How Do Children

Learn to Read?

Roughly a third of all children learn to read on their own, with little or no help from their parents or teachers. Another third will learn to read with some instruction, almost no matter what kind of instruction they get. All other children need more than that. They need excellent instruction in phonological awareness and phonics in order to build those foundational reading skills. Plus training in fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Unfortunately, most classroom teachers haven't been trained to effectively teach this group of students to read.

Even Before Phonics, You Need Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is key to becoming a good reader. Children need to truly, deeply understand that words are made up of individual sounds, and that we use individual sounds in different combinations to produce the many words in the English language. And they need to be able to manipulate those sounds. Can your daughter tell you all the sounds she hears in the word "grand"? Can your son say "sleep" without the "s"? How about "bake," but with a long /e/ sound instead of the long /a/ sound?

"Decoding" Instead of Memorizing

If you don't have good phonological awareness, phonics (the relationship between sounds and letters) doesn't make any sense. If you don't understand that you can combine the long /a/ with "r" and "n" to make the word "rain," your teacher's "ai" lesson isn't going to stick. And that's what we see, over and over again - children with poor phonological awareness who haven't learned the phonics patterns they need to know in order to be able to "decode" (or read) an unfamiliar word. These kids will do their best to memorize entire words as complete units, based on the shape of the word and maybe the first few letters. And some kids with excellent memories can get away with this technique for quite a while before parents and teachers realize that the child can't decipher an unknown word. No child can memorize all the words we use in English - in order to become fluent readers, they need to understand that we combine sounds in different ways to make words, and learn how we spell the various sounds in our language.

That's where we come in.

We specialize in teaching struggling readers to decode the English language and learn to love reading!

We work with struggling readers one-on-one, online, multiple times per week to help them become better readers and catch up to their peers.

Please contact us at for more information.