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Ruthie’s Story

I met Ruthie shortly after she started the 2nd grade. Ruthie and her parents had just moved to Madison before the school year started. Ruthie was not adjusting very well to her new school. Reading was a particular problem. She avoided reading whenever possible. She would wander around the classroom when she should have been working at her seat. Or, too often, she would ask to use the restroom during the time her reading group was meeting with the teacher. Ruthie’s Mom was worried and asked me to assess Ruthie’s reading skills.

Though in the 2nd grade, I found that Ruthie was still reading at an early 1st grade level. I also found that she had a great memory. She actually memorized entire books! In fact, I learned that Ruthie thought that “reading” meant memorizing words, and scanning the page for picture clues and context clues.

Ruthie didn’t know how to blend sounds together to decode new words as she encountered them. Her ability to connect letters and chunks of letters with their corresponding sounds was very limited. Since it was pretty easy for Ruthie to memorize how to pronounce words, she had not yet learned the phonics skills that would help her figure out how to say new words that she would see but not hear. New words would stump Ruthie and she didn’t have the skills to increase her vocabulary. So she just avoided what was, to her, the frustration of reading.

Based on my assessment, I developed a plan to help Ruthie progress to grade level before she would start the 3rd grade. I worked with her for just one hour a week, but over the course of about 10 months. By the beginning of 3rd grade, she was reading at the standard set for the middle of 3rd grade. Ruthie’s Mom was so relieved – and proud. She’s kept in touch since then. A number of times, she’s told me that Ruthie loves school and is a very confident child.

I’m not surprised that Ruthie’s doing well. I found her to be intelligent and very motivated. I‘m glad that I could help Ruthie acquire the skills to succeed. Ruthie’s Mom says that Ruthie not only loves reading, but she also loves to write and illustrate her own stories. In fact, Ruthie’s written her own autobiography!

​ABC Tutoring
“How ABC Tutoring Works” 

The Most Fundamental Skills…

ABC Tutoring offers tutoring in:
• Reading
• Mathematics – featuring Everyday Mathematics

In my view, these are the two most fundamental of the academic skills, and the skills upon which everything else is built. Science, history, even music… without good reading and math skills, it’s awfully difficult to do well in school, or later in life. 

I use lesson plans custom-made for your child. To start, I assess your child’s current skill level in a variety of technical areas. I use that information to piece together - one step at a time – lesson plans specifically and uniquely designed to enable your child to progress from their current skill level to the level you target – or beyond. Plus, as we work through the lesson plans, I’m always monitoring and adjusting. It’s hard not to succeed.


     At the Most Important Time…

I generally work with children ages 5 to 10. It’s so important to get young children off to a good start. And, if a child is falling behind, the gap is smaller when they’re younger. So, it’s easier and quicker to catch-up. Plus, we can “nip in the bud” any embarrassment or low self-esteem a child might feel if they sense that they’re lagging behind their friends and classmates.

    In a Comfortable, Professional Setting…

I operate ABC Tutoring from my home office. I feel that this offers your child the best of both worlds. Their tutoring sessions are held in a relaxed, home-like setting. But, within my home, I’ve furnished and equipped a tutoring office specially designed for the job. So, no, we don’t sit at my kitchen table.

We’ll get to the details when the time comes, but my office is located in Middleton Wisconsin, on Greenway Blvd. Since my office is designed for the purpose of tutoring, I generally prefer that we work here. Plus, going to see the tutor avoids any potential distractions for your child and helps them focus. But, depending on your child’s needs and your situation, we might agree that it’s better to work at your home or some other location, such as your child’s school.

     When it’s Easy & Convenient for You...

I am quite happy to work with your child after school or on a Saturday or a Sunday. Believe me; I understand how hectic things can be when you have young children. In fact, many of my clients prefer a Saturday or a Sunday. Many young children are too tired to focus on more academic instruction after a full day of school. I appreciate that working with a tutor is something extra for you. So I want things as easy and convenient for you as possible.

Many parents ask if they’re supposed to sit through the tutoring lessons with their child. I encourage you to do so. Yes, in some cases, it’s possible that your presence could be a distraction for your child, but, in my experience, your presence is reinforcement for your child – if it’s worth your time and attention, it’s worth it to them, too. Plus, by sitting in on sessions, you can use the same terminology and the same techniques when you’re helping your child with their homework. Each session lasts about an hour.
I believe that people are more likely to do things that they find fun and rewarding. So I try to make our time together fun and interesting for your son or daughter. You might find it fun, too.

  To Get Started…

Just give me a call or send me an e-mail. This first contact does not obligate you to anything. It just means that we want to talk about things.

The first thing is to get to know each other a bit. With this web site, I’ve tried to introduce myself and my services. But you’ll probably have questions – as you should. And, of course, I’ll have some questions for you. Every one of my lesson plans is tailored to the individual needs of the child, and of their family. So I’ll have some questions about your child’s situation and what you’d like your child to achieve.

Sometimes, a phone conversation – or two – is enough to make a decision. Other times, we might want to have a face-to-face meeting to help you decide how you want to proceed. However we do it, we’ll be talking about how we might help your child with the skills he or she needs to be successful in school, and successful for the rest of their life.