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Livinglessmom

1st grade phonics/language arts recommendation

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This is my first year homeschooling and we are using Classical Conversations and math u see. I have two first graders and I am not sure what to use for phonics/language arts. My kids learned phonics last year and went through readers at their school called SAM books. They can read small beginning readers but they are still learning to sound out harder words and they do not know all the rules that apply to the exceptions. They learned some about punctuation last year like periods but they do know know a whole lot beyond that. I am having the hardest time figuring out what I should do with them this year........do they still need more phonics? How much time should I spend on language arts? I need something very simple for me to implement with them b/c I clearly do not know what I am doing! I also don't want to become too ambitious and then struggle all year to keep up but I want them to have a solid reading foundation! Suggestions and input please!!!!!

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Spalding.

 

Spalding teaches children to read by teaching them to spell--two birds with one stone. :-) Spalding also covers penmanship, basic capitalization and punctuation, and simple writing, all in one fell swoop.

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Yes, they definitely need more phonics! Language Arts is the bulk of our homeschool, about 1 hour a day. For us, this is what Language Arts looks like:

 

Grammar: First Language Lessons

Phonics: Abeka Phonics 1

Writing: writing with ease

Spelling: All About Spelling 1

Handwriting: Handwriting without tears

 

For phonics, have you looked at Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading? That might be a good place to start. I really like the Peace Hill Press curricula for first grade (first language lessons, writing with ease) I feel it is such a gentle introduction to everything.

Here are a few options for LA that we considered--

 

Grammar: First Language Lessons, Growing with Grammar

Phonics: Abeka, Ordinary Parents guide to Reading, Phonics Pathways

Writing: writing with ease, winning with Writing

Spelling: All About Spelling 1, Spelling Workout, Spelling Power

Handwriting: Handwriting without tears, Zaner-Bloser

All in one LA: Phonics Road

 

Have you read the Well Trained Mind? SWB does an amazing job of breaking each subject down and helping us to keep our expectations on target...

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The two most popular approaches here are to use either The Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling or The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading + a handwriting program, then moving to First Language Lessons + All About Spelling + Writing With Ease once the children are mostly finished with OPGTR.

 

They certainly need more phonics since they are still reading at a beginning level.

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Thank you for that input, I will look into the suggestions. My son hates practicing handwriting so I am going to try and pick something that won't be a huge fight!

 

I haven't finished the well trained mind. I have it and I will look at those sections today for a better understanding of the different parts of language arts!

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Yes, they definitely need more phonics! Language Arts is the bulk of our homeschool, about 1 hour a day. For us, this is what Language Arts looks like:

 

Grammar: First Language Lessons

Phonics: Abeka Phonics 1

Writing: writing with ease

Spelling: All About Spelling 1

Handwriting: Handwriting without tears

 

For phonics, have you looked at Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading? That might be a good place to start. I really like the Peace Hill Press curricula for first grade (first language lessons, writing with ease) I feel it is such a gentle introduction to everything.

Here are a few options for LA that we considered--

 

Grammar: First Language Lessons, Growing with Grammar

Phonics: Abeka, Ordinary Parents guide to Reading, Phonics Pathways

Writing: writing with ease, winning with Writing

Spelling: All About Spelling 1, Spelling Workout, Spelling Power

Handwriting: Handwriting without tears, Zaner-Bloser

All in one LA: Phonics Road

 

Have you read the Well Trained Mind? SWB does an amazing job of breaking each subject down and helping us to keep our expectations on target...

 

Have you been happy with hand writing without tears? I have looked into it. I also looked into Phonics Pathways but it seemed like my kids were beyond where it was at.

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I have always liked Rod and STaff phonics. It covers spelling and dictation as well. It is not a WTM rec, but it has worked for us. It gets into all of the exceptions over the 2 yrs; 1st and 2nd grade. It is very thorough.

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We're a year behind you, but I thought I'd toss out what we use anyway :D

 

Luke uses:

Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading for phonics. We LOVE it.

BOB Books for reading.

ETC for 'spelling,' really it's not spelling, but a different approach to reading that leads to spelling... if that makes sense.

Zaner Bloser handwriting. I LOVE that the work is short. Luke chooses which was his *best* for the day and this makes him try a little harder.

First Language Lessons for grammar. He enjoys it, and this is my second time through (I also used it for my older son).

We will use Spelling Workout for spelling once Luke has gotten stronger with reading.

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I do Phonics Road and Ordinary Parent's Guide to teaching reading together.

 

Phonics Road level 1: handwriting, phonograms, spelling rules, reading. Level 2 continues and adds grammar and literature analysis. Level three continues all of the above plus latin roots/vocab... It's really an all-in-one LA.

 

I do Ordinary Parent's Guide with it because my children are ready to read before Phonics Road gets to the reading in level 1. You don't need OPG though.

 

I've also used Handwriting Without Tears and it is great to teach handwriting with. We just used the student workbooks, nothing else.

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I'm very excited to be starting Phonics road to spelling and reading level 1. (if you want more info, look for posts by johnandtinagilbert.)

 

My oldest is a classics major, so it really appeals to that part of me. and as an orton-gillingham method, it should work better for my CAPD son.

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Have you been happy with hand writing without tears? I have looked into it. I also looked into Phonics Pathways but it seemed like my kids were beyond where it was at.

 

We love handwriting without tears. Especially the manipulatives aspect . . .

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What does your gut instinct tell you about what they need? Are they the kind of kids who are perfectly happy to learn things from context, or do they like to know rules?

 

The vast majority of people, including a great many excellent readers, have absolutely no conscious clue about phonics rules. You know your children best. If they would feel more confident about reading if they knew more rules, by all means have them study rules. But they don't need to know rules to be good readers.

 

Incidentally, the SAM books are available online and constitute a phonics program, so you might look at the more advanced sets they haven't already done.

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