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Is A Reading Curriculum Necessary?


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#1 rae.e.bates

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:07 PM

Let me preface by saying that I am a certified SpEd teacher turned SAHM. That being said, do I really need to fork out the money for AAR to give my child a classical education? I feel fairly well equipped to teach reading and even have hundreds of decodable/leveled readers from my teaching days. Thoughts?



#2 regentrude

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:10 PM

No. A reading curriculum is not necessary. Kids can learn to read just fine using books.


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#3 lisabees

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:18 PM

Welcome!  AAR is for beginning readers, right?  Depending on the kid, you may need to teach phonics in some way.  But that can be done without spending any money. :)

 

From one certified teacher to another, be prepared to throw everything you learned in school out the window.   :lol:  Enjoy!


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#4 rae.e.bates

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:26 PM

Welcome!  AAR is for beginning readers, right?  Depending on the kid, you may need to teach phonics in some way.  But that can be done without spending any money. :)

 

From one certified teacher to another, be prepared to throw everything you learned in school out the window.   :lol:  Enjoy!

 

So, at what point should I switch from "homemade phonics" instruction to AAR? 

Hmm....sometimes I miss the days of not get a choice in curriculum or when I teach what and when; much less stress (unless the district curriculum stinks). ;)



#5 winterbaby

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:51 PM

There are options beyond plunking down all that money for AAR and pure DIY. Phonics Pathways is $20, and with that and the readers you already have you should be set. Your questions seem to suggest you picked up the idea AAR is mandatory somehow... that is not the case at all.


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#6 lisabees

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:56 PM

So, at what point should I switch from "homemade phonics" instruction to AAR? 

Hmm....sometimes I miss the days of not get a choice in curriculum or when I teach what and when; much less stress (unless the district curriculum stinks). ;)

 

I apologize - it's been many years since I have taught a kid to read.  I used the book, Phonics Pathways, along with Explode the Code books.  I used Bob books and something else - I See Sam maybe?  

 

There were some free sites back then that even came with free readers.  I would print those out.

 

I know I used something for multi-syllabic words.  I can't recall...


Edited by lisabees, 14 July 2017 - 02:07 PM.

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#7 texasmom33

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 02:39 PM

Progressive Phonics is free and is working like a champ at our house. 

 

Other free or cheap options: 

 

Teaching Reading with Bob Books

Ordinary Parent Guide to Teaching Reading 

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

 

 

I wouldn't (and haven't been able to bring myself) to fork over that kind of money for AAR. I bought an IKEA hand puppet and make up my own stuff using the above listed resources- dependent on which kid. :) 

 

Get some magnet sheets, stick them inside a file folder (another trick learned here!) and use it for the little magnet letters you can pick up at Lakeshore or other places, and voila. An affordable version of AAR. 


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#8 hepatica

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:03 PM

Completely depends on the kid. Not all kids can learn to read using just books. If you are a special ed teacher then you probably know that 15-20% of the population is dyslexic. These kids absolutely need a well designed curriculum to learn to read efficiently. So just be aware that what works for one kid, may not work for the next one, and be open to trying different things if necessary.

 

As others have said, there are other options besides AAR. However, AAR does a lovely job of covering early phonemic awareness skills and it is fun for the littles. 


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#9 Mommyof1

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:24 PM

Don Potter has Blend Phonics which he offer for free on his website. His site has a lot of good information.
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#10 rae.e.bates

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 03:59 PM

There are options beyond plunking down all that money for AAR and pure DIY. Phonics Pathways is $20, and with that and the readers you already have you should be set. Your questions seem to suggest you picked up the idea AAR is mandatory somehow... that is not the case at all.

 

It's probably just because I read about it in the book and it seems most on here use it. 



#11 texasmom33

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:46 AM

It's probably just because I read about it in the book and it seems most on here use it.


What's popular here definitely cycles. But there are too many frugal people, or who just can't afford to throw that much at a phonics program, for AAR to be the only option!
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#12 HomeAgain

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:02 AM

You definitely do not need to fork out the money for AAR.  In fact, learning phonics that way would have driven my kid nuts.  It is slow and overkill, IMO, for the average child.  We did 100EZ lessons, a copy I got used but only goes for $20 new, and moved on to reading regular books from there.

 

You do not need a phonics program!  If you have a list of sounds, blends, digraphs...you can teaching reading by...reading.  I like a phonics program because it is already laid out for me. 

 

In our house, we start with "free" and only go to the expensive stuff when we have exhausted the range of options before that.  There's no sense in starting with the most expensive programs and working down.

 

(FWIW, my first edition WTM does not mention AAR at all.  It does talk about how to introduce phonics.  You do not need that program for a classical education.)


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#13 ExcitedMama

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:25 PM

You definitely don't need AAR (and I love AAR and always recommend it). AAR takes reading instruction and makes it fun and simple. It breaks down the teaching into lessons on phonograms with games. It's probably for people like me who are nervous about teaching and don't have any past teaching experience or knowledge. I bought The Ordinary Parents Guide To Teaching Reading (OPGTR) and it seemed too dry and boring so I switched over to AAR and was thrilled to have a script to read, nothing to have to figure out myself and it had fun games. You can definitely do it on your own or get a book like OPGTR if you want a sequence to follow and tweak it yourself. Since you have the knowledge and materials you don't need to buy AAR unless you decide later that your way isn't working or it's not worth DIY it.
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#14 rae.e.bates

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:53 PM

Thanks for everyone's input; it was very helpful. I guess the biggest worry is that I might "break" my child. I did a stint of teaching 1st grade while pregnant (and it wasn't safe to be in a behavior SpEd classroom) and there was a huge difference in who could read well and who couldn't and how that affected their self-esteem and performance in all the other subjects. I would hate for my child to not love learning because I didn't do a good enough giving her the tools and teaching her. *Sigh*



#15 hepatica

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for everyone's input; it was very helpful. I guess the biggest worry is that I might "break" my child. I did a stint of teaching 1st grade while pregnant (and it wasn't safe to be in a behavior SpEd classroom) and there was a huge difference in who could read well and who couldn't and how that affected their self-esteem and performance in all the other subjects. I would hate for my child to not love learning because I didn't do a good enough giving her the tools and teaching her. *Sigh*

 

It's also important to remember that the fact that not reading well in first grade has an impact on a child's self esteem is itself the problem. You can do everything "right" and your child may not read in first grade, or second grade or even third grade. That does not mean your child is not as smart as those kids who do. Really! Schools regularly fail to recognize and teach smart, creative children who don't fit in the standard mold and dare to struggle with reading. Homeschooling allows you to teach the child you have in the way that works best for that child. 


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#16 HomeAgain

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:55 AM

Thanks for everyone's input; it was very helpful. I guess the biggest worry is that I might "break" my child. I did a stint of teaching 1st grade while pregnant (and it wasn't safe to be in a behavior SpEd classroom) and there was a huge difference in who could read well and who couldn't and how that affected their self-esteem and performance in all the other subjects. I would hate for my child to not love learning because I didn't do a good enough giving her the tools and teaching her. *Sigh*

 

You know one of the best parts about homeschooling?

 

You don't have to do things the same as schools. :)  In school, reading is across the curriculum.  The child who struggles with that skill finds themselves at a serious disadvantage as more individual reading is expected.  At home, a child who struggles with reading still enjoys science and math and history presented orally and with projects/hands on learning. 

 

 

 


Edited by HomeAgain, 22 July 2017 - 01:16 PM.

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#17 ElizabethB

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:51 PM

I have 20+ phonics pograms and have tutored remedial phonics for 23 years.

My favorite free phonics program is available from Don Potter, Word Mastery, goes to a 3rd grade level. Favorite cheap program, Phonics Pathways, goes to a 4th grade level. With my remedial students, I use Blend Phonics, free, for basic words, goes to a 1st grade level, and Webster's Speller, 12th grade level. With my kids, I used a basic phonics program like Phonics Pathways for the basics followed by Webster's Speller for multi-syllable words.

My blending page and beginning reading page have cheap and free ideas to make learning the basics fun.

http://www.thephonic...ewstudents.html

http://www.thephonic...ndingwords.html

Edited by ElizabethB, 26 July 2017 - 05:55 PM.


#18 ElizabethB

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 05:59 PM

Thanks for everyone's input; it was very helpful. I guess the biggest worry is that I might "break" my child. I did a stint of teaching 1st grade while pregnant (and it wasn't safe to be in a behavior SpEd classroom) and there was a huge difference in who could read well and who couldn't and how that affected their self-esteem and performance in all the other subjects. I would hate for my child to not love learning because I didn't do a good enough giving her the tools and teaching her. *Sigh*

Any good phonics program will work as long as it does not include too many sight words taught as wholes. My hundreds of remedial students have all suffered from guessing habits from incomplete phonics instruction and sight words taught as wholes. I have a page explaining how and why to teach all but 2 of the 220 Dolch words with phonics:

http://www.thephonic...sightwords.html

Edited by ElizabethB, 26 July 2017 - 06:00 PM.


#19 KeepingItReal

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 02:12 PM

Progressive Phonics is free and is working like a champ at our house. 

 

Other free or cheap options: 

 

Teaching Reading with Bob Books

Ordinary Parent Guide to Teaching Reading 

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

 

 

I wouldn't (and haven't been able to bring myself) to fork over that kind of money for AAR. I bought an IKEA hand puppet and make up my own stuff using the above listed resources- dependent on which kid. :)

 

Get some magnet sheets, stick them inside a file folder (another trick learned here!) and use it for the little magnet letters you can pick up at Lakeshore or other places, and voila. An affordable version of AAR. 

 

I am using distar series - https://www.amazon.c...00 easy lessons

 

and I LOVE IT. I will be through lesson #50 by the end of the month with my DS2 and DD4, and although my DD4 is reading well beyond the lessons, it is good review and focus for her. She picked up reading faster than I could have ever been prepared for.

 

DS2 is reading at about a kindergarten level, he is a LITTLE beyond the lessons as we go, but that is okay with me - it is doing the work and focusing that is good for him. I have a feeling in the next couple of months it will be more of a struggle for him as he tends to feel overwhelmed by longer words, which do come up in lessons down the way. ;)

 

But seriously I totally recommend this along with getting some phonics cards to practice sounds, and teach short/long vowels as well in practice. 

 

LOVE LOVE LOVE Distar.  :thumbup1: