Students (scroll down for feedback)
Thomas (4th grade) is all caught up and graduating after only three months! I was impressed, over and over again, at how focused and engaged Thomas was in our work together. He especially loved the word games - can you say "candy" backwards? Thomas can! All of that hard work really paid off, Thomas - Congratulations!!!
When Clara started first grade, reading was hard and not a lot of fun. Just a few months later, she was so confident that she volunteered to read a long word math problem to her whole class, and didn't miss or stumble over a word! Clara is now all caught up, she loves to read Dr. Seuss books, and she's almost finished her first Magic Tree House book (with just a little help from Daniela). Congratulations, Clara! We are all so proud of you!!!
In April, towards the end of 2nd grade, Abbi was reading at a kindergarten level and started working 1-on-1 with Daniela. She worked hard, 5 days a week all summer long, and then switched to twice a week sessions with Kerry during the school year. Abbi is now in third grade and loves writing short stories about her family pets and reading Magic Tree House books. Go Abbi!!! We're so proud of you!
Sylvana got an IEP in 3rd grade and had just started getting extra help with reading in school when the pandemic hit. Schools closed down, but Sylvana worked with Daniela online over Zoom the rest of the school year and over the summer. Then, in the fall, Sylvana started working with Kerry three times a week. Sylvana's made TREMENDOUS progress! She now loves to read in her free time, especially the Phoebe and Her Unicorn books. Way to go, Sylvana!
Isabel is in 5th grade. She has an IEP and was receiving speech and reading/writing help at school when schools shut down in the spring. Isabel worked hard with Daniela all summer long, and then continued with Kerry in the fall. Isabel's reading, spelling, and confidence have improved SO much!! She's now learned all of the major phonics patterns and loves reading the Narwhal and Jelly series. Great work, Issy!
Shreya is in second grade. When she started working with Daniela at the end of October, she wasn't sure about a few of the short vowel sounds, and a lot of the long vowel sounds were confusing too. Shreya made great progress in just a few months, and now (at the end of January) she's reading Dory Fantasmagory! Congratulations, Shreya!!!
Vivian worked with Daniela and later Amber in kindergarten, just 30 minutes twice a week. Not because she was behind in reading, but because her mother wanted to make sure she got good reading instruction. Vivi soaked it up like a sponge throughout the fall and winter and she's now reading at a mid-to-late first grade level! With spring and outdoor playtime approaching, it's time to stop the lessons and spend more time outdoors! Have fun, Vivian - Amber and Daniela will miss you!!!
Sully is in 3rd grade, and has always loved reading. In 2nd grade, he started working with Kristina on phonics patterns and breaking apart long words. He worked hard all spring long, and then continued with Sasha in the summer. Now (in the fall), Sully is reading above grade level, and his confidence has soared because he knows he can learn any tricky pattern with enough practice. Congratulations, Sully! -Kristina and Sasha
Feedback From Happy Students and Families
(Note: names have been omitted or changed for privacy reasons.)
Rachel, mother of a second grader, sent us this after a joint session with Daniela and Fabi:
Sam worked with Daniela back in 2nd grade. He's now starting 4th grade, and his mom sent us this (about Sam and his younger brother Toby, who is working with Sasha):
"I just wanted to share with you that Sam [who worked with Kids Up Reading Coaches 2 years ago] is doing extremely well with his reading at school. Today we got his reading scores, and he is in the 90th percentile. I am very grateful for all the work that you did with him, your patience above all and really the support to build a strong foundation to propel him forward!
From Samantha, Paul's mom:
From Caroline, mother of a third grader:
"Now that our son is working with Daniela, we have decided to keep him at the neighborhood public school instead of a school for kids with learning difficulties. And I know that if he's not caught up by the beginning of the summer, he can continue the tutoring during the summer for an hour before or after his regular camps, instead of being in a half-day or full-day summer program specifically geared toward reading, like at Lab [the Lab School in Washington, DC]."
From Emily, Charlie's mom:
Mother of an initially reluctant 4th grader, after his first lesson:
"I talked with Thomas right afterwards and he was really happy with how the session went. He even said he had fun!!"
Amber, mother of a 2nd grader:
"Daniela Feldhausen is amazing!! We started with her in April, worked hard all summer and now [in November] my 8 year old is reading at a second grade level!! She was still at kindergarten level when we started. Massive improvements thanks to her!!
Nicole, mother of a 3rd grader:
"Now that he's in person at school...his teacher has noticed that overall his reading fluency has improved drastically."
Laurie, mother of a 5th grader:
"She is tutoring my 5th grade son 3x/week and even though we've only been doing it a few weeks, he's made a ton of progress. We were able to work the schedule so that he sees her virtually during an elective period." And, after almost 2 months of coaching: "I was actually out getting a book he asked me to get-this is the first time he's asked for a book! They're reading it in class and he wanted a copy at home. He also said he finished a book at school this week without using the audio version. Out of the blue this week he also showed me what you were working on last Friday-him writing a story you dictated. He seemed to be very proud of that. These are definitely big improvements for him... He's definitely improving and becoming more confident in reading... And I love the detailed reports of things he's working on."
Lorie, mother of an 8th grader:
"My rising 9th grader struggled to spell at an elementary school level. My neighbor recommended Daniela and it has been life changing for him. He was recently able to complete a high school level geography SOL spelling on his own which he would not have been able to do before working with Daniela. His stress and anxiety levels have decreased significantly. Both of us are so much more confident about his transition to his very competitive high school. I'm sure that as he works with Daniela his skill levels and confidence will continue to grow with leaps and bounds."
Parents of 6th grade and 4th grade boys:
"After Daniela started working with and having great success with our 4th grader, we suspected our 6th grader might need some support as well - as evidenced by his challenges in spelling (though no reading challenges). Daniela assessed for and recognized the gaps in our 6th grader's phonics skills, which he was cleverly working around but which would most certainly have caught up to him in 7th/8th grade and beyond. She engages our 6th grader in his own success by leveraging his spelling samples from school, including him in the ordering of activities in each session and showing him his progress. Daniela tailors her approach and pace differently and appropriately for our 4th and 6th graders to hone in on their focus areas for noticeable improvements. We are so appreciative of Daniela and the positive results we're seeing with both of our sons. We highly recommend her!"
From Melissa, the mother of 4th grader Charlie, to Meg:
"Meg, Thank you for the update. Charlie absolutely raves about you every day. From the connection to trains or coasters, to the amazing positive reinforcement he gets, he is always sharing new things the two of you worked on. Great job!"
And later, in a follow up to Daniela: "Meg is great. Charlie looks forward to every session with her."
Mother of a 1st grader:
"[My husband] and I were just commenting last night how amazing it is that she never complains about coming home from school and immediately jumping on Zoom for your time with her. She is learning so much and I am so grateful for your work with her and that we found you when we did."
Mother of a 1st grader, after 6 weeks of tutoring:
"I just wanted to let you know that Margot was using the skills she's learned with you this weekend when she was writing her birthday thank you notes. She was sounding out the words as she was writing and for necklace, she said, that's ck. I was very surprised she knew that and said so. She said, well Miss Daniela told me that it's ck when the vowel is short. She also was able to spell lights correctly. I was impressed:)" And just a few weeks after that: "Margot just told me she loves reading. She said it's her favorite thing ever!"
Father of a rising 3rd grader:
"Thank you for the update, and for all your continuing work with [our daughter]. I was sitting in the next room while [she] had her lesson yesterday (and earlier this week), and her reading is so much improved. She seems to be flying through Diary of a Pug, not getting tripped up on too many words, handling some tricky words well, understanding the story as she reads, and clearly enjoying it with her dramatic renditions."
Text exchange between the parents of a rising 3rd grader, after a few months of tutoring:
Dad: "I'm almost in tears listening to her. She's come so far." Mom: "She really has."
Robin, mother of a 1st grader in a Montessori school that doesn't teach children to read until 2nd grade:
"Thank you! She was practicing up a storm last night after dinner. 'Mom! Ask me how to write anything. I can do it!' She is gaining such confidence - real confidence, not false bravado. It's so amazing to see."
Mother of a 2nd grader, after only 3 weeks of tutoring:
"We are already seeing a HUGE improvement in Penelope. Last night she was confused as Phoebe was not pronounced with a long O sound. I almost cried."
Jenna, after her son Tom's first week with Rachel:
Mother of a 3rd grader:
"I really appreciate your [Amber's] thorough updates. Gabe is making tremendous strides thanks to your help." And then his father added: "I just want to second what [his mother] said. We are seeing a lot more confidence and spontaneous reading by Gabe, which is really fantastic. I think your sessions are really making a huge positive impact!"
Mom's feedback after Meg's first session with 4th grader Charlie:
"What a great first day. We do have book 24 [Magic Tree House] so I will put it on Charlie's desk for today's session. He had glowing reviews of your session. He especially liked how enthusiastic you were when he got things right. I think a big part of Charlie's issue is confidence. How that translates specifically to reading I will leave to your expertise.
Only two week into lessons with Sasha over the summer, one rising first grader's mother sent us this:
From the mother of a first grader who's working with Sasha:
Liz, mother of a 3rd grader who worked with Kerry:
"Hi Kerry, thank you so much for all of the help you gave [my daughter] this year. She was always excited for her sessions with you and cheerful afterward, and from my perspective she improved beautifully with your help!!"
From Rachel, a second grader's mom, responding to the weekly update in which her tutor mentioned their work on the hard and soft c and g that week:
From a conversation between Daniela and Cindy, mother of a 3rd grader, about why Cindy prefers Daniela to her daughter's two previous (less expensive) reading tutors:
From the father of a 4th grader, after about a month of tutoring:
"Thank you, Sasha. We are very pleased with the progress Bekalu is making with you. You have hit it off with him and manage to keep his attention focused for the entire session. Coupled with seeing [his SLP] on Saturday mornings, we think that Bekalu may actually start to enjoy reading! "
After this exchange, Bekalu's mom asked Bekalu how he feels about the tutoring, and here's his response: "Before Sasha started helping me I hated reading. Now I think I like it."
And then from dad: "Daniela, I am just curious what you think is the secret sauce that you use to get kids like Bekalu reading. I hear Sasha (and before them, you) giving Bekalu lots of choices and I wonder if that’s it. You also seem to make it fun somehow. Anyway, whatever methods you have developed, work well. Congrats. "