Q: My husband and I both work, so how do I/we find the time to implement the programme?
Use a planning strategy which involves time ‘slots’ and ‘helpers’. Much of the reading and writing work can — and should — be self-motivated by the learner. Give encouragement and supportive help, establish some firm time guidelines, and limit the amount of television they watch.
Use correct, effective, simple helping methods as advised in the Reading & Spelling Made Simple Teaching Guide. Parents already try to help by ‘hearing their child read’ and by working on ‘spelling lists’. Use the plan!
Your aim is to give your child a great start with the 450 ‘bits’ to learn. Don’t panic! The 300 sight words make up all but 150 of these ‘bits’. The rest are mostly A-Z letter shapes, the 44 ‘sounds of English’ and ways to write them.
Encourage children to read an interesting book silently, in bed, before going to sleep. Help them choose a book and start reading it aloud to them. Stop at an interesting part and let your learner read the rest of the chapter or story to themselves. It helps if you skim the whole chapter or story before you read aloud to them, so that you know the best parts for them to read.
Make children’s progress visible with ticks, stars, etc. Work in six-week blocks, five sessions weekly. Spend half an hour or three lots of ten minutes a night. Remember to consult your Teaching Guide.
Q: I’ve tried helping my child but we end up fighting!
Many parents say this! There are several causes: over-anxiety; wrong methods used by parents; concentrating on ‘mistakes’ instead of on ‘successes’; bad timing for helping your child and not taking a positive, light-hearted approach.
Q: Help! I don’t think I can balance all this.
This is an extremely common problem! The answer is to learn the programme bit by bit, and have everything you need – reading book, exercise books, pens, pencils, gold stars, timer, and any other resources that you have ready and all together!