Monday, March 27, 2017

A Day With All About Reading

As you know from numerous other posts, we are in our 3rd (or is it 4th?) year of using All About Reading and All About Spelling.

When I'm researching a new curriculum option I like to see how other families are actually using the product.  Do they use it exactly as is?  Or do they tweak it to meet their needs?  

I tweak everything!!!  For one, Joseph does not fit into any box.  In some areas his skills are around grade level, yet in other areas he has substantial delays.  Homeschooling is the perfect solution to meeting his wide range of needs.

Today I'd like to share A Day With All About Reading.  

Joseph (Down syndrome, age 8) is working through Level 1.  Progress is slow, but consistent.  He's on lesson 16.  And we've been at this for well over a school year.  I spend a lot of time on the Fluency Practice pages and the word flashcards.  Let's say one lesson takes us 6 school days to complete, I still start each day with the green word flashcards.  It's become a habit and if I try to start instruction any other way, Joe gets grumpy and wants the fwashcards.  I also add in sight word reading lessons between each All About Reading lesson.

Most lessons have activity pages to go with, such as this one.  He just learned the /th/ sound and this activity page has him cut out and color (if desired) fried eggs, then place them in a pan and flip them to read.  I don't usually have Joe color the pages, but I thought it would be a good lesson in following directions and perseverance to have him use a highlighter to color in each yolk.  I gave him explicit directions to color in the entire yolk without getting any yolk on his egg white.  While he worked hard at this, I spent time reading books to Peter and Maria. 

I put three eggs at a time in the pan, he flipped them and read the /th/ word.  The activity pages in All About Reading are simple, fun, and effective practice.

I have a super fun idea to get your kids to practice reading and develop fluency.

Whenever our niece comes to visit, she has a poem to read to us.  Her assignment is to read it and have people sign that they listened to her.  

Peter is also working through Level 1 - we just started some time in the late fall.  He's really good at reading the flashcards, but needs a lot of practice with fluency.  Every other lesson of All About Reading has the student read from the phonics reader.  One time through the story isn't enough.  He's pretty slow and choppy and the meaning of the story is lost.  So, I thought about our niece's assignment and adapted it to our homeschool.

I wrote the name of the story on the notecard and then numbered it 1-6.  I told him he had to read the story to 6 people and then I would give him a treat.  I purchased a giant bag of candy for him to pick from.

It's working like a dream.  The first time he reads the story I sign, so then he only has to get 5 other people to listen and sign, but he can't double up.  Each person to sign has to = a reading.

Emily's home on spring break - Peter's reading to her while she folds laundry.

Peter reads "The Sad Hog" to Maria.

Peter reads it again to Sam.

Here's a look at his notecard with signatures.  I purchased some chocolate, too, so next time Joseph has a phonics reader lesson I'll be using this fluency practice technique with him, too.

All About Reading has been a winner for our family.  Do you have questions about this or other levels?  Just ask in the comments.

All About Learning Press is always offering new and exciting free games and other learning activities.  Here's a fun one for practicing compound words.

Banana Splits Game

Linking Up With


  1. I am just starting to homeschool my son with DS-The one thing I am having a hard time figuring out, is how to give him a grade (which I have to turn in) . . . Any thoughts or comments?

    1. I'm obviously not this mom, and it may depend on your state...can you do Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory? Or Create a structure of grades that fits your child: Mastery, Competent, Acceptable, Challenging, Re-do.????(or assign A-F with this correlation?) The beauty of homeschooling is separating their identity as "successful" or "smart" from the grades so... this could be just between you and the state. How do your public schools assign grades to special needs children? I think ours is: Success, showing progress, struggling, doesn't understand. But that may have been just a progress report.


I love chatting with my readers. So go ahead and comment to start the conversation.