A review of The Writing Road to Reading by Romalda Spalding

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The Writing Road to Reading was written by Romalda Spalding to help parents teach their dyslexic children how to read.
Spalding studied Samuel Orton’s techniques. He is the neuropsychologist and pathologist who studied children with language processing difficulties. He worked with Anna Gillingham to develop a method for teaching dyslexic children to read and write.

Spaldings book The Writing Road to Reading is based on his research and techniques.

The Good things about this book:

The book promotes multi-sensory methods and a better breakdown of the English language. In it, you will find why writing letters can also help with learning letters and learning reading. It gives a breakdown of all 70 sounds in the English language, that are derived from 26 letters.

There is information for teaching right-handed and left-handed children how to write. It advocates using the alphabet alone to teach reading, instead of using the alphabet with pictures. Illustrations can confuse children with learning disorders. Instead, Spalding believes they should be exposed to only the letter and its sound/sounds.

This book is a good reference for anyone teaching a child with dyslexia or any other learning disorder how to read, but it is not a good program for teaching your child how to read. I first read it when I was tutoring dyslexic children right after I graduated from college. I also used the letters and sounds when I taught ESL/ELL.

The Bad things about this book (and a good alternative):

I found that it is not accessible for a parent teaching a child to read. There are no lessons, no tips for daily work. No help at all is given in the actual practice of daily education. It is also extremely boring for the child. Children need to be engaged when learning anything new but particularly something as important as reading.

If you are a homeschooler or other teacher looking for a hands-on, user-friendly phonics curriculum, The Writing Road to Reading is not it, but it might still be useful as a reference in your library.

The curriculum I’d recommend is The Scaredy Cat Reading System by Joyce Herzog. She has a simple and fun approach to teaching children to read. She also gives rules and helpful tips for the different sounds that the letters make setting a child up for success as a reader, writer, and speller of the English language.

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