FAQs

1. Where are you located?   Can you work with my child in [your city, your state]?


Most of our tutors are located In beautiful Tucson, AZ!   But it almost doesn't matter, because we do all of our work over Zoom.  


We work with families all across the United States.  We've got students  (from west coast to east coast) in:


- Seattle, WA 

- La Jolla, Glendale and Los Angeles, CA 

- Tucson and Phoenix , AZ 

- Boise, ID

- Minneapolis/St. Paul , MN

- Wilmington, NC

- Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, McLean and Reston, VA

- Annapolis, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Fulton, Gaithersburg, Laurel, Potomac, Rockville and Silver Spring, MD 

- Washington, DC 

 - and many other cities and states


We're even working with a handful of students who spend part of the year in Europe, Mexico and South America.


 If your child is struggling with reading and spelling, we can help - no matter where you're located!



2. Do you offer in-person sessions?  My child hates Zoom!


We used to work with students in person and originally intended to go back to that once Covid was over, especially because so many kids had such a terrible experience doing their regular school classes over Zoom during Covid. 


But we’ve found that even children who hated Zoom school and hid under their desks during the pandemic thrive in our Zoom sessions, because they’re working 1:1 with their tutor. They play word games, they read real and nonsense words on the Blending Board, and they do magic squares. We use decodable books early on, so your child will be successful and experience the thrill of being able to read! They’re happy, they’re engaged and, most importantly, they’re learning to read and spell.


In addition, we’ve learned that most families have really busy schedules and would find it impossible to come in person to the 3-4 sessions per week that most children need in order to get caught up in reading and spelling and move on with their lives in a reasonable amount of time.  And we never wanted this to be once or twice/week tutoring that goes on for years.


If you have concerns, schedule a few sessions to see how your child responds. It may surprise you!  We’re happy to put you in touch with other families whose children hated Zoom school and love their reading sessions.  You can also check out parent testimonials on our Online Tutoring page, or read our reviews on Google.  


 

3. My child has ADHD. Will that be a problem?


Many of the students we work with have ADD/ADHD, and a lot of them are either not on medication or their medication has run out by the time they start working with their tutor. All of our sessions are 1:1, we give students lots of choices, and they are welcome to stand or move around a bit, so it generally isn’t a problem.  We’re happy to put you in touch with other families whose children have ADHD and are thriving in our program.

4. How do I know my child is making progress?


Whenever our students learn new phonics skills, they cross them off on their Progress Chart.  You will have a copy of your student's Progress Chart at home, so you can always see what they've learned.  In addition, you will get a weekly update from your student’s tutor, summarizing the progress your child made that week in both phonological awareness and phonics. Plus, you’re always welcome to hang out in the background and listen in during your child’s tutoring session. Or, just have your child read out loud to you!  Talk to us first so that we can recommend some books.  Early on, we like students to read decodable books (books that only have the phonics patterns they've already learned), so that they can sound out the words in the book and don't resort to guessing.  We generally don't give students homework, but if you want some ideas for fun literacy-related activities (word searches, book recommendations, etc.), just talk to your child's tutor.


5. Do you take insurance?


We don’t take insurance, but if your pediatrician writes you a Letter of Medical Necessity, you may be able to use your health care flexible spending account funds to pay for the sessions. Please check with your tax advisor.


6. How are you different from other reading tutors?


We don’t just practice reading with our students and we don’t teach them to guess at words based on pictures or context clues (aka the three cueing system, whole language or balanced literacy).  We follow the Science of Reading.  We use systematic, explicit instruction and focus on phonological awareness, phonics and fluency, the foundational skill students need in order to understand how our reading and writing system works and become fluent readers and good spellers. Plus, we do it very intensively.  We don’t just want your child to make progress, we want them to get caught up to their peers and “graduate” as quickly as possible.  While we really enjoy working with our students, we want them to move on to other interests and activities in their lives. 



7. I can’t wait for my child to be reading fluently! How long will it take?


Obviously, this depends on many factors, including what grade they're in, how good their phonological skills are and how many phonics patterns they already know when we start the lessons, as well as their memory, processing and rapid naming speeds, and other learning challenges. The frequency of sessions makes a big difference, which is why we recommend 3-4 sessions per week for most students. Every child is unique, but the majority of our students are reading at grade level and “graduate” in 4-9 months. We focus on spelling in every single one of our lessons, but spelling generally takes longer to develop.  If you want your child to also be a good speller, it will take a bit longer than if you “only” want them reading fluently. 


8. My child just got tested and we’re in the process of getting an IEP in place.  Do we even need to do this - won’t the Special Ed program at school get my child caught up and reading fluently?  


Ask your student’s Special Ed team how often they get kids reading fluently and “graduate” them out of Special Ed.  In our experience, kids only get caught up if they get supplemental reading and spelling instruction outside of school.  Even if your child’s Special Ed teachers are trained in the Science of Reading, they’re not working with your child 1:1 and they have other priorities - for example, they are legally required to provide your child “access to the curriculum,” so that if your child’s class is learning about butterflies, the Special Ed teacher might read to them about butterflies or have your child dictate their response to the essay prompt about butterflies. There simply isn’t enough time to provide access to the curriculum and teach a group of students the phonological and phonics skills they need in order to catch up.  

9. What happens if we miss or cancel a session?  


We understand that emergencies happen.  If you have an emergency (your car breaks down, you unexpectedly have to take your child to the doctor, etc.) just let us know as soon as you can and we'll  reschedule your child's session.  If it's not an emergency, please give us at least 24 hours' notice so that we can offer that session to another student.  If you cancel with less than 24 hours' notice and it's not an emergency, please understand that we will charge you for the missed session (and pay your child's coach for their time).

10. Will my child get homework?  


No!   We do not assign homework.  If your student really wants to do more outside of our sessions, we can suggest some books on tape they might enjoy.  "Ear" reading doesn't provide decoding practice, but it'll help increase your child's vocabulary and background knowledge, which are also important components of reading comprehension.  We can also recommend some word searches and online games geared to your child's phonics skills. But that's it. No homework.  Of course, once reading is easy it'll be fun, and your child will WANT to read outside of our sessions - but that's not homework, that's fun!