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Reading Skills

Five Minutes To Better Reading Skills
By Bonnie Terry, M.Ed.

Published by Bonnie Terry Learning • 238 Poet Smith Drive, Auburn, CA.  95603 • 530-888-7160 • Available at


By Linda Foster

Webster’s Dictionary defines learning as the act of “gaining knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.” Study is defined as the “application of the mental faculties to the acquisition of knowledge.” These two concepts are so intertwined that it is difficult to separate them. In order to learn, we must be able to study and in order to study, we must learn proper study skills.

Studies show that children who are able to read well also do better in other school subjects and in life. Reading is a form of stimulation that engages visual, auditory, and interactive and attention processes. Whether information is gained from a book, newspaper or surfing the web, the ability to read and understand information is essential for children to learn about the world around them and to find their place in it. Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills by Bonnie Terry, M.Ed. is “A fast, fun phonic approach to improve reading skills.” Ms. Terry is an educator with over 30 years’ experience teaching regular education and special education students. She has a degree in Elementary Education and special Education and a M.Ed. degree in Special Education.  She is both a teacher and a developer of educational games and books that are used worldwide. Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills uses auditory and visual learning to improve reading and turn students into more confident readers. The lessons are designed to be taught in daily five-minute increments and, therefore, this approach is ideal for students with short attention spans. The approach is also effective for use with all ages and can be adapted for individual or group use, making it ideal for the homeschool setting.

In Better Reading Skills, Bonnie Terry has incorporated four components (phonological, perceptual, automaticity and record keeping) which she notes as essential in reading fluency. Phonological incorporates all of the vowel and consonant combinations in the English language, perceptual “works on both visual closure and visual tracking”, automaticity addresses the continual need to read more words per minute, and a record keep device charts student progress and tracks daily improvement.    

The Teacher’s Manual is extremely well-written and organized, offering clear directions for using a five-minute approach to reading instruction. To be effective, lessons should be taught a minimum of twice a week, but can be used on a daily basis. Each lesson is broken into two components: Oral pre-read and oral timed read. The pre-read familiarizes students with letter-sound combinations (vowel sounds and consonant combinations).   The purpose of this component is to assist students in becoming smoother, more confident readers. It is also used to create a non-stressful situation leading to the short, one minute timed read.  Forty-five drills with built-in reviews are provided. Lessons include short and long vowel sounds, 2-syllable words, suffixes, prefixes and multi-syllable words. The Teacher’s Manual includes daily progress charts and Mastery Charts that can be reproduced for multiple use. The Student Booklet includes all of the drills found in the Teacher’s Manual.  

Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills is a proven approach that will assist in building motivation, confidence and the feeling of success and will turn students that hate to read into students that love to read. For additional information, please visit www.bonnieterrylearning.comL.F. 

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