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All About Reading 4 – Full Color Version (Review)

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

Fluency

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

Vocabulary

  • 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

Comprehension

  • 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. 

All About Reading Program Level 1 Review

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
You all ~ the wait for All About Reading Level 1 program has been so amazingly worth it.  We loved the All About Reading Level Pre-1 program and this is a wonderful next step in the reading process with Kaleb!

All About Reading Level 1 Kit     Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit
 

Program Basics

All About Reading Level 1 is a program for beginning readers. It picks up where the Pre-1 reading program ends ~ when children know their uppercase and lowercase letters as well as letter sounds and are ready to put the sounds together to make words. If you aren’t sure where to start your child, you can use the Reading Readiness Checklist to help you decide.

All About Reading focuses on phonological awareness, decoding skills, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and lots and lots of reading practice. Similar to the other programs from All About Learning Press, the Teacher’s Manual includes step-by-step directions, so there is no guesswork in what you need for each lesson or how to teach the concepts covered.

Each of the 49 lessons include hands-on practice using letter tiles, word cards, fun games, and activity sheets to go along with the day’s lesson. Lessons can be tailored to meet the needs of your child ~ review concepts as often as you need to in order to know that they are being retained.

All About Reading Review-1    All About Reading Review-2

{playing letter sound bingo}

Each lesson takes about 20 minutes to work through and then another 20 minutes of reading to your child is recommended. We usually divide up our time and read at different points during the day, instead of doing it all in one block of time.

All About Reading Review-4

Sight words are incorporated in to the program {so far Kaleb has learned ‘the’ and ‘a’}. They are treated as ‘Rule Breakers’ and given special treatment. :) Kaleb has loved this part of the program, to the point that he came running into my bedroom early one morning and woke me up when he found ‘the’ on something that he was playing with ~ ‘It’s a rule breaker!!!’

All About Reading Review-6

And the moment you want to do a happy dance {and actually do??}. When your child picks up a book, sits down with you and reads a real, honest-to-goodness story to you for the very first time. It just makes a mommy’s heart happy and there is much rejoicing to do!

All About Reading Review-5

I have also been using the reading program with Zachary {2nd grade} to help increase his reading fluency. Reading has never been a favorite part of his day, but his fluency has already greatly improved in the weeks that we’ve used it and it’s also built up his confidence in his reading abilities. He’s on the ‘fast track’ through the program, but part of his motivation has been seeing his younger brother start doing things that he was more recently complaining about {grins}.

Quick tip: Not sure if you should start out with All About Reading or All About Spelling? While the two programs go hand-in-hand, children generally move ahead more quickly in reading, so I recommend starting with All About Reading first.

 
The All About Reading Level 1 Kit comes with the following items: {Regularly $107.70, currently on sale now for $99.95}

  • All About Reading Level 1 KitTeacher’s Manual
  • Student Packet {includes word cards and an Activity Book}
  • Run, Bug, Run! reader
  • The Runt Pig reader
  • Cobweb the Cat reader

imageYou will also need a Reading Interactive Kit to complete the program. Choose between the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit {$48.95} or the Basic Reading Interactive Kit {$28.95} ~ or buy the pieces individually. The reading kits are a one-time purchase and will be used in all levels of the program.

Quick Tip: If you currently use any of the All About Spelling programs, the letter tiles are the same, so you may only need a few additional components to complete the kit.

A Few More Thoughts…

One thing that we all look at is the initial price of this children’s reading program, and while it is a bit more, it truly is worth it. Here are a few of my thoughts on it:

  • The bulk of the components are non-consumable {only the Activity Book and the smiling star stickers cannot be used again}. This means that you can use the program with children coming up through the ranks or eventually re-sell it to another mom.
  • The program is completely laid out and lessons are scripted, so you can just relax and not worry about planning!
  • Minimal prep-work. The word cards are perforated, but need to be torn apart and the letter tiles need to be assembled with magnets. Once that is done, you can grab your manual and go.
  • 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.

I can honestly tell you all that we have 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!

All About Reading Level Pre-1 Review

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.

A little over a month ago we started working ‘full-time’ on the All About Reading Level Pre-1. I had been anxiously waiting for the release of the program for many months and was really excited to see the completed product.

Why? Because I had fun helping create the ABC crafts for the program!! Last fall, I was sent some sneak peeks of the rhymes included with All About Reading Level Pre-1 and helped put crafts together that went specifically along with the rhymes.

Kaleb and I had fun ‘testing’ out many of the crafts in December, but I can honestly say they are MUCH more fun when we get to do them along with the actual reading program itself!

image

About the All About Reading Level Pre-1 Program

This reading program for preschool and kindergarten age children focuses on the “Big Five Skills” or five skills that are important for children to have in place before they begin to read. Those five are letter knowledge {recognizing letters and knowing names}, phonological awareness {hearing and identifying parts of words}, print awareness {knowing text has meaning}, listening comprehension, and motivation to read.

All About Reading Level Pre-1 includes an in-depth Teacher’s Guide that walks you through the “Big Five Skills”, providing tips for each lesson in the program along with step-by-step instructions for each letter lesson. The lessons walk through the alphabet letter by letter in ABC order starting with uppercase letters and then move to lowercase letters.

Lessons include poem readings, an ABC craft focused on the letter your child is learning, special games, and many additional activities to do together. There are go-along picture and activity cards that are used with the lessons as well as audio books and a cd-rom too. You can view sample lessons at the bottom of the All About Reading Level Pre-1 page.

There will be future levels of the All About Reading program coming too! The next level is scheduled to release in June of 2011.

My Thoughts

It’s probably no surprise that we are loving the program! One of the biggest hits of all has been including the Ziggy the Zebra puppet in all that we are doing! When Kaleb has his ‘school time’ he knows exactly where the our reading bag is, grabs it and waits for me in ‘our chair’ to do his school time.

untitled-22

Although we’d already worked on quite a few of the letter crafts, Kaleb was even more excited doing them this time around because they tied into something that we had read together and were ‘learning’. One of the biggest hits has been the go-along activities and picture cards that we use with each lesson {part of both packages}.

The ABC crafts are simple to do also {yes, they were planned that way!!}. The majority of the items used in the crafts are things that can be found easily in your house or without difficulty at your local store {yarn, glue, tinfoil, construction paper, crayons, watercolors, salt, etc…}. I put together a basket with all of the supplies that were needed and pull it out when we are working on the letter crafts.

We didn’t have anything like the All About Reading Level Pre-1 to use with our older three children {otherwise known as ‘winging it’}. I pieced together things for them and while they have all learned to read, I LOVE the simplicity of the program and the fact that it is all put together in one place for me to quickly gather and use. The only consumable part of the program is the ABC craft book, so it can be used again with younger children, or multiple children if you want to purchase an additional craft book.

Find Out More

The All About Reading Level Pre-1 Basic package includes {you will need to add your own puppet and index card box}:

  • Teacher’s Manual (208 pages)
  • Student Material Packet
    • My Book of Letters and Sounds Activity Book (192 pages)
    • Picture Cards
    • Letter Sound Cards
    • Capital Letter Alphabet Chart
    • Lowercase Letter Alphabet Chart
  • The Zigzag Zebra: a rhyming alphabet hardcover book
  • Lizard Lou: rhymes old and new hardcover book
  • Divider Cards {to keep Picture Cards and Letter Sound Cards organized}
  • “Letter Sounds A to Z” CD-ROM.

The All About Reading Level Pre-1 Deluxe package includes the above items and also:

  • Ziggy the Zebra puppet
  • a charming Activity Box to hold your student’s learning cards
  • All About Reading tote bag to keep your components organized

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