Cathy Duffy Reviews home > Phonics / Reading/ Literature > All About Reading

All About Reading

Publisher: All About Learning Press, Inc.
Author: Marie Rippel
Review last updated: July 2012

This is one of my 101 Top Picks!

Instant KeyPublishers InfoPricing

All About Reading

Note: The complete review of All About Reading is in 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.]

Marie Rippel’s All About Spelling has become one of the most popular spelling programs among home educators, so I was naturally curious about All About Reading since it correlates with All About Spelling for level one and above.

Level Pre-1

All About Reading Level Pre-1 teaches letters and sounds, but only short-vowel sounds. It does not teach printing. The primary focus is upon the Big Five Skills ™, five components that are foundational for a child’s future reading and spelling abilities. The Big Five are:

- print awareness: grasping the idea that printed words carry meaning and are related to spoken language
- phonological awareness: the ability to hear and identify the various parts of words
- letter knowledge: knowing letter names and sounds
- listening comprehension: as children learn to understand what they hear, they are preparing to understand what they read
- motivation to read: conveying the idea that reading is a fun experience so the child eagerly anticipates being able to read

All About Reading Level Pre-1 teaches through multi-sensory, interactive learning that can easily be adapted to each child. Components for this level are the teacher’s manual, Student Materials packet, two readers, Letter Sounds A to Z CD-ROM, puppet, card filing box, and tote bag.

The teacher’s manual provides detailed, step-by-step lesson plans that should be easy for the most inexperienced parent to use. Lesson plans include pictures and illustrations so you can see which other components of the program you are using at a glance. It should take no more than fifteen minutes to read the introduction and start teaching. The Ziggy Zebra puppet used to help teach many of the lessons is a very nicely made hand puppet.

The Student Materials packet includes My Book of Letters activity book, picture cards, letter sound cards, capital alphabet chart, lowercase alphabet chart, and a certificate of completion.

The readers are two beautifully-illustrated, hard cover books that could stand on their own. The Letter Sounds A to Z CD plays in a computer. This is a very simple program that displays the letters of the alphabet. Children click on a letter to hear the sound.

All of the components in the Pre-1 program work together very nicely as pre-reading program. But the range of activities also contributes to the development of other readiness skills as children work with following directions, cutting, and coloring as well as listening, comprehending, identifying syllables auditorially, making inferences, developing vocabulary, and otherwise acquiring the Big Five skills.

You can purchase individual components, but you will probably want to purchase one of the packages. The Deluxe package includes everything while the basic includes all items except the puppet, the tote bag, and the card filing box. Ordering through my affiliate link below, you get a free activity book that correlates with the program.

Level 1

At Level 1, the five key components shift a little from the Big Five skills taught in Level Pre-1. Now, those key components are phonological awareness, phonics/decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Before starting Level 1, students should already know the alphabet and be able to identify both upper- and lower-case letters. They might have completed Level Pre-1, but that is not required if you have introduced the alphabet in some other fashion. Lessons in Level 1 cover both short and long vowels as well as some consonant digraphs, some sight words, and even some compound words.

All About Reading Level 1 uses the same letter tiles as does All About Spelling Level 1, and those tiles will also be used through additional levels of both programs. All About Reading Level 1 is available as the basic All About Reading Level 1 Kit that does not include the Interactive Kit with the letter tiles. The basic kit does include the teacher’s manual, the student packet, and three readers. The student packet in the basic kit includes the student activity book, phonogram cards, word cards, and a viewfinder bookmark. (The perforated phonogram and word cards need to be taken apart and stored in a box.)

There are two Interactive Kits: basic or deluxe. Both kits include the letter tiles and magnets, The Basic Phonograms CD-ROM, and Reading Divider Cards (to separate the phonogram and word cards in a storage box). The deluxe kit adds a customized storage box for the cards, star stickers to be used on the progress chart, and a custom tote bag for storing all of your components. If you are also using All About Spelling, you can purchase only the individual items from any of the interactive kits that you might want rather than either one of the Interactive Kits.

In addition to the essential items from All About Reading, you should also have a 2’ x 3’ magnetic board for both storing and working with the phonograms....

It takes a little time to set up your tiles and separate the phonogram and word cards. Once you are set up, the program is very easy to use. Detailed lesson plans are scripted and illustrated, making it simple for the inexperienced parent or teacher to present the lessons.

The first lesson teaches the sounds of four letters: /m/, /s/, /p/, and /ă/, using phonogram cards and letter tiles. If a child does not know any sounds at this point, you will need to proceed a bit more slowly, possibly extending this lesson until he or she has mastered these sounds. This lesson also introduces blending for three-letter words, using the letter tiles. Then tiles are used to demonstrate how switching the first letter (e.g., using the words sam and pam) changes only the initial sound. Students also learn to identify vowels and consonants which are color coded on the tiles....

Lessons continue in this fashion, sometimes alerting parents/teachers with strategies for common problems they might encounter. The introduction of letters follows a progression similar to that of other intensive phonics programs, gradually introducing vowels with consonants in a way that allows students to begin reading immediately.

The workbook is a major component, adding much variety to the lessons....

The three hardback readers for Level 1 are top notch like those for Level Pre-1....

Note that All About Reading does not have students write phonograms or words, but All About Spelling does do so. Still, neither program requires much writing practice so that will need to happen via some other method. You can easily use another spelling or language arts program alongside All About Reading if you choose to do so.

Level 2

All About Reading Level 2 continues to teach additional phonograms and rules. The Level 2 materials include a teacher’s manual, a student packet, and two hardcover readers. You will continue to use the letter tiles from the previous level. Fluency worksheets are separated into “Easier Vocabulary” and “Harder Vocabulary” sections; you can work with both sections or just one, depending on your student’s needs. They also include phrases and sentences to provide practice that is closer to reality than simply reading word lists. Students also use letter tiles to learn how to divide words into syllables as a decoding strategy.
In summary, All About Reading is a very reasonably priced option for an interactive, multisensory reading program that is scripted and easy to use. All components except the student workbooks and star stickers are reusable, so the value is even greater when you use it with more than one student.


Level Pre-1
Basic package: $79.95
Deluxe package: $119.95

Level 1
Basic kit: $99.95
Interactive kit - basic: $28.95
Interactive kit - deluxe: $48.95

Level 2 Materials: $99.95
Click on the pictures below to order through my affiliate link to help support this website. The second picture is a link for a free activity book for Level Pre 1.

Instant Key

  • Suitable for: one-on-one instruction
    Need for parent/teacher instruction: high
    Prep time needed: minimal
    Teacher's manual: essential
    Educational philosophy: phonics, multi-sensory
    Religious perspective: secular but "Christian friendly"

Publisher's Info

  • All About Learning Press, Inc.

    615 Commerce Loop
    Eagle River, WI 54521

  • Disclosure of Material Connection: Some links on this page are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I really believe are valuable to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.