Locally, I teach kids how to read and write.  Below is a photo of a small portion of my bookshelves and a photo of me.  Following those is a description of my services and experience.

sampling of books on my bookshelf
Colleen Sharpe
Colleen Sharpe

Are you concerned that your child is “behind” in reading ability? Have you noticed any of the following about your child:

  • Guesses at words in a rushed manner, usually by the first letter or two
  • Skips over words, especially short ones; or substitutes one short word for another (ex.: “a” vs. “the” or “the” instead of “this”)
  • Experiences difficulty in discerning vowel sounds
  • Looks to pictures frequently and desperately for clues
  • Identifies unrelated words within longer words, in hopes of figuring out the longer word
  • Hesitates often when reading aloud
  • Expresses doubt about ability to read (“I’m too slow” or “I must be stupid”)
  • Gets grumpy or frustrated when it’s time to read aloud or while reading aloud (“I can’t do this!” or “I hate reading!”)
  • Loses interest in reading and learning

These “symptoms” usually point simply to a lack of knowledge of English sounds and rules and to a lack of decoding (sounding out) skills. Each child learns differently and at a different pace, but most are quite capable of learning this finite set of information and skills (for research, see books called The Writing Road to Reading 4th ed. by Romalda Spalding and Uncovering the Logic of English by Denise Eide).

Engaging the three senses of sight, hearing, and touch; I systematically teach students all the English phonograms (the letters and combinations of letters that visually represent each sound of speech), all of their sounds, and the rules/generalizations that govern how the phonograms are to be read (and to be used in spelling). In a hands-on manner, we analyze as many frequently-used words as possible for their sounds and rules. I then teach students how to apply this information to their reading aloud practice. Included in this approach is training in forming letters and spelling words properly (both are essential to developing reading skills). Each session is packed with multisensory teaching, memory work, review, and practice (no worksheets, no solo computer/tablet work – just continual talking back and forth, pencil-to-paper work, and reading). I tailor my sessions to each student; taking into account interests, personality, pace/style of learning, and any information parents provide to me.

As a home-educating mother of two young adults, I used the same approach with my kids as I use for my students. Over the past seventeen years, I have worked part-time with nearly fifty students so far (and an age range of 5 to 15 so far!) on their reading/decoding skills. I have repeatedly seen the above-listed worries disappear as students gain information and skill. The Laker featured a couple of past clients and me in an article. Go to this link: http://thelaker.ca/archive/, then click on “access pdf’s previous to 2017;” the article is in the November 2014 issue on page 8. I can also provide references from satisfied parents of past and current students.

In addition, I teach foundational composition writing skills. If your child needs help with putting coherent sentences and cohesive paragraphs together, I will build those skills in your child using time-proven methods of narration, copywork, and dictation; combined with interesting reading material in science, history, and literature.

I teach online using the Zoom platform and its variety of tools (parent is welcome to observe so you can support your child outside our sessions). Each student gets his/her own locked-down meeting space with unique code and password. I teach one-on-one (no group sessions), which enables the student to spend the entire session absorbing as much teaching and practice as I think he/she can handle. I welcome questions, comments (I love to hear how the student is progressing in reading at home or school!), and concerns throughout the student’s period of study with me. I have a 2020 RCMP Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check. The time slots available for scheduling are Mondays to Thursdays, 3 – 7 p.m.. My fee is $35 per session; sessions are one hour long, and I recommend at least two sessions per week so the child gains skills in a shorter amount of time. The fee includes materials, my prep. time, and my periodic e-mail updates to parents.

To reserve regular slots for tutoring (or to ask questions or tell me about your child’s needs), please e-mail me:  colleencallahansharpe AT gmail DOT com








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