Hi everyone, as promised, I have a review of the new All About Reading Level 1 program for you! We are totally loving this program, and it’s no surprise really since we absolutely adore All About Spelling!

AAR L1 wDeluxe_250_thumbaar1_thumb[1]

I already started Tinkerbell with All About Spelling Level 1 at the beginning of this year, so she was able to skip ahead a few lessons in the All About Reading Level 1 program, but I still like how the two compliment each other.

The Level 1 of both AAS and AAR have a similar scope and sequence. All About Reading focuses on decoding skills, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and will include lots and lots of reading practice. All About Spelling focuses on the spelling side of things like how to know which letter to choose for a given sound. Both are complete phonics programs and use the same letter tiles which make them easy to use together. We also love the workbook activities, the pages are hands-on and interactive which makes the learning more fun!


All About Reading also has several fluency exercises that will help strengthen reading skills. The student activity workbook comes with fun hands on worksheets to help your student practice reading more smoothly. We’re currently working through both programs together and doing great!



The kit comes with these wonderful reading books which your child will have read through by the time you are finished with the Level 1 program. You can see samples for all of the readers, including the Teacher’s Manual and Student Activity book on the All About Reading Level 1 website.


Tip from the trenches: If you have a reader who is just starting out, All About Reading might be a bit easier to do first because the letters are introduced more slowly.  All About Spelling assumes that a child is either already reading, or is very ready to begin reading. If a child is struggling with learning to read, I recommend doing AAR Level 1 first, and then starting AAS Level 1 to reinforce the concepts learned in AAR Level 1, as well as to learn valuable spelling rules that will create the foundation for strong reading as well as accuracy in spelling.



What does the All About Reading Level 1 Kit come with? (Regularly $107.70, on sale now for $99.95)

  • Teacher’s Manual 
  • Student Packet (Includes word cards, as well as Activity Book)
  • Run, Bug, Run! reader 
  • The Runt Pig reader
  • Cobweb the Cat reader

AAR L1 wDeluxe_250_thumb

What does the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit come with? $48.95, this is a one time purchase if you haven’t already gotten these from your All About Spelling program. They are the same tiles used with the AAS and are not consumable, so you would only purchase it once. This kit would total $62.70 if you purchased the items separately so it’s a savings of $13.75 if you purchase it as a kit.

  • Letter Tiles
  • Magnets for Letter Tiles
  • The Basic Phonograms CD-ROM
  • Reading Divider Cards
  • Reading Review Box
  • Reading Tote Bag
  • Star Stickers for your child’s progress report


They also offer a Basic Reading interactive Kit: It is $28.95, which is a savings of $7.85 if purchased as a kit.

  • Letter Tiles
  • Magnets for Letter Tiles
  • The Basic Phonograms CD-ROM
  • Reading Divider Cards


Let me know if you have any questions about this program, we’re well into it, and I’d be happy to help!

IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to make it clear that I really only support programs that we USE and LOVE here at Confessions, and this is definitely one of my FAVORITE PICKS for the year! Tinkerbell actually asks to do this first in her day!




  1. I’m looking at getting AAR, but can’t seem to figure out if the basic interactive kit is the same for both AAR and AAS – Sonlight sells AAS (but not AAR), and I have a coupon, so if I can get it from them, that would be great! Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. Thank you for your explanation of AAR and AAS. We started out last year (new to the program) using both at the same time and I was really confused why they overlapped so much or if I even bought the right thing! Wish I would’ve stumbled onto your post sooner 🙂 Thanks again.

  3. Hi Erica,

    How necessary are the readers in the AAR program? I’m considering buying AAR teachers manual & student packets, but not the readers. Are there any points in the lesson where they refer to the readers? Or is it okay if I substitute the readers with other books?


    1. Hi Yenny,
      I think they’re worth it. The readers correlate specifically with the lessons your children are learning. I suppose you could get other books at their grade level, but there might be some inconsistencies with them not having learned a specific sound yet in the other books, so you’d have to walk through the reading with them quite carefully.

  4. I was just looking at AAR on their website and then came here for a review. One thing I’m curious about is I noticed that AAR only has 40-some lessons. Are these lessons typically meant to be 1 per day? 2-3 lessons per week? I’m just thinking that if there are only 40-some lessons and we do one lesson per day, we would finish the program in less than half the year. Level 1 (with the interactive Kit) is over $100, so to purchase Level 1 & 2 in the same year would get quite costly, so I’m just curious what most people have experienced.

    1. Hi Deanna,
      No, the All About Learning Press products usually have longer lessons than normal. So for example for the AAS lessons I split 1 lesson into two days. The AAR you can split up as needed for your child’s progress. But for the most part you will only go through one level per year.

  5. My kindergarten daughter is an excellent reader but it is more intuitive so she doesn’t really know many of the rules. I wanted to get a curriculum to help with that. I was looking into AAR and stumbled into this review. Reading wise she would probably be on level 2 but for phonics rules I feel like we would need to start on level one. Would AAS level one teach the same phonics rules as AAR level 1? What do you recommend we start with?

    1. Hi Laura,
      If she’s already a good reader you might want to check out All About Spelling Level 1. That includes most of the phonic rules that she will need to know. AAR 1 is a little more basic so if she’s already reading it will probably be too easy for her.

  6. How old was your girl Tinkerbell when you set her to start this?

    I’m considering it for my son, he’ll be 5 soon, and we’ll be starting K in the fall, but I was considering doing this AAR1 program now through the summer and then into the year.

    He knows all his letter sounds, has for ages, gets rhyming and prereading skills, and yes I can sometimes SQUEEZE a CVC word out of him, but I don’t think he really “gets” blending yet.

    1. Hi Dhanya,
      She started for first grade with AAR 1, but it really depends on the readiness of your child. If you think he’s ready now, then give it a try, and see how he does. If he’s frustrated with it easily, or hates doing it, then it’s probably that he’s just not quite ready. Save it and try again a bit later :o)

  7. Erica, your K4 curriculum covers beginning reading. How would you compare your K4 curriculum to AAR Level 1? Do they overlap some in what they teach? I guess I’m wondering if your K4 reading introduction is enough, or if AAR level 1 would be needed as well? I LOVE what I’ve read about AAR, but $100 per year is a lot to add in for Reading when there are other less expensive options out there.

  8. I wanted to know is the Interactive kit really necessary? I would love to buy this for my child, but I don’t I can only afford to get the curriculum;however, if it defeats the purpose, then I will find something else to supplement.


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