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  • tanya
    replied
    Dorinda,

    We don't have any written work scheduled for the summer with Sets 3 & 4. We just scheduled the word lists from Classical Phonics that are applicable to the books, but that is all.

    When we start 1st grade with sets 5-6, I'm thinking we may add some worksheets, but I'm waiting on our 1st grade teachers to get over here next week after they finish their school year and help me figure it out. I'm not sure which worksheets we will be adding yet. But did you see that EPS has workbooks that go along with the Primary Phonics readers? If you feel you need to spend some time in phonics alongside the readers, you might want to look at those.

    And your child was not alone in his struggles! We wouldn't have gone through all of this effort if we hadn't heard from many parents who students were struggling. We are really hoping that this makes for a better transition for students! I apologize for your 9 year old's discouragement and hope your next child has an easier time of it.

    Regards,

    Tanya

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  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    Will sets 3-4 be used with the current SRA phonics book? We didn't buy the K package, but are moving into 1st grade package for fall. I noticed there is a phonics workbook that correlates. I am very torn about old vs. new version of the plans. I had him try little bear for me yesterday and he could read the first chapter with some help, but could not read it independently yet. We have been using PAL reading from IEW (not at all in love with it - it jumps around too much and I think encourages guessing and has too many pieces) along with ordinary parents guide to teaching reading because I had it and PAL was driving me crazy.

    I am one of those people who is happy that you are adding in some additional practice before first grade. My almost 9 yo used your first grade package shortly after it was introduced and had lots of trouble with it. I looked at what FSR and the included readers covered in K, but it still seemed like a HUGE jump from the end of K to the start of 1st. We struggled through, but it was sort of discouraging to him. I am glad to see that I wasn't alone. I must say that not only do they need to be ready to start little bear they almost need to be ready to move on from little bear because there isn't much time spent at that level. Even if the text of the other first grade books wasn't that much harder, they were real books without the big type and white space my son needed for some confidence.

    Thanks for the great product.!

    Dorinda

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  • tanya
    replied
    Oh, wow! You don't need to skip phonics, but you won't want to spend so much time on it either. I'd strive for an accelerated pace through it and then move on to 1st grade reading. It makes me nervous when you skip things at this early age. But this isn't really my area. You can get better help from our teachers this summer at the conference!

    Cheers,

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • KF2000
    replied
    Yes, I meant first....whoops. I keep getting confused because of what she is reading. She is a rising K'er, but she is ready for first grade reading. Should I do that? Do K with First grade reading? She has blown past my goal for the year, but I don't want to skip K.

    Thoughts?
    AMDG,
    Sarah

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Sarah,

    I think you mean the old 1st grade plans? You will need to request them because we will assume a student needs the slower start unless you let us know. But it's no problem to send the old ones.

    Regards,

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • KF2000
    replied
    Tanya,
    Will we have to make a special request to get the old K plans? Or will they be available on the website too? My rising K'er is reading through all our Amelia Bedelia books right now, so I would love to get the old plans that start with Little Bear.

    Thanks!
    AMDG,
    Sarah

    Leave a comment:


  • Maggie
    replied
    Tanya thank you for your great explanations, I'm newer so the changes excite me more than frustrate me.

    God Speed on the work plans for the summer,

    Amy

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Actually, we are putting Sets 5-6 in 1st grade to give students a slower start. But if you have a student ready to read Little Bear now, you won't need them. You can just use the original plans that begin the year with Little Bear.

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • Courtney
    replied
    Ok thanks Tanya. The way it was mentioned on the forum I would have been looking for something in 1st grade curriculum, not K. A place on the website listing what's new and what they are for would be helpful. I don't want to miss something as I prepare for next year.

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Hello.

    You are correct on all counts, Celticadea. Great summary! And I do expect that we'll have a final SRA replacement in place by the end of June. I'm just cooling my heels while the teachers finish up school this week. I'm hoping they all show up for work at the Press after Memorial Day. Then we'll start making real headway!

    And Courtney: You are correct that the summer phonics is to help students continue to progress in their reading as they move to 1st grade. Some students need this more than others. My oldest son went into kindergarten reading, so he was free to choose his summer reading from the library and did just fine. But my youngest could really have benefited from leveled readers because reading didn't just happen for him. The approach you take should be determined by each individual student.

    Regards,

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • CelticaDea
    replied
    Re changes

    If I'm understanding correctly, the added K readers are less about remediation and more about continuing skills (diphthongs etc). I've seen many families commenting in the forum about what to do with their kids who aren't able to do Little Bear immediately in 1st grade. FSR ends before some of these skills are taught. So just practicing what they'd already learned wouldn't be much help. Now we'll have directed practice to both maintain and expand their reading skills so they'll be capable of moving on.

    Other lower grade changes: the manufacturer doesn't want MP selling the phonics workbooks so MP is looking for an alternative. Read alouds go out of print and must be replaced. Many have asked for a more gradual rampup to third grade so an alternate track (for those who want it) will provide this opportunity.

    Completely independently a special needs track is being developed and upper grades are being developed.

    Personally I like getting a fresh updated lesson plan that I can read without the tears, stains or scribbles that accumulate. (Nobody's ever asked me to mail it back to MP).


    Tanya,

    Do you expect to know the first grade phonics workbook before end of June?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Leave a comment:


  • Courtney
    replied
    So the extra colored readers are just a bridge to 1st grade then? To use over the summer? I'm glad to hear you are working on upper grades, that was a primary concern for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • SaintJude7
    replied
    Hi Tanya,
    Please don't be offended. You've still got the best classical Christian curriculum I have found on the market. I agree that there need to be options for students who are not quite ready to transition into first grade, although I would just stop and remediate before moving forward. I could see summer bridge packages being an option in the future: Rising 1st Summer, Rising Second Summer, etc... Probably the easiest product to market would be summer copywork books for each grade level, each with its own theme. I think I suggested it to Cheryl for the special needs packages. Forty-five pages or so of poetry, Latin Bible verses, and literary passages from the Highland Latin School summer reading list.
    Blessings,
    Jude

    dd 17
    ds 14 (special needs)
    ds 11
    ds 9
    dd 7
    ds 4
    dd 2

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Hello.

    I'm sorry we've frustrated you. The changes we are making are specifically due to the feedback we have received from homeschoolers. We are not making any changes in our school, so if you want to continue using our lesson plans as they are written, that is fine. There is nothing wrong with them. But we are trying to meet the needs of the students who are struggling with the reading level we are expecting in 1st grade by providing a smoother transition from leveled readers to actual books.

    All students coming out of kindergarten need to be reading all summer, and we are just providing a schedule to help with this. Going from a non-reader to a reader is probably the biggest milestone in a student's educational journey, and after the feedback we have received over the past couple of years, we decided that we could make this transition better. No one has to use the summer enrichment. And if your students are ready for Little Bear when they start 1st grade, that is great. But if they happen not to be, these new lesson plans will be there for you to ease your students into reading real books.

    Remember that this curriculum is brand new to the homeschool market. The tweaking we have done is because we have realized - based on the input of homeschoolers - that the perfect curriculum in the classroom may not be perfect at home. There was no way to determine this until homeschoolers used it for a couple of years. While you have been using it, we have been listening to your praise and criticisms. And we haven't changed the core at all. But we have had to make minor tweaks and additions in order to perfect a homeschool curriculum. I wish I could tell you that we are finished and there will be no more changes. But I can't. If we figure out a better way to do things that would improve the education of students, we will make those changes. But remember that there isn't anything wrong with the original curriculum. In fact, we are still using it at our school and will continue to use it.

    The philosophy behind what we are doing has not changed. And the core subjects have not changed. But every year that I taught, I continued to make improvements as I gained experience with the curriculum and the classroom. I think some of the frustration for homeschoolers is that you don't have that luxury. You teach a different grade every year, so it's a different animal altogether.

    Also, the primary changes we are making don't affect our release of curriculum for the older grades at all. That is a totally different set of teachers doing the writing. The slowness there is due to the difficulty of the curriculum. It is a lot easier to get an Alphabet Book completed than it is to write a study guide on Ovid's Metamorphosis. But we have lots of upper school teachers coming in to write this summer, so we continue to move forward.

    And I do apologize that you are frustrated, but we are so thankful that you stepped out on this limb with us when we released this curriculum. We couldn't have made the improvements we have made without your input, and our initial Core Curriculum Package customers will always be special to us because you have come on this journey with us and helped us to provide the best education possible to students - and that's why we come to work every day.

    Regards,

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • SaintJude7
    replied
    Changes

    I'm one of MP's most loyal customers, but I have to agree with Courtney. I understand that temptation to tweak endlessly, but the changes are becoming a hindrance. Somebody call a time-out and focus on the higher grades instead. Perhaps it is different in a school setting where the teacher only has that one grade level to worry about. As parents trying to homeschool multiple levels, we need things to stay consistent when possible. If I am on my third MP second-grader, I would prefer to be presenting materials that I have worked through before. Because I will also be working with a kindergartener, a fifth grader, a seventh grader, etc... I can't keep up with the changes to the lesson plans anymore, so I am just not sending them back for the most current ones. Next year's kindergartener and second grader will be using the lesson plans from two years ago.
    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
    Blessings,
    Jude

    dd 17
    ds 14 (special needs)
    ds 11
    ds 9
    dd 7
    ds 4
    dd 2

    Leave a comment:

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