Reading program with decodable books for ages 4-6  ​​​​​​​

Begins with Structured Phonics, tricky words, and letter sounds.

Hairy Reading is a complete SSP program (the method recommended by the Department for Education and looked for by school inspectors) providing a teaching framework that develops phonological and phonemic awareness alongside phonic knowledge. Phonological awareness is an essential skill needed for children to succeed with phonics.

The program is delivered through both computer and direct teaching. It includes videos, computer games, printable worksheets, card games and teacher training resources. Nessy enables whole class teaching but with an individualized approach. It includes everything needed for children to cover the US reading curriculum from Kindergarten to 1st Grade.

It is perfect for children who are not yet ready for the Nessy Reading and Spelling program.

How does it work?

  • The program is streamed online so can be used at home and school.
  • It is designed for discrete daily learning sessions.
  • It works best with touch screen devices such as tablets and smart phones but also works with computers (Windows Mac or Google Chromebooks).
  • Every child has a unique profile, after logging in, they are automatically guided through a structured learning sequence.
  • To complete a learning objective, children are taken through a series of daily journeys, reinforcing what was learned the day before. The lesson objectives progress gradually from simple to complex.
  • Develops phonological sound (phoneme) discrimination before graphemes are introduced
  • Children are assessed by the program three times a year to measure progress. The assessment results set personalized learning objectives.
  • In the reporting area, teachers can see what each child is learning, monitor how much time is spent on the program and are alerted when a child is having difficulty.
  • Printable worksheets, card games and decodable books are used for direct teaching.
  • Daily, whole class, phonological building activities.
  • A weekly email report provides a snapshot of activity.


Decodable phonic books

Letter formation and fine motor development

100s of printable worksheets and games

Help for teachers with training videos and lesson plans

11 games

100 learning journeys designed for daily learning sessions

Develop phonology

Systematic phonics instruction

Skills developed

Letter knowledge (gpc)

Phonic knowledge (consonant and vowel digraphs)

Sound identity and isolation


High frequency exception tricky words

Phonemic blending


Onset and rime

Fluency (words and sentences)

Vocabulary and comprehension

Early suffixes and morphology

Scope and Sequence

Phonics Focus 1
s, a, t, p

i, n, m, d

h, e, r, c, k

g, o, l, f

b, u, j, q

v, w, x, y, z


Fluency Focus 1 






Phonics Focus 2

all, ll 
ff, ss, zz 

Fluency Focus 2
y as i
Print awareness

Phonics Focus 3 
ee, ea
ay, ai
oa, ow
Compound Words 

Fluency Focus 3
Suffix -s, -es
Suffix -y, -er
Suffix -ing
Suffix -ed


Read the user guide here.

The importance of phonological skills and phonemic awareness

Children sometimes fail with phonics because they have advanced too rapidly and not had enough time developing fluency. The Hairy Reading program has enough intensity to advance children beyond the blending phase to automaticity. Another reason children sometimes fail with a phonic approach is where foundational phonological skills have not been fully developed - especially phonemic awareness. The Hairy Reading program has been specifically designed to provide a strong foundation in phonology while phonic knowledge is being learned.

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"As a teacher, the hairy series are the best of the best for teaching phonics (sounds of letters). Also teaches writing, blending/reading and spelling. Great graphics; simple, short FUN games."

Sharon Stuart

“I am a parent with a bright 5 year old who is really struggling to read. He loves it and will happily play for half an hour.”


"My 5 yr old loves this app! She was able to do it over and over and practice many times!"

Janette Jones

"My son (5) loves this game. It really captures his imagination and helps him learn the phonics. The spelling and letter tracing are particularly useful for the phonics practise."