Reading, Spelling and Comprehention resource review.

Keda Cowling  Quote “I have dedicated 35 years of my life, developing methods to teach people with reading difficulties how to read.  During years of unpaid scientific research in the 1970’s, I created a teaching system that provides a progressive solution to reading problems.  I called this system ‘Toe By Toe‘, as the learning stages are too fine to be called ‘step by step’.

Gateway to literacy is what Keda Cowling calls her collection of books aimed at children and adults with literacy difficulties.

I have purchased and used most of her books and I have found them to be a great resource and easy to use.

Harry Cowling, Keda’s son developed a series of books called  Word Wasp and Hornet Reading and Spelling which can be used before the Toe By Toe book. The reading wasp series are for younger children or for children that find the toe by toe programme too difficult.

The books are very affordable. The difficult bit is the time you as a parent have to commit to the programme. Like everything else with reading difficulties little and often is the key to  success.

I would suggest  if you are embarking on this programme use a timer and do about ten to fifteen minutes five days per week. The timer works well for your child as they can see an end in sight and they don’t think it will go on all day or evening.

I always use a star chart or reward chart for every five days that the programme is complete they get points and when they have accumulated 20 points they gat a reward.

It is difficult to do extra work when others don’t have to. I always compare it to your boss asking you to work overtime and telling you to do a good job and by the way I am not paying you!

A small reward  makes your child feel better about the extra work. After all they are just children and telling them it’s for their own good wont cut it!

Ok so here is who the books are suitable for and  the links to the websites.

If you can read then you can teach using these books!

Word Wasp and Hornet Reading and Spelling.

Recommended Age Range

Word WaspWord Wasp
from 7 years upward
Word WaspHornet
from 5 years upward or anyone with severe reading and spelling problems
Word WaspRequirements
It couldn’t be more simple:  A student needs a Wasp or Hornet, an exercise book, and a pencil.  A coach needs scrap paper, a pencil and a little patience.  The programme can be used daily or weekly.


The name Toe by Toe was chosen to signify that a student makes progress by the tiniest steps – one toe at a time.  However, even though the steps taken are small, the student can clearly measure his or her progress right from the first page.  The student’s confidence and self-esteem are boosted as a result. For age 7

  Stareway To Spelling will teach anyone aged 7 or upwards who cannot recall the correct spelling of common words, or who confuses words such as ‘were’ and ‘where’. Often these people can remember spelling test lists in the short term, but cannot write effectively because they soon forget the correct spelling.

Stride Aheadhas been written for students who can read but have difficulty in understanding what they are reading. I believe that this is the result of their minds being too taken up with the mechanics of decoding the written language to be able to give adequate attention to meaning.

These books are also available on Amazon.

Good Luck!

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