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Classrooms:

barbara murray and studentsI just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your newsletter. It helps me to stay connected. Also, I wanted to share with you that I was recognized this year for eight years of contributing to our RSVP School Buddy program. I think that the recognition should go to you instead of me.

I have used your Phonics Pathways from the beginning and because of this have had very good success working with children at various grade levels. For the last three years, I’ve work in 4th grade. The teacher picks out 3 children who are below grade level in reading and I get to work with them to increase their skills as much as possible in the time allotted which is ½ hour per child twice a week. The book is great and it is a thrill to see reading improvement in these children. Enclosed is a picture of us and I just want to tell you once again how much I appreciate your work of pulling this information together so that someone like me has something very effective to offer these children.


Within seven weeks all thirty-two of my 1st-graders of varying ability levels became readers. Explicit phonics along with blending instruction are the keys to this success. The phonics rules in Phonics Pathways empower my students to drive through words with ease. Pyramid has been especially fabulous for the slower students who sometimes reverse letters ó reversals have diminished considerably.

In addition, it provides decodable text which is vital for students to cement rules and skills already learned. Now, after only five months of schooling, they are diving into marvelous literature with confidence and pride! Recently we had a literature evening for parents, and all 32 of my students of various ability levels got up on the stage and read selections from Bill Bennettís Book of Virtues.

Lowell School District has implemented Dorbooks' educational material with all students in our Title One Program. This is a carefully researched, no-frills program with a simple format and easy implementation, requiring little or no preparation time. It fits into our existing reading program and is flexible enough for individual or group work.

Our teachers are experiencing great success with this material and are very excited! Kindergarteners are exploring the sounds consonants make when followed by vowels. At midyear third graders' word study scores went up an average of 22 percentile points, and reading comprehension an average of 26 points.

Phonics Pathways does not teach comprehension, but unlocks the secrets of sound-symbol relationships, allowing comprehension to become the focus. Students are now able to read words they could only guess at before, and have strategies to decode unknown words. They can focus on the real purpose of reading - meaning. Our teachers are thrilled!

When our oldest son was diagnosed as a handicapped reader I taught him how to read with Phonics Pathways and then used it with our other children. We had incredible results! Our third-grade son reads at a tenth-grade level, and our youngest has been reading since age four.

Now I am a kindergarten teacher and use Phonics Pathways in my classroom. All of my students are reading by the middle of the school year with a 100% success rate! My parents are using it with their children at home while I work with them at school. It is so easy to use!

Adorable characters like Dewey the Bookworm and illustrations to delight all make this program absolutely vital in becoming part of your childís life. Let your child be a lifelong reader ó give him the Phonics Pathways advantage

This helpful book is very easy for students to follow, and the guide for parents and teachers is equally easy to follow. I find the large dark print very helpful for all of us. I have had parents with no phonics background able and willing to help their child by using this book. It uses all modes of learning: visual, auditory, and tactile, and helps a great deal with left-to-right tracking.

In my kindergarten classroom I have a 90% success rate, and in my tutoring I have had a 100% success rate. I also enjoy the proverbs, they lift my spirit and are uplifting to my students as well. This book complements our literature-based program, and is the missing link which blends phonics skills with literature-based stories. Phonics Pathways is better than apple pie and ice-cream!

I am a special ed. teacher at a Day Treatment program. These are the kids no school knows how to handle anymore but are not severe enough to go into a residential program. Half of my students have severe learning problems leading to behavioral probems and the other half have severe behavioral problems that have led to learning problems.

I tried using Phonics Pathways with two of my students, and so far the results are really good! My students are 4th and 5th graders who read at a kindergarten level before we started, and after only 18 lessons can now read many words. The blending exercises taught them how to decode words, and they now automatically use the same strategies to decode new and long words.

The parents of these kids think I am some kind of genius because finally I got their kids to read. It's so beautiful and rewarding to see their self esteem grow as well. During our morning affirmations, both students often times choose "I am smart" as their affirmation for the day. This is what makes teaching so rewarding! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your book--I am recommending it to everyone I see!

Phonics Pathways takes all the guesswork and example-finding out of teaching reading. Its sequentially organized lessons are simply written, well thought out, and build reading skills using small, incremental steps. Each lesson is clearly laid out and accompanied by abundant examples that reinforce the point to be learned. Best of all, it is a complete program which meets the needs of all reading levels, from beginning to remedial. I use this book to complement and supplement the current school programs, which are so rich in literature. I really feel that I have finally found a winning combination that will provide students with the skill they need most of all in order to succeed-the skill of literacy. Phonics Pathways truly is a one-stop shopping dream!

I have used Phonics Pathways as an excellent source of systematic phonics materials and ideas. It is yards ahead of available phonics workbooks and much more fun and interesting. It does not insult the student with "give-away pages" that lead to quick answers with little understanding or learning. The introduction, reading manual description, and hints are excellent. I especially liked the reading sentences, which take so long to make up on your own. Kids desperately want to be able to read, and phonics taught in such an interesting, systematic way gives them some success right away. Excitement soon replaces their fear and discouragement, and they're off to the races!

As a classroom teacher, I have found a real need in our reading curricula for good, consistent phonics. Children need a solid, sequential program which builds upon previously learned skills with small, incremental steps toward the whole. Your program offers just the right degree in advances to ensure success. I have found that frustration is almost entirely eliminated with your books. Phonics Pathways provides a solid base from which to teach the basic sounds that make up our language. From a teacher's
perspective, the little proverbs scattered throughout the book offer great insight and encouragement. I have found my students understand and appreciate them much more than expected.

My 2nd grade student, who's now the best reader in his class, loves to jump to the last page and read your wish for him to have 'new roadsSnew horizonsSnew dreams.' You have a way of sprinkling in inspiration which is not lost on even young children! He loves to take a book to bed at night and read. We have another committed reader here!

"I use Junior Great Books with him - difficult vocabulary, but he handles the challenge excellently. Your program is most successful, along with being fun. Little Dewey, with his black yarn arms and legs, is so adorable! Thanks for your magnificent efforts.

The administration of Cesar E. Chavez Middle School and I thank you for Phonics Pathways. I have been using your phonics program for the past one and one-half years in my Learning Handicapped Special Day Class for junior high school students, with gratifying results. The students are delighted! Allow me to wish you continued success with your publishing endeavors.

ESL/ELL:

In the heart of Silicon Valley live a number of students from non-English speaking families of all cultures who cannot read. A state-of-the-art YES Reading Center was set up at Belle Haven School using Phonics Pathways resulting in significant improvement of reading scores. There are now over fifty dedicated tutors, and Stanford University has donated a portable building and various furnishings to house this program. The teaching materials and dedicated volunteers are rendering rave results from teachers and parents!

I want to thank you for creating Phonics Pathways. I am using it with my 12-year-old daughter who joined our family two years ago from India. She arrived knowing no English. I naively enrolled her in our local school where they placed her in the 4th grade. After sitting in a classroom for over a year and having everything go over her head, she was making no progress. Last September, she and I began homeschool. I started with the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (a good book but better for kids who already know English), then switched to Phonics Pathways after advice from another homeschooling parent. It has been wonderfully effective at helping my daughter learn to read. We take it slowly and review. We have played the Train Game and the Star Game. She is interested in what "Dewey" has to say on each page.

After only four months of using this reading program, 100% of my bilingual title one 1st-graders are reading! Four of my students are Non-English speaking, four English Only, and the rest of my students are Limited English Speaking. They come from poor economic standings, and they all receive a free breakfast and lunch every day.

Now my teacher colleagues are also using it, as well as parents wanting to help their children read at home. An added benefit: students love it! Thanks for creating such an effective reading program for everyone: teachers, parents, and most of all, students.

I started Phonics Pathways in K3, the last year of kindergarten in Taiwan. After only four months these six- and seven-year-olds began reading story books and never looked back! K3 has surpassed my wildest dreams, as they read far better than any other class at school. They put students who've studied for up to six years to shame.

One mother told me her daughter reads her e-mail, and although it has a lot of technical terms her daughter reads it better than she does. And she has a college degree! Parents are amazed that their little ones can read at such an early age, even before they are quite at ease with Chinese characters.

A funny story: I was substitute teaching an older class that had been learning English for at least six years. When I told them K3 could read better and more fluent than they could they laughed and didn't believe me. Just then, Sunny, a K3 student passed, and I called her in. We held a reading contest, and little Sunny beat the whole class!

Cristal, a Spanish girl in my second-grade class, could not read. Then I discovered your wonderful book. After three weeks she is progressing nicely with its orderly, step-by-step approach, and is delighted by the encouraging sayings and quotes. Her face just beams when I tell her she is the one climbing the oak tree to the top. Cristal is a different child! Thanks for turning the lights on for so many.

I am a Special Education Speech Technician, and have found Phonics Pathways to be a wonderful resource to use for reading and spelling lessons as well as with our Speech Therapy and ESL students. I like the fact that we can combine and reinforce so many programs through one easy-to-use publication. The word lists give many good examples of targeted sounds. The sample sentences are great for speech students who need to listen for correct pronunciations. We are still in the early stages of discovering all of its uses and applications, but I want to thank you for your excellent reading program.

It is particularly delightful to witness our non-English speaking Hispanic students quickly grasp the phonetic skills they need to pronounce as well as read English in our Joe Michell Reading Tutorial program.

For example, Maria was lost and scared when she first began. I had Josefina, another Hispanic student who graduated from our program last year, come with Maria and help her. Within 2 months Maria was able to read three letter words.

Now Maria is helping Elaina, a new student who just arrived. Maria is full of pride as she helps demonstrate Phonics Pathways to Elaina, who within three weeks began reading three-letter words herself. These children are learning a skill that will help them navigate a life-long journey of discovery.

Phonics Pathways is used by a client who teaches English for adults from around the Pacific Rim as an aid in their international negotiations. Thanks for writing it, and best wishes.

I am tutoring five Jamaicans, and Phonics Pathways has proven of great value in a 'Learn To Read' program at the Lauderhill Community School. Please advise me of the price of single or multiple copies.


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Professionals:

What I saw happen to students when I taught Phonics Pathways and Pyramid almost defies description!

The program has several unique features that demand our attention: The Eyerobics is especially unique. For example, here is how the "pl" blend is taught: a la pla plan. The student starts with the "short a," then put "l" in front to get "la," then the "p" is added to get "pla" and finally the "n" is added, giving us "plan." The eyes are forced to track from left to right. There is absolutely no opportunity for the student to read the word holistically as a configuration.

This feature is built into the program, and there is absolutely no way to override it. For remediation students, this forces (I do mean forces!) them to alter their previous whole-word guessing habit. The decodable sentences are very unique. For example the "l" blends: gladly plucks - Glen gladly plucks plump plums. Notice the two words with 'l" blends are practice in isolation, followed by their use in a totally decodable sentence. The phonics is carefully sequenced and very complete. The same outstanding features are to be found in Pyramid.

Phonics Pathways is a solid educational reference suitable for all ages. Individual chapters address building and breaking words down into their pronounced pieces, with a section devoted to every basic phonic syllable in the English language.

"The result is an extraordinary guide, drillbook, and coach to learning how to piece words together from their individual parts. Phonics Pathways is an enthusiastically recommended 'how to' book for parents, homeschoolers, or literacy volunteers responsible for teaching beginning readers and writers of any age or background.

As the Director for the National Right to Read Foundation as well as a phonics tutor, I have used many programs over the years. Out of the 26 phonics books and programs in my public library, Phonics Pathways is the best!

The practice sentences are 100% decodable, which means your child does not have to guess at irregular or unfamiliar words. It also teaches blending, a feature not usually included in other programs. It is complete, contains all spelling rules, is very affordable, and easy to use. You don't need special training , just follow the short lessons. You can buy the book and start teaching the same day.

I had no idea how to teach phonics, yet in about six weeks my 3-1/2 and 5-year-old children were reading and spelling. I always recommend Phonics Pathways. It remains my favorite program!

Phonics Pathways is one of the finest instructional materials for teaching children and adults to read that I have ever reviewed. It is a clear, straightforward recipe for phonics that anyone can use to learn how to read. Everyone wins with this book. Teachers love it, children learn to read with it, and parents are happy because it works. With clarity, interest, good humor, and precision, you have offered a way out of the darkness of illiteracy for anyone who wants it.

God has gifted you with a clarity of vision and an ability to pull together the essential elements of a reading program that is second to none. Oh yes, there are many successful reading programs out there, but Phonics Pathways holds a place of its own. It is inexpensive, clearly written, contains all the elements of scientifically valid reading instruction, and most of all, it works!

You have made a valuable contribution to reducing illiteracy. The knowledge found here should be in every first-grade classroom in this country. Thank you for this tool which is helping so many to succeed in life!

Our elementary instructors are inserviced in the use of Phonics Pathways. They have experienced great success in using it with a wide variety of students: ESL, remedial, beginning reading, dyslexic, and even adults. It is clear and well organized, with large print. The skills are sequenced correctly, the sketches humorous, the proverbs encouraging, and the hints very useful. Combining reading and spelling and applying the skill in words and sentences is most helpful.

This outstanding resource has helped many students learn to read and spell, and given teachers confidence in teaching phonics, spelling, and reading. I highly recommend it for all students who are learning to read.

It is my pleasure to endorse the type of phonics instruction that your book contains. I was pleased to find the sequence of phonics concepts that your book teaches is close to the one I tried to work out in my book, Word Recognition, which tried to relate what the experimental research says about word recognition to a determination of the best sequence of phonics information instruction that can be devised. Your indication that beginning phonics teaching should be carried on with monosyllabic words exclusively also puts your book in line with the experimental research I have read. Very soon you have children reading sentences. Thanks for Phonics Pathways!

We enjoyed going through Phonics Pathways using our checklist of 70 sound-spellings used in evaluating the eight Grade One reading programs submitted for 2000 Texas adoption. Phonics Pathways included all of the 70, plus about 60 additional sound-spellings. Interestingly, the three programs approved in Texas that taught the most sound-spellings (Open Court, Sing, Spell, Read & Write, and Saxon Phonics) had respectively 29, 22, and 24 more than the 70 sound-spellings on our checklist, but far less than Phonics Pathways' sixty-some additional.

Congratulations! Because of your significant record of achievement, Marquis Who's Who has selected your biography for inclusion in the new Who's Who in the World, the first edition of the 21st century.

Your dedication and hard work have earned you a spot in one of the most referenced biographical publications of its kind, inclusion in which is limited to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their own fields of endeavor and who have, thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of contemporary society.

Again Iíd like to congratulate you on yet another remarkable achievement, and wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Tutoring:

After 9 months of working 20 minutes 3 times per week with Phonics Pathways my son Dylan improved his spelling, phonics and reading abilities by over 4 grade levels on the WAIT II standardized test. Not only did his spelling improve, but he also gained tremendous confidence in his overall academic abilities and specifically in his language skills. He is now a confident creative writerand an avid reader.

We established an in-school tutoring program with Phonics Pathways using parent and community volunteers. Our school serves a diverse socioeconomic population with many students on the free lunch program and living in subsidized housing, coming to school totally unprepared to learn.

In less than a year test results showed the school advanced from having the lowest to the highest reading scores in the entire school district -- our teachers are elated! Our fourth-grade teacher now has all of these "graduates" in her class for the first time, and she observed: "This is the most literate class I have ever had. Our tutorial program is worth its weight in gold!

We all love Phonics Pathways! It has helped meet the needs of both children and adults in our vision and academic program. It readily fits in with our existing material without having to change our teaching methods or purchase any extras. The riddles, proverbs, and drawings add visual and auditory aids to each lesson. Frequent reviews provide quick assessment and confidence as each skill is built upon. All of us would recommend its use for any reading program -- with or without special needs.

When parents ask us what they can use to help their children improve their reading, we recommend Phonics Pathways. It is easy to use and engaging for children. The lessons are short and provice a lot of good practice. Children are amused by the whimsical pictures and word usage.

We find that many children need to learn to track left to right with their eyes. They also need to find patterns and similarities among words. These exercises provide that kind of practice. We have used this book with many of our students and can heartily recommend it.

As a beginning tutor I was not sure how effective I would be, but I found that your book works almost like magic! I have only to guide and encourage, and the student does all the work because your book makes reading so clear to them. The effort you put into writing Phonics Pathways is saving me research time and money, too. I am so grateful to the colleague who recommended your book to me.

Phonics Pathways has helped me immensely as an Orton-Gillingham tutor. It is both logically presented and easy to consult. Perhaps most importantly for dyslexic students, the pages of your book do not tend to strain students' eyes as do a number of other phonics books due to print size, style, or overcrowding. Students smile at 'Dewey the Bookworm' and his positive comments as they progress through your exercises. I will do my best to wear this book out, as well as share it with others who tutor.

Our two adopted seven year old sons are learning disabled, and one of them has ADD as well. Although he knew the sounds of all the letters, he was never able to put them together into words and sentences for his teacher or me. Then we discovered Phonics Pathways. After only two months of using it, he is reading at the upper level of grade three--it is like a miracle!

My son's speech pathologist is now using it with her fourteen year old student, and three other teachers are waiting to get their copy. If everyone knew how easy and fast this book works and how inexpensive it is, it would put the more costly programs right out of business. It is a godsend!

Our Ruth is hearing impaired, and has a cochlear implant which enables her to hear at about 30 decibels. Her ability to sound out words is limited, and until now she has made little progress in reading. The average reading level of deaf people in America is 4th grade, and we're deeply concerned about her reading. Your book now makes it easier, simpler, and more likely to succeed-we are systematically re-teaching all the phonics sounds. Phonics Pathways makes it a less anxious, more organized and 'do-able' task. We're with you in believing that even deaf students need a phonics base to break the barriers and become avid readers.

Here is a brief testimonial, right from the heart. I tutor a twelve-year old who could not read and was very frustrated, causing trouble in his fifth-grade class. He is now a confident reader and doing very well in a special class, catching up on the years of schooling he missed. Using Phonics Pathways is a joyful learning experience for both teacher and student.

Homeschooling:

I would also like to thank you for the creation of Phonics Pathways. It has been a huge help with teaching reading. We had tried many other things, but yours has been enjoyed the best by all of the children, and has done the best job at teaching phonics. The little book mark of Dewey has also been great.

Carrie Roberts

My daughter was able to move through your whole book in under 4 months . She was 5 years old a the time. By the end of her first year of home schooling she was reading at a 4th grade level and now she can read at about a 6th grade level! Her comprehension is improving too. She is 6 years old.

I started my 4 year old at the beginning of your book at the beginning of the school year. He begs to do "school" and he has so much fun while he is learning! He is now able to read 3 letter words pretty well and he shakes all over with excitement over his accomplishments. Every time he successfully pronounces a 3 letter word correctly he gives me a high five.

Thank you so much for making this time with my children so enjoyable. I will always remember teaching my children how to read with wonderful memories. It is a valuable, cost effective and fun way to learn how to read.

It has been such a thrill watching 4 year-old Laurel begin to read. We had been using another book and it was really frustrating. I was about to take a year-long break and wait until she was 'ready.' Thankfully I tried your book as a last-ditch effort and it has gone really well so far. Pathways and Pyramid are priceless.

I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed using "Phonics Pathways" with my children. I am a homeschooling mom with 3 children and one on the way! My oldest, a daughter, learned to read with almost no effort, however, my sons, ages 7 and 6 were another story. I spent more money on phonics programs than I care to admit, especially to my husband.

Finally, in desperation, I ordered "Phonics Pathways" from my favorite homeschool supplier. I started with my 7 year old son (he was 6 when we started) and he is now on page 178. He is reading books, magazines, newspapers, and even the Bible. His confidence in himself and his abilities are amazing. He was wearing glasses for reading when he began "Phonics Pathways". Now, he does not need glasses!

I love the program because I don't have to struggle with what to teach first and what to do about problems. I simply followed your instructions and let the boys advance at their own pace. I listen, help as necessary and encourage. I've recommended your book to every mother I know whose child has struggled with reading in school or at home. I look forward to continuing to use the program with my boys and the baby coming in March when he/she is ready. Thank you!

I am the mom of three great children. The one I am teaching to read with Phonics Pathways and Pyramid turned 5 in September. He just missed the cut off for school by 8 days so I decided to home school him with no looking back.

I bought A Beka last March and we started kindergarten immediately. I found a wonderful homeschool co-op for him to attend but when we got our book list there was no A Beka, just Phonics Pathways and Explode the Code. How could this be I thought? I bought the books anyway, and we got started. Today, just a few weeks before the New Year, he reads as if he always knew how. He can spell and write every word he reads.

One of our daily activities includes writing a sentence or two from Pyramid. The other day he wanted to see what was at the end of the book and sounded out 'fantastic,' 'amazing,' and several other really long words. He loves Ben and Gus, probably because his name is Ben. I know he understands what he is reading because he will smile or laugh when the story or sentence is funny, which it usually is.

So here is a kid that isn't even supposed to be in Kindergarten that is loving the life-long skill of reading. I cannot thank you enough. I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with the A Beka stuff I guess sell it on ebay. Thanks for a wonderful, wonderful product!

We are homeschooling, and our nine- and seven-year-old were convinced they would never read. We had spent well over $600 buying products to help our children learn, but would have been better off never to have bought a single one. Then I discovered Phonics Pathways in our local library. Now, only six months later, our oldest child reads anything he wants, and his sister is not far behind. We are absolutely thrilled with their progress and your book!

We are home-schooling and used what we thought to be 'good' phonics programs with our children, but all we achieved was frustration. Our older children did not begin reading until age nine. I had made a wish-list along the way of what I would like to see in a good phonics program. Naturally, it would be user-friendly-even for the Mom who had never taught phonics before. It would have a minimum of sight words which would be slowly introduced. Of course it would be complete, with separate readers not required. Most of all, encouragement for the teacher and student would continue throughout the lessons.

Phonics Pathways is all of the above-plus more! Your explanation of dyslexia is simple and to the point. Our daughter has gone weekly to a Developmental Ophthalmologist, and the vision and motor coordination training exercises you have included in your book are the same exercises that she has done at home and in therapy. She is now improving by leaps and bounds. Thank you for offering to parents a very insightful phonics program.

I'm a new homeschooling Mom and was having tremendous success teaching my 8th grader with Phonics Pathways, but not until this month did I realize just how much success. He has been wearing glasses since 3rd grade-he had a muscle problem with astigmatism. We started with the book eight months ago, ten minutes a day. He had an eye exam last week, and now has 20/20 vision and is free from glasses- thanks to your eyerobics! I cannot thank you enough for your incredible book.

I have been using Phonics Pathways for approximately two years to teach my twins (now seven) how to read. I can't say enough good things about the program, and want to thank you profusely for developing it. This program has made such a difference in our family that I have continually recommended it. I used to work tutoring learning-disabled at a local community college, and they have ordered it on my recommendation.

You have taken the fear out of teaching reading for me! We are homeschooling, and our first grader is doing very well with your program. I especially appreciate the care you've taken to only introduce sentences containing words, rules and sounds that he has already learned. Thanks for making the stories cute and simple!

One of our students was told he would have to take first grade over again because he couldn't read (this was in the first half of the year). His mother put him at Vineyard for homeschooling. They were given Phonics Pathways, and he learned to read in a week. He absolutely loves to read! So why did his other school think he had a problem?

I love Phonics Pathways! We are homeschooling 2 of our 3 children, and I finally ordered a copy after using a different title with my oldest. She learned how to read very quickly and loves Dewey! He slept in her storybook last night, and she carries him with her everywhere. Our youngest keeps him in a high spot so he won't get broken, and chats with him to make sure he's doing allright.

This book is both systematic and intensive, yet still a lot of fun. I've been searching for a book like this for 6 years! I wanted a no-nonsense approach in which each sound was gradually introduced and then blended, with a sense of order. This book is the best out there to teach phonics. Thanks for pouring yourself into this and making it such a wonderful program!

Adults & Older Students:

We love Phonics Pathways and Pyramid and have recommended both books to many family members and friends. Even my 63-year-old Italian mother-in-law found it really useful for learning the spelling rules! She is has been trying to learn English so she can communicate better when she visits us here in the US.

Phonics Pathways has been a powerful, backbone tool at out Adult Literacy tutoring sessions. We needed a basic, simplistic approach due to the extremely low level of my student. This book hits the basics in a clear, easy-to-follow style. The large print and uncluttered text are appreciated--my student doesn't feel intimidated. He especially likes the example words, which 'don't look like the baby ones in my kid's book.'

The diacritical marks used throughout the book are especially helpful as my student begins dictionary work, and frequent use of syllables aids in reducing the 'mystery' of multisyllable words. They are increasing his vocabulary in his 'new' language. Hooray! My student just dictated his first letter in English -- he's ordered Phonics Pathways for himself!

I am currently serving as a volunteer tutor for adult literacy in the Salt Lake group, "Literacy Volunteers of America." For the past several months I have used Phonics Pathways in my classes. I have to tell you, the lessons you provide are marvelous and work very well with adults who are learning the basic reading skills. Thanks for your hard work in writing it -- you have served more people than you know, and have made a major contricution to many people's lives!

After my mom had a stroke she had trouble getting words from her brain to her mouth. Soon after she was back home I began using Phonics Pathways with her-she loved it! The sounds were one of the problem areas she had, and it helped her so much. She is writing out her own Christmas cards and reading 'baby' books now. Today I'm proud to say that our library has its own copy of this book. We also have a growing population of Mexican families in our area, and I notice that many Hispanic children are using it to learn English.

I have been getting much use from your Phonics Pathways with a student 40 years old who has been unable to spell. We have been using it for a couple of months with great results. He really enjoys the organized and effective way of approaching the subject!

I have helped senior citizens from other countries learn how to read with Phonics Pathways, as well as my mother, and reading was no longer an insurmountable task. I just want to let you know what a wonderful and complete book you have. It not only produces confident readers, but good spellers!

I need to learn. I want to learn. I had a stroke at age 57 and can no longer work as a carpet layer. I took that opportunity to try once again to earn how to read. If you can read the world will not pass you by!

Phonics Pathways has made it possible for me to read and go forward with my life. No more being in the dark. Now I am not afraid to read to my grandchildren as I was before!

Catalogs & Journals:

I was a fortunate child growing up as a reader. From my earliest years nothing was more natural than to interpret the world through the beauty of written symbols. Only as a teacher did I truly come to accept that reading and spelling is something that many have to be taught explicitly. The evidence of practice works. That rule need to be laid down and presented in sequence. Some readers have to be made not born. There are a number of programmes that follow such a pattern - Alpha to Omega, Toe by Toe and Walter Bramley?s seminal but sadly out of print – Literacy for Study and Work. Latterly these have been joined by other structured programmes using information technology such as Units of Sound - literacy that fits. All these programmes share the characteristics of being programmes that are effective when used by the dyslexia educational professional but are also useable over an extended period by the intelligent lay person helper working with a student.

Phonics Pathways asserts itself as teaching “students of all ages the rudiments of phonics and spelling with an efficient, practical and foolproof method." If you are able to follow programmes effectively this programme will not disappoint you. It falls into the tradition of a systematic programme. It would be particularly useful in a home school or special school context where the programme can be used daily. This is a very thorough volume - structured and specific. Every step in the reading journey is carefully laid out to ensure that the learner knows the vowel sounds and can say them with an increasing range of consonants. The home educator will find everything here to plan a programme for a child. Similarly, if you are devising an intensive home intervention programme for a struggling reader this is the programme for you. It may be suitable as a guide for learners new to English or consideration as an adult learning programme.

For the younger learner there is a cute little caterpillar, Dewey, who has lots of little maxims that some may find motivating and amusing; “Don?t point a FINGER…lend a HAND.” AND “The best vitamin for making friends is “B-1.” The Author speaks movingly of the “joy of decoding an unfamiliar word syllable by syllable.” Reading, according to Hiskes, should be taught like any other complex skill such as learning to dance or play the piano. She is keen to teach children their phonic skills in the same way they learn mathematical rules and techniques. Only the simplest sounds are taught first. The word red for example is introduced with short “e” words on page 39 while blue is not introduced until page 165 with other “ue” words.

The best parts about this resource are the word lists and the introduction of different spelling patterns. I like the lovely contrived sentences that incorporate the range of spelling patterns: compare: ?oo? "Your two blue moose stoop to chew fruit," and ?u? "Once his young pup was running from a flood." See also: 'air' "Mary and Blair stare at their fair share of rare pears." One thing that Phonics Pathways would benefit from would be a placement test such as at the start of Units of Sound or Alpha to Omega which would state explicitly at which lesson to start. On the other hand it has more inbuilt games and fun activities than either of these two programmes.

Phonics Pathways is maybe a key to unlocking a child?s potential in reading. My feeling is that the structure of the programme will always takes second place to the self discipline of the learner
and the persistence of the teacher/helper.

--David Bailey
Dyslexia Review, Vol 22 No 2, Summer 2011

If you are looking for a complete, effective phonics program without the silly stories of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, or if you are looking at what to use after 100 Easy Lessons, Phonics Pathways is just the ticket. Simple layout, simple progress, this no frills, straightforward approach to phonics tutoring is easy enough for even novice parent/teachers to understand and use.

Like S 100 Easy Lessons it is logically laid out with virtually no teacher preparation involved. Large print and uncluttered pages make this an ideal program for young children who are easily distracted. Multi-sensory approach means all learning types can benefit from this book. With a mere 10 to 15 minutes a day, one or two pages, your child will be reading before you know it. Built-in reviews, to aid retention, include sentences that can be sounded out based entirely on the lessons previously taught, which eliminates guessing.

Not only does Phonics Pathways include the phonics rules that 100 Easy Lessons does not, it also contains spelling rules in the lessons as well a quick-reference spelling and pronunciation charts. The only thing 100 Easy Lessons has over Phonics Pathways is the goofy stories. For some children that is a huge motivator, for others it is a non-issue. If your child would not miss the stories, start with Phonics Pathways. Otherwise finish with it. Either way this book will be essential for all pre-readers and their parents.

--Timberdoodle Homeschooling Catalog

Dolores Hiskes probably puts out the best possible *learn to read quickly program* for new (and struggling) readers that I have seen yet. We took a look at Phonics Pathways and also Pyramid. She made it easy for us. With these two *workbooks* you have absolutely everything at your fingertips to teach your child to read. This is so simple!

She starts your little one out with the short vowels, and moves into *eyerobics* (two-letter blends with proper left-to-right reading exercises), and moves on from there. I observed that my son, Levi Mark (age 7) was getting an *eye workout*, because this is how she set it up...to compel the child to read correctly, paying close attention to the letters and sounds. Sounds and words are grouped together to give the child a large practice session, which results in retention. Plus it's FUNNY. You'll crack up at the silly sentences and your child will look up at you with a facial expression like, *Is this normal?* (Gus ate eight great steaks, and he gained a lot of weight!) As a parent, this makes it convenient and fun, as it's simple to explain and work through.

After Levi had explained to me what it meant for a big fat duck to be sitting on a back deck, I was ready to let him stop for the day, but he said, *Can we do one more?* Now that's what I want to see a reading program do! And this is what Phonics Pathways and Pyramid can give you - a full reading program at a fraction of the price of other large programs. I feel that every homeschool house in the country should own this set. It can be completed by an 'already reading' child in a month or so, as a refresher to plug in any *holes*. Another excellent part of this program is the dictation exercises. Dictation is one of the best things you can do with your kids to increase their vocabulary, spelling and penmanship. I use the dictation sections for my two older boys, ages 10 and 11. Go get it, homeschool families. You'll love it!

--The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Subtitled *A Complete Reading Program for Beginning and Remedial Readers of All Ages*, this volume lives up to its name. Using a Basic Phonics approach (aka "pure" phonics), no sight words are introduced until basic decoding and reading skills are well-established. Even then, such words are introduced in clusters according to sound and spelling pattern so that they may be more easily learned. It is well organized, systematic, incremental, and thorough in its presentation. Instructions are clear and lessons require no preparation time.

After reading through the brief introduction, you can sit right down with the book and your child, spending 10-15 minutes a day on the lessons. The author provides it all - how to present and explain each phonogram, spelling rules that apply, reviews, exercises and helpful tips. The author's approach to syllabication makes it possible for the young reader to confidently tackle even the longest words. As she so aptly states, *How children learn may be different - but what they learn should be the same. Everyone should be able to decode even the longest unfamiliar words, syllable by syllable.*

Indeed, the book progresses from *a* to *A strong foundation to a house is indispensable* with sure mastery of skills in between. Typeface for the student to read is large (24 pt) so as not to strain the eyes. The appropriate integration of spelling rules into the phonics lessons make this an excellent spelling reference also. The completeness, ease of use, and relatively low cost of this program should make it valuable to homeschoolers as their basal phonics curriculum. Read the rest of their review.

--Rainbow Resource Catalog

Phonics Pathways is a complete program. Teaching instruction on each page is brief enough so that no preparation time is needed. Each new concept taught is followed by words, phrases and sentences for practice, so no other reading material is necessary. Because of quick movement into blending practice, children are reading three-letter words very soon. Reading practice is designed to improve left-to-right tracking skills, especially important for preventing dyslexic problems. Phonics Pathways is very reasonably priced for such a complete program.

--Cathy Duffy
Christian Home Educators Curriculum Manual

Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling: Letters are added one at a time, and systematically built into syllables, words, and sentences. Simple step-by-step directions begin every lesson. Extensive examples, word lists, and practice reading are 100% decodable. No other material or prior experience is needed. Complete spelling rules gathered for thirty years from sources all over the world. Shows all diacritical marking. Includes quick-reference spelling and pronunciation charts. Multi-sensory method addresses all learning styles. A special graduated blending technique strengthens eye tracking and increases eye span. Multiple pictures illustrate every letter introduced. Continuous review ensures retention.

--The Joshua Company

This is an intensive and incremental approach to teaching reading. It can be used with any age, beginning or remedial. Older students would not find this manual insulting or babyish. I especially liked the large, easy-to-read typeface, and each page is visually interesting and uncluttered. If you want a no-frills approach to phonics that almost teaches itself, this book is certainly worth considering.

--Mary Pride, Practical Homeschooling