Pre-Reading Snapshots {All About Reading}

As I mentioned in my review of Level 1, Eliana has finished All About Reading Level Pre-1.  Since we are done, here is an update and more pics of our learning time with Level Pre-1 so you can see what it has looked like in our home school.

Some of the pics below are from when I did my week long day-in-the-life series, but I am including them here so you can see her progress all in one place. 

A hug from Ziggy. :) 

Writing her name with Ziggy. We were working on forming lower case letters correctly. 

The Milly Molly Mandy Story Book was by far her favorite chapter book during Level Pre-1.  I read this
 in addition to our Five in a Row books. Here she had fallen asleep waiting for me to come read to her. :'-)

Capital E with fingerprint peanuts ~ so cute! 

Cutting a's out of a magazine to encourage type-font recognition. 

A nuzzle from Ziggy. :) 

The teacher's manual and lesson ready to go. 

Find a sounds. 

Animal Cracker Merry-Go-Round for our Tasty Alphabet Time. 

Brother joining us for animal crackers and cocoa to drink. :) 

We sang the alphabet song each day and she found the letter of the day on the poster. 

Then we colored a letter activity sheet. 

And did some hands on activities to reinforce the letter. We fell into a routine of doing sand paper letters,
salt tray writing, and using the quilted letters. Later, I added crayon rubbings. 

Salt Tracing.

Reading the Zig Zag Zebra. 

When we started lowercase, I combined the lessons for lowercase letters with the lessons for the sounds. It proved to work wonderfully for Eliana ~ she was ready for both and we did both lessons in one sitting. 

I had to pull her away from her playtime to do reading (while baby Bo napped),
 so I had her bring toys that had the /k/ sound. 

Feeding the cow "grass." 

Finger tracing the letter c. 

Finding objects that start with the /k/ sound. 

Asking for the salt box again. :) 

Frozen g-g-grapes for our "Tasty Alphabet Time."

Brother wanted to sit in for our lesson this day. 

So, I let him be Ziggy and play too. :) 

Ziggy says, "Hello." 

Finding g's to cut out. 

Packing for a trip and we can only take things that start with the sound of /l/. 

Blasting off to reading when Malachi started Level 1. 

Letter k. That may be my coffee or her "coffee" - a little decaf with milk. :) 

Crayon rubbings are an easy activity to do along with the sandpaper letters. 

Ha ha, looks like it was her coffee (that or she is having some of mine). :) 

We did it! 

As you can see, we were pretty routine with our reinforcement activities, but we fell into such a nice pattern that our lessons were easy and SIMPLE! With baby Bo in our lives this year, I needed that. I originally wanted to do extra fun letter crafts and activities, but this is all we needed and it felt very fulfilling - especially with all my creative efforts going into our Five in a Row

I have some news. . . 

I mentioned in my review that I was going to wait until Malachi finished Level 1 before we start, but I changed my mind! We started today! 

I decided to start her when I pulled out the phonogram cards for review and gasp! she could only remember half of them! 

I had her tell me the ones she knew, and make a pile of the ones she didn't know. Then I reviewed all the sounds with her. It was then and there that I decided that I did not want to lose all the precious learning we accomplished! 

So, I started her on All About Reading Level 1. This first lesson covers 4 letters/sounds ~ m, s, p, and a, introduces the terms consonants and vowels, and has her reading her first word! I taught her how to blend and she read Sam, map, Pam, am, and sap and completed the whole lesson, including the activity page. 

So, then I took her to Step 2 in All About Spelling Level 1. Now, this was familiar territory and she listened for the first sounds in words and then the last sounds in words and repeated them to me. We worked up to the part on segmenting. Segmenting is the opposite of blending - it is taking the word and breaking it into sounds and this is how they learn to start spelling. Tomorrow, she will segment words with 2 and 3 sounds and finish step 2. Then we will review Lesson 1 in AAR and move on to Lesson 2. 

With Malachi, I used the plan to correlate AAR and AAS that I listed in my review, but we started with AAS first and he had all the phonogram sounds for the first 26 phonograms down pat and AAR lessons 1-4 were a review. I will do just the opposite with Eliana - I will do the first lessons in AAR as a review, and proceed with AAS while we review the phonogram sounds daily.  So, if you have a young learner like Eliana, go ahead and start with AAR Lesson 1, teach/review the short sounds in Step 1 AAS, then jump to lesson 2 in AAS. 

Eliana's only struggle so far is reading the word backwards. I've modeled left to right reading with her lots of times so I reminded her that we start at the left in English. Level 1 has tips to help a child remember this as Malachi had the same problem at first, too. 

While Malachi didn't need the daily review of the phonogram cards, Eliana will - so we will be taking Level 1 at a much slower pace. But, I am excited to have started. :) 

UPDATE: It was too confusing to try to be in two different spots with the cards, so we are waiting until Malachi finishes and will probably start in the fall. 


  1. Did you make the Sandpaper Letters or did you buy them? Thanks so much for your review of the program. We are getting ready to start AAR-Pre and we are very excited. You have some great ideas :)

    1. I made them. Next time, I'd use a finer grit sandpaper for sure. I printed the letters from my computer and cut them out of sandpaper (reverse the letter and cut from the back) and then glued them on to colored cardstock. :)

      And thank you! Have fun with AAR-Pre!

  2. Do you mean you printed the letters reversed and then cut them out?

    1. I printed the letters normal. I reversed them because I cut from the back of the sandpaper on the wrong side (because it was easier to cut because of the grit). If you use a fine grit, I'd think you could cut from the front - just place the letter on top of the sandpaper and cut it out.

  3. What font did you use? I really like that font.

    1. For the sandpaper letters? That is Getty & Dubay Italic.