About Smart Way Reading
& Bright Sky Learning Inc.
The owners of Bright Sky Learning Inc. were alarmed at the extremely low reading scores amongst U.S. students. Extensive research indicated that 50% of high school graduates read at only a 4th grade level. That is essentially illiterate. And, despite pouring more money into education, the literacy rate had not improved.
In 2000, we decided to jump into this area, ourselves, to find or develop a solution.
We thoroughly researched the various methods being employed to teach reading and discovered that the centuries-old method of systematic phonics, with comprehension (understanding words), had been replaced with other, newer ideas. But these newer ideas were not as successful as the “old fashioned” methods. In fact, the results of their use have been devastating. It was then that we decided to hire a team and we worked together to create the most effective phonics program possible and the result was Smart Way Reading.
It seems evident that sight-reading methodology, and the results it produces, are nothing less than child abuse, which is a criminal offense.
It is interesting to note that in 1981, the legendary children’s book author, Dr. Seuss, demonstrated a keen awareness of the absurdness of, and destruction caused by, whole-word teaching: “…they threw out phonics reading and went to a word recognition as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds or different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country.”
At the same time we were researching successful “how to read” techniques, the National Reading Panel, commissioned by Congress, issued their comprehensive report and concluded, after reviewing over 100,000 studies on reading, exactly how reading should be taught.
As it turns out, the Smart Way Reading program is a superb model for their findings. The program aligns to all of the points identified in the National Reading Panel report on how to effectively teach reading skills.
The Smart Way Reading methodology, coupled with Bright Sky Learning’s Comprehension And Reading Enrichment™ (CARE) program, addresses the Balanced Literacy approach to teaching and remediation. Smart Way addresses Word Work, through Phonemic Awareness, Sound/Symbol Relationships, Onsets and Rimes, and Chunking/Word Families. The two pieces integrate various modalities of balanced literacy instruction, including tutors modeling by reading aloud and, as needed, through demonstration writing, to their students. As well, the tutors and students participate in shared reading, while there is also an independent reading aloud modality. Throughout both Smart Way and CARE, reading and writing is done by the student, both guided and independently, with the tutor providing direction, observing and/or conferring, as called for during the various assigned segments.
There is also a very strong correlation of the Smart Way Reading and The Sounds of English programs to the following Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy: Print Concepts; Phonological Awareness; and, Phonics and Word Recognition, as well as Conventions of Standard English; and, Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.
Smart Way Reading truly is a “back to basics” systematic and explicit phonics methodology for those learning to read, for those who need to learn American English, and for struggling readers, be they older students or adults.
No Games. No Gimmicks. Just RESULTS!
To find out more about Smart Way Reading
Call (727) 674-0138 today!
Additional information about Bright Sky Learning may be seen here.
and mostly embarrassed to students that are amazingly confident
and successful readers.” – AF, Educator and Tutor