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Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading


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#1 ~Phoenix

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:27 PM

Forgive me, I did some searches but my eyes just glazed over at the abundance of results. I thought I would get a better response if I just started a thread with my own questions.

My dd is 3, almost 4. She knows all her letters and sounds. I had planned on started Abeka K with her, probably next year. I think she is ready to start reading now, but if so, I want something more gentle than Abeka's program right now.

So.

  • Is this book adaptable to a younger age, or is better for K age?
  • Abeka drills "special sounds" to teach sounds like br, ph, str, tch, etc. and Spell to Write and Read drills the kids on their phonograms - what does OPGTR use or how do they approach it? Both programs I am familiar with use drill, does OPGTR?
  • Would it be easy enough to switch out of this program and into another a year or so down the road?
  • What is the average time frame it takes to complete the book?
Anything else you can tell me about the program would be great!

#2 boscopup

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:40 PM

I started it with my middle son when he was late 3. He didn't even know his letters yet. He learned them in the first 26 lessons, over about 3 weeks. :) Then I used Leapfrog Letter Factory to reinforce. We did a few of the CVC word lessons, but didn't get very far yet because we haven't done anything since Christmas (I let his lessons slide while I started homeschooling my first grader).

Anyway....


  • Is this book adaptable to a younger age, or is better for K age?
Absolutely fine for a younger age, though I recommend a white board and some magnetic letters or using a marker - something to make it more "fun". I know SWB says they don't need fun, but that probably applies more to 5 year olds, not 3 year olds. ;) (and yes, I made it fun so my 3/4 year old could do it, because his older brother taught himself to read at age 4 and is having to go back and learn phonics, and I'd like this one to learn phonic from the beginning, which means I have to start early... He already knew how to blend before he even had his letter sounds cemented, so I'm glad I started early!)

  • Abeka drills "special sounds" to teach sounds like br, ph, str, tch, etc. and Spell to Write and Read drills the kids on their phonograms - what does OPGTR use or how do they approach it? Both programs I am familiar with use drill, does OPGTR?
It introduces each of those phonograms individually and then has several words using those phonograms. The sentences read will incorporate those new words plus words from previous lessons. You are also supposed to "review 2, 1 new" or something like that, so you could go back and review those as often as you need to.


  • Would it be easy enough to switch out of this program and into another a year or so down the road?
I think so. I plan to switch over to AAS when middle son is ready (oldest just started using it).


  • What is the average time frame it takes to complete the book?
No clue here, but it's supposed to take them through 4th grade level reading, I believe? So time will vary, depending on the child and how fast they understand the concepts. I have seen some people say they finished it at 5 years old, and some have finished much later.

#3 ~Phoenix

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:24 PM

Thank you, this is very helpful. :)

#4 Mama Anna

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:41 PM

  • Is this book adaptable to a younger age, or is better for K age?
  • Abeka drills "special sounds" to teach sounds like br, ph, str, tch, etc. and Spell to Write and Read drills the kids on their phonograms - what does OPGTR use or how do they approach it? Both programs I am familiar with use drill, does OPGTR?
  • Would it be easy enough to switch out of this program and into another a year or so down the road?
  • What is the average time frame it takes to complete the book?
Anything else you can tell me about the program would be great!


I did OPGTR with dd7 and am now doing it with dd4.

Dd7 began it just before she turned 4. She was already recognizing letters on signs and sounding out words like "exit," so I figured I'd better get on board if I wanted to be involved in teaching her to read at all. If I remember correctly, the book has 231 lessons in it. Dd7 took a little over a year to do it, during which time we moved from one state to another. She glided on through it so gently that I thought everything was always so easy! :tongue_smilie: She is now reading books like Little Women with ease as to the decoding. Comprehension is still not up there, of course. I don't know how much of this is attributable to OPGTR and how much is her natural talent for anything LA-oriented.

Dd4 began it last September and we're on lesson 49. Yup. We've de-fi-nite-ly schooled more than 49 days since September. Dd4 is a very hands-on learner, so the magnetic tile board is very important for her. The first 26 lessons, as the pp stated, are based on the 26 letters of the alphabet and do a good job of teaching the sounds. Then you hit the actual reading and dd4 slowed down.

The format for each lesson is one (or more, sometimes) phonetic pattern with examples for you to read aloud _with_ the child, then a couple sentences in a story (often somewhat silly) with those words, plus any the child has already seen for them to read as much on their own as possible. Further drill is really up to you. If you see a blend or digraph that your dc is not getting, you need to go back to that lesson and do some review every day until they feel more comfortable with it - It's called "Two Review and One New" in the book. The entire lesson is scripted, so there's never concern about how to explain something.

I considered it to be very gentle with dd7 and, by breaking up the lessons, am still able to make it gentle enough for dd4. (We are also using the Bob books to reinforce stuff as an alternative to always pulling out the big blue book - that's another reason we're moving so slow.) The last lesson in the book has the child work phonetically through the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," so it does lead them pretty far. I think I'll expect dd4 to basically spend around 2 years in it. (BTW, lessons usually take about 15 minutes or so - if it gets longer, I break it up for the sake of attention span and to not push my preschooler.)

As for switching, I can't really speak to that.

HTH!

Mama Anna

#5 CarrieF

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:00 PM

I am using OPG with my 2nd son who just turned 7 and needed some extra work with phonics, but I am also planning on starting it with my 3rd son when he is a little closer to 4. Like your DD, he also knows his letters and their sounds, so I know he COULD do it even now; however, he is not even 3.5, so I feel that it is too young to start something formally. It is the BEST "teach your child to read" book out there! I have looked at 'Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons' and 'Phonics Pathways' and OPG is definitely superior in format and organization. Best wishes!

#6 ElizabethB

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:19 PM

For a child that young, I think the best thing to start with is Sidney Ledson's Teach your child to read in 10 minutes a day or Webster's Speller.

http://www.amazon.co...y sidney ledson

http://www.welltrain...ad.php?t=208407

My game is also good once CVC words are started.

Edited by ElizabethB, 20 January 2011 - 10:49 PM.


#7 mom2denj

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:51 PM

I would go and check to see if your library has it. That way you can see for yourself where your daughter should be. I just did this recently. I love the way this book teaches and I have already ordered mine for next year.

#8 alpidarkomama

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:41 PM

Any age, if they're ready, is fine for OPGTR. It's gentle drill. Each lesson says you should do one new (lesson) and two review (previous lessons). But (sh) we never did any review, just one lesson a day more or less. It took us about 18 months to finish it when DD was 5-1/2. After we finished it, we haven't found anything else really necessary. To keep our oral reading polished, we've been reading from the McGuffey readers. About one story per day. And we're doing our spelling program. I think it's a terrific book for teaching reading. DD5 is enjoying it now. :)

#9 RoundAbout

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:11 PM

I would go ahead and give it a try, but be prepared to back off. I tried it with my son a few months before he turned 4 and he hated it even though he definitely knew his letters and sounds very well and could do the exercises. He much prefers sounding out words in context and so we do that while we're reading aloud. We also play phonics games and he is just getting the hang of blending and really starting to read CVC words. I plan to try OPGTR again when he's closer to 5 because I definitely want him to have a strong foundation. I don't know why he didn't like it, but he hates the BOB books too :)

#10 ~Phoenix

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:55 AM

Okay, think I might take the plunge....thank you all for your helpful reviews. Our library does not have it, but I'll probably have Barnes and Noble order it in and then I can look at it before I buy.

Thank you!

#11 Tonia

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:37 PM

I used OPG as well and just wanted to add one quick note. When I first started going through the book with dd, I used it as a reference for me and had dd read from a white board or letter tiles. I found the writing in the book to be small for kids on the younger end of learning to read. Just a thought you might want to consider when you are using the program!

Editing to add: One other note. We also played a lot of word games, especially when dd was learning to blend sounds. I have some ideas linked at my blog.

#12 fairytalemama

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:52 PM

We started it when dd was 4.75. I think at that point she was a little too young. I backed off (and did a wee bit of bribery with stickers :001_smile:) and now she is actually asking "Can we do a reading lesson?". She is now 5 1/2 and is flying through it. We're at lesson 140 of 231 and I think we'll finish by summer. She is currently reading at a 1st/2nd grade level. It is definitely worth the money. I recommend it to everybody.

If I were you, I'd get it and try it. You can always slow down or save it for later.

Edited by fairytalemama, 21 January 2011 - 02:53 PM.
Added recommendation


#13 AngelBee

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:39 PM

I am using it with 2 of my littles. We started when dd was 3 and ds was 5. We just move SUPER slow! lol dd3 LOVES it!

They feel like they are doing real "school" and are actually learning phonics while having fun.

I think the pace you move at is more important than the age of the child. :)

#14 boscopup

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:47 PM

I found the writing in the book to be small for kids on the younger end of learning to read. Just a thought you might want to consider when you are using the program!


Yes, this was an issue for us too. It's the biggest reason why we use the white board.

#15 AngelBee

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:49 PM

Yes, this was an issue for us too. It's the biggest reason why we use the white board.

:iagree:


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