Product Review - American Reading at Home

~ Posted on Friday, November 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM ~

This review started with an email for an interview opportunity with Dr. Bill Sears. I mean, the moment I saw this name, I was very interested to find out more. I mean, for someone who is best known for his attachment parenting philosophy, Dr. Sears is now working to help parents teach young kids to read BEFORE they get to school. I am of course interested to know what kind of reading materials and methods is he using to do so. Here goes my review:

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"American Reading at Home is a reading program from American Reading Company that helps children ages 3-6 during the earliest stages of reading development. The company publishes books that work like training wheels on a bicyclebecause so much of the reading support is provided by the books, children gain confidence as they master just one new skill at a time. The narrow hierarchy of skills required at each level ensures children don't get frustrated, but experience successful reading practice."

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I created an account on their website and followed their easy to understand instructions in order to receive my first 5 e-books to read on my iPad. From my iPad, I just need to login once to the Bookshelf app using the email address that I used to create the account and I can immediately see the e-books there.

I have to say this is by far one of the most frequent used app in my iPad. Of course my 3.5 years old boy is not into reading stage yet so at the moment, I am the one doing the storytelling to him.

He just loves snuggling up next to me and listens as I tell him the stories, one after another! We sometimes go through as many as 10 books in a session, tiring for me yes but it is nice to see my boy so interested in books and I have been gently showing him the easy words in some books to get him to familiar with the words and I also sometimes tested him when we see the words being repeated again and again in the books.

He is more interested in the cartoonish type of books at the moment but I will definitely revisit the books with actual pictures of animals and objects later on. Pictures below are 2 of his favorite books at the moment, "Camping" and "Clean Cat".

And yeah, I mentioned in the beginning of my post here that this review started with an interview opportunity with Dr. Bill Sears, so of course I did posed 3 questions to him and got my replies! Below is the details in case you are interested:

Me: How do we begin introducing literacy to our preschoolers? Do we go with the phonics, or introducing the alphabets or sight words or what?   

Dr. Sears: The most important thing a parent can do to develop a healthy reader is to spend time side-by-side reading aloud to your child.  Learning to read takes a combination of many developmental skills so the answer is yes, all of the above!  Parents should try out the reading level wizard at  to identify your child’s reading readiness skills and independent reading level.  From there you will be guided on what skills to work on to move to the next level.


Me: Can we teach our children to read if they do not know how to recognize the alphabet yet?

Dr. Sears: Yes!  The first 2 levels for American Reading at Home (1 Yellow and 2 Yellow) do not require alphabet recognition or letter sound skills. Initially your child won’t actually read any words, and may not even look at the words, but she will remember the repeating sentence pattern and “read” the pictures. Your child is learning to read fluently, with confidence, and for meaning. She’s also learning that reading is thinking, which is an important foundation for future comprehension skills.  Knowing letter sounds isn’t required until the 3 Yellow level.

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You can get the first 5 e-books for free at:

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

I'm a full-time mummy

Comments (2) -


it's nice to see so many apps review here... will surely comeby more often!

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