free resources for lockdown 2021

Reading Booster Pack – Free Download

Are you worried about your child falling behind while you’re stuck at home? Do you see guessing and errors in your child’s reading? Is reading practice a source of frustration for you both?

With schools shut and the country in lockdown, having a reluctant reader at home is a stressful situation. As a parent, having the responsibility of teaching your child to read can feel overwhelming, especially when it just doesn’t seem to click for them. Plus, certain children are at real risk of falling behind if they don’t get the right help.

This can all feel depressing, but I have three bits of good news for you which are important to understand before you get started on the solution.

Good news #1: There is a simple explanation for all reading difficulties

If your child is guessing words a lot when reading, that is because they are memorising words by sight instead of decoding. It is common in bright children who are visually gifted, and/or children who have some auditory weaknesses and speech delays.

If you would like to learn more, take a look at this page about the main causes of reading difficulty, and then come back here for the free download.

Good news #2: You can take all the stress out of reading by using a visual phonics method

Learning to read English is genuinely very difficult. The phonics rules taught at school only work about half of the time! As a result, reading practice can quickly become very frustrating, when a child is sounding out the words as they’ve been taught to do, but still getting the words wrong. They’ll then resort to guessing, because they feel they have a higher chance of getting the word right that way!

But guessing and sight-memorising is not reading, so when they read in this way, they fail to build up the decoding ability they need to become a skilled reader and speller, and their progress ends up on a plateau.

We use a visual phonics method called trainertext visual phonics (TVP) which takes all of this stress away and makes decoding easy. With TVP, funny visual characters are shown above every word to show the child the sounds in the word.

This way, the child can decode any word accurately, and after enough practice, starts to find that they can decode consistently just from the letters – even the irregular words.

We have developed trainertext visual phonics on our online Easyread system, but with the resource pack below, you can use it for free.

Good news #3: Just 15 minutes per day, one-on-one, is enough

More good news: you don’t need to give up a lot of time to see good progress for your child. In fact, we’ve always found that it’s important to not do any more than 15 minutes per day! A short, focused session every day gets the best results.

What this means is that lockdown is a good time to work on reading and spelling with your child. By setting aside 15 minutes per day to do a trainertext reading lesson, you can add some structure to your lockdown days while making a big difference to your child’s literacy.

In the lockdown that started in March 2020, many of our Easyread users were pleased with the routine that the lessons offered and the results that came out of it. Have a look at our Facebook reviews page to see what they were saying.

This has been amazing. My son hated reading and COVID really slowed him down. He was 3 levels behind at the beginning…

Posted by Claire Pfeifer on Monday, 7 December 2020

Getting started

If what we’ve outlined above is making sense, then get started by downloading the reading booster pack. I hope you find it helpful!

If you think your child will prefer online lessons made up of games, then try out the first ten days of our Easyread system for free.

What the pack includes:

  • Phonics worksheets
  • Just-for-fun activities including colouring sheets
  • Trainertext visual phonics flashcards & reference sheet
  • High frequency words lists
  • Nonsense words
  • Decodable stories, facts and jokes
  • Over 60 pages in total!

Test our Easyread Online Tutoring System

You can also do a free trial of our full online tutoring system. Click below to read more about that:

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