A Day in the Life (and Review!) of All About Reading Level 2

All About Reading Level 2 continues to be all that I have come to love and appreciate about All About Reading.  We are a good way through the program and I am ready to share my review with you, by sharing a day-in-the-life using Level 2, with Malachi, my 7 year old. 

All About Reading (AAR) is an open and go program, so I pull out everything I need for our lesson, while Malachi is doing his math on the computer (Mathletics). 

Doing his math while I pull out our lesson for the day. 

I am combining AAR with All About Spelling Level 2, and to do this I look to see what the new teaching is in the reading manual and then align it with the same teaching in the spelling manual.  We are on lesson 23 in AAR - "EE and the Vowel Team Syllable Type," and on Step 13 in AAS - "Vowel Team EE." The teachings are very similar.  (Both programs are compatible, but occasionally, AAS will cover a concept not yet taught in AAR. Because Malachi is an older student he does well with this, but with Eliana I am only covering the concepts taught in AAR Level 1 when I correlate her reading with AAS 1, so keep that in mind if you use both programs together.)

(Malachi doesn't need to review the phonograms ~ he has those down pat. We also skip the word card review as he doesn't need it and gets plenty of review with the fluency sheets.)

Today, we are learning a new phonogram

"Teach New Phonogram EE."

"E-e says /e/ double e. Repeat after me: /e/, double e." Student repeats. 

In the teacher's notes, I learn that learning this phonogram as "/e/ double e" is for spelling purposes later (which we are using now, so I really love that the reading prepares your student for the spelling!).

I set out the new letter tile and we blend sounds with letter tiles, following the script as needed. 

Blend Sounds with Letter Tiles

After we practice blending, we play "Change the Word." 

After this, I jump over to the All About Spelling manual and review what we just learned with Step 13 - Vowel Team EE. 

All About Spelling manual

The review is not always necessary, but good reinforcement. (I used to teach the reading lesson and THEN the spelling lesson, but I felt like I was mostly repeating the lesson from AAR).  

From Step 13, AAS.

Back to the Level 2 reading manual to teach the vowel team consonant tag. . .  

Level 2 uses a "team of horses" to represent vowel teams, which are two or more vowels working together
 to make one sound. Malachi is pointing to the ee team on the wagon. 

The manual shows you EXACTLY what to do! It is super easy to follow, with lots of illustrations!

Here he is dividing the word into syllables. First syllable is closed (short vowel) and second syllable
is Vowel Team. 

The same lesson is covered in AAS 2, so we use it for more practice and Malachi builds the word sixteen and labels the syllables. 

(I usually have the board on the wall in the dining room, but the lack of winter sun makes the lighting poor 
in there, so I moved the board to the living room couch for today. And in truth, I've been doing a lot 
of "couch schooling" this past month without the board whenever I can). 

Having both books open at the same time makes teaching both programs easy

We continue on with the reading lesson and read the "sheep" words from the Leap Into Reading activity book. . .  (To save time, I did not have him cut them out). 

Then, he does the practice reading cards. 

And we learn a sight word - a "Rule Breaker" in All About Spelling's Western theme. . . 

And a "Leap Word" in All About Reading's "Leap Into Reading" theme. But, they are the same concept. 

We first learned them as "rule breakers" in AAS, so he likes to call them that still, and because we "throw those words in jail." 

Our final reading lesson is to read the fluency practice sheets. 

Malachi dreaded these in Level 1 because they were hard for him, but he doesn't mind them at all now! It really shows me how much he has grown in his reading!

This finishes our reading lesson for the day.  

We finish our All About Spelling lesson by spelling the words on the list for Step 13. We spell on the board, on paper, OR on a moveable alphabet app on my iPhone called Word Wizard. (When we use Word Wizard, I turn the voice or volume off ~ it is often not phonetically correct and is a distraction. And, we sometimes use it instead of the board for reading!)

Malachi is doing copywork for writing today from Language Lessons for the Very Young.   He is writing and memorizing Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

After we do writing, we snuggle up for our reading time on the couch. Today, we are reading Sonlight Bible (Core A) and two Five in a Row selections. 

The All About Reading manual suggests that you spend 20 minutes reading to your child. We spend quite a bit more because we are using a literature based curriculum, but it is always a nice reminder to see it in the manual!

Later, we made "snowballs" for an activity. I'll share more soon what we have been up to! 

In the next lesson, we will read a story from the level 2 reader "What Am I?" and one of the things I appreciate about Level 2 is that each story now comes with a practice sheet so that students can "warm up" and practice words and phrases that are found in the story. This helps build confidence and fluency and I think this is a brilliant addition to All About Reading! 

The teacher's manual also provides excellent pre-reading discussions and activities for each story. Reading is an active process and Level 2 helps me model and encourage this process by introducing new vocabulary words that will be used in the story and asking questions that will "activate my student's prior knowledge." With the help of the manual, I have the opportunity to model comprehension strategies and help my child make predictions about what might happen next. The manual also offers post-reading discussions and activities that include discussing the main character or conflict, story sequencing, how the story relates to my child's life and more. It takes reading beyond the process of decoding and makes it come alive! 

Of course, the process of teaching phonics and decoding in this level continues to be outstanding and follows the same pattern of instruction as level one, with step-by-step lesson plans that are gently scripted, giving me the confidence that I need to teach effectively.

Since beginning All About Reading, it has really made a difference for me and my child. I am teaching with confidence and my child is learning to read with confidence. I am so thankful for this program! 

P.S. You can start in Level 2! Check out Level 2 materials, PDF samples, and even download a placement test to see if Level 2 is right for your child. 


I received Level 2 for free in exchange for a frank and unbiased review. If you purchase a product using any of the links in my review, I receive a commission. If so, thank you! The small income is a huge blessing!  


  1. We would love to try this! We use AAS and love it!

  2. We are just about done with AAR level 1, which we got after your first review! It has been just the thing to get my daughter reading. Looking forward to moving onward to level 2.

  3. I am so in love with this program just from all the reviews I have seen. I want the Level 1 so badly for soon to be kindergartener. We'll be purchasing the pre-reading kit as well for my youngest. Crossing my fingers and

  4. This program sounds fantastic! I would love to try Level 1 with my daughter.

  5. I have read so many great reviews about AAR. My friend let me borrow her Level 1 Teacher's Manual to review. I am sure this is the best option for my daughter, and me! It would be nice for some of my curriculum components to be so straight forward with the ease of a step-by-step lesson process. While I am currently saving up to purchase Level 1 and the kit, I do think that everything from AAL is very affordable for homeschooling. I just can't wait to order ours!

  6. This is our first year working with WAS and we LOVE it. I'd love to have AAR! Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. I would love to use this for my current kindergartner who is still learning to read. I would use it for my upcoming 3yr old and toddler, too. It looks like an awesome program. Thank you for your review, too. Would love to also hear drawbacks of the program to be prepared for.

  8. I used AAR with my son, but level 2 wasn't out yet when we were done. He no longer needs it, but I would love to have level 2 for my younger children when they get there!

  9. My daughter is just pages away from finishing aar 1 and we plan to get int the aas books next...ans well as aar2! Great giveaway - thanks!

  10. I am very interested in using it for my kids. Have been keeping my eye on this for a while now.

  11. I would love to use the pre level 1 program with my youngest as we are starting in with letters. I think my four year old is probably close to ready for level one though, it would be a tough choice. From all I have read they seem like great programs.

  12. We are ready for aar level 1. Cant wait to try it!

  13. We are using the pre-1 right now and love it. Would love to be prepared with level 1!

  14. I am looking at this program right now. We just decided to homeschool last week, which is mid year for my first grader. I am unclear if she should start with level one or level two. Ill have to look into the placement test you mentioned. What a blessing it would be to win this, and if I don't I will be sure to use your link to buy.

  15. I have been drooling over AAR for almost a year now...everyone that knows about it seems to love it! My son doesn't enjoy reading and I am praying this works much better for him...can't wait til taxes get done so I can order!? Thanks for the review!! Helps confirm just how excited I am for this program!

  16. I would love to win this AAR package, because, though my son reads well for a kindergartener, he's not too good at spelling, so could use some help correcting this via AAR and AAS. Thanks for the great review. I've wanted to learn how AAS/AAR work for a while now!

  17. We are will be winding up AAS and AAR level 1 soon. Your outline as to how you combined the two was AWESOME and a huge help for me. Thank you! Any chance you have a similar outline for the second level?

    1. Hi Kelly! I do! You can find it here: http://www.delightfullearning.net/2013/06/correlating-all-about-reading-and-all.html

      They get harder to correlate after level 2, because reading moves ahead at a much quicker pace, so we just plugged along in both without correlating - so one lesson per week in spelling.