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Anyone have experience with both Abeka Phonics and AAR???


nena3927
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I'm on lesson 75 in Abeka Phonics/Language with my 6yr old son and it's getting more and more difficult during our reading lessons. He also did Abeka Phonics in Kindergarten. While I initially loved the fact that Abeka covered all sounds within the first grade year (so a child could move on to reading real books sooner), I think with this particular child it is moving too fast. He is a very wiggly little boy that cannot concentrate and is always getting distracted,. He is very bright though. He has begun to hate reading time and whines most days. He loved the program to start with. I asked him today why his attitude has changed over the last several weeks and he said he couldn't remember all the special sounds and it was hard to read. He also said the stories were getting too long. I follow the TM but have slowed down the reading selections since they have gotten longer since he started the Stepping Stones reader. 

 

I've been looking at All About Reading and I wish I would have started with it. I think it would have been a better fit for him. The slower pace, different activities, and not just worksheets seems perfect for my son. I used Abeka with my older two children but mainly used the phonics in second grade only. This is my first time having gone through Kindergarten and now first.

 

If you have used both programs, could you give me some advice, please? Should I just move slower with Abeka since I have invested so much time into the program? I feel the TM makes its difficult to slow down since it's all planned out in 170 lessons for the year. Would it be worth it to switch programs mid-year and try AAR? I'm at a loss. I know he needs a slower pace regardless. Thanks for any advice! 

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I have used both. First I need to ask, are you having him do the 2 accompanying pages from the workbooks that go along with each lesson? For us that reinforcement of the lesson was absolutely key.

 

If you have been doing 3 to 4 lessons per week and the 6-8 workbook pages and he is still struggling then I would switch to AAR. He may just need the slower pace and to back track a bit. The good news is the transition should be smooth with just a few differences.

 

How does he do circling the special sounds and marking vowels in A beka? How is he doing with counting syllables, dividing syllables and such in the daily lessons?

 

I have twins who started A beka 1 mid year kindergarten and are in 1st this year. One of them is finished but the other has more to go because I slowed him down. We did 3 lessons per week, 6 pages and really practiced on the white board. He is doing awesome now but it did move fast for him so we adjusted. :)

Edited by nixpix5
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Yes, he is doing the Letters and Sounds and Language workbooks along side the phonics teaching. I dropped Abeka spelling at the beginning of the year bc I found out really quickly that he was not ready for spelling at this age. He does fine circling the special sounds but is not as good dividing into syllables. I'll have to say that from what I've seen, syllable work is where AAR shines. It seems to be much more thorough in that aspect, or maybe it's the visual aspect of the tiles that make dividing into syllables seem easier. 

 

Some days, he does fine and I think, "Yes, he's finely starting to read with fluency!" Then the next day he struggles and can't remember what letters make what sound. He does better circling the sounds than he does recognizing them in his readers.

 

I'm so torn. I just feel like we have invested so much into the Abeka program, time and money, that we should just keep moving forward and see how it goes. Then on the other hand, if he needs a slower program, I would rather back track than continue to struggle through and have him despise reading. He actually cried the other day and said, "I hate reading!" Of course that broke my heart :( Ugh.

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Yes, he is doing the Letters and Sounds and Language workbooks along side the phonics teaching. I dropped Abeka spelling at the beginning of the year bc I found out really quickly that he was not ready for spelling at this age. He does fine circling the special sounds but is not as good dividing into syllables. I'll have to say that from what I've seen, syllable work is where AAR shines. It seems to be much more thorough in that aspect, or maybe it's the visual aspect of the tiles that make dividing into syllables seem easier.

 

Some days, he does fine and I think, "Yes, he's finely starting to read with fluency!" Then the next day he struggles and can't remember what letters make what sound. He does better circling the sounds than he does recognizing them in his readers.

 

I'm so torn. I just feel like we have invested so much into the Abeka program, time and money, that we should just keep moving forward and see how it goes. Then on the other hand, if he needs a slower program, I would rather back track than continue to struggle through and have him despise reading. He actually cried the other day and said, "I hate reading!" Of course that broke my heart :( Ugh.

Oh poor buddy :( That was why I asked about syllables because that is a really crucial piece of reading that not everyone thinks about. You are right, AAR really does that piece well and I like their open vs closed syllables and so forth.

 

If he is feeling that frustrated then if it was me, I would make the switch. You could probably get over the hump but if he is miserable and you have access to AAR then it might build his confidence to begin at something he knows and move forward. AAR readers/books are sooooo much better than the A beka readers too which is a benefit. At least I feel they are more interesting for kids.

Edited by nixpix5
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Oh poor buddy :( That was why I asked about syllables because that is a really crucial piece of reading that not everyone thinks about. You are right, AAR really does that piece well and I like their open vs closed syllables and so forth.

 

If he is feeling that frustrated then if it was me, I would make the switch. You could probably get over the hump but if he is miserable and you have access to AAR then it might build his confidence to begin at something he knows and move forward. AAR readers/books are sooooo much better than the A beka readers too which is a benefit. At least I feel they are more interesting for kids.

 

Thank you. We actually had a good day Friday and he did great during his reading time. He even told me not to order anything new bc he didn't want me to spend anymore money lol. I'm thinking of ordering just the AAR tiles to supplement Abeka and work on syllabication. That might be only whats needed at this time. We will see. Thank you for commenting and helping me think this through :)

 

Edited by nena3927
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If he is only six don't sweat it. My DD was reading chapter books in 1st but my 8 year old DS is just now almost getting there. And he still won't read to himself. Some kids just can't go at ABEKA'S pace. We have stuck with it though because I really think it is the best. We use AAS and get syllable work there.

 

We recently started over in the Handbook for Reading (something my DD hated so we dropped) and it has really helped fluency for my 8 year old. Your buddy is young...hang in there!!

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Six year old boys need a lot of repetition!

 

I would do some fun stuff, this movie has ideas, and then switch to something free like Blend Phonics or Word Mastery for a bit of review before going back to A Beka.  It is a sound program, but you can supplement and make things more fun.

 

 

You could also try the first 5 to 8 lessons of my Syllables program for a change, and it also teaches syllabication.

 

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

 

 

 

Edited by ElizabethB
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If he is only six don't sweat it. My DD was reading chapter books in 1st but my 8 year old DS is just now almost getting there. And he still won't read to himself. Some kids just can't go at ABEKA'S pace. We have stuck with it though because I really think it is the best. We use AAS and get syllable work there.

 

We recently started over in the Handbook for Reading (something my DD hated so we dropped) and it has really helped fluency for my 8 year old. Your buddy is young...hang in there!!

 

Thank you. I had this same experience with my little guy's older brother and sister. His sister was reading at age 4 fluently while his older brother was 8 before he took off. Sometimes I panic too early I think bc of his older brother's struggles. I just need to relax. He read a word problem all by himself today in his math and was so proud! Abeka definitely is working, I just need to give myself the freedom to slow down and not worry about what we are "supposed" to be doing on whatever day. That is so hard for the perfectionist in me!

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Six year old boys need a lot of repetition!

 

I would do some fun stuff, this movie has ideas, and then switch to something free like Blend Phonics or Word Mastery for a bit of review before going back to A Beka.  It is a sound program, but you can supplement and make things more fun.

 

 

You could also try the first 5 to 8 lessons of my Syllables program for a change, and it also teaches syllabication.

 

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

 

Thank you for this, ElizabethB! 

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