Intro and phonics level question
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  1. #1
    catsndogs4us is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Intro and phonics level question

    Hi My name is Jodi, we just started time for learning a few days ago. I have four children ages 8-13 who I have homeschooled all along. Three of the are using time for learning. We do have some special needs among the bunch. I found Time for Learning after my kids asked and asked for a computer based math curriculum. I had gotten Teaching Textbooks for my oldest but it was not available at younger levels then and it didn't seem as "fun" as my kids had hoped. So Time for Learning seemed a good option for our math.

    We decided to try the language arts as well. My only child I've found hard to place is my 9 year old. I put him in second grade everything, thinking we'd move him up to 3rd grade math if the math was too easy. I thought the language arts would be a good fit at 2nd since he has completed a first grade phonics program. Well, the second grade LA is too hard already (I think). There was a reading fluency lesson on day 3 and he can't read the passage at all. I really don't know where to place him. I tried the 1st grade phonics and the first lessons were too easy and he was upset to be using the same lessons as his younger brother.

    I guess he needs to be somewhere in the middle of first grade phonics but I'm not sure where. He used Learning Language Arts Throught Literature-blue for first grade phonics last year. It concentrated on consonant sounds, short vowels and long vowels plus some sight words. I don't know if anyone has used that curriculum and is familiar enough with Time for Learning phonics to know where I should plug him in. He's a very active busy boy and trial and error is very hard for him and I! I just want to know a good starting off point, I have checked the scope and sequence but still felt a little confused. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Jodi

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Time4Learning's kindergarten language arts teaches consonant sounds, short vowels and long vowels (which is the kind of thing you indicated your son studied last year). In first grade, they begin learning blends and they add more sight words.

    Have you seen the Lesson Plans? If he already knows single-letter sounds, you might want to start him at LA021 on the first grade level, where students begin to learn digraphs such as /ck/, /ea/ and /sh/. (That way, he will be ahead of his brother, too.)

    If he is already familiar with most of the digraphs, you could keep him in the second grade level but skip the fluency exercises until he is reading fluently. If those are the only exercises he can't do, you can always go back to them later.

    We're glad to have you with us. Let us know what you decide.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    catsndogs4us is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default thank you

    Thanks for taking the time to answer Kelly, even though you're on vacation as I read above!

    I had seen the lesson plans but felt a little overwhelmed. I read this reply this morning and tried LA021 and that seemed to be a good starting off point for this son. I think some of the lessons will be things he knows but some are not. Just one of those things when switching curriculum I guess. Really we had only planned to use Math with T4L but I am very happy with the LA lessons too. This ones a keeper I think! I can feel like the kids are getting their basics in about an hour a day- even though we tend to stay busy and go off on a lot of rabbit trails with unit studies and the kids own investigations of things they're interested in. This seems like a good fit for us.

  4. #4
    catsndogs4us is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I wanted to update that this son is doing much better now in his phonics. There was a story to read today and I asked him why he wasn't clicking the words to hear them. He said he learned most of them in the lessons and only clicks a few hard ones. This is a much better place for him for now. He will gain confidence and the amount of material is better so most of it seems to be "sticking".
    Jodi

  5. #5
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Oh, that's really nice to hear! It's great that he recognizes that he's actually learning new words.

    It's also good that he's motivated enough to read the words he's able to read. I have one child who gets a little lazy sometimes and has the story read to her, even when she can read some of the words.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  6. #6
    Samantha Kovach is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Hello! I thought I would share my experience with my 9 year old son since our experience sounds quite similar to the one being discussed. He completed the LLATL blue book late last year. When we started Time4Learning LA, I placed him in the third grade level. I finally made the very smart decision to move him to the second grade LA program. It is a much better fit and he is feeling encouraged. He needs lots of work in reading comprehension and the third grade reading comp. exercises were just too hard for him.

    Samantha

  7. #7
    catsndogs4us is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    My son (and his younger brother) continue to do really well with the phonics. can't believe what a good fir this is. Samantha, it does sound as though we had a similar experience. Nothing wrong with going back, it's all about meeting each childs individual needs!

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