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The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling

The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling - All About Learning Press

Does your child have gaps in reading and spelling?

Hundreds of thousands of children struggle to learn to read and spell. They spend hour after tiring hour being fed information, only to eventually be tagged as “unable to read” or labeled with a learning disability that keeps them from being able to spell.

It’s hard to believe, but according to nation-wide statistics, 64% of fourth graders read below proficient levels.

That’s a staggering number. Let’s think about that for just a moment.

If you lined up ten random fourth-grade kids from across the United States…

… only four of them would be able to read at a proficient level. Just four. Six of the children would only be able to read at a basic level or below.

The "No Gaps" Approach for Reading and Spelling - All About Learning Press

But if you live in certain states, it’s even worse: 72% of fourth graders in Michigan read below proficient levels. In New Mexico, it’s 77% of fourth graders. Among black students, it’s 81% of fourth graders. (Check out the stats for your state here as reported by the U.S. Department of Education.)

However, these grim statistics don’t tell the whole story.

The Problem: Gaps

More often than not, the problem doesn’t actually lie with the child. Most reading and spelling problems are caused by gaps in the reading or spelling curriculum. Gaps are created when programs don’t follow incremental steps, or when information is taught in an illogical sequence. Such programs don’t build sequentially upon the information the child has already mastered. These gaps can cause lots of problems for kids. Here’s why…

uh-oh-missing-rungs

Imagine Climbing a Ladder with Missing Rungs

You’re in front of a tall ladder, and you’re expected to climb to the top. There’s a reward up there, and you’re excited to grab it. You don’t know it yet, but this particular ladder has a few problems. In fact, the ladder has some missing rungs. But it’s your job to climb it, so you begin.

Climbing the first and second rungs of the ladder doesn’t present a problem—the rungs are adequately placed, and you can put one foot ahead of the other. But when you lift your foot for the next step, you hesitate…because there is a gaping hole where the third rung should be. In order to take the next step, you have to really stretch. You have long legs and a strong upper body, so you can do it—but it isn’t easy. You make that big step and pull yourself up the ladder.

But wait! When you take the next step, you realize that there is another missing rung in the ladder. Good thing you are up to a physical challenge! Reaching and stretching, you eventually climb to the top of the ladder and claim your reward.

But What If You Can’t Overcome the Missing Rungs?

What if your legs aren’t long enough to stretch over the gaping holes? What if you don’t have the upper body strength to pull yourself up to the next rung? You will likely become discouraged and defeated, and may eventually give up. Should you be labeled as having a ladder-climbing disability for not being able to climb the ladder?

You may think it’s your fault that you can’t climb the ladder, but it’s not. The cards were stacked against you from the very beginning. The ladder wasn’t well constructed, so the designers of the ladder are to blame for the failure. The problem isn’t with you; the problem is with the ladder and its missing rungs.

A properly designed ladder makes climbing to the top possible—even for a person with challenges that would make climbing a faulty ladder impossible.

The "No Gaps" Approach for Reading and Spelling - All About Learning Press

Learning to Read and Spell Is a Lot Like Climbing a Ladder

Each rung on the ladder represents an important concept that helps students get closer to the goal of fluent reading and spelling. If a rung (or concept) is missing, climbing (or learning) is harder than it needs to be. And as you can imagine…

…it’s much easier to climb a ladder that has all of its rungs.

For some children, a reading or spelling curriculum with missing steps is not a problem. Just as your long legs would help you climb a ladder with missing rungs, some children are able to intuitively fill in the gaps in a reading or spelling program.

But for many children, those missing steps present an insurmountable obstacle. Just like some people don’t have the physical makeup to climb a faulty ladder, some children aren’t wired to make the big jumps that many reading and spelling programs require.

Your Curriculum Choice Can Make the Difference Between Success and Failure

When I developed All About Reading and All About Spelling, I had a clear image of a ladder in my mind. I spent thousands of hours analyzing each and every step, making sure there were no gaps. I wanted every child to have the benefit of clear, concise, well structured, and fail-proof teaching.

(Click here if you’d like to view samples of my “no gaps” approach.)

All About Reading and All About Spelling teach through a research-based, logical sequence with NO GAPS. Both programs are “ladders” with precisely placed rungs that make it easy for your student to climb to the top, regardless of his age or ability. With this approach, kids can successfully climb to the top of the ladder—step by step by step—and reap the rewards of mastery in reading and spelling without all the struggles along the way.

We guarantee it!

Download my free e-book to discover twenty more tips for teaching reading and spelling!

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Leave a Comment

Julie

says:

I wish I had known about this my first year of homeschooling. I pulled my daughter out at the end of 2nd grade. I knew at some point I was going to homeschool, I was just waiting on God for when. At the end of the school year He said, this was the year, pull them out! I’m so glad I did, it was the year Common Core was going to be introduced the following fall! Anyway, may daughter had so many holes in her reading and writing that I didn’t know about. By then end of our first year of homeschooling, I realized I had to go backwards in her reading before we could move forward. I then spent the second year patching them up. She had concepts from Kindergarten that I had to re-teach like Long Vowels with silent E. I started with a classical Kindergarten reading & phonics curriculum I bought for my son, that went in a sequential order and repeated and built on concepts previously taught. I then pulled together a number of other curriculum and resources to plug up the gaps. I basically created my own curriculum for her (and my son) using multiple resources. I certainly would have used All About Reading & All About Spelling from the beginning if I had known about it then. You have done what I’ve been trying to do by myself for the last 3 years. Thank you! I’m hopeful for the first time with teaching my children.

Lindie

says:

We have just started with All about reading and already we are loving it. Very detailed and complete

Wendy

says:

I’m really excited about the progression. Can’t wait to use this with my son.

ashley wakefield

says:

Looking forward to using this with my Kindergartener next year!

Lee

says:

We love using all about reading and all about spelling for our kids!

Amy

says:

Great products! easy to use!

Kaile R

says:

Our oldest completed Level 1 of AAR and AAS and is currently making his way through Level 2 of both. Our youngest is working her way through AAR Level 1. We have truly enjoyed this curriculum and found it to be easy to use and fun as well!

Melonie

says:

We are currently using AAS levels 3 and 5 with older sons (and LOVE the method). Thinking of starting AAR soon with special needs 5yo daughter. This blog post was helpful, thanks! :)

Cathy

says:

How similar are AAS and AAR? Can I just take either one and use it to teach both reading and spelling, as long as reading and spelling are taught separately at different speeds?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cathy,
For some children it can work to use All About Spelling to teach reading and spelling. However, many children need additional support in reading than All About Spelling provides. Here’s more about the programs and how they are designed to work:

Both are complete phonics programs. All About Spelling and All About Reading both use a similar sequence and the same phonograms, so they are interrelated in that way. AAS teaches words from the spelling angle (encoding) and AAR teaches words from the reading angle (decoding).

All About Spelling 1 starts with important phonological awareness activities and then moves step-by-step into spelling. With this method, anything a child can spell, he or she has the skills to sound out. One of the differences that comes into play is when and how that child moves from sounding out to reading fluently and with confidence.

Some students take off in reading on their own. They might be fine just using All About Spelling. AAS focuses on encoding skills, spelling rules and other strategies that help children become good spellers. Our clients who have used All About Spelling to teach reading adjust the lessons to add in blending techniques, fluency practice, comprehension discussions, and so on. This can work for students who learn to read naturally or quickly, or for parents who have a lot of confidence and experience in teaching reading, and like to design their own lessons.

However, most students need more support in reading, and that’s where AAR comes in. AAR includes research-based instruction in decoding, fluency, automaticity, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonological awareness, and it is truly a complete reading program. These students benefit from going through AAR to get complete reading instruction.

Most students progress more quickly in reading than in spelling, which is one reason why Marie decided to create separate programs. AAS and AAR are designed to be independent of each other so students can move as quickly or as slowly as they need to with each skill. For most children, Marie recommends completing All About Reading Level 1 first, and then adding in the All About Spelling program. This way, students get a solid start in reading first, and they have a strong basis for spelling as well. You are free to progress in both programs at your student’s pace until both skills are mastered.
Here’s an article that explains Why We Teach Reading and Spelling Separately.

And here’s an article that illustrates What’s the difference between All About Reading and All About Spelling and includes samples of the same concept taught in both programs.

I hope this helps as you decide what is best for you and your student(s). Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Mary Nease

says:

I love how your programs helps me relax and be patient with my kids, encouraging mastery so I know ultimately moving slower will pay off with no (or fewer!) gaps :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mary,
Yes, this is a beautiful way to look at it!

We love AAS and AAR. I have seen so much progress and enjoyment from my children with these programs. I wish I had started with them sooner.

Amanda

says:

My kids have gaps in reading and spelling. They weren’t catching up in public school, so we brought them home. This looks very promising for them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
Please let us know if you have any questions about our programs.

Megan

says:

All About Reading has helped my daughter make a break through in her reading. She loves reading now, and we are leaving no gaps.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
It’s great to hear that All About Reading has helped your daughter have a breakthrough in reading. Thank you.

Maria T.

says:

I like the clear instructional method this program offers.

Kelli C.

says:

My girls are doing great with the AAR reading program and I am hoping this program will prevent those gaps! So far we love the program and will start AAS in the fall!

Katelyn

says:

I was a very intuitive reader from a very early age, but I know not everyone is the same. I’m so glad that such care was put into the All About Reading program. I am enjoying watching my son learn to read with it.

Michele

says:

Love All About Reading. My little one with Down Syndrome is learning! It is awesome!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Michele,
It IS awesome! Thanks for letting us know how your little one is doing.

Katie S

says:

My oldest Ian now in second grade. We moved and he attended a new school between Knand 1st grade and I’m noticing major gaps in his reading, phonics and spelling abilities. I’ve started AAR with him and noticing big change so. I’ve also started AAR with husband little brother to help prevent these struggles in the future. Thank you for these amazing programs.

Ashley Pittman

says:

AAR and AAS has been such a blessing to our family. Thank you!

Christine

says:

We are loving our first year with AAR (level 1!) It’s been so easy to teach so far, I’m excited about starting AAS and level two next year!!

Cindy

says:

I love teaching aar L2 and aas L1 to my first grader. Reading isn’t easy for him, but he is slowly and steadily progressing. We just started aas level one this fall and I love how it reinforces what he learned in aar level 1. Just a great program.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cindy,
I’m happy to hear that AAR and AAS is working well for your son. Thank you.

Gail Timmer

says:

I love this post, the ladder is spot on! I would love to win the give away! 😊

Mary Schramm

says:

I have really enjoyed teaching with AAR! Not only is my child learning completely and quickly, but I am too.

Kimberly Weese

says:

I’ve had older children who struggle with gaps in both areas. I’m excited to see the difference in my younger children who are not having to struggle through the same issues because we are getting them started right. Loving AAR!

Genevieve

says:

My littles are enjoying AAR pre-reading. They ask for “Ziggy” and get excited about our lessons. Looking forward to Level 1!

Jen

says:

We have enjoyed All About Spelling and would love to give All About Reading a try! Already my daughter’s reading proficiency is above grade level but I’m always nervous that I might be missing something along the way. I love that your programs aim to close these loopholes.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
It is possible that those holes will be filled with All About Spelling. Not every child needs All About Reading.

Crystal

says:

I would love to try the spelling we have enjoyed the reading!

Courtney S

says:

My oldest daughter had many gaps in her spelling. Her school allowed the kids to spell phonetically in the lower grades, and didn’t teach the rules and generalizations, at least not well. She developed some very bad habits. After I stumbled across and began using AAS, her spelling began and continues to improve, but she has had to work very hard to overcome her bad habits! She is currently working through AAS4. My 5 yo is working on AAR1, and I plan on starting AAS1 after she completes it. We are so thankful for All About Learning! I only wish we had found it sooner.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Courtney,
Overcoming bad habits in spelling can be difficult. Just keep at it! It’s great to hear that All About Spelling and All About Reading is working so well for your children.

Sasha

says:

Yes!!!! I should have started with All About Reading from the begining. I thought that what I had cover in Kinder was going to be enoght for first grade. That was not the case. I will be getting AAR Kinder.

Narae

says:

True true! This is why I love AAS! :)

Lauren

says:

We’ve loved using spelling and I want to starting with the reading soon.

Sarah Ter Maat

says:

Where do you start with an older child who has gaps? Do you start at the beginning? My hesitation with this would be that she would quickly get discouraged and think she was “dumb” because the work would look or feel too “babyish”. Any advice on this?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
If you are asking about reading, 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…

Her ability to decode the words in the story.
Her ability to comprehend the story.
Could she fluently read the story with expression?
Did she understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

However, if you are asking about spelling, we recommend that most students start with level 1 to build a strong foundation in spelling.

All About Spelling is a building block program with each level building upon the previous one. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. Placement for spelling is based on the student’s knowledge of spelling rules and concepts rather than grade level, reading level, or the words a student has memorized.

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.

The article Which Spelling Level Should We Start With? has more information on the concepts taught in All About Spelling 1 and will help you decide if your student can skip level 1 and go into level 2.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

We encourage parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, 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.

How old is your student? Is she struggling with reading, spelling, or both? What aspects does she struggle with?

Sarah

says:

Thanks for such a thorough explanation! She just turned 14 and was in public school for those foundational years. I have found that they seem to teach sight words only, but not really the phonics and/or rules that go along with the spelling.
I should have clarified, she mostly struggles with spelling, but also somewhat with reading I suspect. She absolutely loathes reading. I am not sure if she really just dislike reading, or if it is because she struggles with comprehension or a little of both.
I will try the placement tests with her. We have tried a few different spelling curriculum and have been using Spelling Power. It just isn’t working with her. Everything we’ve tried seems to rely on memorization.
Thanks again for the reply!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the additional information, Sarah.

With what you described with your daughter, I would recommend starting her on All About Spelling only. Do look into our Which Spelling Level Should We Start With? article to see if she has enough phonics background to start with AAS 2, but be willing to start at AAS 1 if needed.

Older students like your daughter typically progress through the lower levels quickly, but make noticeable progress in that short time. You may have seen our Using All About Spelling with Older Students blog post already. All About Spelling is in no way “baby-ish”, but does start with the very basics as to ensure there are no gaps to hinder future progress. Just explain to your daughter that, like starting at the beginning of a video game even though level 1 is easy so that she can learn what she needs to know for the more difficult levels later, she also needs to start with level 1 of All About Spelling so she can learn what she needs to know for the more difficult words later. Also assure her that you will move through the lower levels as quickly as you can, so that you get to the more difficult words as soon as possible.

As for reading, as she moves through All About Spelling, especially as she learns about the syllable division rules in AAS 2 and 3, she will find reading easier. However, in order to really get a clear idea of what problems she is having with reading you need to listen to her read aloud. Often you can pinpoint her exact problem by listening to a student read aloud for 10 minutes or so a day for a few days. For example, is she guessing a long words and therefore the sentences she is reading aren’t making any sense? Or, is she reading without any expression at all, ignoring punctuation, and reading in a flat monotone? It’s really, really hard to understand what is being read if there is no expression. After you have listened to her read for a week or so, let us know what you discovered. We can help you so that you can help her.

She should be reading herself for at least 20 or 30 minutes a day. She may need to read “easy” books, maybe even well below her grade level, but it is the reading that is more important than the level at this point. Allow her a lot of say in what she reads, but keep her reading. This is important as the Matthew Effect does play into reading.

Most importantly, she needs to be listening to books each day. Reading aloud to her is probably best, as she can ask you questions and discuss the literature with you in the moment. However, you can make use of audiobooks as well. Since she is 8th or 9th grade age, you can start studying literature and literary analysis with her through audiobooks or reading aloud. Even if you choose not to do literature study at this point, do keep having her listen to books. There is a direct relationship between reading comprehension and listening comprehension, and listening to books is also very helpful in developing enjoyment with books.

I hope this helps. Please let us know how it goes or if you have any further questions.

Mikki Larch

says:

We love AAR & AAS. They have been especially beneficial to my outside-the-box kid :)

Emily

says:

This is a big reason I chose to do this program. We are in a Spanish immersion school so will not start with English for a couple years. I was trying some other pieced together things but it wasn’t clicking I think because of missing some basics. Although I have to say Spanish is so much more straight forward than English. Our multiple sounds for letters is so much harder to learn!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Emily,
Yes! Languages that have a one sound to one phonogram correlation are much less difficult to learn, and problems with dyslexia are less common.

Katy

says:

Insightful article!

Kelsey Ricci

says:

Thank you for creating a no gap program that we are loving!

Megan

says:

We are using both AAR and AAS and I appreciate the confidence I have that we will not have any gaps in my son’s learning.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Megan,
We are happy that we could help you have that confidence in your teaching.

Heidi

says:

Great programs!

karen

says:

Thanks so much for this article as it really encouraged me as a homeschooling mom!

Ryann

says:

I would love to try AAS with my 9 year old son. He is a strong reader and we are looking for a next step for spelling after this year.

Kristina

says:

Thank you for the wonderful program.

Davelle

says:

My nine years old struggles with reading. These books would be great.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Davelle,
Please let us know if you have any questions about All About Reading, if you need help with placement, or if there is anything else you need help with.

Mia

says:

My oldest daughter struggles with reading. We are working on reinforcing her ladder and fixing her gaps. She struggles with remembering the “basics” as she reads.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Mia,
We are sorry to hear your daughter is struggling. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any ideas on how to help her fill her gaps.

Misty

says:

Really helpful article, my son is 4th grade and is a struggling reader. We have seen lots of improvements since starting AAR

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Misty,
Thank you for letting us know that All About Reading has helped your son improve in reading!

Tony Kerr

says:

These blogs and each persons experiences make great reading and provide great encouragement for me and I am looking forward to receiving my order of pre-reading program. I recently downloaded the Penguin pack as a trial on how this could work and my son and I spent some fun filled hours with the similar sounding words and making up words for him to select the letters in upper and lowercase to spell. So I really appreciate all the sharing that is available here.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tony,
It sounds like you and your son are off to an excellent start in learning!

Tabitha

says:

We love the program. It has even filled in a few of my own gaps in spelling!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tabitha,
I had the same experience! I’m a better speller now that I’ve been through All About Spelling with one of my children.

Lexi

says:

This is so true! I have loved the incremental approach with these programs. My son has had to take it very slowly with reading and spelling and if he were using any other program I know he would not have any success. He has to carefully walk through the steps to experience success. He is slowly and steadily learning to read.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Lexi,
Slow and steady is an excellent way to learn! Keep it up.

Kristin Evans

says:

I’ve heard this before about your program – parent’s testify that it leaves no gaps. Look forward to using it!

Erma

says:

Trying to decide which level to use on my son.

Bonnie

says:

Great analogy. We just started the program but so far so good.

Cheri

says:

My son, 9yo, is still reading on a K/1st grade level. It is so frustrating for him AND for me as I watch him struggle. I think I’d like to try AAR since it comes highly recommended from other homeschooling moms.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cheri,
Please let us know if we can help with placement or anything else. My third child didn’t get above a 1st grade reading level until he was about 9 years old, but now at 14 he is reading on grade level or even a bit higher. You can help your son get there too.

Marie, the author of All About Reading, was told by experts that her son would never learn to read. The experts were wrong! If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out. It’s inspiring!

Katrina R.

says:

I like the analogy. Luckily my 5 year old has picked up reading really easily at this point, but I think my 3 year old will need more structured learning once she reaches that point.

Jade

says:

I like the analogy. And love the step by step approach aal provides

Heather

says:

I’ve been using Spell to Write and read, but this program looks much easier to implement.

C. E.

says:

Love this no gap approach! My son hardly needs spelling help, he gets most everything he needs from just the reading program!

Claire Levesque

says:

Thank you for creating AAR. It is helping my child learn to read, and from what I’ve seen so far, without any gaps!

Lois Bannon

says:

Looks to be just what we’re looking for.

Jessica Hamer

says:

I am just so very grateful my friend told me about AAR and AAS! We love the no gaps approach and my boys are soaring! ❤

Lindsey

says:

This was helpful. I can’t wait to try AAR.

Leslie

says:

I can’t tell you how excited I was when I discover AAR and AAS! My 8 year old and now one of my 5 year olds are “no gaps” sort of readers, and I just was not finding anything that had a specific set of next steps. Then viola, there was AAR and AAS. Heck, I would even be reading some of the lessons thinking, “Is that why we do that?” I wish I would have had this 11 years ago teaching in the Public School System. I can think of so many kids that would have benefited from it. So, thanks Marie and all of you All About Learning Press employees for giving so many children a chance!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Leslie,
We are so glad that All About Reading and All About Spelling are filling in the gaps for your students. Yes, a lot of learners would benefit from having an incremental education.

The more I read about your program the MORE excited I get that this is going to be amazing for my sweet son! I can’t wait to purchase it and start with it this coming fall! Hearing your story about your son sent me to tears! Thank you so much for sharing this with others and developing this curriculum.
Blessings,
Tamijoy Sisemore
http://tillGodbringsthemhome.blogspot.com

jacquie

says:

wondering if this is an orton gillingham approach?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jacquie,
Yes! Both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based. Marie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and has instructed graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check out their story. Quite amazing!

You might also like to visit our Dyslexia Resources Page.

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

Amanda F.

says:

I always enjoy reading your posts. :D We use and love All About Spelling! I am wondering, do you know of any way to check a fourth graders reading level? My daughter is in fourth this year, I feel like she reads well for her age. I would like to be able to check it though. Any ideas?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amanda,
Here is a very simple online assessment. It has lists of words by grade level. However, this isn’t a full picture of what constitutes reading. It is one thing to read a list of words well, and quite another to read the same words buried deep in 20 pages of small text in a chapter without any pictures.

I think a better assessment of what grade level your child is reading is look up the grade level of a book she is reading. I like to use the Scholastic webpage for that, not because Scholastic is necessarily the most accurate but more that they make the grade levels easy to see along the left size of the page. So, for example, if your child is reading, enjoying, and comprehending Treasure Island well, then she is reading on a 7th grade reading level.

Emily Urban

says:

My son has been struggling since kindergarten. He’s in 4th grade now still at 1st grade level. Very painful.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Emily,
What curriculum has he been learning with? Can you describe the specifics of his struggles? How can we help you help your son?

Kelly

says:

I am wondering about my daughter who has struggled for years with reading and was recently diagnosed as being dyslexic. She is 16 now. What are the steps or levels of learning that she would need if she were to use OG procedures or All About Learning? PS Kelsey loves horses! :)

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kelly,
For reading, we do have placement tests for All About Reading to help you decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having your daughter read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want her 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 daughter) for the following…

Her ability to decode the words in the story.
Her ability to comprehend the story.
Could she fluently read the story with expression?
Did she understand the words from a vocabulary standpoint?

Note: choose the level for All About Spelling independently from the level she needs for All About Reading.

With spelling, we recommend that most students start with level 1 to build a strong foundation in spelling.

All About Spelling is a building block program with each level building upon the previous one. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. Placement for spelling is based on the student’s knowledge of spelling rules and concepts rather than grade level, reading level, or the words a student has memorized.

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.

The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? has more information on the concepts taught in level 1 and will help you decide the appropriate starting level.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

We encourage parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, 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.

All About Spelling isn’t “young” at all, but if she places into the lower levels of All About Reading she may find some of the activities to be too young for her. If she does place into AAR 1 or 2, let us know and we’ll give you information on some minor adaptions you can make so that it is better received.

Let us know if you have more questions or need anything.

KRISTIN

says:

Thank you so much for your question & the answer! I’ve been contacted regarding beginning a remedial reading program for high school students at a local private school and this post helps answer many of my questions!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristin,
My reply above applies specifically to All About Spelling. If you were interested with All About Reading for your students, we don’t recommend starting at level 1 unless the student truly needs to start at that level. Rather, we have placement tests for All About Reading to help you decide which level would be best. Also, we recommend having the student read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want the student 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 the student) for the following…

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

Let us know if you have further questions. I have also emailed you our pdf document that discusses the concerns of using our programs in a classroom setting.

Alisa

says:

This program has been amazing for my boys…my third grader went from being embarrassed about his reading in public school in kindergarten to reading and spelling way above average by using AAS and AAR. I love how both the reading and spelling programs work so well together and reinforce phonic rules.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your son’s great progress with us, Alisa!

Tanya

says:

Looking forward to trying All About Spelling with my newest kindergartner. I agree, many program leave gaps.

rosemarie riosa tio

says:

Super! Now i can make sure we avoid these gaps

Schelly P

says:

Would love to try this.

Sabrina

says:

I always love hearing about how children learn with their parent’s involvement. Thank you for sharing!

Chelsey Stafki

says:

Great information. My son has been reading just fine, but after several spelling tests, I have learned that there are definite gaps that need to be covered.

Sherry

says:

This is the first time any of my students actually enjoy spelling. I am sure it is because it is finally making sense to them!

Great ideas and explanations about filling in the gaps. Great visuals as well!

Miranda

says:

I think this program looks fantastic. I can’t wait to try it.

Charlene

says:

We love AAS and AAR! My son attended Kindergarten at a public school and by the end of that year I realized that he had some missing gaps in reading and spelling. He was great at reading sight words but had no clue about phonics, I was stunned. We decided to pull him from the public school and homeschool him. After lots of research I knew AAS and AAR would be the perfect curriculum for him. We are 4 months into the school year and he has improved dramatically, he has finished Level 1 in both programs and we are ready to order Level 2 – I have no doubt it is because your programs have closed the missing gaps for him. We feel so blessed to have found your programs! We love it, and highly recommend it!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Charlene,
Thank you for sharing how your son has progressed this year. It sounds like he is doing very well!

Georgette H

says:

Thank you for this analogy! Our oldest was able to go back and pick up his missing rungs as we switched to All About Reading a few years ago.

Rachel

says:

This is such a great post! Thanks for helping me on my journey to teach my kids to read! I highly recommend AAR!

Juill

says:

My ds5 was reading pretty well after finishing TYCTR but we started All About Reading Level 1 this week to fill on the gaps. I love your approach. Thanks!

Kristin A.

says:

This post gives the best visual description of the issues our 10 yr old son has faced learning to read and spell. Our son has struggled in spelling and reading throughout school. He has used various curriculums due to the different school’s he’s attended. It has made school incredibly discouraging for him. As his parents watching him struggle without the tools to help him has frustrated us as well. This gives us hope!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kristin,
Let us know if we can help with placement or anything else!

Lee Ann

says:

Thanks for the information.

Nancy

says:

The ladder analogy is so helpful when working with parents of students with dyslexia. Parents often want the work to be “harder” thinking that their child should be doing grade/age level work. This analogy helps them understand that I need to have the students build a solid foundation or a strong ladder in order to get to that work.

Megan

says:

We love AAR and AAS!! I am learning so many wonderful things too!! Our favorite is onomatopoeia a word that imitates sound!!!

Celeste

says:

I hav used all about spelling with a son who has processing and writing difficulties. I have easily been able to adapt it for him to learn. My spelling has improved as well!

Marietta

says:

I use your program in a pull-out classroom setting. This analogy is so helpful. I will use it to explain your program to parents and administrators. Those not familiar with a systematic approach are often unable to judge the type of reading material appropriate for struggling readers. I can glance at a piece of writing and immediately identify the words that will be very problematic for my students.

Christie

says:

We are loving our all about reading and all about spelling programs!! Both my kids are excelling and both are excited about reading and writing!!

Margaret G

says:

My daughter loves All About Spelling. We are working on Level 3. I tried other curriculums, but they just didn’t work. My daughter likes to know and apply the rules. It makes sense to her. We haven’t tried AAR. My daughter started reading on her own when she was 3, but I’m starting to think that maybe we should incorporate a reading curriculum. We currently use a Reading Comprehension workbook and we read out loud. We homeschool and we say she is third grade since she is 9 years old. If we were to begin AAR, would we start at the beginning?

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Margaret,
We don’t recommend starting AAR from the beginning if a student doesn’t need to do so. Rather, 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?

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Margaret G

says:

Thanks! This helps.

Krystal

says:

I can’t wait to try these with my kids.

I use both AAR and AAS with several of my tutoring students. Today one of my mothers, who also uses the products in home schooling, asked me what I used for grammar. I realized (to my personal horror) that I don’t really have one!! I adapt regular programming as best I can. Is there a grammar program “out there?”

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Renee,
There are a few grammar programs available that have either multi-sensory components or an incremental approach. Some of the programs focus exclusively on grammar, while some include writing as well. Here are a few suggestions:

Winston Grammar is a hands-on program with color-coded cards, and is generally aimed at students in 4th to 7th grades.

Easy Grammar features an incremental approach and includes topics such as usage and punctuation, for 2nd grade and up.

Essentials in Writing is described by author Matthew Stephens as a Math-U-See approach to writing. In the elementary levels, this program incorporates grammar with writing. The lessons are presented in short video segments of 3 to 5 minutes and then the student works on the concept that was taught. This is a multisensory and incremental program that is very easy to use. There are levels for 1st-12th grades.

The Sentence Family is a simple and fun program aimed at 3rd through 6th graders. The program uses pictures along with a story line to teach grammar concepts and how they relate to each other.

Hands-On English with Linking Blocks is an intriguing program that uses wooden blocks and flash cards for a truly hands-on approach.

Analytical Grammar teaches a mastery of grammar by working on it for short grammar focused units once a year for 2 to 3 years. Junior Analytical Grammar is for 4th or 5th graders, with Analytical Grammar for 6th to 9th graders.

Hopefully this gives you some to consider!

Wow! Thank you so much for these recommendations. I will check them out to see which fits my various students the best!

Jessica Brown

says:

I couldn’t agree more! I just started the Level 2 AAR with my 7 yr old, and I love it so far. When we first started, I thought it was too simple for him, but as we plugged away at the lessons, I learned where a few of his gaps were. It’s really been enlightening!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your experience with AAR helping to fill gaps, Jessica.

melissa

says:

My twin girls are 10, we’ve been working on reading for 5 years and they are at a 1st grade reading level. This is our first year using your materials.so far so good and wishing i had found you earlier. Praying our efforts and your materials will lead them to become the readers they desire to be!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
It’s great to hear that things are going well so far. Please contact us if you get stuck, or need help in any way.

Abbi Cord

says:

I love AAR and AAS for this very reason. I am excited to start my subsequent kids out on this program to avoid the gaps my older son faced!

Belinda

says:

It was amazing to see the gaps in my 9 yr old daughter’s phonemic awareness when we started all about Spelling a few weeks ago. The first couple of lessons she dragged her feet and complained about it, but now SHE begs ME to do it.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

What a turn around, Belinda! Thank you for sharing.

Aaron

says:

Just starting home school and would love to start this program for kindergarten next year!

Angie

says:

I just received the pre-reading program last week with my 3 year old. She loves it! We are having so much fun. I can not wait to continue with the program. I love the easy to follow instructions.

Jo

says:

One of my kiddos is an avid reader but really struggles with spelling and writing. Am really interested in finding out more about whether this programme could help us :-)

Laura Brown

says:

Jo, you should google “stealth dyslexia.” I, and many others, learned to read well, but struggled with putting those sounds back into written form — in fact, many reading teachers consider difficulty spelling to be as much or more of an indication of dyslexia than difficulties reading alone.

I am sure that you and your daughter could benefit from All About Spelling. Also, help her learn to use the mental images of what she has been spending time reading to detect if a word “looks right.” That is a key ingredient in recognizing when you have spelled a word incorrectly. I’d begin with a few sight words she can read easily (who/what/one/two — that sort), and make a card with a correct spelling, and a page with several similar spellings (the sort of error she might make) mixed in with as many that are spelled correctly, and have her cross out the ones that are incorrect. I say to start with those, because with the rules in AAS, she’ll pick up the more regular words more easily, but may need extra practice on the ones that aren’t spelled the way they sound.

Best wishes!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jo,
This sounds like my 2nd child. She learned to read easily and early, and read at an advanced level. Yet she was in the 4th grade and struggled to spell simple words such as back (she’d try to spell it backe). That is when I researched spelling options and found All About Spelling. We started in level 1 and she finished it in just a few weeks, but her spelling improved immediately. She completed all 7 levels before finishing 9th grade, and now I occasionally ask her for spelling help!

As for writing, when children become more comfortable and confident with spelling, they will naturally take more risks with writing. However, All About Spelling won’t teach more complex writing, such as paragraphs and essays, but it will lay the foundation that will prepare them to learn such things.

Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns I can address. I do see that you are in New Zealand. We do have two New Zealand distributors, Writing Excellence and Engaging Minds, Ltd.

Rosa Robinson

says:

My son is five and has started reading and spelling but needs more help. I am glad that I found this site.

Shannon R

says:

My oldest struggles with reading and I’m looking into AAR for my youngest upcoming student. I’m hoping this will be a great start for the youngest while a great help to the oldest who could use some encouragement.

Amy S

says:

Both of my boys struggle with spelling. One has been diagnosed with learning disabilities and I’m concerned that the other may have them as well. They are starting to hate school and we are thinking of homeschooling this fall. Even if we don’t, I plan on using All About Spelling to help them catch up.

L Gunter

says:

We started out Kindergarten with a state home-school. It was a struggle from day one with the phonics and spelling program they used. We were dealing with dyslexia and dysgraphia and no accommodations were made. He was just supposed to “get it” within their time parameters. It was so stressful and frustrating for both of us! Finally after 2nd grade I realized this wasn’t going to work and we went to independent homeschooling and started using your curriculum which I found after doing a search on dyslexia & dysgraphia. I had a new child on my hands! He actually (sort of) enjoyed spelling :) Now he’s in 9th grade and we are working our way through Book 6 and he has made steady progress climbing up the spelling rungs. No more tears and constant success with AAS. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is such a great success story, thank you!

Shelly

says:

This is sooooooo encouraging! We homeschooled from K-3 and my son never could grasp phonics – despite trying multiple curricula. He wanted to go to school this year, and we finally got a diagnosis of Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. They’re not doing much for him to remediate it. I am seriously considering pulling him back to homeschooling and using AAS and AAR. :D Thank you for sharing your success story. It gives me hope!

Victoria Carnes

says:

I’ve got some great ideas from this site. I was homeschooled my 11th & 12th grade year and I have to say I learned more them 2 years then I did when I went to public. I love teaching and learning so that is why I homeschool.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Victoria,
I was never homeschooled, but I too love learning (and later found I love teaching too) and that is one of the many reasons why I homeschool. It’s fun to struggle through a challenging word problem together with your child, and to solve it together. Some people think I’m weird to say something like that, but whatever. It is fun.

Sarah Hull

says:

My son has picked up reading quite naturally. But, I am hesitant to have him go to quickly so that he doesn’t get discouraged or miss key learning steps. I had never heard of the idea of gals before and it definitely makes sense! I have heard such good things about your program!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
Some children will just naturally pick up reading as if they flew up the ladder and didn’t need any rungs at all. With kids like this, some parents find it beneficial to allow them to go ahead with reading and to fill in any gaps through spelling.

Katie

says:

I agree that your approach is very beneficial to students of any age or ability. I have been able to use your program with my very young children and have them read without tears or complaining and they soar through because it is so carefully laid out! Thank you for all the time you put into developing these programs, they are remarkable!

Amy Sommers

says:

my daughter is simply enjoying reading and spelling, i could almost push her faster, but i just do a level each year and it’s simple no burn out, my sun started the pre reading and loves his letter pages.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amy,
All About Reading and All About Spelling are designed to be used at the pace of the individual child, not necessarily at a level-per-year pace. While there is not problem with spending a year on a level, there is no real benefit of stretching a level out that long if a child is ready to move forward faster.

Betty

says:

I recently ordered the pre-level all about reading for my grandson. He lives with me and is six years old. We homeschool because of him being on ASD scale, and he also has ADHD. I began a reading program when he was five. Needless to say, I have tried several reading programs which ended in tears for both of us. I am so happy to report that he loves your program! He evens wants to school on the weekend! Words are not adequate to express how much this program means to me. For the first time, I have a child who is excited to learn to read!!!!! Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Betty,
This is wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to share with us the difference the Pre-Reading program has made.

Gina

says:

We are so glad to have found AAL. Both the spelling and reading programs are so easy to use for both the parent and student. My daughter loves the reading games.

Sandra

says:

My son has been using the AAS program, and using it at a good pace, it has alleviated much of my son’s frustrations, and given him great spelling tools to use. My daughter just started AAR, but I’m thinking of trying it out with my son as well. Thanks for a great program.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing how AAS has helped with your son’s spelling frustrations, Sandra.

Laura

says:

Thank you for the great information.

I was unaware of the concept of gaps, thank you for the awareness about this.

Amanda

says:

This looks exciting. Thank you.

Raquel

says:

I started my daughter on another reading curriculum in preschool and kindergarten and she did ok. We started the All About Reading Level 1 and she has gone through it. We are re reading the books. We just started the All About Spelling Level 1 and I like how the approach from the spelling overlaps with the reading. It gives her some reinforcement. I am excited about staying the course with this program. I have a 3 year old and I will begin him on the pre reading curriculum soon.

Kristen

says:

We homeschool and last school year I was so frustrated with the nonsensical order in which the words were introduced in the spelling program we were using. The kids were having a hard time learning them and we only got about eight weeks worth done. Last fall we started with level 1 of All About Spelling and are going to finish it this week! We should be able to finish level 2 before school finishes for the summer. I’m so happy with it. It’s logical and the kids are catching on easily now. I’m also excited to be starting the Pre Reading level of All About Reading with my 5 year old daughter. Today was our first day and it looks like it will be lots of fun.

Bethany Ryan

says:

I would love to try this reading curriculum. Thank you for having a giveaway!!

Kira

says:

My son has definitely suffered from this. For this reason, we are truly enjoying your straightforward program. Thank you!!!

Amber

says:

I have tried so many things to help my struggling reader. He has special needs and has been labeled unteachable by our local public schools. We are in our third year of homeschooling. He should be in middle school this year and we have only made our way up to fourth grade and reading is still a struggle but if you read to any test to him, and let him answer verbally answer he KNOWS it all! He just can’t read or write, but I know he is smart! It’s so hard! I would love to try this!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amber,
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the video about Marie and her son’s story, you may be interested in it. It’s inspiring. They were told that he would never learn to read.

Let us know if you would like help with placement or any other questions or concerns.

Emma R

says:

I was debating between starting my Kindergartner in All About Reading or another program. The “other” program didn’t seem as sequential or complete as All About Reading; this post confirmed to me that All About Reading is definitely the way to go!

Holly

says:

Would love to win this for two of my children who struggle with reading!

Shelby

says:

2 of my children are dyslexic and I am homeschooling 5 of my 6 so far soon all 6. We have tried all about Spelling and I have wanted to try All about Reading. It sounds like a fantastic program. Thanks for this amazing giveaway!!

Tiffany Rider

says:

This is very interesting. Thanks for the post!

Jennifer

says:

Guaranteed! Wow! Sounds great.

Katie Alves

says:

I have a 3 year old that is just starting to show interest in learning how to read…….I would love books that will help her learn

Paige

says:

All About Spelling has given us hope that our daughter can excel in Language Arts. Would love to try All About Reading with her.

Delia Smith

says:

New to homeschooling and would love to try this curriculum

Jen Rothmeier

says:

Thank you for providing a spelling curriculum that my daughter understands! We’re going back and erasing all her gaps. Her spelling has improved incredibly.

Kim Slease

says:

I sure do appreciate having a spelling and reading program that I can trust! Thank you for your hard work to ensure no gaps!

Otonya Alison

says:

I started All About Reading with my daughter when she was four, because she told me she was ready to read. Due to her young age, we’ve moved slowly through the curriculum. It took us a full year to complete level 1. Now we’re just beginning level 2. I’m amazed by how well she’s doing! The curriculum has worked well for us because it is very gentle, but thorough, and allows us to customize the time we spend each day to our own needs. I also did the first two levels of All About Spelling with my son (3rd grade) at the beginning of this school year. We then moved on to another spelling curriculum because he claimed to be “bored” with AAS. Now, after a month with the new curriculum, he’s asking when we’ll be able to return to AAS! I hadn’t focused on spelling with him until this year because I wanted to let him get a couple years’ experience reading and writing, first. His spelling has improved dramatically in the past six months. I think learning the spelling rules has made a tremendous difference for him!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Otonya,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with AAR and AAS. It sounds like your children are doing great!

Karen

says:

I’m hoping to try this for my daughter soon! She really struggles with reading, but this looks promising.

MELISSA WIENKE

says:

All about spelling worked for my son when other things weren’t sticking. Would live to try the reading program too.

Kimberly

says:

This is the best curriculum of all the ones I have looked into for my son. I can’t wait to get started with him.

Jessica Witherspoon

says:

I would love to try this out! This sounds perfect for my daughter! I wish we could afford to try it!

Jane

says:

This looks like great material!

Stephanie

says:

I think this would be perfect for my child.

Sherri Mansfield

says:

I have loved the pre-reading level!

Kodi K

says:

Two children with dyslexia has made me gun shy about teaching my third child to read. Your program would help immensely!

Kariana

says:

This sounds like a great program. I have been looking for what to use next with my daughter.

Tritia

says:

After trying 2 separate curriculums I still have huge gaps in spelling. No matter how hard I try to supplimemt. I’m anxious to look more into this one.

Amy

says:

Have heard of this program. Interested to see what it’s like.

Erin

says:

This approach makes so much sense! It allows children to take the steps in reading or spelling as they are ready for them, and not worry about supplying for missing steps.

Jennie

says:

Heard good thins about AAR

Jodi

says:

I was amazed how many gaps I had with spelling and reading. I’m so thankful I was introduced to these programs so I can now confidently guide my children through the learning process-without fear of gaps! I enjoy learning along side them, as well!

Ivy Engel

says:

I can’t wait to try! How exciting

L Smith

says:

My ten yo has been a struggling reader from the beginning. Nothing has worked until we started using All About Reading two years ago. She’s just starting level 3 and is finally confident. She still has always to catch up, but there’s now hope where there was none. The program works. And is very teacher friendly. Thanks AAR!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

But she is doing very well too! Keep in mind that after AAR 4 students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words.

Thank you for sharing her success with us!

Lindsey

says:

My oldest is a proficient reader, but I’m struggling with my youngest and the program we’re using. Maybe this would be a helpful program for her.

Kim

says:

This makes sense – I am having to correct gaps with my daughter.

Darla

says:

My 4th grader definitely has some missing rungs in her reading “ladder”. She tested 2nd grade level and struggled with reading. As a homeschool mom, I have been looking for just the right curriculum. She started out great with great phonics skills, but about second grade, I could not find the right fit for her. Now she does private tutoring, but I would really like to find something that blends reading and spelling together and grow a love for reading in her.

Lynnsie

says:

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this program. Can’t wait to try it!

Adrien

says:

Thankful for all about reading!!

Tiffany Boles

says:

I love this program! We just started the pre-reading with my youngest!

BN

says:

As a new homeschooler, this will benefit my 5 year old daughter into starting a curriculum that I know it works.
Thanks.

Jessica

says:

This is great information

Carol

says:

I’m anxious to have my daughter take the placement test to see where we need to start.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carol,
You likely have found the placement tests already, but just in case here are the placement tests for All About Reading. Also, we recommend having your child read the sample stories from the previous level online as a further confirmation. You want your child to be reading fluently with good comprehension before going to a higher level.

Level 1 sample story
http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/samples/AAR-L2-QueenBee-2ndEd-Sample.pdf
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?

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Nikki

says:

I am really excited to start “All About Reading” with my 5 & 7 year olds. My 7 year old is way behind (I believe he has dyslexia) and hates reading. I am really hoping I can turn him around and help him love reading as much as I do with this program!

Sarah moore

says:

I would love this !

Alice Manville

says:

I’m just exploring doing homeschooling with my son, or filling in the gaps of where he seems to be lacking st his current school. This program looks wonderful.

Sheila

says:

Excited to try these for who reads but it’s just not as easy for her as it was for my first two kids

Melissa

says:

I am so happy with your curriculum. After going through the Pre-Reading level and now slowly introducing the Level 1 material, I shiver when I see some of the reading “games” available to children now. There are so many leaps and stretches thrown into programs labeled for children ages 4-5. My 4 year old loves playing with Ziggy and I love that the steps are so simple that he feels the joy in his accomplishments. Win-win for us all!

Amber

says:

That’s why I love this curriculum. Thanks for your wonderful product.

Catherine Victor

says:

AAR & AAS has helped my daughter soooo much! She started out at public school and fell behind immediately. Thank you for your no gap curriculum!

Ruschelle Gunlock

says:

We have LOVED All About Reading all year this year. We started in Level 1, and whizzed through it because my daughter already had a solid start. I was so surprised that, even in this first level, I learned several things I didn’t know about the English language. Level 2 is going strong, and we have just begun All About Spelling…loving it just as much!

Kathryn

says:

As a former middle school Language Arts instructor turned homeschooled, I can attest to the horrible effects of gaps in education. In elementary school, lack of proficiency in reading and/or spelling is often excused, but by middle school it is devastating to the confidence of the student at an already fragile time in their development with effects across all areas of study. Only rigorous remedial work can get a student progressing again to restore confidence and enjoyment of learning.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kathryn,
Thank you for sharing your professional perspective with us.

Sara

says:

AAR and AAS are awesome! This approach makes so much sense. You’ve made it easy to learn and to teach. Thank you!

Kimberly

says:

We LOVE AAS!!! :)

Amanda

says:

Due to some job related moves, my son has been in public school, private school and now finally homeschool in the past year. He has very clear gaps in a few areas! Excited to try to help close those gaps!

Shanna

says:

I have read and heard wonderful things about AAR. I would love to try your program for my kindergarten with developmental delays.

Jennie

says:

I Love AAR and AAS! We use them both. I home school my child. I also substitute teach in the school 1 day a week. I see gaps in the children at school compared to my daughter where there are no gaps. It make me even more grateful for AAR and AAS.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jennie,
Thank you for sharing your unique perspectives on this.

Brittany

says:

This program is the first that I have found that addresses all of my concerns that I have for my daughter. I am anxious to start to increase her comfort level with reading!

Andrea

says:

I have a child who was struggling with reading last year in 1st grade. He wasn’t “at level” on his reading skills, and I became concerned something wasn’t clicking. He had some problems with phonemic recognition, so we’ve been working on that this year. He’s doing much better, but I think a program like this would be very helpful to him.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Andrea,
Phonemic (aka Phonological) awareness is, as you have found, essential for reading success. We have some ideas for working on phonological awareness in this article. Let us know if we can help further.

Ann

says:

I love the AAR and AAS programs. I wish I would have known about them with my four older children. I have homeschooled since 1996 and have tried many, many different curriculums and AAR and AAS far exceed my expectations. Thank you, Marie, for sharing your expertise in this area.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Ann,
Thank you for these comments. It really means something when a 20 year veteran of homeschooling says your curriculum far exceeds her expectations.

Lacey L Smith

says:

I love all about reading and your blog posts. I am not surprised with these percentages. I hone school my son and I see the gaps between his cousin who is in the same grade as he is.

sarah kelso-thompson

says:

I think AAR & AAS would be a great home ed tool – my kids have plenty of gaps from their time learning in school.

Heather Hutchinson

says:

My son’s proficiency has improved dramatically since we began AAS and AAR 8 months ago. I am thrilled and blessed to have found this spelling curriculum! I can’t wait to see what the test scores show!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your son’s success with us, Heather! Keep up the great work.

Valorie

says:

We would love to try AAR and AAS! Sounds like a solid plan to avoid gaps.

Tristan

says:

We have been using AAS & AAR and we love it! My son has improved on both reading and spelling!

Wendy Whitifield

says:

We love using All About Spelling. It is so user friendly and makes spelling fun and easy for my son.

Amy

says:

Have loved using AAS this year with both my girls. Would love to try AAR as well!

Janee

says:

I used AAS with my oldest children (now teens) for several years (they were older and needed help from poor teaching in institutional schools) and we loved it. My oldest who had major spelling issues improved tremendously. My natural speller became even better. I have been using AAR and AAS with my youngest from the beginning. We are now on AAR level 3 and AAS level 2. While he struggles some with spelling and still has to decode more than some at his age I can see how a lesser curricula would have been a real struggle for him. I recommend these to every new homeschool parent I know. Thank you for an amazing curricula that works with all children no matter their learning style or right/left brain dominance. It works for kids with learning disabilities and just as well for those with advanced abilities. I love the fact I can use it for all of my kids. Thank you so much for an awesome curricula!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Janee,
This is such a glowing review! Thank you for sharing your experiences with AAR and AAS with your many children.

Lisa C.

says:

My son has been categorized as “learning disabled” since he was in 3rd grade, because he was having trouble in all areas of literacy. Over the years, as I have worked with him at home while he attended public school, I discovered that the issue wasn’t a disability – he absolutely has the capacity to learn – but a difference in the presentation of the information. He needs things that are not natural to him (like math is) to be broken down into small steps and to be instructed in those steps sequentially. If the information is not presented in this very specific way, he is unable to learn it.

Because the public schools were not teaching him logically and, as I think of it, algorithmically, he has huge, massive gaps in his literacy related abilities. We are starting book 4 of AAS, and he is just doing so well with it! I would like to do AAR with him as well to help him decode multisyllabic words. I’ve had to start every literacy area from the most basic level and I’m discovering gaps everywhere. It’s scary.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lisa,
I am unsure. Are you just now starting book 4 of All About Spelling, after having completed the earlier books, or are you beginning All About Spelling for the first time at book 4? If you are starting AAS for the first time at book 4, I beg you to reconsider starting at a lower level. We recommend that most students start with level 1 to build a strong foundation in spelling.

All About Spelling is a building block program with each level building upon the previous one. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. Placement for spelling is based on the student’s knowledge of spelling rules and concepts rather than grade level, reading level, or the words a student has memorized.

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.

The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? has more information on the concepts taught in level 1 and will help you decide the appropriate starting level.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that he already knows and slow down on the parts that he needs to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught, and then move on. This blog article has a good example of how you might fast track.

Lisa C.

says:

We started in Book 1. He did Book 1 in summer 2015 with my mother. Since we started doing AAS again (it is very hard to fit it in after school) in early October and he has blazed through it. He is doing very well. We always take the time to review and go over troublemakers.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is great, Lisa. It sounds like he is really getting it. Don’t be surprised if he slows down a bit in AAS 5; it seems to be a common occurrence as the difficulty increases there.

Keep up the great work, and how wonderful that your son can find the type of teaching he needs from you and his grandmother!

D

says:

This looks like a wonderful program for hands on learners-we have loved the sample activities!

Mandydmngz

says:

We have just completed level 1 of all about spelling, and wish I had it in the budget for all about reading. My son has flourished with this program!

Amy Larkin

says:

I think this program is just what I need for my struggling dyslexic kindergartener!

Berta

says:

The statistics are sobering!

sue lamb

says:

Hi just found you. Thinking your work may help my kindergarten and first grade special needs students.
Thank you

Dee Anne

says:

We love AAR and the multi-sensory approach used. My only regret is not having started my son with the program sooner. We look forward to starting AAS. So thankful that we don’t have to worry about missing gaps!

Karen

says:

I’m so grateful that we use AAR and AAS so that I don’t have to worry about gaps! But what are the most common gaps? My 5 year-old is doing AAR3 and AAS2. He really loves the reading. The games in reading really make it fun. I wish they were in spelling too. He says he doesn’t like spelling but he prefers to spell words to me than to just talk in everyday conversation. So I think he likes it more than he wants to admit!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Karen,
Your question about what are the most common gaps is a good question. I’m not sure, and don’t have a ready answer. I do know that most people have no idea that phonograms like o and ou have four sounds, or that the reason we sometimes use a c at the beginning of a word to make the /k/ sound and sometimes we use k is that c says /s/ before e, i, or y. Most people just assume that English is just arbitrary and without reason, when in fact there is a rule, pattern, or reason for most everything (including many, if not most, “rule breakers”).

Carolyn

says:

I really like how my son is doing with he second year of All About Spelling – I would be interested in trying out the AAR for him and my soon to be kindergartener.

Christy

says:

Love your curriculum! It’s amazing to see how my active 4 year old boy is picking up on reading! He asks to do school he likes it so much. :)

Jennifer Proctor

says:

I really like how thorough AAR is. It is helping my boys become strong readers, and I am most thankful!

Julie

says:

Can’t wait to try this program with my first grader and soon to be kindergartener!!!!

Rhonda G

says:

Makes a lot of sense – Thanks for your posts.

Annette McClenahan

says:

I ordered the Level1 Reading program before Christmas for my grandson who is struggling In first grade. His class is moving faster than he is. He is having trouble sounding out words and learning the weekly spelling words. I am hoping this program will help. His grades are falling and he is getting frustrated and upset in class when he can not perform well.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Annette,
I’m so sorry your grandson is struggling in this way. Please remember that we offer full support, so let us know if he needs further help.

JoAnne E.

says:

YES, I am struggling with gaps and choices. I home school my adopted six-year-old son and finding a language arts program that suits both of us has been a nightmare. I finally bought All About Spelling late last semester and this works!! This has been such a delight and I don’t hesitate to tell other home school families how much this program makes sense and is so easy to implement. I have considered buying All About Reading and the reasons preventing me from doing so are 1.) the lack of space on my shelves, 2.) introducing yet another possibility to my son (he struggles and I fear that he thinks this is his fault), and 3.) shelling out more cost.

Thank you for your passion and dedication. I love the articles and inspiration. It gives this mom hope!

Much Joy!

JoAnne

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

JoAnne,
Regarding reason #3: The majority of All About Reading (the Teacher Manual and Readers) are reusable, so you may be able to find those parts of the program used. Or, you could buy them new and resell them for a good percentage of the used price. Also, we offer a one year guarantee.

Regarding reason #1: As a homeschool mom that has been at this for 14+ years, I can confidently say more shelving is, or will be, an absolute need. I finally had “enough” shelving when my husband built in cabinets and shelves on a 17 foot long wall of our home. Three and a half year since he completed them, and they still make me very happy.

And lastly, regarding reason #2: All About Reading was specifically designed with students that struggle in mind. Here are some ways that All About Reading can help kids with learning difficulties:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bobbie

says:

I love all about reading. My child in 1st grade is reading so much better than I expected. I wish we would have used this program with my older children when they were younger.

Audra

says:

We love both AAR and AAS! The have been perfect fits for our two daughters. Totally love your “no gap” approach and we can see the fruits of your labor in our kids’ reading and spelling abilities! Thank you.

Penny

says:

Makes perfect sense!

Pammy

says:

Those are some sobering statistics.

Tracy Weeks

says:

Thank you for this article! My child will make be starting your program in the fall and I want to do everything I can to help her be successful!

Dawn

says:

My 6 year old is using AAR level 1 and is really taking off with his reading. We love that the lessons are varied so he doesn’t get bored and I especially love the peace of mind I feel knowing that your curriculum will give him a strong foundation in reading!

Regina

says:

I agree, learning to read, spell and even write is a struggle for some children. Having a mom, (mine), who is an early childhood educator, has provided me with the opportunity to see the unfortunate statistics within the public school system. I have used a couple of the packets from this program with my toddler and she is well on her way to developing a love of reading and learning.

Stacey

says:

A friend lent me her level 1 book & from the first day after going over the letters he read the first chapter Jam. He said Pam had ham and i cried and said yes, yes she did, she had ham. Thanks for making this so easy and so fun, I haven’t tried any other program but I’ve heard from other parents that the program they use is very dry and frustrating but this is not the case with AAR. Thank you Marie

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Stacey,
What a GREAT first day of reading! Thank you for sharing it.

I use your readers frequently. My kiddos love them!

Laura in Tx

says:

I have 4 kids, two of which are struggling readers. We use both programs for the kids and they are making great strides. The struggling readers are going through the books at a much slower pace and I have one advanced reader/speller that has gone through each book quickly. That is one aspect I really love about the programs. It is not difficult to use them at different paces with multiple children. I am very thankful for All About Learning. I am hoping you decide to create AA Vocabulary and AA Grammar. 😉

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Laura,
I’ll pass along your recommendation for an All About Grammar, but have you seen our blog post on Building Your Child’s Vocabulary?

Betty

says:

Would love to try this program! I’ve heard many good things about it.

Erica Danforth

says:

This is definitely one of my fears when it comes to homeschooling in general. What Gaps Are We Leaving IN My Daughter’s Education?

Amanda W.

says:

This is one of the main reasons we are homeschooling, so that we can move along at an individual pace, working for mastery. AAS fits perfectly with our method of instruction and the results speak for themselves. We didn’t find your program until my firstborn was already in second grade and she is a naturally avid reader well ahead of her grade level, but I expect to be using AAR too when my other daughter starts her formal schooling.

Michelle

says:

Thanks for your insights and for sharing!
Mom of ten

LR

says:

We started AAS this fall, and my 4th grader really improved her spelling. I’m starting it with my 1st grader, too. I wish I’d used this system from the beginning! But I will be able to use AAR and AAS with my toddler right from the beginning when he is ready to start.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

LR,
I started All About Spelling 1 with a 4th grader too, and she was able to finish all 7 levels before mid-year 9th grade (and that was with a break between AAS 6 and AAS 7, because AAS 7 wasn’t published yet). And now my daughter is 11th grade and I ask her for spelling help on occasion!

Jolene Fisher

says:

I am a family child care provider and would love to bring this material to my young charges

Heather Bates

says:

I would love to try this program

Shelley

says:

My son is doing great with All About Reading, and Ziggy Zebra. He is always excited when I tell him that it’s time to learn to read. The rhyming is his favorite! Thank you!

Chantel

says:

Ready to start AAR 1 with my youngest !

Hilary

says:

This makes complete sense. I worry about whether or not my kids are getting all that they need from what I am teaching them. My oldear has always been ahead of the game. My second, not so much and is actually “behind”. I don’t follow a “curriculum”, but make my own as we go. However, as my kids get older, I’m realizing I need help in this area. This would be a great tool to have. Thank you for offering this!

Julie B.

says:

Ready for rung “2” with All About Reading 2.

Jena

says:

Since I homeschool my children I often wonder whether I am hitting all the right points for them in terms of their reading abilities and the curriculum. We make our own so it’s always a wonder…. but getting a chance to get her on a curriculum would help me to hit any gaps I may be missing.

Kris

says:

Would love your prereading program to help my LO make that jump from letter sounds to reading.

Karen Maddox

says:

We are looking forward to using your curriculum! This article is very insightful and sad for the the children.

Kim

says:

This is very true, but it is also important to give children the gift of time. Two of my children had all the pieces, and then had a week when they were 8 that it all clicked and they went from easy readers to chapter books.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kim,
Yes, it is a balance between time and having all the instruction without gaps. Many children need to be somewhat older before they find reading success, but just waiting until the child is older won’t work for many children if they don’t have all the pieces necessary for their success. That is why our program is designed to be used in short, 20 minute lessons each day, moving forward at the child’s own pace. The child gets the instruction, but there is not pressure to move faster than they are ready for.

This is unfortunately true.

Tiffany

says:

I have been so nervous about doing this wrong. My 4 year old son is very interested in learning to read, but other than sight words in early reader books, I haven’t really pushed his desire past phonics because I am so nervous about finding the right curriculum and doing it the ‘right’ way. A dear friend referred me to yor blog and I am so glad she did.

Lydia R.

says:

I appreciate the comprehensive AAS and have never been tempted to skip anything =)
My son grumbles about spelling with tiles though. I’m sure he’s relieved that he can go straight to spelling on paper now (We’re almost done with level three).

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lydia,
Some children never enjoy working with the tiles, and that’s okay. They are excellent for demonstrating the concepts to the child, but if he doesn’t wish to use them feel free to allow him to move directly to paper or whiteboard or whatever he prefers.

Alicia M

says:

The statistics are frightening. I’ve been looking into this program and am impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Rachel Clark

says:

Thank you.

I agree that AAR doesn’t have gaps. I just wish all the early reader books at the library would follow suit. It’s hard when my daughter wants to pick books from the library that she can read when so many of them throw in giant words with phonograms she hasn’t learned yet. I wish you made extra books just for fun. Or had a list of books that should be able to be read solo upon completion of each AAR level.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Missy,
We don’t know of another set of readers that will correlate exactly, so you may have to help with some new patterns.

Some possibilities to go along with AAR 1:

Bob books, Sets 1 & 2

DK Flip the Page Rhyme and Read books: Pat the Cat, Jen the Hen, Mig the Pig, Tog the Dog, and Zug the Bug.

Usborne Very First Readers

Sonlight’s Fun Tales

Christian Liberty Press readers: It Is Fun to Read, Pals and Pets

I See Sam Readers (also available for iPad for free)

Reading Teacher

Fun Phonics–the first 3 books

Progressive Phonics – Free phonics books that can be read online or downloaded and used right away.

We Read Phonics. This contain big pictures with one sentence. Example of level 1 is “Bugs on the Bus”. Example of level 2 is “Which Pet is Best”.

Books by Nora Gaydos, such as “Now I’m Reading! Level 1: Animal Antics” (the customer who suggested this said they are expensive but the library might have them).

We Both Read books, such as “The Well-Mannered Monster”. On the left hand pages there is text for the parent to read and on the right is text for the kids to read.

The Core Knowledge LA Kindergarten readers are usually decodable after AAR/AAS level 1. The readers start at unit 6. Unit 10 (the last Kindergarten unit) has some silent e words, which wouldn’t be accessible yet to students doing AAR 1. They’re free to download:
https://www.engageny.org/resource/kindergarten-skills-unit-6-reader-kit
https://www.engageny.org/resource/kindergarten-skills-unit-7-reader-seth
https://www.engageny.org/resource/kindergarten-skills-unit-8-reader-sam
https://www.engageny.org/resource/kindergarten-skills-unit-9-reader-zach-and-ann

Some possibilities to go along with AAR 2:

High Noon Books “Sound Out Chapter Books”

Titles that start with Mr. Putter and Tabby. . . (after Level 2, with some help).
. . .Pick the Pears
. . .Paint the Porch
. . .Dance the Dance
. . .Spin the Yarn
. . .Stir the Soup
(and many more)

Christian Liberty Press has a set of 4 Phonics readers and the third book, A Time At Home, mainly uses concepts from AAR 2.

Sonlight Grade 1 and 2 Readers.

Henry and Mudge (a few concepts that are introduced in Level 3, but may be decodable by students who don’t struggle with reading–such as the /dge/ pattern)

Dr. Seuss books.

My Father’s Dragon trilogy. One mom said this was mostly decodable, some mastered words, some new words they’ll need help with after AAR 2. “When we came across a pattern that they didn’t know yet, I would give them the sound for that phonogram and then let them see if they could segment and blend the word. If not, I segmented to see if they could blend. Or, if I sensed they were near frustration, sometimes I just said the word so they could keep going.”

Now I’m Reading.

Bob Books (these start easy but the higher sets do use more advanced words. Older students may think they’re too childish however.) Levels 3, 4, and 5 include concepts mainly from levels 2-3 of AAR.

Fly Leaf, A Book to Remember has very nice pictures but can be expensive. You might check your library for these.

You could also look at the I See Sam readers, which can be purchased or are available free for iPads. Set 1 has 73 regular words (can be sounded out after learning ch/sh/th in AAS 1), and 9 “sight” words. All 1 syllable words. Introduces both small and capital letters.
Series 2 introduces al, 80-150 words
Set 3 introduces contractions, er, ou, 100-150 words
Set 4 introduces ai, ar, ing, ed, 2 syllable words, 200-400 words
Set 5: ay, ch, ea, ee, ir, ol, oo, or, ow, qu, ur, 300-500 words
Set 6: au, aw, ew, igh, kn, oa, oi, oy, ph, tion, ture, ue, wr, 500-700 words
Set 7: prefixes, suffixes, semi colon, prolonged sounds, possessives, abbreviations, initials, 600-800 words per story
Set 8: suffixes, time, hyphenated words, abbreviations, 4-step approach to decoding multi-syllable words, 700-1000 words per story.

Fun Phonics might also be a possibility; the last 3 books include concepts mainly from Level 2.

From EPS Books (http://www.epsbooks.com):
Primary Phonics Story Books
Spire Decodable Readers
The Alphabet Series

Higher levels of Progressive Phonics

McGuffey Readers were used for years from the mid-1800′s into the early 1900′s to teach reading. They are available online for free in the public domain.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas for books for your daughter.

Sierra

says:

Thank you! Love Aar!

Amanda

says:

This is great!

Nikki

says:

My children and I love this program! I have a very proficient reader and one just getting started! Teaching two to read with this great program. We have used AAR L1-3 and AAS 1&2 so far. Love,love, love that their aren’t gaps!! Thank you so much for the hours spent creating this curriculum!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Nikki!

Veronica

says:

This seems like a great product to use on my kiddos!

Lilly

says:

I can’t say enough good things about the AAR/AAS program. I’ve pretty much recommended AAR it to every pre-school parent I know. I’ve tried almost everything else out there, and nothing beats AAR. I’ve used AAR pre-reading, level 1, level 2, and level 3. The only one I am missing is AAR4 for my kiddo next year.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendations, Lilly!

Crystal G

says:

I finally broke down one day after trying to do spelling with my six children who are impossible with spelling. I tried a lot of spelling books. I even have high school students who can barely write simple words. It was embarrassing. I stayed away from AAS because the format was a little different than your textbook, and was worried about how much teacher involvement there might be. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more, and in a moment of desperation, I just bought the first few levels to start them all back at the very beginning. We just started, and the program wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. In fact, after starting this AAS, I find I actually have hope. I can do this! And starting at the beginning has given my kids their confidence back. And the tiles are just the thing for my boys especially. I love how it is skill oriented and not grade or time planned already. We can go as fast as we are able to with them, and the kids love to see quick progress. So do I. I wasn’t interested in the AAR, but now, I’m beginning to wonder if that wouldn’t be of great benefit as well, to make my children even better readers. I just wish I had the AAS years ago.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Crystal,
Your comment about being able to go as fast as you are able reminded of a quote from Anna Gillingham (co-creator of the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction on which AAS is based). She said, “Go as fast as you can, but as slow as you must.”

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on starting All About Spelling. Let us know if we can help in any way!

Kay

says:

We’ve just started Level one of AAS. I have 2 girls that are 8 and 10. I like the no gaps approach and am excited that this might really help them with thier spelling. I’m now curious about AAR since my y’lounger one should be at 3rd grade level, but is still at 2nd grade level. I feel like I’ve been teaching her to read FOREVER and it’s just not clicking! We might have to take the plunge and try AAR.

Deborah

says:

I would love to use this program with my two new readers.

Toni

says:

I started isn’t AAR level 2 with my 10 year old dyslexic sun. It is very teacher friendly and about as painless as it can get for him. He actually enjoys the games in the workbook and most of the stories.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is great to hear, Toni!

Karen Allen

says:

I love AAS! I’m also curious how AAR might help my struggling reader. I wonder if part of her struggles are due to gaps.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristie

says:

I’ve started with AAR level 1 and love how comprehensive it is. I’m so glad there won’t be any gaps and that you’ve figured it all out for me so I can spend my time in other areas.

Jennifer McCurry

says:

As a former public school teacher (3rd grade) I always had several students with gaps. One of the major causes in gaps is jumping from one “latest and greatest” curriculum to another. Even if one curriculum doesn’t have gaps, it won’t go in the same sequence as another curriculum. When you switch, students miss out! If you switch curriculum, it is so important to go back at least a couple of levels to see what the students may have missed by switching.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Great reminder, Jennifer. Thank you.

Valentine H

says:

Funny, I was just thinking about this today as my 6 year old was working his way through the lesson 38 of the first Aar level. His confidence is high, he struggles a bit here and there but the struggles are surmountable by him because the curriculum is so well designed. The curriculum builds beautifully on itself, just like the ladder you describe, and learning to read for him is a pleasure. We are looking forward to beginning with all about spelling in the next few months.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Valentine,
I enjoyed reading your description of how your child does have some struggles with AAR, but they are struggles that he can overcome himself because of the foundation AAR has given him. That is the best kind of struggles, as they will build confidence and will teach a life long habit of working through struggles to overcome obstacles! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Amy Norenberg

says:

After using the Orton-Gillingham phonics method for years with my older children, I found All About Spelling when my fourth child was in 1st grade. I am pleased to continue using AAS with my younger children, and thank you for developing it!

Rebekah E

says:

This idea of gaps is the reason I started with level 1 in a similar curriculum even though my kindergartener is reading on a 3rd grade level. She still doesn’t know all the sounds nor all the reading comprehension strategies. Having her learn systematically has still challenged her while giving her confidence of what she already knows.

Carla

says:

Thanks for all the helpful blog posts! We love AAR and AAS!

Gione

says:

All About Spelling has been a real blessing to my grandson and myself. The other program I used which had the same information but a much more difficult to follow format left us struggling. All About Spelling truly has taken the struggle out of teaching and learning.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Gione,
Thank you for sharing how All About Spelling has made a different, and specially how it has been easier to follow.

Angela

says:

Just started homeschooling our twins in August.

R Goff

says:

My oldest daughter has these gaps from public school that we are trying to fil in not only in reading and spelling, but also math. A strong foundation in the basic concepts of these subjects is vital! Thank you for the article!

Erika P.

says:

I am in my first year of homeschooling three of my four children. My eldest two are struggling learners and so I am currently trying to teach three kids to read. I’m a little concerned about adding spelling in and if my own personal bandwidth can take it, but I love this program! Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Erika,
Doing individual reading and spelling (and likely math too) with three students can be a bit overwhelming. I have found I need to make keeping transition times down a priority (I have five kids, four still at home, so I understand).

I suggest stacking everyone’s spelling and reading things up at your spot at the table (or your desk, or wherever you work with the children) and have each one come to you. Explain that you won’t be waiting for them to finish what they are doing when it is their spelling or reading time, but that when you call they need to stop and come (if you have a kid who struggles with transitions you could give them a 5 minute warning while you are finishing up with the previous child). You will have to decide which order to work with your kids, as you know them. Some little ones cause less disruption if they work with mom first, others do better if they get to play until mom is ready for them.

While you are working with your children on spelling and reading they need to have things they need to be doing when it is not their turn. They could be doing school things, like handwriting and math, or non-school things like chores.

You may need to get a bit creative with younger children who may not be able to do school work independently. Some ideas include “projects” like cutting up magazines, assigning an older child to help them with a subject or read to them, have chores assigned, allow them to play as long as they are quiet, and so on.

Then after about 3 hours of spelling and reading in the morning (estimating high), you will have 3 or so hours for other subjects in the afternoon. I am doing school of some sort or other from 9 am to 4pm, with about an hour or so break for lunch.

Kayla Billeaud

says:

I love this and this program! My daughter is flourishing!

Eunice Roman

says:

Excellent article. Would love to try this curriculum with my own children.

Michelle

says:

Excellent way of describing the learning process and something I have been trying to achieve in my own teaching, across all subjects, I loved your blog. I have just started AAS and are very impressed, would love to win AAR to be able to see it and use it too!

jen s

says:

Yes! Reading this makes so much sense and makes me panic a bit as I see gaps with my kids. I have six year old twins and they couldn’t be more different. Homeschooling them and making sure I’m not missing anything is a lot of pressure!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jen,
As a mom that has homeschooled one from preschool through graduation and he is now doing very well in college (and I have four more coming up behind), try not to allow the pressure to get to you. People say enjoy the early years, but I say enjoy all the years. Short daily lessons, but done consistently day in and day out over the years, adds up to an amazing education. You can teach your children well.

Amber L.

says:

Thank you for sharing this extremely important information for parents, teachers, and taxpayers alike. The link to NAEP is one that all Americans should visit to find out the truth about THEIR schools…THEIR children…THEIR investment.

Tracy

says:

The no gaps approach is why I love AAR and AAS so much. Also the built in review is amazing. It has been so helpful as we have been getting back into the swing of school after Christmas break.

Claudia Matthews

says:

We just started all about reading with our second son and both he and his younger sister are in love. I love the approach and we all look forward to our daily lessons. Fingers crossed we can win the next level ;) Thank you for all you do

Stephanie

says:

I have a 4th grader who struggles with reading. We have started with level 1, and I am pleased to say that he is making good progress.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Stephanie,
Hurrah for progress! Keep up the great work, both of you.

Julie

says:

We have been VERY happy users (and promoters!) of All About Spelling for awhile now, but this blog post caught my eye about gaps. I have taught 2 kids to read using other materials, and it has worked well, but I feel like there have been gaps. I am curious about this reading program. I will be looking into it more, but would also love to WIN a level! ;-)

Lindsa6

says:

I tried other reading programs for my daughter and nothing really clicked with her. She could read a bit but was not confident at all. This year we started A AAR level 2 and her confidence has soared and she can read so much better. I saw an improvement right away. We love AAR!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is wonderful! I love reading that AAR has helped a child to become a confident reader!

Amy

says:

We came across All About Spelling through an internet search. The reviews were wonderful, so we gave it a try from Level 1. (Customer service was fantastic, by-the-way!) We’re on our second level and are learning how to spell, not just memorize words as in previous curriculum we were using! Thank you AAS, it has been a life saver for us!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Awww, thank you. AALP’s customer care team works hard to ensure families feel supported, and it’s great to hear that we have succeeded in that goal. It’s also great to hear that AAS has helped your child have success in spelling!

Denise

says:

Your program is so comprehensive. Thank you for meeting such a huge need for so many students.

Nikki

says:

Makes so much sense…great post-thank you!!! and this is why I am entering the giveaway!!! cross fingers ;-)

Rachel

says:

I have homeschooled many years now, and for the most part, my oldest children have been able to fill in the gaps. But there were times with one child where I could see that we needed help with spelling and even though she was in 4th grade, I took her through All About Spelling beginning with level 1. The building blocks were so helpful and the learning increments are tangible. Even I (a strong speller) learned a lot about why words are spelled the way they are and the way the rules are presented and reviewed allowed me to recall them even years after.
I now have a second grader, who -even though she has learned to read phonetically – still struggles with words that I don’t feel should be challenging. So I would love to take her through All About Reading and I’m pretty sure it would help cover gaps that I have missed.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with All About Spelling, especially in how you started AAS 1 with an older child and it was helpful.

Donna

says:

This program has been great.

Melissa Crabtree

says:

I’m into Level 2 of AAR and AAS and am so thankful for this program! I’m watching my late bloomer become successful and apply her learned skills in non lesson areas of reading and writing. Thank you for this approach! As a special ed teacher by trade, now homeschool mom with my own delayed reader, I think it’s fabulous.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
Thank you for sharing your own child’s struggles and then success with reading and spelling, and also thank you for your opinion of our programs as a professional in this field.

Jennifer

says:

Your program is the best. My 7 year old girl and 9 yr old boy both read a such a high level (we are in the last level of AAR and book 3 of AAS) that school teacher grandma is impressed and has looked at the curriculum.
I am so glad I found you 5 years ago. The plus us I have also learned so much too! I am amazed how much gap I have in my learning and I’m glad I’m learning the rules.
Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is great feedback, Jennifer! It’s great to hear that school teacher grandma is impressed too!

Jenna

says:

We love AAR and AAS! We’re almost done with Level 2 and my daughter is an incredibly talented reader– and she LOVES it. Couldn’t ask for a better program.

Melanie

says:

We LOVE AAS. This was a great article. Getting ready to finish up Level 3 and move on to Level 4 with my two 4th graders:)

Traci

says:

I love AAR & AAS. My 8 yr old still struggles with reading, but is very markedly improved since starting AAR & AAS. We started at book 1 for both to get that super strong foundation. Can’t wait to keep going with the levels. I never would have been able to get as comprehensive as this on my own.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

It’s wonderful to read that your son is making marked improvement! Thank you for letting us know, Traci.

Maeve

says:

My son has been a reluctant reader but he enjoys AAR and it has given him the confidence he needed to begin to enjoy and excel at reading. Thank you!

Julie

says:

Thank you so much. We love AAR!

Heather

says:

Love this approach and only wish I had found it earlier!

Bekinda Jackson

says:

First I want to say, God bless you for this program. It all stared when my son was in second grade. I noticed that his spelling wasn’t improving & it was painful to hear him read out loud. In third & fourth grade the school tried to label him ADHD. They kept trying to convince my husband and I that something was wrong with our son. Mind you he didn’t have behavioral issues or anything. He would sometimes check out mentally in class. My best friend’s husband is a teacher & he said “NO way!! He doesn’t have ADHD. You just need to work with him. It sounds like their not taking the time to teach him how he learns.” So, finally I decided I would work with him during the summer. Well I didn’t know where to begin with reading &spelling. My son was also behind in math. Well, I love math so we worked on that all summer. Toward the end of summer I found All About Reading and Spelling. I researched and researched. I finally broke down and purchased level 1of both. I really believe that your program will “fill in the gaps”. My biggest mistake was I relied on the school &school only to teach my son. I know now that I have to take responsibility for my son’s education. I encourage all parents, but especially Africa American’s to be more proactive instead of reactive, regarding your child’s education. Thank you so much for thus program. I feel as though I have hope now!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Bekinda,
Thank you so much for sharing your son’s and your story. It is heartbreaking to hear how he struggled, but heartwarming to hear the hope you now have.

Please let us know if you ever need anything, so we can help you help your son.

Leah

says:

Love AAS & AAR! Started my 3rd grade daughter on both a few months ago, already seeing progress in her spelling and reading.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

This is great, Leah! We love hearing how AAS and AAR are helping students to succeed. Keep up the great work!

Laura Brown

says:

I think as much a problem as is caused by other curricula and styles (such as expecting students to make mental leaps on their own without instruction…) is the insistence in our current educational institutions that insists that whole classes move forward when some students have not become fluent with the foundational learning necessary to advance. If a student doesn’t really grasp short vowel sounds yet, there is absolutely no sense teaching -tch, for example. Yet instead of allowing those students more time and experience, they’re forced along to become further confused.

I’m so grateful that there are marketplaces for parents and tutors who are part of the solution to these problems, rather than everyone just continuing to try to force different results from the same kinds of teaching.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

I appreciate your thoughts on this, Laura. Thank you.

Charlsie Short

says:

I have really researched AAR for a while now and know that’s what I need to be using with my daughter. She is a struggling reader because of gaps and how long the lessons are with our current reading program. There is so much they cram in during each lesson which is overwhelming and discouraging to her and I. We will definitely use AAR AND AAS during our 2016-2017 school year!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Charlsie,
I’m sorry your daughter is struggling. Let us know if we can help with placement or anything else.

Tina

says:

We’ve been using All About Spelling since kindergarten with my now 2nd grader. We just started All About Reading (because I liked the spelling program so much) with my new kindergartener and preschooler (the preschool level) and everyone LOVES it!!!

Simah

says:

We love your reading and spelling programs. Thank you!

Sarah

says:

We love AAR! It’s easy for the teacher, fun for the student and the student learns and progresses quickly. Thank you Marie for such a fabulous curriculum.

Brenda F.

says:

I wish I had tried AAR sooner. My kids are slow readers. I think it’s because of gaps from learning to read and not going farther after the initial “Teach Your Child to Read In 100 Easy Lessons”. I’ve even tried Teach your child to read in 20 easy lessons, but struggle to find a book that continues where these leave off. I plan to take your placement test with my 7 year old and get one of your books!

Kathy

says:

I just got Level 1 of All About Spelling in the mail today! I am going to use it first with my fifth grader, whom I am realizing is dealing with some “gaps” from the language arts method I used with her originally. I am so grateful for All About Learning, which builds so well on the phonogram approach we were using previously. My struggling reader (2nd grade) is knocking it out of the park with All About Reading, and I am feeling confident that my fifth grader will get help filling in her spelling gaps. And, after that, she is looking forward to being my teaching assistant when her younger sister starts All About Spelling!

Terra Marx

says:

I was one of those kids that climbed over the gaps. Now that I have my own children, it breaks my heart to see one of them struggle with reading because of gaps. I would love to try AAR, with my 7 year old. I’ve heard great things about the program from tons of other moms.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Terra,
I was one of those kids that climbed over the gaps too, and so where my first two children. However, my younger three children have all needed gapless instruction in order to succeed. It has made all the difference.

Ellen

says:

I just ordered level 1 and cannot wait to start with my kids!

Darla

says:

Hoping too see my dyslexic twins excel with AAR.

Mrs. Voigt

says:

I love teaching children to read!

Nicole leitz

says:

I love using both All About Reading and spelling. I love that I can rest assured that there are no gaps with my three boys. All About Reading has helped my 5 year old so much. After going through 3 different reading programs, this one was the best for him. He’s finishing up level 1 right now. Thanks for all your hard work!

Carol Fye

says:

We LOVE AAR & AAS! My dyslexic Son has done amazing with them both.

Becca

says:

My children have been doing wonderfully with your reading and spelling program. I’m almost on level three with my older two and I’m learning right along with them. I’ve been filling in the gaps of my education with your program and my spelling has improved greatly. Thanks!!!! :D

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Becca,
My spelling improved with All About Spelling too! Isn’t it great that we can teach our kids while still learning ourselves?

Cheryl Anderson

says:

How cool is this that you are giving away a free level of reading, I hope we win. I have been wanting to try All About Reading but feel bound by what we purchased earlier this year.

Kristy

says:

We’re nearly done on Pre-Reading level and I can see it gearing up for Level One. It’s been really interesting and I love it. The layout is awesome. I wish there was am All About Grammar too!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kristy,
I’ll pass on your request for an AAG (All About Grammar) program!

Charity

says:

I’ve been using AAR pre-reading and now level 1 with both my daughters and they love it. My kindergartener is over halfway through AAR 1 and she can read the words she’s learned and also new words from the concepts taught. She is excited about being able to read books on her own and I’m thrilled with the way this curriculum is written. I’m going to stay with this program because so far it’s the best I’ve seen, and works great for us. On to AAS level 1 next…and just maybe I can win it! :-)

Apryl Liles

says:

This is our first year using AAR. I am so glad I found it during my curriculum search! It is a great program that is easy for parents to follow. Even on our busiest days, when I haven’t had much time to prepare, we are always able to accomplish at least one AAR lesson. The lesson plans are great! My kids love the stories. I love this program because it helps me feel confident as a teacher. My daughter was reading fluently before we started AAR. I chose to start with level 1, and I am so glad I did. It has really showed me the areas she has mastered and areas she needs more practice with. It has filled in gaps, that I might have missed on on my own, and makes everything easy for my daughter to understand. For us personally, this program has been a great way to be sure my daughter is really mastering each step. I am looking forward to starting a new level next year for both of my daughters!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Apryl,
Thank you for this lovely and detailed review of All About Reading!

Stephanie C

says:

Would love to try this program!!

Katie

says:

I have been using AAR with a dyslexic child for a few years now. We are working through level 3 right now. He has struggled with reading for so long. Within the last few months it has all started to make sense to him. He is feeling so much better about himself and his reading skills. He has been able to read signs while we are out driving or at stores. He will be ready for level four by spring break. Thank you for an amazing curricula that makes reading easy to teach and fun for a child to learn.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Katie,
I enjoyed reading about your son’s success in reading after struggling. Thank you for sharing.

Rene

says:

Have worked with a student in a small classroom setting who never sees the patterns. Would like to try this program.

Katie Bray

says:

I use all about reading and spelling with students I tutor as well as my own daughter. I love this program!!

Kimberly Vance

says:

My 12 year old used to be a great reader… He lost interest along the way and now isn’t as ahead as he used to be!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kimberly,
This is interesting. The Matthew Effect in Reading tells us that the more a person reads the easier it is for them so the more they read, and so on in an upward spiral. This article has tips for encourage kids to read more that you may like to try.

Kim Mc

says:

I can’t wait to try AAR…saving up money now.

Dana Pase

says:

I’d love to see if all about reading can make a difference for my son.

Debbie

says:

Have boys who are slow in learning to read. Interested in trying this.

Katie

says:

My little ones and and I both enjoy the AAR program. It’s so fun, quick and a great way to learn. My girls don’t even feel like it’s work, just the way it should be! Our first reading program usually ended up with is both in tears, and I thought I had ruined my daughters desire to learn forever. I’m so grateful for this program and the joy it’s brought back to learning in our home. I look forward to using it year after year for our reading needs. Thank you for you’re great program!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Katie,
It’s touching to know that our program helped to bring joy back to learning in your home!

Julie adams

says:

I really need to win the giveaway. We’re nearly done with level 3.

Sommer S.

says:

I am a FIRM believer in this curriculum! My six year old son was really struggling with reading.. We switched to AAR about a month into our school year and haven’t looked back! He is not only understanding and performing better… He actually enjoys the lessons! Love AAR!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sommer,
This is great to hear! Thank you for sharing how AAR made such a big impact.

Melissa

says:

Great visual for understanding reading and spelling.

Amelia

says:

We recently found out our 6 year old son is moderately dyslexic and have used aar level 1 with him. So far I haven’t seen any gaps in the program and he loves it! I can’t wait to continue with level 2.

Elizabeth

says:

We just begun All About Spelling with my fourth grade daughter after trying different programs that have not worked. She has dyslexia, and we are so excited about this new program! I have one more to teach to read at home, and plan to use All About Reading with him.

Christy

says:

Looks like a great approach.

Mag

says:

We love AAS, it’s helping my second grader tremendously!! I can see progress even as we go through a lesson! She might not get something at the beginning of a lesson but, thanks to the multi-sensory approach of AAS, she usually understands the subject taught by the end of the lesson! It is awesome to see! She is still struggling with her reading though, so I hope that AAR will help her!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Mag,
Thank you for showing us how your daughter masters concepts over the course of a lesson. Let us know if we can help with AAR placement or with anything else.

So true! We are loving our AAR curriculum! Thank you for creating such a valuable tool!

alreigh

says:

Very effective program for learning and perfecting reading and spelling skills. Good Stuff!!

Audrey

says:

Looks very interesting. I like the idea of “no gaps”!

Michelle Drake

says:

AAR and AAS, are the programs I have had my eye on for about a year now! We are planning to homeschool starting next year and I hope they are a good fit for our family as they sound like excellent programs!

Jen

says:

I have been using all about spelling for my girls and would love to try all about reading! I am entering the giveaway!

Christy

says:

Very helpful information. Looks like a fantastic program.

Keri

says:

I love the ladder analogy! I have an amazing daughter, now just turned six. She learned to read by sight before she could talk! We discovered by her using ASL.
I wanted to make sure that she didn’t fall into that ‘trap’, that ceiling at 3rd or 4th grade level where they can no longer just memorize the word and don’t know how to sound out harder words, preventing them from improving their reading ability. So we started AAS level 1. It was much too easy…but again, I wanted no gaps. No missing rungs:)
We have now gone throught 3/4 of level 7 and my daughter is a phenomenal reader AND speller! More than this, she LOVES words. AAS is such a great program, and I adore the way it facilitates adaptation for different ages!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Keri,
WOW, your little daughter is doing amazingly! Thank you for sharing this aspect of All About Spelling that we don’t get to talk about as much. Because it is designed to be used at the individual student’s pace, it works equally well with young advanced students as it does with older struggling ones.

Lee

says:

I have heard wonderful things about your program.

Keenya

says:

So far My son has not experienced any gaps in reading. Spelling we’re still working on, but I think he enjoys the spelling lessons even though they are challenging to him.

Kimberly

says:

Thank you for such great articles!

Rachel

says:

Every year I tried a new reading program with my daughter with very little success. Pre-k year, kindergarten year, first grade. Finally started All About Spelling her second grade year, and in a few months her reading took off! With my second daughter I hope to START with All About Reading and not mess around!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
It’s great to hear how your older daughter took off in reading after starting All About Spelling!

Angel Hunter

says:

Love AAR&AAS! Tell all my friends.

Katharine

says:

I plan to try this with my children. My oldest is struggling with reading as a first grader. What a blessing this will be.

Mary

says:

Those are truly terrible statistics!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Mary,
I agree, but wasn’t surprised to find my state even somewhat lower than the national average. Very sad.

susan navas

says:

My Kindergartener is having a really hard time catching on to reading. This would be wonderful for both of us!

Kathi

says:

I’d love to try this with my struggling reader!!

LeighAnn

says:

I can’t wait to purchase AAR1, and AAS further down the road, in the future. My daughter loved everything about the pre-reading level! I’m confident that we’ll have no gaps thanks to All About Learning Press!

Jessica Kirdyashev

says:

And now that my little boy twin is exhibiting traits of dyslexia, I am even MORE thankful he has a seamless AAR education.

Anica

says:

I love AAR!

Jenna Sybert

says:

We enjoy AAR and AAS so much. We hope we avoid missing rungs with this approach!

jessica

says:

I noticed when I started homeschooling my two kids, two years ago, (one was fourteen and one was nine), my older daughter didn’t know some of the stuff that my younger son was learning in English and Grammer. She began to follow along with him in his work. It has helped her fill in some of the gaps that she had. I have been surprised at how often this has happened in other subjects as well. I began to feel like she was falling behind, due to having to fill in these “gaps”, but I realized that you can’t climb a ladder to the top with a ladder that has missing rungs!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
Great observation! Thank you.

T. McShan

says:

My son loves AAR. I really love the readers that come with the program. No more searching for appropriate reading level books at the library.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Oh, I know how difficult it is to find phonics based beginning reading books at the library. There are so few! We love hearing that you are loving our Readers.

Jessica Kirdyashev

says:

I actually, originally purchased your curriculum for my two, smart, creative dyslexics that I had used several different curricula on, searching for the right fit for us. I worried about the gaps! After all the things we’d used, there had to be some. I ended up purchasing the first level for my twins who were not struggling yet. I thought, “AAR should even work for them if they never show signs of a dyslexic processing style, so I think that I will start them over at the beginning and stick with the same one for them from here on out, so I know what we’ve covered, at least.” I feel so much more confident that they are getting as gapless a reading education as I can provide. It was worth the time it took to start over.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
Thank you for sharing your thought process with your decision to start your twins over at the beginning with AAR. It’s great to hear that it was worth the time it took to start over!

Leah

says:

Great innovation, esp. for spelling…!

Kristin Girod

says:

We are loving AAR with my 7 yo!! Very thankful for the no gaps approach.

Carolyn K.

says:

All about reading has been a great resource for my difficult reader!

Kerry Hill

says:

We are new to homeschooling. I have heard so many great things about All About Reading /Spelling, I can’t wait for us to try them!

Ani

says:

We’re about to finish AAR 1! Can’t wait! My DS loves to “play” with all the phonograms on the fridge.

Debra Boyer

says:

My first grader is struggling with his reading. I’m hoping that a switch to this reading curriculum will help him.

Gina Hilton

says:

As the parent of a dyslexic child, avoiding these gaps is even more important.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Yes! We completely agree, Gina.

Tina

says:

If I think my child has gaps and she is in 4th grade, would you still recommend her starting at level 1? She is reading well, but her spelling is very bad. Trying to see what could help her with spelling.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Tina,
We recommend that struggling spellers start with level 1 to build a strong foundation in spelling.

All About Spelling is a building block program with each level building upon the previous one. The rules and concepts learned in Level 1 are applied in Level 2, and then those are applied in Level 3, and so on. Placement for spelling is based on the student’s knowledge of spelling rules and concepts rather than grade level, reading level, or the words a student has memorized.

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.

The article Should We Start in Level 1 or Level 2? has more information on the concepts taught in level 1 and will help you decide the appropriate starting level.

Level 2 of AAS focuses on learning the syllable types, when they are used and how they affect spelling. This information is foundational for higher levels of spelling. Three syllable rules are introduced in Level 2, and then more in Level 3 and up. For this reason, we don’t recommend starting higher than level 2.

Marie encourages parents and teachers to “fast track” if the student knows how to spell most of the words but does not understand the underlying basic spelling concepts. In this case, very quickly skim the parts that he already knows and slow down on the parts that he needs to learn. Pull out several words as examples. Make sure he understands the concept being taught, and then move on. This blog article has a good example of how you might fast track.

Please let us know if you have further questions or concerns on placement or anything else.
Robin E.

Michelle

says:

I am so glad we followed your advice and started my second grader in AAS level 1. Not only did he gain confidence but we are filling in some gaps.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
Thank you for sharing how AAS 1 has helped your 2nd grader.

Amanda

says:

Hi, I agree, thank you for posting this!

Margaret

says:

Nice ideas

Ashton Burke

says:

AAS is making my kids FINALLY proficient spellers!! THANKS!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Ashton,
You’re welcome, and thank you for sharing your kids’ success in spelling!

kim krauss

says:

My kids need a little more instruction with the second syllable sound of I and e. They are getting these wrong a lot. Any suggestions for making this easier would be great. For example, the word, seven. It sounds like /I/, but spelled with e.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kim,
This is the infamous Pin/Pen Merger. It’s a difficulty for a large region of the United States. It’s so common that we even have a blog post specific to it, Pin or Pen? Solving Short I/Short E Confusion.

As always, let us know if you need further help, but I do think this blog post will get you started on helping your kids.
Robin E.

Leanne

says:

I often wonder how to make sure my children don’t have these gaps. It’s always good to have some support around you from people who have been working on this area for some time.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

We’re here to help if you ever need it, Leanne.

Paula

says:

We love reading &!soelling lessons that complement each other.

Carol

says:

My twins had difficulty learning to read when they were in public school. They’ve been using AAR for the last year, and the improvement is amazing! Definitely glad for the “no gaps” approach :)

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Carol,
Thank you sharing the difference experiences your twins had with a school curriculum and with AAR. It’s great to hear that AAR has made a difference.

Sara Burke

says:

Thanks to all about spelling, my struggling speller is finally getting it!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

HURRAY!

Thanks for sharing your child’s success, Sara.

Corri Montgomery

says:

The statistics are really eye opening and scary. Hopefully soon I will be able to purchase your product.

B Blanchard

says:

Would love to use this for my son

Joy

says:

I appreciate AAR with my dyslexic daughter; it seems to really be helping her. And would love to have the next level.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Joy,
It’s great to hear that All About Reading is helping. Thank you for sharing.

Katy Austin

says:

Very informative. Thank you!

Sandra

says:

My daughter has childhood apraxia of speech and has many gaps in learning. I hope our early start with aar will help her as she begins her reading journey.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
As I am sure you know, apraxia can make learning to read even more difficult, but we have had good reports from parents of apraxic children. If you ever need additional help, please let us know.

Andrea saunders

says:

I worry about my kids having gaps. Thanks for the article and all that you do. I have one of your spelling programs but not te reading one yet.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Andrea,
I’m glad that we can ease your worries about gaps at least for spelling.

Wendy

says:

We are loving AAR! I saw a lot of gaps with the program I used with my first two children. Thankfully, we found AAR and the next two are getting a more solid foundation.

We love these curricula! Not only are there no gaps for my kids, but the steps are simple to teach and make sense to me!

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