A Guide to Becoming a Word Detective

With our keys to reading, your child or friend can read everything.

Reading is fundamental. It is the basis for functioning in our literate society. It is the framework for study in all subject areas including math. Math and science anxieties are closely related to the inability to decode new words that have not been taught to the learner. The majority of the population has been taught to read through word recognition and have not been taught phonics. Only in recent years have some educators and organizations rediscovered the value of teaching reading through phonics. Scientific American discussed an unbiased review of the methods of teaching reading, and in the end recommended the phonics approach.

While educators continue to debate which method of teaching reading to use, some children continue to read poorly. Some drop out of school at the end of 4th grade, others struggle through middle school and finally drop out in high school. Most prescriptions to remedy the situation target a level that does not address the root cause of the reading problem. We find slow readers and non-readers within our school system and adults in the community hiding the fact that they cannot read.

I have created a reading program that consists of teaching approaches and materials that cover the entire continuum of decoding through phonics. The set that we have created includes instructional DVDs, hand-drawn illustrations on a series of posters, a kit with moveable words, letters and pictures.

We offer presentations, in person or via Skype, where we will briefly describe the phonics approach of teaching reading with the use of the materials mentioned. The posters include an original alphabet chart where each letter is paired with an illustration of an object that begins with that letter which also resembles the shape of the letter for relevant recall. Prior to learning the alphabet, the learner is engaged in phonemic awareness activities. Activities in this area focus on listening and speaking. Reading and writing are built upon the foundation skills in phonemic awareness.

There are only 44 sounds of the English language. Along with teaching other forms of saying the same sound and the exceptions to the rule, there are about 72 lessons. Supposing a learner learns only one lesson a week, the 72 lessons will be mastered in 72 weeks or one and a half years. That is a slow rate. Most learners can learn one lesson a day or master the program in 72 days, 3 months.

Who cannot afford to be able to read with such simple, easy, attractive, effective materials and methods? Let us show this approach to you so all may read. Let's read!

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Art immitates life. Our sweet Emma is joy in our Lesson 9 Diphthongs Booklet.

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