Picture Cards


Take pictures of your family members and various things around your home. Be sure to take pictures of things that start with different letters of the alphabet. Place the pictures upside down in front of your child. Have him or her look at one picture at a time. Then have him or her name the letter, the letter sound, and the word that is associated with the picture.


Shower Curtain Spelling Game


Here’s a new game that I just started playing with one of my students who has trouble learning his weekly spelling words. Sometimes, just writing the spelling words doesn’t work, but getting up and moving to spell might help the brain to remember the words.

Before playing:

Make an ABC mat using a shower curtain. I bought a cheap ($2.29) clear plastic shower curtain and cut it in half lengthwise. Then, I wrote each letter of the alphabet on the curtain using a sharpie. The folds of the shower curtain give you the perfect size boxes to fit the entire alphabet.

How to play:

Tell your child a spelling word from his/her list. Then, have your child jump, hop, march, etc to the first letter in the word, then the next letter, and so on. If your child spells the word correctly, great! If your child spells the word incorrectly, stop and have him/her start over from the first letter.

Have fun with a new way to practice spelling words!

Reading Passages Website

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Students in most grades and schools are expected to read daily for homework. Some days, this might be reading for fun, reading with the family, or reading to a sibling as I have written about before. However, some kids need some extra practice reading and answering comprehension questions. I use a great website (free) to find leveled reading passages and question sets for the students that I tutor. The site is called www.readworks.org. “ReadWorks provides over 1,800 non-fiction and literary (fiction) reading passages, each with a research- based question set to support student comprehension.” Once you log in, you can select grade level, lexile (reading) level, domain (subject), text type (non-fiction or literary), and skills/strategy (cause and effect, drawing conclusions, etc). I love this site because I can select texts that my students are interested in reading that are at their reading level. And, I don’t have to think of questions to ask because the questions, both ABCD and written responses, are right there for the student. Enjoy some new reading with your child.

“You literally saved my son’s life…”

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This is a great article someone passed on to me through Facebook. It really shows the importance of seeking out help for your child. This article specifically talks about how Learning Ally and a Barton tutor saved a third grader’s life. I know that a lot of times it is hard work and takes a lot of time, but finding good programs and good tutors will help your child with much more than just academic success. As stated in the article, the program and the tutor also helped her son gain back confidence in himself. If your child is struggling at all with academics or confidence at school, please seek out a tutor to help. That is what we are trained to do.

If you live in the Colorado Springs area and need a tutor, please contact me at madrake44@yahoo.com or 760-672-8668.

Should I hire a tutor?

tutoring signWhy should I hire a tutor for my child?

There are many reasons you might find yourself asking this question. Perhaps your child’s teacher recommended your child would benefit from tutoring. Perhaps your child’s report card is showing that he/she is not meeting the standards of the grade level. Perhaps your child is struggling to keep up with the rest of the class and is coming home unhappy or angry about school each day. For one or more of these reasons, you might consider hiring a tutor.

If your child’s teacher recommended you hire a tutor, he/she is probably concerned about your child’s progress in school. The teacher is probably seeing that your child is struggling in a particular subject and would benefit from some additional one on one support.

If your child’s report card is showing grades that are not meeting the standards, you might consider a tutor. A tutor can provide one on one instruction to help your child meet specific academic standards.

If your child is struggling in school and is coming home unhappy or angry after school, this could be a sign that your child needs additional help outside of school. Children that are struggling to keep up with their classmates will often feel unhappy about school or they will feel angry about school. A tutor can help boost confidence in your child while working on academic skills.

There are many reasons to hire a tutor for your child. Seeing your child’s academic success and confidence in learning will make hiring a tutor worth it!