"He's not that far behind!"
"Everyone learns at his own pace."
I can help!
I've heard it all before, and most of it is not helpful. Even the best prepared teachers are often unable to provide the instruction that individual students need. To make it worse, fewer than half of all teachers are provided training in evidence-based instruction for teaching foundational reading skills.
If your child is struggling, if he is losing that joy for learning and no longer looks forward to school, if she is "zoning out" more and avoids talking about reading and math, if he is not being successful, if homework time is a battle of nuclear proportions... it is time to get help.
I've had many years of experience helping students become successful learners in reading, writing and math. I've worked with students who deal with diagnosed learning and behavioral challenges, as well as those who just need a little extra support. I am trained to provide effective instruction for most students, including those with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other challenges (I do not have the training or experience to help students with apraxia or impairment in vision or hearing).
COVID update: Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, all of my tutoring sessions have been moved to virtual instruction. I will likely keep all tutoring virtual for now as the absence of travel time allows me to help more students. I understand that not all students respond well to virtual instruction and, if that is the case, I will refer you to other tutors. Most of my students, however, respond better to the virtual environment than parents expect, and most parents find they appreciate not having to drive and wait!
Let me know what your concerns are and we can discuss what would be helpful!
Emily Laidlaw, Tutor and Trainer
1) What programs do you use?
I am trained in Orton-Gillingham methodology for reading, but am not married to any one program. I will find the gaps in the student's learning and skills and develop an individualized plan for each child. I am not opposed to programs, but I want to be as efficient as possible. In math, I will work with the student's coursework, but really stress conceptual understanding. I want language and math to make sense!
2) I've tried tutors before and haven't been successful. Why would you be successful?
Many tutors and programs are content-driven and follow a set scope and sequence that doesn't vary much by student. While I also use a scope and sequence as a guide, I also address underlying skills such as phonemic awareness and manipulation and continuous blending that help the content "stick." In math, I try to help the student "see" and understand the concept before having to memorize a procedure or answer.
3) Do you guarantee success?
I guarantee that I will do my best! While most of my students have found great success - often two to three years' growth in reading levels in one year - I know that every situation is unique. If what we are doing is not effective, I will tell you! As a parent of 6 kids and 7 grandkids, I know how precious your time and resources are.
4) How many sessions do we need?
For homework help, writing, or for math support, we may just meet once per week. To remediate issues in reading, or for those with dyslexia, once a week is not enough. Like learning a foreign language, immersion is ideal and the more often, the better. Studies have shown that 4x per week offers the best growth, but I know that is rarely feasible.
5) What equipment do I need?
All students need a computer with reasonable connectivity. While we all deal with issues occasionally, success depends on consistency. Headphones are preferred. For students doing math or for students in lower elementary who will need support in handwriting, I suggest an additional iPad . If that is not available, we can discuss alternatives.
6) Will there be homework?
If you desire to help at home, I can provide practice, but my assumption is that kids and parents have enough to do with all their other commitments. Of course, my greatest desire is that you read with your kids and talk to them, giving them the advantage of a broad and deep vocabulary and the knowledge that no matter how tough school can be, that you still believe in them.
7) What do you charge?
Tutoring is expensive, but it is comparable to music lessons. It is definitely less expensive than illiteracy or ignoring school struggles. My new students start at $60/hour unless you commit to 3x per week. Prices will not increase for a minimum of 18 months.
8) How do you handle cancellations?
Please let me know well ahead of time for travel, vacations, and planned absences. Last minute absences will generally be billed (there will be exceptions on a case-by-case basis). If we have chronic absences, I will ask that you find someone else.
9) How do you require payment?
We can work on a plan that suits your needs. I prefer to be paid monthly for the coming month, but other arrangements can be made. I take payment by check or through PayPal, Venmo, and ApplePay.