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Jenkins

2nd grade reading? BJU or AAR?

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I found BJU 2nd grade reading for a great price but we used AAR 1 least year? Anyone have any insight? BJU seems to have a lot of parts so I'm not sure it will be a good fit. I liked AAR but my son didn't love the stories. Are the stories at this age just a little dry? Not sure which way to go for next year. 

 

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BJU Reading is more of a reading comprehension curriculum. There are some phonics lessons included for reinforcement, but if your child has not completed a phonics curriculum, you’ll want to include that as well. 

I have purchased several levels of BJU Reading. I have never stuck with it, though. It is too much, in my opinion. Reading great books from start to finish is a better choice. Talk about story elements and genres. Practice narrations. I believe you will get better results, and you and your child will enjoy it more. 

As for phonics, we love AAR.  It is solid.  I only completed the first 2 levels with my oldest, but I wish I completed them all. My youngest is near the end of level 1, and we’ll continue through all of the levels with her. 

So, AAR and BJU Reading can’t really be compared because they both answer a different need. I hope this info was helpful. 

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BJU spreads their phonics instruction over grades K5 to about 3rd or 4th, iirc, so you may have learned some of the things they're covering and be unfamiliar with others. You could review the scope & sequence on the BJUPressHomeschool website to find out what they were covering in each grade. http://www.bjupresshomeschool.com/product/516674  There's the link. You should be able to click a link there and see the pdf for free. So if you go to page 11 of that pdf, it's going to show you exactly what phonics they're covering in that grade. You'll also see the OTHER skills they hit as well. You really can't beat BJU for being thorough! 

If all you're trying to do is have more engaging readers, you might use the BJU readers without the workbooks. If you can pick up a tm on the cheap, use that with it for discussion. If the instruction in AAR has been working for him, you could continue it. AAR is a derivative of Orton-Gillingham, and it's going to be quite thorough. It's not that BJU isn't thorough, but BJU comes at it from a word family approach. They do NOT teach explicit phonics but rather do implied (implicit vs. explicit phonics, yes this is a thing). So they will show the dc the sound in contexts but they don't isolate the sound. Any OG-based program is going to do explicit instruction, where they isolate the sounds and pound into their brains what that letter is going to make for sounds and when and why. That's a HUGE difference, and for some kids it doesn't matter and some it does. If your dc was doing well with AAR, I would continue with AAR. I would only change the part that wasn't working, which was the readers.

The material in the lower grades is all Press-written. It's charming, christian in worldview, and the tm will attempt to have you discuss great stuff. I'm thinking about doing it with my ds, because as someone on the spectrum he misses that stuff and could use explicit instruction. My dd however never needed that, mercy. We would use the BJU Reading on and off with her, and it was just so intuitive for her that it wasn't really essential. She continues to be that way,very intuitive about lit and an advanced reader and thinker. So it's more like what is good for the kid, not whether the program is good. With her, sometimes we dipped in the BJU reading to work on some skills, to fit a stage of life we were in, and a lot of times we used whole books like Bay Lake said. Whole books are AWESOME! And you won't notice it leaving holes if you have kids for whom all this is glaringly obvious. They'll just jump into say the BJU 7 lit or later and be fine, fine. My dd even CLEP'ed the freshman lit class. Just look at your kid. For my ds, that same course could be good stuff. I don't know if we'll have time, but if we do it would actually be good for him.

Your other tip of the day. Nothing says you have to do all the pages in the BJU worktext. You could use the ones that are for sequencing, dictionary skills, that kind of stuff, and skip the ones that are phonics if you want. Or you could say yeah that's nice reinforcement of our AAR stuff and do it anyway. Be flexible and chop what you don't need. That's what we did. 

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I love AAR.  We didn't always love the stories, so we made up our own endings (and towards the end of the year, we started writing them down.)  We have some slower readers though and this is the only thing that finally worked!

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We love AAR. Level 2 will definitely open up a lot more options for reading in their books and for outside reading. It is very thorough and has a great incremental approach. 

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