Program is excellent – and it’s working!

The program is excellent and it is working! I was thrilled to see that Henry quickly detected that “commanding” was not “coming” in today’s lesson, indicating that he is guessing less and decoding more. I have also observed that Henry is now interested in reading signs (traffic, on buildings, etc.) whereas he used to avoid looking at words altogether. I think we’ve made it over a big hump.

I didn’t notice a big difference when the highlight went off on the story. When Henry reads the story, he reads quite well, and fluidly. Because he is going faster, he reads “place” instead of “palace” (I stop him, correct him, and remind him to decode and look at all of the letters rather than guess) which indicates that he may be guessing more often when he is reading a string of words and perhaps trying to get through it quickly (he knows there is a time limit so he wants to go fast). He pauses for the longest time on words he rarely sees, like “polyfilla” (we call it “spackle” in the states) or even “fond”. The blue highlighted words with explanations are terrific, and I fill in with my own explanations for other words throughout the lesson that he may not know very well (like “fond”).

The spy theme for the prizes is wonderful, and I especially appreciate that you send things that are of good quality. We will actually use and keep them!

I am so grateful for this program!

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Take Phonics Outdoors

alphabet-blocks-198x300While the sun is out and the weather warm (or mostly warm, if you live in Britain like we do!), get into the great outdoors and practice… phonics.

Yes, phonics!

The wonderful blog, Living Montessori Now, has 20 fantastic suggestions for building phonemic awareness away from your desk. See the full article here:

I especially like:

  • making letters out of leaves and twigs
  • water balloons alphabet
  • phonics sound jumping

If you’ve got 3-5 year olds, definitely check it out!

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for Oxford Learning Solutions, makers of the Easyread System. Easyread uses groundbreaking visual phonics to help struggling learners with reading and spelling. Find out more at



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Now I can read Harry Potter

I really enjoyed Easyread and I think the games were really fun. The best bit was getting the final codeword. It really helped improve my reading and now I can read stuff like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I can also use my kindle more. It has really helped me at school because I can read.
Thank you for all your help.

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Summer learning fun – The Brothers Grimm

496The popular parenting blog,, recently published an article from one very creative mum who has taken educational summer fun to a whole new level! If you are coming to the tail end of your summer and looking for ideas on how to start getting your kids back into the “learning zone”, check it out!

She picks a theme, in this case, The Brothers Grimm fairytales, and incorporates activities that touch upon:

  • reading/literacy
  • drawing/art
  • comprehension
  • mathematics
  • science experiments
  • …and even a little waltzing (check out the article for a super cute pic)

Hope you enjoy it!

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for Oxford Learning Solutions, publishers of the Easyread System. Easyread is a groundbreaking online program that uses visual phonics to help children with reading difficulties. Appropriate for kids with dyslexia, auditory processing problems, guessing habits, and more.

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Suddenly started reading like crazy!

We’ve actually taken a little break lately from SpellMagic–we’ve been going slower for the past few weeks, because it’s summer and because Quinley suddenly started reading like crazy–reading Magic Treehouse books confidently and very quickly. She’s writing stories of her own and reading everything she can find–she loves Marcia William’s books, if you are familiar with those? And yes, I think her spelling is getting much better–we plan to resume our normal schedule this week.

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Got a prescription for books?

A recent article published by journalist Annie Murphy Paul mentioned a policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics that “prescribed” books for young children.

Reading levels at 3rd grade can be a significant predictor of career of life outcomes, so physicians are paying more attention now to literacy input in the home environment. Programs to get books into toddler’s hands are growing, from reading events at public libraries, to book giveaways, and even handwritten prescriptions for parents to read with their children straight from the doctor’s office!

Read more about the interesting new prescribing trend here:

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for Oxford Learning Solutions, publishers of the Easyread System. Easyread is an online reading program for children with dyslexia, visual learning styles, general reading difficulties and more.

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