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  1. Word Build is a great program. The workbooks are a bit costly, but we enjoy it greatly and the kids vocabulary benefits from working through it. We use the Foundations Series (2 books for 3rd-5th), but kinda wish we'd gotten the Elements Series (3 books for 6th+) instead. Spelling By Sound and Structure 7 and 8 are vocabulary focused books that teach roots and word elements. Spelling Through Morphographs teaches words elements and their meaning, as well as the spelling rules to combine roots and affixes to spell complex words.
  2. So, we teach phonics "all the way through" for our kids. We use this Ultimate Phonics List because the font is large and easy for beginning readers and the words + sentences make it super easy to use. As the kids are progressing we pull in the free resources from OnTrack Reading for 3-Syllallble and 4-Syllable words, and for a free resource of 5-syllable words we created a list from a the website Wordnik, we discounted the more obscure words. So, we continue the phonics process until the kids can easily read 5 syllable words as easily as they can read a 5-syllable sentence. As quickly and clearly as our kids read Tom ran very fast. is as quickly and clearly as they should read affiliation, curiosity, and intracranial. No. We do not. While our children are on the path of "Learning to Read" to the level that we desire, when there is an article or book that we want them to read, we skim the material for words the child can't yet sound out fluently and write them on the whiteboard or a piece of paper. We syllabicate the word with the child, but then the child must sound out the word. It's our thought that if we tell the child how to sound it out, it doesn't grow their decoding ability.
  3. I don't know if it fits your needs as much, but we have a Scholastic Visual Dictionary and get a lot of use out of it.
  4. For what it's worth to you, the reason that we continued teaching and practicing phonetic reading until they're reading 5-syllable words easily and fluently is because phonics based spelling programs lag significantly behind phonics based reading. Spelling programs that are phonics-based tend to focus on phonics skills and concepts below the current grade level because the conventional thought is that spelling should be practice on words that kids can read. When you start a phonetic spelling program, you're starting with 1syllable words again. We use and love Spelling by Sound and Structure, it's a steady, systematic phonics based spelling program which starts in grade 2 and works for our kids. The exercises are recycled and re-used on various categories of words and the skills seem to transfer quite well into their writing. In my experience, many older kids are found to be poor readers because they lack the ability to fluently read upper-grade material as easily as they could read lower-grade material. That's why many educators describe it as "the kids hit a wall" after ___ grade. The kids decoding isn't automatic--often phonics have been abondoned too soon or they did so well with 1 and 2 syllable words that people just assumed that they didn't need any help with 3-5 syllable words. Some kids don't wind up needing any help with longer words, but many of them do. Upper grade material is composed of multi-syllable words embedded in parts of phrases, sentences, paragraphs and passages. OP, I want to encourage you to extend their phonics practice another 6 months or so so that they master longer words and can read them easily and accurately aloud or silently.
  5. We continue reading instruction until a child can fluently and accurately read 5 syllable words. You don't need to purchase a program for this though, you can continue reading instruction on this level with 2 steps. 1) You can find lists of multisyllable words online for the kids to practice reading. 2) Use an article from a book that you want the kids to read. Pre-teach all of the longer words in that passage on a sheet of paper then have them read the article until they're reading that passage fluently. (Decoding + Punctuation).
  6. My absolute favorite writing program is Reasoning and Writing. It's written for a public school, but can be adapted pretty easily to a 1-1 scenario. You can give him the placement test. Because of his age, you should give give him the placement test for Level F first. If he doesn't place in RaW-F, then give Placement Test for level E, then D, then C.
  7. You can use this Phonics Based Reading Test. to determine which phonics skills he should start on. Then use the Ultimate Phonics list to target exactly the phonic skills/patterns that he needs to work. Invest in making sure that he can read the multi-syllable words fluently. While you are doing the phonics, have him learn and practice handwriting. For handwriting we used the Kumon handwriting books and a few of those "Learning to Write" practice pads that you can get at the dollar tree. We drilled the letters themselves and we also drilled the various letter combinations like vowel teams and digraphs, so that they get some speed writing those combos. As his letter formation improves, you can have him write words from the UP List that he's reading and copy a few of the sentences each day. Once he finishes the Ultimate Phonics list, he'll be a reader. Our young readers began working on spelling once their handwriting is fluid. We use Spelling by Sound and Structure 2-6.
  8. Teachers Guide. We don't use the student workbooks for Spelling by Sound and Structure, we teach it directly from the Teachers Guide. The kids write the words in a notebook, and they also write them on the board.
  9. I would keep her progressing in her phonics. Work on her handwriting first. When she's fluent in handwriting and able to write letters neatly and fluently, then begin a spelling program with her. I used and highly recommend Spelling By Sound and Structure 2-6. We just use the TG and have the kids write on the board and on papers. It's a wonderfully designed program. I start it with my 5-6yos who read on a 3rd+ grade level and can write easily. SbSS is gentle, thorough and very intelligently put together. NOTE: The workbooks are Christian--there are references to God throughout, but I edited out all the religious references for my family because that faith doesn't align with our family values.
  10. I'm kinda flabbergasted about the idea of catching up a Ker. Catch them up to what? I think it'll be healthier to shift your mindset to: Supporting your 7yo daughters education from home. First, the good news. 100EZ is a really phenomenal reading program! Be consistent and don't be afraid to double back and repeat lessons as needed. You're teaching your daughter to read--this is the single most important skill for grades 1-12. Don't skimp, don't rush, don't panic. If she's at lesson 25, your daughter is making good progress with the program. Stay the course! If your daughter winds up needing special accommodations, will the private school be willing and able to support her appropriately? Until she completes 100EZ, I would keep the spotlight on reading, but if you want to do 10-15 minutes of math, then I suggest you take a look at Baird's Arithmetic 1. You've got to provide/add in a stack of pennies or tokens (for manipulative) but you can just read the lesson off of your phone or tablet to her. You might occasionally have to draw a picture on a sheet of paper for her, but it's a wonderful math program that can be done for 10 -15 minutes a day and picked up the next day. It won't teach her to count to 100, but it will greatly strengthen her sense of number and give her a good foundation for approaching arithmetic and problem solving thoughtfully. There is a lot of repetition so she might wind up mastering some of her math facts as well. If not, no biggie. You can begin working on fact memorization once her reading is fluent.
  11. That sounds' like a lot of fun! How did your family decide on a First Day of School Otter?
  12. Since the videos are meant to be an extra, then I would read the explanations within the text itself and have her read the explanations within the text to make sure that she understands what's being explained. You can also buy a printed supplement for algebra--take a look on Amazon, I'm sure there are a couple of dozen. Ultimately, it's about finding the resource that's best for your kiddo. It could be that Saxon is a fit for her. Good luck with it!
  13. Interesting, I understood Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 to be a beginning grammar program. It might be more advanced than other grammar texts, but if the text itself is put together well (and Saxon has a reputation for being well put-together) then in my mind, it'd fine to start it as a 3rd grade grammar program next year with a student who doesn't have a formal grammar back ground.
  14. Why do you feel the need to do something for grammar before starting with a beginning grammar program?
  15. Thank you for taking the time to write all this out and for sharing some guide lines. I'm clueless about the RAN/RAS stuff. I'm sorry, I have to admit that I have no idea what you are talking about with the RAN/RAS stuff. I don't understand what it is, what it's for or what the purpose might be. My child has finished 2nd grade, he can recognize (and name) his colors and numbers quite fluently. We've never pursued vision therapy--I really don't think he needs it. What is Vision Therapy for? and how do you determine if your child might benefit from Vision Therapy? His decoding is rock-solid and fluent and he reads everyday as a part of his schooling as well as for leisure (though not always his first choice of activity if there is something physical or buildable around).
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