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  1. Basic question, is AAR/AAS less overwhelming than LOE? I would really, really appreciate any thoughts on AAR/AAS. We have been doing LOE Foundations. We have gone through A, B, C, and are currently in the middle of D. I had planned on continuing with Essentials, but we are struggling! I have four kids in the various levels of foundations and we are all overwhelmed. It seems like there is just not enough review of the different rules and things before we are off to learn another. So, either I need to figure out my own way to review or switch programs. Is AAR/AAS less overwhelming? I have read that it moves much slower, and has more review, which seems like a really good thing at this point. I would really prefer an all in one program, but I'm starting to question if LOE is right for us. Does anyone have any experience with any of these programs that would mind sharing their thoughts? I read AAR/AAS doesn't have the kiddo mark the words, that seems not so great. Are there any other big differences? I like the color and playfulness of Foundations, but what is the point if we aren't retaining anything? Thanks.
  2. 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?
  3. My 6 year old is half way through AAR Level 2 and it is EASY for him. He doesn't even blink at the practice pages and can read one in about 5 minutes. So when we finish level 2, what should I do next? Each level is pretty expensive so Level 3 feels like over kill to me but at the same time I want him to have a great phonics base to work from and I have 2 more kids coming up after him that can use it. TIA!
  4. Rising 3rd grader (8 in October) needs to become a more fluent reader. Since K, been trying to teach him to read using the same program as his 4 older siblings (Phonics Pathways and SWR) but it was only after we tried AAS1 and AAS2 last year that it finally clicked. He finally"graduated" from easy readers to beginning chapter books and was reading with more ease. He's even read a few of the older Sonlight Core 2 readers we already own (Question of Yams, Secret Valley, Viking Adventure, The Littles, Last Little Cat...). Didn't really check his comprehension as I never did with the older ones. It seems reading is not natural to him though as it was with his siblings. I was hoping we could go back to using SWR this school year...and perhaps work on fluency by making him read aloud to me (something we have not been able to do regularly in the past...but I read TO him quite regularly and he narrates well and can even take simple dictation). However as we're trying to begin school slowly this past week, he's been having frustration going on with the Sonlight reader he picked randomly (Ralph S. Mouse). He asks me what something means every few phrases or when I make him read something aloud, he's not reading some words correctly (e.g. "dozen" for "dozed"). I think we need to do a reading program because he won't just learn naturally by reading more (for one, I have to remind him constantly to read...never did with the older 4 and we have tons of books at home). It seems the explicit way in which AAS teaches worked for him. He likes to know what rule to use in reading or spelling a word. Perhaps the tiles worked better also than just simple spelling lists (of unassociated words) in SWR....also the built-in review. So, I'm thinking AAR. But what level to begin with after having completed AAS2? Looking over the placement test, it looks like he would go into AAR3?
  5. What phonics/reading curricula have very clear objectives or skills laid out before every lesson? Right now I'm looking at LOE because it is research-based and the online samples seem to have very clear objectives. This is important to me; I want to know what the goals of the lesson are so that I can tweak the lesson or supplement with practice and still meet the systematic learning objectives. I looked at AAR but the lack of clear objectives was frustrating. e.g. Why are we counting words? What's the point? Is it just so that she knows that sentences are made up of words or what? Any other curricula that spell out "the reasons why" for every lesson?
  6. Ugh. Wrong board. That's what I get for trying to multitask ;)
  7. I am currently using AAR level 2 with my son. I was wondering if anyone using AAR uses something different besides AAS. Wondering if there was another spelling program that worked well with it. Thanks
  8. After much consideration and research, we had settled on TATRAS for our phonics program. We were very pleased to find something that seemed very sound, solid, and straightforward, simple to use and without any bells or whistles. However, I haven't been able to find a source for this program! It seems to be out of print and I haven't been able to contact the author/publisher, or even to find a used copy anywhere. SO, my question for anyone familiar with this is: Which phonics program is most similar to TATRAS? I have been looking at Spell to Write and Read, and All About Reading, but I have no personal experience with either one. Or maybe there is another program out there that is more similar to TATRAS? The qualities of TATRAS that I am seeking to find in another program are: vertical phonics approach, simplicity of use and layout, historically proven methods, and no extra "bells and whistles". Any help you can give me would be most appreciated!!
  9. I'm curious if anyone else has been in this situation. I have a 12 yo dd that is going on her 3rd year of homeschooling. She was in special education (non mainstreamed) when she was in PS (pre K-3rd). She has global challenges....everything is hard for her. She is technically in 6th grade but works grades behind in everything...for example she is working through 2nd grade math right now. Even though she was doing 3rd grade reading when she was in school, she struggled and I started her all over again with All about reading when she came home for 4th grade. We also used all about spelling. She has struggled from day 1 with understanding the rules. She is now in level 4. This is not a child that can't read. yes, her comprehension is in left field (due to inattention and working memory) but her fluency is not bad. however, we are working on these multisyllable words (like examination or admirable). She for the life of her does not know how to divide the syllables. I show her (and have shown her over and over again since level 1) and she still is confused:) She struggles with auditory processing and lots of manipulatives overwhelm her. Soooo, we are a 4th of the way through AAR 4. I am really questioning what to do after this. We did drop aas for apples and pears because there was absolutely no understanding of rules (plus I have 2 other kids I'm teaching aar and aas too and I don't enjoy teaching it and it was my entire day:) We are much happier with apples and pears so far. I'm curious if anyone else that has a kiddo like this. OG is great and good, but wondering if I should consider high noon or dancing bears? Again, she needs to work mostly at 4th grade level and above words. I've used Megawords but balck and white workbooks confuse the daylights out of her plus she gets back to dividing things again. it overwhelms her. Any creative suggestions for helping upper level reading without complicated cutting patterns ect?
  10. I'm looking for an app for either an iPad or Kindle that is simple. I'm hoping to find one that would support an Orton-Gillingham approach similar to All About Spelling/Reading or Logic of English. I have both of their apps, and while they're helpful, I'd love to find one that would alleviate the need for actual manipulatives for youngest ds. Something travel-friendly. Any suggestions appreciated. :)
  11. So I am a huge fan of AAR but this last year I've not been able to get as many lessons done with my son and he's "behind" a tad bit. We are just 4 short days from finishing AAR 1 and my son already reads way beyond that level. I was going to go ahead and buy AAR 2 but somehow I got onto LOE's website yesterday and I've got to say I'm completely intrigued with it for a few reasons. 1) I can complete LOE much quicker than I can finish the next 3 levels of AAR. My son has JUST turned 9 and has no learning disabilities. I just need to get a ful phonics program done with him and I want a primarily OG based program. 2) I've not found grammar that I'm fond of yet. LOE includes it along with vocabulary and composition. 3) Overall the cost would be much less to do LOE instead of AAR. More money up front but around $250 cheaper than doing all 4 levels of AAR and AAS. For those of you that have used AAR/AAS (we would start AAS as soon as we finish AAR 1) and LOE can you compare where the major differences are and what I would need to consider with a switch? Also please share how long your lessons take with LOE. I would be using a 16 week schedule as a frame work and of course taking longer on a lesson if needed. My son will technically be in 4th grade next year and it would be wonderful to be able to start him out at his right reading and spelling level hence the consideration to go to LOE vs. AAR. I was also going to use EIW with my son for writing but I'm wondering now if I would even need it with LOE's composition portions. Overall it seems that all my language arts would be covered for around a year in the price of LOE. Give me your thoughts and experiences please wonderful ladies (and a few gentlemen). Thank you!
  12. My DS (7) is almost finished with the lessons in AAR2. He understands the rules and applies them pretty well. But, he refuses to read any of the stories in the books except the first two. He is intimidated by the length of the stories and the number of words on the page. He also is still sounding out the majority of words (in anything beyond the first two stories). What do I do now? I don't feel he is ready for AAR3. How do I increase his confidence and word memorization?? Help??
  13. X-post My DS (7) is almost finished with the lessons in AAR2. He understands the rules and applies them pretty well. But, he refuses to read any of the stories in the books except the first two. He is intimidated by the length of the stories and the number of words on the page. He also is still sounding out the majority of words (in anything beyond the first two stories). What do I do now? I don't feel he is ready for AAR3. How do I increase his confidence and word memorization?? Help??
  14. If you had to pick one or the other which would you use for a 7 y/o with basic phonics skills?
  15. DS will be starting 1st grade. We've had a hard time finding a good phonics/intro-to-reading program. Here is the path we've followed, as it may give some insights if there is another style of program we haven't considered: We've tried Sing, Spell, Read, and Write and it had many problems for us.....not incremental enough, long boring readers, too much repetition in what you do each day, too much time required each day. We used Phonics Pathways to actually get him reading because SSRW wasn't getting him there. I loved the simplicity of it, but it was very boring for DS, so we went back to SSRW and finished the K level. We did just a couple lessons of Progressive Phonics and it didn't seem to really click with him. I'm not sure, but I'm not completely convinced that it's a thorough as i'd like either. When we landed on AAR Level 1, I thought we had found our fit. I appreciated the variety of the lessons, thoroughness of phonics rules, and lots of practice that it provided. It was sooo much better than the other programs we had tried, and I think DS really did like it for awhile. But now DS has decided he hates it and doesn't want school to start mainly because he doesn't want to do AAR....specifically the fluency sheets (which I've tried all kinds of tricks to make more fun) and the readers. I think he doesn't like the readers just because he's a bit lazy and has to work harder at them than with some of the more early readers. I personally like them the best of everything we have. So I made him a deal today that if he can get through Level 2, I will not make him continue on with Levels 3 and 4, but that we will find another program. But I'm wondering if i should even push Level 2. Maybe I should keep looking for our perfect fit? But the other side of me thinks there isn't a perfect fit and that DS just really doesn't like learning to read and really doesn't want to push himself with more complex readers. I feel that is a very real possibility. So what do you think.....is there another style of program we haven't hit on? Do we just need to push through? He does fine with the level he's at. I mean, he's a little choppy, but he does well with comprehension and can read the words without sounding out each of their sounds. For what it's worth, he does like worksheets.....if that's helpful at all in recommending a different program.....
  16. hi all, i am, or will be, new to homeschooling this fall. my dd will be 5 1/2, and starting her K year. i also have a son in jr high in ps and a 3 1/2 year old. anyway....i purchased, second hand, AAR 1. at the time my daughter could just read basic CVC words. in the past several months, she has begun full on reading, pretty much everything. i pulled out the AAR to familiarize myself with how we might pace it, knowing much of it would be review. turns out, it is looking like none of it will be useful to us any longer. i'm weary of moving to AAR 2. i'm figuring, if she taught herself to read without costing me a dime, surely we find a cheaper option to move forward with reading. i just have no clue what our next step should be. any advice? *pardon my lack of using capital letters*
  17. Dd just finished Aar1. Budget is tight(so buying aar2 might be difficult), and a friend has offered Sing, Spell, Read and Write for me to borrow. I'm having trouble finding the scope and sequence of SSRW, so I don't know which, if any, level would nicely follow AAR1. I'd also considered Explode the Code, but someone told me ETC doesn't teach phonics rules. Based on those samples, dd is ready for ETC 3 or so. Help anyone?
  18. I began using AAR1 with my 5.5 dd last August, we are currently 3/4 of the way through AAR2 and I feel like my dd is not as advanced in reading as I think she should be. Am I just going too slowly or is the program slow? We have only covered the 'ee' vowel digraph and have yet to get to some consonant digraphs and silent letters. What has your experience been with the program? The other issue is what to do after AAR2 since AAR3 isn't due out until late 2013. I appreciate your input.
  19. I have purchased AAR 1 for our 1st grade ds, but I'd like to add handwriting. I prefer a modern or italic form, but I'm open to traditional. Is there one that complements it well?
  20. I've been reading and researching my question and after hours of reading posts galore on the topic I'm still unsure. My dd will be 5 in July and we'll start K this summer when her preschool program ends. I think All About Reading would be a perfect fit for her learning style. I also want to keep K very focused on the basics and provide a solid reading foundations and AAR seems like it will really help fill up our daily school time by really extending reading lessons more in ways she enjoys. Based on the assessment on the AAR website, dd appears to be clearly ready for AAR1. But then I see many posts about starting kids in K or just turned 5 with the Pre-Level and I start to rethink myself. Also, I have a just-turned-3-year-old sibling who could really benefit from the Pre-Level, but maybe not right now. Schooling dd5 is my primary goal right now, so getting the pre-level when I think she would fly through it and hopefully not get bored, doesn't make as much sense. Why buy busy work when I could just get the next level up? So why do I keep thinking about getting Pre-Level? Am I that enchanted with the silly Zebra puppet? The cost is a pretty hard to swallow. Luckily, we don't have a lot on the plate for K so it's the only expensive item on the list and everything else can be done for half the price of AAR most likely. But I'm very much a DIY person and I know I could basically provide the similar program on my own, with a lot of effort. I do have some doubts at doing as good a job at replicating the program on my own. But also on the cost front, if we really do love it as I expect we will - there is the ongoing cost of going forward with the program and that does start to add up as more curriculum/subjects come on board. I'm considering 3 options: - Buy AAR1, move forward, stop over thinking everything. - Try again with OPGTR* and also use some new found motivation to collect and utilize activities similar to what I've seen in AAR. - Buy AAR Pre-Level knowing that I'll probably be buying AAR1 within a few months. But then I also have it available when my youngest is ready. Cost of 2 programs is a drawback. *We used this before and neither of us are that excited by it. I find it really boring and dd was never happy to do the lessons. But with option 2, now seeing how AAR does things, I can try to make it a lot more fun.
  21. I'm planning on getting this to use with my younger two children this fall (2nd grader and K'er). It looks like it covers a great deal of skills, but I'm wondering (for those of you who use this), do you use any other language arts curricula with this? I'm thinking you'd still need to do handwriting, but what about Explode the Code? Any other readers? Copywork? I'm new to this program and am still trying to figure out how we'll use it. For those that use this. . . . what do you do? Thanks so much! :)
  22. I'm looking for more readers for my dd who is about to finish AAR1 and was wondering, what are the approximate reading levels after AAR1 and also while or after AAR2? I see some graded level readers on ebay I'm interested in but not sure which levels would be best for now or in the near future to have around. Also, any other suggestions for good readers?
  23. We are nearing the end of AAR1 and I was thinking before we went into AAR2, we'd go back and review all the fluency sheets and/or word cards. I was wondering though, is there review already built in the next level? Like, how the fluency sheets have mixed review in AAR1? Just wondering if I should keep going and jump directly into the next level or do some review (and hold off on level 2)? Thoughts?
  24. How necessary are the readers in All About Reading Level 1? I found a great deal on the Teacher's Guide and Student Pack (from someone that bought them but never used them), but she doesn't have the readers. Can I substitute readers from the library (Bob books maybe?) or use Abeka Readers I already have or would it be really helpful to have the ones that go with AAR? Is it difficult to sub with other books, since you would need to find stories that match up with which letters have been learned? I've spent most of my curriculum budget already but couldn't pass up the deal.
  25. I have a question for any other moms using AAR pre-1 for their children. My plan was to go through it with DD (turned 4 in August) who doesn't yet know all of her letters as well as DS (will be 3 in May) as something fun for him to tag along in. Then once DD was ready we would go to AAR1 and DS and I would keep working in pre reading. We've done the first couple of lessons and I don't know what to do with DD. She doesn't seem to 'get' rhyming in the context it is presented, even though she can go on the HoP computer game and do very well at the rhyming games. She's stubborn too, so if the 'out' word (in "Get out of the Wagon") was in the first position the first time she will only pick the card in the first position as long as we're playing. I'm having trouble deciding if she's not getting it because of me or because she's not ready and maybe I need to shelve it for a bit. The problem is she wants to learn to read so badly, but I think she needs these skills before we can start 'officially' reading. We do lots of reading together time, but she doesn't know all her letters and I would think at a minimum she needs that. She also plays dumb with me a lot, I was shocked at how much she did know when I watched her playing the HoP game over Thanksgiving, she knew many more letters then I had realized. This is not at all how I envisioned things. We have had a crazy time of transition since last March so maybe it's just the kinks in our new schedule getting worked out. I'm also starting to get the questions about her being in school next year and while I really want to homeschool her this has made me second guess if I am cut out for it or not.
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