The problem I have with them is they are great for the later parts of the program, but not well suited to the first stages. Yes, they are illustrated nicely, but all the text is bunched up on one page. This doesn't make them easy for early readers to follow. And the text starts in a pretty complex way, meaning they are only really good for children that have learned all their phonic sounds already.
He says that parents can help kids read by taking advantage of situations where reading has some utility. “In our house, for a brief period of time, my youngest just thought it was hilarious fun when we’d ask her to clean her room but would do so by writing down on a slip of paper each task. ‘Put away all your toys.’ She would read the slip of paper, then go off and do it, and then come back for another slip of paper.” (UM, brilliant.)
Hi. As you will see once reading my post, I’m feeling awfully desperate & unable to sleep over issues my kindergartner is having in school. He’s an “older” kindergartner (6.5 y.o.). I have done all the things in your list. He loves me to read to him, and I do often up to an hour 1 day (books of HIS choice). Once he joined kindergarten, I started hearing that the work is too hard, that he hates reading, he can’t read, won’t be able to for a long time, he’s a terrible reader, etc. Early on…probably 3 weeks into the year, they had a 20 sight words screening/test & then placed all the students in reading groups. He seemed upset by the requirements. We were told for homework, to have him scan his finger across the sentences of these black & white scholastic books…example, “I like pizza, I like corn, I like apples, What do you like?” He would get so upset and clearly extremely frustrated by being asked to do this process. The teacher was willing to remove him from the reading groups which seemed to reduce his anxiety some. The class, together, recites out loud the 20+/month sight words they are expected to learn via smartboard. He knows none of them. From my vantage point, this seems to be difficult for him. The teacher says he’s doing “great”. He still occasionally says negative things about his reading ability / confidence. This concerns me greatly & shared this w/ teacher. When the other kids rotate b/w free play time & their reading groups, he’s allowed to do free play but he spends alot of that time @ the computer car games (school considers apart of the free play curriculum). It’s now January & now they will begin journal writing & small sentence writing. I’m certain this will be something he finds frustrating. On one hand, I’m trying to determine whether it’s healthy for him to continue being in this environment or not. Have you ever seen kids move from 1 environment to another mid-year & do well? I’m considering just pulling him out to homeschool w/ more tactile, multisensory methods of learning for the remainder of the year but just not sure what is best. There is more pencil/paper/worksheets as compared tactile, multi-sensory methods of instruction and that is not how he learns best. He often says the paperwork is “too hard”. Last week he said he was scared to go bc of this. I’m very concerned about his confidence; wondering what the environmental impact is of him not being there is )ex:(a number of them are reading accelerated readers). The teacher feels he does not notice this but I don’t get this sense about how he sees himself. He’s very intuitive. I’m not sure what to do but just want to do what is best for my child. For many months now, since October, I have been observing other schools classrooms, visiting them. Most expect these kids to read by spring. And most seem to be. Mine does not though I have done all the things you have posted. Given all that I have said, do you have any recommendations? I believe in respecting where kids are developmentally & it seems to me he simply is not in a place to perform at this level though the teacher seems to think he is doing great.
Hi TripleAMom, nice to see you again. Sight reading works really well for all kids, those with learning issues and those without. I think it’s simply a matter of preference really… and don’t get me wrong, I believe that phonics is essential for children to learn, I just believe that there’s a way to do it that is easier, especially for very young children. In the end reading is reading and I’m glad we both agree that this is every parent’s primary goal… not the method in which it is achieved. Thanks for stopping by, I really enjoy chatting to you :)
Children learn best when multiple senses or areas of development are included.  That’s why hands-on learning produces longer retention and more meaningful application.  Once your child has shown an interest in letters and you have already begun to utilize natural settings for identifying those letters, begin implementing activities that incorporate as many senses as possible.  Keep in mind that learning letter names isn’t nearly as important as learning their sounds!
A yearly membership is currently $197.00 USD made with a single one time payment. You then have access for a full 12 months to get the most benefits from the program. Sarah claims that this is the best deal for families who want to take full advantage for the benefits of the program, or for families that have older children that will be using the program – say 8 or 9 years of age
Develop phonemic awareness. One of the most important steps in teaching reading is associating a spoken sound with a letter or letter-pair. This process is known as phonemic awareness. There are 44 speech sounds created by the 26 letters in our alphabet, and each sound must be taught paired with its letter(s) counterpart. This includes the long and short sound produced by each individual letter, as well as the specialized sounds some combined letters make (like ‘ch’ and ‘sh’).
I’m a K teacher and it seems that you are more interested in blaming his former teacher for where he is in his development more than anything else. Since this is a whole year later….I’m sure that he has picked up reading. However, I just want to say as an educator of 15 years who has a reading specialist endorsement, that reading is developmental—and each child is in a different part of that developmental process. As a parent, you are truly your child’s first teacher. Please revaluate pointing the finger at the teacher–as I’m sure that there was learning taking place in his classroom after all!
​When teaching young children (especially those under 6 years old) I would recommend you teach them phonics in short sharp bursts on a daily basis. I noticed some of the later lessons could run to over 30 minutes based on their guidelines. Unless your child is clearly able to focus for this long, I would recommend that you do that lesson over two days to lessen the burden on your child.
I bought the product back in September right before two of my children went to school. Everyday they came from school they wanted to hop on the computer to learn more because it felt like a game to them. At the same time it helped them learn to read and write. I got their report card and met with their teachers, they we're both above average in their class.

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It’s made a huge difference in our child’s life, and it can probably make a huge difference in yours. Not only is Jen rocking her grades at school more than ever, but she’s feeling confident about her skills. She wants to read everything she can out loud, and we’re thrilled to have discovered kids’ phonics lessons that spark a passion for learning in her.
As you know I am a new teacher from Iran with no experience and love teaching kids so much, I have 3 ESL kids, they are 5-8 years old, after only 5 months now they know their ABC’s. they know the letter and the sounds I am so proud of them, they learn very fast and also learn the vocabulary very fast, when I show them letter “Aa” they loudly say ‘a, a, a is for apple, alligator, ambulance, ant’ wow and the same for the other letters. But now we have a 2 weeks holiday and in about a week will start new course, but do not know what I should teach them, we do two ESL for kids curriculums but its more about talking and listening and learning new vocabularies but I want to teach them phonics and also their parents want. Now they know their alphabet what would be the next step. I have made a phonic book with this order for them,
Willingham recently wrote the New York Times op-ed “How to Get Your Mind to Read,” and it’s fascinating. In raising readers, it appears that we’re doing it wrong. Parents and teachers tend to think about the learning process in separate blocks. When kids are very young—around 4, 5 or 6—we teach them how to “decode” words. It isn’t until the fourth or fifth grade that we move onto comprehension. That’s too late, Willingham says. “Decoding and comprehension are not the same thing,” he tells me. “There are times when you can read content out loud but not understand what you’re reading.” In the later elementary school grades, as texts become much more complex, comprehension becomes much more difficult. And therefore, children struggle.
The kid stays in the picture. In great middle-grade novels, children are the protagonists; they solve problems, have adventures unmediated by adults and are generally the stars of their own shows. That’s why orphans are so common in classic children’s literature. Even in contemporary middle-grade fiction, parents seem to die or be otherwise unavailable at an improbable rate, forcing child characters to bravely confront challenges.
But even as our expectations continue to increase, the latest brain-development research shows that, on average, kids are simply not ready to start learning until around age 5. And those who do start sounding out words at younger ages aren't necessarily brighter, says Beverly Cox, an associate professor of literacy and language at Purdue University: "An early walker isn't destined to be a great athlete, and an early reader isn't destined to be more intelligent."
The parent-child pas de deux. The more you can make reading mutually satisfying, the more it will be associated with pleasure and reward. If your child doesn’t like your silly ogre’s voice, don’t use it. Remember, it’s your child’s story time, too. Try it: Let your child turn the pages, to control the pace. (It’s also great for developing fine motor skills.)
Fast ForWord is a computer-based program that focuses on the link between spoken language and written words. The software aims to help kids master reading by improving things like memory, processing speed and attention. But the impact the program reports to have on these skills isn’t widely accepted. Nor is its impact on improving reading. Fast ForWord is used by clinicians and specialists.
Reading Head Start in NOT for parents who believe that sitting their child down alone, in front of a screen each day is the best way to actually teach them. The most effective element of this system is that YOU get to work with your child and it’s YOU that truly becomes the teacher. Reading Head Start simply makes it beyond easy for you to teach your child to read and provides you with the endless tools that make it even that much easier!
This is indeed a wonderful post! I have a 14 month old who loves his books. I will be socking this article away for frequent reference. I will note, however, I found the odd reference about how men are not prone to reading very strange indeed. Perhaps I am just unusually fortunate in this respect, but so many of the men in my life adore reading, that it struck me as quite false. I am, in fact, married to a male librarian who loves to read and is beyond thrilled that our little guy has begun grabbing books and bringing them over for him to read. But that assertion aside, an excellent article. Thank you!
Reading Head Start guaranteed to work quickly for children even as young as 2 a reading system unlike anything else out there and works even if today’s the first time you have even thought about how important it is, your child learns to read as early as possible. Even if your child currently is unable to recite the alphabet, whatsoever your child doesn’t even show a shred of interest in learning to read at all right now. This program will work even if you feel as if you have already tried everything there is to try. This system is designed to be more like a virtual babysitter than an actual reading system. This is the better way of teaching your child English than this, making it has the sole purpose in life to create something different. Something that would turn the tables on the school board and make it so you never have to worry about your child’s success in school again. It was after tirelessly digging up endless research on how babies naturally learn to speak.
Cut out simple cards and write a word containing three sounds on each one (e.g. ram, sat, pig, top, sun, pot, fin). Invite your child to choose a card, then read the word together and hold up three fingers. Ask them to say the first sound they hear in the word, then the second, and then the third. This simple activity requires little prep‑time and builds essential phonics and decoding skills (helping them learn how to sound out words). If your child is just starting out with learning the letters of the alphabet, focus on the sound each letter makes, more so than letter names.
Expand your toddler’s world. Sometimes toddlers seem “stuck” on a certain book you’re not crazy about. Don’t deny them the books they like, but try to actively steer them toward other books as well. Most important, don’t be afraid to expose toddlers to subjects they don’t have any context for. All topics — even geology, the history of art, and life in different cultures — can be broken down into small parts and made interesting by a great children’s book. Try it: At a certain age, children may start to gravitate exclusively to stories that feature a protagonist of their own gender. This is not true for toddlers. Take advantage of this time to expose them to a balanced menu of characters.
Hey Sarah, thanks for getting back to me! Yes Ellie has been doing fantastic with Reading Head Start. We just started level three on Tuesday and she’s excited to get going. She loves your system so much that I’m not sure what to do next once she completes level four. You should keep making more levels lol. This has easily been the best investment I’ve made for Ellie to date and a bunch of my friends all picked it up for their children too. I’ll keep you posted on her progress!” *Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. – Samantha W.
Strengthen your child's comprehension skills by asking questions while reading. For younger children, encourage them to engage with the pictures (e.g. “Do you see the boat? What colour is the cat?”). For older children, ask questions about what you've just read, like “Why do you think the little bird was afraid?” “When did Sophie realise she had special powers?”
Hi. I came across your page quite by accident as I was so frustrated with trying to get my son to read. He received absolutely no instruction in Kinder and now, in first grade, is terribly behind and I am at a loss as to how to help him. He will see a word, can sound it out, but if you turn the page, it becomes a totally new word. He doesn’t remember what he has just read. He can spell his word wall words like a champ, can write dictation like a hero, but reading? He is failing miserably. I am so worried he will fail first grade because he can’t read. I don’t know how to help him. I have just purchased your book, but it seems as though I have failed him already as we did NONE of this prior to school as I had no idea about any of this. How can I help him learn to read at this late stage in the game and save him from failing first grade?
Cut out simple cards and write a word containing three sounds on each one (e.g. ram, sat, pig, top, sun, pot, fin). Invite your child to choose a card, then read the word together and hold up three fingers. Ask them to say the first sound they hear in the word, then the second, and then the third. This simple activity requires little prep‑time and builds essential phonics and decoding skills (helping them learn how to sound out words). If your child is just starting out with learning the letters of the alphabet, focus on the sound each letter makes, more so than letter names.
As we mentioned, most reading programs only cover Phonics, and fail to integrate critical phoneme recognition lessons that have been proven to work time and time again. Teaching your child not only words and letter sounds, but speech patterns as well, gives them a more solid understanding of the parts that make up our spoken language. In the end, all of the helpful tools and fun stories help seal the deal and help your child become confident about their progress from day 1.
“Phonemes” are the smallest sounds in the English language (go here for a complete list of phonemes).  These sounds are made up of consonants, short vowels, long vowels, and digraphs.  “Phonemic Awareness” consists of learning those sounds and how to manipulate them within a word.  Digraphs are unique sounds comprised of individual letters like /th/, /sh/, /ch/, etc.
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