The PROBLEM

Students Struggling to Read & Failing in School

According to the Nation’s Report Card and the National Reading Panel, only 32% of 4th grade students and 31% of 8th grade students read at grade level. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studies show that systematic, explicit teaching changes brain patterns and dramatically improves reading scores.

There are many experimental methods of teaching reading that are commonly used in schools across America. Because publishers often change the name of these methods, it can be difficult to know if your school is on the right track.

HERE ARE A FEW TERMS AND METHODS TO BEWARE OF:

  1. Whole Language
  2. Sight Words
  3. Methods that rely on students being read to and the student memorizing content
  4. Balanced Approach
  5. “Skip it”, “guess it”, “take a run at it”, “start over”, “look at the picture clue”, or “what word that begins with that letter would make sense?”

Rather than focus on what should NOT be included in a reading instructional program, it is more important to know what SHOULD be.

So what DOES work?

The SOLUTION

A Phonics-Based, Systematic, and Scientifically Validated Method of Instruction

The
Big Five

According to the Report of the National Reading Panel a truly effective reading program
includes systematic, direct instruction in these FIVE ELEMENTS:

  1. PHONEMIC AWARENESS
    The knowledge and ability to recognize that words are made up of a combination of individual speech sounds.
  2. PHONICS
    A body of knowledge consisting of 26 letters used to symbolize 44 English speech sounds. There are about 70 most common spellings for these speech sounds.
  3. VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT
    Adding to the number of words used and understood by the student.
  4. FLUENCY
    The ability to read text accurately and smoothly.
  5. COMPREHENSION
    The ability to understand what we can read and talk about.

Teaching phonics rules to students in a direct and systematic way has been PROVEN over and over to be the most effective way to teach them how to read.

Katie was in the 3rd grade when her parents came to Right to Read. She couldn't read. She felt "dumb" and dreaded reading aloud in class.  Katie represents millions of children across the United States who have the same fears.

Her parents chose to remove their children from school and teach them at home. After several years, the children returned to the public school to find that their classmates were still struggling while they were proficient readers.

Katie now has her B.A. degree and is dedicating her time to tutor and help other children who need reading help.

Our mission is to help children just like Katie. Will you join us?

FAQs

More FAQs

WHAT IS PHONICS?
The relationship between how we speak and spell words.  The individual speech sounds in oral language are represented in writing by individual letters and by combinations of letters.  For example, boy has the sounds /b/ and /0i/ and therefore is spelled /b-oy/.
HOW IS PHONICS INFORMATION BEST TAUGHT?
Directly, systematically, and intensively.  Students should be explicitly taught there relationships between letters and sounds and not left to "infer" them on their own, or to memorize whole words by sight.  They should  be provided regular and adequate practice in order to ensure they develop fluency.
WHAT IS PHONEMIC AWARENESS?
The knowledge that all words are a combination of the 44 sounds of spoken English, and the ability to hear those sounds and blend them together.
HOW DOES LEARNING PHONICS HELP STUDENTS READ?
By learning the relationship between letters and letter combinations and the sounds they represent, a student can use this information to decode any word.  As their vocabulary increases, words in print can be read accurately with increasing fluency and comprehension.
WHAT IS A PHONOGRAM?
A phonogram is a written representation of a sound made with one or more letters.  For example, /B/ says /buh/, SH says /sh/, IGH says /i/.    
WHAT IS FLUENCY? WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The ability to apply phonetic skills with such automaticity and ease that it appears the student is reading words and not sounds.  This allows the student to focus his or her attention on the meaning of the text.
ISN’T THE SPELLING OF ENGLISH TOO UNPREDICTABLE/ IRREGULAR FOR PHONICS TO WORK WELL?
No.  Thorough, systematic phonics programs minimize the number of exceptions and explain logical and consistent patterns in English spelling.  In addition, the widespread success of direct and systematic phonics programs demonstrates the benefit of this approach.
SHOULD “SIGHT” WORDS BE LEARNED AS “WHOLES” BEFORE PHONICS INSTRUCTION?
No.  The assumption that children recognize words by "sight" without understanding how the letters represent sounds is not supported by evidence-based research.  Strong readers decode the sounds so quickly that it appears they are reading whole words, but in fact brain research shows that they blending sounds into words.   No. The Assumption that children recognize words by "sight," without using their letters as cues to their recognition, is not supported by the experimental research. Individual letters are the cues all readers use to recognize words.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN WHO CAN RECOGNIZE INDIVIDUAL WORDS, BUT HAVE POOR COMPREHENSION?
Some children have memorized a large number of sight words but have not mastered the fundamental skills of reading and therefore struggle to comprehend.  If the child is able to phonetically read words, and still struggles with comprehension, he/she may be lacking in one or more or all of the following:
  1. Background knowledge in the topics they attempt to read
  2. Knowledge of the meanings of words in these topics
  3. Ability to make inferences about the content being read
  4. Ability to follow the organization or structure of the text that is pursued.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHONICS KNOWLEDGE AND READING COMPREHENSION?
Nothing develops the automatic recognition of written words better than proper phonics instruction. This automatic word recognition allows children to then direct their focus when reading toward the comprehension of written material.
MY SCHOOL SAYS PHONICS INFORMATION IS BEING APPLIED, BUT MY CHILD STILL DOESN'T RECOGNIZE WORDS WELL?
It is highly probable that your school actually teaches phonics information in only an indirect, unsystematic, and non-intensive manner. Since many of today’s schools do not teach phonics skills sufficiently nor suitably, home instruction often becomes necessary.
WHAT DO CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN IN ORDER TO READ WELL?
FIVE MAIN THINGS:
  1. Phonemic awareness, a recognition that letters represent sounds.
  2. Knowledge of all the sound symbol relationships in English.
  3. The ability to read fluently to the point of automaticity.
  4. Steady growth in vocabulary development.
  5. Comprehension of what  a student can talk about and understand.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO TEST MY CHILD’S READING ABILITY?
Coming Soon
WHAT ARE THE BEST TOOLS AVAILABLE TO TEACH MY CHILD HOW TO READ?
Find out more about how to get involved and resources that can be used to help your child become a successful reader. GET INVOLVED RESOURCES