I am in planning mode for the upcoming school year as I am sure many of you are also. Planning and prepping to be more accurate.
My plan for reading instruction is to continue using All About Reading for both my children this year.
We have been using All About Reading for several years now. I'm a big fan of their curriculum! We tried several other reading instruction programs before making the leap to All About Reading. Since making the switch years ago, I have not regretted it. Even though my oldest child had to endure jumping around until we found a program that worked for us, my youngest has benefited from those trials and errors. When it was time to begin teaching her to read, I started her out with All About Reading.
*This is a post from guest contributor, Amy. I love the perspective Amy brings with younger children. I know you will benefit from her wisdom. This post contains affiliate links.
My Plan for the Year
My oldest child is a avid reader. We have been using All About Reading (AAR) through Level 3 with him. This year we will work through Level 4, the last level of All About Reading. Even though he is an excellent reader, I will use AAR Level 4 to make sure we cover the final phonograms, give him plenty of practice to read aloud, and strengthen his comprehension.
My youngest has just completed AAR Level 1. She is soaking up everything she can read! I'm fascinated while watching her read signs, menus, just everyday items she sees that not too long ago she could not read. She will be starting on AAR Level 2 this fall.
In addition to using AAR Level 2, we will also use the supplemental Reading Games with Ziggy with my daughter. These are games that are designed to go with AAR Level 1. Since we have already completed Level 1, these will primarily be for increasing her confidence in reading and give her extra practice.
We have a Ziggy the Zebra puppet from when we did AAR Pre-Reading Level. Both of my kiddos got involved every time I pulled Ziggy out. So I expect at times I'll be able to turn over the games to my son and let him lead my daughter in these games. Ziggy is just fun! We will use him with the Reading Games with Ziggy.
One of the greatest joys of our homeschooling journey has been watching our children develop into readers.
Prep Work for This Year
I have found that the better organized I am, the better my homeschool days flow. So part of prepping for this school year is getting my All About Reading materials organized.
The first thing I need to do is put away all of our materials from last year. I've had my son put the reading and phonogram cards from last year, that we won't need this year, into numerical order so they will be ready to go when I use them for his sister in a couple of years.
For my emerging reader...
Since I have used All About Reading Level 2 with my oldest child already, there won't be much prep work to get it ready. I'll have the kiddos help me make sure all the phonogram and word cards are in numerical order. That's about all I'll need to do since I put all the lesson activities in a 3 ring binder when I did this level with my son. I share more about that in Tips and Tricks for using All About Reading.
There is some prep work for Reading Games with Ziggy that I need to do. The games have to be cut apart and put into file folders. Once I get them set up, it will be easy to pull them out to use. The Teacher's Manual for AAR Level 1 tells you when your child is ready for each supplemental game if you have them. Again, these are extra for Level 1, because there are still plenty of fun activities built right into Level 1.
For my fluent reader...
AAR Level 4 is new to us, so I will need to prep all the materials for the year. I will start by tearing apart all the word and phonogram cards and putting them into the reading review box. This will be a great project for my son to help me with!
I will also go through the Activity Book and prep each lesson's activities. I put all the sheets for a lesson into a page protector and put them in a three ring binder. Some of the games require cutting, so I just go ahead and take care of that ahead of time.
While this up-front prep work does take a while, it truly makes AAR a grab and go curriculum with no daily prep work required.
I've tried just pulling out a lesson each day and doing the prep work on the fly. This does not work in my house! It gives the kids too much time to get distracted and run off doing something else before I can get ready for our lessons. Yikes!
So I have learned that doing this prep work ahead of time is extremely beneficial in our house. I do this each time we purchase a new level of AAR.
If you are using AAR Pre-Reading Level or Reading Games with Ziggy, you can order a Ziggy the Zebra puppet directly from All About Learning Press when you place your order. You can also find similar ones on Amazon if you already have your materials in hand and then realize you wish you had Ziggy - yep, speaking from experience here!
Are you planning to use All About Reading this year? I'd love to hear from you!