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.
Over 25 years of fieldwork went into the development of the system and it is this research which makes the method so easy to use. You don’t have to be trained in any field of Education to tutor with Toe by Toe. In fact, the manual often works better with non-professionals using it as they do not come to the task with any pre-conceived notions and thus simply follow the very detailed instructions to the letter.
The unique syllable division employed by Toe by Toe is very easy to use though it is not the syllable division generally used for the teaching of reading. Once the sound of a phoneme has been taught using the ‘polynons’ (nonsense words), these rules can then be applied to any multi-syllabic word and students find a whole new world of reading opening before their eyes.
No matter what the nature of the student’s literacy problem, they can be taught to read using Toe by Toe. The severity of their problem may only be reflected in the length of time needed to get through the book. Indeed, if the system is used with a ‘non-dyslexic’ child (i.e. one without learning difficulties) the rapid improvement in reading age is truly astonishing.