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Phonics - Need help, advice recommendations...


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My 5 yo has fine motor delays, visual impairment, and she has a few other delays as well.  She is still working on learning her letters.  I've been using AAR Level pre-1.  I need to determine what curriculum to use to teach phonics.  The letters/words need to be bigger than in the average book.  I don't want the pages to be cluttered.  I don't want a bunch of "extra fluff".  We don't need games, worksheets and activities.  I like short lessons.  Here are some that I've considered so far...

 

AAR - I feel like there is so much unnecessary "stuff" to do with each lesson.  The lessons seem to take forever.  I used level 1 for my older daughter.  Also, I would like to not have to spend so much on so many different levels.

 

Phonics Pathways - The pages seem very cluttered.  I have heard good things about this program otherwise.

 

The Reading Lesson - The pages seem great.  White, clean, large letters.  I've heard many say that their children did not do well with this program.  Many hit a block a few lessons in or finish and still can't read.

 

Sing, Spell, Read & Write - This sounds like it would take forever to implement each day!

 

Delightful Reading (Simply Charlotte Mason) - This is appealing to me.  I've not read many reviews, though.  Price is right, and I think the mix of tiles/whiteboard would work well for dd.

 

Alpha Phonics - This seems interesting, but I really struggle to understand how the lessons go.  The samples don't provide much insight.

 

LOE Foundations - Way too much time and fluff. 

 

Thoughts? Feedback? Opinions? ---  Thanks!

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My 5 yo has fine motor delays, visual impairment, and she has a few other delays as well.  She is still working on learning her letters.  I've been using AAR Level pre-1.  I need to determine what curriculum to use to teach phonics.  The letters/words need to be bigger than in the average book.  I don't want the pages to be cluttered.  I don't want a bunch of "extra fluff".  We don't need games, worksheets and activities.  I like short lessons.  Here are some that I've considered so far...

....

The Reading Lesson - The pages seem great.  White, clean, large letters.  I've heard many say that their children did not do well with this program.  Many hit a block a few lessons in or finish and still can't read.

 

Thoughts? Feedback? Opinions? ---  Thanks!

The Reading Lesson sounds like it would be perfect for what you want it for. I have used it with several children ages 3+ and each one of them has learned to read quite well with The Reading Lesson. I :wub: The Reading Lesson. You can read more about how I use it in this post about Get er done curricula that I used and recommend.

 

Also, I'm not sure who you have been talking too, but the Amazon reviews give a wide range of reviews and testimonies and most of them are seemingly genuine 5 and 4 star reviews. You can PM me any time you want more information about this wonderful, wonderful resource.

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I'm not sure what teaching letters means to you. I don't recommending teaching letter names first.  I recommend teaching letter sounds first. No one needs to know the letter names to read. It's an necessary and cumbersome step.  Some (certainly not all) children taught letter names first will have a hard time remembering which is the letter name and which is the letter sound and will struggle with reading words they way we read vanity license plates where we sometimes use the letter names as substitutes for letter sounds due to limited space.

 

C U L8R = See you later.  C (letter name C substituted for the word see) U (letter name U substituted for the word you) and the letter sound  l+  the name of the digit 8 (ate) + the letter sound R. It's a mix and some kids taught the mix unnecessarily will be prone to "reading" this way. 

 

All you have to do with Phonics Pathways (PP) is cover anything you consider a distraction with a blank sheet of paper, but most children don't have a problem with it.  It's breathtakingly efficient.  I hate bells and whistles and fluff in curriculum too.  I want my kids in real books ASAP so their love of reading isn't squashed with spending time in phonics readers and flashcards too long.  Use the Reading Pathways book with PP for effective fluency practice. http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Pathways-Exercises-Improve-Fluency/dp/0787992895/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433624196&sr=1-1&keywords=reading+pathways

 

Also, most 5 year olds aren't really ready to start leaning to read.  We spend far too much time in phonics with most kids because we start before their brains are developed enough. They take much longer to master things than they would if we just waited a year or two. For a great guidelines for when a child is really ready to start learning to read and to learn how to teach reading with real books instead of using curriculum and to learn how to evaluate curriculum if you choose to use it, get the pamphlet  Homestart in Reading by Ruth Beechick. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Start-Reading-Grades-K-3/dp/0940319004/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1433624121&sr=8-6&keywords=ruth+beechick

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Try talking letter factory DVD to teach letter sounds and names.

 

I would use Blend Phonics or Word Mastery from a white board, write the letters in large uppercase font. Both are free online from Don Potter. I have explicit instructions in how to add syllables and spelling rules to Blend Phonics on my how to tutor page, the guide linked at the end.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/howtotutor.html

 

You could do the same with Phonics Pathways or any other program, use the book for you and write the words one at a time in large uppercase letters for her.

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mom2bee you might be right.  I read too many reviews.  There are always going to be bad reviews on every curriculum.  I know that.  I see that you can get The Reading Lesson "kindle version" for FREE right now on Amazon.  I am going to review this on the kindle app I have on my mac.  I'll try the first lesson with her and see how she responds. 

 

Do you supplement with Explode The Code (ETC) or Bob books?

 

Also, I have been teaching her letter sounds first.  I have read Ruth Beechick's book.  I agree that that is important.

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mom2bee you might be right. I read too many reviews. There are always going to be bad reviews on every curriculum. I know that. I see that you can get The Reading Lesson "kindle version" for FREE right now on Amazon. I am going to review this on the kindle app I have on my mac. I'll try the first lesson with her and see how she responds.

 

Do you supplement with Explode The Code (ETC) or Bob books?

 

Also, I have been teaching her letter sounds first. I have read Ruth Beechick's book. I agree that that is important.

I have been tutoring remedial reading for 21 years, and some programs do produce move remedial students than others. I have not seen "The Reading Lesson," but it looks like it teaches a fair number of sight words. The more sight words a program uses, the more remedial students I generally get from it.

 

Here is how and why not to teach sight words as wholes and how to teach all but 5 of the 220 Dolch sight words phonetically:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/sightwords.html

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mom2bee you might be right.  I read too many reviews.  There are always going to be bad reviews on every curriculum.  I know that.  I see that you can get The Reading Lesson "kindle version" for FREE right now on Amazon.  I am going to review this on the kindle app I have on my mac.  I'll try the first lesson with her and see how she responds. 

 

Do you supplement with Explode The Code (ETC) or Bob books?

 

Also, I have been teaching her letter sounds first.  I have read Ruth Beechick's book.  I agree that that is important.

I don't know anything about the Kindle version. The first 2 lessons are free PDFS on the website. I much prefer to print the lessons, one set at a time. But I have used it with kids straight from the laptops screen also.

 

With a child who is able to blend already we usually do 1 lesson every 3-7 days but I can and do spread it out longer if need be. I never go faster than 1 lesson in 3 days as we only skip one page (its an animal phonics puzzle page and its very early in the book. Kids usually find it very confusing so I just skip that page)

 

I supplement depending on the child. Usually I do not supplement before the end of lesson 5--because we do beginning reading/phonics every day with a child at that stage and TRL includes phonetically controlled "stories" within the text itself. If a child wants or needs more help, then I supplement.

 

I have never used ETC but I have used Bob Books and I think that Bob Books have small, thin print so in your case they may hurt more than help. For a child who needs larger print, I would not recommend Bob Books. Instead of Bob, you might try Progressive Phonics Readers or I See Sam Readers.

 

As far as "sight words" TRL is not full of sight words. Its been a while, but if memory serves there are 10 "sight" words taught in the entire book and its very easy to teach them phonetically. Just like any other curriculum, its up to the teacher to teach it, no matter what the text on the page says.

 

As we go through each lesson we learn the number words--the number word is on every-other page in large print and point it out and sound out the word if possible so that the kids learn and familiarize themselves with the words as we go.

 

Lesson 09 teaches the word "you" as a sight word. I just sound it out for them---/y/+/oo/=you, until they do it for themselves.

Lesson 11 teaches "to" and "do" as sight words while teaching the /oo/ sound. I teach them to sound the words out as /oo/ words

Lesson 16 teaches the numbers as sight words but "one", "two" and "eight" are the only ones that child won't be able to sound out.

Lesson 17 teachers the word "who" as a sight. I teach it as a part of the "to" and "do" group. I underline the "ho" so they know "w" is silent.

Lesson 19 teaches "could", "would" and "should" as sight words, but I model sounding them out.

 

There are "key words" for each lesson--but they are taught phonetically and the child is given a lot of practice sounding out each word, reading the words in phrases and stories. The key words at the end of a lesson are NOT meant to be sight words. They are sort of like a "test"--if the child can read those words easily then go on to the next lesson. If not, you may want to review.

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