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All About Reading 4 – Full Color Version (Review)

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

Our family received access to the full color AAR Level 4 in exchange for our review. All opinions are our honest thoughts and we have been using the program for years during our school time. Please see our disclosure policy.

A little over a month ago, All About Learning Press released an update to All About Reading Levels 1-4 – and truly, they are stunning! What was already an amazing product and tool for homeschool families has stepped up to the next level and is now full-color – both inside and out! 

I can honestly tell you all that we have owned all of the products from All About Reading and All About Spelling, use them daily, and love them tremendously. Their curriculum is one of the first that really got me excited about teaching and I KNOW that they are getting solid teaching using the programs! But – enough about that – I cannot wait to share the updates that have been made to their reading program!

Our previous All About Reading Reviews:

Introducing the *Updated* All About Reading 4

All About Reading is a step-by-step reading program for children and uses a multisensory approach. Lessons are sequential in order, building on material  learned in prior lessons and levels, and ensure that your child is fully grasping concepts and successful in reading before moving on. Just because the lessons and levels build on each other though, doesn’t mean you can’t jump in at any time. We’ve had kids that have worked through every level and some that have gone through only a few.

If you have used any of the All About Reading levels in the past, you are well familiar with the cute graphics, well laid out lesson plans, and the hands-on learning the program provides. The only thing the program didn’t provide was full-color print. 

Previously all of the go-along activities, book illustrations, and even the teacher’s manual were available only in black and white. Until now. (Insert happy dance).  While I love, love, love the color illustrations in the readers – can I pause for a moment and share my *joy* with the full-color teacher’s manual??

The teacher’s manual alone is so much bigger than it used to be (thanks to the paper quality). The content though is the same step-by-step lesson plans, just in full color, ready for you to literally open the book and start teaching your child. 

For those of us who are visual learners, this manual is flat out amazing. Seeing what color the cards are, letter tile colors, and even pages in the activity book helps so much, especially when you get into the upper levels of reading and add in extra letter tiles with new colors. 

The readers have so much to love. In addition to their colorful illustrations, they all feature whimsical stories you won’t find anywhere else. These aren’t your “cat sat on a mat” type stories – they are funny and include lots of concept review. In addition, the illustrations don’t give away what the story is about, limiting kids from word guessing – they have to focus in on their decoding and reading skills. 

While I loved the classic look of the black and white illustrations in the previous version of All About Reading, these hardcover readers are so much more engaging than before (and that’s a good thing for those picky kiddos). They are still the same compact size, fitting perfectly into kid’s hands, and lay flat when open for reading. 

What Comes with the Level 4 Program

The All About Reading Level 4 Kit comes with the following items:

  • Level 4 Teacher’s Manual
  • Level 4 Student Packet {includes word cards and an Activity Book}
  • Heirloom Antics reader
  • The Voyage reader

You will also need a Reading Interactive Kit to complete the program. Choose between the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit {$43.85} or the Basic Reading Interactive Kit {$21.85} ~ or buy the pieces individually. The reading kits are a one-time purchase and will be used in all levels of the program.

A peek at what’s covered in AAR Level 4

Decoding (Phonics)

  • Learn phonograms EY, EAR, UI, IE, PH, GU, GN, AUGH, EI, OUGH, SI, MB, OUR, CI, and RH
  • Read words containing the new phonograms, such as honeyearlyjuicefieldphaseguestgnatdaughterbeigeroughmissioncombjourneyspecial, and rhyme

Decoding (Structural Analysis)

  • Decode multisyllabic words
  • Read words with multiple suffixes, as in thankfully
  • Read words with a variety of suffixes, including -ible-able, –ance-ence-sion-ic-al-ous-ist-ism-ity-ize-ary, and -ery
  • Read words containing unaccented syllables, as in pirateAlaska, and doctor
  • Read words with silent letters, as in half and comb


  • Read with accuracy
  • Read with meaningful expression
  • Read with natural phrasing


  • Discuss new words in the context of the story and one’s own life
  • Explore varying dialects and regional language
  • Understand homonyms and heteronyms
  • Understand synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, alliteration, idioms, personification, acronyms, and hyperbole
  • Explore words containing influences from Greek, French, Spanish, and Italian


  • Connect text to one’s own experiences
  • Read stories with alternating points of view
  • Make predictions and inferences
  • Compare and contrast main characters and stories
  • Discuss main conflict and character transformation
  • Skim for specific information
  • Discuss shades of meaning
  • Summarize the text


Our Thoughts on All About Reading 4

Our youngest, Kaleb, has struggled with reading from the beginning, and All About Reading has been a great fit (and help) for both of us. We’ve tried to add in additional things over the years, but they only end up confusing him more. 

The steps and rules in All About Reading help continually reinforce what he has already learned and build on his learning. While we have already worked through and finished Level 4 last year, we decided to go through it once again to build Kaleb’s reading confidence. He struggles with rushing through things and then freezes and gets flustered when he realizes he doesn’t have it right. He KNOWS the rules and has a solid base, but needs to realize 

The beginning of the book offers a mini “test” of sorts to see if your child is ready for the level. You can also try out their online reading placement tests to find the correct level for your child. 

One thing we love about the reading programs from All About Learning Press are the hands-on activities and manipulatives that go along with each level. Each interactive kit includes Letter Tiles, Magnets, the Phonogram Sounds App, and Divider Cards. (This is a one-time purchase and can be used with all levels of All About Reading.)

Probably the most time-consuming (and we’re talking about 20-40 minutes depending on what you decide to do) is the pulling apart of the phonogram and word cards that are a part of the student packet. (It’s here that I will note: I timed myself and came in just under 20 minutes to organize them – they are perforated and tear apart easily. If you decide to use the letter tiles, magnets need to be added to the back of each tile. You can alternately choose to use the Letter Tiles app instead.)

We alternate between the whiteboard with letter tiles and the letter app – and then sometimes just use our BoogieBoard or paper to work on any concepts we are learning. In just the few short weeks we have been working through Level 4, it’s already made a huge impact on his confidence in reading and his reading aloud. Reviewing the concepts and refreshing the phonics rules has given him time to pause, recall, and slow down as he reads. 

Each level of All About Reading also uses a go-along student activity book. Children can tear out the pages and complete the activity, making a great hands-on/tactile addition to the lesson. Below is a quick video clip inside the Level 4 Student Activity book. 


Things for Parents to LOVE

  • The bulk of the components are non-consumable (only the Activity Book and the stickers cannot be used again). This means that you will be able to use the program with your younger children and just grab a new activity book. 
  • Pre-planned lessons ~ taking extra time to plan lessons is tough, so let the book do the work for you. You can literally open the book and start teaching since all the lessons have been laid out for you.
  • Minimal prep-work. The word cards are perforated, but need to be torn apart (took me 20 minutes – I times it), and the letter tiles need to be assembled with magnets. Once that is done, you can grab your manual and go. Or you can save a step and use the new letter tiles app instead of the tiles.
  • The Go Ahead and Use It One-Year Guarantee’. You and your child have a full year to try out the program! If you find that the curriculum does not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price.



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A Few Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) 

Q: Will my current editions work with the new color edition?  
A: YES! If you already own a current version of All About Reading, there is no need to upgrade. The new Color Edition materials can be correlated seamlessly with the current black-and-white editions. Easy-to-use Correlation Guides for all levels will be available on our website after the new edition is released. The only exception to this is Level 1/1st edition which does not correlate with either the 2nd edition or the color edition.
Q: When can I order the All About Reading Color Edition?
A: We will begin accepting orders and shipping product on January 10, 2019. All About Reading orders placed before January 10 will be for the black-and-white version.
Q: Will you continue to carry black-and-white versions after the color edition is released?
A: No. Black-and-white editions of Levels 1-4 will only be available until January 9, 2019. After that date, we will give you the name of a retailer who still has black and white editions in stock.
Q: I just bought a level of the black and white version. Can I get the color edition instead?
A: Yes! Because of our 1-year money back guarantee, you can return your black and white version for a full refund (even if it’s partially used!) and order the color edition when it is released on January 10 at the new price. 

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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  1. Amy Beth McPherson says

    We are currently doing all about reading level 1. I would love all about reading level 2 in color.

  2. I actually own all four levels already (not the color version) and cannot part with them permanently. Since I can’t stand the thought of selling them, I lend them to friends to help save them money. I would love to win a level of this to actually be able give away to someone. I’d probably pick level 1, but it would depend on who I decided to gift it to.

  3. I was glad to have the placement tests to guide me. I would have guessed differently my younger child’s reading level. It sounds like Level 1 would be perfect!

  4. Sally Chancellor says

    I will have to do the placement test, but I think my daughter would need level two :)

  5. Thank you!

  6. We are have used All About Reading for 2 years now and my daughter loves it! She’s currently working through Level 2.

  7. Kelly Johnson says

    I was just looking up All About Reading Level 4 today on a popular homeschool resource website! We have loved All About Spelling and are seriously considering investing in the All About Reading level 4 for our 2 sons. Thanks so much for the post! It was very reassuring!

  8. We love AAR and AAS!

  9. Lacey Murchison says

    I love AAR!

  10. Started using AAR and AAS since level 1. We are now on level 3 on both curriculum and we love it. Reading was not my daughter’s stongest subject and now her reading confidence has grown that she has become a really strong reader.

  11. Sarah Lynne Dupree says

    We are just starting for our first time with level 1. I have one child that has a hard time with reading so I can’t wait to have this help him!

  12. I would like to start at the beginning. Level 1.

  13. I love All About Reading! Looking forward to starting again with pre reading with my son in a year or so!

  14. We have tried the spelling, which has allowed my child to grow leaps and bounds in just 4-5 months when other curriculums did not help over the past 2 years! Have been toying with buying the reading to help my older reader who struggles with reading aloud but haven’t taken the leap yet. Would love this curriculum to help him! :D

  15. Great review! I have used all 4 levels with my 3rd child and only wish I would have known about AAR when my first two were learning to read. Now I’m working thru level 1 with my last child and seriously considering getting the full color edition just because of how pretty it is.

  16. We are ssllllooooowwwwly working thru Level 1 with my 4 year olds.

  17. I would love to try this with my little kids.

  18. This looks like a great program!

  19. We haven’t started our journey with AAR yet, but I’m excited to do so soon! It looks amazing! We’ll be starting at the very beginning, with Pre-1, with our 4.5 year old.

  20. I’m thinking level 2 but I love that you can test to find the level right for my child.

  21. Tanya Dembovsky says

    We would love Level 4

  22. We have used every level but level 4. We love this curriculum!

  23. I’d be starting with level 2 or 3… have to try the assessment to see for sure :)

  24. We have absolutely loved using AAR and AAS! We plan on continuing to use them in the upcoming years. My youngest asks for us to purchase it every year!

  25. Suanna Sears says

    I have been using AAR and AAS for a few years and love how easy it is to teach my children to read. I would choose level 2.

  26. Angela Nelson says

    I am a homeschooling Grandmother and would love to use this for my 5 year old grandson. Thank you for this opportunity to help children learn to read.

  27. We would start with level 4 or 5.

  28. Brittany S. says

    We love AAR and AAS! We are currently doing AAR Level 3 right now and plan to continue using both programs! They are wonderful!

  29. We are using Level 2 right now and the prereading level

  30. I would love a color version and I’m bummed I have all the black and white versions all colored by hand and laminated. I just can’t see spending the money on more though I have 2 more kids who will eventually need to learn to read.

  31. The new version looks much nicer indeed! Thanks for the review.

  32. Jennifer Plotner says

    I have level 2 and 3, can’t wait to get 3 and 4!

  33. Love All About Reading! I love the new videos too for the set up before you begin! Give a wonderful visual and is helpful for the “visual learning” mamas!

  34. We are about to begin Level 4 of AAR and have been using AAS for years. LOVE this program!

  35. Love this curriculum! Currently on level three with my son.

  36. Loreen Gunter says

    What a helpful and comprehensive review! I would love to win Level 1.

  37. Lisa Olmstead says

    Currently using Pre-reading, but would love Level 1 in color!

  38. We love AAR! It’s time to order the next level. It would be wonderful to win it!

  39. Jeannie McClannahan says

    We love AAR and AAS!! We will be getting ready for level 3. :)

  40. I am homeschooling my 7 and 5 year old granddaughters (after having homeschooled my 3 children K-12) and I LOVE AAR and AAS!

  41. I love that AAR has come out in color! I would love to get level 3 or 4. We enjoy AAR very much.

  42. This looks great!! We have used levels 2-3 and are loving it.

  43. Victoria Lemp says

    Wow! Appreciated your detailed review of AAR. I totally agree with your assessment!

  44. Karla cordova says

    We love AAR!

  45. Would love to get level 3 Reading in color. We have lived the program and look forward to using it with our kid!

  46. Mary-Margaret Colloms says

    We have only tried All About Spelling, but would love to try the All About Reading program as well. We would probably be using the upper levels, but my sister-in-law has littles that could start with the younger sets.

  47. Jessica Hamer says

    This looks soooooo good!!! I would need a level book 2 and a book 4! I know my 2 boys would like this color version better than the black and white we currently use. We are huge AAR fans!

  48. We did Level 1 in black and white and are now doing Level 2 in color. We also just started using the letter tile app, which is fantastic! We would love a Level 3 in color!

  49. Working through Level 1 right now and excited to get the pre-reading and level 2 in color next!

  50. Once we finish level 3 we will be moving on to level 4. I started level 3 last year once we finished level 2 but we switched curriculum for this year and it was a big mistake. I want to go back to AAR and finish level 3 and hopefully get level 4. I’d love to get the color version!!

  51. I’ve always wanted to try this curriculum but never purchased it. Would work great for my younger kids!

  52. We’d love level 2

  53. We’re currently on Level 2 no love it! I appreciate your showing us the color teacher’s manual. It looks great.

  54. We love AAR and AAS!

  55. We are using Level 1 & 2 so 3 would be fantastic! WE love it!

  56. Lindsay Freyer says

    We love AAR! My first grader is almost done with lvl 1, so I’ll be needing lvl 2! I already invested in AAS 1, and even I am excited to start that! (Being a horrible speller, myself )… i love the confidence my son has gained from switching to this program. His logic brain is finally understanding the “whys” behind the English language that even I didn’t understand because I wasn’t taught to read with phonics. I’m learning so much, too!

  57. Kelly Henson says

    We are currently using the Pre-Reading and Level 1. Love the product! And my kids will love the new color editions!

  58. It looke so nice in color wow!!

  59. We are in the middle of Level 1 right now and will be ready for Level 2 in the Fall. I had JUST ordered and prepared the materials for Level 1 when the full-color editions were announced, so I am so excited about getting the new Level 2! They look gorgeous!

  60. We LOVE All About Reading!!!

  61. TARA SOWARDS says

    We’re in the middle of AAR Level 2 right now, so next is level 3! We love AAR!

  62. I plan to start with pre-reading and level 1 with my kids this fall!

  63. We just started level 1, and my kiddo is so eager!! All the other subjects are a battle, but really enjoying this for now!

  64. Been wanting to try this awesome program. We’ll be starting from the beginning level for my 5 year old.

  65. We are almost finished with the Prereading level, so we’d love to have Level 1!

  66. Tiffany Stokes says

    I love AAR

  67. I would start my twins on level 1!

  68. We have loved using AAR levels 1&2 the past few years! I would love level 4 for my son who is an early reader but needs more practice!

  69. I have one in level 2 and one in level 1. This program is so thorough it is really boosting my confidence as a teacher and my boys are so proud of themselves too. ❤️

  70. We have used All About Spelling for 6 years. We would love to try All About Reading.

  71. Heather Martin says

    I used several levels of AAS with my older boys and started the youngest but we let it slide. I think he would really benefit from Level 4, maybe even 3. I love the color! And I appreciate your thorough review.

  72. Our 3 year old completed the Pre-Reading and is currently on Level 1 while our 5 year old completed Level 2 and is working on Level 3 this school year. Both kids and myself love it. It’s our favorite part of our sit down school work!

  73. We have used All about Spelling and like it. I would like to start at the beginning with my younger ones

  74. I loved level 3 of AAR!!

  75. Thank you for your review. AAR looks like a great program and I am planning on using it with my stuggling reader.

  76. We LOVE All About Reading! ❤️❤️ My son with be starting Level 3 soon, and he has done so well with the first 2 levels!

  77. Caryn Gillette says

    I love AAL!! We are in Pre-reading with one kiddo and AAR Level 2 and AAS level 1 with the other. Can’t wait to get AAR 3 in color next!!!

  78. Starting level 1 this coming fall :-)

  79. I would love to win level 1 of AAR!!❤️

  80. Jenn Loveland says

    Just started AAR 1. Would love to win level 2 or 3.

  81. Judith Martinez says

    My daughter is in the prereading right now so we’re just about ready for level 1.

  82. We switched to ARR this year and LOVE it!! We would pick level 2 to continue our progress.

  83. I love aar and aas!! I’d get the level 1!

  84. We love AAR and AAS! My oldest is getting close to finishing reading level 2. We also just received the new color version of level 3 in the mail and can’t wait to start it!

  85. Aly Anderson says

    We love all about reading and would love the color version!

  86. Thank you so much! Very informative!!

  87. AAR is my favorite reading curriculum after 10 years of homeschooling.

  88. Rebecca Matters says

    Love the new full color version, looking forward to ordering level 3!

  89. Christina Lam says

    Great reviews! I would love to win pre-reading level for my girls.

  90. I just started level 2 with my daughter. I’d love level 3 in color!

  91. We started AAR 1 last year, with only 7 days left in the one year guarantee they honored their policy, refunded my purchase price and let me buy the new color version. We love it!

  92. Just ordered level 2 for my daughter!

  93. We have levels 1-3. This next year I’m going to pick up the pre-k level for my son.

  94. We love AAR!

  95. Jaime Schmidt says

    Color looks engaging, I’d love to try level4 with my son

  96. Karen Painter says

    We love AAS and have decided to use AAR as well. She would be in level 2

  97. Jennifer Jean says

    We just finished level 3 this week and I’ve been on the fence about getting level 4 because of the cost. What a blessing this will be to whomever wins it!

  98. I currently use the pre-reading level and level 2. I would get level 4 since I already own level 3. Love this program!

  99. Katy Lineberry says

    I love that they made it in color! I hope this helps my son who struggles with reading

  100. Katy Lineberry says

    I would start with level 2

  101. Hilary Williams says

    These look wonderful. I would choose Level 2.

  102. Breanna Hendricks says

    We started with Hooked on Phonics and I have noticed so many learning gaps because of that program. I would have to do the assessment with my son, but I think we would maybe start with level 2? not sure. I would love to win All about Reading!!

  103. Michelle T. says

    We are planning to start my oldest with AAR level 1 this fall. This would be such a blessing to our family!

  104. Kelli Slabach says

    I think I would start with level 2, but I would need to research more to be sure :)

  105. I’m so excited about the color edition. Thanks for the chance to win.

  106. We would start with level 1! Thanks for the chance to win

  107. My 5-year old is finishing up level 2 this week and based on the placement test needs to move on to level 4 next! We love AAR!

  108. I’d love to try the Preschool level with my youngest!

  109. We have 1-3, so we need 4!

  110. I would love to use the Preschool level All About Reading!

  111. Heidi Tibbetts says

    I would start at the beginning with my kindergartener. Winning would be such a help and blessing for our family.

  112. We are finishing up the pre-reading and are ready for level 1!

  113. Would definitely start level 1!

  114. Love aas, would love to use aar with my youngest daughter level 1

  115. Thanks for hosting this giveaway. Glad to hear that this worked for your family! I think we would need level 3.

  116. Thank you for offering this great giveaway! We would start with Level 1.

  117. Janalyn Carlson says

    I’m not sure if my son will need to start on level 1 or 2. I still need to go through the placement test with him.

  118. Judi Slaman says

    I would start with level four. We have borrowed before. Thank you

  119. I have the previous version (black and white). Used it with my son and loved it but would love to have the color copy as my daughter will be starting to read soon from level 1.

  120. I think I will start with level 2

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