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I am looking through a library copy of The Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading. I like the straight forward approach but I anticipate my 5 yr old getting bored. Is AAR much more fun? Is it necessary to go through all levels of AAR? What is suggested after OPGTTR? I can shell out the money if AAR is engaging and a solid program that gives me peace of mind. Would love any thoughts on the topic.

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My 5 year old loves AAR prelevel.

 

I started my oldest on AAR because Phonics Pathways seemed to be boring for him.  But I could tell that he thought AAR level 2 was too much work.  He's more of a let's hurry up and get it done kind of guy.  :) 

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I have two who have used/are using OPGTR and two who are using AAR.  OPGTR  is simple, straightforward, and complete.  You don't need to do anything else after it; the one book covers all levels of phonics.  I love it.  It's just my style.  It has worked great for my dd1 and ds1, turning them into very strong readers. 

 

AAR is more fun, with all it's activities, but also takes a lot more time and a lot of work (for the kid, and also for the parent to prep everything).  All levels are necessary.  It has lots of pieces to keep track of.  It costs an arm and a leg.  And it works--for everyone, even kids for whom reading is a particular challenge, or who need kinesthetic learning to retain, or who are dyslexic.  It is not my style at all.  I hate all the fiddly little bits to keep in order, but I love it because it works, and has gotten my dyslexic daughter over the hump to where she is actually reading independently now, finally.  Because is is so fun and incremental, and because I have it on hand from getting it for my dd2, I have started teaching my ds2 with it as well.  I would not have bought such an expensive program just for him without an indicated need, but since we had it anyways, he is very much enjoying it.

 

ETA: when I said that all levels of AAR are necessary, I meant levels 1 through 4.  The pre-level is not necessary.

Edited by La Condessa

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DD5 hated OPGTR but took right to AAR. We've done pre-reading and only have about 6 more lessons before we finish level 1. I've also started DS4 who has a speech delay on the pre-reading and he really enjoys it. They love the activities and the stories are really cute, plus all the material is excellent quality. While it's true that there's a lot of parts to AAR, I found that once everything was organized before starting the program, it's really open and go. Plus, now that they have the app out, there's no need to buy the tiles unless you really want to (and, honestly, when we first started AAR1 I didn't even use them, just wrote the letters/words on a white board until she learned how to blend). 

 

The reason I chose AAR, though, was I knew it could be easily adjusted to each of my kids. DD is able to fly through most lessons now and I'm comfortable enough to only have her do a few words off the fluency page before moving on to the stories. DS is a different story, though. With his speech delay, I actually sent off an email to the company asking how we could adjust it for him and they responded the next day with some great ideas on how to do that. While it is pricey, I wouldn't have gone any other way for them. DD loves the little notes that Rocket the Spacedog has left for her throughout the teachers manual and she can't wait to meet Herman the Frog in level two. 

 

My one suggestion, though, would be to buy a second set of phonics readers. We'll be getting the BOB Books soon so that she can practice the skills she's learning independently. For the longest time she could only read from the AAR readers since the leveled readers you get at the store/libraries are filled with sight words that she hasn't learned yet and needs my help to get through them the first few times.

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My 5.5yo did pre-reading last year/through beginning of this year and loved it. After AAR pre I started her on OPGTR because that's what I had from older DD. She did not take to it at all. Then we tried HOP because I also had that on hand. Still no. She kept asking for ziggy back. So we got AAR level 1 recently (ziggy is not technically part of level 1 except in an extra games book you can get. Ziggy is just her name for AAR) and now she's loving it and starting to read. She has done the first 2 stories in the reader and even finally read to daddy. I already plan to keep going with AAR. The kid being into it is a key aspect of a good reading program IMO. It is not something I want them to develop negative feelings over. So for us AAR is seeming to be worth the price and extra time involved. With my older it wouldn't have been. She picked up reading skills too quickly and it would have been tedious with her. Moving quickly through a lesson (or two) a day in OPGTR worked much better for her. She was reading at a 4th grade level by the time she turned 6. Even if we had flown through lessons it would have been a lot of money in a short time to keep up with her!

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AAR is definitely a solid program and engaging. It really depends on you. I bought OPGTR and hated it. For me it was too repetitive and boring. I’m not the kind of person who wants to make it fun. I wanted open and go. After looking through it did it look like something that would work for you? If so you can go with that, but if you’re not sold then definitely check out the samples of AAR. Also the books with AAR are the best phonics books out there! They manage to create fun stories despite the limited words available.

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We used AAR Pre-Reading with DD. Then we switched to OPGTR because she seemed to be picking up concepts quicker than I would want to pay for new levels of AAR. We did add games and readers to OPGTR. In the beginning we used a white board or I wrote the lessons out on paper in larger font. DD enjoyed it especially with added games and activities. I used teacherspayteachers and pinterest to find activities to add in. DD finished OPGTR before Kinder and it was effective. We now use Wise Owl Polysyllables to work on more complex words and phonics.

 

DS4 is just beginning OPGTR. I write his lessons out in a notebook to increase font size and cut down on clutter. He hasn't found it boring, but he hasn't done any part of AAR. We may add in some games, but he doesn't seem to desire them. His sister does play some games with him though. 

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DS hated OPGTR with a burning passion. Sounding out nonsense syllables just made him angry because it didn't mean anything so he didn't retain any of it.

 

I looked next at AAR but it seemed really expensive and full of pieces to keep track of so we ended up using Rod and Staff. It starts out with sight words and then does phonics. They've also recently released a new edition that does phonics right from the beginning. It is VERY religious though in case that wouldn't work for you.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We are using AAR very very slowly. My daughter would do it every day if I let her, she loves it that much. Ziggy is her favorite thing ever. She hugs and kisses him as soon as I have him out. She tells him stuff and introduces him to anyone else who walks in the room. If I wanted, I could easily push her through AAR faster just because she loves Ziggy that much. But I wait till she's ready to make the mental steps they are wanting from her, so we are taking our time. I don't particularly care if she learns to read this year (she will be 5 in Nov.) but I heard people gushing about AAR so I bought the program because she loves letters and sounds so much and figured we could play around with it. And I don't regret the purchase. There are lots of pieces but I don't use them all every time.

 

Now, you could just buy your own hand puppet and create your own reading games from Pinterest and probably accomplish the same type of thing. And maybe not all kids will adore Ziggy this much. My daughter doesn't ask to read. She asks to "play with Ziggy." (Ziggy is only for reading time, we don't play with him otherwise.) I will say she also loves the Bob books. They have had her trying to read just as much as Ziggy, so maybe she's just into learning how to read. Beyond what her actual ability is, for some reason. We only get this stuff out when she asks so some weeks, not at all, and some weeks, every day.

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