Through our unique SoundSpell phonics program, your child will learn to hear and pronounce 44 sounds in English and to see and write the basic letter spelling that corresponds to each sound. Your child will begin with the initial and final consonants and progress to short vowels, consonant blends, digraphs, and long vowels. Additionally, your child will be taught to identify syllable patterns that will enable him to read multi-syllable words. The SoundSpell program includes progressively challenging reading comprehension and sentence writing exercises. At this level, your child will learn to segment and blend sounds as he hones his spelling skills and improves his reading and writing fluency.
Building on the basic SoundSpell skills, we will teach your child all 7 syllable patterns along with the Merriam-Webster sound symbols. Through structural analysis your child will master not only the basic sound-letter correspondences, but the less common spellings that correspond to the discrete speech sounds. As he learns all syllable patterns as well as the advanced spelling code, he will be taught to recognize roots and affixes. You can expect significant improvement in your child’s spelling proficiency, reading fluency, and comprehension.
Usually taught together with phonics and structural analysis, rules for spelling and standard English usage address the basic mechanics for writing error-free sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Your child will learn rules for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. Rules for grammar particularly will cover subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement. Your child will also learn the difference between informal speech that includes slang and the vocabulary requirements for formal writing.
Our tutors will use several techniques to improve your child’s reading comprehension. For example, we can teach your child to recognize figurative language, diction, and sentence schemes to convey meaning. Your child will learn to discern point of view, tone, and mood and will be taught to identify modes of development in expository writing such as cause and effect, comparison and contrast, example, reason, classification, analogy, and process analysis. Most importantly, your child will be taught to identify the main idea of a passage and to infer the theme of an essay or longer literary work. Improving your child’s comprehension will often require that he write coherently about what he reads. Writing coherent prose will involve learning specific skills for summarizing main ideas and including specific details from the text to illustrate a point.
Once your child demonstrates competence in understanding what he has read, he will be ready to interpret various works critically. Our tutors can teach him to judge and evaluate an author’s ideas, themes, choice of language, point of view, illustrative details, tone, and rhetorical style. Typical exercises include responding to probing questions concerning an author’s work. Your child will respond to essays, articles, and various literary works through writing and discussion.