Why do I tutor?
My greatest passion is to help children succeed in reading and writing. I’ve been told I’m very good at it both from my students and their parents.
My daughter went to school and life was good, well at least academically.
My son went to school and I knew something was wrong. I even asked if they thought I should hold him back a year. No, he’s fine. And so the story went. In second grade, he was one of the teacher’s stronger readers – to my surprise. But when she told me what they were reading I realized that he had memorized them at home. They didn’t read one story that he had not had read to him multiple times. ….. In third grade, we started getting outside evaluations and found out he was dyslexic with a disorder of written expression. Then in fifth grade I was homeschooling him after little progress in the traditional school.
That was the year he learned to read. I wasn’t yet trained in Orton-Gillingham, but in hind site I used a lot of what I’ve learned about how to teach dyslexic students. The piece I was missing was how systematic it should be. This son is now 24 (2016), he graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina with honors in physics and mathematics. He is teaching in Louisville, KY with the Teach Kentucky Program. He received his Masters of Education from the University of Louisville, in May of 2016.
Then along came my baby who read all the time. His vocabulary was always years ahead of his peers. In third grade, he still hadn’t chosen a dominate hand. He couldn’t print his alphabet appropriately, so how would he learn to write cursive (his teacher agreed with me). Even though he couldn’t put anything on paper his teacher called him “Fantasy Boy” because of the great stories he created orally. His writing only got worse, yet his reading comprehension remained grades ahead. Middle school was so difficult for him, he would come home and take multiple baths to relax. He did some occupational therapy which helped with some things, but not really with the writing process. I decided to homeschool him for eighth grade (a downward spiral was happening at school). This gave us time for more outside testing and interventions. Oh! Surprise (sarcasm), he had a disorder of written expression (dysgraphia). By now, I was noticing that even though his comprehension was so high he was making odd mistakes when he read out loud. Some fabulous people have helped us along this journey. As a junior in high school, he enrolled in college through PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) and carried a full load of courses. He graduated from high school in 2013 with 60 plus college credits. He is scheduled to graduate from University of MN, Duluth in 2017, with lots of educational experiences along the way.
Both of my boys are twice exceptional, which means they are gifted with a learning disability. So qualifying for services in school seemed to be a completely different process. They both ended up with a 504 plan. But this path of the journey was full of disappointments in a system I believed was meant to educate children. That is a story for some other day.
I was fortunate enough to volunteer in the schools while my children were growing up and still do. I was always asked to help those that had difficulties. I knew what students at a given age were capable of doing in school.
My training in Orton-Gillingham has given me the training and tools I wish I’d had when my boys were younger. My greatest passion is to help children succeed. References are available.