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tdbates78

AAR - overkill?

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Hello again! So my soon-to-be 8 year old second grade twins just started AAR 3. They completed AAR 2 between last school year and this (we started it in the spring). I pulled them out of public school first grade after winter break, so they initially learned how to read at school. 

 

We are on the 4th lesson of AAR 3 and it's still very easy for them. We are learning the phonics rules for the OA and OW sounds. I teach the rules, they kind of zone out while I'm teaching it, but then we read through the flash cards and worksheets and they just blow through them. It literally took 5 minutes today as I skipped over a lot of the lesson when it became obvious that they could read the words without any problem. 

 

I assume it will get more difficult as the lessons progress, but at this point it does feel a little pointless and definitely like overkill. I know the phonics rules are important to learn, but I was a natural speller and reader and don't recall any of these phonics rules. My girls have have always been rather strong readers. They picked it up easilery and have no problems reading the stories in the AAR readers. 

 

I don't know if I'm just trying to organize my thoughts or if I'm asking for advice. I guess I'm just looking for opinions. Anyone else have a similar experience? I'm wondering I should try to have them read through the entire group of flash cards and start the lessons up where they get to a point where they are stuck? 

Edited by tdbates78

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We don't use the program, but I think your idea is a good one.  Have them read until they get stuck, then begin.  If they already know the material there's no point in hanging back on it, you know?

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Some kids need a thorough phonics program and some kids don't. So yeah, if your kids already understand what's being taught, it's probably overkill for those children. My current 8 year old hasn't even done a phonics program. He's a natural reader and speller, and he has intuited phonics. So AAR would be very much overkill for him.

Edited by boscopup

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We switched from AAR to OPGTR after AAR1 because it was overkill for us. It was great starting but once reading started to click but too much after it did. OPGTR is perfect for us. It teaches the rules and offers a little practice. We do it on 5ish min and then spend more time reading.

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Was AAR 2 easy or did it teach them new things? Did it improve their fluency? Did you use the placement tests when you initially placed them--and do you think they've taken a "jump" in their skills recently? 

 

If you think AAR 3 has new things to offer them, I'd definitely fast-track until you come to some harder words and concepts. Sometimes the fluency pages cover more difficult words than the word cards though, so you may want to look through those when you are deciding where to start. 

 

Some kids do take off in reading and you can focus on spelling instead too. 

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If they're doing fine in reading but you still want to address the phonics skills, you could use AAS and they would get the rules introduced and learned through spelling instead of intensive reading instruction.

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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You could have them work through my 10 lesson Syllables course instead, it covers all the spelling and phonics rules and is free to print. Otherwise, I would move more quickly through AAR, just doing a few words of each type and going over the rules. Cover all the words for anything that they have a bit of trouble with.

 

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

Edited by ElizabethB

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Thanks everyone! I'm looking into the suggestions

 

I chose AAR2 after seeing samples, but as I pulled my girls out of public school it was trial-and-error while I figured out their strengths and weaknesses. We breezed through it but it wasn't until starting AAR 3, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, that I started to question its purpose. They have been doing well with reading, but I'm unsure if its the AAR or just lots of practice reading.

 

If I switched OPGTR is it easy to jump it? I've never really looked at this as I (apparently wrongly!) assumed it was for beginner readers.

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Thanks everyone! I'm looking into the suggestions

 

I chose AAR2 after seeing samples, but as I pulled my girls out of public school it was trial-and-error while I figured out their strengths and weaknesses. We breezed through it but it wasn't until starting AAR 3, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, that I started to question its purpose. They have been doing well with reading, but I'm unsure if its the AAR or just lots of practice reading.

 

If I switched OPGTR is it easy to jump it? I've never really looked at this as I (apparently wrongly!) assumed it was for beginner readers.

Both OPG and PP are beginning programs but teach phonics to a 4th grade level. Most phonics programs go to a 1st or second grade level. My Syllables lessons go to a 12th grade level, but don’t have enough repetition at the higher levels, it should be followed by Webster’s Speller, which has 6,000 words and teaches to the 12th grade level.

 

I use PP for review of single syllable words if they need more practice on those after my syllables program.

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Gosh, Idk. I've used AAR 1-4 with two very different kids, and I think it benefited both. My oldest was a natural and often knew the words without knowing the rule. I didn't see that as a problem and just breezed through the lessons. What he got in return was a very thorough reading education. My next needed the rules a little more so it took more time. But I'm so happy I ran the course because they're now in 4th and 5th grade and are avid readers who scored *very* high on the standardized test. I just love AAR.

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All three of my readers (my fourth doesn’t read yet) have learned to read well (and have become avid readers) using only OPGTR and a little bit of dabbling in AAR and AAS. I found it overwhelming to keep up with all the parts and pieces of AAR/S (we used both), and none of them like it or apparently needed it. My girls (now ages 13 and 11) test consistent highschool level on standardized tests and my 13 yo scored well on the ACT as a 7th grader. My opinion is that some kids don’t have to have the explicit teaching for reading.

With all that said, I’m working through The Wand (Bravewriter product) with my 7 yo to try to FINALLY teach spelling the way I want to spell it—with intentional copywork.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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All three of my readers (my fourth doesn’t read yet) have learned to read well (and have become avid readers) using only OPGTR and a little bit of dabbling in AAR and AAS. I found it overwhelming to keep up with all the parts and pieces of AAR/S (we used both), and none of them liked it or apparently needed it. My girls (now ages 13 and 11) test consistently at highschool level on standardized tests and my 13 yo scored well on the ACT as a 7th grader. My opinion is that some kids don’t have to have the explicit teaching for reading.

With all that said, I’m working through The Wand (Bravewriter product) with my 7 yo to try to FINALLY teach spelling the way I want to teach it—with intentional copywork.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by hopeistheword

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Thank you all. I think I'm just going to go ahead and purchase AAR 4. After going through all of the word flash cards for AAR 3 there are only a handful of lessons we need to work on. I hate sinking the money into AAR 4 but they do have a fairly high resale value. I don't love all of the parts for AAR 3 (or AAS, which is why we switched to SYS), but we've come this far so I may as well just finish out the last level. 

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Just for a different perspective, I used AAR4 with my twins last year.  One of them was having a lot of trouble with long words, and neither of them had any idea how to pronounce "foreign" words.  We'd done lots of beginner phonics, and then they'd pretty much taken off with reading easy chapter books (Kingdom of Wrenly, Dragon Masters, Ramona, How to Train Your Dragon).  AAR4 was very gentle and gradual, and it never felt like any of the lessons was a struggle unlike our experience earlier in the learning-to-read process.  But I think it was a huge help for them to feel confident reading longer books with tougher vocabulary (Harry Potter, Land of Stories, Wings of Fire, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Little Women).

 

 

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