Reading and writing are the foundation for all academic subjects. Some schools do not have a method for teaching reading and spelling. Even if they do, reading and writing programs are not all created equally. Unfortunately some children need more support learning how to read and spell. After teaching countless children, we have boiled it down to a seamless approach:
• Using reading and spelling material that is motivating.
• Breaking down the process in to small steps.
• Using techniques from a variety of programs (Lindamood Bell, Orton Gillingham, Wilson, Fundations to name a few).
Reading is like climbing a ladder, you miss a step and you’re likely to fall:
THE FIRST STEP is phonemic awareness, where we learn the sounds of our language. For example, tee and too both start with the /t/ sound. We don’t attach a written representation of the sounds yet.
THE SECOND STEP is where we learn how to segment words in to sounds and then we learn to blend these sounds together. For example we learn that bye has two different sounds (b and i) and if we say the sounds slowly, we can hear each sound.
THE THIRD STEP is where we learn to attach the letter with the sound. This is phonics! We learn that /a/ is written as a and it makes a different sound than /e/.
**All along we must target reading comprehension, even before a child has learned how to read and spell as a child’s ability to understand spoken work can exceed his or her ability to read.