How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

How To Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

When I first started homeschooling, I thought I needed to create a homeschool curriculum plan by writing it down in a planner and following it. Boy was I wrong! I want to share with you how to plan homeschool curriculum using Google Sheets and what saved me from continuing to feel like a failure!

Creating a lesson plan, writing it down and following it DOES NOT work for us. It took about two weeks into our first homeschool year to feel like a complete planning (and homeschooling mom) failure.

At first I didn’t know what to do, because I felt that maybe I wasn’t doing this homeschool thing right… or maybe I wasn’t even doing life right. It really had me question things.

Instead I knew I needed a fresh planning idea that would save my sanity and yet help us accomplish our homeschool learning outcomes. And I’m so happy to say that I’ve found it… and would love to share it with you, if it can help you, too!

The Planning Failure

I felt like a homeschool planning failure because we were already behind.

I couldn’t keep up. I planned too much and there were unexpected things that happened in the week which took our schedule onto another path. And I had this question come up in me, “If we miss a few days, will we need to do math in the summer?” 

I was petrified that if we missed homeschool days due to sickness, dealing with kids emotions, field trips, play dates, and all the things that aren’t scheduled, would we ever stop homeschooling in the year? I couldn’t bear to never stop pulling out the math book.

I need rest from homeschooling and a break to refresh my heart concerning it all and that is why we don’t homeschool in summer.

After feeling like a failure, I began using these steps in our homeschool to start off the process for the year in a prayerful and mindful way.

Then from there, I developed a homeschool curriculum planner using Google Sheets. This reassures me that we’ll have a summer because I’ve planned for it!

I soon find out that, not only are we doing math 4 days a week instead of 5, we’ll also finish earlier than the year-at-a-glance curriculum planner! This includes having 4 weeks off in the year for holidays/vacations and a 3-month long summer.

Homeschool Planning Idea

This is what I’ve determined… I need two planners each year. The planners I need are:

  1. Planner #1: Year-at-a-glance using Google Sheets 
  2. Planner #2: Hard copy homeschool planner

Planner #1: Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Using Google Sheets

The year-at-a-glance homeschool planner gives me an overview of the entire year as it relates to curriculum.

It’s a guide to help me gauge how we’re doing, if we’re keeping up and if what I set out to do was reasonable. It also helps me start the year off with a postive outlook because I’ve “seen” that the plan will work. This, however, is not an etched-in-stone plan that I have to abide by. 

Planner #2: Hard Copy Homeschool Planner/Record-Keeper

The hard copy homeschool planner is where I write down what we actually do each day. This becomes more of a homeschool record-keeping journal, if you will.

The two of these planners proves successful for me. I refer back to the year-at-a-glance planner occasionally throughout the year. This allows me to review how we’re doing in comparison to the hard copy homeschool planner that I have as a record-keeper.

Just a side-note: I read Julie Bogart’s book this summer, “The Brave Learner” and found out that writing down what you actually do in your homeschool is a type of planning called Planning From Behind.

How to Plan Homeschool Curriculum Using Google Sheets

Before I start using Google Sheets, I do the following:

STEP 1: Determine The Number of Homeschool Days/Weeks

  • Print out a full year/annual school calendar (you can find this easily by googling).
  • Indicate your homeschool start date and end date.
  • Mark off the days you’ll take off as holidays or vacation.
  • Mark off weekends if you don’t homeschool over the weekend.
  • From there total up the number of homeschool days and weeks. (I total homeschool weeks using Mondays).

STEP 2: Start a Google Sheet and Update Fields

Open up Google. Find your Google Drive. Select New and select Google Sheet. Name your Google Sheet.

At the top of a Google Sheet, add the following columns:

  • “Week” (for the week number)
  • “Week Of” (for the Monday date of each week)
  • “Days” (for the number of homeschool days that week).

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

Complete each of the fields below the column titles filling in the information from your annual/school calendar that you determined in step 1. (ie. Add Week 2, the Monday date and the number of days in that week. Add Week 3 and so on)

On the Google Sheet there are tabs at the bottom. Create as many tabs as you need for each child and one for Altogether if there are subjects you do together with all your children. Here is an example:

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

Note: Be sure to copy the columns of Week, Week Of and Days to each of these tabs at the bottom.

STEP 3: Add Curriculum Subjects and Lessons

At the top of each column add the subject, below the subject add the curriculum title (shown below).

Review each curriculum. Read what’s suggested for the pace of time to do a lesson or unit. Determine what you’d like to do in your homeschool and fill in each field to know what lessons you’ll be looking to do that week. (ie. Lessons 1-3 for Bible on week 1, Lessons 4-8 for Bible on week 2, etc.)

Part of planning homeschool curriculum for the year is the routine, loop or schedule for each day/week. For our family, we work by routine and not so much a schedule.

Once I’ve determined how much time is required for the curriculum or what I want to see, I form the routine/loop.

How To Plan Your Homeschool Year Using Google Sheets + FREE Template

 

If you’d like to see a video of my homeschool planning process with the above steps in action, visit my Instagram Stories here.

Also, I’ve decided to make my Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner using Google Sheets template available to you FREE!

And not only that, as an added BONUS, I’ve included an undated weekly and monthly planner in the template for you to use helping you keep a record of what you do in your homeschool (also known as planning from behind).

Get Your FREE Google Sheets Year-At-A-Glance Homeschool Planner Below

I’d love to hear from you. Was this process of how to plan homeschooling curriculum using Google Sheets helpful? Did the template help you as well? Let me know!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

Choosing homeschool curriculum is exciting for some and yet stressful for others. Find out some of the ways I personally use in how to choose homeschool curriculum for my kids and our family!

A New Season

Each year with our kids brings a new season.

What worked last year may not work this year. Maybe your kids are now preparing for post-secondary education. Or you’re hitting a roadblock when it comes to your child’s desire to learn and it’s felt like a chore lately. Maybe one of the curriculum’s chosen just didn’t fit your child’s needs. Or perhaps, you’re tired and feeling burned out.

No matter what, choosing homeschool curriculum can feel like a daunting task. But if we see that we’re able to provide our children with amazing resources and an education that fuels who God has designed them to be, it truly a privilege to homeschool.

7 Helpful Tips on How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum + FREE Homeschool Plan Checklist

7 Helpful Tips For Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

Sometimes throughout the year, I’ve learned about a curriculum and know in my heart that it’s the one I need to buy when it’s time. At other times, I hear about curriculum that I’m finding out that others are doing and feel interested, yet unsure. This then requires me to go on a hunt to find out more information.

Below are 7 helpful tips for choosing homeschool curriculum:

TIP #1: Prayer

This is a must for me. I believe that as we turn our hearts toward what the Lord that He shows and reveals His heart for us and our children. I also love to pray intentional prayers over my children, our homeschooling endeavours and our homeschool plan. God has us on a journey individually and together as a family, so it’s important to yield our ideas and exchange them for the Lord’s.

TIP #2: Homeschool Blogs and Websites

There are so many amazing and encouraging homeschool moms that are helpful in their ideas with curriculum including curriculum reviews, working with their children, homeschool organization, homemaking and more.

Lots of homeschool blogs and websites also offer great resources either for free, at a steep discount or reasonably priced.

TIP #3: Online or Physical Homeschool Stores

Scroll through online homeschool shops or if you can take a visit to a physical store (sans kids), do it! Touch and feel the books and glance through them.

TIP #4: Conferences

Whether it’s an online conference or you’re able to physically attend a conference, there are so many great curriculums you can check out and look into with the vendor hall.

TIP #5: Homeschool Communities

Join Facebook homeschool groups or get together with other local homeschool moms where you can ask questions or get recommendations or experiences using the curriculum.

TIP #6: Hashtags

Homeschool moms and homeschool mom bloggers create hashtags on Instagram which turn out to be great resources when looking for curriculum ideas.

TIP #7: Video Reviews

If you have a curriculum you’re thinking about using, search youtube to see if there’s a review or an in-depth look at it. This is as close to going to a physical store as possible.

FREE PRINTABLE!

11 simple steps to plan your successful homeschool year

How to Plan Your Homeschool Year in 11 Steps + FREE Printable Checklist & Worksheets

What are some ways you go about researching and choosing homeschool curriculum? Share any tips you have below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Daily Bible Reading Plan For Kids + FREE Printable

Daily Bible Reading Plan For Kids + FREE Printable

As your kids phase out of using the kids Bible, what do you have them use next and where do they go from there? I had this question come up in me, which is why I came up with a Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids.

Be sure to grab your FREE Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids below!

What Big Kids Bible Do You Get?

My kids were ready to move on and get a big kids Bible, but which Bible do we get?

I had a few things in mind that this new Bible needed to include, which were:

  • easy reading English words
  • color and pictures to break up all the text
  • interesting pieces of info for interest and study

After some research, it seemed that the Adventure Bible was the way to go, so we chose the New International Reader’s Version being that our kids are beginning readers.

When we received the Bible, I wondered, “What now?!”

Am I to ask my kids to read this really big, overwhelming Bible?
How do I make sure they read it?
Really, what’s the intention here? What’s the purpose of them having a Bible now?

Get your FREE Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids printable to help your children cultivate their relationship with the Lord by learning to love His Word! #christian #Biblereadingforkids #Christiankids

With these questions in mind, we asked ourselves what we thought our kids should gain from having their own Bible and reading it. And more than that, how do they cultivate a personal relationship with the Lord?

Why Do We Give Our Kids A Bible?

As parents, we give our kids a Bible to:

  • gain a love for reading God’s Word
  • get to know their heavenly Father
  • create a discipline in spending time with God
  • hear from God and recognize His voice
  • experience God’s presence
  • claim and declare the promises of God
  • be inspired by the Holy Spirit and His gifts

We LOVE to study the Bible in our home making it fun for our kids, which is why I created these Bible studies for kids. But, we shouldn’t be using Bible studies as a way to replace the discipline of reading the Word personally.

What God wants to say to us individually and personally is a really BIG deal. There is no junior Holy Spirit. Our kids have the same Spirit residing in them, as in us, so the best thing we can do is to start training them to develop their relationship with the Lord.

Our Role In Discipling Our Children

We’re called to disciple our children and train them up in the ways of the Lord.

We have such a privilege and honor in modeling and teaching our children how to cultivate their relationship with the Holy Spirit. We’re modeling everything about this whether it’s intentional or not — from worship to prayer, reading the Word and interacting with the Holy Spirit — your children are learning what to do and perhaps, what not to do.

So here’s how we’ll be helping our children develop a love for the Word and cultivate their relationship with the Lord:

  • Reading both the Old and New Testament, while keeping their tender hearts away from some of the scripture that is appropriate for older ages.
  • Taking turns reading the Bible using the Daily Bible Reading Plan For Kids below. We’ll read either in the morning or before bed.
  • Praying together using the prayer cards from this Bible study.
  • Memorizing scripture

FREE Bible Reading Plan For Kids

Get your FREE Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids printable to help your children cultivate their relationship with the Lord by learning to love His Word! #christian #Biblereadingforkids #Christiankids

How are you helping your children develop a personal relationship with the Lord? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

How to Study the Bible + FREE Bible Study Journal Page

How to Study the Bible + FREE Bible Study Journal Page

If you’re looking to be more purposeful in your Bible reading time, consider keeping a Bible study journal.

Why Study the Bible?

There’s something that happens on the inside of us when we read the Word of God. 

We become forever changed as a result of what He’s spoken over our lives through His Word.

When someone suggests a Bible study, those words alone can seem so formal and stuffy. But, it doesn’t have to be.

Being a student of the Word is to take the Word of God and dig in; to be inquiry, to wonder, to contemplate, but most importantly, to have your heart open to allow Holy Spirit to speak to you concerning your life and those around you.

Why Keep a Bible Study Journal?

There have been times when I’m digging into the Word of God and a word or sentence strikes me. This can happen for a few reasons:

  • I don’t know the meaning of a word
  • I don’t understand the phrase that’s being said
  • the Lord wants me to dig deeper into Him, or
  • the Lord is revealing something to me

I have to admit, sometimes I write down what the Lord has shown me (either on my phone or another notebook), and other times I haven’t.

But, this has to change. I need to be more disciplined in this area, because God’s Word is light and life. Do you feel the same?

 

Items To Begin Your Bible Study

Here are just 5 simple items to gather to begin your Bible study time:

1. Choose your Bible

If you’re looking to find a Bible, I highly recommend NKJV and ESV, but also The Passion Translation and Amplified to help expand and capture the meaning of the scriptures.

I also like to have a concordance (which digs into the root meaning from the greek or hebrew language), and a dictionary which helps to open up words further.

2. Choose a Bible study journal

3. Writing tools

Grab your favorite writing tool and Bible highlighters

4. Grab a tea or coffee

Optional of course, but having a warm cup of tea or coffee is a wonderful compliment to Bible reading and study time!

5. Devote time

This is truly the most difficult part.

Our lives are busy with schedules that need attention, phones with notifications, laundry that needs folding and serving others in many ways.

So YOUR devotion to the Lord will take self discipline over motivation to spend time with Him.

How To Start Your Bible Study Time

Remove Distractions

Turn your phone to silent or sleep mode. Nothing is more distracting that a phone notification going off and the need to check it.

Start With Prayer

Start your Bible reading time in prayer.

Wouldn’t you say that we struggle more with believing God at His Word? 

We are affected and infected by this world’s way of doing things and that changes our perspective and view of God at times. Prayer connects our heart to Him again where we can declare and speak life over what He says, inquiring of the Lord and asking of Him so that we can hear from Him.

Bible Study Items

Grab your Bible study items and be ready for what the Lord will do!

 

Bible Study Journal Template

If you’re looking for a template to follow when it comes to studying the Bible, below are 4 simple R’s you can implement in your Bible study journal or by using the FREE printable below.

READING

Write down the Bible passages that you’re reading. 

REFLECTION

As your read the Word of God, a verse or scripture may jump out at you. You can choose to highlight that verse in your Bible, or write it down. Even if you don’t know what the verse means, or what to do with it, but it just stands out, it’s important to write the reference down.

Below are some questions you can have your heart ponder as your read the Bible:

  • Why do you think this passage stood out to you? Is the Lord revealing something to your heart?
  • Is there a word you need to dig into? Perhaps defining the word and discovering the root would help open up the scripture passage further.
  • Is there a command to obey?
  • Is there a promise to claim?
  • Is there a sin to avoid?
  • Is there a lesson to learn?
  • Is there a new truth to carry?

REVELATION

And then there’s the revelation that comes from reading the word of God.

Revelation is such a deep and intimate experience with the Lord as Holy Spirit reveals the Word to you personally. What is revealed to you about God’s Word is not the same for everyone, which is what makes it such a personal experience.

Holy Spirit wants to reveal Himself to you, along with:

  • the deep things of God with you
  • the Lord’s heart concerning His nature, character and good plans for you.
  • a share a word that’ll encourage you and lift you up.
  • a word that comes with the spiritual gift of knowledge, discernment, wisdom, healing, prophecy, etc.
  • dreams and visions with you
  • things to come with you

Write down what God has revealed to your heart. This is what brings life, wonder and awe, praise and worship, and thanksgiving to our great God!

RESPONSE

Write down what your response is to the Lord concerning His Word:

  • will you give Him thanksgiving?
  • will you give Him adoration?
  • will you give Him praise?
  • will you trust Him more?

Don’t let the moments pass by when the Lord is sharing something so sweet – the incorruptible word of God.

Get your FREE Bible Study Journaling Printable Page

Let me know in the comments below how do you like to keep track of the word of the Lord and His revealed Word to you? Do you have a journal? Do you write it in your Bible?

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

All About Reading Level 2 Review

All About Reading Level 2 Review

I did not receive this product in exchange for my review.

After seeing success in my daughter’s beginning stages of reading using Teach Your Child to Read 100 Easy Lessons, I wondered what curriculum to do next and hoped that I would see the same success rate. After some research and prayer, we went with All About Reading Level 2, and it ended up being a great fit!

The transition from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to All About Reading Level 2 was doable and not as harsh as I thought it would be.

I honestly had no clue how to help my children to read, so I needed all the help I could get. And the curriculum that would make it easiest for me AND help my daughter to read would be just right. Ultimately, the choice to transition to All About Reading was the best fit for my children, my style of teaching and to see reading success!

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

What We/I LIKED About All About Reading Level 2

  • Brief Review – Reviewing is important to me so that my daughter doesn’t forget what she’s learned, so we could appreciate the brief review time before learning the new concept.
  • Scripted Format – I appreciate a scripted format! I don’t have a hot clue how to teach reading to my children.
  • Multisensory approach:
    • Magnet Tiles – The magnet tiles are so amazing. I love that it changes things up so we’re not stuck at a desk.
    • Activities – These take no time at all to prep and they are such a great way to reinforce what was learned. Although some of the activities seemed a bit quirky to my daughter, she still thought they were nice to have and we’d always finish them because of the benefit of reinforcement.
  • Phoenic Rules – Seriously, who knew that there were so many phonics rules when it came to reading. My daughter had all the questions when it came to the a making a short sound or long sound and I had NO idea how to answer that. (I can’t remember if I learned it in public school). This curriculum answers ALL those questions and more! I was so glad I had a resource to help explain the rules. Who knew syllables made all the difference?!
  • Progress Chart, Stickers & Certificate of Achievement – My daughter LOVED the sense of accomplishment with each lesson when she got to put on the sticker. And then to cap it all off with the certificate was a proud moment for both of us! Seriously mom, try not to cry remembering all that you went through together with your child to help them to read!
  • Readers – My daughter (and I) really enjoyed the quality of the stories in the books. She laughed, couldn’t wait to find out what happened and enjoyed the pictures (even though they were black & white).
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

What We/I DIDN’T REALLY LIKE About All About Reading Level 2

  • Price – I wasn’t prepared for the price of the curriculum. But in seeing what it all offered in the journey of learning to read, the investment made it more worth it.

What We/I CHANGED About All About Reading Level 2

  • Warm-Up & Practice Sheets – Since my daughter is working at enjoying reading, her body language would change when I’d give her these sheets. All About Reading has ideas to help through these sheets (see Appendix I in the Teacher’s Manual). I also wasn’t interested in cutting up the practice sheets and feeding the monster. So here’s what I did instead… I did not make my daughter read every warm-up or practice sheet, nor did she need to read all of it. The reason for this is because she would feel defeated really quickly. What I did instead was chose a warm-up sheet, give her a ruler so that she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by all the reading that she needed to do and instead showed her where she needed to go until or suggested that we would go line-by-line and see how far she could get. I only had my daughter read a warm-up sheet once every 5 lessons or so. Repetition is key for reading, so how did I help grow my daughter’s ability and fluency to read? I used All About Reading Level 2 word flashcards and created a challenge. (Find out below what I did)
  • Reading the Books – Again, because reading is a challenge for my daughter, I chose to use the books as read-alouds pointing to some of the words that she could read or learned in the lesson.

So What’s All About Reading All About?

All About Reading is a scripted, open-and-go program for parents who want to teach reading in the most effective way possible.

It’s a multisensory approach learning reading through sight, sound and touch.

There are no gaps in this program. Each new concept builds upon the previous one so no steps are skipped and everything is taught.

There are five key components to reading and this program teaches all of them thoroughly:

  • Phonological Awareness
  • Phonics and Decoding
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

The All About Reading program has a focused mission, which is to enable you to teach your child to read while guaranteeing retention and enjoyment. This is also why their lifetime support is amazing!

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

What Your Child Will Learn in All About Reading Level 2

  • Three-letter blends
  • The jobs of Silent E
  • New phonograms
  • Methods for decoding multi-syllable words

Every component of reading is taught in Level 2, including:

  • Using phonics (decoding), they will learn phonograms WH, EE, ER, AR, OR, ED, OY, OI, AW, AU, OW, and OU
  • Reading words containing the new phonograms, such as whale, sheep, herd, farm, horn, toy, boil, saw, haul, flower, and found
  • Reading words with long I or O before two consonants, as in find and gold
  • Reading words with soft C, as in race
  • Reading words with soft G, as in gem
  • Learning the first four jobs of Silent E
  • Decoding (Structural Analysis)
  • Identifying base words
  • Reading contractions, such as they’ll
  • Learning syllable division rules for reading multisyllable words
  • Reading words with past tense ending ed, including all three sounds, as in wanted, snowed, and chipped
  • Vocabulary
  • Discussing new words in the context of the story and one’s own life
  • Understanding homophones
  • Understanding synonyms and antonyms
  • Fluencying
  • Reading with accuracy
  • Reading with meaningful expression
  • Reading with natural phrasing
  • Comprehension
  • Connecting text to one’s own experiences
  • Making predictions
  • Comparing and contrasting main characters
  • Skiming for specific information
  • Making inferences from the text
  • Discussing character motivation, main conflict
  • Identifying the main character

What I Did BEFORE We Purchased All About Reading Level 2

Because we started with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, I searched out what curriculum was recommended as the easiest transition to move to and everywhere I researched recommended All About Reading Level 2.

So BEFORE I purchased All About Reading Level 2, I took this placement test (scroll down a little further in that blog post to find it).

One thing you don’t want to do is purchase the wrong level being that this program is not grade-based.

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

HOW TO Transition From Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons To All About Reading Level 2

I found that if you’ve had success with Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons, that you can safely and fairly easily transition into All About Reading Level 2.

I will caution you though… there are new concepts in All About Reading Level 2 that Teach Your Child To Reading in 100 Easy Lessons doesn’t touch on. 

For example, the first lesson in Level 2 had review about closed and open syllables. I thought to myself, “oh no!” we don’t know this. 

BUT here’s the thing, START in Lesson 1 at the New Teaching section and then go back to the Review section of Lesson 1 and you’ll all be fine!

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

All About Reading Level 2 Materials I Purchased

If it’s your FIRST time considering the purchase of All About Reading and you’re starting at Level 2, this is what I purchased:

  • All About Reading Level 2 Materials – this includes the Teacher’s Manual, one Student Packet (which contains the activity book, flashcards, and stickers), and two readers.
  • Reading Interactive Kit – This is a one-time purchase, and this same kit is used in all four levels of All About Reading. It comes in two versions:
    • Basic – One-time purchase, used in all four levels. Includes Letter Tiles, Magnets, Phonogram Sounds App, and Divider Cards. (I purchased this Basic Reading Interactive Kit)
    • Deluxe – Includes everything in the Basic Kit, plus Reading Review Box and Reading Tote Bag.
  • Letter Tiles App or Magnetic White Board – I purchased a whiteboard like this one. It was important to me that my children could touch and feel the letters and see them move on a physical board. The letter tiles app comes with the purchase of your curriculum, so for fun or a change-up, I would have my daughter use the app.

What To Do When You FIRST Get Your All About Reading Materials

If you’ve never purchased All About Reading before, preparation and organization is the FIRST thing to do. The prep work is simple, but takes time, so in the long run you’re creating ease for yourself if you do it now!

STEP 1: Listen to a favorite podcast or watch a movie you enjoy to help pass the time of prep!

STEP 2: Grab your All About Reading Level 2 Materials and begin the prep.

  • In the Student Packet is the:
    • Activity Book – Tear out all the pages. Then begin cutting out where applicable. (I asked for my daughter’s help so that she could be involved in the process). You could use one page protector for each lesson if you find that a better way to organize, however, I felt that storing 5 lessons in one page protector was also doable (and resourceful)
    • Flashcards – Tear apart the phonogram and word cards and put them in an index box. This takes time, but is a simple to do. If you purchase the Reading Interactive Kit, you can add the Divider Cards here, too.
    • Syllable Tags – Use the magnets in the Reading Interactive Kit placing them on the back of each tag.
    • Stickers – To show lesson completion on the progress chart.
    • Two Readers – What Am I? and Queen Bee.
  • Basic Reading Interactive Kit:
    • Letter Tiles and Magnets – Tear apart the letter tiles and add one magnet to the center of each tile. Any extra pieces I put in a resealable bag storing in a plastic page protector.
  • Other Materials That Are Recommended or Needed

We didn’t put the magnetic white board up on the wall (because we didn’t have space). Instead I had it on the floor leaned up against a suitable area and when it was time to use it, I was sitting together with my daughter on the floor (carpet thankfully), helping her to learn the material.

STEP 3: Read the Teacher’s Manual, including Part 1 – Preparing for Level 2 and Part 3 – Appendices to gain confidence in teaching the material and how to use it.

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

What I WISHED I Did

Proper Magnet Tiles Set-up – at first, I wondered if it was really necessary to set-up the magnet tiles as suggested. I didn’t have the letters in order on the magnetic white board. (I’m usually trying to take short-cuts where I can). But, I quickly found out that it was easier to set-up the magnet tiles properly and use them. So I changed it to what was recommended and I’m so glad I did.
Student Activity Book Storage System – with keeping student activity book pages, I kept them all in one page protector – imagine, it all fit! This wasn’t as organized as it could be and I have one more child that needs to use this curriculum, so organizing it into a more useable format was necessary. I used this binder and these page protectors.
Read all the appendix pages – somehow I missed this portion in my initial preparation. I read the preparation pages at the beginning of the book, but in missing the appendices, I missed out on the practical suggestions and applications!

My Child’s Learning Style

I think it’s helpful in the curriculum you decide to purchase whether it’s a good fit based on your child’s personality and learning style. So here’s a little bit about my daughter: 

  • She likes rules and boundaries and will follow them (why can’t all things be black and white!)
  • Struggles with perfectionism and over-achievement. If she doesn’t get a concept immediately, she’s hard on herself.
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

If You’re Child Is Struggling In Learning How To Read

When working with a child who doesn’t enjoy reading and finds it challenging, repetition and celebrating wins is key.

I involved A LOT of repetition to support the working memory. (All About Reading’s blog post on working memory was a light-bulb moment for me. They also have other AMAZING articles to help you in journey to support your child’s reading journey).

So I created a game (or challenge) for my daughter to find out her ability and fluency in reading. This also helped break things up.

The Reading Repetition Game & Challenge

I took 20 of the All About Reading Level 2 word cards (starting with the easiest) and put this stack in front of my daughter. I let her know that we were going to practice reading this words regularly and that I would time her to see how long it took her.

It’s important to let your child know know that the goal of timing is for them (and you) to see that their ability to read is going faster with time, practice and repetition.

My daughter agreed to this and thought it would be fun as well!

As my daughter started reading the word cards, I would start my timer and record the time it took her to read the 20 word cards. I gave her these same cards to read 2-3 times a week for a month. When a month was up we would review how much faster she got at reading those words and celebrate!

This was encouraging for both my daughter and I. We saw that, yes, she is indeed getting more comfortable and fluent at reading!

We then moved onto another 20 words and did the same thing.

A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading
A detailed and in-depth review of All About Reading Level 2 - including what we liked and didn't like, what we changed and how success in reading was achieved! #allaboutreading #learningtoread #homeschoolreading

How Long Did It Take To Complete All About Reading Level 2?

It took us one year to complete All About Reading Level 2 as we also alternated between All About Spelling Level 1 and added All About Spelling Level 2 when Level 1 was finished. I found that spelling was also helpful in the reading portion.

Have you used the All About Reading program before or are you jumping into Level 2 like we did?

If you found this detailed review helpful, please leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

PS: I’ve been really enjoying Mom Life Happy Life for all kinds of tips and tricks. Check it out here!