Frequently Asked Questions
What are the goals of this program?
This is a program meant to help parents (and other caregivers) create and reinforce positive reading habits in their children.
Children will understand that English is read left to right, be able to identify and sound out the most common letter sounds (phonemes), blend those sounds into words, and begin reading complete sentences.
Parents will gain a deeper understanding of phonics; practice talking to their child about reading; and learn tools, games, and assessments to monitor their child's reading progress going forward.
What will I get with this program?
Families will receive short emails three times a week from October to May (with breaks for holidays). The lessons should take no more than 5-10 minutes per day. They will focus on building letter-sound awareness, blending sounds into words, and building words into sentences. (See a sample lesson here.)
Who is Read Not Guess for?
This program is primarily for parents and caregivers of early readers. Depending on their ability level, the content will be most suited to children ages 5-7 (pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and 1st grade).
Parents know their child best, and some younger children may also benefit from this program.
Older children who are struggling to read might also benefit from this program as a refresher course, but it's important for children to read fluently by the end of 3rd grade. Parents of children at risk of not meeting that benchmark should consider more intensive support options.
Can I sign up an entire class or school?
Yes. We'd be happy to offer a discount to schools, teachers, or other organizations that are interested in bulk subscriptions. Please send inquiries to chad@readnotguess-dot-com.
Will you send me spam or sell my email address?
What do parents and caregivers have to do?
Parents should carve out 5-10 minutes a day to work through the lessons with their child.
The lessons will include tips and suggestions for parents as well as practice for the child. Both parent and child will need to be able to see the screen.
Does this program work?
Parents report that Read Not Guess emails hold their child's attention and help instill a joy of reading, and that their children make noticeable gains over the course of the program.
Read more parent testimonials here.
Will I need any extra supplies?
No. You will need to be able to access the daily emails, but you will not need any extra materials. The lessons will include sections asking children to sound out letters, words, and sentences. A bigger screen may help, but any iPad, tablet, or computer will work.
(The emails will also include suggestions for additional games to play with common household items, such as paper, pens, paper cups, or toilet paper rolls.)
Will there be pictures, video, or audio files?
No. We may include links to other types of resources, but the lessons will be written. We believe children learning to read need to interact with actual words and text. Similarly, pictures can be helpful for guessing, but for these lessons we want your child to focus on sounding out letters and words.
Will the content be translated into other languages?
So far we're only offering the emails in English, but we're working to build out other resources for non-native speakers.
In the meantime, check out a sample lesson to see if Read Not Guess is right for you and your family.
What happens if we miss a day (or more)?
This is a supplemental program and is not meant to replace your child's school experience. So hopefully this will not be the only opportunity for your child to learn their letters and practice their phonics skills! When life happens and you miss a day of Read Not Guess, we suggest you forgive yourself and resume the program when you can.
What other resources could I use to help my child Read Not Guess?
There are a lot of good resources out there. We'll share more during the challenge itself, but we particularly recommend the free Teach Your Monster online games, or the extensive resources available from Reading Rockets. And, of course, don't forget to find (and use!) your local free public library.
To test or monitor your child's progress, try the very short "Readiness Check" from Learning Heroes. For a more detailed assessment of your child's grade-level performance, check out these age-specific Literacy Assessment Toolkits.
For parents who want to do even more, the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is great, but it does require a substantial time commitment from families.