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Anyone use Stevenson Reading?

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I'm looking for something for my ds11 who struggles with reading. I would like to use Barton however the price of it is prohibitive. Wilson would be an option if I had training, I know many use it without training however I need hand holding! I've been researching Stevenson Reading and think it might be a contender. My main concern is if it actually teacher's spelling/phonics rules? I can't really tell by the website. My ds doesn't have any diagnosed disabilities but I'm pretty sure he is dyslexic and dysgraphic. I would really like to stick with something that is Orton-Gillingham based. But because of what I already mentioned...ugh!


Anyway, if you have used Stevenson with a dyslexic child, was it successful? How easy is it for the teacher to use? Can I just buy it and not have to do a lot of researching to figure out how to use it? What was your overall experience?



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I used Stevenson Reading with my son with learning difficulties (maybe undiagnosed dyslexia). We started when he was 7, and used it until he had completed everything that was available.


It is important to start at the beginning, even though your son probably has some reading skills. Stevenson teaches using nemonics and starts with long vowel sounds. These are peanut butter and jelly words (like oa & ea) and layer cake words (silent e words).


It builds from there. There is a spelling component. I haven't checked out their site in a long time (my ds is 16 now), but at one time there was a way to ask questions on the site.


They have simplified their teacher's manuels to make them easy to work with.


I hope this is helpful,



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I haven't actually started to use this, but I wanted to share my experience so far. Maybe it will be helpful.


My ds 10 just did his Woodcock Johnson testing and the educational consultant who did his testing uses and recommends Stevenson Reading Skills materials. She felt that their materials would be helpful for him. I had a little trouble navigating their website so I asked my educational consultant for help. She told me that the best thing to do was call them as they are best able to help place your child and help you order the correct materials.


I called Stevenson Learning and spoke to Bill Stevenson. He took time to learn about my son's needs as well as his strengths. He helped me choose the best materials to purchase for my son. He also encouraged me to check back in with him or one of their other consultants on a regular basis (every 3 weeks or so) so they can help me get the most out of their materials. He said this was not necessary because their materials aren't difficult to figure out, but his consultants can help me as his teacher use the materials in the best way to meet his particular needs. He emphasized that this was free and that they really do want their customers to take advantage of this help.


I was very pleased with their customer service and I look forward to begin using these materials with my son.


Hope this helps,


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I am using the Stevenson Blue Book Spelling Manual this year. My dyslexic dd and I had already completed the Wilson program, so she didn't need to repeat reading instruction from the beginning. She knows and can apply phonics rules when reading, but they go out the window when she spells.


One of the big issues for her are words with which multiple vowel patterns could be used. For example, ee/ea, ou/ow, ur/er/ir. There is no way to know which pattern is used in a particular word, other than to memorize it. Wilson advises using a spellchecker or dictionary in these cases.


I looked into Stevenson because they use mnemonic devices to learn these words, particularly stories. For example, there is a deer story to learn which words use "ee" instead of "ea" or silent e. All of the long-e words in the story are spelled with "ee". Remember what happens in the story, and you've learned the words.


I also called and spoke with Mr. Stevenson. He suggested I get the manual and the spelling book. He spent a good 30 minutes on the phone with me, after I received the materials, walking me through which lessons to cover in the manual in order for her to learn all the terminology and back stories, to be prepared to use the spelling book.


While I can't speak to the reading program itself, the materials I have are very open-and-go. The instructions are straight-forward and the lessons can be conducted with no prior preparation, other than maybe a photocopy.


The program seems to be written for kids who don't just "get" and "remember" phonics rules, and gives them practical and fun ways to help them remember.


I highly recommend you give Mr. Stevenson a call, explain your situation with your dc, and see what he recommends.

Edited by AHASRADA
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  • 9 years later...

Hello. I have 20+ years of experience and success teaching struggling readers using the Orton-Gillingham Approach mixed with mneumonics learned from Stevenson.  In 1988, a student's Neuropsychological report stated the student would be illiterate if he was not learning via either the Wilson System developed by Barbara Wilson who is certified in the OG approach)  or the Orton-Gillingham, (OG) . Time was not on my side for training. Training in the OG approach was 300 hours (all summer and throughout the school year). I was able to attend that summer a 5 days Wilson Workshop.

I left the Wilson workshop having purchased all their materials. While teaching a small reading group, I was observed by a child's advocate. Though she was pleased with my skills she stated, "You will be worth your weight in gold if you were trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach."  That afternoon I immediately got an interview at Massachusetts General Hospital's Learning Disability Clinic and with my gift for gab got accepted into the training program.

Last March when Covid struck,I decided it was time to take my individualized lessons, use my creativity and create an easy to understand book.  It' over 180 pages because it includes assessments and definitions that should be taught. Kids need to learn the definition of a syllable, a digraph/ trigraph, and spelling rules and patterns that guide the vowel sound. Kids need to learn the sounds for consonants that make one sound and the rules.

My goal is to sell my book on Teachers Pay Teachers. I was thinking of charging $30.  Input from my program is valuable as the goal is for the learner to be a successful and confident rule based reader and speller.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Estelle Chase, M.Ed.

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