Did you ever buy something that got a ton of 5-star reviews on Amazon just to receive it and wonder what in the world people were thinking?
That’s how I felt several years ago about a book that promised to teach my child read.
I remember paging through that thing and thinking it looked like such a boring way for kids to learn how to read. I tried it out anyways and my thoughts were quickly confirmed that it wasn’t the right program for us. I knew we wouldn’t make if through that book without being bored to tears.
Sure, that program received some glowing reviews. But, you know, just because a child learns how to read doesn’t mean they are developing a love for reading.
Just like you, I want my kids to develop that love and not just know how to read words on a page. I’ve been determined to make reading a fun adventure for all of us.
The great news is that our family found an awesome program that was a perfect fit for us. And I am so excited to tell you about it!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.
Still trying to decide if you even want to tackle teaching your child to read? Check out this post 7 Great Reasons to Teach Your Child to Read at Home.
So what is the best reading program?
The “best” of anything is totally subjective and based on our individual experience. Just like those Amazon reviews, what works for one person may not work for another. And what one person likes another may not.
With that being said, our experience with All About Reading has been wonderful. All About Reading has been our go-to program from preschool through the end of third grade.
Nothing compares to AAR of all the other programs and the printable online resources that I tried.
Working through all the levels has been a great and memorable experience for both me and my children. It is one of two homeschool resources I absolutely couldn’t have lived without (the other being Math U See).
I purchased a lot of different resources during our seven years of homeschooling. Some were good or even great but All About Reading is at the very top of our “couldn’t have lived without” list.
To find out what other curriculum choices I’d most recommend you can check out this post The Best Homeschool Curriculum: Our Top 5 Choices.
What’s so great about All About Reading?
First of all the program works! Your child will learn to ready. Hooray!
Second, your child will develop a love for reading. That’s been our experience and also the experience of many, many other families.
Third, AAR is easy to use.
Ease of use is so important. I can’t stress this enough. I have learned the hard way how critical it is to find tools that are easy to use. Unless, of course, you actually want to be totally burned out and not enjoy a single bit of the time you spend working with your kids. Which I’m guessing you don’t. So stick with something that doesn’t require you to jump through hoops.
Fourth, AAR is fun so you’ll be sure to make some wonderful memories together.
You can find more details on what’s great about All About Reading in this Ultimate Review post of AAR Level 2.
Even though my girls “graduated” out of the AAR program (they worked all the way from AAR Pre-Reading through Level 4) they still talk about it.
They kept all of their projects from their Pre-Reading years in a keepsake folder.
They also still have their friend, Ziggy. During their Pre-Reading years, every time Ziggy the Zebra made an appearance my girls would smile, giggle and reach out and give him a hug. He was their reading buddy and they loved every minute of their time with him!
He’s included in the Deluxe AAR Pre-Reading package so I definitely recommend that one over the basic.
What a great thing you’ll be doing to start your child out with a love for reading and a feeling of excitement when they are learning their letters and sounds.
You don’t have to use any of the super boring programs to teach your child. Use resources that help you make it the best adventure you possibly can!
What level of AAR is best to start with?
If you decide that All About Reading is the program you want to use then you’ll need to decide which level to purchase.
Each child is at a different point in their readiness to begin learning to read. Once you determine where your child is at then you can identify the right resources for them.
If your child is at the very beginning stages and just starting to learn their letters and sounds then the All About Reading Pre-Reading program will be a great fit! If they already exhibit the five essential skills then they are most likely ready for Level 1 (or beyond).
What are the five essential skills? The specialists at AAR define these as:
- Print awareness
- Phonological awareness
- Letter knowledge
- Listening Comprehension
- Motivation to read
On the All About Reading site you can download the Reading Readiness Assessment. This will help you determine what level is best for your child to begin with.
Essentially if your child still needs to develop the five skills they can start with Pre-Reading and if they already have those skills they can start with Level 1.
The people at AAR are wonderful and can help you find the right level if you are still uncertain.
Any other questions or comments? Hit me up in the comments section below.
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