What you learn without joy, you will forget easily.
-a Finnish proverb
Inspired by Finnish education, the Joyful Reader will teach you a child-centered approach to early reading instruction. This self-paced course is designed and taught by Tim Walker, M.Ed.—a U.S. teacher based in Finland and the author of the best-selling book Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms.
"I feel really lucky to have found this course."
-Katie Fogle (WA, USA)
You feel that now is the right time to begin the journey, but you're wondering:
Can my child learn to read in a child-centered way?
Can I teach my child to read, even though I'm not a "teacher?"
Can I fit reading instruction into our family's busy schedule?
YES, YES, YES—and the Joyful Reader will show you HOW!
"This program is by far the most fun for teaching my child how to read. He LOVES the stories ... I love the guidance from Tim throughout the videos. It comes from a place of genuine joy and interest for teaching children to read."
-Michelle Merritt (NV, USA)
Inspired by Finland
Education powerhouse. The most literate country in the world. And the happiest nation for the fourth year in row. That's why.
Joy at the Core
Forget the flash cards. Find practical tips, fun activities, and helpful resources for joyful reading development.
Foundational Reading Skills
Cultivate skills in five essential areas of reading development: phonemic awareness, phonics,
comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.
"Truly exceeded my expectations
when I first signed up!"
-Angelene Seamons (UT, USA)
Who is this course for?
The Joyful Reader is primarily for parents who have no previous experience teaching children to read. It’s also for teachers who are looking for fresh ideas and a different perspective on education.
The course's strategies, suggested activities, and learning resources can benefit kids without any prior reading instruction. They can also help children in PreK-Grade 1 (4-7 year-olds) who are still developing a strong reading foundation.
About Your Teacher
Tim Walker, M.Ed., is a U.S. elementary school teacher in Finland and the author of Teach Like Finland and In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools (2021).
Since moving to Finland with his family in 2013, Tim has written and spoken extensively about his experiences in education. His work has been featured on The Atlantic's website, BBC World News, and The HuffPost.
In 2017, Tim worked with Finnish app designers to develop a learning app called Hale's Tale, which helps young children to develop key reading skills through play.
The following year, Tim launched his own Finnish startup, Teachlands, to offer online courses to curious and passionate educators around the world.
Tim lives in Sipoo, Finland with his wife, Johanna, and their three young children.
The Joyful Reader Curriculum
- 3.1 The Introduction to Unit 3 (Phonics) (1:35)
- 3.2 Daily Routine 1 (Hale's Tale) (1:43)
- 3.3 Daily Routine 2 (Ella's Animal Adventures) (4:11)
- 3.4 Daily Routine 3 (The Letter of the Day) (2:24)
- 3.5 Daily Routine 4 (The Book of the Day) (1:12)
- 3.6 Using Free Decodable Texts (1:08)
- 3.7 The Letter Chart (2:03)
- 3.8 Finding a Reading Godparent (1:49)
- 3.9 Demonstration (Reading Accuracy Strategies)
- 3.10 The Typical Literacy Lesson in Finland (Grades 1-2) (6:07)
- 3.11 Q&A with Finnish Teacher Noora Rapinoja
How can I access the Joyful Reader (JR) course?
The JR course can be accessed via Teachable's website immediately when you enroll. (iOs users can use the Teachable app to access the course.)
When does the course start and end?
The JR is a self-paced course and it can be accessed at anytime once you sign up.
How long can I access the course?
JR students get lifetime access (i.e. for as long as the course is available on Teachable's website).
Can I get refunded if I’m not satisfied with the course?
We think you’ll love the Joyful Reader, but if for some reason it’s not a good fit, you can receive a full refund if you cancel within 30 days.
I'm a teacher. Is the JR course only for parents, or can teachers benefit from taking it?
Teachers can also benefit from taking the JR course! The JR course provides teachers with a fresh perspective on reading instruction and provides practical tools to use in their classrooms. Additionally, the course introduces Finland’s approach to early literacy instruction and features interviews with Finnish teachers.
Can I print out the learning materials for my own personal use?
Yes! JR students receive permission to make copies of the learning materials to use at home or in the classroom.
What about the audio stories? Can I use them with my students?
Yes, JR students receive permission to use all course materials, including the audio files, for personal use at home or in the classroom!