Letters from Parents
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.
I am praying about the situation, because I want the best for C. I don’t feel ready to do this on my own, and still think he needs a teacher to guide him. Yoo ARE that teacher.
May 20, 2015
I just want to say thank you for all the work you are doing with Nancy. It’s because of you that she has found her love of reading again.
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
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 hope 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! 😉
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 didn’t 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’ll 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.
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 elsse!! 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
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, 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 lear 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.
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.
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. 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, simple yet 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’s so common. It happens all the time. Kids and teachers who don’t understand and seem mean can’t help it. They just don’t realize 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
AP Calculus (Which shows right there why I was helpless to help my extremely gifted yet non-reading son—what do I know about the beginning of learning reading?)
April 12, 2013
She was so excited after her lesson with you today and really really loves the time she spends working with you. I see improvements already. Thank you.
Gracie is always happy when she knows it is time for her lesson with you. She tells us how much she likes her teacher. And after her lessons she always wants to know when the next one is!
June 3, 2013
My daugher Gracie has been working with Ms Paula for about 2 months. She loves it! I am so pleased with the progress Gracie has made. It is amazing how many new words she knows in a short time. I would recommend this to anyone with a struggling reader. Gracie alway looks forward to her lessons with Paula and can not wait for the next. Thank you so much Paula for all your hard work.
Paula, it is happening! You said Chasity would gradually change her methods when she comes to a challenging word, and I saw her doing it this weekend, SEVERAL TIMES! I noticed her trying to slow down and tackle difficult words a manageable piece at a time, instead of just bailing out and abandoning the work, guessing, or getting upset. Exciting to see! And way to go, Chas!!
Rosamund and Peter B.
P.S. We are so very, very relieved, and are actually hopeful for a good outcome at the end of this journey. We hadn’t had this much hope for a very long time! And NO crying these days while she reads! YESSSSS!
September 9, 2012
Thank you thank you thank you! What a change we’ve seen. Justin can read now, not up at where his grade kids are, but way closer. His teacher from last year says, what on earth did we do for him? His teacher this year told her about the change in him. I told her it was just Miss Paula on the internet three times a week, very easy to do. She really loved that one! She’s going to mention it to one of the parents she has now whose daughter is failing. His new teacher says he’d doing good in 4th and don’t stop what’s working. Don’t worry, we won’t think of stopping now. Happy parents and happy kid here! Keep up the good work, OK?
June 29, 2012
Hi, Cyrus is doing so much better than he was when we found you at the end of the school year. And we still have a lot of summer left. I know he’ll keep getting better and better the way it’s going. He loves lessons, by the way. That was a shock. (And thanks for the tip on how I was accidentally adding to the problem. It hurt to hear, yes, but it worked, and I don’t do that any more. That was probably hard for you to say, and I could tell it was, so I thank you.)
March 13, 2012
Paula, Wanted to tell you that Brian Jr. is still going great after a month away from you. You thought he was done and it seems to be true. Whatever you showed him got him past the problem. Three months was pretty quick for as far behind as he was. We’re so glad we gave it a try. Well worth the money. Maria sends her love and is going to email you about some book she just finished that is great and she thinks you’ll love. Little did we know she’d get her own book club with Bri’s tutor. Ha ha!
Brian Sr. (and Maria, Brian Jr. & Kelly)
February 17, 2012
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to express our gratitude for the work you’ve done with our son. We were desperate when I happened on your web-page. To be honest, I was skeptical of tutoring for reading happening over the internet. But, we decided to take you up on your ‘three free lesson’ offer and in the course of those lessons it was clear that you’ve figured out how to make it work. Your use of available technology in combination with your obviously significant teaching skills is a winning combination.
When you began working with you our son he had just tested into the 25th percentile in reading. After just 2 months of your program I am ecstatic to report that he has now tested in the 75th percentile! His teachers were amazed and we are sold on your program and appreciate the relationship you have formed with our son. We only wish that we found you sooner. Warmest regards, –Bob
January 20, 2012
Hey, hey Paula! We only started last week and Amy LOVES it! We’re seeing progress on this side too! I can’t believe how she’s already doing better. Well, I sorta can, she’s a very bright child, but I didn’t think we’d see results for at least another month or so. Woot! Thank you for what you’re doing! AND thank you for keeping us updated. Yes, we were definitely wondering how she was doing, so thanks for letting us know. Email if there is anything we need to be doing at home. We’re all excited and nights are much happier now around here.
P.S. She really loves the reading-typing program you gave us to help her. You said ten minutes a night, but she often goes 30. Love to see that! Now she’s talking about stories she is going to write.
November 21, 2011
Dear Paula, I would love to write a letter for you about his lessons. I had almost given up on DS learning to read. He is in 3rd grade but had not made any progress in years & years. I have done everything school says to do but still no luck. But he still didn’t read. He’s smart and he knows third grade topics because we read his work to him and we talk about it. He understands well. But of course he can’t pass any tests because he can’t read them.
He loves math! Unless it’s word problems. Failure.
But this is hard to keep up forver, and what about when he’s grown. I wondered if he would be able to have a normal life if he couldn’t read. I’m not worrying any more. Our whole family is happier because every single night is not a yelling, crying battle over homework that he couldn’t read. This is because he did not just learn to read but he made a year of progress in just 4 months and is now on second grade level and still speeding along. I think he’ll be on target by year’s end.
There are no words to say what this means, but I tell you every single lesson so you know. I am so excited to write this for you, Paula because you changed life here. We will never lose touch because you have become a dear family friend. Happy Thanksgiving.
November 5, 2011
Miss Paula, I took you up on your offer for the two free lessons then 25% off for a month. Am I glad I did. It’s changed everthing for Casey. He’s in fourth and couldn’t keep up with the other kids. He felt stupid, but I knew he wasn’t stupid. He was just behind because of reading. So that made him keep getting more and MORE behind. Like a never-ending circle of bad results.
So I got my courage and jumped in to try your free offer. All I can say is what a relief, we saw the difference right away in his willingnss to read at night. He hurries to get to it when it’s time. I never thought tht would be possible but it is. Oh he’s still behind but now that he is working at it too instead of just me pushing and pushing, I don’t do much, it’s all him. And you too. Because with that kind of results, you better believe I signed up for 25% off. Then he did so well I didn’t stop even when it got to be more.
His dad and I are so happy and releived that I tried it. Casey is almost like a different boy. Too bad you aren’t at every school, Miss Paula. Then other moms and dads and kids can be relieved like we are !! I can’t believe I wrote all this but it’s true. I can’t remember when I last wrote more than three lines on Facebook. Hee hee! Oh, and he talks about you to his friends! He told them too bad for them that they don’t get to see you like he does for fun stories. Can you believe it? WE CAN’T!
Sandy, Jonah, & Casey
November 12, 2012
Thanks for checking in, Paula. He said to tell you he misses you! Yes, fifth grade is going great and he does fine now with the reading. He is still way behind on stuff he missed information-wise from the bad years, but the reading is fine. Glad to hear from you, and hope you’ve got good kids this year. I miss our emailing. It made me feel good.
Sandy, Jonah, & Casey
Email anytime, Sandy! I’d love to talk over how it’s going with you and the family. I mean it.
September 25, 2011
Dear Miss Paula, I barely know what to say. You know I didn’t believe it when you said you could help Austin. You know I wasn’t even very nice about saying it. But I tried anyway because nothing else had helped, and I spent a lot of money a lot of places. Since you gave the lessons free at first I tried it. I still don’t know how you did it eve tho I listened to every lesson. But you did. He can read. He is now reading very short, pretty easy chapter books. But I know he’ll do harder when he’s ready.This a guy who wouldn’t open a book without a tantrum, and wrote only his name. He is now wanting to draw and write comic book stories of his own every day.
We’re taking your advice and not making him correct every spelling any more. And we let him draw more about his writing, since he lovs to draw. It’s true, now he likes reading it where before he hated it. Writing for fun doesn’t have to be perfect after all when he’s only 9!
I know he will get better and evenually spell just fine. Why? Because you told me. Thanks for helping me change my ways to help him read at last. I didn’t know I was part of the problem, but you in a really nice way helped me see that I was. Young readers and writers aren’t suposed to be perfect, and now I see it. You are our hero, MIss Paula. Thank you forever.
Cassandra and Austin
P.S. Sorry for my attitude at first.
Cassandra, Austin’s characters are extremely funny. And the things they say? Funnier yet! I totally foresee a fantastic career for him in a few years in this field. Or—maybe he should start submitting his comics now, with a little editing help on the spellings. They’d be popular, I think! I’m thrilled.
August 24, 2011
You are fantastic, your work is inspiring and hopeful! I mean it with all my heart. I was at my wits end when my daughter Sophia (8) started working with you. I had tried everything i knew to get her to read like every other 2nd grader I was around. I started to question her ability and wondered if she would ever be able to reach her full potential? Would she ever be able to make a difference in this world? Would she be stumped by the fact that she couldn’t read? I just couldn’t phantom my daughter starting 3rd grade and reading like she was in 1st grade, a struggling 1st grader at that!
I happen to come across your website and you started working with Sophia. In a very short time she was more fluid in her reading, she was more bold in trying to read difficult words and she was enjoying reading. Sophia will be starting school in a few weeks, my heart is content. I know she will start 3rd grade with the tools she needs to keep up with her peers. Don’t get me wrong we still have some catching up to do.
My last comment is that we need someone like Paula, with her passion and dedication in every single classroom in America! We need people like her to help the struggling readers realize they CAN READ!
August 18, 2011
You changed Eric’s life. He was going into first grade and didn’t know his letters and sounds at all. We had to do something and then we found you. This summer has changed him totally. He now is excited to go to first grade instead of not wanting to go at all. He totally knows all the sounds, even the harder ones with two letters. We can hardly believe he is reading little books before first grade. We would say try Paula for teaching your child if they are in trouble.
Corben and Melissa
August 8, 2011
You ask if I would write about the tutorring that Jana took so here it is. I would write about the tutoring lessons any time you want because I never thought it would work but it did. I had to do something my girl because she was not reading anything like her friends. She was so far behind she sounded like a kindagardner not a second gradder going into third when summer came.
When you start reading with her she loved it because she said it’s fun. By the end of the free lessons I knew I have to find a way to keep it up since she was finely reading at last. You gave a good deal for us and that was it. She kept on with it. and now she is doing so good that she plays school with her freinds and loves to be the teacher. So funny, she talks like you when shes the teacher! That way you have of being excited.
My son is going into kindagarden now and at first sign of trouble he will come to you no questions asked. I don’t even worry because now I know if he needs help we just come to you. God bless you Paula as I know He does for you seem to have a way with you with these kids who come to you.
Sandra and Jana
P.S. Jana says I LOVE YOU.
I thank all my parents for writing such kind letters.
Teaching children to read is my life and I love every minute of it. Every one of you has enriched my life beyond measure, and I love you for it.