How is Reading Tricks different from other reading programs or methods?

Reading Tricks LLC is different in several ways. First, unlike most reading programs available to the public, it is an Orton Gillingham approach to reading. Our experience has been that everyone can learn with this approachbut not everyone can learn to read with a non-Orton Gillingham approach; nor can everyone learn to read in the classroom with just a book and a teacher.  Our approach is multi-sensory, with systematic, cumulative, direct and explicit instruction. Reading Tricks’ curriculum encourages using tools and tricks to help the child who learns differently, learn successfully. Another way that we’re different from other programs is that we offer online video training in small bite-size pieces that you can watch in 10 or 20 minutes; then, you turn to your student and “do” what you just learned on the video. Finally, the training is so specific and step-by-step that you can (without previous training, experience, or academic degrees) teach your student to read; but, for the most success, you should watch the videos as a companion to the online curriculum daily lesson plans.

How will you help me teach my student?

The videos are made for the novice. You do not need to be a teacher with a degree to teach your student. You do need to watch the videos. The videos are short and to the point, and provide 100% of the instruction you need to teach your student. The daily online lesson plans are compatible with the videos (providing additional tips and ideas).

How do I start?

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to start immediately. To begin, all you need to do is: purchase the Reading Tricks courses; start with Level 1 (you may or may not breeze through this level, but you should do this level since it is foundational to the RT program). Watch the first video, follow the online daily lesson plan in the teacher’s manual, and start teaching CLASS ONE. If necessary feel free to watch several of the videos, and work ahead of your student to begin getting a feel for how the course flows. This can be very helpful since your Reading Tricks’ instructors have years of experience with students who have struggled with learning to read; our instructors are thrilled about giving you tips and tricks to help you through the process. Most of the videos for Level I are around 5-10 minutes. After watching them, you can instantly turn to your student and mimic what you just learned on the video. The online teacher’s manual has additional activities to supplement the video.

Where do I start?

The best and easiest place to start is Level I. Even if your student is phonemically/phonologically aware (able to hear, manipulate, play with, and say all the sounds without writing them), he or she will benefit (and feel extremely smart and successful) by doing Level 1. In other words, by starting with Level 1, you will be sure to fill in unexpected or undetected gaps in your student’s learning. In other words, it will be well worth your time ensuring your student has a strong phonemic foundation. Most people who receive this training never forget it and feel much more qualified to help others from ages 2 to 102 with their reading! The phonological awareness course (Level 1) also helps subsequent levels flow more smoothly.

Is dyslexia a disability?

 Our short answer is: “emphatically, NO.” We at Reading Tricks consider dyslexia to be a gift—a gift worth taking the time to discover!!! It undoubtedly comes with its challenges though; which is why some consider dyslexia a disability or a deficit. But honestly, the failure that many dyslexic students experience comes from poor teaching, not poor learning. Unfortunately, our public schools do not have enough teachers who know how to teach the way many students learn. Hence, our goal at Reading Tricks is to multiply teachers who can teach students the way the students learn.

How long will it take for my student to learn to read if he or she has dyslexia or learning differences?

We would all prefer a short answer for this question, but we’re sure that it doesn’t surprise you that the answer to this question varies drastically from student to student. One of the many factors or questions to consider is how much phonological awareness training your student has had. How phonologically aware is he or she? It also depends on where your student falls on the spectrum of learning difference(s) and which learning differences your student has. Another factor is the age of the student; if you begin phonological awareness training as early as age 3 or 4, your student will learn to read with greater speed and success than if he or she begins phonological awareness training at age 8 or 9. Whenever you start, the most success comes when you provide what Reading Tricks is passionate about–positive regular instruction (short daily teaching/playing sessions designed specifically for your student).

How long will it take for my child to learn to read if he or she doesn’t have dyslexia or other learning differences?

If your child is 5 or 6 years old, is just learning to read for the first time with Reading Tricks, and you have daily instruction (using Level I and II), he or she will probably be reading one syllable words fluently within 3 to 6 months. The procedure is this: start with Level I, Phonological Awareness, and complete it (Reading Tricks celebrates with you and your student by mailing him/her a personalized certificate with our signature and a place for yours, the teacher). This level helps you and your student “hear” the sounds using the “Sounds Galore” song, the alphabet song, and PAT, the octopus, who is the Phonological Awareness Trainer. Level 1 (Phonological Awareness) could take from 1 1/2 to 3 months to complete (shorter time for some; longer for others). After you teach Level 1, Level 2 teaches you how to teach reading and writing. If you work on the lessons daily, your child will be reading soon after beginning Level II.

How many levels does Reading Tricks offer?

We are currently developing curriculum, videos and supplemental materials. The planned levels are as follows:

  • Phonological Awareness (with PAT our Octopus trainer)
  • Beginning Reading and Writing (with pizzazz)
  • Moving Beyond the Basics (Blends, Clusters, and more)
  • Breaking it Down from Syllables to Stories (Introducing 2 kinds of syllables)
  • More Pieces Come Together (2 more kinds of syllables)
  • The Final Kinds of Syllables
  • Vowel Teams (lots of practice, and “tricks,” and pictures make these words easier)
  • Prefixes and Suffixes (tricks galore)

We also plan to offer additional levels teaching writing skills, vocabulary and more.  Please make sure that you’re on our mailing list if you would like to stay informed about upcoming materials and curriculum development.