If your child has fallen behind in reading, math, or writing, you as a parent can’t help but share their discouragement. No matter how hard they try, that gap keeps getting bigger and bigger.  

So the end of the school year seems to offer a much-needed reprieve, an opportunity to hide those frustrations and failures in a corner for 12 weeks. And all seems well until August, when you’re preparing your child for school and you realize that their struggles, the frustrations, the hatred of school, all are as intense as ever – and likely worsened by the all-too-common summer learning loss. 

But you can follow another path. Instead of ignoring those school struggles for a couple of months, you can help your child close the gap. The Reading Success Plus intensive summer tutoring program is an opportunity to gain skills and confidence in reading, math, and writing, improving their performance and building momentum heading into the next school year. And there still will be time for summer fun. 

Speedier progress  

“The intensive summer tutoring program is very important because it’s a chance for a lot of students who are behind to make progress,” says Lawrence Kloth, co-founder of Reading Success Plus. “We find parents are a little discouraged after their kids didn’t do so well during the school year, and they’re looking for help over the summer to get their kids caught up. 

“The summer intensive program will make all the difference in the world for their youngsters to get that kickstart that they need to get going and make progress faster. Some parents even want to go beyond the end date because they realize how critical these two-and-a-half to three months can be for kids who are trying to make up ground.” 

The summer intensive program offers one-on-one tutoring four days a week, in person or online, in reading and spelling, math, or writing and grammar. Sessions run Monday through Thursday for four or eight weeks – your choice. You also have the option of an hour-long tutoring session a day or two one-hour sessions covering different skills: reading and math, for example. Our customary twice-a-week schedule is also offered for families who don’t want the quick pace of the intensive summer program. 

Our summer intensive program begins June 10, and the final week is Aug. 5-8. The schedule builds in time for make-up lessons. (Go here for more details, including costs. Intensive summer tutoring is offered at a discount.) 

Current students of Reading Success Plus can sign up now. New students must first go through a placement screening, which includes student assessments as well as conversations between our staff, the parents/guardians, and student. 

Opportunity to do more 

The summer program uses the same programs that we utilize throughout the year: Barton Reading & Spelling System, Lindamood LiPS, and Foundations in Sounds for reading; a multisensory Orton-Gillingham math program; and a writing and grammar program individually crafted for students from elementary school through college. 

“Maybe your student has been doing tutoring for reading and spelling,” Lawrence says. “They also struggle with math, but there isn’t time during the school year to get extra help with that.  Summer intensive is an opportunity to make progress in that second subject that you wouldn’t have during school.” 

The summer intensive program has long been a popular choice for new students. For those with difficulties with phonemic awareness, it’s an opportunity to plunge into LiPS or Foundations in Sounds, programs which will give students the foundation they need to succeed in the Barton program. But students who have already been in RSP programs will benefit just as much. 

“It doesn’t matter where a student may be in the program. We’re giving them an intensive program to accelerate their growth as fast as possible,” Lawrence says.  

“What we’re trying to do is like jump-starting an engine. It’s rough at first, but then something clicks, and it starts. And then, boom! They accelerate like a rocket.  

“If people choose not to do this program, that’s OK. They’ll still make progress following the twice-a-week schedule. But we have seen that the intensive sessions ignite a lot of growth.” 

Flexible enough to fit your summer 

Families have several options to make tutoring fit into their summer schedules. Perhaps the biggest is online learning. No matter where you are, if you can get online, you can have tutoring. Our tutors have met remotely with students in tents, at park shelters, on decks at cottages, hotel balconies, beach parking lots. Of course, you don’t have to be on the road to enjoy the convenience of remote tutoring. It’s just as much of a boon to families with transportation issues or with youngsters in childcare whose children can’t get to in-person sessions. 

Even if you choose in-person lessons, our flexible schedule offers options. 

“Families have choices,” says Anne Kloth, RSP’s other co-founder. “They can go four times a week with one subject, or 4 times a week with two subjects. They can do one four-week sessions or go for eight weeks. And of course, they can stick with the customary twice-a-week lessons if they prefer.” 

The program is flexible on lesson times as well, subject to availability of tutors. 

While we expect students in the intensive program to attend four times a week, we realize that our schedule doesn’t always mesh with yours. Two popular times for vacations – the first week after school and the weeks immediately before the return to classes – are open. If you’re gone at other times, makeup dates will be available so everyone can get the lessons that they pay for. 

“We know how precious summer is to families,” Lawrence says. “We want you to get out on the boat, go to the cottage, take that camping trip, hang out at the beach.  And tutors take vacations, too. We want to give everybody the flexibility to enjoy summer while we’re making the progress we want to see in our lessons.” 

Commitment required 

Here are three ways to make sure your child gets the most out of intensive summer tutoring. 

Show up. There’s a reason we call our summer program intensive. To make extra progress, students must put in extra effort. While we do offer makeup times for missed lessons and vacations, students in the intensive program are expected to be in tutoring sessions four times a week. Missed lessons are supposed to be an exception, not a regular practice. Repeated absences erode the value of an intensive session. 

Don’t wait. The intensive sessions are popular among families who are new to Reading Success Plus because they immerse students in their work, help speed youngsters through the LiPS and Foundations in Sounds programs, and generally accelerate learning so students can more quickly get caught up in the classroom. All true – but there’s no need to wait for the summer to get started. If your child has gone through the screening and you plan to start lessons, do it now. You’ll be weeks closer to getting your child up to grade level than you would be waiting. 

Keep going. Don’t stop lessons when the intensive summer tutoring session ends. Start on a twice-a-week schedule right away. Families who take a break between the end of the first four-week session and the beginning of school give up almost two months of learning. Plus, experience shows that when the student resumes tutoring, they might need weeks of review to get back where they were. (Check out this blog explaining why students should avoid extended breaks in tutoring.) 

“The intensive session happens during the summer,” Anne says, “but don’t think of it just as a summer program. To get the most out of it and to make significant gains, you must continue twice a week thereafter.” 

Lawrence adds: “Keep going to maximize the results possible. It’s not going to be a quick fix, overnight or in a summer session. I wish we had the pixie dust to throw and make everything better, but we don’t. Especially with reading, this is a multiple-year issue.  Taking a break only stretches the process out.” 

Reading Success Plus has offices in Grand Rapids and Troy and offers one-on-one tutoring online or in person in reading, math and writing. You can get more information at readingsuccessplus.com. To contact us, call 833-229-1112 or go online to https://readingsuccessplus.com/#contact.