20 Best Tips
Teaching Textbooks

Reading Challenge Charts ~ Free Printables

I’ve shared these before, but we’ll be printing off our summer reading challenge charts soon {and laminating them} to track our reading this summer. We use these with our kids as incentives for them to read on their own or with one of us.

And yep. We give ‘em treats for reading. Sometimes it’s a little something from the Dollar Tree. Or a root beer float. Or whatever is fun at the time.

Reading Challenge Collage

There are free downloads for the spring, summer, fall and winter months. All Reading Challenge Chart downloads can be found by clicking here!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

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!


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.


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

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

New All About Reading Program!!

Tomorrow the All About Reading Level Pre-1 program will be released! Level Pre-1 teaches preschoolers and kindergarteners a very specific set of skills that we call the Big Five Skills. These five skills help young children understand the basics of language and how it works, preparing them to learn to read.

With All About Reading Level Pre-1, your child will play special games, enjoy little crafts, and engage in charming storytime activities–all the while absorbing these all-important Big Five Skills.

Free e-book #1Free e-book #2

To celebrate, they are giving away TWO free e-books for preschool and kindergarten children: In the Kitchen with the Zigzag Zebra and Safari Stories with the Zigzag Zebra.

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the new reading program and cannot wait to see the rest tomorrow ~ but don’t forget to sign up for the two free e-books now!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Book Report Form and Reading Log Printables

With Laurianna reading like a fiend, keeping up with all of the books that she is devouring can be a bit exhausting. Usually she will tell me {in extensive detail} what the books are about, so to help with book summaries and also have her gather a little more info, I put together a book report form for her to use once or twice a month.

The Book Report Form includes room for: book title, author, number of pages, publisher, copyright date, setting, main characters, summary, two vocabulary words, and book rating/evaluation.

Book Report

Book Report Download

I also put together a Book Reading Log for the kids to write down information about the books that they are reading, either independently or together as a family.  The Reading Log has room to record up to 5 books {I print it off double-sided} and the kids can record: book title, author, number of pages, publisher, copyright date, date started reading and date reading was completed.

Reading Log

Reading Log Download


Don’t miss this updated Book Report Form!

More recently we created another fun book report form for one of our younger children. Be sure to check it out in this post for another free download.

The Runt Pig ~ All About Spelling’s NEW book!!

image You all know that I love All About Spelling dearly and the readers that go along with their spelling program. The Runt Pig is the latest book in their Beehive Reader series that goes along with All About Spelling Level 1 program, steps 14-18.

As with all of the Beehive readers, they can be used independently from the All About Spelling program. If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few other posts I’ve written about All About Spelling and other readers from All About Reading:

Off to order my copy right now!!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Audiobooks and Music for Kids

Our family absolutely loves listening to books on CD. If we’re driving around town or on a trip, generally there is some form of audiobook in our car along with us. It’s also one of the rare times that our vehicle experience silence in one way, shape, or form.

Very rare.

We’ll be traveling this month to visit family, so I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite audio adventures {the ones that even Mommy and Daddy enjoy} with you all. Many, okay ALL, of them have a common thread ~ Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Love everything that we’ve ever heard from them. You can’t go wrong with these audio adventures.

Chronicles of Narnia radio theatre

Chronicles of Narnia is a set of 19 CDs that has radio theatre drama for all of the books in the series. There were so many points in these books that I started crying after grasping the significance behind Lewis’ words. Although I like Aslan’s voice in the movies better {and giggle occasionally at his voice in these because of comparing it to the movie} they are absolutely wonderful and I’m putting them on my own itouch to listen too!

The Secret Garden   Anne of Green Gables  Little Women  

The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women are three that I’ll be loading onto the girl’s mp3 players so that they can listen to them on their own. They have loved reading the books with, watching the movies and really enjoy listening to them too {while the boys would rather listen to Caspian…}.

Legend of Squanto

The kids haven’t heard this one yet, but I’m packing The Legend of Squanto. A new CD will definitely keep their interest and this is one we’ll be listening to this year to go along with our history studies. No reason we can’t get a little school in while we’re driving, right?

Bible Eyewitness

The Bible Eyewitness Collector’s set of 36 CDs was our first introduction to Adventures in Odyssey and we were hooked after these!  They start with stories from Genesis and go all the way through the Bible into New Testament times. The stories are sometimes hilarious {the accents are enough to make adults crack up!}.

For God & Country

I have For God & Country on order from Amazon and am hoping that it will get here in time for our trip! This is another one that will go along with our studies this coming year…and the kids don’t know about yet! We had borrowed it from a friend awhile back and enjoyed the few stories we were able to listen too, so I’m looking forward to adding this to our collection.

Seeds Family WorshipOf course, we’ll be taking our Seeds Family Worship CDs along with us! We have an extra set that we’re going to be sharing with our cousins when we stop by and visit them {shhhh!!!}. I also can’t wait until their newest CD, Seeds of Character is released!!

Do you have some favorite audio books that you can share with me? I’d love to beef up our personal library with some great ‘reads’!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button