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Bravewriter's The Wand vs AAR vs IEW PAL Reading/Writing


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#1 Paradox5

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:34 PM

Would someone give me a comparison of these?

I bought The Wand but I am having a hard time seeing where it is going. I also cannot stand having all the little Post-Its everywhere. Why oh why can they not develop tiles like AAR/AAS?

How many years is PAL intended to last? Are other levels forthcoming?

When will AAR level 3 be ready? When do you start AAS?

#2 Paradox5

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

anyone?

#3 Imaginator

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:16 AM

I haven't used Saxon Phonics. I use AAS and tried using The Wand earlier this year. I LOVE Bravewriter and The Writer's Jungle, but I decided not to keep using The Wand and I won't use much from The Arrow etc. It has some merit, but I feel our phonics instruction runs more smoothly and is more productive with AAS. As we already do enough other copywork, writing, grammar, tons of reading etc, to do both is too much for us. If I'd started with The Wand, and it was the basis for our phonics, copywork, reading & word study, perhaps it would be ok. But as an add-on it was too much. It does hold your hand and tell you exactly how to teach to build early literacy skills.

I'm not sure if that helps you ;)

As far as word tiles go, they are easy to make. If you're happy with The Wand and it's just the post it notes driving you mad ( I bought a lovely bunch of colours but they wanted to curl, so I found them awful to use, let alone reuse) ... type up some Orton Gillingham phonogram cards, laminate, cut and attach a piece of self adhesive magnetic strip to each. I did this to use with LEM phonics, before I switched to AAS.

#4 Paradox5

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

I took Saxon out. Can we say boring and dry? Learning to read should be fun.

Thank you for your input. For us, we are not doing anything else. After juggling R&S Spelling, SRA Phonics, WWE, and trying out several grammar programs, I had had it. Little guys do not need burnout at 8 and 7 years old.

I don't think The Wand could be used to teach a child to read. I can see its value in other areas, though. Do you know if more levels are planned? I am not sure I would continue on with The Arrow, either. I like my skills all nicely lined up for me. Maybe that is what is bothering me the most.

#5 MerryAtHope

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:27 AM

When will AAR level 3 be ready? When do you start AAS?


AAR 3 is due out by the end of 2013 (they are working on it now, but don't have an exact release date yet).

You can start AAS any time after completing AAR 1.

I don't think The Wand could be used to teach a child to read. I can see its value in other areas, though. Do you know if more levels are planned? I am not sure I would continue on with The Arrow, either. I like my skills all nicely lined up for me. Maybe that is what is bothering me the most.


I haven't used The Wand, but have used The Arrow, The Writer's Jungle, and taken the copywork/dictation class (also sat in on a Kidswrite Basic class years ago). I love a lot of the Bravewriter ideas, the author is very creative! But my kids needed skills laid out incrementally and step by step, so we looked for other things instead.

#6 mom@shiloh

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:19 AM

" But my kids needed skills laid out incrementally and step by step, so we looked for other things instead"


So.... what did you find that was laid out incrememntally??

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#7 Paradox5

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

:lurk5:

Yes, what did you find?

Any speakers on PAL? No pressure but I have to decide this weekend. Likes/Dislikes?

#8 lexi

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:17 AM

I have thoughts on both PAL and AAR. I'll post in the AM when I'm not up nursing the baby.

#9 Lots of boys

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:42 AM

We have used AAR (both Pre-1 and 1) and really liked them. I moved to AAS 1 after AAR 1 (mostly because they changed the books and I was irritated - plus I already had AAS for my older son) and it has been a seemless transistion for spelling and reading. I fee like AAS is solid enough for reading that I don't need to also do AAR 2 or 3 etc.

I would love to hear the comments on Bravewriter and PAL/IEW. I am looking for a writing program for my boys who are really reluctant to write anything and have thought about IEW for next year but worry it is too hard for them.

#10 lexi

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:38 AM

My long post has disappeared!!! What happened?

#11 mommy5

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:11 PM

Mine did too! ????

#12 cjgrubbs

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

Here is a summary of PAL that I typed up:

The Writing Part has 3 sections.
I. Printing and Story Summaries: 31 lessons practicing learning to correctly write letters and numbers, lower and capital and learning how to summarize a story.

II. Copy Work and Style with All About Spelling: 40 lessons; there is beginning grammar here like capitalization, end marks, etc. and you work through AAS Book 1

III. Composition with Style: 16 lessons here learning how to choose key words and retell a story...this is basically units 1-3 plus 7 of the IEW method of writing.

The Reading Portion has 80 lessons and should be used concurrently with the Writing portion unless your child is too young to write or you could skip section I of writing or go through it really quickly if that portion is already understood. The 80 lessons are comprised of 4 stages.

Stage 1: Foundations - this stage will last a few weeks as you learn phonograms, sight words and assemble the games (comes with the kit). At around lesson 19 you will move towards the next stage.

Stage 2: Activity Time. 30 minutes of activity time for each day should be planned using games to reinforce what has already been learned and continue learning new phonograms, words, etc. Expect 2-4 months in this stage.

Stage 3: Discovery. Once student has mastered phonetic rules by playing the games he can move to this stage. Instead of 30 minutes of games he works through Discovery words (cards provided) where student uses knowledge of phonics to decode the word on each card with no help. You can help him by reminding him of rules, finding the markers but shouldn't tell him the word. When he decodes them all correctly he will get a new stack. This stage will take 2-4 weeks.

Stage 4: The Library. After Discovery cards are mastered student moves to the Library (set up by parent with real books -list provided for help in choosing) You start at easy books, students reads several times, etc. When 15 easy have been completed, move on to Medium, etc.

The set comes with a DVD rom which has lots of worksheet printables and a game workbook to make all the games.


I used this with my my youngest son during his K year and part of 1st. We did 1-2 lessons a week. His fine motor is not really developed and I didn't want to stress him at K level so I we went more slowly on the writing lessons. We got through stage 1 and 2 of the reading and he learned so much. I didn't do Discovery stage with him yet bc I felt HE still needed practice with blending sounds together to read words that he had no experience with. He just wasn't ready to decode on his own yet. So we started on AAS Level 1 and we are slowly working through those lessons. It has been such a nice follow up for IEW! It is like all the things we learned in IEW are now starting to click as he builds words with the AAS tiles. We will work through a few more lessons and then I will go back to the Discovery stage of IEW reading. I love the PAL program!

#13 MerryAtHope

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

My long post has disappeared!!! What happened?

Mine did too! ????


Mine did three! Very odd!

A quick recap--for those who asked what incremental things worked for us--AAS and Essentials in Writing have been great programs here. I wrote a review of Essentials on my blog if you want to read more. Easy Grammar worked well but I give it a B because the explanations could sometimes be better. Still, it worked better than most other grammar programs did here, and I found it very helpful. These three are programs that I continue to use or would use again. Math-U-See is another incremental, mastery-based, multi-sensory type of program with a direct teaching style that has worked well here.

Merry :-)


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