experience. While some kids seem to naturally pick up reading with very little instruction, for many kids, reading success requires direct systematic instruction such as that found in All About Reading.

Other times, too much is expected from very young children. Some children just aren’t ready to read yet, and in those cases, it’s helpful to do pre-reading activities to prepare them, such as those found in our Pre-reading program.

Learning to read takes time—and in many cases, repetition and review—before a child begins to experience success. A child might need to see a word 30 times before he can automatically recognize it by sight. If your child hasn’t met a word that many times yet, don’t be alarmed if he needs to sound it out. 

Learning to read can be hard work for kids. If your child has a low frustration tolerance, it can appear that he may have a reading problem even if he doesn’t.

How Can I Help My Child?

If your child has a reading problem, the most important thing to remember is that you CAN help him. And we can help you! The resources below are all designed to provide parents with the tools they need to teach their children to read and spell, even children with special needs.

Resources for Children with Reading Problems

All About Reading is a fun and engaging program that starts with essential pre-reading skills and continues on to teach all five key components of reading. This Orton-Gillingham program contains everything your student needs to become a fluent reader for life!

The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach: Discover the foundational elements of this powerful approach and how it forms the backbone of the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner: There are very specific teaching methods that you can use to help your struggling learner succeed. One of the most important things you will want to do is to use curricula and teaching strategies that can be tailored to his needs.

How to Solve Letter Reversal Problems: Does your child sometimes confuse certain letters, like b and d or n and u? Beginning readers and dyslexic children may struggle to differentiate between letters that have similar shapes, and issues with letter reversals can have a direct impact on reading, writing, and spelling.

Learning Ally is a non-profit organization committed to helping dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students thrive. Audiobooks help kids experience the many benefits of consuming text, but without the struggle of reading.

Testimonies from Real Moms

Failure Is Not an Option: In this video, author Marie Rippel shares with you the very personal story of how she came to develop the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

All About Reading and Dyslexia: Trained Orton-Gillingham instructor and mom Marianne tells her story of teaching seven children with dyslexia.

How All About Spelling Saved My Dyslexic Son: Heather began homeschooling her dyslexic son after exhausting all other options. That’s when she discovered All About Spelling. This blog post shares how her son’s learning was transformed with AAS.

Contact Us If You Need Help

If you have questions about how to help your struggling reader, please feel free to call or email us.

Does your child show signs of a reading problem?

< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Danielle

says:

I am so happy to have discovered AAR. My little one is only 4 but it is so encouraging to have a program and activities I can follow from the beginning of his pre-reading life to encourage joy and success when it comes to reading. I could get lots reading all these amazing blog posts! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Danielle,
You are welcome. We are happy to know that All About Reading has helped you to feel encouraged about teaching reading as you begin this journey with your little one.

Concern Parent

says:

This is so on point! Do you offer help in Ohio??

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

All About Learning Press produces easy to use and highly effective materials for enabling parents, tutors, and teachers to teach students to read and spell successfully. We do have customers in Ohio and we provide free lifetime help and support to all of our customers.

Do you have specific questions or concerns we can help you with?

Do u have help in Riverside California?

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Jiovanna,

We are a curriculum provider, but we are always glad to help as you teach your children. Feel free to contact us anytime with questions: email support@allaboutlearningpress.com, or call us at 715-477-1976.

Charlie Lilith

says:

I have an 12 year old child who is very poor in comprehension skills and skipps over lines…She is diagnosed with aspergers syndrome (is on the autism spectrum), and i would like to know if that’s the problem or if it’s something different causing that.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Charlie,
It is unlikely that Asperger’s syndrome is causing her to skip lines in reading, or at least that is not something I have heard of in connection with Asperger’s. I wonder if she needs her vision examined.

Maria Suarez

says:

My son is 8 and he is going to be in 3rd grade this fall he is still not able to read and been having an IEP at school for 1st and 2nd grade but still hasn’t been able to learn to read and I want to know if theirs a medical test you can suggest that help better understand and help him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maria,
There is some testing that can be done to fully understand why a child is struggling to learn. Since it is best to start with the simplest things, ensure your son has had thorough eye and hearing exams. Note, it is possible to have 20/20 vision and still have vision problems that can cause learning issues. This blog post discusses them.

After that, your child’s physician can refer him for evaluation for learning disabilities. These evaluations are extensive testing of all aspects of reading, writing, and other learning. When completed, you son would have a diagnosis as to the specific learning disability (or disabilities) he has and most reports also include information on how to best proceed to help the child succeed. However, sadly many medical insurances will not cover these evaluations for learning disabilities, even though they are conducted by medical professionals such as educational psychologists or pediatric neurologists.

Ryann Stanley

says:

I home school two children that display signs of dyslexia. At times it can very challenging to know how to best teach/help them. Thank you for this article and all of your wonderful resources!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Ryann. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Jeanette Wentzel

says:

Thank you very much for the information. My grandson struggles with his reading and its so enlightening to know the reason for it. Keep up the good work. i might make use of your program if our local ones don’t help. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jeanette,
I’m sorry your grandson is struggle, but happy this has been helpful for you. Please let us know if you have questions.

Tresa

says:

Thank you for the information, showing the many reasons why one may have (or not have) a struggling reader. Insightful, and relevant. For my first two children, once it clicked, they were off and running. Not so with my third. She’s becoming quite resistant to the teaching at home, and is definitely frustrated. I’m looking through the options, from local to online. It’s good to see the many good parental reviews for AAR.

Christina

says:

My first child was a “natural” reader who basically learned to read by herself when she was 3. I was taken aback when my second child did not follow in her footsteps. By age 5 he still didn’t know his alphabet…so i used the pre-reading level of AAR with him and my 3 year old. After going through it, both of them knew their letters and sounds. He’s now 7 and reading is difficult for him, but I’ve found that the more he reads, the better he does. So, we’ll just keep reading!

Sylvia

says:

I love your blog posts. They are so informative and professional. I am a special needs educator and have used programs very similar to yours. You are offering great quality! Thank you for your free downloads.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Sylvia!

Nancy

says:

If an older student is “managing” with their reading skills, but clearly is not reaching potential (and exhibits some of the reading issues listed above), is it better to just have them keep practicing, or actually try to go back and “re-teach” them to read?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
In this case, depending on the specifics such as age, what kind of difficulties the student is having, and so on, we may recommend doing All About Spelling as a back door method to increase reading ability. It often proves very effective for students that are already reading but could use improvement.

We would be happy to discuss specifics with you. We are available here, by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com, on our Facebook page, and by phone at 715-477-1976.

Nancy

says:

Well, he’s at the end of Level 2 of AAS and, while he’s had amazing improvement in spelling, I haven’t seen obvious improvement in reading yet. But we already have Level 3 so we’re on track to keep going. I think he’s developed some clever compensations in his reading to help him maintain a reasonable level, but he definitely has some reading quirks. Hopefully, this “back-door” approach will give him a boost!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
Usually, with using AAS to hopefully improve reading you see the biggest improvement in the first two levels or so of AAS. If he is at the end of AAS 2 and you haven’t seen any obvious improvement in reading, I would suggest that it is likely time for focused reading work to improve his reading. Keep going with AAS, but it is time to start thinking about how to help his reading directly.

Start by listening to your student read aloud to you for about 20 minutes a day. Often a student’s problems in reading become easily apparent when you listen to him read aloud. Once you have listened to your son for a few days, let us know what you observed. Is he guessing at words? Is he reading in a flat monotone without expression? Is he able to read fluently and smoothly, or is it choppy with lots of starts and stops? Is he skipping words and not noticing? Once we have a better idea of what aspects of his reading need improvement, we can target instruction there.

Do let me know what you find. If you prefer to take the conversation off of the blog, you can private message me on our main Facebook page, or you can just ask for Robin when you email. Of course, here is fine too! Sorry, I don’t work the phones, but if you did want to take to someone on the phone, Kathy is wonderful.

Marie Abbott

says:

Thank you for the information in this article. My 13 yo is struggling with recall and some other issues. She has always had issues with reading and spelling. She can study for a spelling quiz and do great on it but the next week she can’t remember how to spell the same words. Same with math recall. She has been diagnosed with specific learning disorder and has communication disorder. She attended PS until the middle of 6th grade. I pulled her out to homeschool because the struggle to comprehend and to do mainstream learning was too much. My friend who has tutored and helped many children in school, is doing the actual teaching since I am a Preschool Teacher at our church. They have school in a classroom while I am in the preschool. I do not know where to turn next. It seems like we have hit a “brick wall” on learning but we are still trying. I would like to try this program but haven’t had the financial resources to purchase it. Thank you for all you do.

Amanda R.

says:

Do you have an article on signs to watch for in a pre-reader that might indicate struggles later on? My son is 4.5 and seems to have mastered some of the pre-reading skills. I don’t plan on teaching him to read until he is asking to learn or until he turns six. I’m wondering if there are any common indicators of reading struggles that can be observed in pre-readers. Thanks for your time!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
We don’t have an article that addresses the possible signs that a preschool aged child will later struggle with reading, but I can give you a list of things to look for. Please note, however, that our Pre-reading level was designed with 4 and 5 year old students in mind, so your son is still in the lower age range for developing reading readiness skills.

Children that talk later than most children often struggle to learn to read. They also may have difficulty pronouncing words (i.e., busgetti for spaghetti, mawn lower for lawn mower) and may be slow to add new vocabulary words.

Children that later struggle to learn to read may have had difficulty with rhyming, separating sounds in words, and blending sounds to make words. In other words, they may have difficulty developing phonological awareness skills.

Children that struggle to learn to read may have had trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to spell and write his or her name. Basically, learning the words for things can give them difficulty. It’s not uncommon for young dyslexics to be unable to count orally, but they can do addition and subtraction as long as the numbers are written down. For example, they understand the concept of the numeral 4 and that 1 item and 3 items make 4 items. They just can’t remember what the name of the numerals are.

Children that struggle to learn to read also may have been unable to follow multi-step directions and have difficulty telling and/or retelling a story in the correct sequence. Sequencing of all sorts can be difficult for young children that later struggle. This is the reason why many dyslexic children of 5, 6, or even 7 or 8 years old struggle with learning to tie shoelaces.

Lastly, a family history of struggling to learn to read is a strong indicator of a likelihood that your child will struggle.

Please note that this is a “may have difficulties” list. Many youngsters can display items on this list and not have trouble learning to read.

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

KRISTA BASS

says:

I assumed AAR was for younger children because level 1 starts with the very basic concepts. Is it okay to begin at level 2 or 3? I ask this because both my boys can read but exhibit a number of the signs your list mentioned, and my gut has always been that something isn’t right. They are 8 and (just turned) 11. We are using AAS for the first time this year as the result of their spelling being so poor, even though they aced tests when they were in Christian school.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Krista,
Unlike All About Spelling, you can start All About Reading at any level. We have placement tests for All About Reading to help you decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

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

Evaluate (without correcting your student) for the following…

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

Note, if your child struggles to read the sample story from AAR 1, then that is the correct level to start him on. It is not just for younger children; it’s for students that need taught foundational reading concepts.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Lessa Smith Croley, MS,CCC-SLP

says:

Thank you for all of the wonderful information!

Angel

says:

This was so helpful. Thanks!

Melinda

says:

I have a ten year old son who has struggled with reading for a long time. We started AAR Level 2 last year and I saw a big difference in him. We loved it so much we have already started level 3 now. Thanks so much for making it so easy to teach, it has truly been a blessing all around.

Becki

says:

I will be contacting you for help. I have a kiddo who just isn’t getting it. We’ve taken breaks over the past year, but he is barely making any progress.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, please contact us, Becki. Let us know his age, what you have been using, and examples of what kind of struggles he is having. We are available by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or by phone at 715-477-1976.

Marvena

says:

I have two kiddo’s one is good at reading but she still turns, (not b’s or d’s but her L’s around backward. I have read, not to get excited but just gently remind her and we keep on. But my other kiddo like to skip words and has a problem with sounding out words.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marvena,
Below the age of 8, letter reversals is normal. However, this blog post might help you help her further. It specifically address B and D, as they are by far the most common reversals, but many of the tips will work with other letters. The one I would try first for L would be air writing. It seems silly, but it really does help kids to get the directionality of letters down in relation to their own bodies.

Just in case you haven’t see them, we also have blog posts on skipping words when reading and on how to break the word guessing habit.

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

Heidi T

says:

Hope to win the giveaway, so I can add this into our school year this year. It would be a huge blessing.

Alycia

says:

I noticed issues with my oldest and just kept pushing through. Finally we took a step back and are working on level 3 of AAR!

mia

says:

Thanks for this info. My son has struggled with reading.

Abby

says:

I have a late reader who falls I into the struggling reader category. We’ve tried lots of different approaches to varying degrees of success and frustration.

Christina A

says:

Also, I just heard about another possible cause of reading difficulty, Irlen Syndrome. I suspect my son might have it, and I just wanted to mention it in case it’s a contributing factor for anyone who reads these comments. Here is a little more info: http://irlen.com/

Tresa

says:

My eldest was diagnosed with Irlen syndrome in 6th grade. Just having the colored overlays (aqua on rose), or a colored paper (lavender) for her tests have decreased the headaches she was having. They also have an Android app for the phone. Wish they would make and ios app for it. This is a disability that the schools will accommodate.

Christina A

says:

We are starting the PACE (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) program with our 10yo son; last week, he was evaluated in many of the areas you touch on in this wonderful post, and auditory analysis was his weakest. Have you heard of PACE? http://processingskills.com/ps/index.htm

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christiana,
We have heard of PACE. I hope it works out really well for your son!

My middle daughter has apd and slight dyslexia so it has made some things challenging. We have not tried AAR or AAS yet, but would love to.

Nancy

says:

Love All About Learning!

Priscilla Jindra

says:

My daughter does not like to read and says she finds it boring. I hope I can find a way to make reading enjoyable for her.

Gail

says:

AAR has saved my son! He is dyslexic and still couldn’t read by the end of first grade. He’s now on level 3 and doing fantastic. I’ll be using AAR for my younger two children for sure! Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Gail,
We love these reading about successes like this!

Ginger

says:

This has been a wealth of information for me while I try to figure out how to help my child who struggles with reading. Thank you!!

Cari Shelton

says:

I really want to have my daughter try this program!

CRYSTAL LADD

says:

Great information! Thank you!

Rebecca P

says:

I have a struggling reader. Thanks for the wealth of information!

Megan DeLoach

says:

Lots of good information! Thank you

Sabrina Ropp

says:

Thanks for all the resources!

Michele

says:

I like this one.

Carissa

says:

This was a good post. Thanks!

Heart of a Philanthropist Blogger Kim

says:

Our biggest reading problem is getting my son a book that interests him

Vida

says:

Very important information. Keep on eye on this. Found out my son had “stealth” dyslexia with dysgraphia after taking him out of 4th grade at school.

Jen T.

says:

My 6yo is still struggling. I feel like he just doesnt understand what it is all about sometimes.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
Can you let us know in what ways your 6 year old is struggling? We may be able to offer suggestions. Let us know!

Jenn

says:

This is hugely helpful info to use with my child with autism! Thank you!!!

Kim

says:

I’m so excited to try AAR & AAS with my boys.

Suzanne

says:

I have one who struggles a little, but we’re working through it :)

Bree

says:

My son displayed many of these signs while learning to read. We were already using AAS (it was before AAR was out). He now tests two grade levels ahead in reading comprehension. Should I be concerned? How can a parent know the difference between a reading problem and normal choppiness with learning to read?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bree,
How old is your son? What signs is he displaying?

You use the past tense “displayed”. Does he still read in this choppy manner? Was it what he did previously, but now he is reading well? If he improves beyond early issues, that is a clear sign it’s normal beginner reading because he improved and no longer reads that way.

I hope this helps some. Please let me know if you have any further questions. We are hear to help.

Bree

says:

He doesn’t read as smoothly as my other child but he’s much improved from where he was. His reading now is more flat than choppy, with little to no inflection.

I was mostly asking because if I had seen this while he was learning to read, it would have made me panic a little, when he seems to now be OK. So how is a parent to know the difference?

Bree

says:

I also sometimes wonder if he’s maybe 2E. His sister is gifted, and he doesn’t test as advanced as she does. It makes me wonder if he has a reading difficulty like dyslexia that is being masked by giftedness, and they sort of neutralize each other. He’s obviously bright, but it’s not obvious if he is gifted. The relative difficulty he had in learning to read (compared to other things he has learned) make me wonder.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bree,
Usually looking at the number of issues a child has, the level of frustration the child experiences, considering how much instruction the child has had so far, and evaluating whether you are seeing improvement over time, all of these things can help a parent consider whether there might be a reading issue. Age can matter too–if instruction was started early, before a child is ready, they won’t necessarily read well after a year or two of instruction. You can’t rush brain development by starting reading instruction at age 3 or 4, even if a sibling read early. If a parent is concerned, a next step would be to look at things like our dyslexia checklist and parents are also welcome to email us with questions as well. A parent should also discuss any concerns with their child’s doctor. If a child has many symptoms, the parent may want to consider testing.

With regard to your son reading with little inflection, I encourage you to work on that with small passages first, and make sure he’s read it once or twice before (not cold reading). Model “flat reading” and reading with inflection for him, and then have him try. Something that resonates with some kids is to “read like a robot” with exaggerated flat reading, and then read with expression. You can work on this gradually until it’s easier for him.

Bree

says:

Thanks for the suggestions. I think he’d enjoy doing the exaggerated robot vs reading with expression. I have found that reading poetry has helped him some, as the natural cadence and the rhyme almost forces him to add some inflection.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oooo, great idea about the poetry, Bree.

Sharon

says:

Love this. Failure is not an option.

Andrea

says:

Thanks for all the info!

Mindy

says:

So excited to use this program

Ami

says:

We have recently discovered that my son has APD. Reading is such a struggle for us. I’m excited to try AAR to see if this approach will work for us.

Heather Craig

says:

I have been a teacher for 13 years, and these programs make sense and are easy to implement! Every teacher should get on board!

Amy

says:

Thanks for this summary and leads on different causes for reading struggle.

Melissa

says:

Good to know as I begin my homeschooling journey

Sarah M.

says:

Thank you for these resources! I suspect my 7yo may have a touch of dyslexia, so I’ll be checking these out.

Lynna

says:

This is all sounding very familiar! I appreciate all the information you share on your website to help parents understand what’s going on with our kids!
Thank you

Brenda Lloyd

says:

She has ADHD so has difficulty holding still and focusing on one thing for very long.

Karen

says:

I am a firm believer in the Orton-Gillingham method. It is invaluable.

Kristi C

says:

I’m going to have my son do the placement test tomorrow! Thanks!

Melissa

says:

Thank you so much for such important information to help in teaching my sons to read.

Nicole Smith

says:

I did the placement test for my daughter and working on getting her this program.

Natalie

says:

My son seems to have most all the struggles, not sure if it is a readiness issue or a lack of good instructions. Probably a bit of both. Mastery is the only way to go.

Lynn Mathews

says:

My child has done some of these things. But with patience and practice we have worked through them. This article will be helpful as we start the journey with #2.

Jessica B.

says:

These are great thoughts to keep in mind.

Christine Smyth

says:

I taught children with reading problems for many years. I think this article is very good at discussing some of the things to look for when your child seems to be struggling. thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us here.

Jori wachowiak

says:

I’m really looking forward to starting All About Reading Pre-reading with my son. I’m expecting it any day.

Marlea

says:

I’m excited to use a program that can help my kiddos with or without a reading problem learn to read.

Magela Gonzalez

says:

My children have not shown any signs of having a reading problem, but I have found this article to be very helpful, and I will share it with some friends.

Wendy Cole

says:

Thank you for this information. I haveven been homeschooling for over 20 years and some of this information is new to me but oh so helpful!

Jenn A

says:

Thank you – this is exactly what I was searching for!

Emma Hansen

says:

I love reading and have taught my grandchildren to love reading just by the helpful hints in your newsletter. Thanks!

Claire

says:

It was only until I started using AAS that I realized my daughter didn’t have a reading problem. I wasn’t giving her the proper foundation. I wasn’t providing her with the tools to grasp spelling and reading concepts, so no wonder she wasn’t doing well! Once I incorporated AAS into our curriculum, it was like a veil had lifted. Now I can’t get to the library fast enough to keep her in new books! I have started with my other children, at Level 1 and the Pre-Reading levels, and they are like little sponges. This is truly a program for any reader; advanced, average, or challenged!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Claire,
Thank you for sharing this with us! We are very happy to have had a part in your daughter’s success.

Jenn B

says:

This is my oldest. We did AAR pre reader, loved it! Just ordered another set to do again w her but am needing the next set for my 5 yr old. The older, 6, was recently dx with Dyslexia. All new for me!! ❤️

Angel

says:

My son had most of the “signs” if having a reading problem. I’m so glad we stuck with phonics based teaching with reading. He now picks up books on his own and his spelling is coming along. I do want to try All About Spelking with him and his sister.

Cass

says:

I’m excited to try this to help my daughter that shows many signs of dyslexia. Knowing that using this approach could help those disappear is encouraging for us both.

Ginette

says:

This would be great to help my daughter and son.

Elizabeth

says:

Love the way All About Learning equips and encourages parents!

Annie Bleuer

says:

Thanks for this info. My first daughter is a fabulous reader because of All About Reading, but I will keep this in mind for the next kid.

Kelly

says:

I’m very excited to try All About Reading with my 8 year old. She is struggling with Fluency and Automaticity. I have tried lots of different reading programs to help her, but none of them have produced any kind of progress. I’m very excited for what AAR has to offer and have a lot of confidence that it will help her improve in her struggling areas

Liz

says:

Many thanks for info. My 8 yr old still struggling due to APD & I think he can really benefit from your program

Jessica

says:

My daughter is loving all about reading!

Tassie

says:

This was extremely helpful! THANKS!

Maya

says:

I agree that in many cases the kids with “reading problems” are just not taught the right way. The abundance of curricula on everything out there is mixed blessing. Not every program is actually that good.
In teaching my younger child I came upon the following problem: he can sound out a word, but sometimes, when reading the word smoothly he changes the ending sound. He is just beginning to learn to read, so we are working with 3 and 4 letter words. He has become quite good at sounding out, but I noticed the issue with the ending sound become quite repetitive. How would you explain that and is it just a stage or something that needs to be addressed with more care? Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maya,
Changing the ending sound is understandable if you think how easy it is for us to misspeak a word when we are distracted. I actually said “borizon” the other day (meaning “horizon”). Well, young readers are using all of their mental powers to try and figure the word out, so while they likely have it right in their mind their mouths can get confused.

The thing to do is gently point it out and have them reread the word each time. You can stress the blending procedure to help point out each sound. It is very likely that your child will start doing this less and less as he becomes more proficient at reading. Do move slowly in reading at this point however. You don’t want to get too far ahead, always introducing new concepts and phonograms, when he hasn’t shown improvement in this.

Please let us know if you don’t see improvement in this.

Shanna

says:

Just received AAR 1. Can’t wait to get started!

Jenny

says:

Wow! This is exactly what I needed to read! I’m struggling to teach my son to read! Thank you for this! I wish I could afford this program!

Caryn salamy

says:

Great info!

Katie

says:

My son just doesn’t enjoy the effort it takes for him to read. I’m looking for ways to make it easier and more enjoyable.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Katie,
Children that do not enjoy reading are usually children that are struggling in some way. Reading will not be enjoyable if it is very difficult because they are missing some foundational skill. All About Reading is a “no gaps” approach to reading, providing students will all the concepts, skills, and review they need (and no review they don’t need) in order to succeed in reading.

Once reading becomes not so difficult, it can become more enjoyable. Once it becomes enjoyable, they want to do it more. And once they start reading more it becomes easier and easier to do. This is the Matthew Effect in reading, and it is powerful!.

Louella Tonel

says:

Very helpful information! I am homeschooling my 2 children and always recommend this program when asked about reading programs.

Morgan Riggs

says:

Good read!

This is such helpful information! Thanks so much for sharing.

Tatians

says:

Having a child with dyslexia can be difficult. There is a lot of word guessing and sounding out easy words. This post is a great first step for parents who are unsure of what is typical for a beginning reader.

Kristi C

says:

Your blog is very informative. 😃

Rebecca Carter

says:

Hoping to score some of your great products! All about spelling 1 & 2 will come in handy with my brood!

Jill

says:

My two daughters both insert extra letters into words instead of reading the letters there. That was never a problem I faced and so its baffled me as to how to help them. Thank you for these resources and perspectives!

Michele

says:

I would love to use Reading Level1.

Justina Roth

says:

I would love to get spelling program for my daughter.

Nicole Smith

says:

I discovered my daughter had dyslexia while looking up the symptoms and solutions for a struggling reader.

Amanda Davis

says:

I love this post. I was concerned about reading problems with our oldest just after Kinder. Thankfully, within 3 months of using AAR and AAS for him, he was not only right on track, he was reading and writing better than we could have hoped for!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yay!!! Thank you for sharing this success, Amanda!

Amy

says:

Love how easy it is to teach each lesson. Very organized and easy to follow!

Katie

says:

Whoo hoooo, thanks for the chance.

Amanda

says:

My son has ADHD and has some gaps in reading. We decided to homeschool so he’d have more focused attention and provide a learning environment that allowed for him to burn some energy when needed. His Intervention specialist used the Orton-Gillingham method to help with spelling last year. He did really well with it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
In my experience, ADHD kids often see immediate improvement when they begin homeschooling, simply because at home they are free to do their work stand, kneeling, and moving around. My ADHD daughter has been know to do her work squatting, under the table, in the tree, and while literally dancing around the room. It works for her!

Liz

says:

This is great! Thanks for the info. It is extremely helpful

Jen D

says:

Wow! I think this may be the answer for my son’s reading issues.

Bridget

says:

Excellent info!

Miha Pallipatte

says:

I’d love to try all about spelling. I read many good things about it.

Dawn

says:

I can’t wait to try this program with my struggling reader!

Sabrina

says:

I’m keeping this info for when my youngest is ready to read. My older ones, thankfully didn’t have any reading issues. Great article!

FrankieR

says:

So helpful! The public schools in my town will not recognize dyslexia until the 3 grade :( even though I told her teachers in preschool, kindergarten, first, and second grade that I felt there was a problem. Thankfully we started homeschooling her third grade year and her reading has improved greatly…her spelling much slower but progress is a blessing!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Frankie,
Sadly, not diagnosing dyslexia until age 8 or so is a common practice, even though it isn’t well supported by research. It’s great to hear her reading has improved greatly, and that her spelling is coming along too!

Txnnmama

says:

This is a great guide for parents who may be concerned about their child’s reading progress.

Jen Boudreaux

says:

Great information! I would love to give this a try.

Shellee

says:

I am so excited to begin using this curriculum with my younger children! Your program comes highly recommended to me from a missionary friend that lives in the same island we work on. She uses the program with two of her children and loves it! Thanks for all your hard work!

Pam havens

says:

Helpful

Mel

says:

I’m very excited to try all about reading and spelling. Thanks for the article.

Cara Shields

says:

I do believe some children have real trouble reading but sadly I think most children who have “trouble” are really just being labeled or pushed too early. Either way we really enjoy all about reading and all about spelling!!

Ayesha

says:

My daughter has problem reading and writting.she often writes b instead of d

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ayesha,
Below the age of 8, problems with letter reversals are considered normal. It’s a part of learning to read and spell. Still, here is a blog article with tips for helping with this problem. There are some great ideas in the comments as well.

Jessie

says:

I often wonder if my son has difficulty reading or just doesn’t like it. Great post on a touchy subject for some.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jessie,
The Matthew Effect definitely applies to reading. Children that dislike reading usually dislike it because they are struggling readers and find it difficult.

Angelique Lott

says:

I’ve heard great things about all about spelling, and would love to get my hands on a set.

Laura

says:

I love that you have added that sometimes a child is just not ready! We are pushing them too young.

Patricia Hamburger

says:

Good news for struggling readers

Dotty Guffey

says:

She has APD.

Cat

says:

New homeschooler here. Would love to build my tools!

Ann

says:

Looking forward to teaching my 4 year old ADHD child both of these programs and hoping to have fun.

Gail Timmer

says:

this is a great program for any child!

Amy Cook

says:

We are currently dealing with concerns of either dyslexia or possibly APD. Thank you so much for your programs and such helpful resources !

Nicole

says:

I have AAR levels 1 and 2 in my cart right now. I’m hoping this is the key to helping my dyslexic sons.

Patsy Foy

says:

I love the checklist & cannot wait to show it to my husband.

Anna E

says:

Reading is such a milestone in child development. I am excited to see my child grow in his reading skills.

ck

says:

Want to give a try as have a dyslexic son and want to help him]

Tina V

says:

Very informative article. My son uses AAR and it has helped him immensely. He’ll be starting AAS this school year.

Rachel

says:

I would love this for my 8 year old daughter. She’s finally reading well, but struggles with spelling and handwriting.

Cari Shelton

says:

I have a reluctant reader and would love to have these!

Lindsay

says:

I hope to win this program!

Sarah

says:

I can’t wait to start using this program!

CAROL

says:

So glad to see these helpful downloads …. thank you!

Jennifer Stone

says:

My son is 8 and has finally started reading more fluently but he cannot stand to write! He doesn’t want to write anything he can’t spell correctly. I hope to try AAS this year to boost his writing confidence!

AnnaMarie Poskey

says:

With the right resources we can help our children succeed and help them overcome the obstacles. AAS/AAR are some of those resources.

Anna

says:

Sure would be nice to win. This hAs been on my wish list a while

Jenni Jones

says:

What a great resource! I’m conflicted with my 5yo son – whether it’s my inability to teach him in a way he understands, if it’s due to age and maturity – or indeed a true reading problem. Hopefully once we begin AAR, I’ll be able to narrow it down! Thank you!

Jessica

says:

Such a good resource!!

Amanda

says:

Want to try this.

Mindy

says:

So excited to try this program with my children.

Amanda

says:

Getting ready to teach my fourth kiddo to read! Thanks for this post, I found it helpful for things to watch out for!!

Nancy Ball

says:

Such helpful things in this. Thank you.

Jessica

says:

Almost that whole list describes my 7 year old daughter.

Laura Walton

says:

This is great. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and helpful information.

Michelle Miller

says:

Thank you for all the great blogs and articles!

Catherine Ooms

says:

My son is a reluctant reader and aar/aas have both really helped! Thank you!

Hannah

says:

We are a homeschooling family, Pre-k. This program will come in handy when trouble arises. Thankful we have these resources available to us.

Katie

says:

My oldest child was a natural reader. My daughter has been totally different and needs the step by step guide that AAR provides!

Jess

says:

We are a homeschooling family that has just started the process of having our 2nd grader evaluated for learning disabilities. I have been wanting to try AAR/AAS with him for a while, but have not had the budget available. I keep watching the yard sales/ used curriculum/ used bookstores, but have not had any luck in finding the books!

Kelly Grundhofer

says:

Many of these sound so familiar. Thanks for the great article, saving it for later.

Danielle

says:

My daughter is dyslexic and we have had great success with AAR so far. Thankful to have found this curriculum!

Kelly

says:

I always appreciate these articles.

Kenda Wathen

says:

Thank you for this information and the give away.

Amy

says:

I am so excited to start this program! Thanks for the opportunity!

Danielle

says:

Great information!

Mimi Fernandez

says:

I love AAR and AAS! They are the best reading and spelling programs out there!

Jennifer

says:

This is great information

Carol D

says:

By completing level 1 I’m pretty sure my son doesn’t have a reading problem. So happy that I don’t have to guess because of the no gaps program. He’s loving it!

Amber

says:

Great things to be looking for as I work with my kids. Thank you All About Reading for being an excellent program and resource!

Nichole Burke

says:

Really great info!

Michelle

says:

I don’t think my daughter has a reading problem, but she does display some of the things on the list. I think it’s a confidence problem. We are moving so slow, but AAR is actually working and building her confidence!

Shauna

says:

Would love to win! 😊

Alison

says:

Great article.

Mary

says:

This was super helpful! Oral fluency is an issue with my 6 year old sometimes and this pushed me to work on that.

Charity

says:

My 6 year old demonstrates some of these issues, but I am giving him time for development, although I am quite sure he has ADHD. With a lot of patient repetition his reading has dramatically improved and he enjoys it but still initially usually says, “I can’t read this.”

Janell Blair

says:

It would be wonderful to win! I love this program!

Linda

says:

Thank you for the information

Crystal

says:

I was able to successfully teach my 5 children to read, but my 6th one is reading yet has no comprehension of what she just read, even small sentences. I’m looking forward to investigating your curriculum as I have just started last year using you all about spelling. I love it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
Reading comprehension issues can happen for a variety of reasons. For example:
– gaps in phonogram knowledge

– fluency issues. Students can sound out what they read but can’t read it fluently. If they are focusing on the work of reading, they won’t be able to focus on understanding what they read.

– word guessing issues. Students rely on word-guessing strategies, and incorrect guesses lead to a lack of comprehension. Some also skip small words.

– reading too fast. Sometimes the opposite of fluency issues is the case. Students think that a “good reader” reads very quickly. Students who do this tend not to have time to think about the meaning of text. See our blog post on reading too fast for more information.

– vocabulary issues. Students may have the phonics skills to sound out and read words that they don’t know the meaning of yet. This can happen especially with young, advanced readers. For example, think of a simple word like “milkman.” How many 21st century kids would have any idea what a milkman is?!

– lack of life experience. They can’t relate to what they are reading, again usually because of young age.

– they do understand but feel overwhelmed when asked to put what they know into words. If this is the case for your daughter, you might notice similar issues with listening comprehension.

A student may need more specific prompts to share what she knows. Sometimes reading a passage and expecting the child to explain it back in her own words will overwhelm elementary school-aged children; they don’t know where to start and just can’t do it. In that case, you probably would be more successful if you gave your student prompts. Marie uses this example:

Find out something that the student is really interested in, such as “raising turtles.” Get a book and read a section aloud to her, such as the section on “what kinds of food should you feed your turtle.” Then start a discussion with the child, and incorporate some of the new info that you just read in the book. “I never knew that you could feed lettuce to turtles! What else can you feed turtles?” Then read the part on habitats of box turtles. Start a discussion on that. “If you were to set up a tank for a box turtle, what kinds of things should you include in it?”

These types of conversations will show the child’s level of listening comprehension much better than the traditional way for a couple of reasons: 1. The child is more likely to be engaged in the topic. Oftentimes, kids’ attention wanders during typical reading comprehension passages or books that they aren’t interested in. 2. The child doesn’t “freeze up” and therefore can relay more info. Just being asked to repeat what was read can be a scary or uncomfortable moment for a child.

You might take a look at some of the sample AAR lessons to see how we approach comprehension. The comprehension exercises are in the Teacher’s Manuals. They gradually get more involved with each successive level, so look at several levels to see the progression.

Amanda

says:

Each child learns so differently! It is very helpful to have information that you can reference to pin point what a child is struggling with rather than just slapping on a label and acting like that will fix it. What families need are tools that can be adapted to a child’s strengths & needs… and to remember that we are all learning! It is a journey… you don’t arrive in day but you do go some amazing places :)
Thank you for this article!

Jessica thompson

says:

My son is a struggling learner, so this would be great for him to win.

Katie

says:

Sooo much of this sounds like my 8-year-old daughter who is still struggling to read. I’m actually taking her next week for testing for Dyslexia. I’m definitely going to check out the resources you’ve listed, thank you!

Rachel C

says:

I wish I had read this a year ago. I had an freshly turned 8 year old that was struggling with reading. I worried something wasn’t right and that I had failed her somehow. Had her vision tested and it was fine. She was on track in all other academics. She was becoming discouraged when her friends were starting to read chapter books and we were still working on AAR 2. I decided we wouldn’t do any formal testing for a few more months because I had heard that many children “click” around 8 years old. Lo and behold at 8 years 3 months everything “clicked.” She started reading chapter books almost immediately. We are in AAR 4 now and the lessons are easy for her. I am so thankful for this program and recommend it to all my homeschooling friends!

Katie

says:

Ohhh my goodness this is sooo encouraging for my 8yo daughter… thank you!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
One thing I have noticed about homeschoolers is that they are loud about their success and quiet about their weaknesses. I suppose it is human nature, but it can be discouraging when you hear about lots and lots of 6 and 7 year olds reading chapter books and you never hear about 8 and 9 year olds still struggling to sound words out.

I think it benefits others to hear of our struggles. Only one of my 5 children could read chapter books before 8 years old, and with that one it was only the beginning chapter books that still had simple language and large font. My youngest is 9 and a half and only very recently has begun to devour books like the Little Bear series. And we are both very proud and happy about that!

sue weaver

says:

thank you for the great information provided here !!

Corri Bibelhauser

says:

My mom insists my 5yo has a reading problem but we just started AAR Level 1 (we’re working on lesson 2) with my kindergartner and I’m hopeful that it will be a successful experience for us. We haven’t done much work with reading before now and she’s already improving on recognizing the difference between b & p, which she struggled a bit with before. I’m tagging this post to know what to look for as we continue our journey!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Corri,
Letter reversals and confusion is normal for young, beginning readers. Since she is already improving with it, it’s not likely to be a problem very long at all! However, you may find some helpful ideas in this blog post, Solving Letter Reversals.

Rachael Kuhaneck

says:

This course looks very helpful for kids struggling with Spelling.

Christy

says:

Thank you for all the helpful tips! I’ve been considering AAR for my daughter. Perhaps this year we’ll take the plunge!

Kristie

says:

I would love to help my kids worth this program

Karyn Burns

says:

This is an excellent open the book and teach program for dyslexia

Kendra

says:

Thank you for all your pointers

Roberta

says:

Since we started AAR, my daughter no longer shrugs and sighs when it’s reading time; she looks forward to it and is proud of her work. Thank you for the program!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Roberta,
No sighs is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?!? Thank you for sharing this with us.

Sara Beyda

says:

wow! very informative with great hands on tips! Thanks for the encouragement I am now inspired to cont. with patience to help my son overcome his challange,Thank you!

Angie

says:

AAR is awesome! My struggling reader has learned to love reading. He has read his Reader Books over and over. He really enjoys the fun characters in the stories. Looking for to AAR 2!

Melissa R

says:

I currently have 2 struggling readers. Looking forward to using AAR to help them out!

Jessica M.

says:

Thank you for this post it is very informative!

Mehgan

says:

I strongly believe my sons both have/will have a reading problem. Thank you for this article. I’ll be bookmarking it so so can go back and reference it during the school year when we start to learn to read!

Lelah

says:

This program is awesome!!!

Sandra

says:

As always, thank you for all the help you provide. My child does not have trouble reading but a good (adult) friend of mine does. Would you recommend AAR for an adult, or do you have other advice and what to use? I’m going to start helping her next month, so she can then help her 8yo son who also struggles reading. Thank you in advance!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
Here is what Marie recommends when tutoring adults and teens:

– Follow the new-concept lessons in the Teacher Manual, which include flashcard review, “Change the Word,” Activity Sheets, Fluency Practice, and reading aloud (or audiobooks) to your student. Approximately every other lesson is a “new concept” lesson, and every other lesson is a “read a story” lesson.

– In the Activity Book, the activities are there to provide fun review activities for those that would need and enjoy them. As we state in the Teacher’s Manual, the activity sheets aren’t necessary for older learners. However, the fluency pages in the activity book are essential for remedial readers.

– Marie and many tutors include the readers, too. The Level 2 readers aren’t baby-ish. With regard to the Level 1 readers, sometimes it depends on the student. We’ve talked to tutors of adults, and the adult students are so happy to be able to read a story that they are thrilled to read the Level 1 readers. They don’t mind the content. But if you are dealing with a “cool” teen, you might want to stick with the fluency pages and wait until you get to the Level 2 readers.

Also, consider doing All About Spelling as well. It support reading, but approaches words from a different angle with can be helpful for many learners, especially older ones.

Please let us know if you have questions or need help as you are doing this wonderful thing for your friend!

Yvette

says:

This is very helpful. My child does show many of these signs.

Tyler

says:

hmm… been dealing with my daughter not being able to keep the letters straight, not sure if it is due to deslexia or poor training, but we will continue to encourage her to read. She LOVES to “read”, and we have a book shelf in her room full of books that she empties on a daily basis almost… i would pull them out, since we are tired of cleaning up after her, but on the other had, I do NOT want to stifle her love of looking at the books and reading, since that was a very formative aspect of my life!

Anna

says:

My 9 year old son struggles with reading fluency and spelling. We have been using All About Reading and I’ve been thinking about getting All About Spelling.

Clair Wilkerson

says:

Thankful to be home to catch my daughters reading struggles.

Kathryn

says:

Awesome article. Great help.

Rose

says:

I enjoy using this sight with my two kids. I have gotten several good ideas to use.

Gitta Acton

says:

I would be honored to win some of the components of the All About Spelling program. I have had my eye on this program for years! As a special education teacher, I believe that this program could be used with my struggling learners in grade 2. I teach in two different grade levels in inclusion classrooms. Our school does not have a formalized spelling program with the exception of what is taught as part of our Reading series. I think it would be great to finally have a formal spelling program to follow kids with IEPs through the grades, if needed. I would be thrilled to use this program!!

Michelle

says:

Would love to win the all about spelling giveaway.

Emily

says:

Started level 1 yesterday! Very excited!

Sara

says:

Love this program!

Lindsay S.

says:

We are excited to try AAR this Fall! Our Daughter has been struggling with these signs for years with no help from her school.

Lynda Hernandez

says:

I wish I would have found All About Reading sooner. My 14 year old was diagnosed with Dysgraphia in 3rd grade and I believe he would have benefited from the use of AAR. I use it for my 6 year old and I try to get my 14 year old to listen as I think some of the rules might help him be a better reader and speller or at least help him with figuring out certain words, but he says that’s for Kindergarten! We will be starting AAS this year with my 6 year old and I hope it goes as well as the reading does. He does the lesson and never wants to wait to the next day to read the story. So a lot of days we end up doing to lessons. He loves reading and is going to be starting Level 4 this coming up school year.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lynda,
You might consider working with your 14 year old with All About Spelling. Often older students are more willing to give it a try if you explain that it’s like a video game; you have to start at level 1 in order to master the easy things so that you can be successful at the higher levels. This blog post, Using All About Spelling with Older Students, may be useful for you. Also, in this blog post my co-worker explains how she used All About Spelling with her then 15 year old son.

Jennifer

says:

Wow! I’ve learned so much this morning. My youngest will definitely benefit. How do results differ when starting with an older child? Does anyone have experience? My son is 11.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
I started my daughter on All About Spelling when she was 10, and she had remarkable improvement in her spelling in just a month! Older students tend to show more impressive results, because they tend to move through the levels faster and tend to be able to apply what they learn outside of lesson time as well.

I am not sure if you are asking about reading, spelling, or both programs. We recommend that most students start with All About Spelling 1 to build a strong foundation in spelling. However, we do encourage you to fast track older students and this blog post will show you how.

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

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

Evaluate (without correcting your son) for the following…
His ability to decode the words in the story.
His ability to comprehend the story.
Could he fluently read the story with expression?
Did he understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Renee

says:

I have struggled many times with my child’s reading ability. Even tried 3 different curricula before AAR being suggested by a fellow homeschooling mom. I am so thankful for going to her with a heavy heart and spilling my sense of failure to her. I immediately came home and ordered this curriculum and we haven’t looked back. I came to realize there were way too many gaps in the other materials. Thankful for this post of actual signs to look for. I am beginning to see these signs diminish. Will bookmark this post for future children when its time to teach them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Renee,
I am so glad that you had a homeschool friend to go to and that they were able to lead you toward what would help your child! Thank you for sharing your child’s success with us.

Megan

says:

Thanks for all the useful information!

Sonja

says:

Great information! I love this program.

Julie Bruno

says:

What a great article, very informative. Thanks!

Mary

says:

I have a nine year daughter who really struggles with reading and shows numerous signs of dyslexia. I’ve read very positive reviews of this program and am willing try it and see if she would benefit from it!

Tamie

says:

I love the wonderful articles. They are so full of helpful ideas and suggestions. The encouragement I recieve from them is of freat value to our family. Thanks so much.

Joanna

says:

Sometimes it seems that even though they have been struggling for a while, when they are ready something clicks and they just get it. Two of my sons did this, one at 6 and one at 8. They went from sounding out little words to reading chapter books in a couple of weeks. It does not happen with every child though. My almost ten year old has really struggled, and while he is making progress, it has been slow coming. We did AAR last year, and it did seem to help, but it is still work for sure.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joanna,
Yes, kids learn in all different ways. Many do learn in leaps and jumps, but others learn slow and steady bit-by-bit the whole way.

Linda Neal

says:

Very informative. Thanks for your help. The programs sound awesome and your website is so user friendly.

Amy Harris

says:

I used to think that my daughter had a reading problem, but since we started using All About Reading her reading has improved. She is still hesitant to read, but this program has helped her tremendously. I have been so impressed with the way it teaches reading and spelling. I’m hoping her confidence will continue to increase as we go through each year.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
We often hear about students that are hesitant readers until some time in late AAR 2 or early AAR 3, when they suddenly realize they can read lots of things and want to try to read everything!

Elizabeth

says:

Great tips on what to look for and recognize. Thank you!

Michelle

says:

Thank you for your timely article!

Kim

says:

Don’t be afraid to pursue help. If your child is struggling, further evaluation can help you to know what you need to do in order to move forward.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Kim. So true!

Dezari

says:

Very helpful! Thanks for the great article

Sharon

says:

My son was taught in public school to ‘guess the word’ by the first letter, context, and lastly by the length of the word. This has caused him to have a very difficult time understanding and analyzing the content of what he is reading. I pulled him out at the end of 2nd grade and started homeschooling him. We start high school this year and are still struggling with the problem (though it’s not nearly as prevalent as it had been).

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sharon,
The word guessing habit is very hard to break, and it frustrates me that schools would encourage it.

Christine M

says:

My son does, and this article was so very helpful! Thank you for also including the extra links.

Allison M

says:

Very helpful tips!

Kim

says:

This program sounds interesting and just might help my daughter. Could you please share the cost of how to obtain this program. Thank you

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kim,
I’m not sure if you are asking about All About Reading, All About Spelling, or both. Nor do I know which level or levels you will need. So, here is the link to our store. You will find prices for everything there.

Please let me know what specific program or programs you are needing, and let me know if you have any questions.

Christie

says:

My son sounds out almost every word. It drives me crazy, but I try to remain patient. Help!! We are in level 2. He can sound out all the words, but he is not getting more fluent.

Christie

says:

He just turned 7 and he also has a low frustration level. I still have to read every other page when we are reading the stories or he just shuts down completely.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christie,
Is he still sounding out many words from AAR 1? If he is, then he isn’t ready for AAR 2. Students need to be able to read the stories from AAR 1 with a high level of fluency before moving on, or AAR 2 becomes frustrating very quickly.

I experienced this with my own daughter, and after doing this blog post I ended up stopping AAR 2 taking her back to the beginning of AAR 1. On her second time through AAR 1, we focused on just doing the stories and fluency sheets, rereading each story as many days in a row as necessary to help her develop fluency. We would have redone the activities as well, but she preferred not to do them. We also started All About Spelling 1 at that time, and I made sure that she read every word she spelled. That seems rather obvious, but she would not do it unless I told her to do it.

It took her about 5 months to move through AAR 1 the second time, but by the end of that 5 months she was reading much more fluently, having to sound out just a few words per story. When we the restarted AAR 2 she was much more successful, although fluency was still slow for her. It took her a full year to complete AAR 2, and now in AAR 3 she is reading well. I expect AAR 3 to take her well under a year to complete.

One activity I used to help my daughter while she was struggling to be fluent was buddy reading. I had to do it with her through occasionally through her second time in AAR 1, then more in the beginning of AAR 2, then not at all toward the end of AAR 2. Now in AAR 3 she does not need me to buddy read with her, but I am having her reread the same story two days in a row to keep her working on fluent reading. She always reads a story better on the second day.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas. Please let me know if you need further help or just have questions. I know, very well, the worry of having a child struggle with fluency for a long time. Your son can succeed in fluency, just like my daughter did!

Nicole

says:

Very helpful! I’m going to look over this again and see what I can do to help my son out!

Jo

says:

Thanks for all the insight!

Sara

says:

I appreciate that All About Learning addresses a variety of parent concerns. Thanks for all your work! My kids and I are looking forward to trying out AAR and AAS for the first time this school year.

Beth

says:

I wish I would have found all about reading sooner!

Renee

says:

My 10 year old daughter has struggled with reading and spelling for years. We have tried so many different approaches over time. She does not enjoy reading and refuses to write because she knows her spelling is not correct on many words. I’ve started All About Spelling with my children, but do you see resistance and decreased success with older children?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Renee,
We occasionally see resistance at first with older students and All About Spelling, mostly because they need to start at level 1 and they find the words “babyish”. However, they quickly find they are learning things they never knew before, things that make spelling suddenly make sense.

For example, 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.

We do encourage you 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, very quickly skim the parts that she 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. This blog article has a good example of how you might fast track.

We typically see our most impressive results with older students, as older students are able to move faster through the levels and apply what they are learning more readily to their writing. My daughter was 10 and still struggling to spell simple words like bake when we found All About Spelling (she spelled it backe). She moved through AAS 1 in just one month, but her spelling improved remarkably in that month!

I hope this encourages you. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

suzanne

says:

A Great Read! Its difficult to watch kids struggle, but if they’re progressing, that’s a positive sign!

Kyla

says:

Thankyou for sharing. When teaching multiple children at home…it’s sometimes hard to adjust teaching styles so effectively. This helps!

Tabitha

says:

Thank you for this post. Sometimes just knowing we are not alone in our struggles with our son is all we need. This program has helped us both so much.

Elaine Baldwin

says:

My son was in the third grade and was unable to read so I chose to homeschool him. We have completed level 2 of All About Reading and he is doing great! With the information that I have learned from the website and blogs, I discovered that he has dyslexia. This program is allowing him to be successful!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Elaine,
This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your son’s success with us.

Kristi

says:

This is so encouraging! My daughter “hates reading”, but I know I can help her. And now, I know where to start!

Mei

says:

We have been using All About Reading for a few weeks now and these signs are even more visible, but so is her progress with the program. A week in, I also looked at another program, but it had too much auditory and handwriting emphasis, so I stayed with AAR which was working at the time and has continued to help. Now, when she gets to sound out higher level words, but does not know the rules she likes to say “that makes no sense.” Really looking forward to when we start AAS. I am so happy she is noticing the middle and ends of words now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mei,
I am happy to hear of your daughter’s successes with AAR. Keep up the great work, but let us know if you ever need help.

Stephanie

says:

I am looking forward to using this curriculum for the first time with my son. I have read great reviews about it. I ordered the Level 1 Reading and Level 1 Spelling. Both look like they will be a perfect fit for overcoming the struggles he is experiencing.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Just so you are aware, Stephanie, we recommend not starting All About Spelling Level 1 until the child has completed All About Reading Level 1, or the equivalent reading level. It benefits students to have a good beginning in reading before tackling the more difficult spelling. This article, All About Spelling – The Right Time to Start, explains this further.

Melanie

says:

Encouraging! I discovered AALearning because I suspected a reading problem and it has made a world of difference!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We love to hear this sort of think, Melanie! Hooray!

Raegan Stevens

says:

I’m so glad I have found this amazing down-to-earth curriculum! I had no idea how I was going to tackle reading beyond basics, let alone if I determine my child has a reading problem (no obvious signs yet). Thank you for this article to help me know what to keep my eyes on!

Lisa

says:

As a teacher, I am keen to implement some of the new teaching strategies I have encountered here, with my new pupils.

Cerrissa

says:

Great Information.

Ann

says:

Thank you for all the interesting articles you leave in my inbox. It’s so neat that the questions you ask in the subject of the email are so often relevant to me at the time I receive them! Your program sounds exceptional!! I have taught and tried to educate myself on topics such as autism and dyslexia and the completeness, thoroughness and sequenctial way I feel your program is put together seem so constructive and supportive for helping those who can learn to read do so in a well thought out, logical, sequenctial way where they can taste success early on and then grow and learn harder concepts in a sensible way and grow greatly in their literacy.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ann,
It is wonderful to hear that our emails are helpful and encouraging. I’ll be passing this on to the entire AALP team!

Kelly

says:

Thanks for the valuable information

LJH

says:

This has been very helpful! Thank you.

Julie Hord

says:

Just started using All About Reading with my youngest. It’s going great and he is sooo happy with his progress. I wish had used this program for my other childen too. It is so well thought out and really works. We started homeschooling 25 years ago; and with our first child we began by trying to use the public school curriculum…assuming it was best. Boy were we wrong and it led to a lot of frustration. We tried several Christian homeschool curriculums after that. They were better, but AAR is definitely the BEST program we’ve ever used:) Thanks!!!

Sarah

says:

Sounds like a fantastic program!

Audrey

says:

I am actually struggling with these exact same issues with my daughter. Thanks for the wonderful information. I will be bookmarking for future reference. 😊

Julie

says:

I clicked to here from an email last night. Very good information. I am looking forward to helping my son. I’m concerned with my third’s reading. The first two were those quick learners, but the third has struggled.

Kim L

says:

This is chocked full of invaluable information! Thank you!

Amy

says:

Thanks for all your helpful info

Kim R

says:

Thank you! This helps a lot!!

Jennifer Eda

says:

I am very interested in this program. I am an ESL teacher and it seems this approach aar would be useful for my students with some supplements.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
We have had great reports from people using our programs with those learning English as a second language. This blog post, Real Moms, Real Kids: English Language Learners, details one family’s success with our programs.

Byers mom

says:

Thank you for such helpful posts and so many resources to help our children learn!

Haydee

says:

I’ve wondered about my daughter for so long. I’m going to follow up I’m not sure why I was waiting.

KG

says:

helpful list!

Kate

says:

So far this year Reading is not the stressor that it has been in the past for my homeschooler. The multisensory approach is really helping!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Hooray! We love to hear this sort of thing, Kate!

Ana

says:

Thank you for the great resources you provide.

Deanna Sallee

says:

Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to know if my daughter has a learning problem or is just taking longer to learn to read. This is very helpful.

Tia Mayfield

says:

Excellent resource to keep around for reference. Thank you!

Sophieandmomma

says:

It is nice that this article also addresses— “is it possible my child doesn’t have a reading problem”. too often I think i put in too high an expectation on my young child. I will work with my child and it is wonderful to know that there is an ample amount of resource here in this website.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I am happy to hear that you found that part especially helpful. Yes, not every child that isn’t picking up reading has a reading problem. Sometimes they simply aren’t ready yet, or don’t have the foundational skills mastered.

B

says:

What an extremely informative post!

Laura

says:

Thanks for the wonderful information!

Christie

says:

I am so thankful for the articles you write! It’s nice to have extra information on reading and spelling related topics. I love the all about reading and spelling programs and have recommended them to others who are also now enjoying them!

Susanne

says:

Thanks for all the great tips!

Laura A

says:

Thank you for this helpful article!

Anita Cottier

says:

Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge !!

Mary

says:

I’ve started the All About Spelling program and am so impressed with how thorough it is. I’ve completed other phonics programs with my older children. This is by far the best. I’m learning a lot as I teach my daughter.

Melissa W

says:

Thank you for the resources! I’m starting level one with my daughter this year and I’m excited to see how it will help her.

Amy Valdez Sandoval

says:

Such a helpful article! Am going to direct my mom friends to visit this blog! Thank you!

Rebecca L Smith

says:

Thanks for the information. Great post.

Lara M

says:

Thank you for these resources!

Cassandra M

says:

My child has special needs and programs that work for dyslexia work for his need for a visual spatial curriculum. Always looking for anything that will help him. :)

Katie

says:

Thanks! Looking into different programs for my dyslexic kiddo. Hoping AAR and AAS will work for her.

cathey

says:

Believe this retired special education teacher, All about Reading is a wonderful resource to use. I am currently working with a grandson who has dyslexia, using this program

Amy F.

says:

Great article! Will be using AAR level 1 this year. I’m excited to see how my 5 year old does!

Marcy

says:

I found this post chocked full of helpful tips and information without having to click more links. Thank you for being concise and straightforward.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Marcy,
Thank you for noticing our efforts to be helpful!

Jenna

says:

I am so excited to see how the All About Spelling and Reading programs work for my two sons. Currently my 9 year old studies with a private reading tutor and I shared I will be starting to homeschool him to help fill in the gaps he missed in K-2. She suggested I find an Orton-Gillingham based curriculum as it would complement her efforts and I have found one! We’re almost done with Pre-Reading and are looking forward to continuing that foundation. Thank you for providing an easy-to-use program that really works!

Robin

says:

Can’t wait to start with level 1 this year. We had such good results with the pre-reading level.

Alyce Ten Haaf

says:

Saving for future reference, Thanks!

Sandra R

says:

I am looking forward to seeing how this program works for my child.

Simah E.

says:

Thank you for sharing wonderful info!

gigi

says:

Love all the support that this program offers! The articles are great!

Kendra Lund

says:

Will save for future

Donna

says:

Thank you so much for providing this information. I especially like the quick guides.

Teresa

says:

Very helpful article.

Stacy Ovadal

says:

Thank you for this great information – I wish I had it 3 years ago when I learned my daughter was dyslexic. I also have a son with a significant speech impediment. Learning to read is a slow process at our house!

Chris

says:

My daughter was diagnosed with visual processing disorder last year and her father was dyslexic. ..i have learned many helpful hints and found great resources from the All About Spelling/Readimg sites- looking forward to beginning the full program this year!

Cindy Christopher

says:

Good information.

Kim

says:

AAR really helped my daughter learn to read with her vision issues. It made learning to read much easier, when other methods did not work.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

This is wonderful to hear, Kim!

Julie

says:

Just started All About Reading 1 with my daughter today. I’m very excited about this program and progressing to All About Spelling.

Mary

says:

Love your program

Melinda Roberts

says:

Great information on things to look for

Tim

says:

Good information.

LisaK

says:

I have a student with lots of these issues. Can’t wait to start trying this program.

Gracie

says:

I’m interested in trying this curriculum with my second son to see how it can help with dyslexia.

Calista

says:

This is such a great article! My bright child’s reading glitches are due to vision problems. He has been in vision therapy for a few months and is improving greatly! I love your articles and am super excited to start your program this year!

Delores

says:

Thanks so much on the tips for spotting reading difficulties. I used a poorer phonics book for my child’s earlier years and notice a few glitches in reading now. Thanks again for the tips.

Sabrina

says:

My child struggles in reading. I’ve done so much and I feel I always have to go back to the sounds. I’m not sure if my child truly is forgetting or is just so frustrated he wants to give up. Will work at with all my might in order to help my child reach his potential. I know he can succeed and will never give up on him.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sabrina,
Students that struggle to remember the sounds of phonograms like this often need on going review 5 or more days a week in order to master them and keep them mastered. Our card system allow you to easily track what needs reviewed each day, but you can set up your own.

Start with just 4 or so phonograms and don’t add more until he has those down. However, keep reviewing the ones you started with. Be sure to review all the phonograms at least once a week for months, until you are sure he has them down very, very well. Then move to reviewing them all once a month. My son, who also struggled greatly to learn the phonograms, is 13 now and we still review all the phonograms he has learned (over 70) once a month. He still occasionally needs to do daily review of phonograms he initially learned years ago (although he reviews them for spelling now, as he no longer needs reading help at all).

Let us know how it goes and if you need anything further. All About Reading is a great program that gives you all the tools you need to set your son up for success!

Cindy Ihnen

says:

I have one that refuses to sound out the word even though she knows all the sounds.
This will be a big help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cindy,
Struggling to be able to sound words out, even after knowing the letter sounds well, is a possible sign that a child is struggling with phonological awareness. Taking a group of sounds and forming them into a word is a very difficult task if you cannot easily hear and manipulate the sounds of language. She may need work on these skills.

If she has the phonological awareness skills down well, try having her sound words out using our blending procedure, being sure to stress step 3. She may need you to model how to do it first, then have her do the procedure on the exact same word. Then change just one letter and have her try. She may need to work on this for a few minute a day every day for a while until she is able to master sounding words out. Above all, keep the practice short, avoid frustration, and be encouraging.

Let us know if you need any further help or have questions.

Sarah C

says:

I have a struggling reader, I feel like I have tried everything. All about reading press has got me excited to try a fresh new approach. I only wish I had discovered this curriculum sooner!

Kristina

says:

I thought my son had a reading problem but starting AAR program changed everything. He just needed the phonetic awareness and fun!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristina,
This is great to hear!

Yolanda

says:

My son Ben is 6, and seems to know all his alphabet sounds and has quite a few small words down. Yet he is still struggling with words. He is a very physical, hands on learner so I attempt any gross motor learning I can to help him connect and read more fully. Both of his older brothers read by 5 but see he is progressing though slowly!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yolanda,
It’s great that his brothers could reading by 5, but just beginning to read at 6 years old is more typical. If you are not yet using All About Reading, you may consider it. It has a lot of hands-on components that your Ben may find helpful for his learning. The letter tiles are particular helpful for learners like him.

C. Webb

says:

Thanks. I’ll be reading more about ADP.

Amanda

says:

Every once in a while I worry my son is struggling , and then I remember he’s only five and is doing great with aar. We should start aar 1 in the next 1-2 wks. We did pre reading last year at age 4.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, keep his very young age in mind, Amanda. Many students are just starting the Pre-reading level at 5, so getting ready to start AAR 1 is great!

Michelle kiles

says:

Thank you!

JS

says:

<> I wish I wasn’t feeling the need to read this article, but I do. I am looking forward to implementing some new strategies this year. Thank you.

Kellie H

says:

Very helpful. As a parent and teacher, it’s so good to refresh with this.

Jean r

says:

Good to know, going in my bookmarks.

Kristina Poehls

says:

😍

Tj

says:

All about learning is the best! It is very heart braking to see your child have a hard time reading. Reading is the Conner stone for everything in live.

Elizabeth Beer

says:

Thanks so much for this post! I just started AAR 1 with my oldest and I was concerned that she didn’t seem to be progressing like her younger sister was. This was the info I needed!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Elizabeth! Let us know if you have any questions or need help anything.

Amanda

says:

Very good post! I’m so glad I found this program! My son has some serious gaps in his reading and spelling abilities and this will help to fill in the holes!

S Taylor

says:

My daughter has really enjoyed All About Reading and we look forward to starting out All About Spelling!

Jessica B.

says:

I have a friend who will benefit from this! I’m sending it on.
I’ve taught two of my kids to read so far and I’m starting with my 3rd this year. So far, no issues, but we’re only half way through the kids!

Frances

says:

Relevant info with great ideas!

Jessie

says:

This is great and useful information! Thanks!

Lindsey

says:

We need this.

Shawna

says:

My daughter does some of these but she’s 6 and just starting to read. I don’t think she has a reading problem but if she is still doing this by the time she is 7 I just might have to get this program.

Aley

says:

Need this program!

Stephanie

says:

I have a son with dyslexia and AAR has been very helpful. We just switched this year to the AAR program and are thankful for how it is helping.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stephanie,
It’s great to hear that AAR is helping!

Carisha hullet

says:

My son does a few of these things. It is great to have a list to refer to and suggestions to work on!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carisha,
I’m glad this post is helpful to you!

Betsy E

says:

I’m loving using AAR with my kids! I have two at different spots in level 1, and getting ready to start pre-1 with another.

Linda

says:

Thank you for all the valuable information covered in this post. I think sometimes we tend to worry a lot whether our children have reading problems (especially when we homeschool)

Meredith Bodkin

says:

We are thankful for AAR! We are in Level 1, and already gaining confidence faster then any other program we have tried. I want to get the All About Spelling too!

Judith Martinez

says:

I don’t think I have any children with reading problems although I did have some late readers. I think the biggest challenge my children have faced is my teaching technique, not their natural ability.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Judith,
We can help with that. Our materials give you, the teacher, all the tools needed for a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling. Let us know if you have any questions!

Leave a comment