Moving Beyond the Page Reading

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Moving Beyond the Page Reading is designed to take new readers that know the letters and their sounds and, over the course of two years, prepare them to read simple chapter books at a late second grade reading level. For two years, students will be learning to read. For the rest of their lives, they will be reading to learn.

Our program consists of short daily lessons that provide consistent and efficient practice. It is structured around five daily lessons each week, providing your child with consistency and practice every day. Expect to spend about 30 minutes each day on each reading lesson.

Students will also participate in a short online quiz three times each week. These quizzes will provide students with new questions that correspond to what is being learned, but they also provide review that focuses on problems that each student has struggled with in the past.

Choosing an Age Level

Age 5-7

Before beginning this level, your child should be able to

  • Recognize upper and lower case letters
  • Write upper and lower case letters
  • Identify the sounds of the letters

* If your child has not mastered these skills you may consider starting with our Age 4-5 level where these skills are taught.

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Age 6-8 (early 2023)

Before beginning this level, your child should be able to

  • Read short and long vowel spellings
  • Recognize common blends and digraphs
  • Read R-controlled vowels
  • Read and comprehend simple early readers
  • Write simple sentences independently

Learning to Read

Our goal is to develop readers with strong reading comprehension skills, and we provide work in three main areas to develop this:

  1. Phonemic Awareness,
  2. Phonics, and
  3. Fluency.

Phonemic Awareness

Learning to read begins with phonemic awareness. This is different than phonics. While phonics is related to letters and their sounds, phonemic awareness does not require an understanding of letters at all. Instead, phonemic awareness focuses on recognizing and manipulating the small units of sound that make up words.

The two crucial skills needed to develop phonemic awareness are segmenting and blending. These skills are often viewed as being opposites. Blending refers to the ability to merge different sounds into a single word, for example, taking the individual sounds /s/, /a/, and /t/ and making the word "sat." Segmenting is the opposite. It involves taking a word and breaking it down into its individual sounds. Blending is more commonly seen as a reading skill, while segmenting is used more in writing.

Students will work on their blending and segmenting skills within our reading program. We have daily activities and word-building cards designed specifically to enhance phonemic awareness.


Phonics is a systematic study of letters and the sounds they represent. This knowledge will be used by readers to decode words. Students learn

  • Which sounds a letter can make,
  • How to blend sounds into a word, and
  • Which groups of letters can be combined to make a single sound.

English is not a straightforward language. There are many ways to make a single sound. The long /a/ sound, for example, can be spelled in many ways.

  • A (acorn)
  • A_E (ate)
  • AI (train)
  • AY (hay)
  • EY (hey)
  • EA (great)

This is complicated by the fact that many of these combinations can be used to make completely different sounds. The combination of /ea/, for example, can be used to make the following sounds.

  • Long A (great)
  • Long E (peach)
  • Short E (head)

When students come upon words they don’t know, their study of phonics and their experience with language is what enables them to decode the letters and figure out the words.


Learning to decode words is an essential skill but sounding out each individual word is a difficult and time-consuming process. To understand a text while reading it, students must build fluency – the ability to read with

  • speed,
  • accuracy, and
  • proper expression.

A student that can read with speed and accuracy will have a much better understanding of what they are reading. To develop fluency, students must begin recognizing whole words by sight without sounding them out. On average, students need to see a word between four and 14 times before it becomes a sight word that they automatically recognize. Children with dyslexia may need to see it up to 40 times or more.

Students can use word families as a shortcut to rapidly build their vocabulary. A child who has learned "cat," "sat," and "bat" will also easily recognize "rat," "hat," and "mat.” Through word families, reading practice, and work with sight word cards, students will gain in fluency throughout the year.

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