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Son doesn't want school to start because of AAR

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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.....

 

 

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Well, it seems to me you tried four different methods with him before he was 6. That's a lot of opportunity for confusion, KWIM? I think it would be a mistake to say that he "doesn't like to learn to read" and that he's "lazy."

 

And you say he is reading, so I'd tend to be on the wait-for-awhile-before-starting-something band wagon.

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He's reading, but I'd love to get him reading long vowel words, which we haven't gotten to yet.  It would just open up more reading options.  And I wouldn't say he's confused.  He catches on fairly quickly to whatever program is before him.....he just hates the process.

 

Oh, I forgot about trying Starfall and REading Eggs...Leap Frog videos too...and Explode the Code!  DS actually oved Explode the Code, but I stopped it when we started AAR because it just seemed like overkill.  Maybe we should go back.  Hmmm....that's a thought.  Do you think ETC needs supplemented with anything other than level appropriate readers?  I'm just so afraid I'm going to miss something big if we don't do a full-fledged phonics program!

 

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Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.  :)

 

When/if you need to spice it up - write the sentences out on the window or sliding glass door (use window markers) and have him read them.  Write them on a white board.  Write them on slips of paper and have him read them one at a time.  Write them on index cards you hide around the room.  

 

I probably wouldn't shell out much more money for different programs at this point, honestly.  OPGTR is one book, so not a huge investment.  He should finish up reading about 4th grade level.  

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My youngest was just late to read.  i didnt push it, but just did a little stuff here and there, no formal program.  My younger two learned to read that way by 5, but this one needed 2 more years before he was ready.  I would take a break for a couple of months - just read simple books with him every day with no pressure for him to master anything - and then go formal again after xmas and see if he's more ready.  

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With my two older kids, we took breaks for a few weeks every few months, when it seemed like no progress was being made.

 

Maybe after those weeks they were more mature, more willing, who knows what, but both made great strides after a 3-4 week break. Maybe my attitude was better, too.

 

Emily

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Well, it seems to me you tried four different methods with him before he was 6. That's a lot of opportunity for confusion, KWIM? I think it would be a mistake to say that he "doesn't like to learn to read" and that he's "lazy."

 

And you say he is reading, so I'd tend to be on the wait-for-awhile-before-starting-something band wagon.

 

 

Yep.  

 

Ellie, you said this so nicely.

 

 Be strong, mom.  :)  You set the curriculum.  :)  And as SWB writes in TWTM, "Don't ask, 'Do you want to do your reading now?' (They always say no.) Plan it as matter-of-factly as you would plan toothbrushing and bedmaking."  Actually, there are several paragraphs that speak to this in Chapter 4.....

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I would do what you have but I don't think that it would be a huge mistake to pick up opgtr after aar 1. Reading is work and it sounds like he's going to complain about whatever program you use so you may as well save yourself the money and frustration of bending over backwards to make him enjoy it. Opgtr will allow you to follow a similar og path and spice it up if you feel like it. You can still use the aar tiles with opgtr.

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He's reading, but I'd love to get him reading long vowel words, which we haven't gotten to yet. It would just open up more reading options. And I wouldn't say he's confused. He catches on fairly quickly to whatever program is before him.....he just hates the process.

 

Oh, I forgot about trying Starfall and REading Eggs...Leap Frog videos too...and Explode the Code! DS actually oved Explode the Code, but I stopped it when we started AAR because it just seemed like overkill. Maybe we should go back. Hmmm....that's a thought. Do you think ETC needs supplemented with anything other than level appropriate readers? I'm just so afraid I'm going to miss something big if we don't do a full-fledged phonics program!

. My oldest learned to read with ETC and readers so it can work. We also threw in some games from Happy Phonics. He's a great reader and speller.

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McRuffy LA, maybe? Start with the transition Kinder package. 

 

Other than that, if he liked ETC, I say go back and use it. Add in some readers you have around and call it a day.

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He's reading, but I'd love to get him reading long vowel words, which we haven't gotten to yet.  It would just open up more reading options.  And I wouldn't say he's confused.  He catches on fairly quickly to whatever program is before him.....he just hates the process.

 

Oh, I forgot about trying Starfall and REading Eggs...Leap Frog videos too...and Explode the Code!  DS actually oved Explode the Code, but I stopped it when we started AAR because it just seemed like overkill.  Maybe we should go back.  Hmmm....that's a thought.  Do you think ETC needs supplemented with anything other than level appropriate readers?  I'm just so afraid I'm going to miss something big if we don't do a full-fledged phonics program!

 

I think you need to back off for awhile on any actual instruction, and just let him read. Not readers, but good trade books (books you'd find in the library). He's *just 6.* If you want to do ETC in a few months, then only do ETC. Not Starfall, not Reading Eggs, not AAR. Not readers. Just ETC.

 

There are other things that are more comprehensive than ETC, and you could do those eventually; I just think you've done too much in too short a time, and you need to back off for awhile.

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My DD was like that. She just wasn't keen on doing the work to get reading. We used PP as well and she didn't love it but it was the one program that really helped with her blending issues so we stuck with it. I made a sticker chart and for every page she read she got a sticker and when it was filled she got a little reward.

 

She also didn't like our other phonics program either when the readers started to get a little harder and longer. For a while I just let her read a page or two in the harder ones instead of making her finish the whole thing in one sitting...she became more willing when she knew it was only a page or two.  It took a while for her stamina for reading to increase but as it got easier for her I increased the amount she had to read. She is a kid that gets overwhelmed when she sees a whole book even if she can read it ok...so I just broke it down to what she could manage.

 

Eventually after reading became easier for her she showed more enthusiasm for her readers. Even though it was very, very slow teaching her to read at the beginning she is now reading several grades above her age level. The easier reading became the more she was willing to do it.

 

Don't change a good curriculum just because you've hit a slow patch. Give your son rewards and break it down to his management. Don't call a kid lazy when they are just starting out with reading...it is hard for a lot of kids especially the ones who get overwhelmed and tired easily. Go slower and reward him for doing the parts he doesn't like.

 

For a while when my DD really didn't want to read out of the PP book I would write the words one at a time on the whiteboard and have her read them from there. She was much more co-operative when she only saw the one word at a time rather then the huge list all at once.

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Thanks for the thoughts thus far.  Keep them coming.  At this point I'm thinking about quitting all reading practice until school starts.  I threw the next level of Nora Gaydos books in my Amazon cart, cuz those are his favorite readers at this point, but we only have the level 1 ones and I would like to gently push him onward.  Still leaning towards ETC again, since he liked that.  But yeah, keep the thoughts coming.

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Can someone please lay out for me the basics behind OPGTR and how it works?  I see it mentioned on here a lot, but am really not familiar with it.

 

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Learning to read is HARD WORK.  And while it has it's moments, those glorious ah-ha moments, most of it is torture.  (for parent AND child in my opinion)

 

I'm guessing this is your eldest?  I'm guessing that because with my eldest I jumped curriculum like nobodies business for the first couple of years.  Then I realized there is no perfect curriculum.  There will always be resistance, there will always be complaining, there will always be someone who doesn't like it!  Just like dinnertime. 

What works?  What appeals to you both?  What fits your family?  And at the same time you are answering those questions, block out all the research, all the outside voices of judgement about what curricula is the most thorough or the best rated.  Block them out!  The best rated curricula that everyone is raving about, if your child hates it, if you hate it, it isn't for you.  And that is OK.  You have to do what works for your family.

My kids learned to read with bits of HOP and bits of ETC.  They are both FANTASTIC readers!  Those are not top rated programs, but they were what we had available, and they worked for us.  While I don't highly recommend HOP, it worked.  It got them started.  I think ETC has it's place and is great.  My kids loved it until their reading skills surpassed it and then it became a chore and we ended up dropping it before the end.  Their road to reading was messy and imperfect, but it got them each there at their own pace. 

Also, one little tip... readers can get so dull. If there is another book that is above his level that he wants to read, let him try.  Because it's usually when they're motivated that the little breakthroughs happen.  So while readers have their place, so do the "real" books. 

So, deep breath.  Keep it simple.  Evaluate what is working for you and what is not.  Keep and toss.  Simplify.  Relax.  Enjoy library trips together.  Keep going.  That's my .02. 

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My DD 7 was like that when she was young.  We never tried any formal phonics program but she always resisted reading herself. So, we did read a lot to her, specially books that are fun with lots of pictures.  We read every night to her.  While reading the book to her once in a while I would pick a few easy words for her to read.  My suggestions would be what Ellie said above, take a break but continue to read fun books to your DS.  After a few months, see how he reacts.

 

By the way, it worked for us, My DD 7 loves reading now.  We get about 20 books a week from the Library each week and she reads them all by the end of the week.  She gets to pick her own books from the library. I still read to her every night for about 20 minutes. 

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I think you should pick one that you have done that worked (not necessarily that he liked, but that got him reading), and stick with it. Just tell him that you're doing 10 minutes a day, every weekday, and once that 10 minutes is up, you can read from a fun reader of his choice.

 

My 6 year old is doing Phonics Pathways. He does not enjoy phonics instruction. At all. There is no program that will make him enjoy it. It's hard work. As reading becomes easier, he will enjoy it more. But I do not even try to make phonics "fun". We just get it done daily. It's a routine. He knows it will happen, and he knows that whining about it isn't allowed. Recently, he's been VERY excited to read some readers we have. Unfortunately, some of them are sight-word type readers (Ready Readers, etc.), but I also have him going through pure phonics based readers (SSRW set from 1978). When doing readers, I just briefly explain the phonics behind whatever new word we meet. It's not a big deal. We'll eventually hit it in Phonic Pathways. We're getting oh so close to the long vowels section, finally. :D

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I would carry on with AAR2 because it has worked - you say your child is reading and not even having to sound out words. So he doesn't like it - mine doesn't like handwriting, but she must still write and in fact I insist that she writes well no matter how difficult or boring it seems to be for her. Some things just have to be done.

 

What I would do is shorten the lessons - down to 10 minutes at a time maximum - if he needs more to get it done then you split it into multiple sessions of reading. If he is only reading one sentence in that 10 minutes then so be it - at least it is one sentence. Try this for a week and if he is coping fine with it extend to 12 minutes for another week for each session and so on til you are up to about 20 minutes (and at this age I wouldn't go beyond that at all). You can hate something for 10 minutes and still get something out of it without it ruining anything. Not everything has to be fun or easy.

 

Try to see if with the phonics he knows he could possibly read some words that for him are more exciting or interesting - what is he most interested in - start the lesson teaching one word that he really loves - if it is beyond the phonics he has done, so what - teach him the phonics for that word then and then get on with the rest of the lesson. Let him choose this word or even short sentence - point out the parts he knows and then teach the parts he doesn't know (long vowels, multiple syllables and all). And then he has had his choice, now its yours and he must do the lesson. 

 

My DD started reading very young and still we went through OPGTR - 4-8 words at a time. It wasn't fun for her, but it was very very short and sweet and she didn't mind because of the length. She has now been reading for almost 3 years and in the last few months she told me that reading was her favourite part of school - a part that she used to sigh and moan about only a few months before. People worry too much about killing a love of learning/reading - if you give them the right books once they know how to read then you will not kill it, but they have to be able to read them and that has to be taught.

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He's really young, I think he's made great progress. Those fluency sheets in AAR are designed with lots of practice to help older, remedial learners as well. New, young readers don't need to do the full sheet. I'd have him read one or two lines from each section (words, phrases, sentences) and tell him he can move on. You can use the word cards for fluency practice until he reads them easily. Make up silly phrases or sentences with the cards, and let him make up ones for you to read too. I wouldn't get bogged down with the fluency pages for a 6 yo.

 

Level 2 might make it a bit easier since the fluency pages are divided between regular and "challenge" words, but you still might want to adapt them for a younger beginner. The TM says you can adapt these to your child's needs.

 

You can also take turns reading the fluency pages with him--you read a line, he reads a line (or use a puppet or favorite stuffed animal--many kids really like having a "reading buddy," and it can make the time more fun).

 

Some kids like to highlight or put a sticker after each line they read on those pages too, to physically mark their progress.

 

Another thing I've seen help, is to have the child read just one line from each section, move on, and then each day read just one more line from the previous fluency page (or write that line on a white board for him to read and then erase--my kids used to LOVE to erase words after they read them!)

 

Just some thoughts! Merry :-)

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Try cutting the fluency practice sheet into strips....it is much less intimidating!  Sometimes I also give my DS one skittle or chocolate chip for each strip he reads....our dentist loves us, LOL.

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I have had 2 kids who loved any type of phonics/reading instruction back in the day.  It was fun to them.  Then I have my 2 boys.  Boy #1-my oldest....taught me a lot about the difference in learning styles between kids.  We must have done 5 or 6 phonics programs by the time he was 6 and I was so worried that he was just not picking up and wanting to read books and we seemed to start over again at the very beginning with each program.  He hated any kinds of flashcards, basal readers, or charts.  Finally, when he was 6 turning 7...I bought The Reading Lesson.  The concept was simple we worked on 3 pages a day and from the very first lesson he was reading.  He finally did not hate "reading" time.  I realized he actually could read better than I had given him credit for with all the other programs with the systemic phonics and all the bells and whistles.  

Before we ever got to the end of the book (it is an all in one book with 20 lessons that each have about 20 pages to them), he was reading Goosebumps chapter books.  Boy # 2-started with The Reading Lesson and it was so much easier than any of the complex phonics programs.  

All that to say, sometimes less is more.  If you like ETC, stick with it.  

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I think you need to back off for awhile on any actual instruction, and just let him read. Not readers, but good trade books (books you'd find in the library). He's *just 6.* If you want to do ETC in a few months, then only do ETC. Not Starfall, not Reading Eggs, not AAR. Not readers. Just ETC.

 

There are other things that are more comprehensive than ETC, and you could do those eventually; I just think you've done too much in too short a time, and you need to back off for awhile.

 

:iagree:     

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