Students who fail to receive a foundation in phonics by the second grade often never receive that foundation.
Young children who fail to learn phonics by the second grade, generally never learn phonics. Schools that teach systematic phonics, tend to offer this instruction in grades kindergarten through the second grade. (And the research shows that less than 40% of colleges and universities that offer reading certification programs teach science-based reading.) But beyond the second grade schools by-and-large no longer teach the subject of phonics because they either assume that students have already mastered this information, or they don’t believe in the value of science-based reading instruction. But studies consistently show that many students continue to struggle in basic reading skills all the way through the late elementary grades, middle school and high school. Sadly, students who do not receive a foundation in English phonics by the second grade usually never receive that foundation. And these very same students continue to fall further and further behind each year in school as they get older. Ultimately many of these students will drop out from school.
Phonics is a skill that must be directly taught. Students denied access to the information regarding the relationship of English letters and sounds are not able to learn this information on their own. If these at-risk students are ever to become independent readers, they must be taught phonics.
Most teachers in the late elementary grades, middle school and high school have not been trained to teach systematic phonics instruction to struggling readers.
Teachers beyond the second grade rarely have the training or know-how to teach systematic phonics to older students; they also often don’t have the time available to provide the intensive drill and instruction so necessary for students to learn phonics. Almost no middle schools or high schools in the US offer remedial phonics instruction to mainstream students who struggle in reading. And even in special education classes at the middle and high school level, systematic, scientifically-based phonics instruction is generally not available to struggling readers.
Private tutors often fail to provide systematic phonics instruction.
Some tutors are well trained and versed in the science of reading instruction, but many others are not. Much private tutoring is done by school teachers who augment their regular income by offering outside tutoring. These teachers generally teach the same curriculum they use in school. If the school where they teach does not teach a true science-based reading curriculum, then in all likelihood, these teachers will not teach a science-based curriculum in their tutoring practice either. And many tutoring franchises, both local and national in scope, do not offer research-based reading instruction.
Reading tutors need to know how to teach the foundation reading skills of phonemics, phonics, decoding, fluency, and spelling to students and teach these subjects in such a way that the content is age-appropriate for the student. Often teachers and tutors for older students past the second grade will focus on teaching comprehension skills and ignore the more basic foundation reading skills because that is all they know how to teach. And yet students behind in reading in the late elementary grades and beyond are usually behind in reading because they have never learned the phonetic foundation of English. Their comprehension difficulties come primarily from their inability to read the words on the page accurately and fluently. These students do not need instruction in comprehension strategies; they need tightly-structured, systematic phonics instruction.
Parents must take action on their own!
Since the majority of schools still do not teach intensive, systematic phonics past the early grades if at all, and private tutors usually don’t either, often the only recourse for parents is to teach their own children this subject in the home. Our online phonics program automates the learning process so that a student can work independently at a computer and learn this vital skill. Having access to our online program is like having access to a full time reading teacher available to work one-to-one with anyone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
Our cost-effective online remedial phonics program puts a research-based reading intervention reading program in the hands of anyone. You do not have to be a reading expert, you don’t have to be a college graduate, you don’t even have to be a high school graduate to offer research-based and effective reading instruction to your own child! And with our low online subscription rate, virtually anyone can afford to enroll!