What Makes Us Special

One-on-one… So your child gets the attention he or she deserves!

We are dedicated to improving the lives of children, and our strength is doing it one child at a time. At Specialty Tutoring, the hour belongs to your child, who will always work one-on-one with the same learning specialist. This promotes continuity, establishes rapport, and encourages maximum effort from your child.

Individualized… No two children’s sessions look alike!

We prepare your child’s individualized learning plan based on the initial evaluation, your valuable input, and any teacher or doctor information provided. This allows us to focus all of the session time directly on your child’s specific needs in order to have the most meaningful impact on performance. Each interactive hour is carefully planned based on the previous sessions, allowing your child to progress at a pace that is just right for her or him.

Cognitive Learning Skills… Essential for all learning!

Many tutoring companies focus on homework tutoring, but at Specialty Tutoring we focus on getting to the root of a learning difficulty by strengthening crucial underlying cognitive learning skills. These are the processing skills needed to take in information, analyze, and remember it efficiently. Without these skills, learning can be time-consuming, laborious, and frustrating. Cognitive learning skills are needed for such a wide variety of tasks, such as reading, listening, visualizing, comprehending, remembering, prioritizing, planning, and problem solving.

Your child’s learning specialist will tailor each tutoring session to include work on strengthening the cognitive learning skills which are most directly related to the curriculum area(s) of focus and are below expected age or grade level on your child’s initial evaluation.

These may include:

Visual Skills:
Visual tracking
Visual processing speed
Visual discrimination
Visual spatial
Visual memory
Visual attention and focus

Auditory Skills:
Auditory memory
Auditory processing
Auditory attention and focus
Phonemic awareness

Conceptual Skills:
Logic and problem solving
Seeing and applying patterns
Nonverbal reasoning and analogies

Language Processing Skills:
Expressive and receptive language processing
Organizing written and verbal information for retrieval

Humans learn through adaptation. Kids start off in life with the most basic processing skills and gradually work their way up to more complex skills by applying current skills to new ones. This is the cognitive process. Since each new skill learned builds upon a lower one, any deficient skills will affect future skills. The good news is that research has shown that increasingly complex skills are more learned than innate and have the potential to improve through training. How exciting for your child to transfer these skills to academic tasks and gain a sense of control over his or her performance!

It’s also exciting for us because this is where our passion and expertise comes into play. We can help a child who does not have the needed skills to read a paragraph, grasp a math concept, or recall the main idea of a story. We can provide a child with specialized strategies to gather the information, analyze it, and communicate it. We can make a child consciously aware of the best way to listen, visualize, focus, attend, and remember. With practice, these new, efficient skills will become automatic, and the old, counter-productive behaviors will be phased out. With these valuable skills strengthened, kids learn more productively and attitudes toward learning improve!

For a wonderful visual analogy to describe the cognitive process and how cognitive skills affect learning, click here.

Programs… Effective, proven, and research-based!

At Specialty Tutoring we use a wide variety of programs created for kids who may learn differently, including research-based programs effective in addressing:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Language Processing Disorders

Programs used during the sessions are determined by the curriculum areas chosen at the initial evaluation to be targeted for instruction.

We use a combination of programs and practice materials designed to improve phonemic awareness and fluency, providing strategies and rules for decoding and spelling.

Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LiPS)**
The Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS®) Program® develops phoneme awareness. Children learn to recognize how their mouths produce the sounds of language. This kinesthetic feedback enables them to verify sounds within words and to become self-correcting in reading and spelling.

  • Employs a multi-sensory approach that includes manipulating sounds with blocks to develop phonological awareness
  • Develops word recognition and fluency through a systematic phonetic approach for decoding isolated sounds and simple, complex, and multi-syllable words
  • Uses nonsense words to develop phonics skills

Seeing Stars: Symbol Imagery for Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words, and Spelling**
The Seeing Stars® program develops symbol imagery, which is the ability to visualize sounds and letters in words. Children move through a series of steps to develop the imagery-language connection for competency in written language.

  • Improves phonetic spelling through a systematic approach for recognizing orthographic patterns in simple, complex, and multi-syllable words
  • Teaches visualization techniques for improving spelling and reading of phonetic words
  • Develops word recognition and fluency with ordered sight word lists

Read Naturally
The Read Naturally program develops fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension through a system of modeling, repeated reading, and recording of progress to provide feedback that motivates the child. When used to target reading fluency, the program:

  • Develops accuracy, rate, and inflection in oral reading
  • Expands sight vocabulary
  • Strengthens writing and spelling by providing practice with written response to reading

Elements of additional programs may also be used to target Reading Fluency, including resources that are adaptations of the Orton-Gillingham reading method such as Explode the Code/Beyond the Code and Morgan Dynamics Phonics.

We use a combination of programs and practice materials designed to improve visualization techniques, vocabulary, and higher order thinking skills to facilitate a deeper understanding of reading material.

Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking (V/V)**
The Visualizing and Verbalizing® (V/V®) program develops concept imagery for both oral and written language. Through a series of steps, children learn to create a mental image and integrate that imagery with language as a basis for comprehension and thinking.

  • Increases retention of material through structured visualization practice while reading
  • Introduces and expands academic vocabulary
  • Employs a Socratic, choice/contrast questioning technique so children can learn how to gather evidence from complex text for reading, writing, and speaking using Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS):
    • Determining the main idea
    • Locating and remembering facts
    • Making inferences and drawing conclusions
    • Predicting and extending
  • Develops comprehension in a variety of modes, such as listening and oral and silent reading
  • Strengthens oral and written language expression
  • Enhances ability to follow directions

Read Naturally
The Read Naturally program develops fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension through a system of modeling, repeated reading, and recording of progress to provide feedback that motivates the child. When used to target reading comprehension, the program:

  • Strengthens ability to make predictions about a passage before reading
  • Increases vocabulary
  • Hones visualization skills while reading
  • Develops summarization skills, both orally and written
  • Includes comprehension practice in various modes, such as multiple-choice, short answer, and open-ended response

Elements of additional programs may also be used to target Reading Comprehension, including LinguiSystems, Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), Steck-Vaughn, Word Feast, Reading Detective, Read & Understand, and Reasoning and Reading.

We use a combination of programs and practice materials designed to provide style and structure to pieces of writing, as well as practice applying written conventions.

Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) provides the tools that students need to write well, organize ideas, and express themselves eloquently and persuasively.

  • Emphasizes the identification of key information and summarizing
  • Develops stylistic technique through the use of quality vocabulary and varied sentence structure
  • Enhances comprehension of fiction and non-fiction
  • Provides structure for a variety of writing applications, including prompts, stories, reports, and essays
  • Builds confidence and independence in writing

Standardized Written Conventions Instruction
A varied collection of practice materials will be utilized to target grade-appropriate mechanics of writing.

  • Builds knowledge of capitalization and punctuation rules, with practice provided in editing and application of the rules in written pieces.
  • Develops grammar skills through practice with parts of speech, sentence structure, and language fundamentals.

Elements of additional programs may also be used to target Writing, including Read Naturally, V/V, Reading Detective, Read & Understand, LinguiSystems, and Editor-In-Chief.

We use a combination of programs and practice materials to target skill gaps that may have occurred along the way in a child’s math learning.  We provide strategies for memorization of math facts and use hands-on, interactive methods to apply math to real-life situations.

On Cloud Nine Math**

The On Cloud Nine® program stimulates the ability to visualize concepts and numerals and integrate that imagery with language to improve math processes.

  • Builds a solid foundation in number sense and computation
  • Stimulates the creation of visual images and use of language to guide thinking to become independent and self-correcting
  • Emphasizes the use of manipulatives (hands-on math)
  • Moves from concrete learning (see and feel it) to abstract learning (paper/pencil)
  • Provides a step-by-step method for solving story problems
  • Develops memorization of math facts and estimation skills

 Math Mammoth

The Math Mammoth program is a complete and comprehensive curriculum that correlates well with the Indiana Academic Standards for Math. Each grade level text highlights clear and concise explanations for each new skill presented and provides opportunities for practice.

  • Corresponds with Specialty Tutoring’s Foundational Math Skills Assessment to target skill gaps at prior and current grade levels
  • Includes practice in all major math content areas for elementary and middle grades, including Number Sense, Computation, Algebraic Thinking, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Statistics
  • Prioritizes foundational skills of number sense, computation, and problem solving

Elements of additional programs may also be used to target Math, including Touch Math, Rosner’s SASP, and various logic and reasoning resources.

**Specialty Tutoring is not affiliated with, certified, endorsed, licensed, monitored or sponsored by the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Corporation.

Learning Specialists… Dedicated and trained to help your child succeed!

We are blessed with a committed team of caring people who have accumulated 95 combined years of experience at Specialty Tutoring. Our learning specialists are qualified and invested. They…

  • Have typically completed at least a 4-year college degree
  • Have prior experience motivating and instructing children
  • Receive extensive initial program training and ongoing professional development and mentoring
  • Create targeted lesson plans for each session based on a child’s prior performance in order to truly individualize each child’s program
  • Form a positive working relationship with the child and the family

Interactive & Efficient Methods… To engage and motivate!

Our goal is to make significant improvements in a child’s learning skills through a series of tasks with specific, individualized objectives. The tasks are related and make repetitive demands on a deficient skill, progressively increasing in difficulty. New skills are practiced and reinforced in a variety of sensory modalities in order to produce habitual and automatic skill mastery and a high level of retention.

Kids are more likely to adopt a positive attitude about learning if they are having fun while doing it! We incorporate fun, interactive activities that don’t look or feel like “work” in order to keep kids energized and engaged.

We realize that kids learn at different paces and no two children are exactly alike; therefore, we pace our skill progression based on each child’s individual abilities. Sequenced activities begin at a comfortable level and gradually increase in difficulty to challenge the child.  Positive feedback is given for correct responses, and questioning is used to immediately modify incorrect thinking.  Points are given for work in the session and at home, which accumulate to earn small rewards.

Time is of the essence with our kids! We try to have a “sense of urgency” with regard to efficient use of tutoring time in order to make the most amount of progress in the shortest amount of time. This means that we will often choose activities that target more than one skill gap at a time. By producing rapid and recognizable changes, a child actually sees and feels improvement, and motivation and self-confidence soar.

Parent Involvement… Learn how to help your child at home!

At Specialty Tutoring we know that you are your child’s biggest ally and advocate! We strive to involve parents in all that we do. This is cost-effective and helps transfer learned skills to the child’s everyday activities. We encourage parents to come in at the end of each session so questions can be answered and progress discussed. Practice work is sent home to be done between tutoring sessions as an effective way to reinforce skills. Parents may also sign a release form at the onset of tutoring, allowing us to open the door of communication with the child’s teacher. We want the child to feel a sense of security and pride, knowing that we are all a team in this together!

Improved Self-Esteem… Serious learning with a smile!

Many of our kids come to us feeling defeated. They have lost their motivation to try since so very often it ends in frustration for them. Learning, for them, has become a source of stress.

Our passion is giving kids opportunities for success while helping them figure out how to learn.
Each child who walks out of our door leaves with a tailored set of tools. It’s NOT a one size fits all kind of toolbox, but unique to each child. Contained in this toolbox are tools and strategies that help to reduce fear of failure and dependency on others and help to increase willingness to take on challenging tasks. Armed with these tools, kids gain a renewed belief in themselves, and they discover that it’s actually fun and exciting to learn. This changed attitude transfers over into all aspects of their lives. And THAT’S something to smile about!!