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Reading Material to Match Students’ Abilities

Why choose a professional private tutoring service such as Mind Over Learning to get your child reading? Here is one of many reasons:

Picture the child, or pre-teen, or even teenager, who has always struggled with reading. They have little or no motivation to pick up a book on their own, let alone tackle required reading for school. There is often frustration, anger, sometimes tears, and typically a low self-confidence.

Nearly all books written or created for early grade levels are completely packed with concepts and sounds that are confusing and frustrating to those kids who just don’t understand it. Beginning level books are not designed for students with underlying reading difficulties.

There is virtually no material for students in higher grades who need practice with reading at their level. No wonder these struggling readers are resistant and may even lie about homework.

However, when students are provided reading material that meets their abilities, they will develop superior confidence and acquire a willingness to read. Reading must be presented in a way that is achievable and never confusing.

Mind Over Learning is able to accomplish this task because we write our own reading material suited to each student’s unique learning needs and differences.

We adjust for:

  • Size of the font
  • Font type
  • Colour of the font
  • Boldness of font
  • Background shading of text
  • Spaces between words
  • Spaces between letters
  • Spaces between lines
  • Number of words per page
  • Number of sentences per paragraph
  • Control the complexity of words
  • Fully integrate the phonetic structure of reading development
  • Ensure the student has learned the reading concepts prior to reading

All of these factors can make a significant impact on the student’s ability to learn to read and spell.

Helping Kids in the Honduras!

Our students (and their parents!) really amaze us sometimes! One of our high school students will not be waking up Christmas morning to join the family in opening stockings and presents, or partake in a huge, glorious Christmas dinner. Instead, he and his family will be in Roatan, Honduras, bringing joy to kids who are less fortunate than us.

We are thrilled to take part in this endeavor by sponsoring the project financially. We have also offered to take financial donations from the community to contribute to the gifts for the people of Honduras. Please read the story below, and kindly consider giving this Christmas by being a part of this amazing gift to children and families who have so little! (You can bring your cash and cheque donations to the Mind Over Learning center – #6-1925 Kirschner Road.)

 

Our family has the amazing opportunity and blessing to travel for the 2nd time to Honduras during the Christmas holiday season this year.  This trip is to the island of Roatan, Honduras and is mainly for outreach to the island’s poor and needy through a Christmas food/toy/candy/sandals drive.   

Bob and Debi Cowan are full time  on the island and serve those in need.   We will come along side them and help wherever needed.  We are thankful for the provision from Soles4Souls of Kelowna who have sorted and provided us with boxes of brand new and used sandals to bring to the people of Roatan.  Last year we brought down over 300 pairs of sandals.  How exciting to be able to help in a practical way and provide shoes and other supplies to people who may not have any or are in need of a pair of sandals!  We are also bringing small toys, candy, soccer jerseys to share with the kids at Christmas time.

Last year, the goal of the Christmas Food Drive was to give a week’s worth of groceries and supplies to as many of the poorest families as we could.  Food bags and toys/candy were spread to over 500 families.  The team drove nine trucks for 4 days to over 20 of the villages around the island.  This is what the Cowan’s wrote about what is able to be shared at this time of year… “People who have so little are prone to despair, so the Christmas Food Drive is an avenue to bring them hope.”  The Cowans also run a not-for-profit store called Made In Roatan, helping people of the island support themselves by teaching them to make jewelry and other items that are sold to tourists coming to the island on cruise ships. The money then goes directly back to those artists to support themselves and their families.  The link to this shop is below. (they now have an on-line store too)

Last year, to be physically present and see the smiles of those receiving a new pair of sandals changed us forever, and for our 3 kids to experience all of it warmed this mother’s heart beyond words. One story is that of a little girl in a white and yellow dress (picture below).  We had trouble finding a pair to fit her and then our youngest daughter, Naomi, tried a pair of white sandals on her for a perfect fit.  The little girl was so thrilled, she immediately ran down an alleyway to show her friend…she was so proud of her new sandals.  It was a beautiful picture and forever etched in our minds!

Thank you for considering supporting the needy in Roatan, Honduras.   We have seen the joy and smiles that a small toy and candy can bring to the face of a child in Honduras and to provide food for their family does make a difference.  

 
Sincerely and with much gratitude,
The Kent Family
Bringing Shoes to the Honduras   Kent Honduras 6   Kent Honduras 4   The Kents in the Honduras   Kent Honduras 3  

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BUILD ON STUDENTS’ STRENGTHS AND STRENGTHEN THEIR WEAKNESSES?

Mind Over Learning uses students’ learning skills and strengths while simultaneously developing the weaker learning skills. Now what does that really mean? Let me give you an example. A typical student with NVLD (non-verbal learning disability) has strong verbal or language skills, but weak non-verbal reasoning and thinking skills. This person has a hard time visualizing images or ideas in the mind. So for every math procedure, we attach words for the student to say while calculating or following the procedural steps.

Not all students use their brain in the same way. Some students are able to gather main ideas, make accurate inferences or retain detail better. Some students have memories that recall facts quickly, or are capable of coming up with more options when solving problems. Students with learning disabilities, however, often face challenges with what might be considered thinking in natural patterns. These are processes and skills that teachers often assume come naturally, and are not usually taught explicitly.

Mind Over Learning not only focuses on tutoring reading, math, writing and comprehension, we also progressively teach the student how to think in those natural patterns. For example, a student with ADHD, who experiences impulsivity, may rush through all processes of learning and expressive output. A student with impulsivity challenges can learn to slow the pace by being taught specific steps of the thinking process that allow the student to control the pace and impulsivity. These steps support the overall learning, and are another way we strengthen the impulsivity.

Because Mind Over Learning is a private learning center and work one on one with the students, we have the time, experience and resources to enhance strong learning abilities while working on the weak learning skills. It is critical to develop these weaknesses because they are essential neurodevelopmental abilities for learning effectively at school and throughout life. Remediating individual learning difficulties means the student will be able to function better in all situations faced in life.

For LD Kids Affected By the Strike

Mind Over Learning is launching a special program at an affordable cost to accommodate students affected by the strike. Until the schools are open, Mind Over Learning will be offering a morning Math and English class. These are 2-3 hour sessions for 2 days a week. To enroll your child, or to find out more, call Mind Over Learning at 250-860-0084.

The situation regarding the B.C. teacher strike this September is affecting so many of our kids. Those parents of children with learning disabilities are particularly concerned, because they know the longer the gap in the child’s learning, the more is lost from the year before. More time must be spent re-establishing former learning which leaves less time for new concepts and skills. Basically, a shortened school year short-changes our students. This is where we can help this year.

Students with diagnosed or undiagnosed disorders, like Autism, ADHD, or FASD, have specific needs when it comes to education that typically cannot be supplemented at home. The same is true for students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, or math learning disabilities (dyscalculia). Successful learning for these students requires specialization and expertise.

Mind Over Learning is a highly specialized tutoring center that teaches essential subjects (Reading, Writing, Math, Reading Comprehension) in a way that specifically meets the learning needs and styles of students with learning disabilities.

To read more about our expertise, take a look at our Autism page, or see Our Specialization for a general overview.

Welcome to Mind Over Learning!

Welcome to Mind Over Learning’s new website and new blog! We are looking forward to sharing some incredible stories with you…we work in a highly rewarding field and the successes we see in our students are extremely inspirational. So whether you are a parent looking for some tips or answers for your child, or a professional looking for ideas or resources, we hope this blog is a place of insight and hope.

We’d also love to hear from you! Share your own stories, victories, concerns, or questions. You can post to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MindOverLearning) or follow us on Twitter (@mind_learning).

Together we are working toward academic success for each kid!

Becky Furney

Specialized Learning Consultant