Reading Skills, the Right Way

Strong reading skills have an enormous impact on academic performance. Reading and literacy skills are the fundamental learning blocks for students. Without them, improving other school subjects can be difficult, and students can experience lifelong difficulties. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, learning difficulties have increased. Strong reading skills can help bridge learning gaps. But, what happens if your child doesn’t know how to read correctly

Yes, There Is A Right Way to Learn to Read

How we teach reading to children matters. The National Reading Panel reviewed decades of research about reading and reading instruction to determine the most effective teaching methods. The panel found that specific instruction in the major parts of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) is the best approach to teaching most children to read. Instruction should also be systematic (well-planned and consistent) and clear. source

But not all students learn to read using the phonetic approach. Many students learn to read using what is known as the “three cueing” approach which teaches students to guess or predict words using meaning clues, structure clues, or visual clues.

A Science-Based Approach to Reading

The cueing system can work for students for a while. But, once students enter third grade, problems can arise. Third grade is when workbooks transition away from pictures and have longer text to read. Students no longer have visual cues to rely on. This can cause students to begin to fall behind.

Cognitive science research shows that students build reading skills by identifying letters or combinations of letters and connect those letters to sounds. Understanding sounds in spoken words (phonemic awareness) and understanding that letters in print correspond to sounds (phonics) are the basic first steps to becoming a strong reader.


Phonics and decoding are both about breaking down words or pieces of text. Written language is a code—teaching young children to “crack the code” is the most beneficial way to learn and understand words properly. 

Decoding helps to: 

  • Develop a large vocabulary of words to use as a reference
  • Improve the ability to recognize words in their vocabulary at a glance
  • Read with complete comprehension and fluency 
  • Understand grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure

Learn to Read with GradePower Learning

GradePower Learning’s Literacy and English Programs help students as young as three years old build strong learning skills by teaching students the fundamental building blocks of language. Our experts guide them as they develop their confidence and skills to decode language and reading, resulting in better grades and less learning stress! Learn more about our early literacy programs today!

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