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    FSR Questions

    M has a few weeks before we are ready for FSR. SInce the program has changed from when the other kids used it, I have a couple questions:

    Are the Core Skills bks neccessary or just for extra practice?

    Are FSR A-E enough on their own? (I remember a wonderful discussion about this some time ago which I cannot find now.)

    Is 100 Days of Reading meant to be a bridge between K and 1st grade work? We do not take a summer break so I am trying to figure out how this will work for us.

    Are any of the EPS Phonics readers scheduled in the K and 1st grade plans?

    Are the remaining American Language Series books scheduled? (I seem to remember this being a no before.)

    Are the teaching videos essential?

    I noticed FSR Bk E is not on the Phonics/Spelling page of the website. Where can I find it?

    Any advice before we start?

    Handwriting: How perfect does his handwriting need to be before we start? He is not 100% on all the lowercase letters and a few capitals give him trouble. We have been making liberal use of highlighter tracing while working through Alphabet Bks 1 & 2. BTW, His grip corrected itself once I threw out the pencil grip we were using.
    Last edited by Enigma; 11-19-2021, 12:55 AM.
    The Homeschool Grads:
    J- 6/96
    S- 11/98

    Homeschooling:
    G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
    D- 5/05
    F- 7/08 (my only girl)

    New Homeschooler:
    M- 9/16: JrK

    #2
    Hi! I'll answer what I can from our experience. My daughter did the K curriculum last year and is working 1st grade this year.

    Core Skills may not be strictly necessary, but my daughter needed the extra practice and those books felt easy and fun to her, which was nice.

    I don't know exactly what you mean by asking whether FSR Books A-E are enough on their own. We used them in conjunction with the other scheduled components: Core Skills, phonics flashcards, Classical Phonics word lists, and Primary Phonics readers. She is reading, so it is working! And this child was not an early independent reader. She absolutely needed explicit instruction.

    We didn't use 100 Days of Summer reading. It's a blank book with space to write/illustrate about books of your choice read each day over the summer. Which certainly would be a nice bridge from K to 1st, but I didn't have time so I just had my daughter read from the American Language Series readers for continued practice over the summer.

    The red EPS readers (CVC words only) are scheduled in K. The later sets are scheduled as optional in 1st.

    The first 3 ALS books (Fun in the Sun, Scamp and Tramp, Soft and White) are scheduled in K. The later ones are not scheduled, but the teaching guidelines in the 1st grade curriculum manual recommend using the later books in the series if your kid needs more practice.

    I've seen positive comments about the teaching videos, but we didn't use them, so I would say they are not essential if you have the time to do all the teaching yourself.

    FSR Book E is scheduled at the beginning of 1st grade, so look there?

    Advice before you start: do everything in the order it is scheduled in the manual, even if you need to spread it over more days than the manual shows, have patience, and maintain a positive demeanor :-) Reading can be hard work for a little kid, so remember to give plenty of encouragement.

    Handwriting will continue to improve. There is a ton of practice in FSR. If he can write most letters, that's great and more than my daughter was doing at the beginning of K!

    Good luck!
    Amy

    DS 13 MP8
    DD 11 MP6
    DS 9 MP4
    DD 6 MP1
    DS 4 R&S Pre-k books
    DS 1

    Comment


      #3
      Good morning,

      Core Skills is scheduled in the kindergarten curriculum because it provides independent review. The material in FSR is to be overseen as the child works to keep a watch on letter formation. We don't want an entire page of work completed with the student beginning the letter in the wrong place or just forming the letter incorrectly. We only have them practice a few and they need to be done slowly, neatly, and correctly.
      The Core Skills pages provide independent practice writing those letters. Other Core Skills pages are perfect in helping introduce a letter and practice identifying the sound of that letter. So we would say the Core Skills pages play an important role.

      Classical Phonics and the Phonics Flashcard set are critical to the phonics program, though you could get away with making your own phonics flashcards on index cards.

      The 100 Days of Summer Reading is just a book of blank pages, as Amy said, but the appendix has several pages of titles that are graduated from easiest to most challenging. The purpose of the book is to be sure you continue to practice reading everyday after kindergarten because the skill is so new. If you take a 2 month break, it will take much longer at the beginning of first grade to get back up to the level you were at the end of kindergarten. So, you don't have to use the book 100 Days of Summer Reading but you need to have your student read out loud to you for 10 minutes every day.

      The EPS Primary Phonics Readers are no longer scheduled in the curriculum manuals at all. For those who still own these, or want to purchase them, if you call the office we can give you lesson plans that show when to use them or you can just read them when your student is ready. Be sure to go over words in the front cover prior to reading. These phonetic readers were always optional if your child struggled with decoding and needed more practice but most students get plenty of decoding with Fun in the Sun, Scamp and Tramp, and Soft and White.

      The other three titles in the American Language Series are not scheduled but can be used in the first grade for phonetic reading practice should your student need it. Again, they would just be read at your own pace there is no magic tie-in to the curriculum.

      I would love to tell you the videos are essential, but they are not. They are just a tool to help teach the kindergarten phonics program. You can read the Teaching Tips in front of both the FSR Teacher Guide and the Curriculum Manual and, as long as you are doing all the components as designed, you will be successful!

      As Amy said, FSR Book E is scheduled at the beginning of first grade. It is designed to mirror some of the early lessons in Traditional Spelling I.

      Handwriting does not need to be perfect before starting the program. He will learn as you go. Keep that expectation high!

      Blessings,





      Comment


        #4
        One more: if for reasons we use a different phonics program, will M still be able to feed into Traditional Spelling in 1st grade?
        The Homeschool Grads:
        J- 6/96
        S- 11/98

        Homeschooling:
        G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
        D- 5/05
        F- 7/08 (my only girl)

        New Homeschooler:
        M- 9/16: JrK

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Enigma View Post
          One more: if for reasons we use a different phonics program, will M still be able to feed into Traditional Spelling in 1st grade?
          I think it might depend on the program.
          Christine

          (2021/2022)
          DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
          DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
          DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

          Previous Years
          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

          Comment


            #6
            AAR is the maybe.
            The Homeschool Grads:
            J- 6/96
            S- 11/98

            Homeschooling:
            G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
            D- 5/05
            F- 7/08 (my only girl)

            New Homeschooler:
            M- 9/16: JrK

            Comment


              #7
              Have you already been using AAR and are you planning on switching to the phonics in MP1? I gave away my AAR to a friend when we finished so I don’t have it in front of me. I really like AAR, but it isn’t a clean line up between AAR and FSR. If I remember correctly getting through AAR2 was solid preparation for books like Little Bear, but since I last used MP primary cores my understanding is those books thankfully have been pushed back from week 1 of first grade. There have been a lot of changes to the phonics over the years. The addition of FSR E was essential but wasn’t written when my older kids used it and alas the content wasn’t there in any form and the experience was my massively discouraging to my older two boys. With my now 13yo we stepped back and remediated with AAR3 the summer after the second grade core. I still regret not doing it sooner, but I was trusting the plans. My youngest used through AAR4 and then we waited a year doing some extra lit guides and jumped in this year with the 3A core. It has been a very clean transition. If you are looking to jump in at MP1 then I would suggest looking at what is covered in FSR E and compare it with AAR. I believe long vowels aren’t covered until the beginning of AAR2.
              Dorinda

              Plans for 2021-2022
              15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
              DD College Freshman
              DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
              DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
              DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

              Comment


                #8
                It would actually be fine to use Traditional Spelling coming from another phonics program as long as the student has mastered reading short vowels, has almost mastered transitioning between reading short vowel words and long vowels with magic e. Moving to the TS program should not be an issue, but using the TS program alongside an alternate phonics program may be confusing. The first few weeks of first grade during which we complete FSR Book E, the lessons mirror what is covered in TS I but after that the phonics for reading and phonics for spelling split so a student using the TS program alone would get a great spelling program, phonics for mastery but they would be missing the introduction and practice with advanced phonograms if they don't do the phonics for reading lessons included in our literature program.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you, everyone. I’m mulling things over.
                  The Homeschool Grads:
                  J- 6/96
                  S- 11/98

                  Homeschooling:
                  G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
                  D- 5/05
                  F- 7/08 (my only girl)

                  New Homeschooler:
                  M- 9/16: JrK

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We will be here should you think of other questions as you "mull". Blessings!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes, my question to you is do you already own AAR? We have used AAR (1, 2 and 3) alongside of MP in various ways, but my kids needed a lot of phonics help and there were just things I didn't realize when we first were using FSR. My oldest just needed a slower progression, my middle child only did AAR1 &2 and moved right into MP1 and we never went back to AAR. My youngest I have used AAR 1, 2, and 3 + MP 1 and now we are doing MP2. We will finish MP2 before the year is up and I think she needs AAR4, but we shall see (I've kept it on hand and the older two kids at least read the readers)

                      So, if you already own it. I found that doing FSR books A-C to actually be more helpful then using AAR right out the gate. AAR introduces blending REALLY fast, where FSR starts it gently. Most kids after books A-C do just fine with book D, but there is where things kind of came off the rail for us. We still needed a slow introduction to the long vowels, vowel teams and blends. I found with all 3 kids though, that after AAR 2, book 1 (there are two readers in AAR2) we could move back over to MP and that is where we started the Storytime treasures. At that point Little Bear is actually a little easy for the child to read, but the challenge is in the writing. We were able to move at a quicker pace than the guide though. This was not the case for my current child, who is a year behind with the MP core, but is able to handle the full MP core (vs the Simply Classical).
                      Christine

                      (2021/2022)
                      DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
                      DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
                      DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I don't own anything for this level. When F finished with materials, I sold them thinking no more kids. I'm just going to start with FSR and see how it goes. He is a FAST learner and already picked up 5 sight words (the, I, said, of, and working on you now) plus word family 'at' and am'. It's his writing ability that is slower. I think we just need to jump in and go with it.
                        Last edited by Enigma; 11-30-2021, 09:27 PM.
                        The Homeschool Grads:
                        J- 6/96
                        S- 11/98

                        Homeschooling:
                        G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
                        D- 5/05
                        F- 7/08 (my only girl)

                        New Homeschooler:
                        M- 9/16: JrK

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Great! When you do the larger writing sections, be sure to break up the lessons with snack and/or movement breaks. You do want to build writing stamina.

                          Comment

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