Moving forward after AAR level 1

I’m thinking of moving into something a little more affordable now that my son has completed all about reading level 1. He will transition into emerging leaders but I feel that a little more phonics instruction would help. I was leaning toward explode the code, however I have no experience using this product and was wondering what you Mommies thought about it and where are you think he would place. He’ll be going into 2nd grade.

I have no experience with EtC.
What about moving forward with some phonics readers (I really loved the American Language Series books: at that stage). And continuing instruction using All About Spelling (only $40 a level)?

I hope you find the combination of instruction and finance you are looking for.

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Explode the Code is worksheet oriented. Some kids love it and others hated it. My DD who used to hate writing hated ETC. Phonics Pathways is only $20 and could be used to pick up where you left off after AAR 1. Reading Lessons Through Literature is $30 per level or $25 in ebook. My cousin is using Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and thinks it is effective. I have never seen it in person though.

@dragonflyer I just looked at the readers from your link and really liked them! Did I read right that each book is 96 pgs or more?!! That’s a wonderful value!! When did your child start reading these books?

I have a natural reader so, he began sounding out CVC words around 3. We went through the Bob books set 2, then we started in on Scamp and Tramp. The book was a perfect stepping stone because the stories start at 4 lines and get longer. The book was 176 pages and by the end some stories were 3-4 “pages.” Most of the words were short vowels and just kept practicing the digraphs. I think we finished shortly after his 4th bday. I wish I had Soft and White to transition into, but I just moved into Frog and Toad from there.
I was really happy with both Scamp and Tramp as well as Soft and White, I think they were a great value.

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My son who is starting 1st grade in the fall has just finished AAR 1 and will start on explode the code book 2. I do think you would need some extra phonics, whether it be readers or another phonics program.

@dragonflyer The set on rainbow resource is 6 books for $60, considering how many pgs per book, that’s an incredible value! I have a struggling reader, and I need stories that transition from basic cvc words to more blends. I think these books may be a good fit for him:)

@Bookworm Did you use Phonics Pathways? Is it a phonics program or just for fluency? Looks interesting:)

Mommyv3…Did you use ETC prior to this?

Always glad to share something we enjoy! I felt they were really gentle and gradually introduced new concepts well.

I have used ETC with my daughter as well. She is finishing up the last book #8 and also AAR3. She is very independent though and flew through some of the books. She will be in 3rd grade in the fall. ETC reinforces phonics in a workbook form which both of my kids like. I hope this helps let me know if you have any other questions.:blush:

@Luvmyboys - Phonics Pathways is a phonics program. They also make Reading Pathways which is for the purpose of building reading fluency. They can be used together, but do not have to be used together. I own both, but have only used parts of both. When I pulled my oldest out of public school, we had to remediate a few problems related to reading from methods used there along with vision problems we learned about. She “hated” reading, I was desperate to get her to love reading or at least like it a little bit, and I was scared of messing it all up. I bought Phonics Pathways, but then second guessed myself and we did AAR 1 (which ended up not being a good fit for us). I came across LOE Foundations (similar scope and sequence to AAR) and switched to that after AAR. In hindsight, I could have just used Phonics Pathways and saved a lot of money, but I was scared and didn’t know how to find readers to help her practice at the time outside of Bob Books (which she hated and she wasn’t ready for some of the “I can read” level 1 books either and was tired of Dr Seuss) and I was also scared that if I didn’t have color and games that she would hate reading lessons even more. At the time I also didn’t know how to find good readers (that weren’t Bob Books) to help her out of reading CVC words and had never heard of great readers like the American Language series, Pathway Readers (not related to Phonics Pathways), Elson Readers, Treadwell Readers, I See Sam readers, Nora Gaydos readers, or anything else along those lines. I was overwhelmed at the time and wanted more hand-holding with very scripted lessons, reading practice, and games/activities all planned out for me than what was in Phonics Pathways.

A lot of it depends upon what you want in a phonics program. AAR and LOE Foundations (and I’m sure many others) are both very scripted and will lead every step of the way and have readers that correspond with different lessons. Phonics Pathways has the information there, a different scope and sequence than AAR or Foundations, it will help you know how to teach different phonics, but is in no way scripted (yes, it will give you directions and guidance, but I felt like AAR had more hand-holding each lesson). You can look at previews of it on Amazon (the previews only show the short vowles and a few blends and then part of the end of the book - the multiple letter phonograms aren’t shown on the preview last I looked) and you can see the table of contents on Rainbow Resource to get an idea of its scope and sequence. I am actually pulling out a lesson on contractions from Phonics Pathways today to teach DD because she is ready for it, but I don’t think the contractions are actually taught for a while in Foundations. After this level of Foundations, I am considering just picking up the rest of what she needs by using Phonics Pathways since I have it, have readers that she likes, and am more confident now in picking and choosing what DD needs at this point with reading.

Sorry for the long answer. Since you were interested in it, I just thought it may be helpful to know the differences between it and another program like AAR.

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@Bookworm I appreciate the time you took to give me such an informative response! Thank you:) I’m also going to look into the other readers you mentioned.

echoing the other comments - explode teh Code is very worksheet based and doesn’t have explicit phonics instruction, more phonics practice.

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading might be a great resource for you. It is a cost-effective, scripted (so you don’t have to figure out how to teach it, yet you can adapt it to your own child’s needs) and thorough phonics-based program.