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xixstar

AAR Pre or Level 1

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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.

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If your dd knows letters and sounds, can oral blend, rhyme, identify beginning and ending sounds, and is blending cvc words, I would do AAR 1. Just keep in mind that AAR 1 ramps up fast. It is blending in the first lesson. If your dd is not already reading cvc or read to, then I would think pre level.

 

I started my 5 yo in pre level, we completed it in 6 weeks and I did not regret it at all. He completed it, AAR 1, and now is working through AAR 2 all this year for K.

 

We absolutely love the program and it has been well worth the investment.

 

I have a younger child who will use the program so that makes it even more a better investment. :)

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my suggestion is to go ahead with aar1. there are some free books for pre reading on the website i got when my son first started and i was nervous he wasnt quite ready, if you want aomething

for a little review. we LOVED AAR1 and would have continued with 2 if not for money issues. my son still reads the readers on his own for fun, and ive also seriously cinsidered buying the otherreaders since he loved them so much. we are just about done with 100Ez, which we started at lesson 35 or so after completing aar1. anyhow, personally i wouldnt spend the money on prelevel1 if my child was that close to being ready for level 1. also sorry about typos. yay for a new tablet tho! :) a side note: iwould start AAS1 about halfway thru aar1. we waited until after finishing the whole level and my son was painfully bored for the first several lessons because it was too easy after knowing those words for so long. also, dont be afraid of taking your time or moving ahead when necessary. my son would do 2 lessins a day sometimes, doing both a "learning" lesson and reading a story in one sitting, while on other days we barely got thru half a lesson because he just wouldnt focus or wasnt into it that day.

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I started my dd who turned 5 at the end of January in AAR 1 a couple weeks ago. It is perfect for her. If your dd knows the basic letter sounds and is ready to blend go for it. You can always slow down and review if it gets too hard. :)

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Does your dd know her upper and lower case letters, know their sounds, and know how to clap syllables and rhyme? If so, go with AAR 1. No doubt. You cam buy Pre for your other child in the future when it fits your budget. I bought Pre, but dd flew through it so easily. Thankfully for me, I do have youngers that will use it, so not a waste.

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I would go with level 1 aar. I also debated a long time due to how much more expensive it was compared to opgtr but I've found it to be worth its price. The readers are a big part of the price and with opgtr you will need to rummage through your library looking for something that lines up or you will need to purchase something separate, thus incurring additional cost. Regarding the ongoing cost, yes, it will add up, but you can revisit after level 1 or after level 2. I think that by the end of level 2 you would have a very easy time finding appropriate readers at the library. Your dd will also be older, more mature, and possibly have less need for the younger-child-friendly presentation in aar. At that point, perhaps you could switch to opgtr to save some money.

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Thanks so much. I will hold off on Pre-Level until youngest is closer to reading -- well, will probably just keep doing what we're doing and skip that too. I was a little worried about whether dd4 is blending things or now and saw some Progressive Phonics books online and showed her the first one and she was able to read all the words in it once she sounded them out, without prompting too. So yeah, guess she is really ready to move forward.

 

 

Also spent a little time with OPGTR and was thinking about trying to just work it the way AAR does and see if I could basically build it myself -- but the readers I have (some BOB books and another collection that is missing) need you to cover many lessons before all the included words are covered. The readers in the program look really nice and I know dd would really value being able to do something herself -- so here I'm back in my wishywashy mode. Work hard and build something myself or just buy the program. Guess I need to talk to DH for sure since it is more than we'd talked about for K curriculum.

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I agree with the others--you really can go by the placement tests, and it sounds like your dd has already covered the important skills from pre-reading.

 

You can also look at the samples if you aren't sure--here are samples for pre-reading, 1, and 2.

 

HTH as you decide which way to go! Sometimes I like to make my own stuff, and sometimes it's easier and more fun for my kids if I go with something that's already made that's a good fit for us--so I can see both sides of your dilemma.

 

Merry :-)

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Well, because I was over-thinking this and after doing some more checking to see exactly where dd is and realizing she is far more motivated now and probably much more likely to do well with OPGTR this time around (especially now having a better idea of how to make it more hands on and fun) - we're going with option 2.

 

Also factoring in is finding a brand new copy of Happy Phonics at a used homeschooling store for twenty-something -- I think this along with the ETC books I picked up at the homeschool fair will give us enough fun hands-on things to get us through reading instruction. :)

 

DH is far more in favor of this option too since dd seems so motivated, why opt for an elaborate program if we might not need to. He wanted to give what we had another try and I agree.

 

So now .. time to obsess on when to buy and add in AAS! :)

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So now .. time to obsess on when to buy and add in AAS! :)

 

LOL! Let her get her feet wet with reading a bit first. The author recommends AAS any time after finishing AAR 1 or the equivalent. So, when she's pretty solid on CVC words, blends, short vowel compound words, and short open-vowel words (like go, me, etc...) would probably be a good time. But if she's very motivated about writing like she is with reading--wants to write, asks how to spell things etc..., you could start sooner.

 

Hope you have a great year! Merry :-)

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I found with dd that i had to really mix things up with OPGTR to make it interesting - but I think it is a solid program. I wrote words/sentences on strips of paper with crayon and handed them to her one at a time. I typed up sentences in different colors. I put sentences in easter eggs, had them lined up on the floor upside down, used whiteboards, played games when I could, etc. Just looking at the book was way too much for her early on.

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