2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

Here we are, entering the new year and I’m excited to share with you our 2019-2020 grade 1 homeschool curriculum picks!

Being that my daughter is in grade 3, preparing for grade 1 and the curriculum choices seem easier, but my son definitely has a different learning style than my daughter. So I’m wondering if the same homeschool choices that we went with for my daughter in grade 1 will be okay for my son. The only way to find out, is to do it!

Combining Learning

One thing I like to do is combine learning where I can. My children are just 2 grades apart which makes learning the same thing altogether (for certain subjects) adaptable and doable.

With my children being in the elementary grades, my involvement is heavier and more hands-on. This is totally fine, but I need to plan accordingly and combine learning to avoid my potential burnout with too much curriculum.

Fueling Curiosity

I haven’t included everything that we’ll be doing in our grade 1 homeschool curriculum picks as I tend to add more materials along the way as needed.

This summer I read the book, The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart, and it really enlightened my perspective in homeschooling and children when it comes to exploring a topic as curiosity stricks a child and digging deep until the flame is no longer there. I will be more intentional in this area as I feel this is truly what education is all about. It’s not about fitting into a box, creating a template of people and leaving them to enter workforce and community.

Homeschool is about fostering a love for learning while helping our children find their God-given gifts to share with the world and impact others with the love of Jesus by their character and actions.

That said, I will choose to fan the flame of curiosity this next year!

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

My little guy will be learning alot as he will be taking in what my grade daughter is as well!

 

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 1 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Art

Music

  • Piano Lessons
  • Drum video tutorials on Youtube

Bible

Health

  • Fitness – BMX, swimming, some physical education challenges at home and other activities as they come up in the year.
  • Food – Talk about healthy food choices in our everyday life during shopping, meal preparation and snacks.
  • Bodies/Mind – Recognize how much time to spend on devices, moving is good for the body including stretching and strengthening it.
  • Relationships/Friendships – Talk about these areas as they come up.
  • Safety – Talk about naturally as they come up.

Planning your homeschool curriculum is easier than you think! I use a Google Sheets year-at-a-glance planning calendar, and I’m happy to share it with you for FREE! Be sure to grab it below.

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

Have you used any of these curriculums above? If so, which one?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

I’m so excited to share with you our 2019-2020 grade 3 homeschool curriculum picks!

I LOVE the process of choosing curriculum – which for me is finding out and keeping tabs throughout the past year on all that’s out there and the possibilities. If our choices of curriculum can help you in any way with your choices, than I’m so happy I’ve shared it with you!

Combining Learning

First of all, where I can, I’m combine learning. My children aren’t that far apart in age, so to have materials that are designed for a grade 3 child can easily be adapted for a grade 1 child.

One thing I don’t want to do is become anxious and stressed out about having materials for every child in every grade and the pressure I put on myself to get it all done. This means only one thing for me and it’s burnout.

My children are at the age where I’m heavily involved and hands-on, which is totally fine, but recognizing it and acknowledging it is part of knowing that you can’t do it all.

Fueling Curiosity

What is excluded in my grade 3 homeschool curriculum picks for the year are all the other materials I naturally add along the way.

I struggle with feeling like I’m out of control and not having my children finish a particular curriculum or that we’re not going to get it done on time. But after reading Julie Bogart’s book, The Brave Learner this summer, it’s given me the confidence to fuel my children’s learning by the curiousity they display about a certain topic. This year, I WILL choose to fan the flame of curiosity.

Let’s also be real here – I want to keep to the curriculum and not loose ground so that we’ll finish by May AND I’ve checked all the boxes. That said, WHY we homeschool, the beauty and benefit of this lifestyle isn’t about keeping to a box or a formula and being held within its parameters; it’s about a fluidness to learning when hunger is deep. It’s about permission to explore a topic by means of library books, videos, documentaries, field trips, etc. until the topic is exhausted and the flame has sizzled (as far as my kids are concerned).

Fueling my children’s curiosity is definitely what I’m doing different this year.

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

So, here we go – the feast of rich learning we are diving into for this upcoming year…

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks
2019-2020 Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

Art

Music

  • Piano Lessons

Bible

Health

  • Fitness – Dance, swimming, some physical education challenges at home and other activities as they come up in the year.
  • Food – Talk about healthy food choices in our everyday life during shopping, meal preparation and snacks.
  • Bodies/Mind – Recognize how much time to spend on devices, moving is good for the body including stretching and strengthening it.
  • Relationships/Friendships – Talk about these areas as they come up.
  • Safety – Talk about naturally as they come up.

Planning your homeschool curriculum is easier than you think! I use a Google Sheets year-at-a-glance planning calendar, and I’m happy to share it with you for FREE! Be sure to grab it below.

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

Have you used any of these curriculums above? If so, which one?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

REVIEW: Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children

REVIEW: Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

I’ve actually wanted to get my hands on Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children for a while now. First, because it’s for Grades 1-6. I have children within those grades this year. And the second reason is that it covers a wide range of art elements teaching it progressively.

Although we’ve done other art programs with my daughter who is now in grade 3, my son who’s in grade 1 is at the beginning stages of learning about art. And this year, I’m catering art to my son while the older one will review what she’s learned and I’m sure she’ll learn more along the way!

How to Teach Art to Children is an easy open-and-go curriculum with 96 projects, step-by-step instructions, art appreciation and ease for you and fun for the kids! #evan-moor #evanmoor #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolart

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children Enhanced E-book free with my honest review.

What This Curriculum Contains:

  • FREE downloadable e-book about art and artists
  • Material list (most, if not all these things are in our homes already!)
  • Words to know (vocabulary is important!)
  • 2 parts: Learning About The Elements Of Art and Using The Elements Of Art.
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • 96 projects
  • 159 pages

What I did notice about the curriculum is that there’s no schedule or lesson plan to follow. This wasn’t a deterent for me as I like to go with the flow as far as art is concerned. With 96 projects, you can do an art lesson once a week for 2-3 years while never repeating yourself.

This curriculum is the perfect open-and-go format where a lesson is short and simple, (one page typically) and to the point.

Part One: Learning About The Elements Of Art

This portion helps your children learn all about the seven basic elements of art:

  • line
  • shape
  • color
  • value
  • texture
  • form
  • space

Part Two: Using The Elements Of Art

This portions focuses on 23 famous artists, cultures, and types of art. It’s accompanied by an activity for kids to experience the style of each artist.

What Is Included In Each Lesson?

I love a good illustration to help me understand what the project is about, and this e-book is not short on diagrams! 

Each lesson contains:

  • an overview of what your children will be learning
  • materials list
  • step-by-step instructions for completing the project

This curriculum really couldn’t be any more simple!

How We’ll Be Using How To Teach Art To Children

In terms of our homeschool schedule, art is part of our afternoon loop. We incorporate it as part of our Brave Writer lifestyle and it’s been placed on Day 5 – our most relaxed day!

Now I’m not opposed to doing art more. It certainly is a subject we enjoy easily, so if we need to change things up in our atmosphere, whether it’s been a big emotion kind of day or an intensive type of learning day, art is a great place to bring us all together (and some snacks help too).

Printing This Curriculum

I love the idea of receiving digital e-books, especially in cases where I don’t want to print them. Instead, I keep them stored on my tablet or laptop for ease.

Now in this case, I printed it for you so that you could have a glimpse at the curriculum. That said, I would not recommend printing this e-book to save on ink and paper. The color is great for visual appeal and general helpfulness to show projects, but not necessary for printing as a whole.

Who Is This Curriculum For?

Not all curriculums are for every child or family. Perhaps if you’re looking for who this curriculum is for, I’ll put it this way. It’s a curriculum designed for:

  • homeschool families who have multiple children in multiple grades
  • open-and-go style of format
  • an inexpensive purchase (including the e-book itself and materials needed)
  • art fundamentals building on each concept.

To get your copy or have a look at Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children curriculum, visit their site here.

Have you used the Evan-Moor How To Teach Art To Children before? If so, how did you like it? Did this review help you? Let me know!

Anchored in Christ
Melanie

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

REVIEW: Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

I’m so excited to be using Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 this upcoming year with both my grade 3 daughter and grade 1 son. We had such a wonderful experience last year when I purchased the Daily Science grade 2!

Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 is open-and-go with short lessons, packed full of information, including vocabulary, copywriting, hands-on activities and more! #evan-moor #evanmoor #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolscience

I had the privilege of receiving a copy of Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 Enhanced E-book free with my honest review.

About Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3

Here’s what you need to know about the curriculum:

6 Big Ideas (or Units)

There are 6 topics being covered over 5 weeks. The topics included in each unit are living things, plants, fossils, air, light and electricity.

The first 4 weeks explore each topic, while the fifth week is a unit review that includes comprehension, visual literacy, hands-on activity and vocabulary.

Unit Introduction

  • Teacher Background – gives you information on a topic before you cover it with your children. This can help bring confidence to what you’ll be studying.
  • Unit Overview – before beginning the big idea (unit), this overview helps you see what will be covered each week along with the vocabulary.

Weekly Lessons

At the beginning of each weekly lesson is a more in-depth look for you at what will be covered each day, including vocabulary, materials, and the presentation of ideas and concepts.

  • Days 1-4 – daily Lessons ask a question and provide an in-depth look at the answer. As part of the daily lessons over a 4-day period, the lessons include written work, comprehension, vocabulary, critical thinking, visual literacy and oral language practice.
  • Day 5 – reviews the week’s lessons.

Answer Key

If you’re feeling stumped on the answers, there is a handy answer key at the back of the book.

Printable E-Book

I choose to get printable e-books whenever it’s most suitable. With an online printing subscription that I have, a laminator and comb binding machine, we can make printing and binding a breeze!

What We Really Like About Evan-Moor Daily Science

  • Short lessons. Each lesson is full of information, and it’s not wordy. Kids don’t have to sit still for a long duration and feel overwhelmed by what they just learned.
  • Vocabulary. This is perfect for copywork and memorization.
  • Hands-on activities. My children like to experience what they learn wherever possible, so these activities help enrich and enlighten what they’ve digested over the 4 weeks.
  • Printable e-book. I get to choose if we print it out or not.

How We’ll Use Evan-Moor Daily Science

My children and I love information and it’s important to me that we practically apply, explore or dig in further discovering each unit.

I really like that the lessons are short. It allows us the ability to expand, dig in and explore more as we feel we’d like to. This includes drawing, talking, writing, watching and experiencing what we learned first-hand. So, I’ll have my kids each create a science notebook/nature journal where they can draw, color and write.

Additionally, we’ll pull out more books and videos from the library that go alongside each unit. I want my children to be given every opportunity to investigate their learning. So if we need to take longer on a particular unit, we will!

I’ll also have my kids work on vocabulary in oral and written format for the purpose of copywork and spelling. I’ll also have them narrate to me what they just learned.

To get your copy or have a look at Evan-Moor Daily Science Grade 3 curriculum, visit their site here.

Have you used Evan-Moor Daily Science curriculum before? I’d love to hear about your experience. Was this review helpful?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

7 Helpful Tips On How To Choose Homeschool Curriculum

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

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

All About Reading Level 2 Review

All About Reading Level 2 Review

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

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!