Raising Robust Readers truly believes that the most effective way to teach or improve reading and spelling is to teach the English code with our multi-sensory reading program, incorporating all aspects of the components of literacy, and PLAYING your way to reading!
Our course and engaging materials, free of textbook jargon, are used by teachers, therapists and tutors. But we designed the course so parents, volunteers and all caring adults who want to help children learn to read can effectively do so.
With our multi-sensory reading program, you will teach your child or student auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic modalities, simultaneously, through songs, gestures and play. Our sequence of instruction is a carefully crafted departure from traditional approaches. We teach reading like math, in logical, sequential order. Blending begins very early so learners experience the joy of reading, not just saying sounds and recognizing letters. Each phase is designed in small successful steps from simple to complex; from sounds to syllables to words.
Take children beyond the alphabet to the world of phonograms. Phonograms show the 72 sounds in all the words we read. They may have 1 letter (the alphabet) or 2. 3 or 4 letter combinations; but only make one sound. Our multi-sensory songs, gestures and play-filled activities make them easy to learn and fun to teach.
Understanding phonograms and the 6 syllable patterns is quite possibly the most important tool a child will ever learn. When children understand the six syllable patterns, they not only learn HOW to read a word, but WHY it is read that way. Our 6 Silly Syllables videos will show you how.
Learn how to divide words into 6 syllable patterns so you can read words syllable by syllable. No More chunking through words or guessing from pictures or context. Along with 29 reading and spelling clues, it is possible to decode 95% of all English words.
Begin reading instruction with intervention, and all children will benefit. When you start younger, teaching in small, logical, sequential steps, you will accelerate early readers and may very well prevent children with a predisposition to dyslexia from ever manifesting reading failure. Traditional methods are failing many of our children. Catch them before they struggle or fail.
Raising Robust Readers can be used for all ages. It is simple, clear, child-friendly and free of textbook jargon. Instruction can be easily adjusted and adapted for all ages and ability levels. It is especially suited for children with dyslexia or Down syndrome. When using developmentally appropriate strategies, everyone may benefit — from babies to adults, and from strong readers to struggling readers.
Raising Robust Readers incorporates the best practices of the National Reading Panel, the National Right to Read Foundation and the International Dyslexia Association. This multi-sensory, explicit and systematic instruction of phonics is at the core of our program. But, equally important, is the built-in, fun-filled play. Play promotes brain growth and creates an additional pathway to learning.
Sight words and whole word memorization may be detrimental to students who are struggling with learning how to read. Decoding words in the traditional letter-by-letter manner can have crippling results. Children are expected to memorize some 300 sight words when in fact most of them can be sounded out. Try sounding out ‘eight’ one letter at a time and pronounce the result. Now try explaining how that garbled sound equals ‘eight.’ The default solution is to make it a sight word. But there is a better way! With phonograms, the confusion, frustration and failure can be remedied, and your children will understand the WHY!
Where is the a in eight? Where is the e in amphibian? Where is the f in elephant? How do I explain why we spell cat with a c and kitten with a k? Both start with the same sound. How do I explain why duck ends in ck and lark ends in k?
You may think that English is a crazy language and don't know how to answer those questions. But English is logical and sensible, and when you learn the reading code, you can easily explain it to your children and students.
Robust Readers in Real Life:
Meet Sydney, a struggling reader, whose life has been changed with the Raising Robust Readers course.
Sydney was struggling to memorize the 300 sight words that were required by her school in first grade and falling behind in her reading. Concerned, her mother enrolled her in Raising Robust Readers. After only three months, Sydney's reading level had improved to above grade level. She progressed so quickly that her teacher said "the results didn't even look real on paper!" Sydney's self-esteem and confidence started to soar along with her reading. Her one goal was to be able to "read a chapter book like the rest of her girlfriends." Mission Accomplished!!
The Online Course with 18 step-by-step modules includes everything you need to teach your child how to read, including downloadable worksheets, fun-filled activities and more!
Easy for parents to learn and teach. Our online course videos guide you through the course, and show you the most effective methods to teach your child.
Uses the multi-sensory, research-based Orton-Gillingham approach
Literally it means being aware of sounds. This term refers to spoken sounds. It is the ability to hear sounds and manipulate them. For example “t-a-p” vs “p-a-t.” Both have the same letters; but they are in a different order. Or “t-a-p” vs. “t-o-p” where the vowel sound is different. Note: This term differs from ‘phonogram’ which refers to the printed symbol.
You can learn at any age.
Oh my goodness yes. Every child deserves to learn the simplicity (yes, simplicity!!) and clarity of our English language. There are some children who are just natural readers. They just ‘get it’ when it comes to reading. But when they understand more fully how the pieces go together, their skills are taken to an even higher level. However, this group is in the minority. The 2015 Nations Report Card revealed that approximately 2/3rds of 4th and 8th graders, nationwide, read below proficiency. The scores for 12th graders in 2015 were 5 points lower than in 1992. That should be enough proof that all children can benefit from a better method of instruction.
First, go to the teacher and show her what you have been doing at home. Show her how effectively your son is putting sounds together to read words. Ask her to incorporate the program into his reading instruction. If there is resistance, you can call an Individualized Educational Plan meeting. Bring documentation regarding Orton-Gillingham-based instruction and documentation regarding your son’s progress. The term “Individualized” is there for a reason. We suggest listening to the excellent documentary “Hard to Read” produced by American Public Media. Although the program focuses on dyslexia, there is a wealth of information on the effectiveness of the Orton-Gillingham method and on parent advocacy. As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, you will be able to identify with many, many points that are discussed. Here is the link:
Because we want children to experience success from the very beginning, and at each step moving forward, we begin with phonograms that have only one sound. That way, when they begin blending, there is only one possible sound for each. Hence, no guessing; just success. For that reason, we teach single sounds consonants and vowel buddies before we teach two-sound consonants and multi-sound vowels. Experiencing success at the beginning means that students are more confident when moving to the more complex steps.
Parents can be a child’s most effective teacher. There is so much going on in a classroom, that individualized, direct reading instruction is limited. And ‘reading time’ occurs whether your child is in a receptive mood or not with a teacher who may or may not have been trained in best practices. You know your child’s personality; you are with your child day and night; you have the opportunity for meaningful teachable moments. You have the greatest incentive for your child’s future independence. But you have to understand how the process works. With Raising Robust Readers, you gain the knowledge and confidence to be the constant support for your child either at a desk or on the go wherever you go. For more reasons why parents should take a more hands-on approach, listen to the documentary “Hard to Read” . You will also hear about how well teachers know (or don't know!) the components of effective reading instruction as set out by the National Reading Panel in 2000 and as researched by the National Council on Teacher Quality in 2016.
Awards and Accolades
Authors Judy O’Halloran and Marilee Senior received a 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for literacy for “The ABCs of the Sounds We Read: Going Beyond the Alphabet to Discover the Reading Code.”
Raising Robust Readers has been chosen by GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers to be used internationally with their literacy programs.