Posts Tagged teaching reading

Far Too Many Children Who Cannot Read End Up in Prison! How Tragic!

Posted in children who struggle to read, illiteracy leads to crime, Why our children can't read | Comments Off on Far Too Many Children Who Cannot Read End Up in Prison! How Tragic!

When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade (Arizona Republic (9-15-2004)).  Sorry to say, the evidence tells us that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, or go to prison. 


In fact, there are so many nonreaders winding up in jail in Arizona,

that Arizona officials have now found they can use the rate of illiteracy

to help calculate future prison needs.


This is because the Department of Justice states, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” Over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.


How does all this happen? 


A pattern develops early on for children who do not learn to read by the end of 3rd grade. 


Children who cannot read:

a)    often become disruptive in the classroom

b)   find it difficult to focus on their studies

c)    many times choose other children who cannot read as their friends

d)   find excuses not to attend school at all.


So is it only the folks in Arizona who know the link between illiteracy and youth imprisonment?  Sadly, no!  Michigan educators know it, too.  Did you know that according to the Michigan Department of Education, half of all the adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties?


This truly is tragic!  It means that half of the young people locked up today as criminals started out in elementary school struggling in reading.  I have to wonder exactly where their bad behavior problems started – was it shortly after they realized they couldn’t read or was it during the whole learning-to-read process? 


The bottom line is this: 

60% of Urban children in the U.S. do not graduate from High School. 


40% of those children who do graduate only read at a 4th grade level.



I mean, let’s face it, reading serves as the major foundational skill for all school-based learning. If a child can’t read, he’s not going to learn much in school, and that reading handicap is an absolute set-up to entice a child to hang out with the wrong friends. 


So is it just Arizona and Michigan students who have the problem?  In other words, is it just the Arizona and Michigan Departments of Education that know about this reading disaster? 


Your child’s doctor most likely is also aware of the problem.  Pediatricians all across America know about it.  In fact, the reading struggles of our children present such a grave problem that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that doctors prescribe reading activities along with other advice given to parents at their child’s regular check-ups. Moreover, many of America’s doctors now believe that a child who has never held a book or listened to a story is not “a fully healthy child.”


Well, if our doctors think that just holding a book or listening to a book represents a healthy child, how much more healthy if the child could actually READ the book?


O.K., so we’ve heard from Arizona and Michigan educators, and we’ve heard from those who compile urban school children literacy statistics, and we’ve heard from America’s doctors.  Who else knows about this perilous problem?  (I say perilous because – well – half of all the adolescents and young adults in our nation’s prisons began their lives NOT learning to read).


It just so happens that America’s book publishers for children are also aware of this reading catastrophe.  In an article printed by Personalized Children’s Books  & Music, they tell us clearly that “Difficulty with reading does not just affect your child’s ability in school, but carries over as low self-esteem into every aspect of life. Surveys of adolescents and young adults with criminal records show that about half have reading difficulties.”


So why isn’t somebody doing something about this reading tragedy? 


Believe me, something is being done, but it’s hard to hear the solution voices over all the noise being made by those voices that are dodging our concerns.


For example, if you would like to see a sampling of the overwhelming voices that are misdirecting our questions, I dare you to Google this question:  “Why do children struggle in reading?”  Go ahead, do it!  You’ll find all kinds of webpages explaining to us why children with learning disabilities cannot read, but you won’t find much of anything about why all the other children WITHOUT learning disabilities cannot read. 


In your Google search, you’ll hear all about dyslexia, and learning disabilities, and hearing problems, and vision problems, and speech problems, and how children have so many difficulties in listening or speaking or writing or reasoning that they just can’t learn to read. The problem is that these explanations do not concern any of the 4 out of 10 American children WITHOUT learning disabilities, those 40% of all children who are currently in the fourth grade who cannot read at grade level. 


Instead, whenever reading struggles are mentioned we get bombarded with webpages that talk about children with learning disabilities instead of all those children without learning disabilities who, for some strange reason, cannot read.

Those Google searches would have us believe that the MAIN reason that children struggle in reading is because they have a learning disability.


But the truth is,

only about 5% of children across America

actually have any learning disability at all

and 60% of THOSE children

DO NOT have a reading disability


So what’s going on with the other 40% of these learning disabled children; why aren’t they learning how to read?  Furthermore, what’s going on with the 4 out of 10 children – the 95% of children WITHOUT any learning disability – why can’t they read?  Why are all of THOSE children NOT showing up in the Google searches for “Why do children struggle in reading?”


Ever get the feeling that our questions are being avoided?  That’s because they are.  Instead of hearing factual answers as to why our children aren’t learning to read, we’re hearing things like: “Learning to read is difficult because it is a multifaceted experience” and “Learning to read with phonics doesn’t teach our children to read for meaning.” 


Here’s what I have to say about all of that – bologna! 


Moms, Dads,

your children CAN learn to read

if they’re given an affordable, step-by-step,

systematic phonics-based curriculum. 


I have good news!  

For less than $10 you can purchase an INSTANT DOWNLOAD of a step-by-step systematic phonics COMPLETE curriculum that includes all of the following: 

  • 100 Daily, Step-by-step Phonics Lessons that teach every phonogram you child will every need to learn in order to sound out every word on every page

  • 20 Sequenced Phonics Story Readers With Real Story Content

  • Rhyming Alphabet Phonics Charts

  • Multisensory Vowel Helps

  • Continuous Phonics Drill and Review

  • Rhyming Phonics Flashcards

  • Rhyming Lifetime Phonics Charts that enable children to remember all the sounds they’ve learned for the rest of their lives.

  • Free Email Support For As Long As You Need It!


Sound too good to be true?  It’s not!  Unlike those Google searches, we are hitting the nail on the head and giving children everything they need to learn to read every word on every page. 


Check us out:


Oh!  Don’t forget to read Candy’s TRUE reading story.



Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics



Basic Phonics Rules – Looking for the Top 10 Phonics Rules? Well, here’s the Top 20 Phonics Rules!

Posted in Free Phonics Rules, List of Phonics Rules, Phonics Basics, phonics rules, teaching phonics, Teaching Phonics Rules | Comments Off on Basic Phonics Rules – Looking for the Top 10 Phonics Rules? Well, here’s the Top 20 Phonics Rules!

Top 20 Basic Phonics Rules

1.  Every word should be approached from the farthest left side of the word not from the middle of the word or from the end of the word.

2. Every word should be sounded out beginning from the left end of the word and sounded all the way through the word to the right end of the word.

3. Every word must include at least one vowel.  The vowels are: a, e, I, o, u, and sometimes y. (Examples of words where y acts as the vowel are: my, fly)

4. When a word has only one vowel and more than two letters, the vowel is short.  (Examples: mat, bend, rip, dock, fast)

5. When a word ends with a silent “e,” the vowel that comes before the silent “e” will be long. (Examples:  make, Pete, Mike, note, rule)

6. When a syllable has 2 vowels together, the first vowel is usually long and the second vowel is silent. (Examples:  train, beat, boat, true)  NOTE: Diphthongs do not follow this rule.  Click here to see more about “diphthongs.”

7. When the letter “u” says its long sound, it can either say “you” as in “mule” or “oo” as in rule.

8. The letter “q” always has to be accompanied with the letter “u.” (Examples:  quack, quake, quick)

9. When two consonants appear together and can be blended together, they are called a digraph.  (Examples:  train, brick, pray) Note:  A trigraph is a phoneme which consists of three consonant letters that can be blended. However, many people will simply use the term ‘digraph’ when speaking about a trigraph.  (Examples:  “scr” in scrape or “str” in stream)

10. When 2 consonants join together and form one new sound, they are called “consonant digraphs.”  A “consonant digraph” is counted in phonics as just representing just one sound.  (Examples:  chain, thimble, phone, whale, ship)

11. The letter “wa” – when the letter “a” is NOT long, it can either say “wa” as in “water” or “wa” as in “wag.”

12. When the letter “w” comes before “or“, the “or” says “r-r-r.” (Examples:  word, work, worth)  Note – an exception to this rule is the word “sword” where the letter “w” is silent.)

13. When the letter “g” is followed by an “e, i, or y,” it usually says its soft sound of “j.”  (Examples:  gem, gym, giant)

14. When the letter “c” is followed by an “e, i, or y,” it usually says its soft sound of “s.” (Examples:  cent, city, center)

15. When a word contains only two or three letters and the last letter is a vowel, the vowel is often long.  (Examples:  be, she, me)  Note:  An exception to this rule would be the words “do” and “to.”

16. Often a vowel will say the schwa sound.  The schwa sound is when a vowel is pronounced “uh” instead of with its short sound.  (Examples:  Letter “o” says “uh” in mo/ther; Letter “o” says “uh” in sel/dom; the first  “o” says “uh” in oc/ca/sion)

17. When a syllable only has one vowel and that vowel is the last letter in the syllable, that vowel is usually long. (Examples:  o/pen,   u/nite,   la/ter,   lo/cate) Note: An exception to this rule would be a word like mo/ther where the vowel says the schwa sound of  “uh.”

18. Often the letter “a” says the schwa sound of “uh.”  (Examples:  a/head,   ba/na/na,   a/lert,   Chi/na.)

19. When a vowel appears together with the letter “r” its sound changes into an r controlled” vowel.  (Examples:  bark, fork, worth, birth)

20.The letter combinations of “ur,” “ir,” “ar,” “or,” and “er,” often say the “r-r-r” sound, especially if they appear at the end of word.  (Examples: nurse, bird, verse, dollar, director, rather, doctor)


These “Top 20 Phonics Rules” have been supplied by Carol Kay, President of Candy 4WAY Phonics

For those looking for a COMPLETE and affordable Phonics First Curriculum, the Candy 4WAY Phonics Program sells for just $9.97 

Candy 4WAY Phonics is a step-by-step, daily lesson systematic phonics curriculum that incorporates all of the above phonics rules.  This easy-to-use, fun phonics curriculum includes: 

* 100 Daily, Step-by-step Systematic Phonics Lessons

* 20 Sequenced, leveled Phonics Readers,

* Lifetime Rhyming Phonics Charts

* Rhyming Phonics Flashcards

* Multisensory Helps

* Built-in Spelling Rules

* Continuous Phonics Drill and Review

* FREE Email Coaching.


Candy 4WAY Phonics is a systematic phonics first program based upon the TRUE STORY of a little girl named Candy who learned to read in the 1950’s. Little Candy couldn’t read; then she could — thanks to Systematic 4WAY Phonics!

Blending Letters to Make Words – Your Child Can Catch up in Reading this Summer!

Posted in blending letter sounds, blending letter sounds to make words, blending letters, phonics curriculum, phonics first curriculum, phonics first program, phonics program | Comments Off on Blending Letters to Make Words – Your Child Can Catch up in Reading this Summer!

Is your child struggling to read?


 We can help!


We really can! 


First, however, let me tell you a little about how to teach your child to blend letters together as he reads.   

As important as it is for children to learn each individual letter “sound,” eventually every child will need to learn how to blend the sounds of the letters together.  At Candy 4WAY Phonics, we make this blending process easy because we color code word parts and place those word parts into blending segments.

For example, before we introduce the word cat, we give children step-by-step lessons in the individual sounds for the letters c   short a   and  t.   

Following that instruction, children are taught to blend just the first two letters of the word cat.  They are taught to:

1)    say the sound of the first consonant – c

2)    say the sound of the short vowel  – a

3)    blend those two sounds together like this:  c  a    – caaaa

When an instructor demonstrates that ca blend, he should hold out the sound of short a like this:  c  aaaa    – caaaa

Second, children are taught to:

1)    say the blend of ca

2)    tack on the sound of the final consonant like this:  caaaa   t     – caaaat    -cat

It is very important when beginning blending lessons with a child that he FIRST thoroughly learns to distinguish between the individual short vowel sounds.  In fact, children should learn to “punch” the short vowel sounds loudly so that they can hear themselves pronounce the distinctive sound for each short vowel.   

At Candy 4WAY Phonics we supply Multisensory Vowel Pictures to help children hear/see each vowel sound (in pictures).  For example, most children have a difficult time telling the difference between the short a sound and the short e sound.  Our Multisensory Vowel Pictures help children to see/hear this distinction. 

Parents, make it easy on yourselves.  The entire Candy 4WAY Phonics COMPLETE Curriculum  sells for just $9.97 in INSTANT DOWNLOAD format.  This makes it quick and affordable for parents to purchase and print what they need for each day’s phonics/reading lesson and also to click through the pages of past and future lessons they may desire to view.    

For those parents who are not certain of the sound of each of the letters and blends, for just $10.00 more you can purchase our CD-Rom program in which you can hear me read every letter, and every blend, and every word and every sentence of every chart and every lesson out loud.  Simply print that day’s lesson, then put the Candy 4WAY Phonics Audio CD-Rom into your computer to hear that day’s lesson read aloud.  Parents can practice right along with the lesson before they ever present it to their child.  Actually hearing the lesson ahead of time removes all the guesswork. Your child can learn his letter sounds and blends in a systematic, step-by-step daily format. 

Why pay $300 for a phonics curriculum when you can purchase the whole COMPLETE package for just $9.97 or $19.97 in CD-Rom format

The Candy 4WAY Phonics COMPLETE Curriculum includes all of the following

  • An 82-page e-book entitled: How to Teach Systematic Phonics
  • An easy-to-use Instruction Guide
  • 100 step-by-step daily phonics lessons (these lessons will carry your child from age 4 all the way through a 4th grade reading level and higher)
  • Multisensory vowel helps
  • Flashcards
  • Rhyming Alphabet Charts
  • Sequenced Phonics Readers built right into the lessons
  • Systematic Review and Drill
  • An audio CD-Rom in which you will hear every chart and every lesson read aloud (the audio CD-Rom is included only with the CD-Rom package)
  • Spelling helps, pronunciation helps, and much more.


We know you’ll be pleased!


Carol Kay, President

Candy 4WAY Phonics