Have you ever typed an address into your GPS and thought to yourself, “Well this is silly. I’ve already driven to this place a gazillion times before. Why don’t I know how to get there on my own by now?”
No? Not you? Okay. Even if you can’t relate to the question that I seem to ask myself ALL of the time, imagine that scenario a little differently.
Let’s assume that getting yourself from point A to some familiar point B is not the problem, or at least not for you. What if that thing you consistently forget how to do is to read a familiar word, or lots of them, or most of them?
What if the reason you can’t seem to read a word that you’ve seen a gazillion times before is because you don’t recognize the letters? Now imagine you’re an elementary school student whose letter recognition challenge persists into third grade, or fourth grade, or fifth grade and beyond.
For some students, especially students with dyslexia, that’s an everyday experience. While my own dependence on GPS may be here to stay, I have some good news for students with letter recognition difficulties. They don’t have to keep that burden forever. We CAN help struggling readers develop strong letter recognition.
With stronger letter recognition, reading requires much less effort and focus. Translation for all of you parents and educators: much less resistance to reading.
Sounding out words no longer requires the extra burden of figuring out what all of those letters are, then remembering the sounds they make, then remembering how to blend them together, THEN recreating that familiar but not-so-familiar word. That, in turn, improves reading fluency, which improves reading comprehension, and on and on go the good-news dominoes.
Unfortunately, we can’t simply present the same letter to a student a gazillion times in order to improve letter recognition. Yes, repetition is effective for some things. In my case, it certainly doesn’t help me avoid getting lost.
In the case of students who learn differently, we need a different approach.
The Letter Sounds Made Simple Program
A unique program for unique learners, called Letter Sounds Made Simple, is not only simple for students to learn but is also simple for parents and teachers to implement.
Letter Sounds Made Simple
- Uses a multisensory approach
- Is ideal for one-to-one or small group settings (at home, in the classroom, or distance learning)
- Is designed for K-6 students
- Introduces 3-4 new sounds at a time with easy print and go workbooks
- Each lesson builds upon the lessons before it
- Requires only 10 minutes per session to implement
- Leaves kids looking forward to their next session!
Have you ever tried to help an older student relearn the letters and sounds of the alphabet? Most letter recognition materials are designed to appeal to a much younger crowd.
Let’s take alphabet cards, for example: a for alligator, b for ball. Super cute pictures for Kindergarteners. Humiliating “baby stuff” for 6th graders.
We don’t want to INCREASE resistance to reading. We want to REDUCE it. The Letter Sounds Made Simple Program is simple enough to use with kids in younger grades while it still appeals to older readers who struggle.
Another huge benefit, especially for older kids, is that by the end of the very first lesson, students read and write letter sounds, blends, and even short words. Success is swift and, after much review, each new lesson builds upon those quick, confidence-boosting wins.
I think you’ll agree that winning in general is something we humans tend to want more of. Quick wins in reading encourage kids to come back for more of that success.
If you’d like to help your child or student improve letter recognition and reading fluency, please learn more: The Letter Sounds Made Simple TEST DRIVE.