Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Spike couldn't grasp the links between sounds and letters. Reading was a painful struggle.

Reading to Poppy and Spike at bedtime has been one of our greatest pleasures. We would encourage Spike to take a turn and he would try but it was always a challenge.

We did Spike’s phonics homework and daily reading but they just made him more reluctant and we tried to engage with with fun games that involved having to read. A bit of a disaster for the rest of the family.

"Typically, the ability to ‘decode’ text and the written word is at the core of reading difficulties.." Keda Cowling

Through conversations with another family I came upon Toe by Toe.

I was warned that it was an ordeal and it is pedantic BUT it has helped Spike.

The book suggests doing a maximum of 20 mins daily. We did a page every morning before school, 10 mins or less i think, and we always took a break during the holidays. We had high days and we had very very low days when we felt like killing each other. It has taken us about 2 years to compete and Spike is now a fluent reader.

Learning to read has given Spike independence and confidence. He enjoys Monopoly, he proudly reads his comics and he loves Fridays when The Week Junior Magazine (a brilliant current affairs magazine for children aged between 8 and 14) plops through our letterbox.

If you want to give Toe by Toe a go you can get it HERE.

And if you start the programme only to find your at logger heads please contact me.

Spike would willingly give you some advice!