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This year, we will be using the All About Reading Level 2 program with my 2nd grade daughter. I’ve checked out this program before, but this is our first year to actually get to try it for ourselves!
So why did we pick All About Reading, and why am I so excited about it? Read on to find out my top three reasons & a few details about the program.
Check out all our picks for 2nd grade!
First, have I told you how much I love teaching reading? I know it feels daunting to a lot of parents, but it is my hands-down favorite subject to teach.
Seeing a child go from learning their ABCs to reading is amazing. There is always a point where it seems like a switch flips, and suddenly they are reading everything around them – reading street signs and sounding out store names, suddenly they can tell which is sugar and which is flour in the kitchen without licking some off their finger!
And listen, it doesn’t have to feel daunting. The number one thing I tell parents is that you can teach anything with the right teachers guide. Seriously. But we’ll talk more about that in a minute. First, let’s take a look at the program.
All About Reading – What You Get
All About Reading is a comprehensive reading program that starts with pre-readers and moves through five levels of reading skills so that when your child completes the program, he or she will be able to read and decode any grade-appropriate text.
We’re just jumping in with AAR on Level 2 for second grade. Previously my daughter attended public school and used their curriculum. However, I don’t have to worry about switching to homeschool curriculum because AAR is also based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, so she won’t miss a beat.
The Orton-Gillingham approach is a researched and proven method that includes direct instruction and multisensory learning to teach reading, writing and spelling. It’s a process that builds skills systematically, developed to help struggling readers learn to read. OG strategies are widely used to teach all levels of students to read both in and out of traditional classroom settings.
All About Reading Level 2 Materials
- Teacher’s Manual
- Student Packet with activity book, flashcards, and stickers
- Two readers – each reader contains over a dozen stories
Basic Reading Interactive Kit
We chose the AAR Level 2 Materials and the Basic Reading Interactive Kit. The Basic Reading Interactive Kit can be used throughout all levels of the program (which is nice because that means you don’t have to repurchase it over and over).
- Letters Tiles
- Magnets for Letter Tiles
- Phonogram Sounds App
- Reading Divider Cards
3 Reasons to Choose All About Reading
All About Reading has some great features that made it our top choice for my daughter’s reading program. She is still in the early stages of reading instruction, so it was important that we found a program that was comprehensive and would give her a solid foundation in the basics.
1. Open-and-Go Instruction
One of the best things about AAR is that it is open and go. It has everything you need to get started. The teacher’s manual is thorough and features step-by-step instructions. This is an excellent program if you don’t feel comfortable teaching reading. The detailed instructions are easy to follow and cover everything you need to know to work with your child.
Since I am homeschooling three kids this year, I don’t have time to make up lessons. I need a complete reading program that is ready to go. AAR helps me to stay organized and ensure that my daughter is not missing anything.
In the teacher’s guide you’ll find:
• lightly scripted instructions
• clear objectives
• background information for every lesson
• full-color visuals
All About Reading provides instructions on what to use, when to use it, and how to use it. I feel confident that my daughter is getting a complete reading instruction.
2. AAR is Interactive and Hands-On
My daughter is a hands-on learner. Many reading programs focus heavily on worksheets or computer use, which is not in tune with her learning style. She prefers working with manipulatives and physical books. This is how she learns best.
All About Reading provides various hands-on materials, including magnetic letter tiles, flashcards, and an interactive app. These materials allow her to understand reading on a few levels and in different ways.
The books are hardcover and feel like big-kid chapter books. A book that feels like a real book, and a big-kid one at that, can go a long way in building your child’s confidence as he or she learns to read.
3. Short, Interesting Lessons
Reading encompasses a lot of skills, including phonics, decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. It can be daunting for both a parent and a child to try to cover each of these topics. As a parent, you may worry that you are missing something, and you definitely don’t want gaps in your child’s reading.
I want to thoroughly cover all of these skills with my daughter, but I also do not have an hour and a half of uninterrupted time each day to dedicate to reading instruction. And honestly, my 7-year old doesn’t have the focus or stamina to work on reading for an hour!
AAR aims to solve these issues by providing a comprehensive reading program that only requires about 20 minutes per lesson. It is much easier for me to sit down and hold my daughter’s attention for 20 minutes. Each lesson is short and interesting. Lessons provide review and hands-on components so that my daughter doesn’t get bored.
It’s easier to schedule in 20 minutes of one-on-one time than longer blocks of time. I can keep my other kids occupied with independent work for that amount of time without a problem. AAR is just the right fit for our homeschool day.
AAR Offers a Simple, Free Placement Test
Okay, so this is a bonus reason – #4. I had to add it, though, because it’s important, especially for our family, because we’re switching out of public school & starting All About Reading mid-stream.
A free placement test may seem like a minor benefit, but trust me, it’s big. It’s hard to choose programs based on grade levels alone. You know your child, and likely understand that he or she is stronger in some areas and might struggle in others. A program labeled “2nd grade” may be too easy or too hard for many 2nd graders.
That’s where a placement test is so useful. The test lets me know what my daughter knows and what she still needs to learn. We could choose a program that is not so difficult that she gets frustrated but challenging enough that she stays interested.
All About Reading offers these tests for free online. They even have a readiness checklist for their Pre-reading Program. I felt good going into this program because I know that it will fit.
We are so excited to start with All About Reading this year! I am confident that it is going to help my daughter grow as a reader and give her the skills she needs to tackle any text she wants. The program fits our needs because it is an open and go, hands-on program with short, focused lessons.
Check out All About Reading – it might be the just-right fit for your family, too.
For a side-by-side comparison of ten top phonics programs see our Phonics Curriculum Guide post.
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.