Many of the inquiries we receive from parents at Symbols are for kids struggling with reading or reading comprehension. Some of these children are coming to us with a diagnosed learning disability, while others have no learning difference at all, but are simply falling slightly behind their peers and are in need of a boost. Parents who contact us often describe their children as “not reading at grade level”, “struggling to read” or having difficulty with fluency, focus, processing or comprehension when reading. In any case, our 1-to-1 Orton-Gillingham tutoring is designed to help.
Orton-Gillingham (OG) tutoring was originally created to help children with dyslexia to learn to read. But in practice, OG can be simply described as a highly-effective way of teaching a child – any child – to read. New students begin with our proprietary, comprehensive Intake Assessment, which allows us to identify areas where the student is already strong, and areas where focused support is needed. During the assessment, we will discover things such as which phonograms/phonemes the child can read, which they can reproduce after hearing the sound, their understanding of basic grammar principles, among many other tested areas. Based on the results of the assessment, we establish an individualized tutoring plan, unique to the student. Lesson content, lesson delivery, and subsequent lesson plans going forward are then based on the student’s own rate of progress and specific needs.
The individualized lesson content, and the fact that lesson progression is based on the student’s rate of progress, make for a very effective approach in which students can truly see and appreciate their progress in reading. After seeing this progress, their increasing confidence has a snowball effect, often making them excited to learn even more now that they know they can do it, and they are delighted to see that their new skills transfer to the classroom. For our tutors, this stage is the most exciting and rewarding; seeing that change in the struggling student who first came to them is the reason they chose this career path. But usually, even more excited than the tutor or even the student, is the once-worried parent, who can now rest easy, knowing their child is finally on their way to reading proficiency.