Posts Tagged phonics

Common Core Reading Instruction Is Failing

Posted in Common Core does not teach systematic phonics, Common Core Doesn't Work, Common Core is not teaching my child how to read, Common Core Reading Fails, Common Core vs Phonics First, School Improvement | Comments Off on Common Core Reading Instruction Is Failing

Common Core


Is Failing


to Teach Kids


How to Read!


Is your child struggling in reading?


Please, don’t tell me that you were depending upon the new Common Core Standards to make the difference in your child’s reading skills.


Common Core

reading methods

cannot work.

They will leave our children


by the time

they graduate

from high school.


Common core claims to have raised the standards for reading.  The problem is, you can’t throw a child into a book with tons and tons and lines and lines and pages and pages of unknown words without first teaching that child how to sound those words out, one letter, one blend at a time from left to right.

Believe me when I tell you that Common Core is NOT giving our children those necessary early letter-blending reading skills.  They are, however, frustrating the death out of our children with their whole language methods.     








The Common Core WHOLE LANGUAGE APPROACH is nothing new.  It teaches children to guess at words by: 

LOOKING at the pictures on the page

LOOKING at the shape of the word

MEMORIZING a few dozen frequently-used words

SKIPPING over words they don’t know

SUBSTITUTING words that seem to fit

PREDICTING the words they think will come next.


A child who has spent his time in a Common Core reading group will learn to: 

a) Memorize whole words

b) Guess at words based upon the shape of a word

c) Guess at words based upon the first letter and the picture on the page

d) Memorize WHOLE STORIES by reading the same simple story over and over and over and over again alone and in groups.

e) Skip over words they do not know.

f) Substitute words that seem to fit the context of the story.

g) Predict (guess about) the words they think might come next in the story.


Common Core is a synonym for “insanity”

– doing the same thing over and over again

and expecting different results.


The child who is taught to read using Common Core methods should expect to see the same BAD reading habits of: 





Children shouldn’t be fearing words. 

Instead, our kids should be gaining the ability to approach new words confidently.   

They should be armed with the phonetic knowledge to correctly “sound through” every word on every page “from left to right.”


It’s so unfortunate for America’s children that our Common Core schools are giving out high grades and happy report cards to students who are good at guessing and memorizing words in order to convince their parents that their child can actually read. 


Moreover, and contrary to public education opinion:

a) Teachers using WHOLE WORDS in their WHOLE STORY reading groups will not teach our kids how to sound out, from left to right, every word on every page.  Sadly, WHOLE STORY reading groups WILL teach our kids that if they MEMORIZE a few hundred Dolch Sight Words proficiently, their teacher will give them a passing grade in reading.


b) Children working with other children quietly at their desks will not teach kids how to sound out words (ever heard of the blind leading the blind?).  


c) A word wall of phonics chunks will not systematically teach a child how to sound out words.  This is because throwing in “phonics chunks” to attack WHOLE WORDS on a hit and miss basis AFTER the student has already learned to GUESS and MEMORIZE words SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK! 


d) iSAIL does not teach our kids how to sound out words, and it will not teach your child how to fluently read trickster tales, fables, tall tales, biographies, information books or poetry, award-winning literature or all the words on the pages of their magazines, newspapers and electronic resources.  How could a child ever hope to do any of that if he hasn’t learned how to sound out every word on every page?).


Common Core is a synonym for “insanity”

– doing the same thing over and over again

and expecting different results.


You see, Common Core reading methods begin with tons and tons of whole word memorization that has been sparingly salted and peppered with implicit phonics instead of beginning our children out with individual letter sounds and moving them along into blending within a systematic structure of explicit phonics.  


Here’s how it goes down in today’s public school classroom. 


The teacher sticks a child in one of her three reading groups so he can read aloud with other children.


When the child comes to a word that he doesn’t know (and that’s not going to take very long) the teacher stops, points to the WHOLE WORD and then tries to explain to the student how to break the word up into syllables and blends.


I know, you’re saying, “Well, that should work, shouldn’t it?  Isn’t that what we want our children to learn?”


Yes, of course, but we wanted them to learn that BEFORE we stuck them in a kindergarten or first grade book loaded with lines and lines of unknown, multi-syllable words containing prefixes and suffixes and complex phonograms.  

We wanted them to learn to sound out words in a systematic, consistent way, starting with the smallest sounds (letter sounds), eventually blending those letter sounds together; and, then, through patience and practice, gradually gaining the ability to sound out bigger and bigger words with more and more syllables and blends.    


However, Common Core does just the opposite.  Common Core attempts to teach the mechanics of reading backwards.  How?

Common Core starts with THE WHOLE SENTENCE

That’s right; you read me correctly on that



You say, “…but the child hasn’t yet learned how to read all the words in the sentence.”


That’s right!!!!!!!!! He hasn’t!!!!!!!!! Are you seeing it?????


And learning to memorize and repeat and recite WHOLE SENTENCES and WHOLE STORIES isn’t going to teach a child how to sound out the thousands and hundreds of thousands of words he will encounter in his 4th grade and above textbooks.  

Do the math.  The most words a child can realistically memorize per year is between 100 to 300 words.  WHOLE LANGUAGE combined with salt and pepper phonics has never worked.   It never will work. 


Common Core is a synonym for “insanity”

– doing the same thing over and over again

and expecting different results.


Common Core reading methods are making the whole “learning to read” adventure IMPOSSIBLE!


Let me explain it another way. 


Let’s examine what’s happening to our kids in their Common Core reading groups by using the analogy of learning to drive a car. 


Suppose we want to teach a student how to drive a car safely on the highway.   


We would start by introducing the student driver to the steering wheel, the brake, the turning signals and by explaining what the purpose for each of those is.


Next, we would teach the student how to buckle up and then start the car.


Next, we would take the student on short runs around the parking lot.


Next, we would take the student on short runs down a non-busy city street.


Next, we would take the student for longer runs down busier streets.


Next, we would take the student for longer runs at higher speeds on the expressway.


I can see this clearly,

and I know YOU can, too. 

Learning how to drive starts out small

and progresses to bigger.


NOW, let’s suppose we decided to teach our student how to drive using “THE COMMON CORE METHOD.”


If we used Common Core in our Driver Ed Classes, we would need to start our young driver out on high speed runs, down busy, 4-lane expressways.


Next, if our student driver hits another car or if he slides off the road or if he accidentally drifts into the other lane, we will just pull him over to the side of the road and attempt to break down the problem by explaining to him what he did wrong.


For example, maybe he pressed down too hard on the accelerator.


Maybe his steering was a bit off.


Are you getting this?

The Common Core method

starts out COMPLICATED

and then CRASHES!  


You see, if we used the Common Core method to teach our children their driving skills, it would result in killing many of our students as well as many of their driving instructors.

In reality, Common Core is killing many of our students’ reading hopes, and it’s encouraging many of our teachers to quit the teaching profession altogether. 


Common Core sounds ludicrous, right?


Well, that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that the Common Core instigators are actually bragging about their methods.


You see, learning to read using this Whole Word/Common Core method will teach children (it is claimed) to read 500 high frequency words in first grade.


However, this type of bragging is very, very, VERY deceiving because even if this pace can be achieved (and in soooooooo many cases, it is NOT achieved) these students will know only 6000 words by the end of high school.


Now 6,000 words sounds like a lot of words, right?  However, knowing how to read ONLY 6000 words wil leave that child semi-literate.


An even worse reality is this: Most of our Common Core students will end up only mastering between 900 to 1200 words by the end of the third grade.

Judged by its own claims, the whole word/whole sentence methods of COMMON CORE WILL NOT WORK!


You ask,

well, how many words

should a child

learn how to read

by the end of third grade

and by the

end of high school?


At the end of the third grade, a Common Core student will have learned how to read between 300 and 900 words

On the other hand, by the end of the third grade, a systematic phonics student will have learned how to read over 30,000 words.


At the end of high school, a Common Core student will have learned how to read approximately 6,000 words

On the other hand, by the end of his high school days, a systematic phonics student will have learned how to read over 1 MILLION words.


So what exactly am I proposing for a solution to the Common Core Reading disaster? 

The solution is simple: use a systematic, explicit phonics reading method instead of the Common Core reading method.


Of course that’s the solution; and by the way, I’m not the only one proposing this solution. To be sure, The RIGGS INSTITUTE has known for 23 years that students who learned to read using synthetic, systematic, explicit phonics methods could read, write and spell proficiently in a very short period of time. 


They also learned that it didn’t matter whether a student lived in a ritzy, influential neighborhood or in a low socio-economic neighborhood; if that student was trained to read using a systematic phonics program, that student was going to  read, write and spell more proficiently in a very short period of time.


Moreover, they proved that whether a child is Caucasian, Afro-American, Asian or Hispanic, ALL students learning to read using synthetic, systematic, explicit phonics reading methods would eventually read better, write better and spell better in a very short period of time. 


In fact, RIGGS discovered that kids who learned to read using systematic phonics instruction from the very beginning of their reading experience finished the first grade quite capable of: 

a) fluently reading from the World Book

b) spelling at 3rd to 7th grade levels

c) mastering the parts of speech

d) writing creatively with proper grammar, syntax, capitalization, punctuation and legible handwriting

e) having the ability to read and enjoy classical literature.


So, yes, you guessed it.  I’m proposing that you ignore what’s going on in your child’s public school reading circles and teach him to read at home using a simple, parent-friendly, step-by-step, ABSOLUTELY FREE systematic phonics reading program.  


Moms, Dads, I’m proposing that you DO NOT dump your child’s reading problem on his public school teacher. Your child’s school teacher is stuck with Common Core.

However, parents are NOT stuck with Common Core; and that’s great because parents are ultimately responsible for making sure their child can sound out every word on every page.


Folks, let’s do something about America’s reading problem. 

Let’s take the matter into our own parental hands. 

Let’s teach our children 

how to sound out every word on every page.


By the way, Dads, Moms, Grandpas, Grandmas, you can do that in an affordable manner.  You can do that by using an ABSOLUTELY FREE COMPLETE phonics curriculum coupled with 20 minutes of reading instruction each evening with your little guy or gal.



We are NOT limited by Common Core.


A Mom or a Dad or a Grandpa or a Grandma using the FREE Candy WAY Phonics COMPLETE Reading Curriculum can teach a child (and maybe even themselves) how to sound out every word on every page. 


The result will be: 

the adventure of books.



Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics


Reading for Meaning? What Exactly Does That Mean?

Posted in free phonics program, reading for meaning, teaching children reading comprehension strategies, teaching children to make inferences | Comments Off on Reading for Meaning? What Exactly Does That Mean?

The ultimate reading goal

is to enable a child to

“personally connect”

with what he reads.


It’s true that reading for meaning begins when a child develops the skills to fluently sound out every word on every page.  For most children, this requires systematic training in phonics. 


After children develop the capability to read all the words on the page, they must then develop the ability to see and answer the basic questions of: Who? What? When? and Where?


However, answering these basic questions is only where “reading for meaning” begins.  The ultimate reading goal is to enable a child to move on to “connecting” with what he reads.


Sadly, our federal education system needs to get better connected to this whole “connection” reading thing and place it in our classrooms.  It’s a fact, most teachers and parents do not realize just how important this reading comprehensive/connecting-with-the-text skill really is.


You see, some at our federal educational level feel that “testing” children frequently will help them develop better reading and comprehension skills.  However, tests simply reveal what students have failed to learn and what teachers have failed to teach; tests do not give teachers the skills they need to correct those failures.  Tests do no good unless a child’s Individualized Education Program includes the correct reading/discussion strategies specifically aimed at developing inferential thinking abilities. 


Others believe that developing long vocabulary lists will help children to better connect with the meaning on the page.  It’s true, better vocabulary skills DEFINITELY will help children to understand what they read, but helping them to “connect” with the text?  Well, now, that’s a whole different story. 


What do we mean when we talk about “connecting” with the text?  Connecting with the text, first of all, means that a child can personalize the meaning found in the words he reads.  In other words, he must learn to routinely determine how the material on the page personally affects him.  It is this personalization, together with a student’s ability to grasp the meaning in-between the words on the page as well as his ability to draw researched-based conclusions based upon those words that gives a child inferential thinking abilities.    


To be sure, drawing inferential conclusions should be the whole goal of learning to read.  In fact, reading research reveals that good readers of all ages continually use what they know and use what they have experienced to thoroughly understand, remember and apply what they hear and read. Unfortunately, very, very few of our students today have gained the skills necessary to do that. 



Inferential comprehension takes place when children

go beyond the standard facts given on a page

and draw their own research-based conclusions.


Can children really learn to do this? 


Yes!  Absolutely they can, if an adult in their lives takes the initiative to teach them.  Children can learn to answer more than the basic questions written in a text.


If a child learns how to connect with the text, then that child can also begin to ask and answer the “Why?” questions and to persuade others of his/her point of view using attestable facts, testimony, and reasoning.  This skill level is exactly how Marva Collins transformed the lives of children labeled by the public school system as LD. 


Marva Collins took children that the public school system declared “learning disabled” (children who had been shuffled into the special education mainstream) and activated the inferential thinking skills hidden inside each one of them.  In turn, many of Marva’s students went on to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford.  Many of those students became lawyers, doctors, engineers and educators. 


In contrast, did you know that almost 4 out of every 10 students in today’s public schools are reading below the basic proficiency reading level?  What’s more, as Marva Collins discovered, far too many of those students are being wrongly labeled as LD children.  That’s disturbing, because a recent study revealed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities reported that 66 percent of special education students are reading three or more grade levels behind and 20 percent of them are reading five or more grade levels behind. 


Try to imagine that.  What’s really upsetting is that almost every one of those children could have learned to read correctly if given adequate, systematic, phonics-first reading instruction, and almost every one of those children could have gained inferential thinking abilities had they been connected with an instructor or a parent or a grandmother who interacted with them through reading-aloud/discussion times aimed at developing inferential comprehension skills. 


As important as inferential reasoning is, learning how to SOUND OUT every word on every page, is VITAL.  Would you like to find out how your child (for 100% ABSOLUTELY FREE) can receive an entire phonics-first, step-by-step curriculum so that he/she can learn to fluently sound out every word on every page? If so, we encourage you start by reading little Candy’s TRUE STORY.    



Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics


An Uncomplicated, Complete, Affordable, Systematic, Phonics-First Curriculum for Almost Free

Posted in a complete phonics program, a phonics program with lessons and readers, affordable phonics, affordable reading program, almost free phonics curriculum, homeschool phonics curriculum | Comments Off on An Uncomplicated, Complete, Affordable, Systematic, Phonics-First Curriculum for Almost Free

 You don’t

have to spend

a lot of money

on an expensive,


phonics reading curriculum. 

It’s true, purchasing affordable, homeschooling curriculum can seem like an impossible task!

In addition, with the majority of homeschooling families living on one income and parents teaching more than one child, it can make homeschooling seem like an expensive option.

Well, I’m glad to report that your phonics reading curriculum doesn’t have to break your budget.  You can, step-by-step, successfully teach your child to read all the way through to a 4th grade reading level and higher with just one COMPLETE affordable, systematic phonics curriculum. 

What is affordable?  How does under $10 for a complete systematic, phonics-first curriculum sound?

Complete?  Yes, complete.  The Candy 4WAY Phonics Program is hands down, the best phonics bargain on the globe, and it is most certainly COMPLETE!

Our synthetic phonics curriculum is available to you INSTANTLY, in non-consumable, printable format for just $9.97, and it really does include everything those $300 programs include


The Candy 4WAY Phonics INSTANT DOWNLOAD Package includes:

  • An 82-page eBook entitled: How to Teach Candy’s Systematic 4WAY Phonics
  • An easy-to-understand “How to Follow this Program” guide.
  • 100 4WAY Phonics daily, fun-to-read lessons (packed with rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration)
  • 20 Sequenced Candy Readers
  • Rhyming Alphabet Charts
  • Multisensory Vowel Helps
  • Rhyming Alphabet Flashcards
  • 10 Lifetime Rhyming Phonics Charts
  • Sequenced Phonics Drill
  • Pronunciation Keys
  • Free Email Coaching from the President of Candy 4WAY Phonics

The Candy 4WAY Teaching Phonics Curriculum is a thorough, fun to use, step-by-step and easy-to-understand, synthetic, phonics-first curriculum that will carry a child from age 4 all the way through to a Grade 4 reading level and higher.

Don’t you want your child to learn how to sound out every word on every page?

If so, check us out.  We come with the highest of customer reviews.   

Candy 4WAY Phonics –


P.S.  Whether parents or teachers make a purchase or not, free email coaching for their reading/phonics questions is available from Carol Kay, the President of Candy 4WAY Phonics.

~ Candy 4WAY Phonics sells affordable phonics curriculum, multisensory phonics flashcards/wall cards, phonics file-folder games, and language arts products ~

See the Candy 4WAY Phonics website for more details.


P.P.S.  Don’t forget to read little Candy’s TRUE phonics story.