How to Teach Your Child to Read with TIPS™

With TIPS, learning to read becomes a simple, straightforward process of decoding using simple phonics and blending.

TIPS is a set of training wheels for learning to read. You put them on and reading becomes easy immediately. Kids have fun because they get the answer right. They move quickly, build confidence, and start to read at speed. At that point, take off the TIPS and your child can sight read like a champion.

Zachary Silverzweig, Founder and CEO of TinyIvy, Inc. Tweet

Why Read With TIPS?

Before we explain how to teach your child to read with tips, let’s talk a bit about why this is so important in the first place. For decades, there have been two methods used in schools to teach kids to read: Phonics and Whole Language. But new research into how kids learn to read across the world led to the creation of a new system, with the potential to save thousands of hours of frustration for you and your child.

How to Teach Your Child to Read with TIPS

How to Teach Your Child to Read with TIPS: Five Steps to Fluency

Learning to read with TIPS is incredibly easy. These five steps describe everything you need to know to understand the fundamentals of the system. If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our free guide.

Learn the Letters and TIPS

The first step in the reading journey starts with letters and their sounds. Normally, this means learning the "A" in CAT and calling it a day. But what about the "A" in AIR? or SMALL? or TUNA? or FAR?

With TIPS, your child learns every sound they need to read every word in English. But some letters and TIPS are a lot more important than others. So we also organize the TIPS into Levels, based on how often they are used in English.

Blend Sounds into Words

With TIPS, since there are no exceptions to pronunciation, every single word can be decoded with a simple sound-it-out process. Kids don't have to look ahead and guess the pattern, or memorize hundreds of sight words. Instead, children learn to decode words, moving from left to right and making the right sound for each letter as it appears in that particular word.

Become a Rapid Decoder

The first two steps give your child the building blocks, next comes mastery. Through practice, they will pick up speed at decoding words they haven't seen before and over time begin to memorize the patterns of sounds that exist in our language.

Look at the E in ear, bear, earn, and heart. Unless you already know those words, it's not possible to decode them. But with TIPS, the visual cue is distinct, so your child can learn to decode these words. That means they get the answer right, and from each decoding take a baby step towards learning to read. They are, in fact, teaching themselves to read.

Read at Speed on Sight

Now we are really moving! Children at this step can rapidly decode any word they see. The words they have seen frequently become internalized as sight words, not just memorized.

We begin reading more meaningful material, books that are written with short phrases and sentences. We focus on reading with automaticity of the high-frequency words, relying on the process of decoding to do the real teaching.

Graduate and Read TIPS Free

Every word that your child learns to read efficiently, on sight, with TIPS, will also be able to be read once the TIPS are removed. The last step of the process is taking the training wheels off, and letting children ride on their own.

Getting Started Reading With TIPS™

The easiest path for how to teach your child to read with TIPS is to play the TIPS Reading World game with your child (available on iOS or Android using the links below). You can learn a LOT more about the game here.
Download on the App Store

Helpful Tips

5/5
“I started working with my student when he turned four years old and he can already sound out so many words on his own that he can get through a whole book. It's really incredible.”
Laura
Nanny, Home Educator

Fast

Kids learn to read faster because there is less to memorize. Instead of learning 200 sight words, with just 10 TIPS your child can already decode thousands of words.

Happy

Kids learn to read with more joy because it is easier. Every word a child reads follows the rules. There are no exceptions, so kids make fewer mistakes as they learn to read.

Independent

In every other country with an alphabet, children teach themselves to read by decoding. With TIPS, we make that same process possible in English.

Progress

In our first pilot, we saw kids who learn to read with TIPS make 900% faster progress than the control data and our first group of four year olds can read at a 1st grade level.

Learning Resources

Learning to read takes a world of content that you can use to surround your child, including books, worksheets, flash cards, and activities and lessons designed so that your child makes steady progress. 

TIPS Reading World

TIPS Reading World is a digital game for you to play with your child. Guided by Athena, the game introduces your child to the system with fun characters and engaging gameplay. It is the perfect place to start when you are learning to reading with TIPS. Download to play for free or click here learn more here.

Download on the App Store

TIPS Readers

TIPS Readers are a series of texts organized by Reading Level. The TIPS system is structured so that children learn the most important fundamentals of reading up front, which are then constantly reinforced. The sequencing of the system is based on an algorithm that decoded the entire dictionary, mapping letters and their sounds together for the first time in the history of teaching English. (COMING SOON)

TIPS Explorer Portal

The TIPS Explorer Portal allows you, as a parent, to better understand how to teach with TIPS. It includes resources to track the progress of your child in Reading World, learn our TIPS letters and sounds, and create content for your children to read. (COMING SOON)

TIPS Early Reader Pack

The TIPS Early Reader Pack is a great way to introduce your child to phonics and blending, as well as the TIPS letters and their sounds. This deck includes 150 cards covering the first 10 levels of our reading system. Once mastered, this allows a child to decode 99% of the words they will need to read by Grade 5. (COMING SOON)

The Science Behind TIPS

TIPS is driven on critical advances in the science of reading, which looks across the globe at the fundamental drivers of learning to read. 

English is Uniquely Difficult

English spelling is so complex that it is viewed in research as a true outlier to other alphabetic languages (Share 2008, Aro 2005).

This complexity plays a direct role in the reading development of English-text readers, including slower reading-accuracy and phonemic awareness development (Galletly 2004).

So It Takes Years Longer to Learn

English speaking children learning Hebrew (a very regular language) read Hebrew with better accuracy in Grade 1 than English in Grade 5. (Geva & Siegel, 2000; Geva, Wade-Woolley, & Shany, 1993)

Studies routinely show that English requires multiples of effort to learn over more regular and transparent languages. (Aro, 2003; Ellis et al 2004)

Even when controlled for factors of intelligence and socioeconomic status, the English language’s orthography itself requires years of additional study to achieve competency (Galletly and Knight, 2004).

Most Students Never Master It

65% of students in the US do not read at grade-level proficiency by 4th grade. This is proof that the existing methods, delivered through the existing channels, simply don't work for the majority of the country. (NAEP Report Card, 2019)

The challenges imposed by English orthography fall disproportionately on the low-achieving students (Spencer & Hanley, 2003).

The impact is severe, because when a student fails, the interventions we try are less effective than those to students in more transparent orthographies (Vellutino, 2000).

A Better Path is Already Proven

Similar to English, Hebrew is a language where the writing does not provide enough information to the reader to decode the sounds of each word. Hebrew is part of a family of languages written without vowels.

To aid early readers, Hebrew has a “pointed” script used to indicate the appropriate vowel sounds in the word. This is just like what we are doing with our TIPS™. As students develop skills, the “points” are removed and children are able to read fluently.

While the "pointed" method of teaching Hebrew has existed for roughly two thousand years, a comprehensive analog has never before been adopted or tested for the study of English.

Until now.

Pilot Study Results

The pilot was conducted 4 or 5 days a week for 8 weeks as a component of after-school programming. Each session consisted of roughly 10-15 minutes of group practice followed by 3-5 minute one-on-one pull outs with each student.

Analysis of the norms data for this assessment indicates a typical raw score improvement for a student between Jan-Feb and Mar-May of 8.34 (STD 1.8). Students in the pilot cohort gained an average of 24.35 (STD 5.3) in five weeks. To compare these figures, we can look at point gain per week of the norms data of .641 and compare this to point gain with the TIPS cohort of 5.87, showing 916% faster progress on this metric.

How it Works

By now you should know how to teach your child to read with TIPS, but if you still have questions, here is a great video that sums up this revolutionary new system that can get children reading faster, easier, and with more joy. 

Play Video