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Old 07-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
thoughtfulmama
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Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

Im trying to choose a phonics/reading program for my kids (ages 5 & 6). I have HOP (older version with cassette tape) which I love, but Im afraid that the kids aren't getting enough out of it. I need something scripted and I was wanting something to supplement. ETC or any phonics workbook. My kids are total opposites in how they learn, my youngest loves workbooks and can read most CVC words. My oldest hates writing and workbooks and is having trouble blending CVC words. I have checked out almost all of the popular phonics instructional books, 100 Ez lessons, The reading lesson, the well trained mind, OPGTTR, Language lessons, Alpha phonics and many more. Im soo confused. Basically I want them to learn blending and all of the phonograms, which HOP dosnt teach. We don't have a huge budget at all, which is why Im looking for something either on the cheaper side, or used, or something all together different. Please any suggestions would help! Ive also checked out logic of English and dancing bears, both love the idea and how they present it to the kids. Happy phonics seems like a good supplement, but haven't seen it in person. Sorry for the rambling, theres just soo much sometimes I feel like im not going to ever settle on one thing and fail my kiddos :/

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Old 07-29-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

my oldest learned to read using starfall.com (free) and a little of progressive phonics (also free online) and then Bob books once she mastered CVC words. After that we did ETC books and Happy Phonics. If your oldest likes games, it is really great for that. It reviews the phonics rules through playing games.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #3
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

This is so how I felt last year! I'm still a bit confused... still trying to figure it out. We tried 100 Easy Lessons (did not like), HOP (mixed feelings), Bob books (okay, but not my favorite), and I'm curious about programs like Logic of English and Sing, Spell, Write, Read. Peeked at Progressive Phonics online too. Right now I'm just doing my own thing. We're actually going through science books for reading. There are so many different choices that it really does get confusing. I'll be following this thread. I need ideas too.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

My son is 6 (going into first grade). Here's my plan.

We are doing one page from The Reading Lesson for phonics practice and blending. Then we will do the slide show that matches the McGuffey Primer that's on Easy Peasy (it's more sight word memorization based). Finally, we'll read the McGuffey reader page and do copywork from that. I have a pdf that has copywork along side the reader page. I also have the Nora Gaydos Easy Readers, so we might do a few of those as well if he is interested.

The Reading Lesson $20 from Amazon new. I paid $12 for my copy used, and $2 to Staples to cut the binding off.

Easy Peasy free

Nora Gaydos books run $12/$15 per set, but you could probably print the progressive phonics reader cheaper than that.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:20 AM   #5
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

I wanted to update you on Happy Phonics since I pulled it out this morning to use w/ my DD (6yo who is reading already). In my first post I said this was a good review of the rules. This is what I remembered of it since I didn't use it a whole lot b/c my DD learned to read at 3.5 and at that time she wasn't really old enough (mature enough) to play games/understand board game rules, so I've just held onto it thinking I would use it for my other two.

I do think it would work to actually "teach" not just review. I think it would work well w/ a child that doesn't like to sit for "school" or respond well to traditional teaching like a parent giving information and the child listening then doing in a workbook. (I believe the woman who designed the game had a son like this actually). And it works well for kinesthetic learners. It kinds of tricks you b/c you are really learning while playing games. (My DD doesn't really like sitting and doing workbooks either, and she loves these games)

only caveat--it is a little bit overwhelming as the teacher. You have to cut out all the game boards/pieces and though there is a guide to walk you through it all, it is a lot to keep up with/organize. I'm not a very detailed person, so it gets a little overwhelming for me, but at the same time, I do still like it.

Just wanted to add those thoughts in case you were strongly considering it.

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Old 07-30-2014, 06:56 AM   #6
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

We loved Sing, Spell, Read, and Write, but it is a pricier option. Worked great for all 3 of my kids, though, even with their different learning styles.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 3rugrats
I wanted to update you on Happy Phonics since I pulled it out this morning to use w/ my DD (6yo who is reading already). In my first post I said this was a good review of the rules. This is what I remembered of it since I didn't use it a whole lot b/c my DD learned to read at 3.5 and at that time she wasn't really old enough (mature enough) to play games/understand board game rules, so I've just held onto it thinking I would use it for my other two. I do think it would work to actually "teach" not just review. I think it would work well w/ a child that doesn't like to sit for "school" or respond well to traditional teaching like a parent giving information and the child listening then doing in a workbook. (I believe the woman who designed the game had a son like this actually). And it works well for kinesthetic learners. It kinds of tricks you b/c you are really learning while playing games. (My DD doesn't really like sitting and doing workbooks either, and she loves these games) only caveat--it is a little bit overwhelming as the teacher. You have to cut out all the game boards/pieces and though there is a guide to walk you through it all, it is a lot to keep up with/organize. I'm not a very detailed person, so it gets a little overwhelming for me, but at the same time, I do still like it. Just wanted to add those thoughts in case you were strongly considering it.
I got Happy Phonics used a few months ago, but just today went through the whole thing. First of all, if you can get it used, it is so worth it b/c you don't have to cut and organize everything. Secondly, I went through the guidebook (or whatever you call it) and batched the games together in sheet protectors by when they're introduced in the curriculum. It made it a lot easier for me to see what's there. Remember how I said I had it for a few months before really delving into it? It's totally intimidating at first. Lastly, I agree that it's a complete curriculum. I thought it was just a supplement for games. I already requested Phonics Pathways through ILL, but may just use Happy Phonics and Explode the Code to teach Phonics. That would make my Phonics program cost $9!
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

Thank you for all your responses! I really want something to teach her all 72 phonograms as well. Our charter school will purchase AAR, LOE , Mcruffy and ETC for me, just dont want to "waste" finding on a phonics program when we have HOP for free. Make sense? Unless these programs will be better/easier for me to use and teach?
Im trying to find Happy phonics used as we speak!
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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I really want something to teach her all 72 phonograms as well. Our charter school will purchase AAR, LOE , Mcruffy and ETC for me, just dont want to "waste" finding on a phonics program when we have HOP for free. Make sense? Unless these programs will be better/easier for me to use and teach? Im trying to find Happy phonics used as we speak!
I do have Spell to Write & Read (SWR) flashcards with 70 phonograms which I got for free (from the free section of a used curriculum sale) then cut & laminated. I figure we can easily add a few more phonograms when we get to the end of our lessons. Also, the Logic of English (LOE) app is a few bucks and the LOE author Denise Eide has a youtube video where she pronounces all of the phonograms so you can add what you may be missing. I ended up getting the Phonics Pathways (PP) book through ILL and I definitely think Happy Phonics (HP) will work better for us for now and DD LOVES the few things we've used thus far. I may buy a used copy of PP after we finish HP. Your charter will pay for those programs?! That's awesome! I thought you said money was tight. I don't have time to go back and read the whole thread again. Let us know what you choose and how you and your children like it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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Re: Feel like my head is gonna explode!!!

Phonics Pathways-blending, easy, structured, inexpensive....like $25 inexpensive. I taught 2 to read with it. Last year I used Logic of English because it sounded great. But it's for kids who already know their letter sounds and to move forward, to me it's more geared to learn in the whole English language well, for kids that are developmentally ready and can grasp the concepts of why. I think I'm going back to Phonics Pathways myself. I will pick back up on LOE when my dd is ready.
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