Our Reading Program

Our Approach

We teach children how to decode words. We are constantly pushing them to the edge of their abilities while using strong positive reinforcement. The student’s mastery of the lesson presented need not be perfect. Many lessons will be repeated as part of future lessons.

Comprehension difficulties are addressed differently by attempting to discover the root cause of the issue and then address it. We have many strategies and activities to improve comprehension.

What to Expect

  • Ages: We tutor ages 4 through 6th grade.
  • Session Times: Tutoring sessions are 55 minutes long, once or twice per week. Feel free to stay and relax in our waiting area, or you may leave your child and pick him/her up at the conclusion of the session.
  • Homework: Practice activities will be given to accelerate your child’s progress. These activities should be completed with a minimal amount of time and frustration. It is your decision as to how many practice activities your child will complete each week. It is also critical that your child read books that are on an appropriate reading level.
  • Parent Input: Your support and any information concerning your child is critical for optimum success. Please have your child ready for tutoring at the assigned time. The entire tutoring session will be devoted to the improvement of reading. We will need every minute.
  • Motivation: Typically children will be motivated by individual attention and a caring attitude. When students begin to see an improvement in their reading skills, they will be further motivated to succeed. “Reading for Kids Bucks” will also be utilized to add more fun to the tutoring sessions. These bucks will be redeemed for prizes. Relevant educational games will also promote a positive learning experience.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Children who struggle in school need a different environment and approach. We generously reward students for the work they do for us during the lesson, the work they do for us at home, and the reading they must do at school. For students who are in a cycle of failure and do not have enough perseverance, they need some external reinforcement to motivate them.
  • Individualization: We evaluate students to determine appropriate levels and reading sub-skills. Using this information and other information from you and your child’s school, we develop a specific individualized plan for your child. Our evaluation is simply a starting point, not a diagnosis. If your child has already been evaluated by a child psychologist or by the school, we utilize that information also.

Beginning Readers

Beginning readers need a simple approach geared toward the sound-symbol relationship. Reading for Kids focuses on the sounds of the letters, not on the letter name. Our program teaches the sound and written form of the letter simultaneously. We teach only lower case letters in a specific order meant to provide a simple way to begin to blend sounds into words.

Phonemic awareness activities are crucial for beginning readers. Most children who struggle with learning to read do not have strong phonemic awareness. Participating in a strong phonics approach also helps and supports phonemic awareness.

Referrals

We repeatedly refer to other professionals within the community to assist you in diagnosing and helping your child overcome learning challenges. The following are typical referrals:

  • Child psychologists
  • Pediatric ophthalmologists
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Private schools

Payment of Services

  • No contract
  • 1 session per week: $235 /mo or 2 sessions per week: $450 /mo
  • First and last month’s tuition due at the beginning of the program (first month only when signed up for Auto Pay)
  • Payment is due on the first session of every month (MasterCard, Visa, and Discover are accepted)
  • Tutoring will be available during all school breaks and holidays
  • Discounts are not given for major holidays or a child’s absence
  • No additional charge for 5 week months

Special Learning Conditions


Diagnosis

Students with ADHD fall on a continuum from mild to severe. Many good, well-behaved students are under-diagnosed, especially females.  Even if students appear to be listening and attending, many times their brain is not engaged;therefore, they are not learning.  It is critical to listen to your family doctor or pediatrician, not to articles on the internet or popular media.  Poor attention and poor behavior hinder academic success more than any other learning challenge.

How our program is responsive to ADHD

We developed Reading for Kids! specifically for students with attention concerns.  Our program provides short activities to maintain attention and interest.  We divide our tutoring session into 15- minute segments.  The student begins with a 15-minute lesson, followed by a 15-minute game, practicing the same concept just learned in the lesson.  The next activity is a reading computer activity specifically chosen on their level.  Finally, the student reads a passage on their instructional level. Our students do not sit for an hour or two!

Related skills

Behavioral difficulties that typically correlate with ADHD – disorganization, lack of appropriate classroom behavior, impulsive behavior – can be addressed with behavioral goals we specifically design for your child.  We discuss their behaviors and reward their successes.  We also provide study skills instruction for our older students.

Diagnosis of Dyslexia

The diagnosis of dyslexia will originate from a child psychologist. The schools in our area do not use the term dyslexia when diagnosing learning challenges.

They will label it as a developmental delay, learning disability, or auditory processing. Many people believe that with dyslexia students actually see letter and words backwards. This is not true. It is not a vision problem. Dyslexia is a processing problem within the brain. This condition is not cured; it is overcome.

Types of Dyslexia

There are three types of dyslexia: dysphonetic, visual and global. Global dyslexia is a combination of dysphonetic and visual (dysidetic) types. Global dyslexia is more difficult to remediate.

Like any other diagnosis, students fall within a continuum of dyslexia. Some students with a mild case of dyslexia may not see any significant difficulties until later in life. Sometimes these students will succeed with extra effort and extra support. These students will typically not be diagnosed until later in life. Likewise, students with significant dyslexia needs strong remediation to learn to read. Typically, these students have difficulty learning letter names and sounds while in pre-school or kindergarten.

Research

Research has repeatedly proven that students with dyslexia need a strong systematic phonics approach approach to reading. Reading more is not always the answer. Research demonstrates through MRI’s that dyslexic students actually read with a different part of their brains. Students with dyslexia will read using strong contextual clues, instead of decoding the word correctly. This produces a tremendous amount of guessing of unknown words. The student will many times use a synonym as a substitute for the actual word that is being read.

Our Program

We have developed a simple systematic phonics approach to help students with dyslexia. Our program has helped many students with this diagnosis.

We do not diagnose dyslexia. Further testing by a child psychologist is the appropriate way to determine the specific diagnosis. Several psychologists in the Tulsa area refer clients to us with the diagnosis of dyslexia.

More information

Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz is an excellent book for parents to read. Be wary of other false information concerning dyslexia. Colored overlay sheets, vision therapy, and making word representations with clay are some of the unsuccessful programs. They are a waste of precious time and money. Be ware of programs that promise to fix dyslexia. You overcome it, not cure it.

Diagnosis

Comprehension problems are sometimes difficult to diagnose. We give a diagnostic reading battery with several comprehension components. However, typically, an experienced tutor can determine the source of the problem. The following is a list of student behaviors that affect comprehension:

  • omitting words
  • mispronouncing words
  • omitting the pauses for punctuation
  • lack of vocabulary
  • lack of attention
  • lack of self-correction
  • lack of re-reading difficult passages
  • expressive or receptive language weakness

Remediation

Our program relies on many different strategies to assist your child with comprehension. The strategies we use depend on what we determine the weakness to be. The following is a list of possible lessons/programs:

  • basal reader comprehension program on their instructional level
  • think a-loud
  • vocabulary programs
  • specific goal-oriented lessons
  • decoding practice
  • various strategies depending on the student’s needs
  • referral to speech and language pathologists

Visualizing

Picturing a novel in your mind, or visualizing fiction, is a critical skill. Many students have spent many hours watching TV and movies with incredible graphics with no requirement for imaginative skills. Therefore, visualizing can be difficult for some students. Students who are very analytical and not creative have a particularly difficult time with visualizing novels. People who love to read novels have a detailed and exciting movie going on in their brain. This skill can be difficult to teach and practice.