Teach a Student to Read

Teach a Student to Read (TASTR) developed in response to the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons reading program. Unlike phonics programs that erroneously posit that sounds correlate with letters in an alphabetic writing system, TASTR strives to teach the English writing system as fully and accurately as possible.

TASTR approaches the teaching of reading through the tenet that the primary function of English spelling is to express meaning. The program begins with the expectation that the reading student knows the letters of the English alphabet and then teaches the graphemes of the English spelling system. The student learns about the graphemes, digraphs, and trigraphs that can spell sounds. But not all letters spell sounds. Some letters are markers. Other letters are zeroed. The single final nonsyllabic <e>, which is the lynchpin of the English spelling system, is introduced in the first lesson. A student must understand that not all letters spell sounds as soon as learning to read begins.

In addition to English graphemes, Teach a Student to Read also introduces word sums, prefixes, and suffixes. A word sum shows how a word is built. The student will learn the ways that prefixes and suffixes affect the spelling and pronunciation of words.

Teach a Student to Read additionally includes information about some of the most common verbs in English as well as information about nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. A brief tutorial for uncovering the history of a word, and thus an explanation of the spelling, is included in the introduction.

Teach a Student to Read is not a phonics program. TASTR presents English orthography as fully and accurately as possible, thus giving a new reader the information needed to read and understand the spelling of any English word.

The Teach a Student to Read reading program was written for use in a one-on-one setting (parent and child, teacher and student, tutor and student, speech-language pathologist (SLP) and student). However, the program could be modified for larger classroom use.

Most children learn to read between the ages of 6 and 7. Some children are ready at age 4 or 5. The recommended age range for Teach a Student to Read is therefore between the ages of 4 and 8. The reading program is also recommended for older students who have been failed by other reading programs, specifically phonics programs.


All Teach a Student to Read and Teach a Student to Spell materials are available for purchase via Amazon.

The print version of Teach a Student to Read consists of two volumes. Volume 1 contains Lesson 1 to Lesson 58 (361 pages). Volume 2 contains Lesson 59 to Lesson 116 (395 pages).

The Kindle eBook version contains the entire text of the print version in a single electronic book.

The Reading Supplement contains the reading passages from the complete reading program in print form for use with the electronic version of the reading program. The Kindle version can be used alone, but the Reading Supplement offers new readers a physical book to hold and manipulate.

Kindle Book Preview


The <igh> in height was erroneously identified as an etymological marker in an earlier version. The <e> is the etymological marker. The <igh> spells [ɑɪ]. The print and Kindle versions have been updated with a note.

2 reviews on
Amazon Customer
Amazon Customer
November 7, 2021.
Teach a Student to Read: Volumes 1 and 2: Everyone should use these books! This series of books are invaluable for anyone teaching a child to read. Organised in clear lessons this is an easy to follow and implement. Most importantly, this book focusses on structured word inquiry and not phonics. An excellent resource, the first step toward real understanding and solid development
October 21, 2020.
Teach a Student to Read: Volumes 1 and 2: Best Starting Point for Systematic, Direct Literacy Instruction "Teach a Student to Read" belongs in the personal library of every reading teacher, tutor, and parent. It can be used to deliver systematic, direct instruction that gets children reading quickly. It can also be used as a reference tool. It's this latter use case that I'm using it for now as a homeschool mom.My two oldest were already reading when the book came out and my youngest is too young to begin learning how to read. However, questions regularly pop up in our day-to-day spelling and language arts lessons that this book has the answers to. We've learned about the syllabic , the grapheme, and the role of markers in English words.The introduction alone is worth the price of the book as it includes important definitions, an index of International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols, a lesson index organized by the smallest units of speech, a lesson index organized by graphemes, a lesson index organized by suffixes, and a lesson index for specific words that phonics programs may call exceptions, but that are perfectly explained in this book. If you want out of the exception land of phonics and are ready to study the way the English writing system really works with kids, then this is the book for you.
Worldwide Distribution

The Teach a Student to Read reading program is also available for purchase outside the United States.












United Kingdom