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The Essence of Learning

Overcome Aversion to Reading
Learn to Decode New Words
Strengthen Vocabulary
Improve Comprehension
Increase Speed & Accuracy

What methods does One-to-One Home Tutoring use to teach Reading?

My program is a comprehensive system of reading instruction targeted for readers of any age and is especially effective when used as a remediation tool, one student at a time.

My programs are Individualized, Systematic, Coherent, Diversified, and Interesting:

  • Individualized

A quick and easily administered reading test pinpoints the strengths and weaknesses of each student.

Instruction begins at the appropriate level and targets the specific skills not yet mastered.

Instructional materials are selected and customized to suit any age, interest, and learning style.

  • Systematic

Each lesson builds upon and reinforces previous learning.

  • Coherent

Reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension lessons interconnect and support each other.

  • Diversified

Some learners require a great deal of repetition before they can master a particular skill.

I provide an array of materials designed to reinforce instruction in a variety of formats.

  • Interesting

Original worksheets, drill work, games, puzzles, and creative stories.

My materials have been successfully kid-tested for three decades.

Children enjoy my original stories because they are unique, entertaining, and quite surprising, unlike the “fat cat sat in a hat" type material that bores so many kids to tears.

Best of all, children can and do read them!

A student is never given a more advanced story unless and until the material that precedes it is mastered.

As we all know, whenever we learn something new "Nothing succeeds like success!"


Will the One-to-One program differ or conflict with the reading and spelling methods used by our school?

The One-to-One Home Tutoring program will differ and complement, but not conflict with school programs.

All American schools must follow their individual State’s Mandates for the teaching of reading and writing.  However, each school district is free to choose their preferred method for achieving those ends.  In the early stages of reading instruction all elementary reading programs emphasize one of these two basic approaches:

1. Whole Language Reading

The whole language advocates believe children learn to read naturally, just as they learn to talk and walk.

They believe all that is necessary to produce a fluent, capable reader is to simply immerse the child in a sea of good books.

This is considered the “top-down” approach.

Does this work?  Yes, for many, but not all children.  Those who are global learners who gain understanding by grasping the big picture tend to do best in a whole language environment.  Seeing words as pictures is natural to them.

2. Phonics Based Reading

The phonics based reading advocates believe that all a child needs to become a fluent reader is exposure to a sequential, explicit program that teaches the alphabetic code and how it works to represent speech.

This is considered the “bottom-up” approach.

Does this work?  Yes, for many, but not all, children.  Those who are analytical learners who gain understanding by building the whole from the sum of its parts tend to do best with phonics instruction. Decoding words through their sounds comes easily for them.


The phonics approach and the whole language approach, when practiced in isolation and without consideration of the child’s innate learning predispositions, serve only to deprive the child of the alternative instructional opportunities that may be their key to adult literacy.

One-to-One Home Tutoring is firmly committed to a Balanced Approach to Literacy; one that recognizes that an educator needs to utilize multiple strategies in order to produce a proficient reader.  Flexibility is a must.  Whenever a strategy isn’t working for a student, an alternative or combination of approaches must be considered.


The One-to-One Program is squarely centered on responding to the individual student's learning needs, rather than relying upon any specific, rigid philosophical approach.

These needs are determined by:

  • Assessing the child's learning style
  • Analyzing individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Reviewing the student's educational history
  • Investigating any exogenous factors that may affect the child’s performance

When this assessment is complete, a customized system of instruction is then planned; but, in order to remain effective, these plans need to be continually updated in response to changing conditions and new information.

How does the One-to-One Program teach Comprehension?

There are a number of reasons why a child may have problems understanding and interpreting what she reads

  • poor word recognitions skills
  • weak vocabulary
  • an inability to focus and pay attention
  • a lack of confidence
  • high anxiety
  • poor abstract reasoning and thinking skills

Classroom teachers are seldom able to address comprehension problems on an individual basis

Typically, children are assigned common material to read and then asked a series of "Comprehension Questions" to assess understanding.

Thus, reading comprehension is often tested, but seldom taught!

Students are often asked to read material that is just too difficult for them.

This is not only ineffective, but very discouraging for the child.

How can students reflect upon passages they cannot read?

Sadly, this is what students are routinely tasked to do in the classroom.

Often told to "Read it again until you understand it", few have the self-confidence, discipline, or resolve to do this on their own.

Reading the same material over and over again, is a negative experience.  This contributes to a sense of failure and an increased aversion to reading.

Children must be taught comprehension skills using materials written at an appropriate level of difficulty.

The materials One-to-One uses to teach comprehension are individualized.

This enables the student to read passages with ease and fluency.

Instead of concentrating on the mechanics of reading, the child is able to focus on meaning and content.

This not only improves comprehension and increases confidence, but also advances the child’s enjoyment of learning.

Exercises are presented in the form of short, interesting, paragraphs that focus on the four aspects of comprehension

  1. Finding Facts
  2. Getting the Main Idea
  3. Making Inferences
  4. Drawing Conclusions

Students are also taught strategies for enhancing understanding through visualization, how to think-aloud, and how to properly self-monitor.


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