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AAR - overkill?

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#1 tdbates78

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:49 AM

Hello again! So my soon-to-be 8 year old second grade twins just started AAR 3. They completed AAR 2 between last school year and this (we started it in the spring). I pulled them out of public school first grade after winter break, so they initially learned how to read at school. 

 

We are on the 4th lesson of AAR 3 and it's still very easy for them. We are learning the phonics rules for the OA and OW sounds. I teach the rules, they kind of zone out while I'm teaching it, but then we read through the flash cards and worksheets and they just blow through them. It literally took 5 minutes today as I skipped over a lot of the lesson when it became obvious that they could read the words without any problem. 

 

I assume it will get more difficult as the lessons progress, but at this point it does feel a little pointless and definitely like overkill. I know the phonics rules are important to learn, but I was a natural speller and reader and don't recall any of these phonics rules. My girls have have always been rather strong readers. They picked it up easilery and have no problems reading the stories in the AAR readers. 

 

I don't know if I'm just trying to organize my thoughts or if I'm asking for advice. I guess I'm just looking for opinions. Anyone else have a similar experience? I'm wondering I should try to have them read through the entire group of flash cards and start the lessons up where they get to a point where they are stuck? 


Edited by tdbates78, 11 October 2017 - 07:50 AM.


#2 HomeAgain

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:51 AM

We don't use the program, but I think your idea is a good one.  Have them read until they get stuck, then begin.  If they already know the material there's no point in hanging back on it, you know?



#3 boscopup

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:52 AM

Some kids need a thorough phonics program and some kids don't. So yeah, if your kids already understand what's being taught, it's probably overkill for those children. My current 8 year old hasn't even done a phonics program. He's a natural reader and speller, and he has intuited phonics. So AAR would be very much overkill for him.

Edited by boscopup, 11 October 2017 - 08:53 AM.


#4 JMG221

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:39 AM

We switched from AAR to OPGTR after AAR1 because it was overkill for us. It was great starting but once reading started to click but too much after it did. OPGTR is perfect for us. It teaches the rules and offers a little practice. We do it on 5ish min and then spend more time reading.

#5 MerryAtHope

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:22 AM

Was AAR 2 easy or did it teach them new things? Did it improve their fluency? Did you use the placement tests when you initially placed them--and do you think they've taken a "jump" in their skills recently? 

 

If you think AAR 3 has new things to offer them, I'd definitely fast-track until you come to some harder words and concepts. Sometimes the fluency pages cover more difficult words than the word cards though, so you may want to look through those when you are deciding where to start. 

 

Some kids do take off in reading and you can focus on spelling instead too. 



#6 Momto5inIN

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:29 AM

If they're doing fine in reading but you still want to address the phonics skills, you could use AAS and they would get the rules introduced and learned through spelling instead of intensive reading instruction.

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#7 ElizabethB

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:56 AM

You could have them work through my 10 lesson Syllables course instead, it covers all the spelling and phonics rules and is free to print. Otherwise, I would move more quickly through AAR, just doing a few words of each type and going over the rules. Cover all the words for anything that they have a bit of trouble with.

http://www.thephonic...lesspellsu.html

Edited by ElizabethB, 12 October 2017 - 10:57 AM.


#8 insertcreativenamehere

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 11:04 AM

We also switched to OPTGR after AAR2, starting about halfway through. It worked great! 


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#9 tdbates78

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:51 PM

Thanks everyone! I'm looking into the suggestions

I chose AAR2 after seeing samples, but as I pulled my girls out of public school it was trial-and-error while I figured out their strengths and weaknesses. We breezed through it but it wasn't until starting AAR 3, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, that I started to question its purpose. They have been doing well with reading, but I'm unsure if its the AAR or just lots of practice reading.

If I switched OPGTR is it easy to jump it? I've never really looked at this as I (apparently wrongly!) assumed it was for beginner readers.

#10 ElizabethB

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

Thanks everyone! I'm looking into the suggestions

I chose AAR2 after seeing samples, but as I pulled my girls out of public school it was trial-and-error while I figured out their strengths and weaknesses. We breezed through it but it wasn't until starting AAR 3, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, that I started to question its purpose. They have been doing well with reading, but I'm unsure if its the AAR or just lots of practice reading.

If I switched OPGTR is it easy to jump it? I've never really looked at this as I (apparently wrongly!) assumed it was for beginner readers.


Both OPG and PP are beginning programs but teach phonics to a 4th grade level. Most phonics programs go to a 1st or second grade level. My Syllables lessons go to a 12th grade level, but don’t have enough repetition at the higher levels, it should be followed by Webster’s Speller, which has 6,000 words and teaches to the 12th grade level.

I use PP for review of single syllable words if they need more practice on those after my syllables program.

#11 Meadowlark

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 03:41 PM

Gosh, Idk. I've used AAR 1-4 with two very different kids, and I think it benefited both. My oldest was a natural and often knew the words without knowing the rule. I didn't see that as a problem and just breezed through the lessons. What he got in return was a very thorough reading education. My next needed the rules a little more so it took more time. But I'm so happy I ran the course because they're now in 4th and 5th grade and are avid readers who scored *very* high on the standardized test. I just love AAR.


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