When it comes to reading instruction, not all programs are created equal, especially for children who struggle with reading due to dyslexia or other learning disabilities that make it harder to learn to read. Many parents and students may feel overwhelmed when reading doesn’t just click or come naturally. Overburdened school districts often lack the resources or professional knowledge to help struggling readers and many students may fall through the cracks.
What to look for in an online tutoring program
- Trained Clinicians: There are online programs like those offered by RW&C that have trained clinicians who can deliver effective reading instruction remotely. Your child deserves to have someone who has been trained in reading remediation strategies and has experience. Online programs can be very effective but they will only be as effective as the clinician working with your child so make sure you choose wisely.
- Program Components: In 1997, a national reading panel developed guidelines for effective reading instruction. These included phonemic awareness, phonics, morphology, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Any effective online tutoring program will have these components. The online curriculum developed at RW&C is based on a structured language approach (formerly the Orton-Gillingham methodology) and covers each of these areas extensively.
- Additional Support: Weekly sessions are important, but so is daily practice. Make sure that any program you choose offers resources for both table top and online practice. In order to be successful, your child needs to repeat concepts until mastery.
- Progress Monitoring: Your clinician should offer baseline assessments as well as progress check points to ensure that your child is making progress. If not, the clinician should have the knowledge to offer suggestions and other methods of teaching to ensure that your child can succeed.
- Multi-Sensory Learning: Children are most successful when multiple modalities are utilized. An effective online program should include reading, writing, underlining, graphic organizers, and other methods to engage your child.
By doing your research to ensure that your child participates in an exemplary online tutoring program, you will be taking an important first step in helping your child become a life-long reader. This is a gift that will last a lifetime.