It has been an interesting month. I have always welcomed comments and critiques of the BORN2READ experience, but earlier this month I was floored, when I received a list of unfounded concerns about BORN2READ.

I have to say, my initial reaction was disbelief that someone could get the BORN2READ Experience so wrong. Then I decided that I should just let it go, and accept that it is just this one person’s opinion of which she is entitled. But then on reflection, I just couldn’t let it go. What if this person is telling others about her misconceptions?

You see, as of next month, BORN2READ is eleven years old – that’s right, ELEVEN YEARS OLD. BORN2READ is not just some hobby of mine, it has been an eleven year commitment, to unlocking the world of reading to young children, and I have only just begun! I also bring to the BORN2READ table, thirty years of experience in the educational sector, three university degrees and a background in curriculum writing of programs which have been submitted to the appropriate governing bodies. In short, I take the teaching of reading, very, very seriously. For this reason, I could not let the concerns go unanswered.

But besides this, I also thought that if this person was having these concerns, then maybe I haven’t articulated the BORN2READ Experience clearly enough. So on reflection, I want to say a big thank you to this person, for drawing my attention to your concerns, and providing me with the opportunity to bring some clarity.

Unfortunately I feel these concerns have come from someone who has only opened the front covers of the readers and viewed the five to ten focus words. They have wrongly assumed that these were the only words in the readers. This is simply not true. The BORN2READ Readers do include other high frequency words – it is not possible to write a story around five words – a story worth reading, that is!

The BORN2READ Experience is not, and should not be defined by the high frequency words listed inside the front cover. It is an experience – and you have to experience the whole of the readers, not just the words inside the cover. The BORN2READ Experience is about engaging stories that include rich vocabulary, that challenge young readers to comprehend as they read. They also include characters that young children can immediately connect with – they are naughty, sometimes defiant, but always real. Judging the BORN2READ Experience based on the words inside the front cover, is like judging a delicious meal by looking but not tasting.

BORN2READ is deliberately different from other commercial programs – I wouldn’t have written if it wasn’t. Each and every reader has been road-tested by its intended audience. And most of you know too, from previous blogs, that some readers had to have some major adjustments, whilst others have been unceremoniously dumped in the rubbish – these children are harsh critics, but they know what they want!

So thank you for your concerns. You have not only given me the opportunity to bring some clarity about the BORN2READ Experience, you have also given me a renewed confidence in the BORN2READ Experience as I worked my way through your concerns.
I know about teaching young children to read, and I know that the BORN2READ Experience unlocks the world of reading for young children, but if you don’t wish to take my word for it, that’s okay. There are hundreds and hundreds of parents who will tell you that the BORN2READ Experience has changed their lives. Why? Their children can now read!

Until next time,
Best wishes,

Teacher and Author of the BORN2READ Reading Program

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