All About Reading Level 2 Review

All About Reading Level 2 Review

{Disclaimer ~ The product being reviewed, All About Reading Level 2, was given to me free of charge for my honest opinion. Affiliate links are used thanks for your support}

If you have been around my blog for long you probably know that we use All About Learning Press curriculum for reading and spelling.  We purchased All About Spelling Level 1 years ago when my oldest son was struggling with spelling.  We then formed a relationship with All About Learning Press and have been reviewing and using All About Reading also.  We are currently using All About Reading Pre with Ladybug, we completed All About Reading Level 1 with Krash, and are now midway through All About Reading Level 2 with Krash, who is in 2nd grade.  We have been given these programs to review and I am very thankful for that.

We were using All About Reading to supplement his box curriculum since I feel All About Reading is stronger. Recently I made the decision to totally stop using the phonics and spelling portions of our box curriculum and  to use All About Reading and Spelling Level 2 exclusively for Krash.

Here’s a post I wrote last year sharing how these curriculums really helped Krash get over a hump in 1st grade…Homeschool Reading

Why I love All About Reading Level 2

All About Reading Level 2 Review

  • easy prep done at the beginning of the year {or whenever you begin}
  • open and go, once initial prep work is done
  • lots of help so PARENTS understand the phonics rules also
  • wonderful extension of Level 1
  • unique and creative ways to reinforce concepts in a hands on way
  • my son likes it {the best reason}

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It took me awhile to learn this trick, but finally I developed a system to keep myself prepared and organized for each lesson.  For each lesson there are up to 3 different elements to have on hand in addition to the magnetic board with the letter tiles.  I found that I was getting a bit overwhelmed gathering materials {even though it is simple and straightforward I hate shuffling through papers every day}.  At the beginning of level 2 BEFORE we even began, I set up this new folder system.  I got folders for each lesson and loaded any word cards, tiles, fluency sheets, and any activity pages.  The blue bin is from the dollar section at Target.

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Below you can see the inside of the folder for lesson 13,  I already have the materials prepped and ready to go when we get to that lesson.

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Not sure which level is right for your child?  Look for this on their site here to download a free placement test.

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Curious to see samples?  Scroll down on that same page and look for this…

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Other things to consider ~

  • The bulk of the components are non-consumable {the Activity Book cannot be used again}. This means that you will be able to use the program with your younger children or resell the program when you are finished with it.
  • I really love the Go Ahead and Use It One-Year Guarantee’. You and your child have a full year to try out the program! If you find that the curriculum does not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price {excluding shipping}.

A few of my online friends have also reviewed this program, you can see more from their blog linked below.  I know choosing a curriculum is sometimes difficult and it is definitely costly, I hope their reviews might be helpful to you also!


Be sure you peek at the All About Reading website to decide which level you are interested in, I will be hosting a giveaway for ANY All About Reading level very soon!

While you wait on my giveaway, here’s a $100 Giveaway from All About Learning Press!

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When it is time to switch…

Homeschool Reading

All 3 of my children learn differently.  Homeschooling gives me a unique advantage to tap into this and really learn how each one of them learns best.  It is a challenge for me, but one that I gladly accept!

Recently I noticed Krash begin to struggle and not pick up on some literacy skills presented in his Calvert 1st grade curriculum.  I used this same program with PacMan and he flew right through it all, still does for the most part.  Krash is a different story.  He is a smart child who is very able to learn, just needs to be taught a bit differently.  He is very active and doesn’t enjoy sitting for long, which wasn’t usually a big problem for Pac, nor is it for Ladybug.

We hit a lesson in Calvert that I dislike, as it introduces some phonics skills too early, too quickly, and unclearly.  I remembered the lesson with PacMan and although he struggled a bit too, he moved right on.  Krash hit a wall and began to get super frustrated and negative, so did I.  Instead of dragging it out, we made a change.  Since we are under a cyber school, I emailed and got permission to do it my way for awhile and then come back to Calvert when I felt he was ready.  We are blessed with an unbelievable support system, so it was totally fine with them.

I stopped ALL Calvert literacy the very next day, and only kept the math {which he flies through}.  I decided to use ONLY All About Reading Level 1 and Spelling Level 1. The first 2 days, he fought me, then things began to click.  He slowly stopped complaining about “board school” and seemed more and more eager to learn.

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What did we do exactly?

I did one lesson from All About Spelling 1 and All About Reading 1 every single day {5 days a week}.  Other than his math from Calvert, that’s all we did, for 3 weeks! When we started this blitz, he was on lesson 9 with spelling and lesson 32 in reading.  Prior to this we had been using these lessons about once a week as a supplement to his Calvert.

When did the change in attitude occur?

After a few days, he became more accepting of the idea and wasn’t giving me as much attitude. After about 2 weeks, I really began to notice the confidence boost, which is what I was aiming for!  Then one day, he said it, the words that I was praying to hear!

“Mom, I like reading now!”

My mouth dropped, as he has never expressed a positive feeling towards reading!  He does it, but has never liked it. 

Why do I think All About Reading/Spelling helped?

It is by far the most comprehensive program I have seen. It honestly teaches ME things I didn’t realize were spelling or phonics rules! The hands-on approach helps so much; the little games included, the letter tiles, the stories, and how it all ties together is just wonderful.

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What has happened since?

We do love Calvert, and are sticking with it as our main program and since it is a box curriculum, we use their literacy portions too.  I do love a lot about Calvert’s literacy, just the sequence of certain spelling and phonics rules rub me the wrong way! After the 3 weeks, we got right back into our Calvert and it was a totally different experience.  He felt so much more confident and was able to understand better because his attitude was better.

No, it hasn’t solved all of our problems, I still struggle with a few aspects of Calvert’s literacy program and feel it moves a bit too fast in 1st grade overall.  We will stick it out this year and then I will revaluate for next year, as I always do.  We are a one year at a time, one child at a time kind of family.  Calvert works beautifully for PacMan and seems to be a perfect fit for him.  Will it be for Krash in the long run? I am not sure!

What about All About Reading/Spelling now?

We are still using it, just not as frequently.  I am back on the once or twice a week format.  He completed AAS Level 1 and is up to lesson 46 with AAR 1, which is only 4 lessons from the end.  We have All About Reading Level 2 already and will begin using that soon!

Why both Calvert and All About Spelling/Reading?

Because I like portions of both.  I like the stories in Calvert, the sight word emphasis, the comprehension portions and a lot more.  I love the sequence and speed of All About Spelling/Reading much better than Calvert’s spelling or phonics.  I use both because they reinforce each other in totally different ways.  Krash needs reminders and using both allows this overlap a lot.  I initially added in All About Reading Level 1 so I could review it and provide feedback on my blog.  I continue to use it because I love it and it works.  You can see more about that in the FAQ portion of this post.

I Can Teach My Child to Read!

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Jenae from I Can Teach My Child has a new eBook out that I think MANY of you will just love!  I Can Teach My Child to Read is a mom’s guide to the basics that I have written about for years.  Jenae and I tend to think alike in terms of early childhood education, I read through her eBook and agreed whole heartedly, I found myself nodding in agreement throughout the whole thing!

If you are looking for some guidance in teaching your child to read, I highly suggest grabbing Jenae’s eBook!  The eBook is priced at an unbelievable

$1.99 through January 12, 2013!

then it will raise to it’s regular price of 3.99 {still an amazing deal}.

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Want the Kindle version?  You can grab that here for only 1.99 through Jan 12 also!

Weekly Wrap-Up for a Few Weeks

Homeschool-Class

Our Christmas homeschool schedule is in full swing.  For us that means I am doing a LOT with Pac to get ahead before the break, nothing planned with Krash {he’s already ahead on his curriculum}, and nothing planned with Ladybug.  I have Christmas school for the little 2 and the big guy joins in periodically.

Lately I have been asked quite a few times about the un-chaotic look of our schoolroom, people wondering if it is always so neat and orderly.  I literally laugh every time I get asked this, as the framing of a photo does a lot of cover up!  I put on my wider angle lens and snapped a typical view for those of you wondering.  This was about 2 hours into a school day.  You can see the Christmas sensory bin everywhere, Christmas stickers galore {the little guys were making cards for their gymnastics coaches}, and various other messes-I think I spy a train track in the background.

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For comparison, this shot was taken just minutes after a school day began, major difference, huh?Christmas Sensory Bin-5022

Our schoolroom is messy and energetic for most of the day and we clean it up together in the end.  Usually once after school, or before lunch if I am on top of my game.  Then the kids often play in here in the evenings and they clean it up before bed.  I have things organized for self-clean up, they all know where things go and how to clean it up.  Labels and bins save the day!

On another note, to let you know that I am indeed a typical mom and not some supermom, we are officially Truth in the Tinsel drop-outs this year. We made it strong until about day 10 and then sickness and busy-ness set in and we just fell too far behind. I should have known to just pick one thing this year, but I loved Truth in the Tinsel so much I wanted to do it again.  Oh well, live and learn.Christmas Homeschool-5017

We have kept up with our Jesse Tree Calendar Connections, these are simple and the kids have enjoyed using the eBook even on their own.  The best thing that we have kept up with is The Sparkle Box, the kids have been browsing the catalogs and talking about the money in the box almost daily.  They are all 3 super excited to open it on Christmas Day.

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Krash-1st-Grade

Krash is really moving along with his spelling and reading. He is mastering all of his weekly Calvert spelling tests. We always practice his words on the iPad with the Word Wizard app before his test.

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He is a very typical early reader.  He struggles just enough that I wouldn’t say it comes easy for him, nor would I say he is a struggling reader.  He does enjoy reading, but does get frustrated sometimes when he can’t read it with the ease he desires!  We talk about building up his brain muscle with practice the same way he works on his ab muscles with his V-ups!

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My favorite is that Ladybug LOVES to come over when he is reading and listen to him.

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He is struggling a bit with digraphs, remembering which is which.  I printed out this helpful digraph chart, and also this penguin digraph sorting game.  I let him earn Sparkle Box coins for every word he got right!Christmas Homeschool -5147

Which also turned into a math lesson as he counted his money as we went along!

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This is where I pin all of my reading finds, in case you want to peek or follow!image

He about fell out of his chair when I announced that we were playing this game for school time AND eating the M&Ms on the tree when complete!Christmas HomeSchool-5203


PacMan-5th-Grade

My oldest guy is moving right along with 5th grade, honestly he is a joy to teach most of the time. I am so thankful for him and the way he has matured over the last year or so.

Having pets to snuggle with during reading time makes it a bit hard to want to do any other subjects!Homeschool -5179

He is such a servant hearted boy, makes my momma-heart melt.  He was absolutely THRILLED about the Sparkle Box idea and has been browsing and thinking about what we will do with the money the most. He is such a good example to the younger two.Homeschool -5047


That’s certainly not everything we did, but a glimpse of what my camera captured! To see more weekly wrap-ups, visit…

Summer Sight Word Work

Summer Sight Word Work

My boys are working on the Summer Challenge, and one of the ways they earn points is by doing extra schoolwork.  PacMan has the Summer Bridge 4th-5th workbook and it is perfect for solid review.  I may order Krash the K-1st edition if he completes what I already have for him, we’ll see!  Currently Krash is hard at work using printables!

Summer Learning Kindergarten (1 of 4)

I have two main goals for him during our review time, handwriting practice and sight word review.  Sure, there are other things we will review, but those are my two simple goals.  Simple helps keep me focused and not get too overwhelmed.

I made him packets, based on the You Can Read units.  Here is his Unit 1 Review Packet.  On top, I put the box handwriting practice…Summer Learning Kindergarten (3 of 4)

Under that, I added an extra printable set I am creating.  If you use YCR, you are familiar with the “Find the Words in the Sentence” printable, it looks like this:Slide19

I took those same sentences and made a handwriting practice sheet for each sentence, the first worksheet is shown below…Summer Learning Kindergarten (4 of 4)

This style helps with so many objectives; including handwriting, sight words, reading, sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, comprehension and more.Summer Learning Kindergarten (2 of 4)

I am in the process of creating sentence practice worksheets for all 18 units of You Can Read.  The bundled set will be added into the You Can Read Bundle.

For now, I am offering what I have for FREE, if any of you want to try them out as some extra summer work for your rising first grader!  I have completed the first 4 units and put them together with the box handwriting printables {also a YCR extra} for a free Summer Sight Word Work packet! 

~>~>~>~ Download Summer Sight Word Work Here <~<~<~<~


More Summer Work…

We are also using another freebie for our summer work, The Handwriting Book from Growing Kinders.

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I LOVE these pages, for so many reasons, they touch on so many skills.  Summer Learning Kindergarten (2 of 7)

 

Finally, I have a notebook I put together for him, using some free samples from Creative Teaching Press.  I just browsed through their workbooks and printed a few that are at his review level.  Summer Learning Kindergarten (7 of 7)


Motivation

Krash is motivated to do work like this in the summer thanks to our Summer Challenge.  Recently he got his first prize, a Beyblade!  Here he was moments before he earned it, working hard!

Handwriting Practice

Happy Summer Learning!