Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All About Reading ~ TOS Review

Since this is my second year of homeschooling my children and we have a daughter whom we will homeschool from Pre-k on, I have been a little thoughtful on how I am going to teach her to read. When we brought the boys home they could both already read. Connor and I did well last year using CM methods to improve and strengthen his reading but he was already reading, albeit reluctantly and hesitantly.
I admit I am a bit nervous about it all. I want her to have a love of reading in addition to being able to read well. When I got the chance to review the newly released All About Reading Pre-level 1 from Marie Rippel (Yes the All About Spelling lady) I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

All About Reading Pre-level 1  is a pre reading curriculum geared toward pre-schoolers and kindergarteners. Based on what Marie calls “The Big Five Skills” which are the five fundamental pre-reading skills that include letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, listening comprehension, and motivation to read.
What’s included:

Level Pre-1 is offered in Basic and Deluxe packages

The Basic package includes:
  • Teacher's Manual (208 pages)
  • Student Material Packet
    • My Book of Letters and Sounds Activity Book (192 pages)
    • Picture Cards
    • Letter Sound Cards
    • Capital Letter Alphabet Chart
    • Lowercase Letter Alphabet Chart
  • The Zigzag Zebra: a rhyming alphabet hardcover book
  • Lizard Lou: rhymes old and new hardcover book
  • Divider Cards (keeps your Picture Cards and Letter Sound Cards organized
  • "Letter Sounds A to Z" CD-ROM. 
With the Basic package, you will need to add your own puppet and your own index card box.
The Deluxe package includes the same items as the Basic package (Teacher's Manual, Student Material Packet, Divider Cards, "Letter Sounds A to Z" CD-ROM). It also includes
  • Ziggy the Zebra puppet
  • a charming Activity Box to hold your student's learning cards
  • All About Reading tote bag to keep your components organized
Basic Package – $79.95
Deluxe Package – $119.95
Student Materials Package (for additional students) – $24.95
Comes with a 100% 1/year guarantee and lifetime support.
Go HERE for samples and to purchase.100_4435
My daughter is only 2 and I thought this was something I would be looking over and giving a basic commentary on how I thought we would like it. Well Miss Priss once again proved her mettle when she decided to take it upon her self to start bringing me the activity box so we can go through the alphabet sounds.

She absolutely adores this program. Let me give you an example. She never lets me read to her,EVER. She would rather take the book and go hide in a corner all to herself and look at a book than sit still and listen to moma read. After a few days of looking at the alphabet rhyme book she began bringing it to me so I could show her the words. She actually has begun letting me read to her short stories.

She knows about 3 letters by sight and can recite the alphabet with help if she feels like it so the 21X33 inch posters that are included are perfect to illustrate to her the pictures of each letter and identify the sound each makes.
Having never taught this level before AAR seems like a great way to introduce gentle, formal lesson time. Laid back simple, fun lessons invite the child to repeat the same lesson over and over just because.
Since AAR progresses in steps, with each level building on the last, it is perfect for any pre-reader to go at their own pace. As we all know no two children are the same. I loved how low prep it was (more like zero prep once the cards are separated and put into the box) and how easy it was to use, just grab the bag and go. The TM was very easy to understand and directions were very simple, step by step.
My only question I was left with was why this curriculum begins by teaching capital letters instead of lowercase seeing as capitals are the most infrequently used. It is not a big deal and I did not take the time to find out the answer since my daughter is so young. I just thought it worth mentioning, it would be very simple to switch the order around in the lesson plans however.
Oh and the plush puppet is a treasured friend here but I apparently neglected to get a shot of that, oops. Maybe I can catch her with Ziggy this week and I will update this with the pic then. Overall I am very pleased with this curriculum and can’t wait until we start flying with it full speed ahead!
Disclosure: In exchange for my honest opinion I received a free deluxe package of the above curriculum. No other compensation was received. Please click the TOSCrew banner at the top to see what other crew members thought about this product.


Rebecca said...

This is a really cute program....and I love your blog...just took a stroll and am thankful I found you....will be following you!

Mrs. Mandy said...

Thanks Rebecca, my daughter loves this at first I thought I'd wait until she was a bit bigger but she wouldn't have it so I started. It is really very gentle. I am following you too!


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