I love that All About Reading is so open and go! The teacher's manual is very easy to understand. As someone who knows nothing about teaching reading, this program has helped me to be confident that I am being thorough in teaching my daughter.
Another thing I love about this program is that it has such great organizational tools! All the word and letter cards can be neatly organized in a file box (that can be purchased separately or as part of a package). It helps me to keep track of the words she has mastered, words to review, and future lesson cards. The whole system gives me confidence that I'm not missing anything. With built in review in each lesson, and particular spot to keep the review cards, we are sure to cover everything that needs to be covered. I also splurged and bought the All About Reading bag eventually. I love having the official bag to keep everything in. It makes me feel super organized! Its so efficient when everything for the program can be kept in one spot!
All About Reading is a very hands on program, and this is another thing that we love about it! To begin with, there are magnetic letter tiles to work on word building. We love these! They are a great way to practice blending! Joelle loves to come up with her own words and play around with the letters. Most lessons involve using the letter tiles to build words and sound them out.
Another great hands on feature of this program is the homemade games. They are included as black and white templates in the student activity book. Certain lessons will say to pull out the game page, and I will have Joelle color the pieces. Then I laminate them. So far we have three or four games, all working on reviewing various words or sounds. She loves these games, especially because she has helped with creating them. So far we are on lesson 14, and we have taken a day just to review by playing games (before going on to the next lesson) a total of four times. I really like the flexibility of this program. We can see progress very easily. But, the times that I've felt she needed to slow down, we were able to do so without any problems. The games allow for continuous review.
The only component of the program that we haven't been fond of is the fluency sheets. I think they are a little overwhelming for my girl. I have not required her to use them very often. Instead, we just continue to do review words and use the homemade games often as review practice. Maybe over time we will use the fluency sheets more. But, for now it has not been important.
Joelle is very proud of herself for being able to read stories out of a "real book." The readers are big books, full of short stories. This makes it seem more sophisticated than reading little books. I have been amazed at how quickly she has caught on in reading these stories. A lot of the stories are funny too, which really helps!
All About Reading Level 1 has been a big success in our house! I read rave reviews about it for a year or two, but it took me awhile to try it because of the expense. However, I will say that the expense has been worth it. Another big selling point for me is knowing that All About Spelling will go along well with it once we hit the age for that. I like programs that are well organized. This program is easy to teach, interactive, and organized. Its one of my favorite things that we have tried, and we will be sticking with it!