Sound Steps to Reading is based on the author’s analysis of the English writing system, one of the most complex writing systems in the world. Mastering this complexity is solved by careful sequencing of the lessons so the child is never confronted with something he cannot do. Every lesson is scripted and no training is necessary to use this program.
Lessons contain the same activities in the same order: 1) listening for the target sound in a story 2) a structured listening exercise 3) handwriting training and practice 4) segmenting and blending sounds in real words (reading) 5) copying words 5) spelling dictation 6) reading stories written with words/spellings taught so far.
Lessons are cumulative. Each lesson builds on the previous lesson and only contains words with the sounds and spellings the child has been taught. When lessons proceed at the recommended pace of 3 lessons per week, most children become excellent readers, writers, and spellers in about 20-25 weeks. For classroom teachers, lessons will take about one school year. It is advised that the later lessons (last set) be reviewed at the start of first grade.
Research results. A study on two kindergarten classrooms was carried out at the Willows School In Los Angeles. Most children could not read at the start of school. When they were tested at the end of the year, 42% scored in the top 1% in the nation, and 75% scored in the top 10%, based on test norms. All but one child scored well above “average.”
There are two components to this program. The complete program must include both books.
The Sound Steps to Reading Handbook contains all lessons, all exercises and worksheets.
The Sound Steps to Reading Storybook contains the full text of the story fragment that begins each lesson. [See description for the Storybook.]