Articulation, Reviews

R Made Simple Review and Giveaway


“The dreaded ‘r’.”

I hear this phrase almost daily from SLPs – in person, in forums, from my friends, from everybody. Why is ‘r’ so hard? I like to tell parents of the kiddos that I work with that there are SO many variations of ‘r’! If you feel this way, you definitely need to read on and learn more about this totally different, awesome approach to targeted ‘r’ (it also works on literacy and language too!).

I’ll try and explain R Made Simple, and then show you what comes in the box! First, this program categorizes speech sounds into one of three categories: ups, downs, or slides. Sounds are organized into these categories based on the placement of the articulators prior to production of the ‘r’ sound. The first thing you do in this program is have your kiddos categorize the sounds prior to ‘r’ in a variety of words.

See the picture below to see more:


“Up” sounds require placement of the tongue in a cupped and retracted position.

“Down” sounds require placement of the tongue behind the lower central incisors, forcing the back part of the tongue up.

“Slide” sounds require placement of the tongue behind the upper central incisors. When you produce “r” after this sound, your tongue must slide back.

On the top and back of the picture cards, are small shapes indicating what type of sounds are in the practice words!


Isn’t that cool? After these concepts are taught, R Made Simple progresses through words containing one “r”, words containing multiple “r”s, phrases, sentences, and then into conversation.


Included in the (small) box is…

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 3.52.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 3.52.44 PM

-A CD (On the CD is TONS of printable materials including pre and post tests, practice pages, and rubrics). See the pictures above for 2 example pages.

-Program Instructions Booklet (gives specific directions on how and why to use this program, as well as lesson plans for teaching, also includes language lessons).

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-Letter and picture word cards

And there is a lot of picture cards! Not just your standard Super Duper deck sized pile… but this.


I love R Made Simple because…

  1. It is different!! So many ‘r’ approaches out there feel so similar but with different word lists. This one doesn’t feel that way! To me, that means this might “click” with a kiddo that hasn’t had success with other programs in the past.
  2. It’s portable! Just a small box and a CD (which I put on a jump drive).
  3. It teaches how to coordinate and plan the movements associated with producing ‘r’, a difficult skill to teach!
  4. It’s easy to implement and honestly works really well! All of the kiddos that I tried it with had good success. I should note that they were all kids that were fairly “burned out” on working on “r” in the other ways I had tried, and appreciated something different 🙂

Northern Speech Services sells this program for $93.00. Click here to check it out! They also offer some great videos explaining the program, including a video of a training session using the program. Definitely click on if you’re interested in adding this to your “r” materials! I’d recommend it 🙂

Northern Speech Services and I want to giveaway a copy of this program! Enter before THIS FRIDAY (11/06/15) and I’ll pick one lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{thanks for reading}

*Northern Speech Services provided me with a free copy of R Made Simple for the purpose of this review. The thoughts expressed are mine!

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40 Comment

  1. Reply
    Elizabeth McGreavy
    November 1, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Very cool! Interested in learning more! Hate that /r/!

  2. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    I like using “step up to R” from Linguisystems. It provides a lot of reps for vocalic /r/.

  3. Reply
    Susan Stelly
    November 1, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    Well, I have used the “Carla” method, but like this program says, “r” is made in several different ways, so that doesn’t always work.

  4. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    I have used The World of R because it had all the different R within that program. This looks interesting and a new way

  5. Reply
    Jen K
    November 1, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    I’m always looking for new things to work on the dreaded /r/. I have used the Step Up to R with success.

  6. Reply
    Kayla Redden
    November 1, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    I have used the entire world of /r/ and right now I’m trying to Karla method. I have a very difficult /r/ case at the moment.

  7. Reply
    Teach Speech 365
    November 1, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    I don’t have a favorite way to target /r/ though I do like the flosser tip lately!

  8. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    I currently don’t have a particular way…

  9. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    I am still looking for a good way to target that tricky /r/. Thank you for sharing and the giveaway opportunity!

  10. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    I could really use this R in a box. Teaching R is my nightmare !

  11. Reply
    Stephanie K
    November 1, 2015 at 8:39 PM

    Hate /r/ and have been trying tongue depressors and coarticulation. This looks great!

  12. Reply
    Angela M.
    November 1, 2015 at 8:45 PM

    I’ve had some success with targeting the various types of vocalic /r/ ….. but still dread working on /r/. Thanks for the opportunity to win a new product to help tackle this tough speech sound. 🙂

  13. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    I wish I had just one way to target R! It really depends on what works best for the student. I use a mixed bag of techniques!

  14. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    I use play do to make tongues and teach shape and placement. I work to establish a cornerston consonantal R and get it in the word “red.” Then use coarticulation to get vocalics by pairing final R words with “red.” Finally, once student has good feel for correct tongue placement and accurate sound, have them say “red” in their head. Doesn’t work with everyone, but works with many 🙂

  15. Reply
    Jessica Pruette
    November 1, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    I really like The World of “R” workbook. I mostly use that combined with a variety of tools (dental picks, tongue depressors, and my Mighty Mouth hand puppet).

  16. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    I have never heard of this program. I would definitely be interested in trying it!

  17. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Currently reading Pam Marshalla’s book on remediating ‘r’

  18. Reply
    Truvine Walker
    November 1, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    This looks interesting!

  19. Reply
    Judy Hale
    November 1, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    I have used those little floss handle things, use the Speech Tutor app, try to make it visual and tactile by using tongue depressors or toothettes, it’s a tricky one. I also use a visual ‘warm up’ to teach the vocalic R sounds that has cues for the lip placement.

  20. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    I’m still figuring out what the best way is

  21. Reply
    Harriett Hughes-Rex
    November 1, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    I left a message when I entered above but basically in a nutshell- I use any means necessary-different programs, the mirror, tongue depressors, bite sticks etc. since every case is unique. Once I get it then I really ramp it up. I like that this program “kills many birds with one stone” so to speak. I work in a private special ed. school where many are dyslexic and I like the way it targets the different variations of the initial target word.

  22. Reply
    Helen Wagner
    November 1, 2015 at 10:13 PM

    Gee I don’t really have a favorite way to target r! I just try what I can! Lots of modeling and imitation and auditory feedback.

  23. Reply
    Hannah C
    November 1, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    I usually use World of R!

  24. Reply
    November 1, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Anything that would help with /r/ would be wonderful!

  25. Reply
    Breana Orland
    November 1, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    I love using the peanut butter sound reference and licking the peanut better off the roof of your mouth or turning /i/ into “er”.

    Speechercize and Gluten Free

  26. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 1:32 AM

    No particular favorite. Have used entire world of ‘r’.

  27. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 2:07 AM

    R is difficult… but once they are close to or at word level, I like to use the Artic Shuffle deck from Linguisystems for lots of repetition in a fun format.

  28. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    I’d love to add this to my R toolbox. So far, my go-to is the oldie but goodie “Here’s How to Handle R” and The Entire World of R. It would be lovely to have a 3rd go-to for some students.

  29. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    I use a variety of methods such as the Entire World of R workbook, the Carla technique, and Play-Doh mats from Peachie Speechie to teach tongue placement.

  30. Reply
    Kim Hovey
    November 2, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    I loathe working on /r/. It’s hard for me. It’s hard for the kids. I use a lot of auditory bombardment and auditory discrimination activities.

  31. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Auditory discrim, visual placement, and tactile cues… but man, is it tricky for some kids!

  32. Reply
    November 2, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    Thanks for the review. I agree that we need a variety of tools to fill “R” toolbox. This looks like a different approach than any of the others I’ve used.

  33. Reply
    Ann Patton
    November 3, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    I would love to have a set. Always looking for ways to help with that /r/ sound.

  34. Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    This looks interesting. New ways of teaching /r/ are always great because all kids learn different. This might work great with my older students who have been working on this sound for awhile now.

  35. Reply
    November 3, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    This approach caught my eye as it is completely unique. I don’t have a favorite way to target /r/, but I’d love to give this program a try!

  36. Reply
    Shannon Giles
    November 3, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    I often use The Entire World of R products. That tricky R!

  37. Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    Whoops – I typed my message above! Basically, I use various “r” books (especially “The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr”) as well as all sorts of cues! Would love this product to especially hit those darn vocalic r’s!

  38. Reply
    Tiffany Moore
    November 4, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Sorry I put this on the wrong blog post before ? Here it is again! I love using the floss sticks from Natalie Snyders blog!

  39. Reply
    November 7, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Any idea if this program would work via telepractice?

    1. Reply
      November 8, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      I think it would work really well in telepractice! If you decide to get it, let me know how it goes!

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