We’ve all heard Aesop’s Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, relieved to learn that “slow and steady wins the race.” Rushing can be stressful and the lesson pacifies our minds and tells us that it’s better to approach things at a consistent pace then to burn ourselves out. However, although there is great wisdom in this story, it does not always hold true. Sometimes the hare wins.

Recent research has found that intensive, 12-week phonemic awareness training is more effective for struggling readers than longer, traditional reading remediation. In the study, children that were given this type of intensive remediation preformed better in every reading assessment (word decoding, spelling, reading speed and reading comprehension) than the children that were given traditional remediation.

Phonemic awareness training was used in the study because as Ulrika Wolff of the University of Gothenburg explains: "Most researchers agree that the underlying problem [for struggling readers] is a limited phonological ability, in other words limited awareness of the sounds that make up spoken words."

How can you replicate this program for your child?

If you want to remediate your child’s reading difficulties here is what was included in the 12-week intensive training used in the study.

40 minutes of daily training on:

Even though we find relieve in the phrase “slow and steady wins the race,” in the case of struggling readers, it is good to know that faster remediation is better. With all of the self-esteem and academic restraints this struggle places on them, it is a relieve to know that fast and intense is the best solution for struggling readers.


Reading Horizons Free Parent Training can teach you how to provide your child the intensive, phonemic awareness practice your child needs to overcome her reading difficulties.

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