Planting Reading Seeds

 Are You Tired of Your Child Struggling with Reading?

HeSusan-Author Picllo my name is Susan Warren and I’d like to help.  I’m a retired Speech Pathologist who has been doing some reading tutoring over that last 4 years mostly by word of mouth.  I now have a few openings for students struggling with reading.  I also like to do some prevention by working with that 4 year old who is going to kindergarten soon and you know in your heart he’s not ready.

Tutoring is most often associated with helping kids with their homework or working on what they are currently learning.  In that sense my program is not tutoring.  I provide in depth work on identified skills that are impacting your child’s reading.  In many ways it is not tutoring, but specific instruction.

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because of my varied background.

I offer a wide spectrum of interventions learned through the following experiences:



Speech Pathologist – I have been a speech pathologist for over 30 years.  We are experts in the auditory arena.  Most phonological skills which have been found vital for good reading, are auditory.




Early Childhood Special Education – My degree in Early Childhood Special Education helped me to see how language development and reading correlate.  But the most important thing I learned working with preschool children was to look at the whole child and plan activities around the whole child.  Each child has their own set of characteristics which makes their tutoring experience unique.



Owned a Sylvan Learning Center – This was certainly an eye opening experience.  We had many students in 7th grade that were reading at a 2nd grade level.  Do you know how devastating that is for a child?  Those kind of delays require intensive intervention, but even more rebuilding the child’s self-esteem..  In addition to the reading programs Sylvan provided, I was able to use my Speech Pathology background, to deliver supplemental phonological skills.



One of our grandchildren began showing some developmental delays at about 18 months. He was overly sensitive to loud sounds, didn’t seem to understand the things we were saying to him, didn’t have many words to express himself and demonstrated social anxiety through temper tantrums.    Working on his language, auditory and reading skills, he is now a successful and may I say enthusiastic 2nd grader.  He loves school.  Isn’t that what you want for your child?



Home Component – I’ve worked with children who attend public schools and homeschooling families.  Through these experiences I have discovered that growth multiplies when you add a home component to your program.

Note:  Parents are most often the ones who suspect their child is not learning well. 

text  Click here for Developmental Checklist.

text  reading Skills Checklist

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because I include instruction in 5 essential areas:

  1. Phonemic Awareness – The ability to manipulate sounds in words.  It separates words into sounds and put them back together again.  (cat becomes /c/ /a/ /t/ which becomes cat that can be changed into rat.)
  2. Alphabetic Principle – Understand that letters represent speech sounds
  3. Reading Fluency – Children should read just as though they were speaking.
  4. Vocabulary – Understanding and reading age-appropriate vocabulary
  5. Comprehension – Able to understand the story well enough to answer questions about the story, draw conclusions, make interpretations and make predictions.

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because I use the following philosophies:

♥ Assessment – Assessment is necessary to know what skills to work on.  My intervention is tied to the assessment.  Assessment includes both tests and observations.

♥ Individualized – Each child is different not only in their reading skills, but in their abilities to relate and focus.

♥ Repetition – Lots of repetition through a variety of activities. ( The brain thrives on repetition, but shuts down on boring)

♥ Fast-paced – children are more motivated when you are moving through the activities. Children who have difficulty sitting still for long periods respond well. (They are also more motivated when they can see an end to a difficult activity.)

♥ Active Participation – Use as many hands on activities as possible.  All of us learn best by using visual, auditory and tactile input.

♥ Focused – each activity is focused on a specific skill

♥ FUN – Most of all reading tutoring can be fun mixed with hard work.

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  1. Identifying reading problems early is a gift to your child.  I’ll bet you’re wondering how that could be a gift.  Usually the earlier the intervention, the faster the results.  Waiting doesn’t always work because we know children don’t outgrow reading problems.  With each passing year, intervention is more complicated plus you have the self-esteem factor.
  2. There are reports that say if your child is not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, the reading problems will continue into high school.
  3. If you have a family history of reading problems it becomes even more important that you watch your child’s reading development.  Reading problems are often inherited.  Parents play a key role in identifying early reading problems.
  4. Research shows that unlike language development, reading is not an automatic skill.  It needs to be taught.  There are specific skills that a child must have in order to read.
  5. Lastly, the news is good guys.  There is much research that shows the brain is highly adaptable.  Significant improvements can be made in students with poor reading skills.
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