struggling reader

When homeschoolers and teachers are faced with finding the best program for struggling readers, reading specialist and college instructor, Pat Wyman, recommends that you take a look at All About Reading.

All About Reading has received our Parent and Teacher Choice Gold Medal Award at and has earned thousands of rave reviews from parents and teachers alike.

There are more than a few reasons why AAR is one of the best programs for struggling readers. If you know a child that is having difficulty learning to read, then here are several reasons why this program might be just the solution they need.

Learning how to read is a foundational part of any child’s educational journey. It not only enables them to understand the world around them, but it opens the door for them to study all of the additional subjects they’ll come across as they get older. It’s also the gateway to the wonders of literature and an important part of how we communicate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, learning how to read doesn’t come naturally for every child. There are countless reasons why some children struggle to understand the concepts of reading, but in every case, it can be extremely frustrating for the child and their parents and teachers. Thankfully, specialized programs have been created that have produced astounding results.

best program for struggling readers

One of the most popular reading programs for struggling learners is All About Reading. This complete program teaches phonics, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension in just 20 minutes per day. The materials are designed to be fun and engaging, and they’re based on a scientific approach that breaks down the challenges early readers face, teaches those concepts effectively, and builds on previous knowledge to develop mastery.

Keep reading to learn why AAR is one of the best programs for struggling readers, as well as who it’s for and how to get started.

What Is All About Reading and Why Is It the Best Program for Struggling Readers?

All About Reading is a comprehensive and highly acclaimed reading program designed to provide children with a strong foundation in literacy skills. Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, the program offers a systematic and structured framework for teaching children how to read effectively. By utilizing an engaging and interactive approach, All About Reading makes learning to read an enjoyable and empowering experience, setting children on a path toward reading proficiency and a lifelong love of literature.

The program focuses on building essential skills, starting with pre-reading concepts and progressing through more advanced reading levels. The curriculum is known for its emphasis on phonics, decoding, and encoding skills, ensuring that children develop a deep understanding of how letters and sounds work together to form words.

One of the key strengths of All About Reading is its versatility and adaptability. It can be used by both homeschooling parents and classroom teachers, making it a valuable resource for educators of all backgrounds. The program provides a wealth of materials, including teacher guides, student books, and hands-on activities, allowing parents and educators to customize the learning experience to meet the unique needs of each child.

Who Is the All About Reading Program Made For?

There are many reasons why some children struggle to read, but All About Reading has shown to be effective with a wide range of students. Some have physical disabilities that affect sight, hearing, mobility, or coordination, while others have learning disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or auditory processing disorder. One thing that these children tend to have in common is that they simply have not yet been taught in a way that works for them.

Struggling Learners

Children who find reading challenging love how All About Reading embraces a systematic, step-by-step approach that caters to their unique needs. The flexibility of the program ensures that educators can tailor the curriculum to suit the specific challenges and strengths of each struggling learner, fostering an environment where every child can thrive in their reading journey.

Another key factor is the curriculum’s focus on multisensory learning. By engaging struggling learners through multiple pathways, the program allows them to see, hear, and physically interact with the material. This approach helps struggling learners break down barriers and build a solid foundation in reading skills, instilling the confidence they need to tackle even the most complex texts.

Children with Dyslexia and Similar Conditions

Children with dyslexia and similar language processing conditions often face formidable hurdles when it comes to reading. All About Reading is a powerful ally in this journey, offering a structured and supportive framework specifically designed to address the needs of these learners. The program’s multisensory approach appeals to different learning modalities, allowing children with dyslexia to engage with the material in a way that suits their cognitive preferences.

All About Reading

All About Reading also places a big emphasis on phonics and decoding skills, targeting the very areas that can pose challenges for children with dyslexia. By demystifying the reading process and providing a clear and logical path to literacy, the program empowers children with dyslexia to not only read, but also to develop a lifelong love for the written word, leveling the playing field and fostering self-assured readers.

ESL (English as a Second Language) Learners and Non-Native English Speakers

With its ability to simplify the letters of the alphabet and how they work together, All About Reading is an excellent option for anyone learning English, including older students who are learning English as a second language. The emphasis on phonics is particularly helpful for these students, who are encountering English sounds and spelling patterns for the first time.

What Makes All About Reading So Effective?

All About Reading is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, and this is a big reason why AAR is one of the best programs for struggling readers. The approach is characterized by an emphasis on a set of instructional principles that encompass a multisensory, sequential, incremental, cumulative, individualized, phonics-based, and explicit approach. While initially developed as a tool to aid children with dyslexia and learning challenges, it has proven to be a valuable resource for all children, making the journey of learning to read and spell both accessible and enjoyable.

The roots of the Orton-Gillingham approach trace back to the pioneering work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton (1879-1948), a trailblazer in the study and understanding of dyslexia. Dr. Orton’s groundbreaking research led to the development of teaching principles aimed at helping children with language-processing issues effectively learn language skills. Anna Gillingham (1878-1963), one of Dr. Orton’s students, further refined and expanded upon his ideas, ultimately merging his teaching methods with her profound insights into language structure.

At the core of the Orton-Gillingham approach lies its unique ability to demystify reading and spelling. It achieves this by focusing on the underlying reasons why words are spelled as they are, making sense of a language that, despite its relatively small alphabet, contains over 250 ways to spell the approximately 44 speech sounds it encompasses. By transforming these complex spelling patterns into manageable phonograms, the approach equips students with clear rules and generalizations that simplify the tasks of reading and spelling.

The approach integrates multisensory instruction, catering to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning pathways simultaneously, providing a holistic and comprehensive learning experience. It also follows a sequential structure, presenting lessons logically to help students connect prior knowledge with new information. Incremental and cumulative elements ensure that students build on previously learned concepts, eliminating gaps in understanding and promoting long-term retention.

How to Get Started with All About Reading

Another reason why people love All About Reading is the fact that it’s so easy to get started. The website features a convenient online placement test that will show you and your child or student exactly which level of the program is right for them. For children that are just getting started, there is a Pre-reading Readiness Checklist to see if they’re ready for the Pre-reading program.

All About Reading also offers a wide range of free sample lessons so that you and your student can experience the program firsthand and see why AAR is one of the best programs for struggling readers. These samples invite you to explore the teacher’s manuals, activity books, and readers to get a feel for the curriculum and see if it works for you.

If you know a child or older student that is struggling with reading, then Give All About Reading a try and help them achieve their full potential!


Gil Christenberry is a proud member of the All About Learning Press team. As an avid writer and reader, he loves helping struggling learners achieve their potential and unlock the wonderful worlds of literature and education.

All About Reading is recommended as the best program for struggling readers.