One of the most important things that we need to teach our children is how to read. It can also be the most difficult skill to teach. Children are not made all the same and read and learn at different rates. They also have different ways of learning. Some children learn by seeing, others by hearing, others by doing, and some learn best using a combination of all of these. Throughout all of my years of homeschooling and doing numerous product reviews, All About Reading still stands out to be my favorite reading curriculum and is the one that I stick with and continue to use with my children.
All About Reading is mutisensory so it suits multiple learning styles. It is a mastery based curriculum with lots of review, and is easy to teach. The activities are fun and the readers are beautifully illustrated, hard cover, and have interesting stories.
In a homeschool setting, it is often easier on the homeschool mama if you can combine your children and teach them together. Some subjects like Bible, history, art, science, and P.E. are really easy to use with multiple children. Other subjects like math and reading is not as easy. But if you have children that are very close in ability you can combine them.
All About Reading is not based on grade levels but abilities. You can find placement tests on this page (scroll down to the bottom.) My 8 year old and 10 year old are very close in reading ability, so we have always done reading and spelling together. We started out back in Level One in AAR and have worked up to Level 3 currently. Doing their reading lessons together has not only made things easier on me, but it encourages them as well and they enjoy doing the activities together.
So what does a typical lesson look like for us? It will vary because some of the lessons have more teaching while others have stories to read, but I will describe our process. The length of time we spend each day varies as well.
I have 2 different boards we use for All About Reading. A big board that hangs on the wall and holds all of the letter tiles.
And a small one that sits on the table that we use for our lessons. Each board has the alphabet on it and I pull any extra tiles off the big board and put it on the small board for the lessons.
In a regular lesson, we start out learning the phonogram that lesson focuses on. All About Learning has a free phonogram app that allows students to hear all the sounds the letters make. After listening to the sounds we continue on with the teaching portion of the lesson.
If we have cards to review, the boys take turns reading the cards. Then I build the words on our small board for them. They take turns reading the words that I build. We do the same with the word cards. Each boy reads 5 cards. Then the next day they switch and read the others. They do the same with the fluency practice. The first day they each read half of the sentences and the next day they switch and read the other words and sentences.
They play the games together. It's their favorite part!
And when it comes to reading aloud from the reader, they take turns each reading a page. Reading together makes it more fum for them and they also have the opportunity to hear their brother read aloud.
Working together has worked out very well for them and for me too. I have to say though that if you have children that widely differ in reading ability, please do not try to combine them. You will just cause frustration for them and for yourself. I know in a homeschool it is very hard to find time to do all of the things that need to get done, but reading is so important. Spend time (usually 30 minutes or so) working on multiple levels. I have used All About Reading with children who struggle in reading. I have used it with a child who is mildly dyslexic (he by the way reads so well now!) I have also used it with a child who reads above where she is "supposed to be" for her age. If you work consistently and at their pace, you will see success!
*links to AAR are my affiliate links. I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!