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AAR supplemental reading questions


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I'm using some AAR 3/4 readers with my ds right now, and he's doing really well with them. I would say he's at a pleasure reading level with them, and I'm using them to get some bulk and comfort. The language is controlled and they have moderate picture supports. 

1) what books would be at a similar level and format? 

2) what *grade level* are these? 

3) are there collections of *short stories* that are similar format? Usually you just pop kids over to chapter books ASAP, but I'm realizing the short stories can be kind of nice for him. They're not so complex for narrative, so they work better with his language disabilities. I have some of the amish/pathway readers, but I'm not sure he'd be into those. I don't know, do we ever recommend short stories? All I can think of are Lang Fairy Tales, and those are way too hard. 

I don't know, maybe I should just push him into the easy reader chapter books. I'm just surprised at how well the short story format is working for him and thinking more might be good. Any suggestions?

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My children have enjoyed the Alice and Jerry books. Imho they are more interesting than pathways readers. Rainbow resource sells them   https://www.rainbowresource.com/hSearch.jhtm?keyword=alice and jerry books

Neighbors on the Hill may be a bit easy but its a fun story. I'd start with it and then go on. My kids liked some better than others, so if one is too boring you can skip it. All 3 at each grade level are a simular hardness Here is a series list in order.   https://www.librarything.com/series/The+Alice+and+Jerry+Basic+Readers

We also use christian liberty nature readers. You could start with grade 2 or so.

I use AAR, but found that adding Alice and Jerry to it helped my kids fluency tremendously! I also have the kids read Christian Liberty readers aloud to get practice applying phonics to science words. And they are interesting and short. Each section is only 1 page or 2.  

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My DD just finished AAR this past year and while she can read easy chapter books with no problem, she also still enjoys reading picture books, both to herself and to the baby. It's good practice, especially out loud.

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I'm following this post closely.  We are in the middle of AAR 4 and want to know where to go next.  I'm also curious to know about grade level for AAR 3 and 4.

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7 minutes ago, MomN said:

I'm following this post closely.  We are in the middle of AAR 4 and want to know where to go next.  I'm also curious to know about grade level for AAR 3 and 4.

The levels don't correlate to specific grades, because the order of the words in AAR is not “grade-level” order. All About Reading groups words in a logical manner based on similar rules or patterns regardless of their supposed grade level.

At the end of Level 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though they may not know the meaning of all higher level words. (Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…) That doesn't mean a 3rd or 4th grader is ready to read high school level literature of course! But they are generally ready to read anything that's age-appropriate. Most of the stories in AAR 4 are written at a 5th-7th grade level, and many elementary students will test somewhere in that range (depending on their vocabulary knowledge, their fluency with the AAR 4 materials, etc.) Here's more information on What Happens after All About Reading. Marie has tons of chapter book reviews, magazine reviews & other reading ideas for after AAR. HTH some! 

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7 hours ago, MerryAtHope said:

The levels don't correlate to specific grades, because the order of the words in AAR is not “grade-level” order. All About Reading groups words in a logical manner based on similar rules or patterns regardless of their supposed grade level.

That's what I was thinking. Part of what's working for him is the format, which is just his autism and the language disability and that he's easily overwhelmed. We've done well with some other readers in the past (Fountas and Pinnell) and it just hadn't occurred to me to try more readers. I kept thinking I needed to push him into traditional books. But really, these are just the right level for his comfort.

11 hours ago, countrymum said:

My children have enjoyed the Alice and Jerry books. Imho they are more interesting than pathways readers. Rainbow resource sells them   https://www.rainbowresource.com/hSearch.jhtm?keyword=alice and jerry books

Neighbors on the Hill may be a bit easy but its a fun story. I'd start with it and then go on. My kids liked some better than others, so if one is too boring you can skip it. All 3 at each grade level are a simular hardness Here is a series list in order.   https://www.librarything.com/series/The+Alice+and+Jerry+Basic+Readers

We also use christian liberty nature readers. You could start with grade 2 or so.

I use AAR, but found that adding Alice and Jerry to it helped my kids fluency tremendously! I also have the kids read Christian Liberty readers aloud to get practice applying phonics to science words. And they are interesting and short. Each section is only 1 page or 2.  

Ooo, what a helpful list, thank you! And yes, I see what you're saying. I think the gr3 would A/J readers would be a challenge for him, not for decoding but for that comfort level (amount on the page, feeling overwhelmed), so I like your advice to start with the gr2. That's kind of what I'm seeing in looking at other publisher's reading programs. He can read a newspaper, whatever, but for comfortable pleasure reading, the wide spacing and low stress level of gr2 materials is really good. And that's fine, because anything I can start with we can do and move forward, no biggee.

You'll laugh, but I had heard of the nature readers and never knew really why people needed them. But you're right, they might be just the thing for him. I own scads of regular books, but it's always a challenge to find just the right thing with him. With dd, she would just read anything. Well not ANYTHING, lol. She didn't want it to be too easy/boring. But with him, total opposite. Has to be very low stress, approachable, charming. My only idea for science reading for him had been Usborne/DK books, and they're kind of a flop for reasons that are hard to pin down. Erratic, with small print overwhelming, I don't know. But the nature readers with short sections could be perfect, you're right.

In my dream world, I find enough of these that some I assign and some I have in a bin for independent reading where he just reads for an amount of time. 

Ok, I'll ask @countrymum have you looked at Mosdos? Any opinion/experience there?

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Posted (edited)

Well just as a follow up, I'll share that I found some things.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1305493516/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  National Geographic has a series of grade leveled readers. It's got a lot of other clutter in it, because it's supposed to be a full reading curriculum. Still, it's easy to find the textbooks cheap, and they're colorful, diverse, with interesting nonfiction. They've arrived, so I need to go through them. There's a lot of clutter, so I'll have to mark the start of each reading selection.

I also ordered several grade levels of the new edition BJU reading textbooks and the full of the BJU 4 new edition. Their rewrite to fit the new common core standards is pretty strong, and in gr 4 they start their reading comprehension study. They even include guides for LWW.

Turns out you can get the Alice & Jerry books in pdf from archive.org. Some are marked as borrow, but Down the River (gr 2 book 1) you could just download. I figure we'll just try that and see how he likes it and then decide whether to continue with the borrowed pdf versions or buy or what. 

I'm looking at Mosdos right now but the print is smaller and the tone more serious. I think the light and happy is where we need to be. I'm kind of slightly hopeful about the BJU. I ordered a couple of their gr2 readers and all the gr 3 and gr 4. I'm just looking for bulk here, something where I can hand him books and say read and get our total up to maybe even an hour during the day. And I have to make sure he's comprehending, so it can't have super complicated/rare syntax. The Mosdos syntax and overall language is much higher. I think those could be later, as a follow up. But it seems like each reading series has its own style of writing and approach to language, so using a spread might be complementary. Or none of it will get done, lol. 

Oh, and in the most dramatic, possibly ridiculous or possibly brilliant step, I ordered a scad of the Journeyforth books from BJUP. My dd hated them, wouldn't read them, but I'm suspecting they'll be a great fit for my ds for the very reasons dd didn't like them, lol. I think some of them will work as read alouds and some, like the new choose your own adventure Bible series, will work to use with him. So I guess mainly I was thinking of them as read alouds. I've had a hard time nailing *chapter books* as read alouds for him. I do really well with shorter books using a lexile search engine, but it has been harder to find chapter books for read alouds. I can throw anything on audio from BARD (because it costs me nothing), but if I'm going to read it it needs to be a winner. So that kind of surprised me to find I was liking those so much for him.

So we'll see. I THINK I have enough now, lol. I mean, I didn't look at Abeka, hahaha.

Ok, now this is funny. I was going through a box of books someone shared/loaned me, and sure enough there were some Abeka and CLP Nature readers in it! Score.

Edited by PeterPan
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