The start of summer means a welcome break from school. But for struggling students, the end of school can be more than a vacation – it can be an opportunity to build their skills in reading, spelling, writing in math. And while this does require a commitment, nobody has to give up their fun in the summer sun.
Reading Success Plus is again offering its summer intensive program. This program offers one-on-one tutoring, in-person or online, to help struggling and dyslexic children and adults. Tutoring is Monday through Thursday, one to two hours per day for four weeks. Program options are reading and spelling, writing and grammar, and math. Students may choose one option for the one-hour program, or two options for the two hours (students also can choose to do lessons two hours a week).
All programs are open to students of all ages, including adults. Both the Grand Rapids and Troy locations offer in-person tutoring.
Sessions start June 20 and run until July 21. A break is scheduled for the week of the Fourth of July, and a makeup week starts July 25.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get ahead of the game and help their child out,” says Lawrence Kloth, co-founder of Reading Success Plus. “In any of those subjects, we can help you get ahead and help you make the progress you want.”
Offerings in reading, writing, math
For reading and spelling, RSP uses the Barton Reading & Spelling System, an Orton-Gillingham, multisensory, explicit and systematic phonics program with a long track record of success. If a student lacks the pre-reading skill of phonemic awareness (knowing the correct sounds for each letter), RSP can support the student through the Lindamood LiPs or Foundation in Sounds programs. These give students a strong foundation on which to build their reading skills.
Math instruction uses a multisensory Orton-Gillingham program. It covers math facts and vocabulary, word problems, time, money, fractions, percentages and more. Writing and grammar instruction, which is offered for all levels from elementary school to college, focuses on how to put together a perfect sentence or paragraph. It also guides the student through the elements of informative/explanatory, argumentative and narrative writing. The building blocks of good writing – grammar and vocabulary – are also covered.
Lawrence points out that for busy families already loaded up with summer activities, online instruction is a huge convenience.
“When parents have Lucy going to swim practice and Johnny going to basketball camp, it’s a big help if a student can sit home and do a lesson. Time is valuable, so we want to make it easier for everyone involved.”
Also, online tutoring eliminates the obstacle of distance. “You don’t have to stop lessons if you’re going to go away,” Lawrence says. “All you need is an internet connection. Especially for people with cottages and summer homes, online is a great way to keep kids on track.”
Families already do take advantage of online instruction during vacation trips. “I tutored someone on a family vacation in Mexico,” Lawrence says. Another tutor worked with a student vacationing at Yellowstone National Park – a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection at a camp were enough to make it work.
And of course, online tutoring negates the problem of distance even if you’re not on vacation. “If you live in the Traverse City area, we can help you. If you live in a rural area, we can help you. Even if you’re out of state, we can help you get ahead and make the progress you want to make.”
Part of a long-term plan
Lawrence emphasized that the summer intensive program isn’t intended to be a quick fix for learning problems. For students to reach their full potential, the summer program should be followed by tutoring two days a week, year-round, until they attain the needed skills.
“Some parents want a quick fix, and that’s not what these programs are designed to do. We do offer a condensed version of the writing program, and that can be a great jumpstart for someone moving, say, from eighth grade to high school. But for math, parents should continue that twice a week, or once a week at a bare minimum. And for the Barton reading program, that absolutely has to be a long-term, twice-a-week commitment.
“We know that money is tight, and some families might say, ‘We can only afford math once a week.’ Or, ‘Writing lessons twice a week is too much.’ We can make that work, and your kids will make progress. But it will be slower.”
For families interested in the summer intensive program, the first step is to sign up for a screening. All new students must undergo a two-hour screening, which includes parent and student interviews and student assessments. All new students must have an assessment.
Summer Intensive Program: What you need to know
Dates: Monday-Thursday, June 20-23, June 27-30, July 11-14, July 18-21. Closed July 4-7. Make-up week July 25-28.
Locations: Grand Rapids office, 4467 Cascade Road SE; Troy office, 2265 Livernois Road; or online, anywhere in the world
Two-Hour Program: Four two-hour sessions per week. $1500; $350 Deposit required.
One-Hour Program: Four one-hour sessions per week. $750; $250 Deposit required.
Comprehensive placement screening: A two-hour screening is conducted for all new students. It includes a parent/guardian interview, student interview and student assessments. The cost is $275, due at time of screening.