Need a FANTASTIC Resource for Teaching Your Dyslexic Child to Read? When I discovered that my son has dyslexia, I didn’t know how to help him. Since I love to read, I desperately wanted to pass that love of reading along to him. But honestly, I worried that the process of teaching him to read might take the joy out of reading. I knew the curriculum I was using wasn’t working well, so I started researching to see if I could find a curriculum that would better meet his needs. What I was hunting for was a reading program that would encourage him to fall in love with reading, and I was beginning to think I was hunting unicorns.
As I did my research, I narrowed my choices down to All About Reading and one other program. When my twin sister (Hip Homeschool Moms co-owner, Wendy Hilton) asked me if I would be interested in doing a review of All About Reading‘s new Color Edition, I was so excited! The timing could not have been any more perfect!
I should begin by saying that my son has made progress with his reading since his dyslexia diagnosis three years ago, but I wanted him to move from being a struggling reader to being a capable, confident reader. I am thrilled to say that All About Reading Color Edition is helping him do that! I would love to share some information about the AAR Color Edition with you!
But first, here’s a short video that shows you a little about the new color edition of All About Reading!
What I Love About All About Reading Color Edition:
I think it’s important to note that even students who don’t have dyslexia can benefit from All About Reading Color Edition. AAR makes it easy for children of all learning styles and capabilities to learn to read. I first became interested in AAR because it’s fun and it is multi-sensory, so it works for children with all kinds of learning styles!
Letter Tile App
The Letter Tile app is great because it allows children to build words, divide words into syllables, and to actually hear the sounds of the phonograms. You can see in the image above that the app is so helpful with showing what letters and teams are controlling the pronunciation of the word.
With AAR, you just open the book and teach! This really makes it super easy for the parent/teacher to pick it up and be ready to teach with minimal preparation.
Not only does AAR include the mechanics of learning to read, but it also includes, for example, onomatopoeia, alliteration, shades of meaning, and much more. This is because AAR’s goal is to help students do more than just read the words on the page. They want students to learn to read and understand a passage and fully grasp the underlying meaning.
I was very impressed by the quality of the materials. The pages are thick and sturdy. The books are well bound and should hold up well. The flash cards and box are sturdy and don’t crush or bend easily.
Lessons only take about 20 minutes.
I enjoyed the readers and was happy not to have to purchase extra books outside of the program or find my own books of the appropriate level for my son to read aloud.
Scope and Sequence
I love that there is a Scope and Sequence in the back of the book! I have always found these useful for looking ahead AND for finding topics quickly and easily when we need a quick look back at something. It’s good to know that, if my son needs a refresher on something he learned previously or if I want to look ahead and prepare for upcoming material, we can easily do those things using the Scope and Sequence.
Progress Chart with Stickers
I’m happy that the set comes with a progress chart and stickers for keeping track of completed lessons. We enjoy this because it gives a sense of satisfaction much like finishing a long chapter when reading a book.
The reference materials in back of the book are great for times when your student is unfamiliar with a concept. This is particularly useful if you begin at a level other than level 1, as we did. If there were any “holes” in the program you previously used and you lack familiarity with a definition or idea, the most important and frequently-used ones are listed in an appendix at the back of the book.
Each lesson begins with laying out exactly what you’ll need to have handy. No last-minute searching or beginning a lesson and finding that you’ll have to leave your student waiting while you fetch more supplies.
Setting Up and Preparing to Begin Lessons:
It took me about 45 minutes of prep time for separating letter tiles and grouping them as indicated in the teacher’s manual for level 3. (You can purchase an app for $19.99 to use in place of the letter tiles, which I chose to do. I did go ahead and prepare the letter tiles in order to be able to give my estimate on the time required to prep the tiles for purposes of giving an accurate review.)
The reading review box came with tabs for separating cards into categories for review, mastery, and future lessons. The cards themselves were on pages with perforations that I had to separate myself. The entire process took another 45 minutes. I completed the process while watching tv. I considered asking my son to help, but I like my school supplies to look neat and tidy, and I did not want to risk any torn cards or sloppy borders. The perforations were of good quality and easy to tear. I didn’t have a single card that came out damaged.
Yes, setup and reading the intro materials take a while, but it’s well worth the investment of time.
The Teacher’s Manual has everything you need to prepare to use the material from introductory pages to read covering topics such as what materials you will need (You’ll need very few materials- a few zip top baggies if you use the physical letter tiles, a pair of scissors, and a stapler are probably all you’ll need!), how to use your Teacher’s Manual and activity book, important info about the program and choosing the correct level for your student, preparing your materials, and answers to some FAQs.
You may choose to read in the manual OR watch (online) a series of short videos that give you the introductory information you’ll need to get started. I read the pages AND watched the videos and feel like either method will give a great overview and get you comfortable with what you need to know to both set up and use the program successfully.
Lessons consist of review material and then new information. (Kids with dyslexia need lots and lots of review, as do kids with ADHD, and even learners with no learning difficulties often do, too. I love the review and found it necessary and helpful.)
You will want to plan for about 5 minutes to prep activities before you are ready for your student to join you to begin each lesson. You’ll do things such as pull the correct cards from the card file box, open the app or pull out the correct letter tiles for the lesson (The app has tiles organized by lesson number, so prep is not necessary.), cut or otherwise prepare any activities for the lesson, and lay out any charts that you will be using. I prefer to glance over lessons before beginning with my student, but this isn’t absolutely necessary. (I do this for all subjects just to avoid pauses since my son is easily distracted, and I want to be sure lessons flow quickly and easily.)
Extra Materials Make a Difference
I was thrilled to find the extra tips that are included throughout the curriculum. I was even more thrilled to know that the folks at AAR know what research has supported – that children often need to move to be able to pay attention! It is still often taught that students must sit quietly with their hands in their laps and their eyes on the teacher at all times. But the makers of AAR know that movement can be helpful in increasing attention, so they suggest allowing children to play quietly while the parent/teacher reads sometimes.
In fact, multi-sensory games are included in the curriculum! They include listening, looking, hands-on activity sheets with games that you and your student can play together. I particularly like that the games are easy to prepare and only require scissors and a stapler to put together. They require only a few minutes and are cute but effective. No elaborate, time-consuming preparation. We haven’t finished the curriculum, but it does not appear that games are used more than once. I might suggest keeping them in a large zipper baggie just in case you decide to pull one out for review. You can find them on their blog by clicking here.
If you own a different version of AAR, here are some questions you may want answered:
Q: Will my current editions work with the new color edition?
A: YES! The new Color Edition materials can be correlated seamlessly with the current black-and-white editions. Easy-to-use Correlation Guides for all levels are available. Click here to find them!
Q: Does the color edition cost more?
A: Yes, the cost for all complete sets of All About Reading Color Edition went up $15. Prices for individual components have also increased.
Q: When can I order the All About Reading Color Edition?
A: The All About Reading Color Edition is now available for purchase. You can see the new beautiful materials by clicking here.
Q: Can I still buy materials from previous editions?
A: Yes! While supplies last, black-and-white editions can be purchased. Click here to find out more.
Q: I recently purchased a level of the black and white version. Can I get the color edition instead?
A: Yes! Because of AALP’s 1-year money back guarantee, if you purchased All About Reading directly from AALP within the last year, you can return your black and white version for a full refund (even if it’s partially used!) and order the color edition.