All About Reading Pre-1

Wow! That is ALL I can think of to say about this program!  I like what I have seen so far.  I have heard wonderful things about AAR and also AAS (All About Spelling).

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am still new in the homeschool realm and ordered this with only seeing the few sample pages.  I really, really like the scripted planned lessons.  I am really busy with 5 kids 5 & under (one being a nursing infant) so I do not have a lot of spare time planning every single subject.  Ziggy’s lines are even scripted.  In the back of the Teacher’s Guide it has suggestions for hands-on activities you can use to help children with learning their letters, talks about the alphabet song and gives an alternative way to sing it, and references.  The book does has an index and some pages pages that notes can be written in.

The student book consists of the alphabet pages, both upper and lower cases as well as sounds of the letters pages.  They are perforated so they can be taken out as needed.  On the back of every page are the instructions and any supplies you need.  A quick glance through and all of the items appear to be things you probably have around the house like yarn, paint, crayons, etc.

Part of the student materials are the picture cards and letter sound cards.  There are a lot and it seemed to take forever to tear them apart and put them in their correct spot in the box.  I also had three sets to do and it took me a little more than a hour and a half to do all of them.  There are review boxes that are available for purchase but I decided against buying them and bought 3 $2 index card holders from a big box store for the cards. Now I am wondering if I should have purchased the review box. They are a tight squeeze in the index box and the cards have not even been laminated. Reading reviews I have found that most moms decided against laminating the cards due to the adults are the only ones handling the cards. I have decided to laminate them in case one or more of the kids happen to get into them. They will have a fighting chance.  I wish there was an option to buy the cards laminated because the difference in cost would be well worth it to me.  I suspect I am looking at another couple of hours minimum laminating and cutting out the laminated cards.

I am not sure what to do with the alphabet charts right now.  Wall space is at a premium and I do have another alphabet chart hanging on the wall but the AAR chart would not fit there.  For now the AAR charts will stay folded up.

There are two hardcover books, ‘The Zigzag Zebra’ and ‘Lizard Lou’.  They are simple black and white pages that have short rhymes that go along with every lesson.

I did purchased Ziggy the Zebra (available separate or as part as the deluxe package). When Sweet Pea pulled him out of the box she giggled with glee. 🙂  He is very well made and worth the money to purchase him!

I suspect Sweet Pea will breeze right through the first half of the Pre-Reading level.  She knows her alphabet and is ready to learn the sounds.  Right now the goal for her is one lesson per day.  Peanut and Lil Bit are still learning the Alphabet and will do one lesson per week.  I will revisit this schedule after the first six weeks and go from there.  I am planning on doing more of the activities in the back with the two younger ones.

Pros:

  • Lessons planned out
  • Can take the lessons at the child’s pace
  • Has additional activity ideas in the back of the teacher book
  • Ziggy is a HUGE hit with the kids
  • The student pages are perforated for easy removal

Cons:

  • I wish the cards came laminated (like the divider cards)

I will add additional reviews as the school year continues with how the kids are doing with AAR.

Have a blessed day!

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Grammy Crisps

With all of Little Man’s allergies it is nearly impossible to find something that he can eat without making it from scratch.  He cannot have dairy, soy, nuts, red dye, wheat, gluten, apples, and strawberries.  We have found one toddler snack that he can have that does not contain any of the above.  Apples is a filler in the majority of juices and toddler foods.  The other problem is a lot of foods are either manufactured in the same facility or share the same equipment so we cannot give it to him due to the possibility of cross contamination.

I was out shopping the other day and saw a Gluten Free cracker called Grammy Crisps by Crunchmaster.  I was excited to see the GF (Gluten Free) mark and also peanut free.  So I checked out the ingredients and they are all “Bubba Safe”!!  Yay!

I took the crackers home and have the toddler’s approval on the crackers!  He will come running if he sees them.    They also have mommy’s seal of approval because they are delicious!!

Like a Child on Christmas!

I ordered the remaining of the homeschool curriculum that I needed over the Christmas holidays from Rainbow Resource Center and the order arrived today!!!  I honestly wasn’t expecting the package to arrive for another few days.  They were closed from Dec 24th until Jan 2nd I figured they would have a backlog of orders and then the crazy weather would make for crazy shipping.  They were closed today because of the severity of the weather.

Sweet Pea was there when I brought the box into the house.  They put a cute sticker on the outside of the box which she loved.  When I opened the box the first thing I noticed was how well packed it was.  They bubble wrapped the media content that was in the box and all remainder of the empty space was packed with paper.  I always appreciate wonderful packaging when things are shipped!  The company I used to work for would receive all kinds of interesting packaging.  We knew which warehouse it came from without even looking at the shipping sticker based on how it was packed.  The warehouse would ship memory sticks (for computers) without anything else in a huge box so they would be tossed around during shipping.  One time memory sticks were packed with a battery backup in the box!!!

Back to my lovely box from Rainbow Resource!  Sweet Pea knows it is for her school and is bouncing up and down as I am opening the box.  I sure hope she has this same enthusiasm after we are at it for a while.  🙂  She asked if she could open it and I let her.  She got through the first few things in the box before daddy came home so I finished looking through the box after dinner.

This isn’t the fault of RR but now I am a bit of a new curriculum fog at the moment.  I was only able to look at it for a few minutes before the eyes glazed over.  Has anyone been like that when you either brought home a new curriculum or received an order?

Well I am off to plan the first six weeks.  I will be posting a few reviews

Have a blessed evening!

New Year and New Curriculum

Welcome to 2014! One of my goals this year is to regularly post on this blog. As a mom to five, five and under, homeschooling, and have a nursing munchkin it may not always work out but I will sure try!

Over the holiday break I purchased some additional curriculum and am excited to receive it. I decided to add All About Reading, All About Spelling, and SongSchool Spanish to our school. I suspect Sweet Pea is almost ready for All About Reading Level 1 but won’t know 100% until I get the books in my hands. I do have the Pre-Reader level coming in the same shipment. Peanut and Lil’ Bit LOVE to do whatever big sis is doing and they will begin with Pre-Reader. Once Sweet Pea starts AAR Level 1 she will begin All About Spelling 1.

Did anyone else add new curriculum over the holidays?

Have a blessed day!