About Barbara

I was a primary school teacher for many years before I started writing Sound Waves a Whole School Phonemic Approach to Spelling, in 2000. The program is now widely used across Australia and in some schools overseas.

Teaching was my passion and a phonemic approach featured daily in all my classes across the whole primary school. I loved developing a curiosity about language in my students.

Today the third edition of Sound Waves includes an amazing, interactive website set up by my publisher, Firefly Education, that provides schools with a huge range of games, activities, teaching ideas and support as well as the original student activity books and teacher resource books.

A phonemic approach to literacy is based on the 43 sounds we use in Australian spoken English. The very first step is to introduce the 43 sounds to beginning readers and writers.

I am now self-publishing 43 stories illustrated by Sarah Hardy and compiled by Little Steps Publishing, for teachers and parents to use to introduce the 43 sounds to young children. These stories will be spread across a set of 4 beautifully illustrated books.

Each Sound Story provides delightful, engaging illustrations designed to entice children to observe, imagine, predict, draw conclusions and create a possible storyline to offer to the reader and any others present, as part of an open discussion.

From there, discussion about words that name and describe items and actions in the illustrations and a common sound heard in these words, can evolve.