Building Fluency With All About Reading Readers

by | Oct 17, 2016 | Teaching Tips | 5 comments

Learn two simple and easy-to-implement fluency strategies you can do at home with All About Reading readers.

If you’ve been around Homeschooling With Dyslexia for long, you know how much our family loves the All About Reading and All About Spelling curriculum.

Learn two simple and easy-to-implement fluency strategies you can do at home with All About Reading readers. #homeschoolinwithdyslexia #allaboutreading #reading #teachingfluency #dyslexia #homeschool #homeschooling

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The All About Reading readers are one of the many reasons that we love All About Reading.  With their compelling storylines, intricate (and non-babyish) drawings, they captivate my kids’ attention just enough to get them to push through the real difficulty of reading.

If you’ve been teaching a dyslexic child to read, you know how important that is!

One of our biggest struggles in teaching reading is the development of reading fluency.  Reading fluency is the skill of reading through a text accurately, quickly and with expression.  Fluency is important because of its profound effect on comprehension.

Oftentimes, a reader who lacks fluency will lose track of the storyline while reading because of the immense amount of effort required to simply decode each word.  Paired with working memory weaknesses that are often present with dyslexia and you have a recipe for disaster.

The good news is that fluency can (and should) be taught.  Research has revealed a variety of effective means of teaching fluent reading to kids with dyslexia.  Read more about teaching fluency in this post.  

How I Teach Reading Fluency With All About Reading Readers

One problem we faced early on with All About Reading was that my dyslexic readers were unable to read an entire story in the AAR readers.  Reading was still a lot of work and by about half way through each story, they would begin the slow and steady progression towards a melt down – which I try to avoid at all costs!  I make it a goal to make teaching reading fun and so I searched around a bit for some answers.


Here’s what I found that really works:

Buddy Reading

This solution came straight from the Appendix in the AAR Teacher’s Manual.  By the way, if you haven’t read through those, there is a treasure of valuable information tucked away in them.

Be your child’s reading buddy by reading one page of the story and having your child read the next page.  On the following day, switch pages so that your child is reading the pages that you read the day before.  On the third day, if needed, have the child read the entire story.

Paired reading meets a few different needs.  One, they can get through the entire story so there is a feeling of success.  Two, there is a break from the intensity of reading for a few minutes. And three, kids feel special when mom (or dad) read with them, which builds confidence.


Reading Old Readers

This idea came from the All About Spelling curriculum and has been a huge success with our struggling readers.  All About Reading takes an innovative stance on the teaching of spelling by teaching it separately from reading.  Since reading skills (decoding) develop so much faster than spelling skills (encoding), we don’t start teaching spelling until after finishing level 1 of All About Reading.  This has worked well for my kids because, again, it builds confidence and is an excellent review of what was learned previously in their reading lessons in All About Reading.

All About Spelling encourages kids to re-read the Level 1 readers from All About Reading for practice with the spelling concepts they are encountering. I love this because my kids can pretty easily read these old readers and it is another awesome confidence and fluency builder.


Remember that fluency is the last skill to develop and that it is developed primarily through practice. Buddy reading and reading books at or below their fluency level will provide practice in a fun and engaging way.

There are many ways to develop fluency.  This post covers two simple and easy to implement ways to teach and enhance fluency using the All About Reading readers. For more information on the All About Reading and Spelling curriculum, click the image below.

More of my posts about All About Reading and Spelling:

Is All About Reading a Complete Orton-Gillingham Program?

All About Reading Review

You Can Teach Your Child With Dyslexia to Read With All About Reading

Why Not All Reading Curricula Are Created Equally

For more information on teaching fluency, consider taking my Teaching Fluency & Comprehension parent course.



In this class you will learn:

  • what reading fluency is and how it develops
  • how fluency affects comprehension
  • nine of the most effective, research-based methods for increasing reading fluency
  • easy-to-implement methods to enhance your child’s reading comprehension at home

To learn more about our Parent Courses, visit our Parent Dyslexia Courses page.

How have you helped your struggling readers develop fluency?

Learn two simple and easy-to-implement fluency strategies you can do at home with All About Reading readers. #AllAboutReading #Dyslexia #specialneeds #homeschooling


  1. Cigdem

    This is an excellent post that includes key topics that are so critical for us – we have an 8 yr old dyslexic child. Fluency & self-confidence. These two go hand in hand. With one, comes the other.

    For those interested in low level/high interest books, I recommend checking out Sam Is Stuck on Amazon by Simple Words Books. A reader needs to practice at his/her reading level to improve fluency, which means the words need to match the reader’s reading level. For young dyslexics, low-level/high-contents books are needed not only for practicing fluency and comprehension, but also building self-confidence. Sam Is Stuck mostly uses single, closed syllables. It is a chapter book so it gives a big-kid feel, as well. Check out for a complete list of words used in the book. You can also get a free phonics workbook. Pretty cool.

    • Jessica

      Thanks I will look for that book. I am struggling to find readers for my 8 year old that fit his level so he can build fluency.

  2. Jessica

    Hi – We have pretty much finished AAR Level 1, and my son has read the 3 readers that come with it at least 3 times each. I am searching for books such as the reading books that come with AAR 1 that use the phonics we have mastered and allow him to build fluency. I am not having much luck with this. The problem I find is that books such as “I Can Read Level 1” or other Leveled readers do not use the specific phonics concepts that he is either working on or mastered, there are so many different concepts and sight words in each book and he gets overwhelmed and frustrated. Are there any leveled books or readers out there that follow a more OG approach and that aren’t 1 sentence per page and he reads them in 30 seconds? For my sons vision therapy he must read for a total of 20 minutes each day, with different lenses, prisms, colored lenses, etc and finding books for this has been quite a challenge. Thanks for any ideas!

    • amanda Emerson

      Barton makes leveled readers.

    • S

      You might want to look into Bob books. They have a very phonetic OG approach. We only have the first set, and it sounds like they would be way too easy, but I know that they progressively get more advanced.


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