Phonics Coach

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What are syllables?
Syllabication is the breaking up of words into smaller pieces.

We introduce the six kinds of syllables and use special spelling exercises to implement them in the breakdown of words.

Phonics and syllables combine to make the reading and spelling of words easy.

Our Philosophy...

Our philosophy is simple. People learn language by using it, so one has them using it as soon as possible. Reading is one skill that everyone will need, no matter what one chooses to do in life. It is our belief that an underdeveloped reader will never be able to truly reach their lifes full potential.

Commonly, teachers are unable to fully ensure that learning disabled students are fluent in the basics of the English language before moving on to more complex curriculums. This causes more students than ever before to fall behind in school and fail to learn in general. Imagine teaching someone calculus who doesn't fully understand the basics of addition - impossible. Yet it happens all the time in literacy. By teaching phonics and syllables, we give students the information needed to build a solid foundation for learning language. We start at the base of the English language - phonics - and carefully structure the sequence of learning making sure that we cover everything along the way.

After the basic skills are in place, students can focus on sentence structure, punctuation, and writing style - all of which will be evident in their written work.

All exercises and modules in this program are based on the student's individual abilities and growth. Your student will never fall behind, and will never feel overwhelmed. The root of most language difficulties stems from trouble with the basics. Mastering phonics and syllabication will lead to better reading and spelling skills, allowing individual learners to become the best they can be in life and to achieve greatness in whatever they choose to do.

We want to see you flourish in life. Send us your success stories - we'd love to read them.

A Phonics Coach Lesson...

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Reviewing Known Phonics

Once the course gets underway, each lesson starts out with a review of some known phonic items. By reviewing this letter/sound information each day, students build a solid foundation for reading and spelling words.
Priority is given to letters and sounds your student finds most difficult, as part of our Rapid Readiness program.

Reviewing Known Syllables
All the different types of syllables that your student has been taught will be reviewed in each lesson.

Covering New Material
New material usually falls under one of two categories. We will teach you either; more phonics, or a new kind of syllable.

Each student moves through the course at their own pace. New material is presented when past material has been mastered. The flow of new material is controlled separately for each student by our Rapid Readiness program.

Spelling Exercises
These exercises encourage students to apply their knowledge of phonics and syllables.

Spelling words are chosen based on each student's strengths and weaknesses. The words we select will help your student master past material so that they will be ready to move on to new material as soon as possible. This method is both effective and efficient. (Part of our Rapid Readiness method.)

Spelling exercises are also one of the tools we use to assess problem areas and plan future lessons


THE RIGHT MATERIAL For the purposes of this course, the intellectual content of reading material does not matter. Encourage students to gather knowledge about topics which interest them, even if it's gossip about their favorite band in Rolling Stone magazine. Keep in mind that if material has been published, it has been past an editor. Therefore exposure to published sentence structure and writing style will be useful even when the intellectual content is low.
A Feeling of Accomplishment It is important that each time you read with your student they feel as if they have accomplished something. Do not stop halfway through an article or chapter. This will rule how reading material is selected. If together you choose to read a novel, flip through to make sure the chapters are a suitable length to read in one sitting. When Selecting What to Read Every student has different interests. Rather than you selecting what you think they'd like, ask them to give you some options. You can still make the final decision. If selecting a novel, have them read the back of the book to you. If they can read the back of the book reasonably well, the book may well be at a suitable reading level. (Don't forget to check the length of the chapters.) Just So You Know Most mainstream magazines and newspapers are written at a grade 6 to 8 level, so that most people can enjoy them. Publications that specialize in one field, such as The Financial Post or The Medical Examiner, market to a very well-educated audience and are at a higher literacy level.
Reading Together It is best to sit side by side and take turns reading aloud. When it is your turn to read make sure your student follows along. If you and your student are not comfortable seated side by side, then use two copies of the material for both of you to read and follow. Check periodically to ensure your student is following along because it is very beneficial. Most notably it will help them understand how punctuation affects the way things are read. Tackling Big, Nasty Words Do not help! We cannot stress this enough. When a student encounters a difficult word, tell them to sound it out one syllable at a time. In english, the really intimidating words are generally comprised of perfectly phonetic syllables. Unfortunately there is an exception to the "do not help" rule. If your student is becoming discouraged by the number of big words, you may need to make an agreement. For example, arrange ahead of time that you will help them with a certain number of words per page. This kind of co-operation will take some pressure off the student so they can enjoy the book they have chosen. Reading Alone When reading alone, students may read out loud or to themselves. This reading can be assigned by you or assumed to be something that occurs in regular schoolwork. If your student is reading alone and comes to you for help with a difficult word, encourage them to sound it out loud.
READING OUT LOUD vs. SILENT READING What follows could be thought of as the abridged version of a very brief summary. For the purposes of this course, tutors need only acknowledge that these exercises have different benefits and should both be implemented.
Reading Out Loud Oral reading will act as a strong reinforcement to the phonics portion of this course, and have a tremendous impact on spelling. It is also the time punctuation will be most apparent to your student, as you will be taking turns reading and they will follow along to your example. Silent Reading Silent reading will exercise a student's ability to focus and may be more enjoyable than oral reading. This is because there is no pressure when nobody is listening. It is also a time students will be trying to catch their own mistakes, thereby building independence in learning. Again, difficult words should be attempted by sounding them out loud.


The nemesis for most of our students is spelling. Though it is an integral part of our program, it is often where progress comes the most slowly. Spelling words used in our Phonics Coach spelling exercises should not be memorized. Instead they should be examined first for their syllabic make-up, and then for the phonetic composition of those syllables. If the spelling-words are memorized, the spelling exercises will lose their value. Consequently, instead of understanding syllables and phonetics -- which can aid in reading and spelling many words -- the student will understand, and be able to spell, just the one word.


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