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An Orton-Gillingham Tutor Near Me

As the school year comes to a close, many parents are thinking about using the summer to help their children catch up on skills with the help of a tutor. But if you are looking for something specific, like an Orton-Gillingham certified tutor, you might have to do a bit of digging. Often, searching for “Orton-Gillingham Tutor Near Me” gets you search results for large tutoring organizations or referral services. Sometimes you even end up in the weeds, with information about how to get OG certified instead of how to find a tutor that is already trained! Here are my top tips for finding an Orton-Gillingham tutor near you!

Finding an Orton-Gillingham tutor near me

Some of the best local Orton-Gillingham tutors I know are totally invisible online. They built their businesses on referrals from parents and schools and so they don’t come up in a search when you look for “tutor near me” online. The best way to find these hidden gems is to ask around. Your local Decoding Dyslexia branch, Facebook parent groups and local teachers are three great sources of information about local OG tutors near you. 

If you’re not ready to ask about your child’s needs in a public forum, you can also search any Facebook groups you are in for older discussions about tutors in your area. 

Finding dyslexia therapy near me

The term “dyslexia therapy” is used to describe structured literacy instruction done by a highly-trained expert who has passed an exam through the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) and completed their certification requirements. Some states also license dyslexia therapists, such as the state of Texas. In other states, certified dyslexia therapists are difficult to find. If your “dyslexia therapy near me” search leaves you empty-handed, there are other trainings and qualifications that can help you find a highly skilled dyslexia tutor for your child. 

How do I find tutoring for dyslexia

I’ll tell you how to find tutoring for dyslexia, but a word of caution, first: Many teachers and principals, and some whole schools, are completely uninformed about dyslexia. If a teacher that hasn’t helped your child grow significantly in reading this year is recommending something like, “Just go to the library and read to her plenty! She’ll catch up!” smile and nod and find a more knowledgeable source of information.

Tutoring for dyslexia should be done by a person with training (certification is even better!) in Orton-Gillingham or another structured literacy approach to teaching reading. Orton-Gillingham is a systematic, sequential, diagnostic, multisensory approach to teaching language skills. While some large, national tutoring companies offer tutoring for dyslexia, make sure the staff is certified in OG or another approach before signing up. There are a few people qualified to offer tutoring for dyslexia on any large directory of tutors. An exception is the Literacy Nest’s Tutor Finder directory. These tutors are not all OG-certified but there is a good concentration of them.

What is Orton-Gillingham training?

Orton-Gillingham training is an intensive combination of both classwork and a practicum supervised by an Orton-Gillingham trainer. Certified OG tutors study the structure of the English language, learn about dyslexia, and practice assessing and teaching children with dyslexia and measuring their progress. My program ran from January to December and offered the equivalent of 6 graduate credits of instruction, and a 100-hour practicum. That means I submitted my first 100 lessons to my trainer for feedback, and she also observed some of my lessons and gave live feedback.

What are certified tutors?

While there are options for shorter OG tutor training programs, such as a 30-hour training, these do not give tutors the depth of knowledge and experience needed to effectively help dyslexic students. Certified tutors have completed a supervised practicum. During that practicum, certified tutors have had their lessons critiqued by a trainer. They have also assessed students and planned and taught lessons that moved them along the sequence of skills. While OG training is an excellent option for many, especially classroom teachers, certification makes a difference. Certified tutors, in my opinion, are the best choice for students who are dyslexic or struggling greatly to learn to read.

At Deep Roots Learning Solutions, we choose tutors who are certified, or who are in the process of completing their practicum for certification, to work with our students. An OG tutor that has completed a rigorous training and practicum program for OG certification is qualified to assess a student’s changing literacy needs, bring in additional teaching resources as needed, and recognize needs that may best be referred to other professionals. 

Are all OG tutors the same?

Find a certified OG tutor: check. Should be pretty easy, right? You know they need to complete a practicum, and that certified is better than trained. But there are several different organizations that provide OG tutor training, and they all use slightly different terminology. And Google does not know the difference, so when you search for “Orton-Gillingham tutor near me” you’re going to get a mixed bag of different training backgrounds. Here are some of the big ones:

Orton Academy

The Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA), formerly known as AOGPE, is one of the largest and most well-known of the organizations training OG tutors. They train individuals at four levels: Classroom Educator, Associate Level, Certified Level and Fellow Level. An Associate Level OG tutor works under the supervision of their training fellow, and a Certified Level OG tutor is able to teach and tutor independently of their fellow. So if a tutor you are considering is OGA Certified, they have cleared a pretty high bar of training and supervision! The Academy offers a directory of tutors it has trained.

International Dyslexia Association

The International Dyslexia Association also certifies OG tutors through an affiliated program, The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI). Tutors can complete an IDA Accredited Program and become Dyslexia Interventionists (formerly known as Dyslexia Practitioners) or Dyslexia Specialists (formerly known as Dyslexia Therapists). These OG tutors have also passed an exam and completed a supervised practicum. CERI also certifies people at the classroom teacher level.

OG reading programs

Orton-Gillingham is an approach to teaching, rather than a specific curriculum. OG tutors often follow a specific sequence of reading skills introduced in their training, but compose their own lists of practice words and decide when to practice a skill more and when to move on. They may use materials from many different sources, with a focus on teaching the next skills a child needs, rather than getting to the next chapter or unit of a program.

In addition to these “pure” OG tutors, there are many different programs that are based on the principles of Orton-Gillingham or structured literacy. Some are taught by teachers who receive live training in using the materials. Others are designed to be used without explicit training because the instructions are in the lessons.

Barton tutoring

One popular program for dyslexia tutoring is the Barton System. Barton is an “Orton-Gillingham influenced” program that consists of 10 levels. It is designed for parents, or other individuals without teacher training, to study and teach on their own. Each level includes training DVDs for the tutor and lessons and materials for the students. The upside of choosing Barton tutoring is that everything is laid out and the lessons are explicit and systematic. The downside of choosing Barton tutoring is that it’s not as flexible as OG because students need to begin at Level 1 and progress through all the levels, regardless of their starting skill level.

Wilson Reading

Wilson Reading (WRS) is another Orton-Gillingham based program that is commonly used in some parts of the country. In Massachusetts, where I live, it is commonly offered both in schools (usually in special education) and by private Wilson tutors. Wilson certifies teachers in its program, so make sure if you are selecting a Wilson tutor they are certified at the appropriate level. The Wilson Reading website also provides a directory of certified providers. 

Final thoughts

Children with dyslexia, or with characteristics of dyslexia, need specialized literacy instruction to gain skills and become successful readers and writers. Finding a tutor can be quite challenging in a world where dyslexia is often misunderstood, even by those in the education field. If your family is investing time and money into tutoring for your child, it’s important to find a person who is the right fit, someone with the skills and training to help your child succeed. 

If you are looking for a certified Orton-Gillingham tutor to work with your child online, contact us today! We have spots open. We would love to give you a demonstration of what our online lessons look and feel like and help you decide if working with an online OG tutor is a good fit for your child.

Can kids with dyslexia learn to read faster?

Even with lots of good reading instruction, some readers with dyslexia still read very slowly. While the Science of Reading is pretty clear about the best ways to teach students to decode words, improving reading fluency for dyslexic students is another challenge, and one that can be harder to overcome. Here’s what it takes to help students with dyslexia read faster.

It takes knowledge and patience

Do all dyslexics have trouble reading?

The International Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as “a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Many students with dyslexia struggle to read from the very beginning of their schooling. They may be slow to learn letter names and sounds, and even have early difficulties with conversational language, like recalling specific words or pronouncing multi-syllabic words. 

For other students, strong visual memory capabilities and lots of practice can memorize an impressive number of words. They may read slowly, or mix up similar words (saw/was, though/through/thorough/tough) but can often read well enough with these so-called compensatory strategies to read “at grade level” through second or third grade. Students with this profile are sometimes diagnosed with “stealth dyslexia,” meaning they have dyslexia but it is very difficult to detect. These readers may find reading exhausting or unpleasant, or be known for their poor spelling, but don’t get any specialized instruction because their needs aren’t recognized. 

In one example that really changed my thinking, I assessed a fifth grader who was pretty successful in class, but his parents had long-standing concerns about his reading and spelling. I found that, while he was passing grade-level reading assessments, he did not know the sounds of the short vowels! When he encountered unknown words or nonsense words, he did not have the skills to decode them. That severely limits a person’s ability to gather information about an unfamiliar topic through reading. 

So do all dyslexics have trouble reading? I’d say: eventually, without support, most will.

What is the best reading program for dyslexia?

The recommended reading approach for students with dyslexia is structured literacy. This can include lots of different programs, including Orton-Gillingham and OG-based curricula, like Wilson Reading or Barton. But structured literacy describes any program that teaches literacy skills in a comprehensive, explicit, sequential manner. It includes instruction in phonemes (sounds in spoken language), sound-symbol correspondence (phonics/”sounding out” words), orthography (spelling patterns), morphology (including prefixes and suffixes), semantics (vocabulary and comprehension) and syntax (grammar).

If your child is struggling with decoding and reading fluency, we can help! Our Orton-Gillingham tutors are available to plan and carry out a customized tutoring plan for your child. Contact us today!

Improving reading fluency dyslexic students

While the core problem for most readers with dyslexia is in the phonological (sound) part of reading, some students also have trouble quickly identifying letters (and/or numbers, colors or objects). Students who don’t perform well on this rapid naming task, in addition to having phonological awareness deficits, are sometimes described as having a double deficit. When readers have low scores in both areas, they take longer to develop reading fluency and may always be slower than average readers.

For these students, I often use a fluency-focused program in addition to Orton-Gillingham to help them develop these skills. There are many different possibilities for improving fluency, but the basic principle is that students benefit from repeated reading with feedback, and from hearing a model of a more fluent reader. 

While we often think of reading fluency as “reading fast enough,” there are actually three components of fluency and they are all important. Fluent reading is reading that is accurate, expressive, and fast enough to allow for good comprehension.

  • Accuracy – it should go without saying that for reading to be considered fluent, the words have to be read accurately to understand the text.
  • Speed – reading fluency assessment too often focuses on fluency, getting kids to read faster. Kids become aware of these speed goals and focus on zooming through the text, at the expense of accuracy or understanding.
  • Prosody – prosody is the most challenging component of fluency to explain, but you know it when you hear it. I tell students it’s reading “like a storyteller,” using phrasing and intonation to express the emotions of the story. Lots of the feedback we give students – stop at the periods, notice the quotation marks, act out what the characters are saying with your voice – promote prosody. 

It’s not glamorous

Teaching the early stages of reading can be really exciting. Students go from non-readers, struggling to remember individual letter names and sound, to slowly joining together sounds and then having that a-ha! moment when they recognize the word they’ve just read. My son used to giggle uncontrollably every time he sounded out a word successfully. This stage is lots of work, but rewarding!

Building fluency can be a slower, less glamorous process. Even with the best types of instruction, improving reading fluency for dyslexic students can take years. Take data, like counting how many words per minute a student is reading, or take a short audio recording of them reading now, and again in a few months, so you can celebrate that growth, even when it takes a long time!

If your child is struggling with decoding and reading fluency, we can help! Our Orton-Gillingham tutors are available to plan and carry out a customized tutoring plan for your child. Contact us today!

How do I help my child write an essay?

In a perfect world, students build their writing skills bit by bit over time, writing good sentences, then good paragraphs, and then combining those paragraphs into an essay. Kids can do this with support starting around third grade but it’s a project that might take weeks in class. 

Unfortunately, teachers don’t always build in all these steps, or not all students in the class are ready to be independent at the same time. Either way, the result is an essay that your child has to write on their own and they have no idea where to start! 

Break it Down, Build it Up

Chunk the assignment

Some teachers think about turning their assignments into a step-by-step checklist, while others write a dense paragraph with all the detailed directions buried inside. If your child gets an assignment that seems like a pile of complex instructions, the first step is to help them break it down and decide where to start.

Turn the teachers directions into a checklist. If the directions for the essay say, “Make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence, supporting details, and uses transition words,” turn that into a checklist:

  • Body Paragraph
    • Topic Sentence
    • Supporting Detail 1
    • Supporting Detail 2
    • Supporting Detail 3
    • Transition words

No matter how obvious a detail might seem to you as an adult, like “Make sure your name is on the first page.” or “Number your pages,” include those on your child’s checklist. Those details easily get lost in the shuffle of trying to actually write the content of the paper.

Develop a Plan

Even if your child is full of ideas and could discuss a topic all day, the idea of writing it down in a formal essay can be overwhelming. Start by having your child write down what they know. Everyone has personal preferences for this brainstorming process. Here are some options:

  • Write a formal outline, listing the topic for each paragraph and any known details. (I haaaated this as a student and used to write my paper early just so I could go back and write the outline after and turn it in.)
  • Write each idea on a sticky note or index card so they can be shuffled and grouped differently as the plan develops.
  • Draw a mindmap or web, with the main idea in the center and details in branches around it. You can use a tool like Mindmup to make a digital mindmap or draw one on big paper.

Download my Revision and Editing Checklists to help your child polish their paper.


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Write a draft

I grew up writing drafts on paper (dingy manila paper in elementary school and notebook paper in middle and high school) and having to turn in and edit a draft to earn the opportunity to write a typed final draft. While there are arguments on the subject of handwriting vs typing essays, I can’t justify asking kids to spend their time writing and rewriting an essay when the time could be better spent strengthening their ideas!

I recommend having kids start to organize their notes right on the computer screen. It’s so easy to cut and paste sentences and even whole paragraphs that, as long as we keep in mind that this a draft and it will change, putting first drafts on the screen can work great!

Edit and Revise

Editing and Revising are two different, but related, processes. Revise has 2 parts re (again) and vise (look at/see). So to revise a piece of writing is to look at it again and make meaningful changes. This can include adding missing ideas, using more precise and descriptive vocabulary, or rearranging sentences or paragraphs so they are in a logical order. Many students struggle with this process because they think, “I already wrote this. There’s nothing more to say.” It helps to give them choices or a specific action they can take. For example, “This sentence is too short. You could add the word because at the end and explain more about why this event happened.”

Editing is more about the process of correcting errors in the writing. Like many teachers, I use the acronym COPS to remind writers what to look for when they edit. Grab my Editing and Revising checklist for more detailed steps.

  • Capitalization
  • Organization (this includes how the text looks on the page: fonts, sizes, line breaks, indenting, etc.)
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling

What’s the point of the assignment?

Remember that your child’s teacher assigns an essay for a reason. Your child may be writing it at home because the teacher believes they can do it independently and show their sklls. The teacher may want to assess their knowledge of some content or build their reading stamina. 

So as much as you want to reduce your child’s frustration or make the essay-writing process easier, make sure your role is to facilitate, not to do the work. Make sure the words on the page, and any final decisions about revisions or editing, belong to your child. You can remove barriers, like unclear directions or not being able to find a starting point, but you have to let them struggle sometimes so they can grow as writers.

My child’s teacher says he is not reading at grade level

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Wait, what do you mean he’s not at grade level?

Many parents watch and worry as their children learn to read, making sure that everything is going as expected. Others trust the school’s process and believe that their children are doing fine as long as they do the homework the teacher gives and go to school each day. 

At this time of year, some parents receive the surprising (or maybe not totally surprising) news that their child isn’t progressing in reading like we hoped. Now what?

What does it mean to “read on grade level?”

Different measurements, different conclusions

Schools complete some kind of screening and progress monitoring assessments in reading throughout the early grades. Schools usually commit to one system of measuring reading success, such as the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment, with numerical scores) or the Guided Reading system (with levels from A-Z) or another system such as Lexiles, which assigns a 3 or 4 digit number to text based on its difficulty.

In addition, schools often measure reading fluency wit a tool like DIBELS or AIMSweb, designed to let teachers know how quickly and accurately students read text, compared to other students in the same grade, across the US. These scores can alert teachers that a child is not progressing as quickly as peers, but they don’t tell teachers why, or what to do about it. For example, one child might read beautifully and quickly with poor comprehension, while another reads slowly, stumbles over words, but understands the subtle points of a story. Both migh score below grade level, but they have different learning needs. 

So a reading score that’s “below grade level” should be the beginning of a process that helps us learn more about the student and figure out how to help. This should include additional assessments, trying out some interventions (like small group fluency practice or phonics lessons) and measuring progress, and conversations with parents about concerns and next steps.

Why is my child struggling with reading?

“OK, so that’s all good and well that the school has a process, but why is my child struggling with reading?” Fair question.

The short answer is they haven’t yet received enough of the reading instruction that they need, at a time they were ready to benefit from it.

Reading is a complex process that involves the development of oral language (speaking and listening), phonological knowledge (hearing the individual sounds /c/a/t/ in the spoken word cat), letter-sound knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Dr. Hollis Scarborough developed the model of “The Reading Rope.” to show how all these strands are woven together and develop alongside each other to contribute to skilled reading. 

If there is a gap or a breakdown in any of these areas, students might not be able to meet grade level reading expectations, until they get some support and practice. 

Another popular model, Nancy Young’s Ladder of Reading and Writing shows that while about half of young children develop reading skills pretty easily with decent teaching, the other half need “code-based, systematic and explicit” reading instruction. And not all schools offer that. In fact, a great number of schools in the US are still teaching what’s called the Guided Reading model, which promotes having children read leveled books, often with predictable patterns (I see a cat. I see a dog. I see a capybara) that rely on children looking at the pictures instead of mastering the spelling patterns and decoding the words. 

Some readers learn to read this way and it does not appear to harm them (though many have difficulty with spelling down the road because they haven’t learned letter-sound relationships in a systematic way). Lots of other children get stuck and need better instruction, with more careful assessment, and more explicit phonics teaching, to be successful.

For many readers, high-quality phonics instruction over a relatively short period of time is enough to get them over this barrier and they catch up rapidly. Other readers need specific instruction and extra practice to build fluency, or grow their vocabularies, or develop their oral language skills. 

How to help your child read at grade level

The best thing you can do for your struggling reader is make sure they get a solid grounding in phonics and that they can sound out words and break words into meaningful chunks (think-ing or un-think-able). This can important but not easy. One option is to advocate for your child at school. Learn about what program they are using and advocate for curriculum choices that are consistent with Science of Reading research about how kids learn to read. Ultimately, getting schools to improve thier instruction is what will make a long-term difference in reading outcomes for your community, but it’s overwhelming to take on on your own, whether you advocate for services as part of an IEP or for better classroom instruction.

If you want a reasonable way to supplement poor instruction at school, consider working through a book like Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Even if you feel like you don’t know a lot about phonics, there are some great videos on YouTube to explain different phonics concepts.

If your child is able to sound out words and chunk them into syllables (most kids who struggle to read struggle with that part), you can help them work on fluency by taking turns reading, either reading the same text or alteranting pages in a book. Poems can be fun texts to do this with.

If your child’s reading sounds nice, but they have trouble remembering and explaining what they read, you can help them develop their oral vocabularies by talking about the story together. Ask questions like, “What was surprising in this chapter?” or “Where do you think they will look first for the lost dog?” Practice summarizing what you read. A great time to do this is when you pick up a book to read the next chapter. You can say, “I remember that when we left off yesterday, the robot had just rescued the bear cub but her foot came off. Let’s see how they solve that problem.” Asking and answering questions and summarizing are powerful ways to help a child think through what they read and understand it better. 

Don’t Panic, but Take Action

If conversations with your child’s teacher, or your own observations, have you wondering how to get your child to read better, the task can feel overwhelming. The good news is that almost every child (many models say 95% of kids) can learn to read if they get the right instruction. The bad news is getting the right instruction can be a major undertaking. 

But remember this: Reading ability does not correlate with intelligence. Even your smart, hard-working, creative child can struggle with reading if the teaching isn’t meeting their needs. But with the right instruction and resources, they can thrive!

If you are concerned about your child’s reading, contact us today to find out how we can help, with online structured literacy instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Ebooks for younger readers

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Screen time for younger children is controversial. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for kids under 2 and an hour or less per day for kids between 2 and 5. For a lot of families, especially those with children of different ages, this can be a hard limit to enforce. Other families take a more nuanced approach, focusing on the types of activities (games, shows, books, video chats) their kids are engaged in, instead of counting screen time as a whole. 

At my house, we do monitor our children’s total screen time, especially passive watching of videos. But I have found that ebooks are a great tool for getting kids engaged in reading, especially independent literacy practice at young ages. Here are some of our favorite ways to use ebooks for my kids, ages 7 and 4.

So many options!

The public library

The public library is an excellent source of free ebooks and audiobooks for readers of all ages. My library subscribes to Overdrive as well as Hoopla. Both of these services have a catalog of books that cardholders can check out. Overdrive has an free app, Libby, that can be downloaded to phones or tablets. It’s a simple way to get children’s ebooks for iPad or Android tablets. You can also read the books in your web browser on a computer. 

There are some standard ebooks, and there are also some narrated picture books. My toddlers loved the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney in this format. Even though we read them together at bedtime, they still enjoyed having a different narrator reading.

These days, my 7-year-old has his library card info saved on his Chromebook and checks out lots of graphic novels and some audiobooks with a little bit of support to search the catalog. If you’re raising a struggling reader who has difficulty with independent reading, including ebooks in their reading time can be a great way to boost independence and grow their love of stories, even if the books they can read on their own aren’t at their grade level.

Finally, if we are going to be in the car a lot, for either a single road trip or a busy week of errands, I often let the kids choose an audiobook to play in the car from my phone. We have listened to some things just for them, like the Junie B. Jones books, and others that I enjoyed, too, like the Harry Potter series and Ramona and Beezus.

Subscription services

If the public library doesn’t have what you need, or if you want to avoid waiting for popular books to become available, you may want to invest in a ebook subscription service. Costs vary but it may be worth the investment if your children are devourers of books.

I like Epic Books both as a tutor and as a parent. If your child’s teacher has a free school-based subscription, you may be able to get Epic on a home device at no cost. If you want to subscribe on your own, check out the link here. For $9.99 a month, less if you pay for a whole year, the selection is pretty darn good. The collection of books is growing all the time and includes some great non-fiction titles, like National Geographic science books, as well as some excellent fiction and engaging graphic novels. You can search by topic, title, and reading level to find what you’re looking for. Their graphic novels are my go-to to entice reluctant readers to start reading with me.

Another popular service is Kindle Unlimited, which costs about $10 through Amazon and gives access to a large library of ebooks. A quick search shows 60,000 titles in the category “Children’s ebooks” and includes popular series like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. While there are some picture books in the collection, it seems to lean more heavily towards middle grades novels.

Specialty services

If your child has a learning disability or visual impairment, you may qualify to use a non-profit services like Learning Ally or Bookshare. These specialty services have the best catalogue of popular books as well as textbooks available in audio format. While they are often used with middle and high school readers looking to keep up with longer texts they struggle to read visually, some younger students may benefit as well. 

With Learning Ally, parents can subscribe for a cost of about $12 a month, although schools also often create subscriptions for qualifying students. Bookshare is available to students at no cost, but needs to be set up through the school system. 

Just read!

I feel guilty sometimes giving my kids ebooks instead of hauling enough bags of books home from the library to keep them occupied. I wonder if I’m conditioning them to look for quick gratification when they can instantly download a book they want or click on a word they can’t pronounce to hear it. 

But if the alternative is that they do omething else on a screen, instead of going to the shelf and picking up a book, I’ll take the ebooks any day! It makes my 4-year-old feel grown up to be reading on a borrowed tablet, and it limits my 7-year-old’s resistance to reading when he doesn’t have the book of his dreams on hand. 

Ebooks for younger readers can be an excellent part of a varied reading diet and a great tool for parents looking to increase reading engagement and have a whole library at their fingertips!

Do you like reading on a screen or do you stick with paper? Comment below and let us know!

Too Much Homework and Not Enough Time

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Homework comes and goes as a hot topic in the news. Sometimes the focus is on what percent of students stay up late doing homework. Other times it’s on the idea that too much homework can be harmful, that kids aren’t playing outside or spending time with their families. Sometimes it’s about how students are suffering, other times it’s about the burden on parents. I don’t think the data are conclusive on whether homework is, on balance, a good or a bad thing for students. What I do worry about more, though, is the impact of too much homework and not enough time on students who are struggling. 

Child keeps forgetting homework
Boy bent over papers on a table in a dark room

Why too much homework is bad for struggling students

I asked my son’s first grade teacher how long homework should take. Her answer? “Not too long.” It’s usually a math worksheet that’s totally within his capabilities. If I look at it with my teacher eyes, I’d say it’s a 10-minute task for any kid who understood and remembers that day’s math lesson. But there are so many other things that can interfere with that quick 10-minute task. At my house, my child keeps forgetting his homework – like literally forgets it exists between the time he puts it down (on the couch? in the bathroom? by the fridge?) and the time he wanders into the next room. By the time we defeat the many distractions and get him seated, with a pencil, in the general vicinity of a parent, we might already have 30 minutes on the clock! And that was 30 minutes of nagging, negotiating, prompting, reminding, and sometimes whining (although I try not to whine at the children…).

My point is that the teacher is planning homework with the best-case scenario in mind. She’s imagining routines like in her classroom: Everyone takes out their pencil from their desk while she passes out papers. She reads the instructions out loud. Everyone begins quietly scratching away with their pencils.*

* It is painfully clear to me that classrooms rarely actually run this way, but we teachers are often optimistic about what we can get done on that perfect unicorn of a school day!

In real life, struggling students might not remember how to do this work because they didn’t master it in class. They might not be able to read the directions. They might not be able to articulate to their parents what exactly they are supposed to do with an ambiguous worksheet. They might be just plain exhausted from working on the things that are hardest for them all day long. 

How to talk to the school about homework problems

When I assigned homework to my special education students, I always made it clear to the students and their parents at the beginning of the year that I was happy to assign homework if they wanted it, but it was always, always, up to parent discretion. If it was taking an unreasonable amount of time, or if the directions didn’t make sense, we would always defer to the experts in home learning: parents. For my students being assigned homework along with their grade-level peers, I encouraged parents to write a note on the homework or send an email to the teacher with feedback about challenging assignments. Teachers don’t know that homework took hours. They have no idea that buckets of tears were shed over an assignment if it comes in looking perfect (or doesn’t come in at all!).

Child keeps forgetting homework

Here are some things about homework that the teacher needs to know to help your child:

  • “It’s taking X amount of time.” If you are working with and supervising your child, and homework is taking hours, something is wrong. There is some kind of mismatch between the child and the assignment. 
  • “He doesn’t know what the word __ means.” If the directions don’t make sense, or if he doesn’t remember how to do the assigned work, he may need a quick review or more extended support.
  • “She cries every time she has to read.” Maybe she’s tired or sad to be missing out on time with friends, but if the problem is specific to one acdemic area (reading, writing, math), there may be weaker skills in that area. 
  • “I had to type/write it myself to get it done.” Some teachers don’t care who is holding the pencil when those vocabulary sentences get written. Sometimes the focus of homework is the thinking and idea generation. Other times (and the older students get, the more true this is) teachers expect full independence in the area of homework, and may be grading the results. If it’s not possible for your child to do the homework on their own, find out if there’s a way to shorten the writing, or an option for them to type if that would make it go more smoothly. 

Remember, you and the teacher have the same goal: for your child to learn the content and skills for this year’s classes. If your child is struggling with homework more than their peers, you need to ask more questions than the other parents and try to figure out the best path through the challenges.

If your child is having trouble keeping track of homework all together, check out my 7-part free email series, “Academic Planners for Success” for strategies for using a planner to identify and prioritize homework.


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My child won’t do his homework

If the child isn’t even attempting the homework, there can be a few things going on. It could be a pure “behavior” situation. But I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Ross Greene that “Children do well if they can.” If your child is refusing to do homework, think about what that behavior is telling you about them and what they need.

If the child refuses to attempt the homework, consider:

  • The timing: Fatigue and hunger make it hard to work.
  • Amount: If they don’t see any light at the end of the homework tunnel, why begin?
  • Directions: Where and how should they start? What does that even look like?
  • And content: Did they understand it in class?

My child keeps forgetting homework

Forgetting homework goes along with the “won’t do his homework” problem in many cases. Leaving everything at school can be an attempt to avoid the unpleasant situation of facing homework at the end of a long day of school. In other cases, though, children forget their homework at school because they are overwhelmed or rushed through routines. 

Here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Set up a simple homework folder. Label the two sides “Keep at home” and “Return to school.” Homework goes in the “Return to school” side and comes home.
  • Find a planner system that works for your child. It might be paper or digital
  • Use the school’s online resources. For older children, many schools use Canvas, Google Classroom, or another website to post assignments. Find out from your child’s teachers how they notify students of assignments, and create a home routine of checking it with your child.
  • Make a locker or backpack checklist for your child. Laminate it and put it in the homework folder or backpack, or hang it on the inside of their locker. 
  • Have them find a buddy. Brainstorm a reliable friend (or a few) who always have their homework done. This will be the person to ask if they’re not sure what page the homework was on, or if they forget a due date.
  • Make homework part of the daily routine. Ask about it when you see them at the end of the day, and establish a time and a place for getting it done.

Whose homework is it, anyway?

Homework is a sensitive subject for me. It tends to be a one-size-fits-no-one solution to the problem of trying to cram too much teaching into a school day full of obstacles and challenges. “Good” homework can be a helpful way to reinforce skills taught in class. “Bad” homework steals a student’s personal time and causes stress.

Homework is a sensitive subject for me. It tends to be a one-size-fits-no-one solution to the problem of trying to cram too much teaching into a school day full of obstacles and challenges. Click To Tweet

At the end of the day, homework is part of the academic relationship between students and teachers. If you find that your child’s homework is causing you stress and taking as much of your time as it is your child’s, it’s time to talk to the teacher and work on a plan to make homework more effective.

For more about homework, check out these other blog posts:

Too much homework and not enough time
Is homework helping your child or harming them? What to do if the burden of homework is ruining your family’s evenings.

Should I Correct My Child’s Spelling?

Wondering how to help your child with spelling?

Helping with homework is a delicate balance. The purpose of homework is practice, so we shouldn’t expect students to do it perfectly all on their own, or else the assignment is just a waste of time. But what help can you give them that keeps them active and learning instead of having you do all the work? 

Here are some tips for helping your child with spelling words at home.

Grade and subject make a difference

Early grades/Spelling homework

When your kids are young and learning to spell, a big part of the point of homework is to practice spelling skills. A good spelling program will have your child practicing spelling words in a pattern they have learned at school, such as all words with silent e, or all words that have -tch at the end of the word. If the spelling list has a lot of different patterns or your child is really struggling with the words that are assigned, it’s worth a conversation with the teacher about ways to make this work more productive for your child.

If the homework is not spelling homework, teachers in first and second grade are used to figuring out spelling mysteries from their students. If your child is struggling to spell a word like because or television, you can encourage them to write the sounds they hear or use the patterns they know. If the uncertainty of an unknown spelling makes your child uncomfortable, it’s OK to give them the spelling of a word, or to help them make a list of words they often forget that they can hang in their homework area or keep in their folder.

What doesn’t work for younger children is telling them to “look it up.” Using a dictionary is an advanced skill that involves a lot of decision-making and executive functioning skills. Kids will learn to use a dictionary to look up definitions long before they can use a dictionary to check spelling.

Bonus tip: If you have a smart speaker at home or your child has access to a tablet or phone, it’s possible to use speech-to-text to help a child with spelling words. For example, Alexa responds to, “Alexa, how do you spell…” My kids love the independence of checking words themselves.

Middle Grades/Written responses

Kids from about third grade up might have to write responses of one or more sentences on their own, eventually expanding to paragraphs or essays as they move into middle school. These writing prompts are a great opportunity to coach your child to revise and edit their writing to fix their spelling. They should learn to use the available resources, like the text they read or the words in the question they are answering, to check their spelling. 

Here are some stages many students move through as they learn to do this independently:

  1. Early on, they might not notice their own spelling errors, so you might underline misspelled words when you proofread their work.
  2. They begin to learn more about what correct spelling looks like. You might tell them “I see 2 misspelled words in this paragraph. Do you know what they might be?”
  3. They also become more aware of their common errors. You can say, “Check the tricky words list in your folder and see if you got those right.”

High school and college

By the time students get to high school, the bulk of their longer writing assignments will probably be typed. They need to learn how to appropriately use spellcheck and spelling suggestions. I once knew a very bright engineering student who accepted all the spelling and grammer suggestions given by Word and ended up with a long, important paper that was almost totally unreadable. Human friends had to go back through the draft and try to undo all the computer’s errors. 

Spellcheck is an incredible tool, but plan to work through it with your teen the first few times and teach them that computers are really good at doing things over and over again, very quickly, but they aren’t smart.

If your teen continues to struggle with spelling, so much that it impacts the quality of their writing, there are some easy-to-use software options that can help.

  • Speech-to-text: Using Google Voice (included with Docs) or a standalone product like Dragon Dictation, writers can speak their draft into their device. Learning to use this effectively, including punctuation and editing, can take some time.
  • Word prediction: Co:Writer is software that I more often recommend for younger students, but it has the helpful feature of customized dictionaries for different subject matter, so writers can have suggestoins from content-specific vocabulary, which is helpful in classes like science or history where words that aren’t common in our everyday speech come up often.
  • Grammarly: Grammarly is a subscription-based spelling and grammar checker that gives some explanation for the changes it recommends, including noting when a change makes the writing less wordy or more readable. This can help writers fine tune their emails and short notes, as well as longer papers.

What if they need more spelling help?

Most students make spelling errors. Whether it’s not knowing whether to write there, their or they’re, or having difficulty with less common words like conscience and photosynthesis, mistakes happen. For the majority of students, learning to be aware of the mistakes they tend to make and learning that good spelling is a part of clear communication is the path to better, more careful spelling. But other students have done the same work as their classmates and continue to make an unusual number of errors in spelling. If you are concerned that your child’s reading and spelling development, reach out to the teacher and consider whether more evaluations would be helpful. Poor spelling can be a sign of a learning disability like dyslexia, or a sign that they haven’t gotten the spelling instruction that they need.

For these struggling students, they may need more explicit instruction in letters and sounds (including rules like using -tch at the end of words with short vowels, like fetch) and spelling rules (like doubling the final consonant before adding -ed, like in the word begged). 

Learning the history of words, whether they come to English by way of French, Greek or another language, can also help students know which pattern to choose. Some students become better spellers when they study a language like Greek or Latin that has a large influence on English.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for ways to help your child with spelling, the key is to help them find resources and learn a process that will help them avoid and correct errors. Find a middle ground between “It’s your homework, look it up” and spelling out the word every time. Giving too much (or too little) help won’t help your child learn to spell better, but giving the right support can help them grow in confidence and independence!

If your child is struggling with spelling and they need more than tips and strategies to help them, contact us today about 1:1 online structured literacy tutoring with our Orton Gillingham tutors.

Managing at home reading expectations

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Does your school have reading logs? Journal assignments? Charts? Graphs? Do you have to swear a blood oath that your child read books this week? If your family is struggling with managing at home reading expectations, here are some tips for how to get your child to read better and how to manage the school’s reading homework assignments for your family.

Create Reading Habits

A lifelong habit of reading will give your child the opportunity to move into careers, hobbies, and community opportunities that make their lives better. The power of fluent, wide, eager reading cannot be overestimated. Ultimately, if you’re trying to figure out “What can help my child read better?” you’re probably taking a shorter-term view, trying to get this week’s assignment done and end the argument about reading. Here are some ideas to take the pain out of at-home reading assignments and begin to bring the joy of books to your household.

Choose the right books

How to help a struggling reader at home
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Teachers are big on reading levels. Those letters or numbers on stickers on the book cover, or inside the front cover, are there to help teachers choose the right books for their classroom, but they are often misused for gate-keeping purposes. Teachers will enforce a rule that kids have to have “just right” books and that the book can be neither too easy, nor too hard, and use the book’s level as a way to decide. 

Reading levels have their place. One use is that they help you find other similar books to try. If you ask your child’s teacher what his “instructional reading level” is, you will likely get a Guided Reading level (a letter) or a Lexile (a number) that tells you the difficulty of text they are reading at school. You can find plenty of books online organized by level. Flip through one and get a feel for it. How many sentences are on a page? How many paragraphs? How often are there pictures? Use those clues to help you find other books that your child might find comfortable. 

But beyond that, the sky is the limit. For example, I worked with a second grader reading books about Minecraft at the fourth or fifth grade level because it is his favorite game, and a tenth grader struggling with non-fiction at an eighth grade level because he didn’t have a lot of background knowledge about American history. If there is a topic your child is passionate about, don’t be surprised if he can read books that are “above his level.” 

On the other hand, if your child is struggling with reading the books that come home, try decodable books like the Simple Words series or Bob Books that match the words they have learned to sound out. Core Knowledge Language Arts also offers free “Skills” units that have great decodable readers you can print. Flyleaf Publishing is a great source of decodable books, which are offered for free online (through the end of the 2021-2022 school year).

Choose the time and place

There are good times to schedule reading time for your child, and then there are times that don’t work as well.

Times not to fit in reading:

  • While the rest of the family is watching TV
  • Right before dinner
  • In the car on the way to school

Times that work better:

  • After a snack
  • While younger siblings are napping or not home yet
  • At a “family reading time,” where every available person in the house sits down with a book – maybe in the hour before bed or after lunch on the weekend.
  • In the waiting room at dance class or in the bleachers at a sibling’s practice – if the environment is quiet

Finding the right place for reading homework

Some kids love to curl up in a quiet corner of the house and read until you make them stop. Those aren’t the kids you are reading this for, I don’t think. Kids who are struggling or who avoid reading need the support and attention of a whole adult (or responsible older child) while they work through their reading. 

This is easiest to accomplish when you sit beside your child, at the table or on the couch, or in bed if no one is too sleepy. Have good lighting, a comfy seat, and minimal background noise. 

Looking for fun ways to fit more reading into your family’s life? Check out our free Winter Reading Bingo Board!


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Make it a habit

In his book Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg breaks down all habits into three parts: a trigger (he calls them “anchor moments”), a habit, and a reward. If getting your child to read every day sounds totally out of reach for you and your family right now, try these tiny steps towards your goal.

  1. Pick a trigger – “We will take out a book right after the table is clear from dinner.” or “As soon as her big sister starts basketball practice, we’ll sit in the bleachers and read.”
  2. Set a tiny reading goal – A page, a paragraph, a sentence, a word. It might seem ridiculously small, but start with the next step – one more increment of reading than you’re doing now. If reading at home right now just isn’t happening, the only way to get started is to start, so start tiny!
  3. Decide on a reward – BJ Fogg makes a very important distinction between the reward we get for something we do successfully (I cook breakfast so I get to eat a delicious English muffin) and the long-term payoff (if I go to work all week, I get a paycheck on the 15th). We’re looking for those tiny, in the moment rewards for reaching our first reading goals. How will you and your child celebrate the success of sitting down with a book together? A hug? A little dance? A high five?

And Don’t Worry!

Be patient with yourself and with your child. A teacher has literally no idea what your family situation is, in most cases, and you have to decide what success looks like for your family. Even if teachers have some control over assignments like reading homework, they are planning for a whole class and not taking into account that in your house, the adults work different shifts or the baby wakes up a couple of times a night or the babysitter doesn’t read fluent English or each kid is on a different schedule for sports practice. So while the school’s expectation may be what brought you here, keep the big picture in mind. You are raising your children to be happy, whole people, thoughtful and well-educated. The long game of teaching them to love reading and to look to books for inspiration, knowledge, and comfort, counts for a lot more than the number of pages in their reading log. 

Managing at-home reading expectations
Reading is a homework assignment for many kids, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. Here’s how to build routines to get your child reading more at home.
Grab your FREE Winter Reading Bingo Board here.


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What I’m reading about reading

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The thing about reading researchers is they just write so much. It’s like they expect reading experts to read constantly or something! I have a long and growing list of books to read about reading and writing. From time to time, I plan to share some highlights on the blog.

Information comes in many forms

Books

There are so many books just here in my little office. I have books from courses I took, books that changed my reading life, and books that I know are important that I can’t quite bring myself to pick up. So the ones I’ve chosen here are just a couple that stand out in my mind. If you’re curious about how reading works and how to help the readers in your life, any of these would be a great investment of your time.

  • How We Learn by Stanislas Dehaene is a pretty heavy read about how our brain processes information and how learning to do something like read and write changes the way different parts of the brain are used. It’s not an easy read by any means but it gave me a lot of “aha” moments about why certain kinds of teaching work the way they do.
  • Speech to Print by Louisa Moats. I read this during my Orton-Gillingham training but when the new edition came out, I picked it up right away. 
  • Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf – this is the most readable of my current recommendations. It’s laid out as a series of letters on different aspects of reading. Wolf explores reading as a technology (our brains weren’t designed to read, but our brains have done an incredible job accommodating our new habit of reading and writing language) and what it means to read on a screen instead of on paper. It’s thought-provoking and very readable for the non-expert.

Blogs

I click links all week long and have a pile of blogs and research to read. But these are sources I look at consistently. 

  • Tim Shanahan – Dr. Shanahan is my go-to source for evidence-based, common-sense, interpretations of reading research and instructional trends. 
  • Fordham Institute’s Flypaper Blog – I often disagree with their conclusions, but I think it’s important to look at education data through another lens and I often learn new things.
  • Margaret Goldberg’s Right to Read blog – I was recently introduced to Margaret Goldberg when she was interviewed on Science of Reading – The Podcast. I haven’t been reading her blog for very long, but every post I’ve read has answered a need I’ve had as a teacher or a reading tutor. This post on questions to ask about the reading instruction at your child’s school is very readable and pure gold!

If you want to chat about some nerdy books about reading and learning, come check out my new Deep Roots Learning Solutions Book Club. We’ll chat on Facebook about our books. Right now, we’re reading Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Social Media

Text (Write down the words if you cannot easily formulate sentences.)

  • The Literacy Nest – Emily Gibbons is an Orton-Gillingham tutor as well as a prodigious creator of resources for literacy teaching. Everything she posts gives me something to use or something to think about.
  • Science of Reading-What I Should Have Learned in College is a Facebook group that does just what it says: give teachers, parents and other stakeholders a platform to get their questions about reading answered and gather resources to make reading instruction better for students. The group is professional and kind and inspiring! There are lots of posts to wade through but it’s one I always take the time to check.
  • Lindbergh: Leaders in Literacy is a Facebook page run by parents in a school district in Missouri. They advocate for strengthening literacy in their schools by “embracing the science behind reading instruction.” This is a great example of what community advocacy can do for reading and a wonderful resource for parents just digging into the science of reading. 

You have to start somewhere

I have trouble starting a book, or even committing to an article, podcast, or video sometimes. I have limited time for professional development and I know that once I start learning something exciting, I won’t want to stop to feed my kids or tutor my students. I also don’t want to waste time reading the wrong thing – something repetitive, out of date, or not detailed enough. 

So here’s my advice to me, and also to any of you that are interestd in learning about reading. Just. Start. Pick something from this blog post or pick one source like Reading Rockets and start to get your feet wet. One resource always leads to another. And you can come back here for more recommendations next month, too!

Want some reading company? Join us in the Deep Roots Learning Solutions Book Club!

What is Vision Therapy for Dyslexia?

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Last month in my post “Bad News About Dyslexia,” I addressed some scammy or misguided quick-fix “diagnoses” and “cures” that are being marketed to parents of struggling readers. Next on my list is the idea of vision therapy as a fix for dyslexia. 

I’ll be up front. Here’s the problem some will find with my post: I’m not going to say something absolute like “IGNORE ANYONE WHO RECOMMENDS VISION THERAPY FOR DYSLEXIA!”

Is it possible that some readers struggle due to vision problems? Yes. 

Is it possible that some young children who couldn’t see well until vision intervention were mislabeled as learning disabled or dyslexic? Yup. 

Is it possible that those same children received vision therapy and their reading got better? Sure. 

And finally, could some kids have two kinds of problems (a vision one and a reading one) at the same time? Of course.

But I can say: If vision therapy fixes your child’s reading problem, it was not dyslexia, not ever.

If vision therapy fixes your child’s reading problem, it was not dyslexia, not ever. Click To Tweet

According to the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Readers with dyslexia can find reading very uncomfortable, even exhausting! Children with dyslexia may complain of headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, or other physical symptoms. That doesn’t mean that dyslexia is a stomach problem, or a vision problem. These physical symptoms often speak to the enormous stress children experience when their needs for instruction and accommodations are not being met. 

Children with dyslexia might also have behavioral problems, including defiance, off-task behavior, or fooling around when faced with tasks they can’t do. That doesn’t mean dyslexia is a behavioral disorder! 

Do you see what I’m getting at? The effects might present differently for different students at different times, but dyslexia is a reading problem, and the right intervention is appropriate reading instruction. It’s not a vision problem, so there is no effective vision therapy for dyslexia.

Is it dyslexia or a vision problem?

If you have concerns about your child’s reading or their performance in school, the first step is to get a thorough evaluation. If your child is school-aged in the U.S., you can request an evaluation at no cost from your local public school. They may or may not use the term dyslexia, depending on the qualifications and knowledge of the school-based team. Schools often identify a “specific learning disability in the area of reading” without specifically naming dyslexia. Evaluation is also available through educational psychologists or neuropsychologists. 

If an academic evaluation doesn’t resolve the questions about why your child struggles to read, further evaluation by an ophthalmologist may be one possible route. Vision therapy, which includes exercises with a therapist and at home to improve eye tracking abilities, may be prescribed. However, a 2010 policy statement from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Optometry clarifies that this therapy does not directly address dyslexia or other learning disabilities. I know some families that have found this type of therapy beneficial, but it is often costly and may not be covered by insurance. 

Another type of vision therapy for dyslexia that is often recommended, but has little scientific evidence, is colored lenses or colored overlays. A set of symptoms called Irlen Syndrome is often used as the basis for prescribing colored overlays or filters, but the data on the existence of Irlen Syndrome is, well, not great.

According to Helen Irlen’s website, this syndrome can impact reading accuracy, math calculation, concentration, behavior, motivation and sports performance. While some people find relief from using colored overlays on white printed material, there is little evidence that there is a “best” color for readers, or even that one color is “better” for a particular reader. 

The right teaching

If colored lenses and vision therapy cannot help dyslexia, what does a child with dyslexia need to read better?

They need good reading instruction. A structured literacy program, such as Orton-Gillingham, which is prescriptive and diagnostic, and addresses all the main components of reading, is needed for struggling readers to make progress.

Instruction should be based on assessments and include explicit instruction in phonemic awareness (the sounds heard in words), phonics (the way those sounds are represented in print), vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, depending on the student’s needs.

Depending on how far behind the student is, and how severe their dyslexia is, teaching these skills can take several years of hard work on the part of the student and their teachers. 

The right accommodations

While students work through the process of learning how to read and write efficiently, life marches on. They will move from grade to grade and be expected to learn and express more and more complex ideas. Having the right accommodations in place can make it possible for dyslexic students to more easily keep up with the curriculum and demonstrate their learning alongside their peers who read more easily.

Effective accommodations for reading and writing are essential. While their reading skills grow, students need access to age-appropriate texts through audiobooks, read alouds, and other technological options to continue to grow their comprehension, vocabulary and knowledge. They may need additional time to complete assignments, tools for writing like speech-to-text, copies of class notes, or other accommodations to help them work more efficiently.

Social-emotional support is also incredibly important. Dyslexia is a lifelong condition. Students can make great strides in improving their skills and becoming more accurate and fluent readers, but they may always find some tasks more challenging than their peers do. Students need to be supported in their areas of weakness and celebrated in their areas of strength.

Don’t buy in to quick fixes like vision therapy for dyslexia

Parenting a child whose needs are not being met at school due to a learning disability is incredibly difficult. Parents who aren’t educators or experts in reading get a crash course in the human brain, curriculum and special education law all at once, whether they want it or not.

It’s easy to feel like “nothing is working” when your child is struggling to read. We get tempted by “out-of-the-box” solutions like vision therapy, colored filters, or other non-reading interventions because they make a kind of superficial sense and because there are often glowing testimonials from people who found success when they were struggling, too. 

Make sure that the therapies and interventions you are investing your family’s time and money in are well-regarded and evidence-based. Get multiple opinions from trusted sources, including people both in and out of your child’s school system. Whatever other approaches you try, remember that explicit, systematic reading instruction is the chief recommendation for teaching students with dyslexia. Trading that out for anything else is not worth the risk.

If your child needs structured literacy tutoring, using Orton-Gillingham, to make progress in reading, contact us today to learn how we can help.