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Alright Phonics Road Users...


TKDmom
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Your posts about PR have intrigued me enough that I have to ask about it. ;) What ages were your dc when you stated using it? Could you offer up your opinions on if/how it could work for us?

 

I have a 4th grader, 1st grader and K'er.

 

My 4th grader spends way too much time doing LA. She's using WWE3, MCT Town, Spelling Power, and GDI handwriting. I'd love to simplify her life, but I'm nervous about trying to start a program like PR where I would have to start at the beginning. She's very bright and balks when things are too easy or repetitive. Also, she learned to read in PS K, supplemented with 100 EZ Lessons at home. I've never been consistent with spelling. She has always been rather advanced in reading, but decidedly average (below average?) in spelling.

 

ETA: DD is also about 3/4 through LL1. I assume PR/LR would replace Latin if we decided to go that route? Dropping Latin would cut another half-hour out of her day and cut down on some of the LA repetition...

 

DS(7) is on the older side for a 1st grader. He's operating on 2nd grade level in many things. He despises FLL 2 b/c of the repetition. He puts up with it b/c he's a nice boy, though. ;) His handwriting is pretty poor. He's currently using HWOT, and he does a page (or more often just part of one), puts away his book, and objects to doing any other writing for the rest of the day. He's also using WWE1, and doing fine with it (other than his poor handwriting). I taught him to read using 100 EZ lessons, then threw in the towel with that, went through SL readers 1, and now he's currently using OPGTR. He reads fluently, but I suspect that he guesses a lot. He balks at using OPGTR b/c it is so easy for him. I want to keep going through it to cut down on the guessing and fill in gaps in his reading, but we forget to do it on a regular basis, since he avoids it and groans about it.

 

DS(5) is very slowly learning to read. My other dc seemed to catch on faster, but maybe I'm mis-remembering. I started using 100 EZ leassons with him, and switched to OPGTR after about 30 or 40 lessons. He is somewhere around lesson 70 in OPGTR, but the words he can read in real life are much simpler than the ones he encounters in "reading lessons". His handwriting is better than his older brother's. He plowed through HWOT K in about a month. He would sit and do page after page in that book for fun, after I'd told him to put it away. He's also doing SL LA K, but I am annoyed by their writing instruction, and I skip a lot of things in it.

 

I shy away from all-in-one LA programs because my dc don't ever seem to line up the same in the various aspects of LA. For instance SL LA expected way too much writing, while being too easy/incremental in reading. Is PR just another all-in-one program that I would get frustrated with? If I do decide to go with it, could it work for my oldest? Or would I just use it for my boys?

 

Thanks for your input.

Edited by bonniebeth4
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Hi, Bonnie. Thanks for pming me. It took me away from the onset of high school crazies :willy_nilly: I have a plan, I have a plan, I have a plan, I have a plan.....

My 4th grader spends way too much time doing LA. She's using WWE3, MCT Town, Spelling Power, and GDI handwriting. I'd love to simplify her life, but I'm nervous about trying to start a program like PR where I would have to start at the beginning. She's very bright and balks when things are too easy or repetitive. Also, she learned to read in PS K, supplemented with 100 EZ Lessons at home. I've never been consistent with spelling. She has always been rather advanced in reading, but decidedly average (below average?) in spelling. She sounds a lot like my dd, who I started PR with in 4th grade (she's in 5th now, middle of L3 b/c we're pokey in general lately and no longer accelerate). The acceleration of levels 1 & 2 helped her moans of "easy" and as she realized the merit in the program, the balking about "easy" went away...of course, as the program beefed up and showed her that she didn't know as much as she thought she did came into play, she humbled out a bit, too. ;) You can get through the first 2 levels in one school year, maybe a bit less. You'll find that level 1 will fly through. She'll be mostly getting acquainted with the markings and songs (Rule Tunes). You can easily get through the first level by completing one week's worth of spelling in 1 day. Here is a post about our acceleration experience. Initially, the words will be easy and she'll have many of them memorized. The key during this time is to make connections between markings and Rule Tunes. These tools teach the WHY behind spelling. Once you get into L2, you'll find words that require understanding for spelling more than memorization. That's when the merit will show its face.

 

ETA: DD is also about 3/4 through LL1. I assume PR/LR would replace Latin if we decided to go that route? Dropping Latin would cut another half-hour out of her day and cut down on some of the LA repetition...Yes, it will do both of those things. By week 16 of L3, the word study begins. There is a sample of this on my blog.

 

DS(7) is on the older side for a 1st grader. He's operating on 2nd grade level in many things. He despises FLL 2 b/c of the repetition. He puts up with it b/c he's a nice boy, though. ;) His handwriting is pretty poor. He's currently using HWOT, and he does a page (or more often just part of one), puts away his book, and objects to doing any other writing for the rest of the day. He's also using WWE1, and doing fine with it (other than his poor handwriting). I taught him to read using 100 EZ lessons, then threw in the towel with that, went through SL readers 1, and now he's currently using OPGTR. He reads fluently, but I suspect that he guesses a lot. He balks at using OPGTR b/c it is so easy for him. I want to keep going through it to cut down on the guessing and fill in gaps in his reading, but we forget to do it on a regular basis, since he avoids it and groans about it. PR will cement the phonics you'll need after 100EZL. We used that here and b/c my children were reading well, I made the mistake of dropping phonics (unlike you and OPGTR). As a result, 4th grade rolled around and we were in trouble. Since you give sounds to spell the words, it's constant reinforcement. Since you mark the words, there's more reinforcement. You don't spell marsh M-A-R-S-H; you say /m/ /ar/star /sh/ You'll underline the teams (AR, SH) so you practice, practice, practice. With words, like "same", there is a song attached too, so your ds will understand WHY the E is there, why the A says it's name(you are told which song in the DVD). He'll then have the "why" "Sam" is not "Same" and why "Same" is not "Sam" :)

 

PR will work on the handwriting, too. Your ds will practice his spelling words on the clipboard (we actually us a white board that I drew lines on for practice, others use practice paper, chalkboards, sand, etc), then transfer with his best handwriting the words to his notebook. You really lift up the idea that he is creating his very own manual and how it needs to be his best work. The handwriting practice is incorporated into the lessons, so you don't have a separate subject.

 

He will probably also enjoy that the program seems less repetitious. As you come across spelling words with the same rule (for example, the silent final e), you'll add words to the appropriate Building Code (a page in the notebook that states the rule, then lists examples). With this, you get constant review via song, via notebook page, and through continually sounding out words.

 

Here is a post about a typical day so far as instruction and time spent with my boys when they were 7 and in PR2. We took 1.5 school years to complete years 1&2 with them. Starting in 1st/2nd grade up to current. L3 comes in hardcore ;) so we are slowing down here and plan on taking 3 years to complete levels 3 & 4. It's rich enough in content to do so and as I've said before, this approach allows us to practice our LA skills in other subject areas (history, science). Here is a post that shows how I used what we learned in PR and applied it to our history assignments.

DS(5) is very slowly learning to read. My other dc seemed to catch on faster, but maybe I'm mis-remembering. I started using 100 EZ leassons with him, and switched to OPGTR after about 30 or 40 lessons. He is somewhere around lesson 70 in OPGTR, but the words he can read in real life are much simpler than the ones he encounters in "reading lessons". His handwriting is better than his older brother's. He plowed through HWOT K in about a month. He would sit and do page after page in that book for fun, after I'd told him to put it away. He's also doing SL LA K, but I am annoyed by their writing instruction, and I skip a lot of things in it.

 

I shy away from all-in-one LA programs because my dc don't ever seem to line up the same in the various aspects of LA. For instance SL LA expected way too much writing, while being too easy/incremental in reading. Is PR just another all-in-one program that I would get frustrated with? If I do decide to go with it, could it work for my oldest? Or would I just use it for my boys?

 

Thanks for your input.

I love how using it reinforced many things for my dd and have taught her the why behind all we do. I love that it has made me a better teacher. It really took my knowledge and understanding of our language to a much higher level.

 

So far as the AIO aspect, you'll see from my blog posts that we jump, hop and work at different paces all the time. Once you're in L3, midway, you really do need to stay together, but that's not as hard as it seems. The lit. study combines and becomes the grammar study,too, so it's not like you have to do both subjects "on schedule." They are the Same schedule. You can always move around with the spelling, too, as it is pertinent only in dictation. You wouldn't want to get ahead in dictation b/c the child would not have practiced the spelling words. That is no problem at all.

 

I have found the AIO aspect makes a mental connection for the dc and I. They finally understand the LA is ONE subject, connected across the board and that using the skills together (spelling, reading, writing, analysis) is what allows us to communicate in all subjects through writing. I like that I have 1 resource to pull from that supplies me with superior teacher training. I love that it saves us time. I love that once I have taught this, since the program builds, teaching to the younger students is a breeze. I can grab and go.

 

I love that we're saving time daily. There are days when spelling takes 5min. There are days is takes 20. There are days when grammar takes 5 min. and others 20. There are days when lit. will do the same thing. I love that writing is incorporated in a meaningful way and on days when the assignments may take longer, I can easily split the assignment and move forward. I love that there is no pressure to finish in 1-school year. The content is wonderful and I am well pleased that it will cover our LA needs enough to spend time working through everything. I love that it leads wonderfully into The Latin Road, which has been a wonderful addition to our homeschooling (it's equally effective, rigorous, and also well done).

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Tina, thank you so much for your thorough reply! I don't want to jump ship with what we're using right now. My ds is just getting to the point where I can reuse materials from when I started hs'ing dd! But I've been feeling very bogged down with LA this year. I feel like I keep having to add stuff on to make it complete, but then I end up scheduling redundancy into our days. Aargh!

 

I'm looking forward to convention season starting up so that I can get my hot little hands on some of these programs that I am contemplating. :D

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Tina, thank you so much for your thorough reply! I don't want to jump ship with what we're using right now. My ds is just getting to the point where I can reuse materials from when I started hs'ing dd! But I've been feeling very bogged down with LA this year. I feel like I keep having to add stuff on to make it complete, but then I end up scheduling redundancy into our days. Aargh!

 

I'm looking forward to convention season starting up so that I can get my hot little hands on some of these programs that I am contemplating. :D

You are welcome. Seeing PR at a convention and bugging Mrs. Beers to death made the final decision for me :)

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