How I Can Help

During tutoring sessions, your child (or the adult student) and I can each hear and see each other, and there is constant interaction as we work through the activities. 

While each lesson is individually tailored for your child's interests, strengths, and challenges, and the tools available, a typical lesson would have the following general format:

1) Review of previous teachings. This could include: letter-sound correspondences, syllable types, phonemic awareness skills, spelling patterns, irregularly-spelled words, meaningful parts of words (roots, prefixes, suffixes), and any words or concepts that need more attention. 

2) Teaching of new material, using face-to-face discussion and annotation of slideshows. 

3) Practice of new and previous teachings, through various exercises, including guided oral reading, spelling from dictation, and fluency training. 

The instruction covers the following skills:

Phoneme Awareness

The ability to identify and manipulate the sounds of the English language is critical for success for successful reading and spelling. If the student has difficulty processing the sounds of spoken language, learning the connections between the sounds and the letters will also be difficult. At the first tutoring session, I assess the student's phoneme awareness skills and, if any there are any gaps, I make a plan for incorporating the necessary training into the reading and spelling lessons.

Letter-Sound Relationships

I perform an assessment and provide instruction as needed. Initially, the focus is on the most frequent sound each letter stands for and, depending on the student's skill level and placement in the sequence of lessons, the focus gradually shifts to the more complex representations.

Phonics and Morphology 

In English, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between the letters and the sounds. This makes English spelling seem unpredictable. I present the spelling patterns of the language systematically in a cumulative, logical sequence, occasionally supplementing with explanations from the history of the English language (which I find fascinating!).

The instruction is systematic, cumulative and diagnostic. Each lesson is taught until mastery before moving to the next. Spelling patterns are taught in a logical sequence which reflects the structure of the English language. Multi-sensory strategies are used where possible. Errors are detected and corrected immediately, in order to prevent incorrect habits.

The student's progress is documented  and reported to the parent, or adult student, by means of brief progress reports which are emailed on a weekly basis, along with the invoice.   

Below is a general outline of topics. A student who has completed all topics would be reading at about a ninth grade level. 

1 - Consonants and Short Vowels
2 - Patterns in Closed Syllables
3 - Syllable Division
4 - Silent-E and Vowel Teams
5 - Complex Consonant Clusters
6 - Prefixes and Suffixes
7 - R-Controlled Syllables
8 - Advanced Vowel Teams
9 - Influences of Foreign Languages

If you have any questions, please call or email me, Marian, at (614) 599-8618 or