The OnTrack Reading Phonics Program that I created and have used successfully with nearly 200 clients of varying ages, most of whom had previously struggled with learning to read, is now available to be used by both parents and reading instructors. The program teaches: the phonics skills of blending, segmenting, and phoneme manipulation; the bulk of the English phonics code; and an exceptionally effective strategy for decoding unfamiliar multisyllable words.

What You Will Need

The entire program consists of two coil-bound books:

  1. The OnTrack Reading Phonics Program Instruction Manual which describes, in detail, how to implement the curriculum

  2. The OnTrack Reading Advanced Code Phonics Workbook, a one-time-use workbook for the student

Both books are required. The cost of the program, consisting of the two books, is quite reasonable and includes Free Shipping in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK for orders over $50.

Now Also Available in Digital Format

The OnTrack Reading Phonics Program is now also available in digital format as a licensed PDF. The various license fee options cover use for one student, four students, twenty students, and two hundred students.

Author’s Note

Not sure which format to purchase? Our 1-student digital license is intentionally priced so that a parent can order the PDF and check it out, and then order the printed workbook while using the Instruction Manual in the PDF and only be out some postage. I do believe that the printed workbook is the best option when working with your child.

Description of the Phonics Program Instruction Manual

The 49-page instruction manual describes, in detail, how I use the workbook with my own clients. It is required if you are to use the workbook correctly. In it you'll find Basic Instructions for each worksheet type, Special Instructions for specific worksheets, Pacing Notes to guide you through the four threads of the workbook, and other Notes that usually just explain why certain curriculum choices were made.

Three appendices in the instruction manual will guide you through:

  1. Initial testing of your student (if you choose to test)
  2. Training the essential skill of phoneme manipulation
  3. Making error corrections properly

Also included is a suggested path through the workbook to guide parents using it only one time with a child. Instructors/tutors using the program several times over can use the guide as a starting point, then vary it depending upon the capabilities of their students.

Using the Advanced Code Phonics Workbook

The 170-page workbook, used according to the instruction manual, is a complete advanced code phonics program. It does require adult guidance throughout because errors need to be caught and corrected as they occur. It is not a workbook intended to be used independently to practice phonics. The adult, whether a parent, tutor or trained reading instructor, should use the detailed instructions in the instruction manual to guide the student through each page of the workbook.

A trained instructor can usually get a student through the entire program in about twenty hours of one-on-one instruction, but that assumes that a parent is attending enough sessions to be able to correctly oversee the homework phase of the program. The homework phase should take the student another twenty or so hours to complete, plus any additional time spent practicing reading in appropriate literature. A tutor or instructor who needs to also oversee the homework phase will probably take about forty hours to complete the program.

Parents working with their child will be serving as both instructors (while doing the initial instruction) and overseers of homework (during which the child practices the material learned during the initial instruction.) Conceivably, one parent could do the initial instruction and the other could oversee the homework. Children working with parents should be able to complete the workbook, including homework, in fifty or sixty hours of one-on-one instruction.

Contents of the Workbook

There are four distinct parts to the workbook, called Threads. They are:

Thread One:
Common advanced code consonant digraphs such as sh, ch, th, ck, etc.

Thread Two:
Comprehensive advanced code vowel spellings such as oi, oy, ea, ue, and ough.

Thread Three:
Comprehensive advanced code consonant digraphs such as the j, g, ge, dge, and dg spellings of the /j/ sound. (Examples: just, gym, large, badge, and budget)

Thread Four:
A simple, but highly effective, strategy for decoding unfamiliar long words.

At various times a student can be progressing through as many as three of the threads during a single session. This enables a parent or instructor to vary the material offered in a way that helps to hold the student's interest throughout the session.


The OnTrack Reading Phonics Program is not a Basic Code program. That is, it isn't to be used to teach a child the first steps of reading, such as the sounds associated with individual consonant letters like t, b, s, m, etc., nor should it be used to introduce a child to blending simple sounds and recognizing the resultant words.

That said, most children now get at least a rudimentary exposure to phonics in school, often even in preschool. Essentially, if your child has had some basic phonics instruction and can decode words like cat, stop, hand, and trip with reasonable consistency, he should be ready to learn the advanced code covered in the workbook.

The next page, Phonics Workbook Expectations, describes the areas in which you should see improvement when using the OnTrack Reading Phonics Program.