The Brain Coach’s View of Learning to Read with Phonics:

For some children learning to read using the phonics approach is a breeze but for others it is a huge struggle.  What is the reason for the struggle? Some children have low sequential auditory processing abilities (an inability to hold a series of items dictated orally in consecutive order in short-term memory).  Phonics is an auditory learning system meaning the child must be able to hold all the pieces of the word together long enough to get the word out of his brain. Phonics is a fabulous way to learn to read for those with good auditory sequential processing but for those with low abilities in this area, it can be a nightmare for parents and students alike.

NeuroDevelopmental Tips if Phonics is a Struggle:

Your child may be able to sound out three and sometimes four letter words without much difficulty. When auditory processing is too low and words get longer and more complicated, the child often gets lost by the end of the word and ends up guessing.

Brain Coach Tips to help your child learn to read more successfully:

  • Determine if your child is challenged with low sequential auditory processing by ordering your Free Auditory Processing Test Kit. Your child should be working on a strong 5 digit span before teaching reading with phonics is effective.

  • Do some auditory processing building activities (instructions included in your free kit).

  • Read to your child with him following word by word and then have the child read the same sentence or paragraph immediately after you (Echo Reading).

  • Don’t let your child struggle.  Tell him the words he doesn’t know or sound it out for him.

  • Have your child listen to auditory books daily and read aloud at least an hour a day.

  • Don’t be concerned that words are being “memorized”. See article on Phonics VS Sight Reading for more details. 

  • Teach your child sight words (see resources below) while building auditory processing levels and then work more successfully with the phonics approach. We are sight readers once we know a word so by combining these approaches you have the best of both worlds and a happier, more successful reader.

Auditory and Visual
Processing Helps:

Digit Span Deck                Auditory Processing 

                                                Mini Program

     Instant Words         1000 Most Commonly          3RsPlus BRI or ARI             3RsPlus         Computer Program            Used Words                            Readers                     Flash Cards

Teaching Sight

Words with:


Pathway Readers and Computer Programs

Comprehension and Phonics Helps:


     Detailed Reading              Phonics              3RsPlus Readers       New Practice           Comprehention               System                                                       Reader

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