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Best phonics to continue after 100 Easy Lessons?


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My 4.5 year old son just finished 100 easy lessons and I would like to move into another workbook to continue the development of his reading skills.  He is still struggling with a few of the concepts such as long vs short vowels (which I don't think 100 EZ lessons did a good job of explaining). His reading and math skills are well beyond his fine motor skills.   He still has not picked a dominate hand is very ambidextrous, but is a terrible writer.  I'd like to find a book that is less reliant on writing.  

Right now I am debating between Explode the Code and Phonics Pathways.  Any others to consider?  I want to do physical books and not online.   Although having some online supplementals would be a bonus. 

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I moved my extras from 100 EZ lessons to Explode the Code and phonics based readers.  They started with SRA Reading Mastery level 2 (the program 100 EZ lessons is based on) in order to get into a new groove, and then moved to a more standard phonics reader series I had on my shelf. 

100 EZ lessons is only part of a program.  It condenses about 3 years of SRA Reading Mastery/DISTAR down to 1 book, which means a lot gets left out.  Some of that is good (like the hand signals are incredibly annoying), but you also miss the mechanics and rule practice.

FWIW, we didn't do the writing in 100 EZ lessons.  I find the program to be subpar on that front, starting with more difficult letters (m, a) instead of a logical progression through forms (l, i, t, c, a, d...) where each new form builds using components learned.  We just skipped that portion of the book entirely for all the kids I've used it with.  None have suffered.  Instead, we do basic fine motor skills activities and then begin writing when they're ready with our own method.  Letter tiles/magnetic red/blue letters work just fine for any writing activity if you really want to do them before a kid is ready for pencil work.

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With DD8, we moved to easy readers and she took off from there. DD5 needed more practice sounding out, so while we also moved her to easy readers, we made nonsense words for her to practice sounding out on — otherwise, she intuited everything from context and failed to learn phonics rules.

I skipped the writing for both of them.

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55 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

FWIW, we didn't do the writing in 100 EZ lessons.  I find the program to be subpar on that front, starting with more difficult letters (m, a) instead of a logical progression through forms (l, i, t, c, a, d...) where each new form builds using components learned.  We just skipped that portion of the book entirely for all the kids I've used it with.  None have suffered.  Instead, we do basic fine motor skills activities and then begin writing when they're ready with our own method.  Letter tiles/magnetic red/blue letters work just fine for any writing activity if you really want to do them before a kid is ready for pencil work.

Thanks!  Yes we skipped the writing in 100 EZ lessons as well.  When my sons pre-school was canceled last fall, I started to take his home education more seriously.  We generally do 30 minutes of "school" 3 times a day.  Reading, Writing, and Math.  He struggles with writing and as a result doesn't like to do it.   I didn't want to sour his love of reading with the writing exercises.

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  • 4 weeks later...

You may want to consider SoundBlends (3 volumes on Amazon: Fox and His Pals; Fun Under the Sun; and Quests and Dreams). I wrote the 30 stories for my children when I struggled to find good stories to put their phonics lessons into practice. After all 30, my children and the kids I have tutored afterwards were able to go directly to chapter books. Super simple to use and 100% decodable.

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