Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you offer private or group tutoring?
2. What does auditory processing involve?
3. I hear the term “decoding” often. What does this mean?
4. My son’s grades in reading are a bit less than average, but he does poorly in other subjects. Some test scores range from mediocre to poor. Many times he says, “I just don’t get it”. Can you help us get his grades up?
5. Our child has an ADD diagnosis and can’t seem to stay focused long enough to get through his homework. He struggles with reading and math. How can we address all of this at once?
6. How can phonemic awareness help with dyslexia?
7. My child is a sophomore in high school and still struggling. Reading has never been that easy for her, but she’s made it this far. Is it too late to consider tutoring?
8. We know our child would benefit from reading tutoring. How much time can he expect to spend per week in tutoring sessions? He has other activities that take up a good deal of time.
9. As parents, we are watching our daughter become less motivated and more and more frustrated with each school year. She began her primary grades happy and eager to go to school but now she gives up easily and many times doesn’t even try. Her reading tutors at school used sight words and gimmicky ways to help remember ways to spell well. Her reading and writing skills are poor. She has a great imagination but no way to express her ideas well. We are feeling worried for her. How can working with a phonology specialist offer something different that will work?
10. Our fourth grade son started out reading at grade level, but we’ve been told he is falling behind. Reading words that are very familiar to him is okay, but when he is faced with new or unknown words he has no idea how to read them. How can his vocabulary grow if this continues?
11. How can my student get help with homework and be better prepared to take tests?
All sessions are private. One hour sessions two times per week are standard. However, flexibility with scheduling is dependent upon the needs of the student.
Auditory processing is the full range of mental activity involved in reacting to auditory stimuli, especially as it relates to the ability to hear auditory messages and the ability to distinguish between similar sounds or words. Sound discrimination and analysis involves oral segmenting, blending, and sequencing.
Decoding is the ability to convert the printed word into spoken language. A reader decodes words by sounding them out, using auditory-visual association, syllabication techniques, or recognizing the word by sight. Decoding words aids in the development and improvement of word recognition. Word recognition within text improves reading fluency, which in turn improves reading comprehension. With mastery in decoding, students can devote more of their attention to making meaning from the text and less attention to the decoding process itself.
Your son is right! He is NOT getting it! When reading fluency and comprehension are deficient due to poor skills, the student has no way of fully grasping the material presented. For example, if a student cannot understand a math word problem due to poor reading skills, he or she will not be able to solve the problem. Frustration and hopelessness sets in if this goes on long enough. Yes, I can help improve his overall grades by helping him to become a better, stronger reader! Firstly, I assure you, you’ll see improvement in your son’s attitude early on in working with me. The implementation of auditory drills in session provides quick feedback and daily success during tutoring while strengthening auditory skills necessary for proficient reading.
My background as a cognitive skills trainer provides me with insight and experience in working with ADD students. Some subtle, and some not so subtle techniques are integrated into our reading sessions to increase the students attention span. Immersion in stimuli while working on specific tasks has proven to help. Selective, divided, and sustained attention can be improved. Traditional methods at school sometimes include providing private “quiet rooms” away from classmates and the mainstream exchange of information. Most students report they feel no comfort in a silent bare room when taking a test. It can even be anxiety producing. These are not real world settings. My approach helps students learn to sift through stimuli, choosing to “pay attention” to certain stimuli while ignoring others.
In working with dyslexic students I begin as I would for all students implementing auditory processing procedures. Again the auditory to visual associative component is not only important but crucial for a dyslexic student. Constant review and integration of phonemes is important with dyslexia as it builds permanency in skills. I spend a good deal of time working on comparative vowel study (short to long). As the tutor I modify and redirect my plans to directly relate to what the student presents while continuing on with my basic plan for reading mastery.
It is never too late to address stumbling blocks that hinder a person from easier learning. To be freed from the struggle of learning due to poor reading skills will surely help your daughter as she moves on in school, career, and daily life. Learning goes on for a lifetime.
How many times per week I see a student depends on many factors. I’ve seen better results when the tutoring sessions are more consistent. It enables the student and me to readily apply the mastered skill to new material. It helps the students experience immediate positive feedback and in turn fuels the desire to push on. Because of this I prefer to see a student at least twice per week. Some students benefit from one hour sessions while others require 1.5 hours. The range is broad and flexible for scheduling sessions. Kids have sports and music and other interests that fill their time; however, if reading tutoring is indicated it is best to make it a priority.
Your daughter may have underdeveloped reading skills that impede her ability to follow along at grade level. If her foundational decoding skills (phonetics) are poor she will continue to struggle. Her auditory-visual skills need bolstering and her spelling and writing will improve. The emphasis of learning to read phonetically will aid her in reading fluency and improved spelling skills needed to do better in school. No gimmicks will supersede basic phonics when it comes to reading. Once a student has fallen behind and the number of successes in school decreases, frustration, hopelessness, and lack of motivation becomes predominant. It can become a vicious cycle. The student hasn’t seen any success so she remains unmotivated. She’s unmotivated…..so she sees no success. I am confident in my ability to help a poor reader. I have a good record of success in my experiences with students. With my Reading Resolutions your daughter can be feeling better about herself and experiencing successes in a very short time. Always, the goal is to have the new skills, and new found motivation transfer quickly to academic performance in school.
Once a child has been identified as falling behind in reading, that trend will continue and begin to affect his overall academic performance. Academic performance is affected due to poor vocabulary growth and reading comprehension. Most young poor readers, tend to over-rely on a specific reading strategy. They most often use context clues to the exclusion of other strategies that include using knowledge of sound-spelling relationships and syllabication techniques. Stronger readers can quickly and accurately decode words by sounding them out. This results in better word identification also referred to as word attack or word recognition. The student is enabled to read new or previously unknown words and in turn, grow their vocabulary.
Many of my students need academic tutoring in conjunction with building reading skills. Some purely need help with subject matter such as science and social studies. Some students understand math concepts adequately but struggle with basic math operations and have a need to improve processing speed. These are common situations that I am able to help with. Planning tutoring sessions to correspond to testing schedules can be beneficial.
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