Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All About Reading ** TOS Review**

Our family was so very blessed to be chosen to review the All About Reading program for the TOS Crew.
We are already quite familiar with All About Learning Press through All About Spelling which we have used for years and love. Our expectations for this program were quite high and I am happy to report we were not at all disappointed

We were given the deluxe package of All About Reading Pre-Level 1. The deluxe package includes

  • 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 (keeps your Picture Cards and Letter Sound Cards organized
  • "Letter Sounds A to Z" CD-ROM. 
  • 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

I also purchased an additional student workbook so I could do it with 2 kids at once.   A quick note in case you are familiar with All About Spelling and are using one student pack with multiple children, you cannot do that with All About Reading. There are daily activities in the workbooks that are consumable so you will want as many student packs as you have students.

I originally intended to use this with my 4 year old and 6 year old but when I received it I realized it is a little young for my 6 year old. My 3 year old however LOVES it. It is really just perfect for preschool or a kindergartener who does not yet know their letters. My 6 year old is a pre-reader but she has a pretty decent grasp on her letters and letter sounds so while she sits with us and enjoys the program I would not purchase it for her.

All About Reading starts by teaching upper case letters. Each lesson starts with the alphabet song and finding the letter of the day on your corresponding poster. There are 2 posters one for uppercase letters and one for lowercase.
Then you will read part of a story in one of the readers to your child about that letter.
Next is the craft sheet for the day's letter. It is an outline of the letter along with a cute animal picture that begins with that letter. On the back of each craft sheet is instructions for how to decorate your letter. I won't give away their ideas for the letters but I will say that is my children's favorite part of the day. It's fun, memorable and easy to do for Mom.
Next you choose from a list of activities what you want to do for the letter that day. I love that aspect because some days I want to choose a simple quick activity and other days I have time to spare so I  choose something more involved.
Next you will play a game with your child either with the student cards or the zebra puppet. The games are designed to teach your child skills that they need to learn to be a successful reader such as letter knowledge, phonological awareness,print awareness,listening comprehension, and motivation to read. These are the big 5 skills that All About Reading is trying to teach your pre-reader in order to help them achieve reading success.
Lastly you are encouraged to spend 20 minutes at some point during the day reading to your child.

The next section covers the lowercase letters in much the same way as the first part.
The third and last section of this level covers the sound of the Letters.
This section will teach your child the most common sound of each letter. The program also includes a CD-ROM of the  correct pronunciations so you can be sure your child is always hearing the right sound.  All About Reading uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching these sounds  making it easier for your child to remember them. There is once again an activity sheet for each letter and corresponding games and stories for each letter as well.
The books that you use throughout the program are also available on an audio CD  for independent listening, review or to save Mom's tired voice.

Our Experience: 
I love everything about this program. I intend to use it through every level with my three younger children assuming the levels are ready when we are. The approach is perfect for what I believe my children need. It is simple, fun and engaging. My children beg to do this, if I am busy they will talk their 14 year old brother into doing a lesson with them. Also the teachers manual is so clear and easy to implement that my 14 year old son or their Dad has no problem just picking it up and doing a lesson with them. There is no preparation involved at all.
I wasn't sure at first if I would use the Zebra with them because it seemed a little silly but the zebra is a must I have discovered. The zebra is such a good teacher for my little girls. They love him and never tire of listening to what he has to say. I have never been able to hold their attention for so long before Ziggy began teaching. They love him so much he's even started teaching their math as well... and if I'm not careful he goes missing every chance they get.

The workbook itself is well made and the pictures and craft ideas have been a lot of fun. We actually removed all of the pages from our book and put them into binders so that we can easily save all of our letters to review later. This is also something easy and sweet to keep as a reminder of my children's early schoolwork.

I have been so impressed by this program that I will be recommending it every chance I get!

All About Reading Level Pre-1 is available here.

You can purchase the Basic level for $79.95 which includes everything you need to teach one student or the Deluxe level for $119.95 which also includes the zebra puppet, a box to store your cards in with dividers separated by lesson and a tote bag to help keep you organized. Additional student packs are available for $24.95 each and are the only consumable part of the program.
One of the great thing about All About Learning is that they offer a 100% 1 year guarantee on all of their products. That means there is absolutely no risk in purchasing this program. If you buy it and it isn't a good fit for you or your child simply return it and they will refund you 100%. You really can't beat a guarantee like that!

I do have one  thing I would love to see changed about the program. I would really appreciate an option to only buy the student workbook. It is a pricey although worth every penny program so I would love to see a more affordable option for replacing the consumables to use with other children or adding students. I really don't want to buy more posters or cards because I don't need more than one set of those.

All About Reading has a special offer right now where you can go here and download two FREE All About Reading books that you can do with your children! They also have samples available here at the bottom of the page so you can look before you purchase. 

To see what my crew-mates thought about this program visit the TOS Blog here.

I received a free deluxe set of All About Reading Level Pre-1 in exchange for my honest review of their program. No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea for storing their craft pages! I've been posting my son's on the wall but I may have to place them in a binder later.


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