Sarah, System Coach & Communications Manager
"I love being a part of a big project with a big heart: helping kids worldwide get onto the right path to reading for the rest of their lives."
Laura, System Coach & Content Manager
"Learning to read opens eyes, minds, windows and doors. To be playing a part in allowing a child to achieve that, makes me feel fortunate to come to work each day."
Bonnie, System Coach & Marketing Manager
" I love my job because every day I talk to joyful parents who are so relieved to finally watch their child easily master the steps to reading success!"
Matt, System Coach & Software Developer
" It's a unique and rewarding challenge to create games that are both educational and fun."
CEO and Founder
"I love seeing each child go from frustration to joy
in their reading, with all that implies. It's addictive!"
The New Approach To Literacy
for teachers, parents and tutors
helping struggling readers and spellers
There are reasons why so many bright children find reading and spelling hard. We understand those and can work with you to get all your children happy and confident with text,
wherever you are in the World.
You will see good
with Easyread in just 15 minutes
day or you
an unconditional 100% refund. To see what is possible, check our daily
and then do
our sample lesson.
English is a tricky language to read and spell. Often the brightest children have the most difficulties, particularly when they are very visual learners. Many children struggle for years without success.
We have changed that pattern by understanding each cause of difficulty.
For reading difficulty, take an instant assessment of what might be causing difficulty, just from what you have observed:
As children start to learn to read, they come to a fork in the path. It is a critical moment in their lives, but they don't know it. They either start reading by decoding the words or they choose to memorise whole words. They will just do whichever seems easiest.
Because of our crazy English spelling, a lot of children think that memorising the words seems easier than trying to decode them. If you look carefully at English, you will see why. Just think of that tricky little word 'was'. Why doesn't it rhyme with 'gas'? And the word 'has' is slightly different again! Here are all the different sounds and spellings the letter 'a' can have:
33 different spelling-sound relationships for just one letter! No wonder it can be hard to teach children phonics in the conventional way. A bright, visual child will look at all this chaos in their early reader books and think "I can just memorise these words". They then start memorising all the words in each book and seem to be doing OK.
We call this pattern "Optilexia" (reading purely by whole-word sight-memorisation).
You will also see children who have had glue ear or some other hearing difficulty between the ages of 3 and 5 choosing to sight-memorise the words too, because their "phonemic awareness" is so poor.
The Usual Track to Disaster
When a child starts sight-memorising words you often see quite good progress at first, because of the way early reader books are designed. They pretty much encourage this approach. As a parent or teacher it is really hard to know what is happening. You have to be an expert to spot the signs.
But eventually the text gets more complex and this sight-reading strategy starts to become harder and harder. Your child then ends up on a reading plateau, guessing more and more wildly, with mounting frustration.
It is very tough and distressing for everyone involved, because they have often worked so hard! These poor children can see friends beginning to leave them behind and they have no understanding of why.
Optilexics always have bad spelling because they are not engaging with the internal structure of the words when they read. They can sometimes memorise words for a spelling test, but they have gone again 10 days later.
Changing the Pattern with Trainertext
All we do, to change the situation, is to get the child confidently decoding each day, until it becomes natural and fluent. We achieve that with visual cues to help your child do the decoding. We call it Optiphonic Trainertext. Here is an example:
The word 'was' has the Octopus Who Knocked a Puss above the letter /a/, instead of the Ant in Pink Pants. So when 'was' seems to rhyme with "gas" (which doesn't make sense) the child just checks to see what the right sounds are. The character above the /s/ is the Zuto from Pluto, by the way.
Doing that day by day steadily builds decoding experience. Eventually your child will be able to do the decoding confidently without the images to help.
"Can it really be that simple?"
Most of the time, yes! We are often just guiding the child onto the right path. We work closely with you to make sure that happens. But, you are right, it is not always so simple.
Reading is a complex process and there can be other complications. Have a look at the different causes of reading difficulty that we see. After 12 years working with all these thousands of children personally, we are pretty good at spotting those complications. And we have potential solutions for all of them.
Around 80% of the children go through with very few complications. Of the remaining 20% we manage to get a good result for all but around 2%. And we are working that 2% all the time. When we get an unusual case we will usually generate some bespoke materials to try to fix it for that individual.
"Reading OK, but has atrocious spelling"
You may only be looking for just a spelling solution. Teaching spelling the conventional way can seem like pushing water up a hill! The words learnt this week have been forgotten again next week.
But you will be surprised to hear that we always deal with spelling frustrations through a child's reading, even if their reading seems fine. Usually their reading seems OK because they are so bright that they can sight read whole words to an amazing degree. So it is very hard to notice that they are sight reading rather than decoding.
The real test is to present them with random "nonsense" words like 'brumslight' or 'framlitch'. If your child reads by decoding, those should be easy to read. If not, it means that your child is reading whole words by sight and that is why spelling is such a challenge.
Once we get them decoding, the spelling drops into place and the reading becomes even more secure as well. Place names for instance, cease to be such a challenge.
The Easyread Solution - Short, Fun & Easy Lessons Online
We have a series of online lessons that will guide your child back onto the decoding path. All you have to do is log on each day for 5-15 minutes to see steady progress.
The psychology is at least half the game. We do everything we can to build your child's confidence and engagement with the materials. We aim to get each child asking to do the lessons. That may seem unlikely to you, but have a look at our testimonials, especially the ones from the children.
We are often starting over, effectively from scratch. So we expect it to take around 90 sessions to really start to see the effect coming through into their normal reading. But if you compare that with how long your child has already struggled with this, it is pretty quick.
We combine the online lessons with total support for you. You will talk over the phone in the very first week of the course with an Easyread Coach. You will receive regular messages and videos on what to be looking for and how to help. We will do two further routine meetings over the phone and we are here to answer your questions at any time, both over the phone and on the private messaging system within your account.
So we are with you every step of the way.
We also have a series of prizes for each child, spread through the course. It is amazing the effect they have! It is not just about the material gain. The psychology is critical too, because the prizes become a reflection of your child's progress towards the goal.
Expected Reading Results
It is good to be clear on what is possible and what isn't.
Independent trials were organised by the Open University in six London schools during 2012. An interim assessment was taken after 45 lessons. On average the students had gained 12 months in reading age since the start of the trial, after the equivalent of 6 weeks of lessons. We are waiting for publication of the results from the assessment taken after 100+ lessons.
When children start Easyread they are generally making very little progress with their reading and spelling. From that flat line, we expect to see 1-4 years of reading age progress through the course, depending on a number of factors.
That means we aim for a 7-year-old to be in the middle or top of the class after Easyread. A 10-year-old child may need more time and experience to fully catch up with classmates, but will now be progressing steadily rather than going nowhere. An average 10-year-old has done a lot of reading and you cannot catch up with all of that experience overnight.
These expectations are partly dependent on broader learning ability too. If a child has significant short-term memory weakness, serious attention difficulties or any other pattern of learning challenge, then that will inevitably affect the rate of progress we achieve with reading too. We are yet to find a magic wand, even if we would love to!
Also, if a child has an eye function weakness, then fluency while reading small text will remain poor until that is resolved by a behavioural optometrist, even if a normal optometrist says their vision is 20:20. However, by the end of the course we expect every child to be able to read appropriate text for an 8-year-old fluently and accurately if it is printed in a large point size.
For us, that is the moment we call "reading takeoff", when a child feels confident to lie on the sofa reading something of interest, without needing assistance.
Expected Spelling Results
In order to change a child's spelling ability we have to go back to the beginning of reading and reteach them how to decode. Then we need to help them with daily decoding practice. Only when we have established that as the basis to their reading can we start to see their spelling change.
So, if you want quick overnight success, you are in the wrong place! If you have seen how most approaches are like pushing water up a hill and really want to get this critical issue sorted, then we can help.
It normally takes around 90 lessons to change the reading pattern. Then we can begin to see spelling progress over the next few months.
Our aim is to get a child spelling 9 out of 10 words right in their free writing after 6-9 months.
"I am a teacher. Do you have a school version?"
Yes, we get great results in a school setting (see the Open University trial above) and the system is designed to run multiple child accounts within one school account. Also, the children can do their lessons at school and at home.
Just get in touch to discuss a school account. We can put you onto a school nearby who are already using the system.
"I haven't heard of you before. Why not?"
We make some pretty big claims here and it may seem odd to you, if you have not heard of us. The truth is we are very focused on the job and our marketing is rather less sophisticated. We advertise on Google all around the world and hope people will see what we can do and give it a go. It would take millions to achieve significant brand recognition around the whole world, so we choose to put our investment into getting better and better.
Also, I think you will find it hard to find a bad word about us from someone who has been through the Easyread Process, whatever the level of outcome for their child. We do give our all.
"What is your background?"
My name is David Morgan and I developed the Easyread System, with the considerable help of others.
I struggled with reading myself and failed English Language when I was 16. I went on to do engineering at university and thought nothing more of it until my sons had the same difficulty. I took an engineer's eye to it and they both eventually learned to read really well and far faster than I do.
At about that time I helped run a charity, The Shannon Trust, that gets prison inmates to teach each other to read. The results we achieved there made me start thinking about ways to make learning to read much easier for everyone, before their lives had fallen apart like that.
That was in 2000 and we have been developing a range of innovations since then. Most important has been our Trainertext approach. To learn more on how we got to where we are now, have a look at the manuscript to the book we are planning to publish soon. It gives a lot of technical background on what we do and why.
"I just don't want to waste more money...!"
Yes, it is possible to waste a lot of money helping your child, as you may have found out. People charge a lot and then shrug their shoulders if it doesn't work.
I don't think that is right.
We back up every word we say with ourUnconditional Guarantee. It is unique in the literacy world and is a reflection of our confidence. It means you can try out the system and get weeks or months of support, without worrying about wasting money. We get a great result most of the time and we charge nothing if we don't. You can stop at any stage for a full refund.
We get a few cancellations in the first few weeks, but of the last 900 children who have followed the course beyond the early stages, we have only been asked for 6 refunds. Of those, half had a visual problem that we had diagnosed, but had not been addressed. The other three we were baffled by. That is one child in every three hundred!
If my odds of winning were 299 out of 300, I would become a gambler, especially if the casino were going to smile and give me my stake back when I eventually lost!
OK. If you have a 5-9 year-old who finds reading frustrating, check out our Accelerator Course.
If you have a 10-12 year-old who finds reading frustrating, we recommend putting him or her on our Spellmagic Course. It is very similar, but just goes a bit faster.
If you have a 7-12 year-old who finds spelling frustrating, try our Spellmagic Course.
If you have an older child who really wants to fix a reading or spelling issue, they should try our Spellmagic Course. It is formatted for younger children, but works just as well for an older child.
We don't currently have a solution for pre-school children, but we are working on it.
First Step: Do a Sample Lesson
Really you won't know whether we are the right solution or not, without doing a lesson. We expect your child to be asking to do more. If you don't see that reaction, please do discuss it with us.
This is such a critical issue that no stone should be left unturned, when a child is struggling with reading or spelling. They are both part of the foundation to a child's confidence and educational progress.