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Dancing Bears vs ABeCeDarian


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My ds5 is reading and we finished Alphabet Island 1 and part of 2. I don't like the reading in Level 2 being tied to spelling so I'm trying to find something else to complete the phonics instruction. I'm curious about these programs. Can anyone compare the 2 or tell me what they like/ don't like about them?


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I'll chime in.


I am using Dancing Bears with my 4.5 year old. We really like it.


For me the best part is the very beginning of book 1 where you slowly pronounce a word and the child says it. Like c...a....t.... cat. My son could not do this when we started. He couldn't hear the sounds separately and then put them together. I think it is supposed to be a day or two of work. It took three weeks. But then he figured it out and we were off and running.


I like the cards for sounds (phonemes I think). I like the fact that each day isn't labeled. Some days we do four pages, some days we get through parts of two. I like the fact they introduce some sight words (said and you are early) because it makes reading real books much easier.


I am definitely liking it better than anything I used with the older kids. I wish I had found it when my older son was learning. It would have made my life (and his!) much easier.


Jenne in CA

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I have never tried Dancing Bears. We use ABeCeDarian and I like that it's streamlined, doesn't require loads of writing and uses different methods to present the reading concept. For example, in level B, each lesson is broken down by sound, so if you are working on the "long O" sound you would have a list of words with that sound with various spellings. The first day the student sorts the words by spelling, the second they play "I Spy" to figure out how the sound is spelled, on a third, a spelling chain activity with letter tiles (ie: mat to mast to must) and another day they have decodable sentences with a word left out - the student selects the word from a word bank that makes the most sense and then reads it. It's a little like ETC as far as some of the activities are concerned, but less repetitive and more engaging for my daughter.

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Here is another option I like even better.


http://www.roadstoeverywhere.com/3RsPlusRead.html (check out the link to the UK site on the right side as well). These are the I See Sam books. They are small little readers so that he can read a BOOK instead of just word lists, or a story on a page in a book. They go from K-3rd grade reading level.


I have Dancing Bears and I do like it for drill work but the stories in the books above are much more motivating to my girls. Esp. for a 5 year old the books are much more exciting and he could carry them around with him and read them to others.


Once you get to a 2nd grade reading level, I really like the Apples and Pears spelling. I have not found anything that rivals that program for spelling (put out by Dancing Bears people).


If you are interested in the I See Sam books, I can send you a sample in PDF form.

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