**I was given All About Reading Level 1 Second Edition free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.**
I’ve never really been one to mark “firsts”. I don’t remember the dates of first steps, first solid foods, or first haircut. The same cannot be said, however, for first story read. That is a huge moment here at Casa Jones. Well, Max, at 4 years old, read his first story after just a couple of lessons in All About Reading Level 1 Second Edition, All About Learning Press’ updated early reader program.
We are now 8 lessons in and Max already knows and is comfortable with the rhythm of this program. The lessons alternate between learning phonics and reading stories. Each lesson is fully scripted, so there is minimal prep time for the parent/teacher. I did have to spend some time before starting lesson 1 prepping the flashcards and adding them to Max’s reading box, but that didn’t take much time at all.
The phonics lessons offer a gentle introduction of letter sounds and reading rules to our budding readers. Phonics are introduced using flashcards then tiles. Max loves using the magnetic tiles to blend words. The tiles also make it easy for Max to identify the vowels (red tiles) vs. consonants (blue tiles).
There are a lot of tiles on my oil drip pan, but that is because my older kiddos are using more for upper levels All About Spelling and Reading. Having this many tiles on the board doesn’t bother Max, but it may help struggling readers to have only one set of alphabet tiles.Each phonics lesson has fun, interactive activities to help the kids practice blending and to commit the phonics sounds to memory. My kids all love the word flippers! These lessons are short and sweet so the little ones don’t get overwhelmed. This also allows me plenty of time to teach the other kids, especially since there is minimal prep time with each scripted lesson.
The readers Run, Bug, Run, The Runt Pig, and Cobweb the Cat are full of cute stories that incorporate all phonics learned thus far. I find that each story is just challenging enough to give Max confidence reading while stretching his abilities. Some lessons call for reading multiple stories, so I like to have Max read one story at a time throughout the day or even over a couple of days to avoid any frustration.
Not only does each story have fun reading comprehension games, but the teacher’s manual has prompts so that I can guide Max to relating the stories to his own life and discuss any new vocabulary words. There was one fun activity that taught Max how to read a sentence with a period then again with an exclamation mark. I love teaching him how to read expressively at such an early stage!
And of course we have fantastic sticker charts!
So how does the second edition differ from the first? Max is the third child to use All About Reading level 1 at our home. I’m finding that the second edition has great improvements which gives me confidence that All About Learning Press will continue to improve each of their products. There are four new lessons in this edition. There are many new stories to give Max more reading practice and build his confidence. This edition also had Max reading a story by the second lesson. He was so, so proud! So if you have the first edition from previous students and are wondering if you should purchase the second, I say it’s worth it for the extra stories and reading comprehension lessons alone!
One other great thing about All About Reading Level 1 is that it is self paced and has constant review. Max is currently going through around 4 lessons a week, but he’ll easily be able to slow down if things get a little to challenging for him. And I’m confident that by the time he completes the entire level, he’ll be able to read chapter books such as The Magic Treehouse series all by himself!
This is truly a program that can be used successfully with most students. It is very thorough and leaves no gaps in teaching how to decode, blend, read with fluency, and much more.