Introducing the Best Reading Program

The Best Reading Program For Preschoolers, Dyslexia, Struggling Readers and Elementary Schools…

        …Because Teachers Tell Us What They Want and What Children Need!

We’ve surveyed teachers, tutors and parents to find out what they need to teach kids to learn how to read. For 2015 and beyond, they said over-whelmingly that reading programs need to be multi-sensory and integrating phonics and whole language components into a balanced literacy guided reading approach. It is interactive & comprehensive.

They want it aligned with Common Core Standards and compatible with the Orton Gillingham Approach.

It also helps that it is “The Funnest Way to Learn How to Read in the Whole Wide World!”

Why should you watch the Tiger Tuesday video? [Read more…]

4th Grade Reading Comprehension

4-Year-Old Understands More Than His 4th-Grade Brother

A concerned parent wants Dr. Linda’s help for her 4th grade son’s reading comprehension.

low reading comprehension in 4th gradeDear Dr. Linda,

My son is in fourth grade and he loves to read. He even reads the newspaper. But he has no idea what he’s reading! He reads stories to his younger brother who’s four. My four year old can tell me about the story, but his fourth grade brother can’t. I’m concerned there’s something wrong with him.


Dear Janet,

What’s happening is that he’s learned to read as if he’s reading a word list. He is not visualizing an image in his head nor is he thinking about the story. He also may not be focusing. He’s just reading words. [Read more…]

When should we begin teaching our daughter to read?

What Do Beginning Readers Need and When?

Today’s Mailbag Question comes from parents of a 4-year-old who ask a common question. Dr. Linda has great insights and a few suggestions.

when-should-we-begin-teaching-our-daughter-to-readDear Dr. Silbert,

Our daughter Megan is 4 years old. She’ll go into kindergarten next year. Should we start teaching her to read now so she won’t be behind?  Or is it better just to let the school do it. Of course, we want her to do well in school and will help her in any way that is appropriate. Thank you for your help.

Patti and Mike

Dear Patti and Mike,

Many concerned parents have the same question, wondering whether they should start teaching their kids to read at home.

Megan doesn’t need to know how to read by the time she gets to kindergarten. But as a beginning reader, it’s helpful if she has some basics down and is looking forward to reading.

If she really wants to learn to read now, that’s fine. She should be encouraged as long as it’s fun and not taking time away from playing.

Beginning readers play, run around, skip, sing, and imagine. They love learning new things about their world. They’ve got questions, energy, and enthusiasm.

Most, especially if they’ve been read to or introduced to books, look forward to reading themselves.

What they don’t have is a long attention span. Sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time is not their strength. Boring is out.

So what do beginning readers like Megan need? [Read more…]

Teaching Children with Reading Disabilities

Helping kids with learning disabilities to readSolutions for Reading Disabilities

When a child can’t read, it’s frustrating and a challenge not only for the child but also parents and teachers. However, with the right strategies for teaching children with reading disabilities, they can succeed in school.

Learning disabilities are neurologically based. Children with learning disabilities do not necessarily have low IQs. Many are as smart or smarter than other kids in their class. They simply learn differently because of the way their brains are “wired”

Before working with a child who struggles with reading and you suspect a learning disability, the child will need to be tested.  The test will show if a child has a reading disability and specifically what it is. Although dyslexia, a well-known reading disability, is common not all children who struggle with reading are dyslexic.
[Read more…]

Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension

How to improve your child's reading comprehension

Teach Think, Explain, Ask, Clues, Handwrite

Just because kids love to read doesn’t mean they love to read what’s required in school. Dr. Linda Silbert offers a 5-step plan to improve your child’s reading and comprehension.

Dear Dr. Linda,
Charlie is in the 4th grade and loves to read. But when he reads his books from school or a handout that a teacher gives him, he gets nothing out of it. How can I help him?


Dear Sandy,
Charlie isn’t getting anything out of reading textbooks and other school related reading material because he’s not interested in it. [Read more…]

How to Make Reading Fun

Make reading fun

Having Fun While Learning to Read

2nd grade twins are bored with reading worksheets. Dr. Linda suggests games and physical exercise to improve learning and agrees that worksheets can be very dull indeed.

Dear Dr. Linda:

School’s just started and already my twins are bringing home one boring math or reading worksheet after another. It’s their 2nd grade homework. They have different teachers but even so some of these worksheets are identical.

My daughter, Erika, doesn’t mind them since she’s determined to do everything her teacher tells her to do. Her brother, Andrew, on the other hand hates “those stupid worksheets.” It’s a real struggle to get him to complete them.

Obviously we can’t do anything about the worksheets, but can you suggest something to make learning basic arithmetic and reading more fun. Thanks for your help. Twins’ Mom

Dear Twins’ Mom,

You’re not alone. Lots of kids, including those who get excellent grades, don’t like the worksheets. They just aren’t very much fun. And from the research we know that kids (and adults too) learn best when [Read more…]

Kids Begin Dropping Out of College in 3rd Grade

Why Kids Fail College in Elementary School & What to Do About it Now!

Why kids drop out of college in 3rd grade

3rd Grade College Dropout

Have you ever heard the expression, “He dropped out of college in the third grade?” Or “Kids begin dropping out of college in third grade.

Strange as it sounds, it’s real.

Dropping out of college — and failing to succeed in school in general — really does begin in grade school. There are many reasons for this. In order to break this failure cycle, the reasons needed to be identified and addressed.

The most common reason? Failing to learn how to read because of un-diagnosed and untreated learning disabilities.

While some children pick up reading on their own before they begin school, most children learn to read between the first and third grades. Let’s take a look at “Johnny”, a youngster who is about to finish third grade and is struggling with reading. (Suggested reading: Why Johnny Can’t Read: and what you can do about it by Rudolf Flesch)

Johnny didn’t pick up reading in first grade but he did not stand out because they were others in the same situation. By second grade there were fewer, and by third grade Johnny started to notice that almost everybody was reading but him.

Add to this his growing awareness of self that develops around this time, Johnny begins to see himself as “different.” In time, different morphs into “dumb,” with all the emotional baggage associated with this label. For Johnny, and all the Johnnies, learning to read is challenging enough. Add to that the emotional component, and the challenge grows exponentially.

It’s not too late. [Read more…]

My Child Hates to Read

My child hates to read

What to do When Your Child Doesn’t Like to Read

Motivating a child to read is a challenge when they’d rather be doing something else–anything but reading.  Dr. Linda Silbert suggests word puzzles and games at first.  Then eventually children find something they’re passionate about and often will enjoy reading about that. She even shares a free downloadable resource.

Dear Dr. Linda,
My daughter is in 8th grade. She’s a pretty good student. She does her homework and gets A’s and B’s. Sometimes she gets a C, but in general she’s always done well in school. But, she hates to read.

She’s a good reader who never picks up a book.

We make her sit and read for 20 minutes every day. She hates it. My husband and I love to read. What can we do to encourage her to read more and ultimately become a reader who loves to read?


Dear Maria,
We assume that everybody loves to read. The fact is that not [Read more…]

Motivating Reluctant Readers

Motivate reluctant readersNeed Motivation for Reluctant Readers?

When kids don’t like reading, school can be a struggle. Because reading is essential for success in all classes, their grades and tests suffer. However, motivating reluctant readers isn’t impossible.

Why do Kids Dislike Reading?

Kids don’t hate reading because they’re lazy, stupid, or don’t want to do well in school. Many factors contribute to children avoiding reading. Parents and teachers can succeed in motivating reluctant readers by discovering what causes an individual student to dislike reading.

Reluctant readers may be those kids who simply refuse to read. Other kids don’t like to read but can be coaxed. Some are good readers. Others have learning disabilities or are still struggling with decoding. Reluctant readers may find ways to protest reading by “acting out” in class when it’s time for independent reading. Or “forgetting” to bring a book home for homework. It may take some “detective work” to figure out why a child doesn’t like to read. [Read more…]

Reading and Writing for Kids

Reading and writing for kids

Fifth Graders Just Want to Have Fun!

Mom worries that 5th grade son just wants to ride his bike and struggles with reading and writing. Dr. Linda says that’s normal and explains why kids struggle with school.

Dear Dr.Linda,
Our son is in 5th grade and his teacher just called us in for a conference. She said that he’s really smart, but he needs help with reading and writing. Every night we make him read, but he fights with us.

We tell him that he has to rewrite his homework so it’s not sloppy, but he ends up crying and we end up screaming. He’s so lazy. All he wants to do is ride his bike and play.

What do we do?

Parents of Fifth Grade Boy

Dear Parents of Fifth Grader,
Your son sounds like a normal healthy fifth grade boy. Most fifth grade boys don’t want to read or write. They want to play and that’s what they need to do after a long day at school. That’s part of childhood. When a child doesn’t [Read more…]

Phonics Centered — Consistent with Orton-Gillingham — Multisensory