How It’s Different

How this Research-Based Program
Is Profoundly Different—
To Give Your Child
Optimum Reading Success

The way reading is taught here at True North Reading is profoundly different from most other reading programs. There are over a dozen differences that are intentionally designed into True North Reading—differences to make reading faster, easier, and more enjoyable.

And here’s why it needs to be so:

Here is what makes True North Reading different—to help you teach your child to read faster, smoother, and with 100% comprehension. 

Learn from a Sound-Based Perspective

Because research and “how we learn language” is clear—that a phonological approach is the best way to teaching reading—True North Reading teaches from sound, not from sight.

Most reading programs begin with visually seeing the letter, and then “the letter says” its sound: “This is an ‘A.’ The ‘A’ says /a/ (as in “apple”) and AY (as in “acorn”).” Sound familiar?

But letters don’t speak.

Teach sounds first (not letters)

Here at True North Reading, we begin by making sure the child can hear—and correctly speak—the sounds of our language. Because all children learn language by sound (learning to speak first, before we learn to read), we use the wisdom of language acquisition, where sound comes first.

Speak Pure Sounds (not sounds with “uh” added)

Over the years, many parents and teachers of reading have made—and continue to make—a significant mistake: when saying individual letters, the “uh” sound is added onto the end of the letter: buh, cuh, duh, fuh, guh, huh, and so on.

But adding on “uh” hinders reading. Here’s an example:

Embed Advanced Ideas Early On

With True North Reading the critical skills and knowledge are “hidden” in the program early on. Those all-important bits that your child needs to know succeed later (for excellent reading, spelling, and writing) are “secretly planted” in the content, so your child is exposed to the advanced ideas—ahead of learning those ideas.

Use Sound Pictures (not letters)

Here at True North Reading, we refer to letters (and groups of letters) as Sound Pictures because that’s exactly what they are: representative pictures of a sound—or ways to draw the sound.

Learn Lower Case Letters First (not capital letters)

Take a look at the letters on this page. What do you see? MOST of the letters that we read are lower case—not capital letters.

Learn the Sounds (not the names of the letters)

If a child has learned the name of a letter first, then while reading, the child says the name of the letter inside of the mind first.

That’s not good. Learning the letter names first slows down your child’s reading.

Learn the Basic Code (not the alphabet)

The Basic Code is different from the traditional English alphabet. Whereas there are 26 letters in the alphabet, the Basic Code has 28 Sound Pictures, or Alphonemes.™

Use Physical Anchors

Physical movement can increase your child’s memory, recall, and ability to decode. Here, True North Reading, each sound that has a Sound Picture also has a Sound Sign™ that helps your child learn to read.

Teach ALL of the Parts of Reading

The task of reading is really many little tasks chained together. The problem is, most reading programs don’t teach every link of the chain (every sub skill of reading). The teaching either assumes the child will “get” the smaller parts of reading—or creators of the program simply don’t know that it is missing critical pieces of teaching and learning.

Begin Reading with “Longer Sounds” (not short sounds)

Our language is made up of both long and short sounds. It’s important to know: those short and long sounds affect your child’s ability to read smoothly.

Never Give a Word to a Reader with Sound Pictures the Reader Hasn’t Been Taught Yet

Another big error in the teaching of reading is in the actual words that are taught. The words are hindering your child’s ability to read well. Here’s why…

Decode Words in Two Steps

Here, we believe that reading isn’t simply learning Sound Pictures, then blending the sounds left to right. We believe that reading is more complex, with reading “in and through.”

Learn in Sound Boxes 

Memory experts tell us that learning in like-groups helps us to remember and use the information.

Teach Reading and Spelling Together

When you teach reading by sounds first, reading and spelling are two sides to the same coin.

With True North Reading, You Get
Teaching & Learning Methods
Proven to Work

Use the Mastery 7 Principle

The Mastery 7 Principle is unique to True North Reading. Using the principle, seven Critical Elements are present in all of the learning here, to learn faster and more successfully.

Use Research-Based, Tried-and-True Teaching Methods

Not all learn-to-read methods and programs use multiple “best practices” during instruction. Here, reading and spelling acquisition is nestled within the “gold standard” of how children learn best, including using the following principles and practices:

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