|Comments of users:|
authors of the notes that are reprinted here:
Thanks for the feedback.
notes will be appreciated by other parents who may consider your testimony
while they try to select one reading program from the hundreds available.
Dea Mr. Rogers,
I ordered the S&H Manual this summer at the recommendation of Laurie Bluedorn in the book, Teaching the Trivium. I have been so pleasantly surprised.
At first glance, the manual overwhelmed me, but with the Penny Primer and some study of the manual, two of my precious children (ages 5 & 6) are systematically decoding words on the pages of the Penny Primer. Last year when I began with a “horizontal style” phonics program, I noticed the first letter of the word “hat” was decoded, but then the “at” were guessed at.
The timings are really proving to be the key. Thank you for teaching ME, a certified elementary teacher, how to teach reading. I remember my “Teaching Reading” class in my credentialing program which was nothing more than a debate between phonics and “whole language”.
only taught 6th grade as a certified teacher, so I never got
practice in teaching children how to read. The slower readers
usually went to the reading specialist. Your program essentially
takes the mystery out of teaching children to read.
But the news I really wanted to share with you was the response of one of my daughters (age 5) who was decoding the “butterfly page” for the first time. She came to the word “mama” and systematically tried the first sound of a. I asked her if that sounded like a word. She shook her head. Then she tried may-may. And she shook her head again. When she tried mama (with the third sound of a) she looked at me with surprise and love in her eyes and shouted, “Mama! You’re my Mama!” And then proceeded to give me a big hug and kiss.
now everytime we practice the butterfly page, she reads Mama and is
disappointed if I forget to throw my arms around her and hug and kiss
her afterwards. It’s our little tradition. Truly, as you
have said, one of the most rewarding things you can do with your
children is to teach them to read. This has been a treat for me
that I’m so glad I didn’t miss! Thank you!
Dear Mr. Rogers,
I find myself again recommending the Saltmine & Hifwip to another friend, and thought I'd check out my link to make sure it was correct. I found myself browsing through the site, and reading the comments. I found I just had to send mine in!
I have lost track of how many times I have recommended your program to my friends. I absolutely love it. I first bought the Saltmine & Hifwip in 2003, when I was attempting to teach my oldest how to read before our fourth child was born and I was distracted with a newborn. I was overwhelmed with the manual at first, but after I took the time to listen to the tape while looking at the manual, it started to make a lot of sense to me. I hung the poster on our fridge, and started teaching my oldest, who was four.
I chose not to focus on writing, so our lessons were conducted orally in the kitchen while I was making dinner. I will freely admit to my lack of discipline in teaching phonics on a daily basis, but my son has an excellent memory. We made it through about three sections of the phonograms, and then left on a summer-long business trip with my husband.
Imagine my surprise after we returned to hear my oldest son reading to his sister from a Dr. Seuss book one morning after we had returned! We had done no review while we were gone - just read books. Within six months, he was reading at a first grade level, and within a year, he was reading at a 4th grade level.
My daughter and I have been working on reading this year with the Saltmine & Hifwip, and I'm reminded again of how much I love this program. She needs much more review than her older brother, and tires quickly. This program is perfect for her - it doesn't take much time, and review is built in. In the past few months, her reading has progressed wonderfully towards the end of the year.
I'm looking forward to teaching my younger two children to read with the Saltmine & Hifwip in the next year or two - which makes me all the more happy with the Saltmine & Hifwip - it's easy to teach, easy to learn and economical too!
I have to comment on the customer service I received when I purchased the program. My girlfriend actually purchased it for me as a thank-you - so I talked with you personally three times in two weeks as you followed up with me and her purchase and she referred you to me. I appreciate your commitment to customer service and making sure your customers can and will use this wonderful program.
I ordered the S&H Manual this summer at the
recommendation of Laurie Bluedorn in the book, Teaching the Trivium.
I have been so pleasantly surprised. At first glance, the manual
overwhelmed me, but with the Penny Primer and some study of the manual,
two of my precious children (ages 5 & 6) are systematically decoding
words on the pages of the Penny Primer. Last year when I began
with a “horizontal style” phonics program, I noticed the first
letter of the word “hat” was decoded, but then the “at” were
guessed at. The timings are really proving to be the key.
Thank you for teaching ME, a certified elementary teacher, how to teach
reading. I remember my “Teaching Reading” class in my
credentialing program which was nothing more than a debate between
phonics and “whole language”. I only taught 6th
grade as a certified teacher, so I never got practice in teaching
children how to read. The slower readers usually went to the
reading specialist. Your program essentially takes the mystery out
of teaching children to read.
But the news I really wanted to share with you was the response of one of my daughters (age 5) who was decoding the “butterfly page” for the first time. She came to the word “mama” and systematically tried the first sound of a. I asked her if that sounded like a word. She shook her head. Then she tried may-may. And she shook her head again. When she tried mama (with the third sound of a) she looked at me with surprise and love in her eyes and shouted, “Mama! You’re my Mama!” And then proceeded to give me a big hug and kiss. And now everytime we practice the butterfly page, she reads Mama and is disappointed if I forget to throw my arms around her and hug and kiss her afterwards. It’s our little tradition. Truly, as you have said, one of the most rewarding things you can do with your children is to teach them to read. This has been a treat for me that I’m so glad I didn’t miss! Thank you! (ES, CA, Oct 2006)
are so pleased with the program. Today
Caleb read the 8 phonograms in the Penny Primer 88 phonograms in a min.
I believe it is time to advance to the S&H manual.
He is so pleased with his accomplishment.
I can see a definite improvement in his confidence level as he
decodes words. Thank you for
allowing God to use you to develop this curriculum & for your sweet
spirit to encourage & counsel us in our endeavors to teach our
children to read well. God
bless, (DJ in LA, June 2006)
wanted to give your a report on how TATRAS is working for us. Our TATRAS
program arrived very quickly in the mail about a week ago, and I spent a
weekend listening to the introductory tape and familiarizing myself with
the materials. On Monday (on
week ago) I asked my 4-1/2-year-old son Ethan if he'd like to start
learning to read. When I
explained what we'd be doing in the Penny Primer, he said, "Let's try
that right now." This
was something I didn't expect to hear, as he was very reluctant to learn
how to read when we tried a few pages of Phonics Pathways a couple of
sat down at the kitchen table and I explained the three sounds of
"a" and showed him how to trace the capital and lowercase
letters on the finger clock. After
he traced the letters himself he should, "this is fun!"
I stopped after about five minutes as recommended, but a couple of
hours later Ethan came to me and asked for another reading lesson!
We reviewed the letter "a: and I showed him how he could
practice at any time on the wall chart (It's on our refrigerator).
two days of working on "a" we moved "s".
Those two letters were last week's accomplishments!
This morning while we were eating breakfast, Ethan asked me,
"Mom, when we're done eating may we do some of my learning how to
read?" This is music to
a mother's ears! He
remembered the sounds of both letters and traced them perfectly even after
two days without review over the weekend.
have to admit that while I was listening to your introductory audio tape
and heard your emphasis on making reading fun, I thought, "How can
this be fun? There are no
fancy pictures or songs or games to play."
However, I must admit that you know more about this 4-year-old
boy's idea of fun than I do" I
want to take the time to thank you for putting together this wonderful
phonics program. It has truly
opened the doors of reading to my son without making it a drudgery for
him. I have already
recommended it to my sister who will be teaching he own daughter to read
in a couple of years.
hard word is appreciated, (JK, MN, Apr 2003)
thank you for all of your efforts in putting this reading program
together. My daughter went
through a full of homeschooled Kindergarten using the traditional method
of phonics, and both of us were getting very frustrated in the fact that
she still could not read.
through a friend, I learned of your phonics program, and began using it
after Thanksgiving of last year with both of my girls ages 5 and 7.
By the end of January, they both were reading words, and by the end
of February they were reading library books!
Their confidence in themselves has blossomed since they have
learned to read, and my five-year-old is devouring every book she can get
her hands on. Thank you
again. Sincerely (ML NY, June
Dear Mr. Rogers,
have been using TATRAS for seven years now.
I cannot praise it high enough.
teaching two of my children with TATRAS, several of my friends convinced
me to try another reading program with my third child. Well, that only lasted about a week. After trying a different (and more expensive) program, I am
more able to appreciate what TATRAS has been for our family.
you for a LOGICAL way to teach this most important subject for a cost that
anyone can afford. I will
never try a different method again!
(PH, email, March 2001)
you so much for helping me teach my daughters how to read.
My 6 year old is on book #12 of the Reading for Fun Enrichment
Library, and my 5 year old is on book #4.
help and assistanced has been gretly appreciated. (with photo of Alicia,
Andra, Alex & Abbey) Sincerely (MM, CO, 1998)
have been using your program with my son, who just started Grade One this
month, since July and we are both having a lot of fun.
My son particularly enjoys the segment when I dictate words for him
to spell, calling it the spelling "game".
I'm really glad we heard about your program!
(I don't know if you remember doing a presentation at my next-door
neighbour's townhouse in Surrey a few months ago.
Anyway, I was there.)
just finished re3ading the enclosed article from the September Saturday
Night magazine (a long-established and respected Canadian publication) and
I though you might be interested in reading about the politics behind the
phonics-whole language debate in Canada.
P.S. My only
suggestion for improving you program is to make the lettering charts on
the finger clock card larger. My
son likes to refer to them when he is printing and he finds them rather
hard to see, especially the lower case letters.
(WB, BC Canada, September 1995)
Dear Mr. Rogers,
been using the Penny Primer and Great Saltmine program for 2 months now.
My son loves it and reallyl enjoys reading his primers now.
He's on his 24th phonogram, has read 3 Reading for Fun primers and
has a few sight words down.
my husband a grade 10 teacher uses the program for a student with a grade
2 ability. They practices the
phonograms and read poetry such as "Case at the Bat". This will likely be the student's last year in school, so
he's s excited that she is getting a good foundation for reading before
she's on her own.....We are always singing the praises of your TATRAS
system and really enjoy using it ourselves.
Sincerely (VW, Alberta Canada December 1996)
have been using your program since Sept. with our son who is in First
Grade. We are thrilled at the
results. I can honestly say
that as a homeschooling parent, watching our son learn to read is every
bit as enjoyable as was watching him learn to walk!
(or rather, fortunately) we now have a problem. Where do we go from here?
Is there a curriculum that you would sugest we use that would
pick-up where TATRAS leave off? I
can easily see us continuing to use your MOO words as a spelling list well
into next year, but then what?
let me say how thrilled we've been with TATRAS. Its been everything you've said it would be.
If you have any suggestions for our next step we would love to hear
it. Thank-you very much.
Sincerely, (KB, Montana, December 1991)
Dear Mr. Rogers.
have enjoyed using TATRAS so much more than Spaulding.
I agree with you that learning the names of the letters first is
important. My not-quite-five
year old is already sounding out simple words, and I don’t have to push
at all. If she looks the
least uninterested, I say, “do you want to stop now?” This has been a most satisfactory experience so far.
ESOL students at ( )
have also been enjoying the phonics review.
This is a great way to isolate pronunciation areas of difficulty.
I have found that many of them really had no idea of the possible
variety of sounds each letter could make (These are adults, many of them
thanks for the phone counsel, I enjoyed it immensely. Sincerely, (LH, Florida May 1997)
Dear Mr. Rogers.
you, just does not express my gratitude for the supportive ways you’ve
helped R. and I. No one has
been as caring as you and I will be forever greateful.
enjoyed reading Kit Carson and found he can read an entire book beginning
to end without give up in despair. What
an accomplishment. Both his
Father and I see great improvement this year in both R’s reading skills
and attitutde. Our deepest
Appreciation, (VD, ltr not dtd or located.)
so much for the TATRAS stuff, the phone call the other day, and all the
material. My daughter a. is
literally screaming through the Penny Primer and love it ALOT! She’s 4 and has “read” the bear page, the butterfly
page, AND the chicken page. This
is great stuff…….(MB, email Dec 2002)
Dear Mr. Rogers.
also want to take this opportunity to thank you for the “TATRAS”
reading program you developed and made available for the very reasonable
price of $30.
As I mentioned in our telephone conversaton, I taught my son who
has been diagnosoed with dyslexia, to read using your program.
I was very fortunate to stumble upon this resource when searching
for a reading program. I was
desparate to find help for my son after I was told by his fourth grade
learning spedcialist that he would “never learn to read.”
I started using the TATRAS program in June after his fourth grade
year and he returned to school in the fall a reader.
His teachers were amazed that “N. is reading now!”
N. is starting his freshman year at a college prep high school this
year. He still struggles with
dyslexia and we continue to use the TATRAS daily lesson plan for reading
practice. He is very grateful
to me for teaching him to read and knows that if he hadn’t received this
help he wouldn’t be able to read at all.
He has strong decoding skills and the confidence that this brings.
I also really appreciate that the program was affordable to us and
that personal assistance for using the progrm is always
available…..Sincerely, (KS, OR, Aug 20, 2001)
Dear Mr. Rogers,
am a home-schooling mom. I
obtained a copy of your Penny Primer after purchasing Spalding’s Writing
Road to Reading. I am
somewhat overwhelmed and disillusioned with Spalding’s material
but….maybe when my girls are older and I am more proficient at
developing my own techniques of offering material, such as this, to my
I am very impressed with the Penny Primer.
My 4 year old, as of
June 1 Birthday, had alredy learned most of the sounds of her letters but
your primer gave her some simple words to begin with and she can now
decode the whole primer proficiently! (W/in 3 weeks, no less!)
Needless to say, my husband is impressed and so we would like to
purchase your material. We
already have Spalding’s flash cards, if they’re applicable, and your
primer and 30-min tape which introduces the primer. I hope $46 will cover anything else we would need, such as
your second tape, Saltmine & Hifwip book, etc….
There are quite a few military families home-schooling over here in
England and are waking up to P.A.T.!……But, more importantly, as a
parent of a non-interested reader, your program makes phonics and
de-coding fun! Thanks ever-so
much! P.S. She now loves to read and can’t wait to get to her
“pages” to practice. (DD,
England, Sep 1991)
Dear Mr. Rogers.
We have been using TATRAS with three of our four children and have
loved it! I enjoy the
straight forward no-thrills approach to phonics.
It is so easy to keep track of where each child is and the program
is very convenient for a busy Mom!
I am needing to purchase more TATRAS Reading Record Sheets and
another finger clock. Could
you please send me a products list?
My nine year old is a leftie who is still reversing a few letters
and many numbers. She decodes
very well and is reading at least at grade level, but handwriting and
spelling are her worse subjects. My plan is to come back to the beginning with learning
phonograms, in hopes that the connection to spelling will click…
We are also teaching a seven year old, who is a good learner, and a
four year old who has just started reading thanks to your program.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that I purchased the Salmine
Hifwip Reading Manual four years ago!
Sincerely, (JAW, WA, Mar 1999)
your very much for the notebooks, and the speedy service too!
my boys have learned to read using your manual. The 6-year old is reading chapter books, and the 5 year old
is just starting Doctor Seuss books.
He’s at the Group 5 phonograms.
I’m very pleased with your easy-to-use manual, and “real
words” word lists. (JL, CA,