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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do for a reading program. I see lots of reviews about phonics ( we love Explode the Code, and I have used Spalding which is also great but much more intense/involved) but not ELA programs that have specific, sequential strategies and related stories. I think even if a child is a natural reader, they benefit from an interesting skill based program. Does anybody ever just buy one copy of Scholastic Literacy Place/Macmillan, etc. and do a comprehensive ( while adapted for homeschooling) program. Does anybody do Guided reading ? I want something that contains stories which get progressively more difficult but are high interest and fun. What does everybody do?
 

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Not sure...I've been looking for a reading program too. We haven't done Explode the Code yet. We just read lots of books...from chapter books and short stories that I read out loud to easy readers that she reads to me.<br>
I know I'm not really answering your question, just wanted you to know I saw your post!
 

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i have the ETC workbooks too. my dd loved them at first and then began getting frustrated....so i quit using them. i've tried a few different things, but my favorite hands-down is <a href="http://www.headsprout.com" target="_blank">www.headsprout.com</a><br><br>
i'm not sure if it meets your criteria, but my dd is really starting to read..... i mean actually really read! so it definitely meets my criteria<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
also, ETC has an online program now...maybe it's good. don't know though. i'm sure others will chime in too. good luck mama!!!<br><br><br>
i wanted to come back and link this website <a href="http://www.epsbooks.com/" target="_blank">http://www.epsbooks.com/</a> (it links to the ETC online too).<br><br>
you can get a free catalog from them. it's filled with a billion reading resources. i've never bought from them....but i do enjoy looking through it.
 

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I saw your post too, but we don't have a formal program.<br><br>
My kids have worked through ETC workbooks. For reading, my kids read books from the library, magazine articles, e-mails from relatives, basically whatever piques their interest. So far, it's working just fine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you mamas for writing! I will check out the links....<br>
Our son is five, and is a natural reader. He can read words that are about 2-3 grade level.<br>
We are looking into reading programs, and I wanted to know what others who use them choose, because we feel like even though he can READ, there is much more to it than that. I'm sure I'm in the minority here at MDC <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
My dw and I were both teachers, and have seen kids who can read, but are several grade levels behind or have huge gaps in skills which interfere with critical reading/reading analysis later if unchecked.<br>
Most homeschoolers I know ( personally) seem content if their child can read and is progressing, but do not concern themselves with programs. They read for pleasure and use reading when learning about topics of interest. Thats great for them! That's what they choose for their kids.<br>
But we want a structured program, and wanted to find out what others use. In our school ( I taught before ds was born) we used programs which integrated phonics, sight words, interesting stories, and creative writing or projects. We would of course adapt to fit our son and as homeschoolers have the flexibility to skip/add/whatever....<br>
We are not at all wanting to push him. Actually one of our reasons to homeschool is that in ps he would probably be put with older kids to be challenged with reading and we don't want that. But he is interested in reading. He wants to write. He is frustrated when he can't read something he wants to. So thanks again for responding. I hope this becomes a good topic for discussion.
 

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I've considered Junior Great Books. However that's more about reading comprehension than improving reading skills. You can get a free sample to see what you think of it if you go to the website. FWIW, I think the issue of kids developing big gaps that go unnoticed is much more likely to happen in a school environment where one adult is monitoring the education of many children.<br><br>
It probably isn't structured enough for you, but what I've been doing with my only independent reader is reading aloud a chapter of whatever book she's planning to take to bed. She follows along in the text as I read, and it gives her a chance to hear whatever words she might have been having trouble sounding out on her own. Since we don't reward reading at any particular level, I can't imagine why she'd choose to read a book if she wasn't able to understand it. Based on our conversations about the books she reads, I feel confident her reading comprehension is adequate.<br><br>
You might want to read <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSome-Best-Friends-Are-Books%2Fdp%2F0910707510%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1200839462%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">"Some of my Best Friends are books" by Judith Wynn Halstead.</a> She has suggestions about guided reading, and a nice book list.<br><br>
ZM
 

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well i can tell you what i like about headsprout. it focuses on teaching reading but not on tons of phonics rules. so far, it has never taught my daughter the detailed "why" of reading (remember this rule!), but it just teaches her "how" to read. she really gets it! this may or may not appeal to you, but it is what my dd needed. i know there are lots of successful programs out there. you may want to check out <a href="http://www.homeschoolreviews.com" target="_blank">www.homeschoolreviews.com</a> and read what other hs mamas have to say about things they've been successful with (or not successful with). good luck!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br><br><br>
wanted to come back and add one more link. <a href="http://www.icanread.com" target="_blank">www.icanread.com</a> has great books that aren't phonics based, but are still easy readers. my dd loves the book "biscuit".
 

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okay this is my last post about headsprout. lol.<br><br>
i just wanted to say if you do look into it, the first few episodes will be quite boring for your son. my dd could read the first set of bob books when we started and she thought the first 6 episodes were super lame. finally she started to learn blends and words and "new things" after that time, and she enjoys it pretty well now. if it's something i knew she'd mastered but the computer games was still having her click on that sound....i'd let her sit on my lap and i'd click for her to keep her from getting tired & bored. anyway - just wanted to tell you that.
 

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I use Sing Spell Read Write. It is pretty pricey but I got lucky and found it at a used curriculum sale and only 1 wokrbook had to be replaced for less than $10.<br><br>
There are 36 lessons...some last a couple of days. My dd is up to lesson 19 and is reading amazingly well. I had a friend recommend who is homeschooling her 4 children. She has used it with all 4 and her oldest is 14. They all are great readers.<br><br>
I love it because it has lots of fun things to do. Games, songs, drawing, reading and even worksheets. She will sing the songs out of nowhere. As we are driving down the road or at the table eating lunch! Most of the games are like bingo and go fish and they really reinforce phonics skills.<br><br>
I haven't looked at too many othe programs but we do love it.
 

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Hi,<br><br>
I have put a program together for DS. I'm also a teacher and DS is also five. We are using Explore the Code for Phonics. It also has sight words throughout it. I have the teachers guide and I'm using it. Explore the Code starts with word families. We also are building a word wall of with word families and sight words. For books we are using Bob Books. They have been great so far. He is on book six. On average he is reading one book a week. I'm asking high level thinking questions from the read aloud we do. We also are doing Handwriting without Tears. DS is doing great with this. We are actually are writing words more than handwriting with Tears. I think we will move into sentences next week. I would like him to create a valentines card for his grandparents. We also do a game called road block to help with sight words and phonics.<br><br>
Jay
 

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I am also a former teacher and I am going with Sing Spell Read and Write as well. It is on sale at Amazon right now. I cannot give you any info on it as my set has not arrived yet. Sorry.<br>
We also use BOB books on the side. My DD is 3 though. She is also a natural reader and is asking for something more structured, hence the SSRW program we just bought.<br>
I know what you are talking about with the readers the school uses. Honestly I have found a few dumped off at the Goodwill from schools who are done with them. Don't know if you would be interested in that....just a thought. Or you could just go with a reading program that some schools use like Calvert or something.
 

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We used Sing, Spell, Read, and Write level one, which, thought pricey, is meant for a 2 yr program, so the price is actually not terrible. I love that it goes in a sequential fashion. It starts with the basic phonics sounds, then teaches them how to blend the letters together, then moves on to true blends (bl, st, tr -- things like that), and teaches various rules along the way, such as the silent e rules. It teaches a lot of the tricky sounds, too -- oi/oy, the different ch sounds, ow/ow, and more. I felt it was a wonderful complete curriculum. Only phonics work she ever needs, no, but it gave her a very solid base.<br><br>
Oh, and the program includes books that progress and go with the new sounds they are learning.
 

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At my ds' school, the frist and second grade teachers use a literature -type program from Scholastic. Each child has his/her own books-- there isn't one text, and it's individualized. I've noticed the individual reading boxes in the first & second grade classrooms, and the kids are reading anything from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Magic Treehouse, to Harry Potter V, so it looks like there are strategies and info that can be applied to a variety of learners.
 

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With my eldest son (now 8.5) we tried many things and nothing really worked. Hanging back and letting him find his way worked. Along that way he loved doing Time4Learning, Starfall and StudyDog -- when it was his idea and on his own terms. Of course that is everything about my eldest child!<br><br>
Time4Learning is a monthly-fee online program with math, language and much more. For the monthly fee they can have unlimited time and access to the site. I'm not including a link because they have a promotion program that pays people for posting links and I don't participate with that type of thing. But you can google Time4Learning and find out about it. There's a few trial period, IIRC.<br><br>
StudyDog used to be free, but I don't believe it is now.<br><br>
Starfall is still free. I think it's just starfall.com. My 4.5 year old son, who is also a natural reader (can read at about 1st grade level now without any formal instruction or work from us) likes the site very much.<br><br>
We have no formal instruction, no formal program. Both boys just do what they are interested in and they are both becoming fantastic readers.<br><br>
HTH,
 

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It might be wise to base your reading program, not on reading itself, but on comprehension and written work.<br>
I was a natural reader as well. At 5yrs old I was reading 3-4grade level, and by the time I was 6 I was reading at a 6+ level.<br><br>
If I were to create a program for a child like myself I would not worry about basing the reading on progressively harder material- or just 'reading' period.<br>
1. that does not seem important(to me) 2. the child will let you know if they want something more challenging and will pick out what interests them (I did anyway).<br>
What I could have used more of was discussion of the book I was reading, making sure I understood what I was reading, learning how to form thoughts and opinions on what I was reading and how to put together sentence structure. I was encouraged just to read because it was amazing to adults to see a wee thing like me tear through books start to finish and want more. Reading was like breathing. I did not need more books, I needed to slow down, take in what I was reading on a deeper level, I needed actual work.<br><br>
I would recommend writing little short stories. Encourage and build imagination and writing skills. Work on punctuation, sentence structure and grammar. Make up little assignments for the book your child reads.<br>
I think that would have made a much better impact on my life than just reading books beyond my level.<br><br>
My dd at 5(and a half) is just starting to recognise and copy a few letters here and there, so I have no teaching experience, just the life experience I can vaguely remember.
 
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