How did Connect Phonics come to be?

Kathi Parker
Hi, I’m Kathi Parker.

One summer as a classroom teacher in a rural school, I was given the fortunate experience of learning the dyslexic method of teaching reading at an intense two week training.  (I did not learn dyslexic instruction as part of my college training.)

Fast forward to September.  My school decided to have the Title One teacher go into the first and second grade classrooms to teach a half hour lesson daily using the dyslexic method to one hundred percent of the students.  As a classroom teacher, also trained in the dyslexic method, I was able to hone my skills and follow through with the title teacher’s lessons.

The results were astounding with almost all (over 90%) of the students at grade level by the end of the year. An added bonus was, first graders with no learning issues sky rocketed and by May were reading often at the end of second grade level. Teaching the dyslexic method benefitted everyone!

Fast forward four years down the road.  I’m teaching fifth grade.  My students earn the Golden Apple and score the highest in the state standardized tests for writing, Science, and Social Studies.  One hundred percent of the fifth graders passed the writing and over 90% passed the Science and Social Studies test.

The following year had similar results, without the Golden Apple though.  I was interviewed on why I thought a small rural school with a high poverty rate could score so well on tests?

I replied, “All my students can read and spell.  They have their basics down to a T.  Because they all learned to read and spell with the dyslexic method, there aren’t any word my students can’t figure out.  Success breeds success, no matter what their background.”

Circumstances were such I moved and was hired as a Title One teacher.  I took what I had learned and built on it twenty fold.   Realizing it was important to make learning fun.  I added stories, coloring pages, songs, games, manipulative materials, speed drills, and worksheets. 

We also had tremendous results.  While having fun, the students learned.

Fast forward again ten years and I retired.  After much soul searching, I realized my retirement wouldn’t end just yet.  How could I let all these materials gather dust and not be used again?  I decided to edit my Connect Phonics materials making them available to all teachers and parents so they can help kids learn to read.  My intention is the materials are of service to you and your students have wonderful results.