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Reading program for child who hates 100 EZ Lessons

Guest JNV2011

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Guest JNV2011

 â€‹Hi guys...been lurking on the forums for a while, finally decided to join in! I'm going to start HS my son this summer (starting K) but we've been lightly working at home for a while now.


​Now...I heard all the awesome recommendations for 100 Easy lessons and we've been trying it...but its been three months and we are only through 8 lessons! He HATES it. He is so bored, can't focus, groans and whines when I bring it out. It takes us a week to get through each lesson because I only make him do one task at a time (it was the only way he could focus). Anyways, I recently had the DUH revelation that I want to homeschool so I can tailor our curriculum to suit his needs, this program is obviously not working, and I should just switch. (duh, right!? lol)



Anyways...he loves school stuff, loves to practice his writing, loves math, etc. He likes workbooks, thinks flashcards are the best, and loves games. He can sit still and focus on something for a long time if he enjoys it. I think he just needs something more *fun* for reading. So, any recommendations? Thanks!

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My daughter also cried over 100 EZ Lessons, liked workbooks, liked writing/drawing. What we ended up doing:

  • Explode the Code workbooks for phonics. When she was a fluent reader we continued through the series as spelling (then to Spelling Power). She would beg to do more in this, which was a nice change. They also have an online option now, but it wasn't available when we were using the program, so I don't know how it differs. The workbooks capitalize on the love of writing.
  • Dolch sight word flash cards, just a pack we picked up at Walmart. We played a simple game where she would get to keep the card in her pile if she read it correctly. This really helped give her access to high frequency words early on so that she could read things that sounded more natural than Bob books, words like said, mother, father, the. We still covered them in phonics when we came to them, but it was very frustrating to her to try reading without them. She said she wanted to read "real books" which to her meant ones that sounded more like the ones we'd been reading to her.
  • Dick and Jane books--these were a key to increasing her fluency and then confidence in reading aloud to anyone other than me.
  • Leveled readers from the library, then early readers. 
  • I used "magnetic" photo albums that I picked up at the thrift store to make personalized stories for her using her name, names of family, friends, pets, familiar places, etc. She loved these and they were easy to change up. I'd put a single sentence on a page. For some of them, to decrease dependence on guessing due to pictures, I'd have pages without pictures and once she could read it, I let her illustrate it.
  • Online games occasionally like Starfall


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I'll give you a quick rundown of the programs I've used and what has worked for us and why and what hasn't and why :) 


I got 100EZ out of the library a while back before I bought OPGTTR and I didn't like it.


I have OPGTTR and while it's alright and I have used it, it is incredibly boring. I found it was difficult to find a good reader that matched the lessons for practice. I have seen various forum posts about readers that would match OPG now that I spend a lot of time reading posts and so on but I haven't really researched the matter recently. On the other hand, that program is very thorough and if you are on a budget its a good solution as it is very complete and should last for several years of phonics instruction.


Bob books are alright, but are ultimately boring and expensive. I have two sets. And I will use them with my DD if she is interested. They are helpful but not a comprehensive solution.  I think you can get these at the library.


This last semester my K child did the level A1 and A2 of Abecedarian. It's alright.  It is scripted, integrates some writing and spelling. I didn't like the level B. I came to the forums looking for something else - as I didn't want to go back to OPGTTR.


Found AAR1 and started around mid way. I really like it. It feels complete. It has some games and sufficient practice is included in the form of fluency pages and readers that reinforce what the lessons are teaching. The fluency pages ARE boring. But for my son, they have been key. We do not skip them. I would rather do them slowly over a few days than not at all.


Our experience with sight words:

We went a bit crazy with them because my son memorized them quickly. We did all the Dolch words. We used the Dick and Jane readers. Yes, his fluency increased. When reading a regular library TNMT reader he either knew the sight words or would guess based on the pictures and sounding out the start of the word. He guessed right a lot and appeared to be a good reader, which is a little confusing. When we got AAR1 and we did a fluency page and he had a meltdown. He was so used to sight words that he found sounding out a word without picture clues or the context of a story tedious. He knew how to sound words out, but was out of practice. At first we were on the same lesson for almost a whole week. I asked for help here, and someone directed me to a helpful link on the AAR blog on how to teach children who guess or are used to sight words.


Now we are flying through the lessons. He is getting better and better, as I would expect with a program that works for him. He still doesn't like fluency pages, but he does them. He knows he will have playtime when we are done with one page. And the other day he did two in a row! He did them fluently and didn't seem at all bothered. Also, it was the last of that day's homeschool and he told me he wanted to be all done. lol  


So that's what I would recommend: All about reading.


I have seen so many great posts and reviews of other programs! I am sure others are as good and perhaps cheaper. I got my AAR from my charter school so I didn't have to pay for it. I bought the letter tiles.


Let us know what you choose!


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If you have a bigger budget I like the look of All About Reading. It seems like a great program. We've use the Pre-Reading and dd loved it. It's different than levels 1+ though.


We use OPGTR. Dd does well with it and it's getting the job done. It is boring, but we make it more fun. I make my own games such as fishing for words where I write the lessons words on fish shaped note cards and dd catches them with a magnet. We don't do the lessons out of the book. I write them in a notebook or on a white board. I also don't use the books sentences. I make up my own and use my daughters name. She loves that!


We use BOB books to practice fluency. They don't match up perfectly, but they work. I bought the collections they sell at Costco. They're each were $10 and come with 18 books. So not expensive in my opinion. We also use Nora Gaydos Now I'm reading books. Usbornes Very First Reading and Progressive Phonics.


Dd LOVES Progressive Phonics. They're a shared reading so the adult reads some and the kid reads some. My daughter prefers that method.

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I've used Bob Books with two of my kids and it has worked well. I got 3 box sets from Costco for $10 which is actually 1.5 sets if you buy them on Amazon or at a book store.


I use OPGTR as a guide for me if a kid gets stuck on a sound and I need more guidance than is offered in the back of the Bob Book. I check out EZ readers from the library to supplement and also have used Reading Eggs as a supplement for my second child.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Phonics Pathways with the added book of games, Phonics Pathways boosters. Most libraries have PP, you could try it out if yours does.


In the meantime, you can play my phonics concentration game and work on a few words on the white board, select the words at another time and write them on a piece of paper, selecting words from where you are in 100EZ lessons and just write a few a day on the white board. That way, it will not appear that the words came from the dreaded book.



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Explode the Code


Susan in TX




We started with OPGTTR, got through all the letter sounds and then hit a wall at lesson 28. So I switched to 100 EZ Lessons. We made it to lesson 30 and he began to hate it. He would cry when I got the book out, so I put it away, regrouped and reevaluated. We stuck with the ETC books A-C (which we had been doing all along since the beginning) and then moved on to ETC Book 1 along with Starfall practice of the letter vowel we are studying. I bought Primary Phonics along with the readers which are along the same lines as the ETC work books but I wanted extra practice AND I wanted the primary phonics readers. May seem like overkill but it is working for us. 

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My daughter hated 100EZ Lessons so we switched to Logic of English Foundations and she LOVED it!!  But my son very much enjoys 100EZ Lessons.  So yes, it really depends on the kid.  OGPTR and Phonics Pathways are much cheaper than LOE though, so yes, you may want to try those out first.  Your library may even have them so you could try them without having to purchase anything!!

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