Letters from Parents
To Paula Bright
The Online Reading Teacher
February 7, 2017
We love the online reading teacher! I didn’t think he would learn from someone who wasn’t even with him in person. But he LOVES it! So we love you.
Thank you for engaging my reluctant reader within a week. He wants more lessons per week…don’t think we can afford that. But his two sessions with you are golden!
Angie and Paul
Parents of Brad
January 1, 2017
Being the New Year, I wanted to check in and say how happy my son is. He’s gone from a total non-reader to 2nd grade level in three months. I call that GREAT! At this rate, he’ll be reading 4th grade level so soon. And he’ll be caught up with his friends. Yeah!
December 6, 2016
We’re so pleased. Kim is advancing rapidly. Thank you so much.
November 16, 2016
These sound good but I don’t know. I don’t know if it will really help, and I don’t have all the $$ I need. What should I do?
Bert single dad 1 girl
Hi, Bert. I’m Paula. I can’t help with paying it for you, but I can promise you that you won’t be wasting money. When I have my free evaluation session with a child, if I am not confident that I can help, I will tell you not to spend your money with me.
If I AM confident your child will learn to read with my help, I tell you that too.
The choice is completely yours. 🙂
Good luck, Bert. I know it’s hard raising a child alone, facing all the tough decisions alone..
November 10, 2016
Well, Miss Paula, Andy is a happy girl. She is now reading Fancy Nancy books with her friends! This is more than I ever hoped for in just two months. It’s kind of like you turned on some kind of switch.
Just keep doing it! I know she’s not past all the issues.
No, she’s not, but with her ‘I’ll do anything to be a good reader’ attitude, it won’t be long before she IS caught up! Congrats to you both.
October 18, 2016
She loved the lesson. She wants one every day. That won’t happen, but I am going to get three instead of two. When I asked, you said, yes, that would absolutely speed up her learning. I hope it’s true, so I’m trusting you. For a BIT! 😉
October 10, 2016
I have seen her grow in the last few months. I feel lucky that I had you to guide her. Thank you for your dedication.
She’s doing very well in second grade!
I enjoyed every minute with her. What fun to teach her. 😀
I know he still has a ways to go, but he has come so far. I owe a ton of thanks to you!
I loved showing him the secrets behind how the letters work together. Once he understood that they aren’t just random craziness, it all began to come together. A—ha! 😉
PaulaOctober 4, 2016
She made great progress working with you and that has continued. She’s not grade level yet but her confidence has grown and she working hard and improving. Alayna says hi!
Mom and Child
September 12, 2016
Thanks so much for everything you did. So much better at school. THANK YOU
Steve and Ronny
September 1, 2016
My daughter HATED reading! I tried many different methods and websites to teach her and it just wasn’t clicking. Well she has been meeting with Miss Paula for a few months now. She looks forward to their sessions. The other day I heard them both laughing so hard during the lesson. It made me smile because my daughter was having a good time and reading:) Although she is not at grade level yet she is making great progress. She is enjoying it more, reading signs and other print around us and actually trying to sound out words sometimes. She is proud of the work she does with Miss Paula and I am proud of her. Thanks Miss Paula for everything so far and what is yet to come:)
A, You are SO welcome! She is a joy to teach.
PaulaSeptember 1, 2016
you changd everything. My boy Jaret reads now, and if he can’t read a word, he tell me the choices to try, short or long or other sounds. We don’t always work it out rite. You know I have reading probs of my own. Never relly learnd. But he knows if he has questons and writes it down for you to show him next leson!
Thank you for teacing my boy to do better then me. he is showing me a lot of stuff too! I may learnd to read yet, from my own son.
He is so eager to learn, and pays perfect attention during lessons. I’ve never had a child who was so determined to learn. You have taught him very well! Good for you.
Email me anytime for some ideas for books for you to read. There are a lot I think you’d enjoy, even if you have a few problems. I can help you with them.
August 29, 2016
YES! I’m amazed that my child, who couldn’t read any kindergarten words, and is now in 1st grade, is suddenly able to read the beginning texts at his grade level.
I heard about you from a friend, and didn’t really think you could do much. I was wrong. Now the things he didn’t learn in kindergarten are becoming easy skills for him in 1st.
It’s something different or special or ???? I don’t know what you do! But you got him past his problems, when his kindergarten teacher and 1st grade teacher couldn’t make a dent.
I would recommend you to anyone who has a child with problems reading at grade level. You definitely changed our reading world.
Thank you! Let me know if there’s any way I can help you with your work.
I’m just glad I could help. He’ll do fine from now on. He discovered that letters make words, and words have MEANING. That’s the most important lesson of all. 😀
September 9, 2016
When my daughter came to Paula, she didn’t understand her short vowel sounds which put a great limit on her reading. As her classmates progressed, my child was also progressing but in very small increments. She felt self-conscious and when it came to reading, she had low self esteem.
I was desperate to find something because not all kids learn the same way and unfortunately in school, they teach the same way because they don’t have time to cater to all the different needs of each kid.
Paula took my shy reader to a more confident reader. She can sit with me and read a book at her grade level with little to no help. She takes the initiative to read books and have started to dabble into some of her 5th grade sister’s advanced books. She is a curious and engaged reader now and that’s all I could ask for.
Thank you Paula for all your help!
It was a pleasure working with her! Thanks for sending her my way. I’m confident that she’ll be able to keep up and even exceed her grade level.
June 11, 2016
I think she has come along tremendously! Her teacher even said she is a great reader. I volunteer in her classroom and they do classroom reading where her teacher picks kids to read each sentence and Emma has had no problems doing that!
I think she’s blossoming! 😀
May 25, 2016
Emma just started, and has had four lessons. Thank you for the feedback! I didn’t expect to hear anything for a lot longer. It is great that you give parents so much information.
She gets excited when I tell her she has a lesson!!!?
Sent from my iPhone
Jean and Emma
It’s thrilling to see her bounding ahead!
She now recognizes so many sight words that she had been exposed to, but didn’t recognize. Now they’re coming to her naturally. I love teaching her! I really look forward to our lesson times.
And her short vowel decoding speed is getting better every lesson. Many are now coming naturally. You’re doing great work at home, Mom! 😀
May 13, 2015
Thank you so much for everything! You are changing my daughter from a child who can’t into a child who can. I can’t even believe it’s happening. THANK YOU.
Jean and Emma
June 8, 2016
He made the “C , c” today.
Yeah, hallilooyah, hiphip hoorah …. and he reached the goal you two set last week. Woohoo!
Lynn and Cary
We’re CHEERING! And having a celebration tonight, with friends and popcorn and a movie. Wish you could be here. 🙂
And YES Ma’am! I’ll have him dictate a couple sentence to me about his success. I can’t believe how easily he can read harder words in things he wrote himself!
That’s a GREAT lesson for me. Thak you!
July 1, 2016
You are so welcome, Alison! I love working with him and don’t think it will take very much time, if he continues to learn at the pace he’s working now.
August 31, 2016
I was desperite. My Ames was failing secondd grade, reading at a low 1st grade level. Didn’t know what to do. Tried everything I could think of on my own.
Saw your site. Saw how much it cost. Knew I could never manage it. But things kept getting worse and her teacher told me she wld be held back. So I took some money from paying my bills. I knew it was wrong, but i was so afriad for her if she couldnt read.
So I wrote you and we did it. Jsut the improvement after one lesson show me that sometimes the most important things are worth it. I know it seems impossible. Like you just can’t possibly do it.
But I was desperite. And so i just did it.
She did really good the very first week. Her teacher asked, what happened. I didn’t say anything. Then she got better and faster and faster. And I knew I did the right thing.
Her teacher asked agian, what happened,. I told her about you. She didn’t beleive that much change could happen. But I knew it did. Because my reader kid who coud not could READ all of a sudenn ciykd read,.
Coud not stay long with you, but the things you tauhgt her stuck. She used on with it to other things in reading. She Started learning on her own, because you showed her how.
Glad for every penny I paid. Wish it didn’t cost so much, but I know from our emails one 2 one that your husband has cancer and big bills, and you have vision problems and back surgery bills. MAN! I hate that. But I get it now. I know you wat to hlep the kids but you need to take car of you family.
I get it. I’m not mad anymore that you charge so much. You have to live, right? Like all of us. And all your years of experience.And of schoool and dets. I realize now that teachers shouldn’t earn almost nothing, if they worked their whole life to get great at what they do, and then are expected to give it all away.
I will always be thanking you as my girl goes through school and to colegge and a good career and who knows?
Thank you Paula, for not getting mad abut all my griping about the money constantly, and still you taught my kid GREAT. You put up with me realy well.
April and Ames*
Now doing great great great in 2nd grade!
September 5, 2016
April and Ames…Ames is a thrill to teach, as she caught on so quickly. I was excited to see her absorbing the skills I showed her, in a different format from the way she didn’t succeed with at school. I loved every minute of our limited sessions.
I hope you will both keep in touch. I didn’t mind your arguments about price. As a previous public school teacher, I too wish I could help every child who needs me. It breaks my heart to tell parents who need me what my prices are. But I have to keep my husband’s bills paid, and my own, too.
So—I just can’t teach for free. We have huge medical bills, and there’s just no getting around that fact.
So I charge what I charge…and the fact that I get lots of students tells me that somehow my help must be worth it. I feel SO horrible for the parents who write but can’t get my help. But I feel blessed to help the kids I do help.
But I’m proud of YOU, April, for going for the prize for your child. It all worked out well, and you didn’t have to stay with me very long.
Way to go, Ames!
July 20, 2016
Miss P–I am sorry to be so mean. I instulted you and wasn’t nice. But you stayed nice. It makes me mad to pay this $$$$$ and I told you so very bad.
Ames loves her lessons and is doing better on her reading. I don’t know why but she is.
I think I might have ben wrong being so bad to you. She can start to read now.
July 22, 2016
I don’t mind at all. I know it’s hard to come up with the money for my lessons, and I know that it’s scary and seems unfair. I wish I could teach every child who needs me. But I just can’t. I’ve worked hard for many years to get to this level, and it has cost a lot. Believe it or not, at age 62 I still have student loans for my graduate studies, because I continue to take classes on any reading topic that I think might teach me another technique. The web offers so many opportunities to learn more that I can’t resist them.
My husband’s health is not great, and is expensive. Mine is the same way. I’m so sorry that some parents are angry, but that’s where we are in our lives.
Ames missed a few major points when she was learning to read. I’m filling in those gaps in her knowledge, and her reading is now improving quickly and problem-free. I love teaching her.
I don’t think it will take very long for me to catch her up.
I hope she won’t need me for long, and that you will be free of my prices.
May 10, 2016
I thought you would be excited to hear that Annie was discussing a book she is reading with a friend at dance class today. She has been reading a series by Wendy Mass – 11 birthdays, ect. She is on 12 finally and I thought it might be a bit challenging (and it probably is) but a girl her age from her dance class saw her reading it and started a discussion. Annie was just beaming that she was able to discuss the book with a peer.
I really do think she’s enthusiastic about our book, unless she’s the best actress in the world! Big progress for a girl who hated reading a year ago. 😀
Months ago, she never had a clue where we left off in a book, even if she seemed to enjoy it. Today she not only recalled the event we were in the midst of when we last stopped, but had the details at her fingertips. She told me she was VERY worried that Ellen hadn’t removed her Star of David necklace in such a possibly dangerous situation. Go, girl!
Lots of growth going on with her. Love it. Keep me posted. 🙂
September 09, 2016
Miss Paula has been an outstanding influence on Donnie’s reading. He has so much more confidence when he reads and he looks forward to reading (unlike before).
He is remembering all the little tips and tricks you have shown him and is excited to show me after every session.
April 10, 2016
Four lessons now, and going great. We mostly do the review work you send when I’m driving, so thanks for making that work for us. Donnie loves every lesson, and doesn’t mind practicing at all! What is up with you, lady? You have some kind of thing that gets kids excited. I’m a FAN! <grin> Wish I could do it somehow.
He’s a sweet kid, and a pleasure to read with. xo
April 1, 2016
Donnie thought you were great! He was very excited at the end of your session and felt very proud with what he read.
I did listen in a few times and I think you are just what he needs. His confidence is quite low as he knows that he is struggling compared to his classmates. You were very encouraging and made him feel good about his progress.
I can’t wait to see how it goes from here.
April 1, 2016
Maria is reading sight words! It is not the way her tachers taught her where she failed. It is the way you are teaching her, and she is so proud and I am so proud. yes yes yes to this other way of teaching and learnig to read!
March 10, 2016
It’s so thrilling to see her bounding ahead, when she’s been stalled in one place for so many years. Your simple sentence method is really working on short vowels, and she’s READING. She can read a bit now, and she knows. it. We practice a lot, because she asks to, and I am so very happy to read with her when she feels she can succeed. My little girl is going to be okay!
Thank you so very much. Well worth the money, though it’s hard for us to come up with it. You know we aren’t the people who can afford this. But I’m so glad we are managing it. I really appreciate the links you send for us to work more on what you’ve taught her. I think it won’t take years like we feared it would. We’ll just follow this plan, and I know you’ll still help when we can’t manage it any more.
Bless you, Paula.
Of course I will, Drew. Write me any time after she leaves me. I promise I’ll know her, remember her weaknesses, and will have ideas for you. But I’m glad she’s staying with lessons for a bit longer…she still has a few things to conquer.
February 4, 2016
She loves her lessons! I can see that she is more confident than before. She also started to try to read words when we are going places. I haven’t had her read to me yet because I thought it would add too much pressure and I want her to see that reading is fun. She definitely has fun reading with you so I think it’s only going to build and eventually she’ll start asking me to have her read to me. 🙂
April 13, 2016
Well, she wants to read to me every night now. But she doesn’t want to read books. She wants to read the stories she created with YOU.
I’m a happy mom, indeed I am. I don’t know how you get her to tell all those stories but she can read evrey one!
February 10, 2016
It’s always easier for kids to read things they dictated themselves. They remember their own words, and are able to decode them fairly easily, even if the words they read aren’t typical. I’m always amazed, myself! 😀
January 24, 2016
Thanks for asking my thoughts about how it’s going with Jacob. The answer is: GREAT! I’m am thrilled as well. He really loves reading with you, and I am seeing the spill-over into his school work. His teacher has commented as well. And it’s only been five lessons.
All in all, I’d say you’re working your usual whatever that the people talked about on Reviews page.
I didn’t believe in these letters, to tell you the truth. But now I’m writing one myself! Girl, you are GOOD. I reckon they weren’t lies, like I thought they were. As here I am writeing one!
We’re all so relieved that the tantrums over HAVING to try to read seem to be a thing of the past! He can’t read them all yet. But he sees that he will. And I no longer force him to “try” on things that are beyond his abilities. That changes everything. He does his reading at a level he can accomplish. It’s made all the difference.
I don’t know why we forced him to try to sound out things he hadn’t yet learned. Your advice was deeply appreciateed. Thank you for challenging me on that.
Samantha, Jacob, and family
Hi, Samantha. Jacob is going to be fine. He simply missed the first year of instruction on reading. Probably he just wasn’t ready. Many kids aren’t. Or may his teacher wasn’t strong on teaching reading.
Now he gets it that letters mean sounds (even if some seem to be simply crazy!), and that will take him the full distance, with a bit of help. He’s doing beautifully! I have NO worries about his reading future. I know it is hard for you to pay for lessons, but they will pay off for him, and won’t last all that long. I hate that I can’t give my skills to folks for free, but—Bob and I are old folks, and need the money for health care! ;D
January 17, 2016
Thank you for your note on how beautifully Toby did during his lesson. Listening in, I thought so too! I’ve never heard him read without straining and almost crying. But today he did, and I loved it so much.
Sarah and Toby
Toby did great! It won’t take long to solve his reading issues. I’m confident about this. He has almost all the basics. He’s just missing a few small things, and we’ll solve those in the coming weeks.
October 26, 2015
Carson loved his free lesson, and he loved his first real lesson! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes!
I am so hopeful!
Me, too, Marianne! He took to my different methods immediately. I have very high hopes for his reading success and turn-around. 🙂
January 10, 2016
The news is all good. He hasn’t lost a bit of his skills over the long holiday, because he spent a lot of it READING. How cool is that?
October 13, 2015
Hi, Paula! You are exceptional. So well worth the cost! Initially I thought it was too much, but had to try you because we were in so much trouble, reading-wise, and you just seemed to offer something a little unusual somehow. Am I glad we did! Ecstatic parents here!
Jan and Demetri
P.S. And yes! You do teach very differently than anyone else we tried!
September 12, 2016
It’s months later, and Jeb is reading beautifully. He’s hit my original goal of reading on grade level.
We’re sticking with the lessons to raise his skills above grade level. I want him well-prepared for junior high and high school. And when I listen in, I love the way you increase his vocabulary, and show him Latin and Greek roots, that ties the whole language together.
I know that is will support his dream of being a scientist, and cherish every lesson I listen in on. You are teaching him so much more than the beginner skills that we started with a couple years ago.
You amaze me, Paula.
September 13, 2016
I’m just excited to teach a kid who’s so open to expanding his vocabulary, and his scientific concepts. It’s a true joy to work with Jeb.
September 22, 2015
Jeb has made TREMENDOUS progress this year!! I have really noticed a change in his reading in the past few months. I used to struggle with him to pick up a book and read and he is now reading to me and wanting to. Keep doing what your doing! He really looks forward reading with you every week. We even set up is own email address so he could ask you questions! His computer skills on the MAC are better than mine, thanks to you.
He is not bored at all with the lessons. He reminds of a little man!!
He even gets excited to read to me!
Kelly and Jeb
April 19, 2015
He really struggled at the beginning of the year reading the test questions. He still needs to practice but a definite improvement! Before he was always asking me ” what does that say”. Now he sounds it out himself. He says you showed him that there are different choices to make on harder words, and to try them all.
Thank you very much!
Kelly and JebSeptember 14, 2015
We’re ecstatic. Only five lessons in and Jordan has changed his attitude about reading. You tell him not to worry about the problems at school, because together you’re fixing them. That his teacher will be proud of his improvement. That he’ll be reading with the other kids soon.
Is this a dream, or really happening? Where have you been the past two horrible years? Kidding! Jack (hubby) says you are a godsend. I agree.
Most importantly, so does my son. Thank you, Miss! That’s what J calls you when we talk about lessons. Which we do a lot, because he likes to show me during homework something he can read now that he couldn’t before. He even wonders what Miss weould think of this or of that. You’re part of his life now.
You’re a true and natural born teacher. We thank God for sending us your way.
Emily, Jack, and J
August 4, 2015
Please, please, pleae help us. My daughter knows her letters big and little, but she can’t put them together in a word. She is failing already and she’s only six. She can see that other 1st graders read already, but she can’t read anything but her name.
I am desperate. I can’t afford you, but I know I have to try it. I’ll take the money from somewhere else if you can truely help, as you say you can.
August 5, 2015
I’m glad we did the free session. I can help her, for sure. I’ve seen what her weak spots are, and we’ll fill them in with understanding. She’ll be great. 🙂
September 7, 2015
Paula, your great. My daughter can’t wait for her next lesson. When she told me that that’s when I knew this was going to work. Now it’s been a month and she is reading easy books to me every night.
I love you for taking this burden off my sholders. What an incredible relief! I was sick over it every night. Crying a lot.
Go, Paula and Christy!
August 30, 2015
WOW, Paula! Your passion takes my breath away…I love it! I too dream of a world in which good, caring teachers are trusted to do a professional job and are encouraged to teach children, not cover curriculum. You keep on helping Russell and I KNOW he’ll make it!
August 14, 2015
What a beautiful piece of writing, Paula! I could so easily visualize your online classroom and your students busily and confidently engaged in wondering, conferencing, researching and writing. What a born teacher you are!
I too prefer more student-driven inquiry. However, since returning to teaching this year (after 15 years away), the pressure to “meet benchmarks” has really changed the educational atmosphere in most classrooms. I am struggling to find ways to mesh the real need for students to perform well on state assessments (since so much is based upon this) and the importance of student choice and motivation in maintaining joy and wonder in the classroom.
Annie, I feel your pain! That’s one reason I’m so glad I left public schools to teach on my own, in my own way. I can change my style from minute to minute, child to child, depending on what the CHILD needs. No mandates are governing how I do it. It’s so refreshing and liberating! The way teachers are treated these days? I wouldn’t go back to it for $100,000 a year.
For teachers who are truly dedicated, which includes almost all of the teachers I’ve ever worked with, the current climate and treatment of teachers is hideous. The government, and overly critical parents who forget that you have 27 kids in one room—you can’t spend 30 minutes a day with one child—combined are destroying teachers’ souls.
Now I have the time to talk with each parent, and to tell them what their child needs to do at home, as well as with me.
I wouldn’t go back to school teaching for the world. Of the ten best teachers I ever met, only one is still teaching. And she cries every night about testing, testing, testing. It’s a national tragedy that the very best can’t stand to do it any longer, because it hurts children.
Best of luck to you, my friend. God bless you for going back and trying to hang in there.
July 16, 2015
My son E. just read Toot to me. This is the happiest day of my life. My son READ a book! And it’s not possible that he memorized it. Too many words that he didn’t used to be able to read! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are in your hands for as long as it takes!!!
He wants to read Toot every lesson! Naturally we don’t, since he needs to continue to learn, but he is SO proud! I love it. He’s doing beautifully.
June 24, 2015
I just want to say thank you for all the work you are doing with Nicole. It’s because of you that she has found her love of reading again!
June 9, 2015
FYI, John asked me what congruent meant last night while he was doing his homework!!!! He pronounced it correctly!! He is doing so much better with his reading!!! I am so excited!!!
Jeanette, John questions words all the time now, throughout our lessons! He’s finally realizing that reading MEANS something. Things that he CAN understand! BRAVO, John!
May 26, 2015
Wish I was rich and had you all week! I absolutely love you and see how far C has come with your help and with you helping me know how to teach him as a homeschool mom.
I am praying about the situation, because I want the best for him. I don’t feel ready to do this on my own, and still think he needs a teacher to guide him. You ARE that teacher.
February 1, 2016
C is heartbroken that we are stopping lessons, and so am I. The money for it is just not there anymore. BUT–I can’t believe all the resources you sent me when you learned we had to stop.
I love you, Paula. And I so appreciate your offer for guidance in teaching him myself in homeschool. I will try no to bother you too often.
He’s advanced 3 grade levels in less than a year, and that makes my homeschooling job easier. And with your tips that you’ve been sending me, I am sure he (and I!) will accomplish this.
Thank you so much, so very much. You’ve chanced C’s life.
February 5, 2016
C was a delight to teach, and you were the perfect homeschool mom. You didn’t bug me with every thought you had, as many do. You combined your questions, realizing that I had many other students to attend to, and that I’d of course get to your questions eventually. And you didn’t fight me on the responses I sent. You and your child were the perfect combination to succeed wonderfully with my rather unique methods.
Thank you for accepting the methods I used, no matter how “different” they may have seemed to you.
C will soar with his reading and learning, and you, as homeschool teacher, are so much more informed than when we first met. Good for you for reading the various resources I sent you. I can tell by C’s progress that you’re doing it all just right!
I’m proud of you, K!
March 25, 2015
I would like to recommend Paula Bright as a highly skilled and dedicated tutor for my grandson. My grandson was severely behind in his letter recognition and ability to read. Paula from day one was able to light a spark in his mind that first and foremost ” He can learn to read!!” He had given up on reading. With Paula’s guidance and encouragement my grandson believes in himself again.
Paula has a unique approach to fostering young minds. She has the patience of a saint (quite literally) and makes learning fun and exciting. My grandson considered her his friend and would refer to her this way frequently to me. He always looked forward to their session via Skype and would sit waiting for her call.
The many different approaches Paula used to maintain his interest and co-operation were astounding. Paula is a brilliant woman and teacher and inspired this same brilliance in my grandson. I was amazed as were his parents.
My grandson’s parents stated that the investment they made for their son by having Paula tutor him is one of the best investments they could have made.
He still has a long way to go but with Paula’s guidance I have faith that he can reach his goals.
I would endorse Paula with an “A+” rating to any parent or grandparent needing extra focus and skillsets to help their child with reading. I give her a glowing recommendation!!
I wish every teacher had her instructional and directional leadership in teaching our children.
February 10, 2015
Dad has been listening on a lot of the skypes with you and my grandson. He is amazed at how well you and him connect with each other. And how he works at learning to read with you. And he was here Thursday!! When he read a bit!! Then he called MOM to boast! Mom was home today and Corey actually read one page of his Big Hero 6 book to her. Between me and you I am not sure if he already had it memorized or not. LOL … but even if he did he still read it!!! Mom is sort of a hard sell. But she was smiling. And she agreed that she wants him to continue with you.
February 6, 2015
I’m in amazement. My kid who refused to see his after-school reading tutor anymore, ever, and even sat there one day in total silence for the full half hour. Rebelling. And now this!
Well, I forced him to sit at the computer and meet with you to try something else. I know he didn’t talk for five minutes, but your laughing and cheerful self somehow got him bucked up, and finally he couldn’t help but smile and answer you. WOW!
Not only does he want to see you again, but he said maybe he could see you every day and be a good reader really quickly. Seriously! You know and I know I can’t afford that. It’s a ton of money! But how great is it that he WANTS TO?
He’s in his room now reading the stuff you went over with him and sent to me. And he’s not asking for help. He said he’s pretty sure he’s going to be the fastest one you ever had to learn. I hope he’s right!!!!!!
Could this be the chance I’ve been searching for, for so long, actually happening? I don’t know yet. He could change his mind in a half hour! He’s like that. Right now he’s waiting for his dad to get home so we can, as he put it “have a talk about Miss Paula.” He is going to ask his dad for more lessons than we planned.
This is unbelievable, and I KNOW it can’t last. But what a treat, after a LONG time of hoping, praying, trying to help, him yelling, not accepting help crying sulking, being mean to his sister, being disrespectful to us, etc. etc. etc. He never used to be that way until school started frustrating him so badly. He was always so sweet.
YEAH! I can work with this situation. (But not five days a week! Two at most) 😉 $$$
Bette and son, who are…
…just waiting for a “chat” with Dad! (I’m grateful, for once. I don’t have to be the one to tell him that it’s not possible. I already did, but I guess he didn’t believe me. Apparently he thinks Dad will be more understanding. I don’t think at nine he quite understands income and outflow, and that #2 can’t out-do #1! But it’s still a GREAT day. Thank you, Miss Paula Lee Bright!)
P.S. Racking my brains out right now to think of a way to earn enough for a third lesson. Darn! Now the kid has ME doing it! 😉
July 17, 2015
Paula, we’ve done it. He reads a book a night to me, usually ones you’ve read together that we then get from the library. I can’t believe the difference in this child. Your work is unbelievably incredible. I have no idea how you do it! I truly don’t, despite the fact that I eavesdrop on every session!
What is your secret?????
Hi, B. I honestly don’t have a clear answer for you about my secret. I’ve read everything there is to read ABOUT reading, and more comes out every day…and I think about it all the time. trying to create other techniques to teach each skill. And different ways to approach kids with different attitudes. It’s fascinating!
At night, while trying to go to sleep, I go over every student’s reading from that day, or previous days, and think hard about how I can change things up to improve my teaching for that specific child.
But 30 years ago, long before I started on this mission of mine, I was able to somehow sense what it was that was stopping a child from “getting it.” So if I took care to get them past that obstacle, the rest started to flow naturally. In my very first classroom, I knew how to help the non-readers. I just did.
Maybe this is a gift I received from spending my whole childhood (and life) as an avid reader. The librarians all knew me by name, and I was allowed to take out unlimited amounts of books, even though the usual limit for my age was 10. They KNEW that I read them all! I thank my mom and my aunt for my love of reading.
Or maybe it’s a God-given talent. I honestly don’t know, but I am VERY happy to have it. :
January 14, 2015
He was so proud of himself today after the first lesson! He just said that you told him to stay in this “I can do it” space , don’t really know what he meant by that but he seems to know what you told him so I left it alone lol . Overall , yes he was extremely happy for having the courage to read with you. He can’t wait for next time. I’m so happy, and hopeful.
He’s not as behind as you and he both think he is. I loved to see his triumph when I walked him through a word he didn’t think he could read, yet then he did. It’s so helpful when a child who is reluctant to work with me gets excited and starts accessing things he somewhat knows, but doesn’t yet know how to apply. His enthusiasm really helped him!
February 7, 2015
He has become so good on reading, suddenly, after seeming to move so slowly for a while. Even when he comes to unfamiliar words, when I think he will say he doesn’t know it, he makes connections to words he knows, and will work it out! It’s boosting his confidence a ton. What a turnaround you’ve brought about! Thank you so very, very much.
..who had written earlier:
December 27, 2014
This is awesome on the reading. I heard him reading some of the Froggy book and it sounded like he was reading good. Before he couldn’t read anything, despite months of me homeschooling him and working on it so hard. I’m so happy to see him progressing. Thank you for the time that you have put into him. You’never know how much it is appreciated!
..who had written earlier:
October 10, 2014
I’m so happy I found you!!! I was actually googling on teaching a child to read when I found your site. I knew he (and I) needed help, but wasn’t happy with the tutor he had.
When I read your parent testimonials, I thought “This is too good to be true! They are probably made up.” Lol. Then I showed your site to my husband. Of course, he wasn’t happy about the price, but I told him that I thought this was one area where you get what you pay for.
Then when my emails weren’t getting through, I figured you were trying to avoid a child with so many reading problems.
I now see the opposite! I see how much you care for each child and the love of reading.
Katherine! I wasn’t trying to avoid him! I’m simply overwhelmed with requests for help every day, and often fall 10 or more days behind, just because there’s no time to send a personal message to each one. I get to it eventually, but it’s often very late.
AND my email was having horrible glitches! 🙁
November 9, 2014
I’m speechless. After three sessions, my son can’t wait for the next lesson. He is reading the books you recommend to me. He never would read to me! We’re excited here in Texas! I hope you keep on doing what you’re doing, and that he keeps on loving it. Thanks so much.
Mama of a VERY reluctant reader
October 1, 2014
We found an ANGEL when we found you on line!!!! From barely reading to reading on grade level in 4th grade? Never dreamed it could happen!
September 29th, 2014
Thank you again for working with Cait. I’m trying my hardest to do what I can on this side, but lack so much of the skills you have. I appreciate the hard work that you have put into her reading. I’m beyond pleased.
September 18, 2014
Lol! I love you!!! Your notes about Caitlin’s work are often funny, and give me both a smile and hope when I’m worrying too much. You make me feel like Caitlin is your only student and care in the world. And it’s working, both for her and for me.
I love that you check in so often on how she’s doing with the work at home. You are NEVER bothering me with your notes and questions, so don’t worry! I am so glad we found you so early on!
October 8, 2014
In trying to clear some email, I came across this note from you from just over a year ago. I thought it would give you a happy feeling, just as it did for me.
September 18, 2013
I am interested in starting your program with my 4th grade, 10 yr old son. He has been in academic assistance at his school since Kindergarten, and while he has made progress, he is still very slow at reading and it is a huge challenge to get him to read each day!! We are eager to try something else!! Thank you.
October 9, 2014
Well if that doesn’t make us happy, I don’t know what will!!!! Rejoicing in this today!!! It’s so amazing to see how much he has improved!!! Thank you, thank you. God Bless!
October 10, 2014
Just think, this was about a year ago plus a couple weeks. I’m very pleased…I think he’s come up 3 to 4 grade levels. Many experts think that it’s unlikely for a child to make that much progress. But I saw all the things he could do, and went from there. And he took it on and ran with it.
Go, kid!!!! I love working with you, buddy. xoxo
September 13, 2014
Paula, we are celebrating today!!! This was the first parent teacher conference where the teacher said my child is participating and not starting off into the distance!!!!!! Do you realize how awesome that is????????
And he’s reading so close to grade level…whereas when we started, he could barely read a beginner book!
I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of your hard work with him!! Absolutely, we will keep on tutoring…I know it helps. Last night, when we were working on homework, out of the blue, he said, “do you know what makes me read faster? Encouragement…When people encourage me I read faster. I can’t believe those words came out of his mouth!! Can you believe that at his age he can articulate that…he realizes that your encouragement and help is moving him forward!!!
We are sticking to the plan and moving forward!!! We still need a lot of work!!!
November 22, 2013
He really did tell me yesterday that you have been the biggest reason he is doing better in school.
When we read now, he asks me to let him try difficult words and instead of seeing them as a block, he sees them as a challenge!!! What an amazing difference in this child!!! We feel truly blessed that we found you!!!
Have a great day!! You have an amazing gift!! If you want to move to KY, I think I can keep you busy!!!
September 24, 2013
We just met last week through email, and all this week my son has been meeting with you. I am a FIRM believer in Divine Intervention and I will tell you that even meeting you has been an answered prayer. It sounds like God may have put both of us in each other’s path for a reason!! I have definitely noticed a difference in my son’s reading and his confidence level while reading. You are definitely gifted!!!! When I have time, I will try to share some of the answered prayers I received on Friday for his future. I was blown away!!!
August 30, 2014
Paula, you have made my year. Kev is close to catching up with his class. I can tell, and he can too. He wants to go to school this fall for the first time, because he thinks he can be like the other kids in class. He can read.
And he MORE than wants to continue his time with you!
on behalf of Kevin
July 18, 2014
I see progress! She was able to read me a book she never read before with minimal help last night. And it seems like she is starting to enjoy reading more too which is huge. She actually wanted to read a book to her little brother, Maya NEVER wants to read:) So I am seeing progress and very pleased with how things are going. She really looks forward to meeting with you. I’m beginning to think I can relax a little about this. Maybe.
July 8, 2014
Ash has only had 7 lessons with you so far, but his summer school teacher says it’s like his problens are practically going away. Something was missing in what he knew, you said, and that you would fill in the missing links. Sure enough, everything is changing. What the summer school teacher teaches is starting to make sense to him too. But it’s the lessons with you that is making that happen. I don’t think we’ll stop at the end of summer like I planned. I want him to catch all the way up to his classmates. Maybe we will even get him ahead of the class. It now seems possible. YOU are the best investment I ever made in my son. I want everyone to know that you could do it for them too.
Paul McCartney said Maybe I’m Amazed.
Well, maybe I am amazed! I’m glad you asked me to write a recommendation, because more people need to know how you can help their children. I am more than happy to do it for you. Thank you, Paula.
Donald L. Charles
September 9, 2011
Hello, Paula: Great News! I noticed today, that my daughter Linda is behaving and responding to me with poise and confidence instead of hasty insecurity. I know this newly developed healthy/self love behavior is directly related to you teaching Linda that,…. she can and Will Read!
And that she can and will learn, and learn well, in anything she decides to!
September 5, 2012
Hi, Paula: Just wanted to check in and say… “Thank You”. My daughter Linda is reading with confidence and is a happy student in 5th. A year and a half ago I never dreamed she could feel like this. She mentioned something today about a book you two read last year, and that made me decide to write to catch you up!
July 15, 2014
Dear, dear Paula,
At the end of the year, Linda’s teacher asked the students to write about someone who made a difference in their lives. I want you to know she chose you. It had been three years, so I was suprised she wrote about you. Not that I don’t agree, but you know kids, it had been so long since you solved her reading problems. I thought she forgotten.
When she read her piece about you at the class presentation for parents at the end of the year, everyone who had a kid with problims came up to me to learn how to reach you, even the teacher wanted your contacts! You’ll get a lot of emails from them soon, I know, because what Linda said made me cry.
And her teacher siad to me, I can’t believe it. I never would have thought she was a child who had reading troubles as late as 4th grade. She has been one of my top students all along in 7th grade. She was very forutnate to find a reading teacher with Miss Bright’s experience. I told her you worked wonders. And you did. Me and Linda love you and will keep in touch forever. I want you to know when she graduates, and I want you to know when she goes to college and can read the clolege books there too. Because I know you still care.
We love you, Paula, and I, the parent, am even more than Linda, so very grateful. Do you want me to send you what she said?
I’d love to see it! And I’m thrilled that she’s such a wonderful student. She can become anything her heart desires. Tell her how proud I am.
I am actually one of Miss Bright’s former students. She was my sixth grade teacher. That was almost 25 years ago and I am still telling people about the huge impact she had on my life!
I was born with cerebral palsy and as a child I did not have a lot of confidence in my academic abilities. In the second grade I transitioned from the special education system to the “mainstream” system and I had a very difficult time adjusting. I also had a 5th grade teacher who completely demolished my self-esteem.
Miss Bright came to my rescue the following year! She worked with me, supported me, and most importantly, believed in me. She did not go easy on me but she also made sure that I had all the accommodations that I needed in order to succeed. I still remember her telling me that I was going to make honor roll that year. I honestly didn’t believe her. But she was right! I stayed on the honor roll throughout middle school and junior high, earned a 4.0 GPA in high school, and achieved the salutatorian distinction as an undergraduate student at Morehouse College. Right now I am working on my PhD degree at Syracuse University.
Miss Bright not only is good at what she does but also cares a great deal for each one of her students. There are many teachers in the world but it is very rare to find one who not only understands the craft of teaching but also is able elicit previously untapped potential from students. Miss Bright is one of those rare exceptions!
Jer, I so enjoyed seeing you at Christmas and hearing all about your work. Let’s do it again when we’re both in town! I’m so proud of you, kiddo. Oh, wait, you’re not a kid. You’re a grown man now! I’m so proud of you, man! xo
Update: Jerry excelled in the final judging of his PhD work, and received his degree this year. I couldn’t be more proud if he were my own son. He’s incredible, and I had very little to do with it. He did it on his own.
February 17, 2014
Thank you for all you did for my little girl over the summer. It truly helped her so much and gave her a great start in her first grade year. She is top of her class. And she couldn’t read a single word before coming to you since Kindergaten was not a success. They wanted to hold her back.
Thank you so much! She asked about you today, and wished she could read some stories with you again. Oh how I wish I could have her read with you every time she wants. And that is why I sent this note. Thank y0u too for replying to her. She will keep the letter forever!
I’m delighted that she doesn’t need me anymore! That’s always my goal: to move the child to independent reading. Tell her hi, and that I miss her too! But in a GOOD way. 🙂
February 13, 2014
We started two weeks ago. Jody has two little sisters. Today for the first time ever, she played school with them. She was the teacher, and she sat them down to listen to a story. She read We’re Going on a Lion Hunt (perfectly!), and talked about it with them. The funniest thing of all is that she was imitating YOU and what you said to her as you worked through it. I know, because I listened to the whole lesson you had with her, hoping to learn how to help her. Believe it or not, she even used your Midwestern accent while she was “teaching!” She also asked me to give her the printed out sight words (with the picture hints) that you worked with prior to the story, and she was showing them all the things you and she noticed together about the words! I can’t imagine a better learning experience than what Jody just gave her sisters, and how great is that? 3 lessons for the price of one!
Keep in mind she failed first grade, and was depressed and upset about starting lessons with you. She felt she could never read. Three minutes into the first session she felt comfortable and liked being with you! I think we have just gotten to reading heaven! A corner has been turned. I now a BIG time fan of you, Miss Paula. I’ll be telling my friends who have been just as scared as I was about their kids. We think maybe our schools just aren’t very good about teaching reading? Lots of the kids have problems. Maybe they need someone like you in charge of reading.
February 10, 2014
She had fun & was very proud of herself!!!! I saw you cover part of the page to just show some words and you read & she read. Great idea ! When you were reading I don’t know if u could tell but she was mouthing the words you were reading as she followed along. It was cute!! She is so funny & can be a hard worker if she puts her mind to it. Let me know what we need to be reading at home. She took one of her reading books & went off and read it all by herself tonight. That is just starting to happen after a short bit of time. I love it!!!
February 3, 2014
We’ve spent three months with you, and I have to admit it is scary, to keep paying for the lessons. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen lots and lots of progress. Still it’s a lot of money.
So, today was report card day. Always a nervous one for Alex, and of course for me, too. So often it’s bad news. So today, he gets home. He runs into the house. He slaps the report card on the kitchen table. And he runs to his room and hides. OH, NO. I open the envelope.
HE GOT AN A IN READING. AN A! HE GOT AN A IN READING! He comes running back in when he hear me shouting how proud I am, and we do the happy dance all around the kitchen and living room. He’s never done better than a D, and that’s with lots of extra help from school and from expensive tutoring.
Sylvan was a failure! Money down the drain. And the next, a private tutor thought the school accomplished nothing, but then again, neither did she! Then we tried Wyzant. More wasted money.
That’s why I was so nervous about paying you each week. That’s why sometimes I wrote you questioning if he should continue. But you were right–it does take some time.
This is the best day of our lives, and we thank you beyond measure. I had to write instantly to tell you.
Guess who else couldn’t wait? He insisted we Skype you right that minute, because he wanted to see how excited you’d be. LOL! I told him you teach other kids too, and that we’d interrupt. He said he never knew that. He thought he was your only one, because you know everything he needs help with and also what he doesn’t. Kids! 😉 To put it simply, we love you, Miss P.
Thank you forever. We will stick with it until you tell me that he is totally able to keep up on his own as the reading gets harder in school. And you’re even telling me that will happen too! I can’t let him lose ground now! I wouldn’t dream of it. A thousand pounds of fear off my back. Wheee!
S & A
February 1, 2014
She really likes your lessons! I ask her everyday how it went and today she said “I did awesome”. She does look forward to it too. I am feeling really good about it so far. I notice her trying to sound out words when she reads and writes. Like today she was writing about how horses are cute. And she sounded out the word cute and spelled it right. That is big for her. She hasn’t really done that before. She hated reading and writing. I also found her reading to her brother for fun. She has never done that before either. She usually just reads when I say it’s time. So far it seems to be going great. Thanks:)
Paula, A break from reading lessons for the holidays, and believe it or not, Jack is sad! I began to notice in first grade Jack was struggling with reading. We have had tutors, Sylvan, Kumon, ABC, reading eggs and a lot of extra reading support at school. I would discuss with the teachers what I thought were his weaknesses but I saw very little improvement. And NO changes on their part. ???
He had difficulty with phonics, alphabetic principles and how letters related to sounds that make up words. Somewhere along the way he missed something (as you said!).
Shortly after the beginning of the school year I met with his teacher and discussed my concerns. She had no solutions to offer, or much hope, either. Feeling very frustrated, I left the meeting thinking I have to find something else! I knew my son was capable of reading!
I came home and started searching the internet and your website came up. I knew after the first lesson, Jack was going to be alright. The way you interacted and explained things was amazing.. In a few months he has made remarkable progress and I can’t thank you enough! His teachers and our family have really noticed a difference. You truly are a wonderful teacher!! 🙂 Thank You!!
November 25, 2013
He just came home with 101% on his language arts test!!!!! We are celebrating his progress and are still singing your praises!!! I am grateful for your approach!!!! See you next tomorrow, dear “Teach”!! (Did you ever see the movie Up the Down Staircase? GREAT book! It was about high school kids, but it makes me think of you and how you just “click” with kids.) Thank you.
November 14, 2013
Hello miss Paula!! Harry’s discovery teacher was baffled on Friday! She said he is doing better and she thought she was dumbing things down too much for him!!!! She is so confused by him and his new reading skills….just FYI!!!
I have REALLY noticed a change in his reading with only the couple sessions with you!! Seriously!! I have been passing your name around. THANK YOU.
October 22, 2013
Paula, Your first four sessions with Joshua have been very positive! I believe he is starting to feel better about his reading already.
October 21, 2013
Hi Miss Paula. We been talking about you now for two weeks at supper. He talks about them books you read with him. He tlaks about how he is getting to be a good reader. He talks about his teacher at school says she is proud of him. This is pretty great. Will it keep going like this, I wonder. Well see. I hope so.
January 15, 2014
Hi Miss Paula. I did not know if it would happen, but still it did still happen. Hes starting to read like the other kids he says. He talks at supper that he realy likes the harder books now too. with bigger words. He stoped saying he dont want to go to school like before.
I hope he might get to be a normal kid in school who can do things like all the other kids. I wonder, this could come true?. May be it can. To late for me, but not for him may be. I hope so Miss Paula. I truely hope so for him. You are my best teacher of all. In the world. Which I ever had to look up to, and my whole family thinks you are the top one.
Janetta, it is never too late for anyone. Let’s chat about this. I have a good idea of some books you will really LOVE to read! It will be a lot of fun, and we’ll talk as we read them.
August 16, 2014
Miss Paula, I am scheduled to try for my GED in a couple months. I think I’m going to do OK on it, because I took the classes you said.
Also, I still love to read Danielle Steel and Nicholas Sparks, and also a few others when I’m going to bed! I’ll let you know, and thanks for answering the questions I send you.
You are so kind. I can’t believe I used to think the lessons for my boy might not be worth it. They were incredible for my son, and that doesn’t even count all you’ve done for me.
Janeta: I am so proud of you! Passing the GED is not easy! GO, GIRL! WOOHOO!
October 12, 2013
I would recommend Paula to anyone. She really got us on the right track. Perhaps your child just needs a different approach. That is all we needed after a few weeks I was amazed at the progress. We are now 3 months into the new school year and my daughter is actually working ahead and loving school. Working with Paula online was so much more effective for my daughter than any of the tutors we actually worked with in person. Naomi had so much fun working with Paula and looked forward to every session. Thank you Paula for all your help. Naomi misses working with you! 🙂
Hello Miss Paula, A couple hours since our first lesson. Wow, I am impressed!! You do an awesome job working with children!! Bravo!! A great first session. He did very well tonight and had a great time reading!! He said it was fun, he loved Skype!!, and he wants to read with you again!! We would love to proceed forward with you and are open to any suggestions you have.
Kolby and Wy
October 2, 2013
Wow, You are so much more than an online tutor!!! Thank you for your advice and interest in my son!!! I can see that you think a lot about each child you help, and what they need. He is such a sweet boy and so smart!!!!
It just comes out “hands on” rather than on a test. I’m so glad you see that and are helping him see he can do the reading too!
Kolby and Wy
November 5, 2013
We just got his accelerated reading quiz and he officially passed his first one ever!!!! Thank u thank u thank u!!!!!
Kolby and Wy
November 22, 2013
Accelerated Reading Quiz: 100%. We are in heaven. ;-D
August 11, 2013
Please help my child. We spoke Spanish at home until last year, and is not doing good at school. She has to learn to read English fast. She speaks it good. Please tell me what to do to help her. She is so upset, because she sees all her friends can read, and she can’t even start to. It makes me sick with the worry about her and what will happen to her. Can you help us?
October 20, 2013
I just spoke to her teacher because they are telling me she might get put back for more time in second grade. This would kill my little girl. It’s cruel when she’s already in thrid. But I told the teacher she has a fantastic tutor and lupe is learning so much and lupe wants to really learn. The teacher says OK and she will give Lupe more time. and im happy because this is the first time i see lupe happy when it comes to learning and reading And once again I say thank you!!!!!
You really do teach in way different ways than her school. And she gets it! She is reading.
January 7, 2014
YOU DID IT. She os OK.
March 12, 2014
Miss Paula, Lupe is going on into 4th grade with her class, and she can read real good. I have to admit I do the lessons too, and have learned a lot myself. She is reading and doing the work assigned, and I can do it too. You have changed everything for Lupe’s future. And I think mine too. I read books now too, and am learning better English. I have a job where I file things and do other jobs too since now I can read, and earn a pretty good paycheck. I improved my English and my reading and my typing and my vocabulary by emailing with you and asking questions, and reading everything you said I should. Especially I listened to you about my punctuation! ;-p
I can not believe that although Lupe will not be taking lessons because she’s fine now, so you aren’t being paid, that you are still answering my emails to help me when I have questions about English. I think you will do anything for your students, including helping their parents teach them, and also teach themselves. You are truly the answer to my prayer for me and my child.
So now I will tell you the truth. My sister wrote that first letter, from what I told her to type. Because I couldn’t write it. I didn’t know the words. I learned right along with my daughter. You are right about patterns. Even the hard, tricky words follow patterns. I never would have figured that out.
Selena, I’m happy to correspond with you as long as you want. I’m glad you’re still asking questions! As you know, that’s how people learn. And I love the reports you give me on Lupe’s successes at school.
July 6, 2013
Oh my. We are very please with LeBryon’s new reading. I am so proud of my son and you the work you two do. His summer school teacher say hes doing so much better she is thrilled to hear him read his part in group. Even if he can’t do it all right yet, but before he won’t even try. He would cry but now he dont, he read some words right and he feel good. She ask him why and he say I know I can read more soon, Miss Paula will show me how. So already a big improvment. God bless you, Mrs. P.
LeNora and son
September 30, 2013
LeBryon is keeping up with his class mates. It is a whole diferent story than last year. He reads and is not afrade. Some times me and LeBryon read book together and he ask what am I reading that is just right for me. And he keep asking.
So I had to get a book to read on my own now. For ME. It is fun now that you told me some to look at and I am liking to read at the same time with him. I am reading THE HELP. We both are smarter now. He is a good student now and you are why. Still need some work. It will keep on like this and we will stay to read with you. He say can’t miss Mrs. p time. I say TRUE. Now he say to Daddy what you read for your just right reading brain dad? So we will see about that one. Can you tell us a book daddy might like? kisses hugs from us
LeNora and son
Tell me what his father is interested in. I know many books, magazines and websites that are good for adults who want to start to read. And if he needs help…well, here I am! 😉
October 8, 2013
Mrs. P, after you talked to Daddy for a few minutes during the lesson, he picked some good magazine for his interests that are not to hard. So we all read after we eat. It’s a very happy time together. Everybody should try it.
Then we tell each other what we read about and have some popcorn and visit. Now my sister and her boy want to come do it too since they live next door. Wouldn’t it be funny if everybody in our family started reading and getting good at it? If we read more books maybe can read the internet too. Better at lots of things, I think.
June 19, 2013
Paula, I have always visited my son’s classes since preschool, and especially in first grade when he first started having massive issues with reading. He fell behind so very quickly. Even as an educator, it was beyond my understanding. What were his teachers doing wrong? What was I doing wrong?
I listened to his tutors work with him outside of school (you name it, we’ve tried it–Kumon, private teachers after work at school, students from the university, even an elementary education professor there who is my friend) trying to help him with his inability to read. No one could tell me what was wrong. Nobody!
Yours is the first clear, distinctive and, frankly, delightful voice I have ever heard chatting with him about the tough issues—the things he is so ashamed about. And you do it so naturally! It just sounds like friendly conversation!
Paula, my own child has never until now (in third grade, though it feels like decades) spoken to me about this reading problem that has ruled our lives in a very bad way, because it’s been so damaging to him in so many ways. His self-esteem was zero.
It’s been three weeks now, and he brings up to me now at breakfast about the problems he’s had (and still has in school, albeit improving quickly), and it’s a joy to me. He says it’s perfectly normal to have things go wrong in reading sometimes. It can be fixed, so it will be fine. He says, “It’s not the kid’s fault. Somehow a tiny thing got skipped one time, and it happens to lots of kids. Kids and teachers who don’t understand and seem mean can’t help it. They just don’t understand that it’s not a big thing, and it’s not very hard to fix.”
My child is telling me all this!
Then he tells me about what to do when you see a word that has such and such letters (like -ar- or -th- or -ight-) and tells me some small piece of reading that he now gets. That means it’s not all talk, it’s not all chat, it’s not just positive reinforcement to make him feel better. He’s actually learning TO READ.
To watch him suffer and hear him cry night after night about school has been so painful, and I felt so helpless to ease his pain. You are our one true hope. I can never thank you enough. I truly believe that this will continue and that he is going to be able to have a normal life.
I couldn’t ask for more in life than to know that this suffering is ending. I know you don’t have children of your own, but believe me. The difference you are making for our children is immeasurable. In fact, I know that they are your children too.
Now THAT is a gift.
High school teacher/freshman college professor
AP Computer Science
(Which shows right there why I was helpless to help my extremely gifted yet non-reading son—what do I know about how to teach reading to beginners who can’t manage to read?) !!!September 20, 2012
Thank you so much. I don’t have enough words to say how happty we are about Regie finaly learning to read. ! You were so kind and we are all so happty. 🙂 Regie’s teacher says you worked some wonders with her. I liked how good it was to hear her laugh while learning. Instead of crying during when we read books at night for school. She always cried at nightime reading time. Now she has her libary books ready and waiting for reading time, no crying. You should run for reading Teacher of the U.S. 🙂