Teaching My Baby To Read

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My daughter’s breakthrough with “All About Reading”

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Last Saturday my daughter ran around the house saying “Pinch me. Is this a dream? I can read!” It was the cutest thing ever, but it also broke my heart a little bit. Two months ago we realized “Jenna” needed glasses. Now, we’re still regrouping.

First self portrait with glasses.

First self portrait with glasses.

One thing I know for sure is that Bob Books weren’t working for Jenna. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bob Books and have blogged about them often. But they weren’t working for Jenna, probably because she had developed an aversion to them because her eyes were hurting.

Since we already owned All About Spelling I decided to buy the All About Reading readers. (Full disclosure: I am an All About Learning affiliate.) All About Spelling and All About Reading are based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, which means teaching kids phonics in discrete, multisensory lessons that build upon each other. It’s the gold standard for helping kids with dyslexia. To be clear, I’m not supposing my daughter has dyslexia, but if she did, All About Learning products would be a recommended intervention.

Doing All About Spelling with my daughter has been a completely different experience than working through the program with my son.) You can read about “Bruce’s experience here.) Bruce blew through each step in a couple of days. Jenna does better spending one or two weeks on every step. She is fabulous at spelling out words with the tiles. Dictating words on paper is also a strength. But when it comes to flashcards, or simply reading the words from the book, she needs more time. I have to be patient.

So honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when we first opened RUN, BUG, RUN! Would this be a good fit?

It turns out, it wasn’t only a good fit, it was a home run. (And yes, I’m mixing metaphors!)

Every time Jenna reads a story we give her a star sticker. This picture shows how many stickers she’s earned in five days. Forty stickers!

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There is a combination of things going on that are contributing to Jenna’s success:

  1. She finally has glasses!
  2. The stories are at the exactly right level for Jenna. They don’t include any spelling patterns she hasn’t learned yet.
  3. The illustrations by Matt Chapman, Donna Goeddaeus and Dave LaTulippe are beyond charming.
  4. Reading focus cards seem to really help.
Fanciful pictures delight.

Fanciful pictures delight.

 

Reading focus cards help words pop-especially for a little girl who has struggled with her vision.

Reading focus cards help words pop-especially for a little girl who has struggled with her vision.

The other thing I should add is the $1 I spent on those star sticks was totally worth it Getting a star sticker is incredibly motivating and we’ve been celebrating every time Jenna earns ten stars.

As a mom, I feel a tremendous amount of relief to have a program that works. Sure, I have my whole litany of free strategies to teach kids to read but for some reason Jenna needed something different. I’m not sure if it was the undiagnosed vision problem, or something else. But now I feel like we are solidly back on track.

Go ahead and pinch me. I’m living the dream!


10 Comments

  1. That’s wonderful! I’m so happy for you and Jenna. 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    I knew when I read your last post that Jenna was going to skyrocket in her reading. You wrote about checking in around June and I thought, oh I bet it’s going to be a matter of weeks.

    Every trial in my children’s education has taught me something that makes me a better teacher to all children. I don’t know how this journey will play out for you, but your experience with Jenna will better inform my future teaching. Again, thank you for sharing.

    PS – I would be very interested in a future post about the specifics of Jenna’s visual challenges. But I expect you may need some distance before writing that. I have not read a lot about this as a teacher.

  3. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. They mean a lot!

  4. Knitting Mama says:

    Ohh I’m hoping we have the same luck here! My 7 year old’s vision is fine, but nothing else is working. We’re going to start All About Reading tonight!

  5. Otter says:

    Great news about Jenna 😉 Keep up the great work!

  6. […] familiarity with the homeschooling program All About Reading which is based on the principles of Orton-Gillingham immediately helped me see that Nessy is also […]

  7. […] your child has undiagnosed vision problems, like Jenna or […]

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