Jump to content

Menu

Defeating Choice Overload and Selecting a Reading Program


GoodnightMoogle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here is the problem that the modern homeschooler faces:

There are too many good things.

I am having the hardest time selecting that very first phonics program. It’s silly, I should just pick one that looks good and go. But I’m not even sure of my own philosophy, and end up getting swayed in many directions. There are so many opinions out there.

Handwriting and phonics together? Research shows that this is good! But also not good, because tying reading to handwriting might be frustrating if there is a large gap between the two skills.

Spalding is the best! Teach them all the sounds at once! They’ll be excellent spellers! No, don’t do that, teach them one sound at a time to get them reading faster.

Ugh. Why do I agree with all of these contradictory statements 😂.

Ok. Ok. I am finally between three. Let me muse about them here for a moment. All About Reading. Logic of English Foundations. Memoria Press’s First Start  Reading.

I just need to choose >.< if I can pull the trigger on one, it will get me to stop worrying about it.

All About Reading has my favorite readers. So beautiful! MP’s seem nice too. I like that MP has nice copywork that goes hand in hand with it. I could combine literature with it and say, yippee hooray, that’s our K. Haha. But I don’t know. I don’t know. Ugh. Logic of English seems so wonderfully thorough. I really want to pick one program and stick with it until my child is a strong reader.

Give me your anecdotes. I’ve read so, so many. Pros and cons. Please make it harder for me 😂.

Ellie, I already know you’re gonna pop up in here and recommend Spalding. Nooooooo. 
 

Thank you guys for any suggestions  😂 love these curriculum review threads. 

 

 

Edited by GoodnightMoogle
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh that's easy. Of those three, do AAR. It's fine to do *some* writing while learning to read, but actually going all the way to copywork is going to seriously push development and bog kids down. LOE is just, well I'm just not a fan. (She was a Sanseri/SWR trainer, her system is weird, just not a super fan.) You like AAR and it's solid. There's no compelling reason to do a different program, so just do it.

AAR does not preclude you from bringing some handwriting in. You can most certainly do that if you want. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd pick AAR also unless your child is really ready to write alot and you want to do MP for 1st...AAR got my mildly dyslexic child reading and all my kids have liked the readers. MP is fine for many kids but it's alot of writing and not as in depth. 

I don't somehow like LOE it looked more complicated somehow.

Get the AAR app if tiles bother you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used a phonics program that also stressed writing at the same time.  Guess what?  We didn't do the writing portion. It was there, it was optional, but it wasn't something my kid was ready for.

If our program had not had writing, and it would have worked for my kid, guess what?  We would have added it in.  There are enough free handwriting programs out there and pretty cheap ones, too. 

Our program didn't do spelling at the same time, so spelling became part of handwriting time later, when I picked a style of handwriting that I wanted to teach.  We also used the time to go back through individual sounds and the ways to make them.

Pick something.  You can always adapt, revise, and review.  But as long as you like your main program, you can decide what you might want with it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every time I have this dilemma @PeterPan convinces me to stick with AAR because it's easy for me, and my kids like it. 

So, I keep sticking with AAR because it's easy for me, and my kids like it. I originally chose it because my eldest learns reading way faster than he learns writing (this is still true). My youngest, however, loves to write and I still use AAR for her because as PeterPan points out to me every time I doubt, it's easy for me and my kids like it.

For my youngest I incorporate AAR with writing (well more accurately spelling). Basically some of the reading activities I make into spelling activities. So when we are doing "change the word" I might have her tell me which letter to change and I give her the word. Fluency sheet or flashcards might look like me asking her to spell a word rather than read it to me. Maybe there's an activity sheet where it's suppose to be cut and paste, but instead she writes the words in. 

At the end of the day there have been children who have learned to read, spell and write using all the ways you've mentioned. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would do AAR.

Kid 1 went through AAR Pre-level, and then I bought the AAR readers. He caught on quickly and never needed any more reading instruction that that, but when we introduced spelling, we went right to AAS and stuck with it all the way through. Big fans.

Kids 2 and 3 followed that same path.

Kid 4 came along and needed more reading support. I decided to buy LOE, because like you I thought it looked thorough. I found it annoying to implement; DD found it torture even though I quickly gave up on the handwriting aspect of it. We gave up after a month and I just taught her to read on my own using the AAR readers.

I understand the appeal of handwriting or copywork included, but it never would have worked for any of my kids. Their fine motor skills were always delayed far behind their reading. Plus, hand writing was just plain despised, so when they were ready my only hope of getting semi-willing compliance was making my own handwriting/copywork sheets about high-interest topics: Star Wars, Pokemon, Plants vs. Zombies, Octonauts, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to drop in an anecdote to ease your mind about your still-growing philosophy of education.  Most kids will learn to read just fine with any of a variety of programs, even (gasp!) the dreaded sight words or balanced literacy variety.  All the ones you mention are sound, phonics based programs.  Pick the one you like.  Nobody will be able to tell from the way your kids read which program you picked 😉 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m pulling my kindergartener away from First Start Reading right now.

My issue is we did Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons last year and First Start starts the year with spending a week on a says “ah”, the second week on m, the third week on s.  It goes at that pace. If you follow FSR you will have your child writing A about 100x times before the week is over and so on.  It’s SO much writing and I say that as a person who has a child who is excellent at writing.  If you have a child who has NO phonics background at all this may be a good fit.  Otherwise it’s just too much.

 

I tried LOE with my oldest and I hated the format.  Just personal preference, but so so much going on with the program.

 

Of your three options I’d choose AAR. I used it when my youngest was three for pre-reading and thought it was good. 

Edited by Teach05
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright you guys have sold me. I’m just gonna do ARR. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll get something else, but I have a good feeling about it. When I compare teacher guides, it is much more *soothing* to my brain than the LOE teacher’s guide, which overwhelms me. I’m doing it. This is it. Decision made. No more researching phonics programs.

Thank you all! Now I’m on to overthink about handwriting for a while. 😄

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, GoodnightMoogle said:

Thank you all! Now I’m on to overthink about handwriting for a while. 😄

My favorite is Universal Handwriting for my kids that hated handwriting, and were a touch delayed in fine motor skills, but made steady progress once they were ready. It is just so easy and open-and-go. I especially like that they offer the books in Spanish - we start Spanish exposure early, so this was an easy way to incorporate it into their day.

For my youngest who REALLY, REALLY struggles with handwriting and spelling, I use a combination of Spelling U See and Handwriting Without Tears, but those would have been overkill for my other kids.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Currently using AAR and LoE.  I'd I had to pick one, AAR is more complete and easier to use. 

Mine really needs handwriting separately, so we are doing a bit of McRuffy handwriting- like 2x a week, mostly just letters at this point.  We are doing a lot of practice on the white board,  in shaving cream, using HWT and Kumon books.   Until she's better with formation I don't want to do a lot of copy work.  She is doing spelling and I think that's enough handwriting for now.  I don't want a lot of bad habits formed from pushing writing too early.  I had older kids who did that in public school because they don't monitor them! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All about reading with letter tile app.  What I do is also add in all about spelling to get the benefit of spelling/ handwriting to read.  I started dd6 with both all about reading and spelling and I’m glad I did.. she had dyslexic tendencies and all about spelling is how she overcame that.  She does handwriting without tears now in pencil (2nd grade).  She didn’t have much handwriting before now.  All about spelling is done with dry erase marker which is easier for little kids.  I taught her how to write while teaching spelling.  The red cards in spelling are for dictating individual sounds, and that’s the easiest time to teach letter formation. 

Edited by Nm.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of those, AAR for sure. Get the letter tiles app! I had the magnetic ones first and OMG the stress of finding tiles missing, behind the couch, chewed up by the dog, rearranged by a toddler, etc was NOT OKAY. The tile app is fantastic. 

My other favorite is Abecedarian - at least if you have a kid struggling. 

For handwriting I like Print Path which is on Teachers Pay Teachers OR The Good and The Beautiful handwriting. I don't use much from The Good and the Beautiful but my kids LOVE their handwriting - even my dysgraphic kid! There are little things to color or draw each day and maybe that is why. But my 8th grader was sad that they don't have any handwriting books past 7th. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...