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Saxon Phonics?


LMCme
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Hi All,

 

I was wondering if anyone here has tried Saxon Phonics.  DS just turned 4 and really enjoys "doing school".  We only do math and phonics formally, so "school" is about 30 minutes per day (plus a ton of reading aloud and real life learning).  We started Saxon Math K a couple of months ago, and he loves it and is really thriving.  I had tried a couple of different phonics approaches, but as you can imagine despite his desire to do school, he has an extremely limited attention span and is very active (think jumping on the bed) during our lessons.  Nonetheless, they are pleasant experiences for both of us, and he really wants to keep doing phonics.  Finally we settled on MCP plaid phonics level K as a good way to do phonics because he wanted to do worksheets and each worksheet is very brief.

 

While I think it's a great intro to his letters and sound-letter correspondence, as well as aural training, I doubt MCP will be the final phonics solution we're looking for.  We had tried 100 Easy Lessons, but he was distracted by all the extra type on the page.  Same problem with Ordinary Parent's Guide.  I'm nervous about curricula that combine handwriting and phonics like MCP because his fine motor skills just aren't there, and when his attention span gets limited it's hard to keep correcting his writing.  I'd rather he not have bad habits when we start really doing it in a year.

 

Which brings me to Saxon.  Like I mentioned, he loves his Saxon Math curriculum and is learning a ton in a very developmentally appropriate manner.  I like teaching from it because it's easy for me to follow and prep for each lesson.  The thing is, I'm anxious about shelling out the money for Saxon phonics because I don't know anyone who has used it, and I've never seen it.  Anyone here use it?  Thoughts?  How much writing is there, and how easy is it to skip that part?  Any other ideas if you don't like Saxon.

 

p.s. we're a media free household, so DVD and computer based approaches are not possible with our current level of technology :)

 

Thanks!

LMC

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Hey!

While I haven't tried the phonics program your asking about, just wanted to give you an idea for using OPGTR. When my newly 4 yr old and I started with it last fall, I noticed he too had trouble with all the print on the page, it was so too small. I spent 4-5 months writing out the daily words as we went through the lesson, and each sentence, too. After that I tried going straight from the page and it was fine.

As for the wiggles, it's getting better, but we never do it at the table, mostly on the couch or floor. It's only for 15 to 20 minutes and I think it's good training for him to be still for only a short time.

Hoping others can give you info on saxon phonics, but thought just in case you were willing to give OPGTR another try.... :)

 

Good luck!

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I have not used Saxon Phonics sorry. We had the same issues with 100 lessons (I honestly struggle to see how anyone enjoys using that book, but I know it works for some people!) and finally settled on the free program called Blend Phonics over at Don Potters site http://www.donpotter.net/education_pages/blend_phonics.html

 

It has been super easy to follow and each day we just write out the words as instructed on a dry erase board and make up silly sentences. It's really improved my 5 yo's blending skills within just days (before she was sight reading and if she stopped to sound it out she just couldn't blend it together at all). I ordered the printed version for a few pounds/dollars so it's easy for me to just open and see the lists of words for that lesson. I try to do as many of the words as we can comfortably do for each lesson. It is super simple and has built in review of previously learned sounds (like "those" on the day we learn o__e to cover th again).

 

It's so simple you can be as flexible as you want with it. I wish I'd found it sooner!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Since we had already bought OPGTR, I tried Jacbeaumont's idea and it worked!  It was so simple that I couldn't believe I didn't think of it myself, but we worked through lessons 27 to 30 on Friday and Saturday and my son was so proud of himself reading three letter words.  Amazing.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to post (both of you!).

 

Best,

LMC

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Since we had already bought OPGTR, I tried Jacbeaumont's idea and it worked! It was so simple that I couldn't believe I didn't think of it myself, but we worked through lessons 27 to 30 on Friday and Saturday and my son was so proud of himself reading three letter words. Amazing.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to post (both of you!).

 

Best,

LMC

Wow! How exciting! Really great news...

Also, don't be discouraged later on, I think for us it was around lesson 50, when you seem to hit a wall and they aren't picking it up as quickly. I still did review lessons (3 review, no new) and lots of Bob books, then tried again every couple weeks.

Now we are at the point where he knows all the words before the lesson! (Of course, we do them anyway :) )

 

 

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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A little late with the Saxon review (so happy to read that OPGTR is working well!), but just for future reference the Saxon Phonics program is great from what I have seen.  I haven't used it personally, but the three schools I taught at used it K-2nd grade and it was awesome to see the kids develop into fantastic readers.  I have a couple of friends that use it as well for their homeschool and just thrive.  I was considering it too until I inherited a copy of Phonics Pathways that comes with lots of advice only a phone call away.  :)  Hope you don't have to switch, though, and things continue with OPGTR!

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Thanks for the feedback on Saxon.  I'm hoping OPGTR works, but if not I think it'll be my backup.

Do you happen to know if the handwriting is "skipable"?  I figured we could supplement with a handwriting program later on, but he really doesn't have the fine motor control to do that sort of thing now.  Maybe if we substituted a magnetic alphabet board?

 

Thanks again for all the support,

LMC

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Happy Saxon phonics user here. The handwriting is completely skippable. The set comes with small cardboard letter tiles that can be used for the activities where handwriting is suggested. Twice a week there is a spelling sound sheet where you say the sound he has learned and he says the letter and writes the letter down. It is very easy to lay out the letter tiles and have the child choose the letter tile that makes that sound instead.

 

My son absolutely loves his reading lessons. There is a good mix of hands on stuff, games, movement, review, little readers, and so on. There is a daily worksheet that involves circling the letter being learned and sometimes sounding out words and drawing lines to match the word to the picture. You could certainly write for him in those instances too.

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That's wonderful to know.  I think what I'll do is keep going with OPGTR for now, then when he plateau's switch over to Saxon.  He really enjoys all the "moving parts" in Saxon math, and is constantly asking to use his manipulatives or act out story problems or what have you.  Phonics it's all I can do to get him to sit for 5 minutes (but he's making a lot of progress in those 5 minutes, and he's only 4 and all boy). 

 

Thanks!!!

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