Building Fluency

Today, at the dentist, the dental hygienist asked how he could help his daughter improve her fluency.  This is a common question I hear and also a common area of eligibility for special education services.  There are a few factors that go into fluency. Vision: Has your child been seen by a developmental optometrist.  I highly recommend an optometrist highly trained and experienced.  There can be visual deficits beyond acuity that could cause serious limitations to a child’s ability to … Read More

Creating a Love of Reading

Creating a love of learning starts at home.  Parents who read to their children develop the curiosity and value of books within their child.  Children love to be in close proximity of a trusting, loving adult where they can relax, feel safe and secure and let their imagination run wild.  In this moment they take risks in their learning, asking what words mean, clarifying their understanding of a sentence.  They start to learn figurative language and may ask what it … Read More

Teaching Kids to Think!

The book, A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille, offers an insightful perspective on education.  He suggests a ‘system’ of schooling known as Leadership Education where students are taught how to think and prepare them to be leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business and statesmen in government.  This is different from traditional schooling, where the focus is more in teaching students ‘what’ to think in the way of teaching rudimentary skills for basic living, entry level jobs, … Read More

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are excellent for young children for exposure to many literary devices!  You will hear plenty of metaphors, similes, and examples of alliteration.  Children love the natural rhythm of the nursery rhymes and as always, their time with you!   Nursery rhymes start to develop phonological awareness skills.  Phonological awareness skills include .  This is a progression of skills starting with word awareness.  This is the ability to separate words into sentences.  Children must be able to hear and know … Read More

Vision Related Learning Problems

Almost every time I start with a new student, I will recommend the student receive an eye exam from a developmental optometrist.  The reason I started doing this is because it has happened often enough that after working with a student for adequate intervention time, they don’t seem to make the progress as I would expect. After a few months, I then refer to a developmental optometrist and almost every time, that child was in need of glasses or vision … Read More

Voiced and Unvoiced Sounds

There are 27 letters of the alphabet.  There are 42 sounds total and 24 of those sounds are consonant sounds. Each individual sound is called a ‘phoneme’.   There are two types of sounds in English; voiced and unvoiced.  A ‘voiced’ sound means that your voicebox, located near the front of your neck, will create a louder, more audible sound and you can feel a vibration when speaking that sound. All vowel sounds are voiced as well as a few consonant … Read More

What is Comprehension?

Comprehension is understanding what was just read.  This involves the ability to visualize what is going on in any given text.  Good readers might describe this as ‘making movies’ when they read.  For some people, this comes very naturally and words create images in their minds effortlessly.  For others, the words just move in one ear and out the other. I  had one student describe it to me as a lawn mower that is cutting the grass and there is … Read More

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Parents often ask me what they should be working on with their child to help them have success in reading.  Without a doubt, I suggest Phonemic Awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and identify sounds in words.  It can also include the ability to manipulate sounds in words.  For example, being able to find a word that rhymes with cat, you would have to change the beginning sound from /k/ to /h/.  That produces a rhyming word, hat! … Read More