Anything else you can tell me about the program would be great!
- 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?
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!
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.