When it comes to reading instruction, this Website is predominantly focused on reading COMPREHENSION (see the "Comprehension 101" page), not phonics. However, I'm including this page to ensure that users of this Website are aware of the importance of phonics instruction for early readers.
If you haven't listened to it yet, I highly recommend Emily Hanford's podcast SOLD A STORY, which explains the history of reading instruction and sheds light on the research behind the science of reading. BOTTOM LINE: Children who struggle to DECODE will also struggle to COMPREHEND.
If you are the parent of a struggling reader, it may help you to know that you are not alone and that there are some research-supported things that your child's school can and should be doing to help. Again, Emily Hansford at APM Reports has done extensive reporting on how reading is taught: HERE.
Here are some additional useful links about WHY WE NEED TO TEACH PHONICS:
- "Inside the Massive Effort to Change the Way Kids Are Taught to Read," by Belinda Luscombe in TIME, Aug. 11, 2022.
- "2000 National Reading Panel Report."
- Sounding Out a Better Way to Teach Reading" by Bella DiMarco in The New York Times, Oct. 6, 2022.
- "Why Doesn't Every Teacher Know the Research on Reading Instruction?" by Susan Pimentel in Education Week, Oct. 26, 2018.
- Here are two eye-opening videos about how reading is taught in school: Is My Kid Learning How to Read? Part 1: Purple Challenge and Is My Kid Learning How to Read? Part 2: Our Friend "Ur"
If you believe your child is struggling with dyslexia, it may help to listen to this podcast: "Hard to Read: How American Schools Fail Kids with Dyslexia" APM Reports podcast by Emily Hanford, Sept. 11, 2017.
Also, "dyslexie" font may help: Check out https://www.dyslexiefont.com
FOR FREE ONLINE PHONICS RESOURCES:
- You can actually create your own CUSTOMIZED DECODABLE TEXTS using ChatGPT! See this TLC Blog post: "One Way to Solve Reading Problems with ChatGPT." (PS-- Check out the "A.I. TIPS" page for more ideas.)
- The Reading Universe (originally the Barksdale Reading Institute) offers a TON of SCIENCE OF READING RESOURCES.
- Fly Leaf publishing currently (2022-23) offers free online decodable books with "homework" sheets that can be used for independent practice HERE.
- West Virginia offers a free set of resources HERE. Also, see more HERE.
- Jessica R. Toste, PhD, provides FREE open-source reading intervention resources, including Word Connections, which is described as "
REGARDING TEACHER PREPARATION in the science of reading, here are some important research reports:
- Teacher Prep Review: Strengthening Elementary Reading Instruction, National Council on Teacher Quality, June 2023.
- The Four Pillars to Reading Success: An Action Guide for States, National Council on Teacher Quality, June 2020.