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. In looking at purchasing this to do some extended work with my daughter overt the summer. But I can’t decide if I should get level 1 or 2. Maybe you can offer some advice? She has basic reading skills, can blend 3-4 letter words but hasn’t done much work with different vowel sounds. Bi feel like that’s her next step. She’s 5 and has just about completed kindergarten. I’m leaning towards 2….

  2. I used All About Spelling for my son years ago and just looked up the program again. It has really grown–up to 4 levels for reading and 7 levels for spelling. The website has grown too and has a lot of info on the blog, including previews of every publication (click on each component and scroll to bottom).

    There are more readers now too, and they are hardcover and look like regular chapter books, not “baby” books, and the illustrations are very nice, and black and white, so if your child is behind in say, 3-4th grade, it isn’t that obvious. I sure wish they were available when my son was struggling and was afraid to take out a easy book for fear of being criticized by his classmates. These are completely decodable and leveled phonics readers, not the ones that just include certain word types, like the sort you get from Scholastic Books and many other publishers. For a struggling reader it can be really important that the early books only have a limited number of new words so they don’t get overwhelmed. Many kids can learn to read with a less structured approach, but they may have gaps, especially when it comes to spelling and writing..

    My son is dyslexic and needed a systematic Orton-Gillingham based phonics system like this. Kids can learn how to read all sorts of ways and not everyone will need the support the program provides for reading, but it does provide a good systematic foundation. If your child already can read, the spelling program alone can provide the phonics foundation, and the upper levels goes into advanced topics, like foreign word roots and spelling patterns.

    English is a mongrel language, borrowing from many sources plus is spoken with many different accents which have changed over time. Some people can learn these patterns on their own, maybe not even knowing exactly how or why, but others, like my son, need to be taught explicitly. I am a sight reader, so I learned a lot too, learning how to help him.

    No one program is a magic bullet, but not all phonics programs are as complete as this one. I do think this one in its current format is very solid, the color coded tiles are nice break from typical deskwork and illustrate the concepts clearly, and the program is much less expensive than comparative phonics programs, like the Barton Reading System.

  3. Do you have any thoughts comparing this to A Beka, especially for the kindergarten level? I really liked using A Beka before. It made so much sense with learning vowels sounds first and then creating blend ladders. I liked grouping them in shorter and long vowels. I am currently plodding through AAR pre reason and into leaves 1. I regret not using A Beka. I LOVE that AAR is well prepared and reading readiness exercises. But it’s so slooooooow. 52 lessons learning each letter uppercase and then lower before you really dive into sounds, which are then introduced alphabetically so it takes longer to get reading!!!

    1. Yes, AAR moves a lot slower than Abeka. I used Abeka reading and the All About Spelling for phonics because I felt like Abeka didn’t do as good of a job at drilling the phonics rules as All About Spelling. But I also prefer the Abeka workbooks so I can make sure they’re able to do the activities independently without me helping them as well. So I did a mix of the two.


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