Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Curriculum I buy: Horizon Readers

So I know I haven't written much.  I would hate to say that I am busy, well, but I am. To the point that things are being over looked and I am getting nasty grams.  But hey, I was gifting my time, and my gifts ran out. When confronted I just smile and nod, I will have to start chronicling those events too. On with the story!

So for those who know me in person, there is a running joke about how I like to buy things.  I would hate to say I am indecisive, I think it is just trying to find our fit with the energy I have available. See that is a very limited resource now days. I would hate to just walk around and use, "well, I DO have 5 kids under 8 and I homeschool them!"; but I feel as though it would be a cop out. I would really like to say some elaborate story, but really I would just be makin it up and it would be a lie.  So since, I feel like a cop out for the truth, I just smile and nod.  

So, again, on with the story.  I buy curriculum like crazy!  I buy it all, whole kit and cubuttle.  I want it all, because I jumps in like this is going to save my homeschool momma life!  Guess what, (this is where my friends begin to laugh), it doesn't always work! So I decided to start reviewing the things I buy, since, well I have a lot. I plan to only review what we use.  So as you might have guessed it, we are no longer using LIFEPAC. I will later tell you why.

So in the midst of the more than I really need stash of stuff, I have purchased the AOP Horizon Readers.  Now I picked these up last April. I know kind of soon to think I didn't want them and soon shelved them, but I did.

Now I purchased them, because I felt like I needed more reading time or the ability to assign reading to my children to go along with LIFEPAC. Well, in the last 5 months we never used them. I looked at them, reviewed them and then just could not figure out where or how to fit them in.  Side note, this to some is a no brainer, but at this time in my life, my days feel like a whirl wind.

So, I placed them on our reading bookcase and hoped by some chance that my kids would for some reason decide to read them. Yah, laughing with you, when has a child decided to read a textbook like literature fore fun!

Welp, I figure out how to use them!  first let me begin with the Ws!


WHO: my struggling 2nd grader reading at more like a beginning first grader (Rooster) and my brand new kindergarten (Sweet Potato)

WHY: I decided to pull on these, because, although we really already have readers, we need more practice.  I could easily take Rooster's curriculum reader and run right through the whole book, especially since we are repeating the first grade for language arts, but it feel like we already did that and it did not stick.

So I figured, why not use an appropriate leveld reader to give practice  and experience with. Now what we are using now, is really just building his fluency. I have no doubt that he will finish the year in about 120 days of work, but I am not in a hurry to rush him through. If I was sending him back to a school system, I would probably push him hard through the review, but we have no intentions of that. My need is for him to come to love to read and write, not just develop the skill. For him, he needs to feel ahead of the work, not constantly grabbing to keep out up.

Now for the Sweet Potato, I have her using the K readers so that I can introduce sight words.  So today, we did the first story and as I read, I had her repeat after me and read the words: the, is, and. Nice and easy.

Where: anywhere, really, but mostly on the couch together.

When: at the end of our school day, it is our quiet snuggle time.

How: well, we read! The one thing I will note, is Horizon Readers for each grade is a bit higher level than our current curriculum and LIFEPAC. Now LIFEPAC I pretty much expected, since it is very much a go at their own pace, can't wait for you to read, here teach yourself. By the way, I still love that about LIFEPAC!

So for my remedial reader, Rooster, it is not such a stretch to have him read first, because he has some experience. The reality, though, is if I had expected him to read these in April, the whole house would have melted down, because it would have been frustrating.  So we are making progress! (SMILES) 

See the first lesson of First Grade!

Now the Sweet Potatoe is really not ready for these to sound out each word, but I feel that it is great practice to see the words being deciphered and there is just an appropriate amount of sight words.

Here is her first lesson, 

Now I am not sure how long I will use these, but I will say if we can finish out each grade for each reader, I will be thankful that I purchased them. Now if I don't, it will be again another thing I bought and didn't need after I made myself silly being so sure I had to have them.

Also, we are just beginning to add this into our days.  We are really just finishing our second week of our new curriculum.  I would like to get a couple more weeks in, before I review that one.

On another side note, the older readers begin pulling out stories from classic literature, I found this to be a very exciting prospect, you know in April. I also love the artwork in the books, very colorful and intriguing but not distracting.

Do you have experience in using AOP HORIZONS READERS or another reader that you use along side your actual reading curriculum? Please share with me! Because like it or not, I will probably want to try it too! Smiles.

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