Academic Associates Reading Program™ is a proven reading instruction method based on the 44 sounds of the English language…the sounds we use every day. It is a no frills, basic phonics program where each student is taught one-on-one at their own rate. No music, pictures, body movements or singing are used in the instruction as these can cause distraction and lead to guessing.

The student does not memorize words on a list. The student does not memorize phrases on a list. The student will be able to read words in lower case and upper case. All students improve! Success comes with improvement!

At the end of 13 lessons, a student will have all the tools needed to decode any of the 1,000,000+ words that are in our English language.

In each lesson, the student is introduced to decoding rules. After understanding the rules, words are sounded out by the student as they apply what they have just learned.

The student is empowered by learning the decoding rules and reading success occurs in a very short time! For example, after Lesson One, the student can read 300 words. (Approx. 2 hours of lesson time). Lesson Two builds on Lesson One. The student continues to gain knowledge and confidence each step of the way.

Step by step, the student will continue until all 13 Lessons are complete. Decoding, fluency, and comprehension all follow as the student masters reading with the tools provided.

Here is what We Don’t Do!
  • We do not use flashcards or lists of sight words because that promotes memorizing rather than learning to read phonetically.
  • We do not use objects, colors or movements to represent sounds because that generates informational overload and confusion.
  •  We do not use pictures in teaching reading, because they prompt guessing. Students should never guess at reading words.
  • We do not incorporate writing into reading instruction. They are completely different mental activities that engage different parts of the brain.

The goal of many first grade reading courses is to teach 200-600 words. In our very first lesson, our students, including those with learning disabilities, read at least 300 words and are empowered to read thousands more.

After completing the course, usually in 30-60 hours, many students will increase their reading ability by 2-4 grade levels.

How We Work:

When you come to the Academic Associates Reading Center, you will be greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable Reading Instruction Specialist.

The process begins with a presentation about our services, and how we work. Then we conduct a Q&A session to get a clear understanding of the problem and to assure the parent and the student that they will learn to read at Academic Associates Reading Center.

After the presentation and Q&A, if a determination is made to enroll the child, we begin the assessment process. The assessment process consists of two exercises. The first exercise is the WRAT – Wide Range Achievement Test and the second exercise is the Assessment of Basic Word-Attack Skills. If needed, we also conduct an assessment of the student’s comprehension level. We use the Basic Reading Inventory {preschool thru college}, by Jerry L. Johns for this assessment.

Once the enrollment and assessment process is complete, we set up a schedule for the student to attend at least two, 1-hour sessions per week.

Learning to read is a simple process… When done properly.
Academic Associates Reading Course is a phonetic program based linguistically on the 44 sounds we use in English. There are 13 lessons and each one focuses on decoding rules. A lesson takes as long as a student needs to be able to retain and apply those rules. With the first lesson, the student learns the 5 short vowels and the 16 consonants that have only one sound. Then the student uses those tools to sound out 300 words.


Sixteen letters make the same sound almost every time.
Anyone can learn these sounds quickly.

In lesson 2, the student gets 2 new rules – the long vowels and the magic e. With these, he tackles new words until he has confidence to use them – now effectively using long and short vowels and the concept that an e can make a vowel say its name. The student can also identify vowels from consonants and voiced and unvoiced sounds.

A E I O U   —   C G S W Y

Only 10 letters normally make more than one sound.
They;re easy to learn.


In lesson 3, the student is introduced to the 2 sounds of c, the four s rules and the 6 sounds of y. They need to know that y copies short i mid-syllable so when they see a y in a word like ‘symbol’ they know what to say. Then, using all the rules gained to this point he/she uses the rules to unlock words. They learn the rules by using them to decode words and they decode words by applying the rules.

As we progress through the course, the students have more and more tools to work with and decode progressively more complicated words. While we work on decoding throughout the course we incorporate fluency and reading for comprehension.

If the student doesn’t have a firm base of phonetic tools, it’s very difficult to unlock complicated words. We prepare a solid foundation and then build on that foundation with more and more complex phonics tools until the student is reading fluently at an independent level.

If the student has gone too far in school but hasn’t acquired the necessary phonics skills then the gap widens between what he/she can read and what he/she is expected to know. So the older a student is before the reading problem is solved the more content knowledge that student has missed.

Students who complete the program typically gain 2 to 5 grade levels in their reading ability often as much or more in comprehension. When students are worked with one-to-one, they complete the course in 30 to 60 hours. Since we teach at their individual learning pace, we don’t always know how long it will take a student to complete the course.

How The Program Works

There are over 1,000,000 words in the English language.

We use 44 sounds in speaking the English language.

Student being Taught the Academic Associates Reading ProgramThe Academic Associates Reading Program™ focuses on teaching the 44 sounds of the English language, and the rules as to when the letter or combination of letters make their distinctive sounds.

At the Academic Associates Reading Center students are given the tools to unlock words. They become able to sound out words correctly. The 220 words on the Dolch Word List are meant to be sight words for children. But only 5 are sight words. The remaining 215 words can be unlocked! (See Dolch Word List)

Instead of trying to memorize words, students will be empowered to read thousands and thousands of words. Using the Academic Associates Reading Program™ non-readers can be reading 300 words in just two hours. That’s powerful!

We never use flash cards. (promotes memorizing) We never use objects, colors or physical movements to represent sounds. (too much unnecessary information) We never use pictures in teaching. (promotes guessing)

The process of decoding words as naturally as possible established the foundation for all the other steps in reading, e.g., fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development.

Our method doesn’t cure learning disabilities, but it helps the brain to learn to use undamaged areas that bypass the defective areas. Instead of teaching to a student’s strength and building those up as some philosophies endorse, the Academic Associates Reading Program™ addresses head on, a student’s weak areas and builds those weak areas up. The Academic Associates Reading Program™ complies with current research.

When your student completes the Academic Associates Reading Program™ he or she will receive a Certificate of Achievement and their own student notebook which contains all the rules and instructions needed to refresh or relearn any of the information pertaining to the reading program. The information in the student’s notebook will served him or throughout all of their years of schooling. We advise our students to keep the student notebook and rule cards for at least 150 years, and then they can discard them. (Smile…)

Scientific Evidence Supports our Program – Read What They Say…!

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