My PRIDE

Hi, I’m Karina, a mom, a teacher, and an advocate for kids who learn differently.  Here at My PRIDE, my goal is to provide parents, tutors, and teachers with tips, resources, and positive encouragement.

How to Teach Orton-Gillingham Open Syllables

  One of the many reasons that I love the Orton-Gillingham approach is that instruction includes the teaching of all basic syllables and syllable division rules.  Through my many years of Orton-Gillingham teaching experience, I have come to learn that teaching open...

DIY Magic e Wands: An Orton-Gillingham Activity

In Orton-Gillingham the silent e is introduced after the students have mastered short vowel sounds. When an e is added to the end of a short vowel sounding word, it changes the sound and also the meaning of the word. The silent e makes the vowel sound long and say its name. For example, rid becomes ride. Here is a really great Orton-Gillingham activity that you can use to help your students learn the silent e as well as a list of words you can use to practice it.

Orton-Gillingham Tutoring in Nanaimo BC, Canada

Orton-Gillingham tutoring is now available in Nanaimo, British Columbia! The PRIDE Reading Program has announced that TLC Nanaimo has a team of professional tutors trained and certified to teach students with dyslexia and learning disabilities using the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Fun Winter Break Reading Activities

Winter break is almost here and kids everywhere will be headed home to enjoy the holidays and winter fun. Winter break is also the perfect opportunity to read for fun.  Whether your children will be reading Christmas or holiday stories before bedtime or catching up on...

Auditory Processing Disorder Classroom Strategies

Almost every school activity, including listening to teachers, interacting with classmates, singing along in music class, following instructions in physical education, etc. depends on the ability for children to process sounds and have a strong auditory system in...

Evidence-Based Reading Instruction for Dyslexia

Many but not all states in the US have dyslexia laws that mandate how schools should address dyslexia.   Not every state’s laws are the same. Most of the dyslexia laws in the United States do require though that teachers use evidence-based reading instruction.  But...

Multisyllabic Words – How to Teach Them

As a very special November treat, we have guest blogger Emily Gibbons from the Literacy Nest to share some really helpful and practical tips teaching multisyllabic words to struggling readers. THANK YOU Emily, for writing such a great post for our PRIDE readers!

Reading Fluency – How to Teach it

Fluent readers are able to read quickly, accurately and with expression.  They also are able to understand what they are reading. So how do we explicitly teach children to read fluently?  On today’s post, I am going to share some strategies and tips that will help you...

DIY Magnetic Pom Pom Letter Fun

For many kids learning the formation of the b’s and d’s can be really confusing.  When I use the Orton-Gillingham approach with my students, I first teach the letter b and then I don’t teach the letter d until all the other consonants have been learned.  The kids have...

Sit or Stand: A Phonemic Awareness Game

Here is a really great movement game that will help your child listen for beginning and ending sounds in words.   Your kiddos will really love this fun movement game that helps build phonemic awareness. So… let’s get started with Sit or Stand: A fun phonemic awareness game.

How Long Does My Child Need Speech Therapy For?

The following list are some factors that I feel are important in determining the length of therapy, and should be kept in mind when thinking about how long your child may need therapy for. While I have tailored it towards speech therapy, it is applicable to other disciplines as well.

Orton-Gillingham Training for Everyone!

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and I have a special treat for you in honor of this month. PRIDE Reading Program is offering you a free Orton-Gillingham Training Course!!! Yes, you heard that correctly, it is FREE! At PRIDE Reading Program, we are huge advocates...

Homeschooling with Dyslexia: Can I Do It?

You Can Do It! Congratulations on choosing to homeschool your child with dyslexia!  It is going to be a wonderful journey. Are you wondering how it is different from regular homeschooling? It isn't too different, just a few extra tweaks. On today’s post, I am going to...

How Can I Help my Child with Apraxia of Speech Read?

Speech and reading struggles go hand in hand. If your child is having difficulties saying the sounds then they will also have difficulties reading the sounds. If you are wondering how to help your child with Apraxia of Speech learn to read, you have come to the right...

How Do I Organize My Letter Tiles in Orton-Gillingham?

I use letter tiles with every lesson I teach in Orton-Gillingham. I give the kids 10 words to build with their tiles. They say the word, bring down each sound they hear in the word and then blend the sounds together to read the word. By the time the kids are in Level...

Welded Sounds Walk: An Orton-Gillingham Game

Welded Sounds in Orton-Gillingham can be a lot of fun to learn if you put some movement into it. On today’s post I am going to show you how to play the Welded Sounds Walk, a really fun Orton-Gillingham Game that the kids love to play. Getting Started Materials Needed:...

Orton-Gillingham in the Classroom

The PRIDE Reading Program is the perfect option for schools and districts to implement the Orton-Gillingham approach. It can be used in a variety of educational settings, including both in the regular and special education classrooms and also in both private and public schools. We have received so much feedback from teachers all over the world and the response has been amazing!

Digraph Beanbag Toss: An Orton-Gillingham Game

Learning Digraphs (sh, th, wh, ch)  can be really fun in Orton-Gillingham if you make a game out of it.  On today’s post I am going to share with you a really fun activity that will give your kids a chance to use some movement while practicing their digraphs. Here is...

Letter Sound Jump: An Orton-Gillingham Game

I work with a big group of kinesthetic learners. These kids need to move in order to learn best. On today’s post I am going to share with you a really fun movement game that will give your kids a chance to use their entire body while learning. Here is how you play the Letter Sound Jump, a really fun Orton-Gillingham game.

How to Make Word Family Booklets

This Word Family Booklet is the easiest activity to make and gives those kiddos a nice opportunity to practice reading three letter words.  On today’s post I am going to give you the instructions how to make these great little word family booklets as well as give you...

How to Teach Rhyming

Rhyming is an important step in the reading development of children. Rhyming draws attention to the different sounds in our language and that words actually come apart. For example, if your child knows that jig and pig rhyme, they are focused on the ending ig. This helps lay the groundwork for teaching phonemic awareness which is the most crucial foundation for reading. Here are some ideas on how to teach rhyming to your kids.

3 Reasons to Homeschool in Summer

There is no right or wrong way to homeschool. Some families homeschool year round, taking shorter breaks all year round while others plan on a long summer break. Both approaches have their advantages. On today’s post, I am going to give you my top 3 reasons to homeschool in summer.

Dig into Some Reading and Gardening This Summer!

Summer is finally here! I can’t wait to get out into the garden and plant my summer veggies and colorful flower garden. I’m a pretty intense gardener, and I have some pretty happy little helpers that like to come and dig in the dirt with me. On today’s post, I am...

5 Signs Your Child Has Apraxia of Speech

Do you suspect your child may have apraxia of speech? Apraxia can be a difficult diagnosis for parents because they watch their child struggle to talk but don’t see any muscular abnormalities when their child is trying to articulate. Here are some red flags that I have observed.

5 Best Games for ADHD Kids

Games are such a great way to motivate and reward kids with ADHD. Not all games work though, some can become frustrating and others can become overstimulating. Here are the 5 best games for ADHD kids and why you should play them.

How to Get Your Dyslexic Child to Read Challenging Books

Reading will be the area where your child’s dyslexia is likely to have the most obvious impact. As your child reads books either at home or in school, your child will confront the dyslexia on a daily and ongoing basis. How can you help? In this post, I will give you...

Taking Pain Out of Homework

Most parents have at least one homework nightmare story to tell. It probably goes something like this: An agitated child approaches tentatively, lip quivering, eyes watering. You ask what’s wrong, knowing it’s a homework issue. Your child manages to blurt out that...

Apraxia of Speech Reading Help

Apraxia of Speech is a speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to correctly pronounce syllables and words. When a child struggles in saying the sounds, they simultaneously struggle with reading, writing and comprehending the sounds because they are all...

First Grade Benchmarks

The school year is coming to an end and as a parent of a first grader your thoughts are probably turning towards second grade.  Is your child ready for second grade reading? On today’s post I am going to give you a list of first grade benchmarks that was included in a...

The Visual Learner

All children learn in different ways. Some are more auditory or kinesthetic type learners while others tend to be more visual and need to “see” concepts or ideas. So, how do we teach to different learners? We use what is called Multisensory instruction. Multisensory...

Strategies for Helping Your Child’s Language Skills

I know how crucial early language and literacy skills are for young children. It sets the tone for the rest of their lives. As my children are now growing up, they will never forget all of the books we read together, the songs we sang together and the games we played...

Homeschooling with Auditory Processing

If you are wondering how to homeschool your child with auditory processing, you've come to the right place. On today’s post, I am going to help you on your path to a positive homeschooling with auditory processing experience!   Use Phonemic Awareness Activities Use...

6 Signs Your Child Has Dyslexia

On today’s post I am going to share the most common warning signs of dyslexia.  Dyslexia is really common and 1 in every 5 kids in the classroom has it.  These warning signs can begin as early as preschool.   So, if you are wondering if your child might have dyslexia,...

Dyslexic Characters in Children’s Books

My kids love being read to and if I pick out stories that they can relate to and identify with the main characters they especially like that. Together we discuss the struggles that these dyslexic characters go through and then how everything always kind of works out...

How to Teach Orton-Gillingham Red Words

Orton-Gillingham red words are those words that cannot be sounded out phonetically and do not follow any particular phonemic rule.  They are red because the students need to stop (like a stop sign) and think about them.  Here is how I teach the Orton-Gillingham Red Words step by step -see it in action!

13 Multisensory Spelling Strategies

Teaching spelling with multisensory spelling activities really helps kids learn those difficult to spell words. Check out this list of 13 multisensory spelling activities you can do with your child at home.

Orton-Gillingham to the Rescue!

The English Language Learning to read in English would be so simple if all similar-sounds were spelled the same. They aren’t. English has so many difficult spelling rules! Take for example the letter ‘a’ as in the word ‘cake.’ The long ‘a’ sound is written differently...

Reading Comprehension and The PRIDE Reading Program

The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham research-based approach that has been proven successful at helping students who struggle with dyslexia, auditory and visual processing, speech deficits and other learning difficulties. The PRIDE Reading Program meets all of the Orton-Gillingham criteria: it is language-based, multisensory, structured, systematic and cumulative. And now…. it is even wonderful for students who struggle with comprehension!

Has My Child Reached the Reading Benchmarks for Kindergarten?

The Kindergarten school year is coming to an end and as a parent your thoughts are probably turning towards first grade. Is your child ready for first grade reading? How do you know? Here is a list of reading benchmarks for kindergarten that was included in a report prepared by a National Academy of Sciences panel titled Preventing Reading difficulties in Young Children, Catherine E. Snow.

Who Should Attend an IEP Meeting?

As we approach end-of-school-year IEP season, I always receive questions regarding who should attend IEP meetings. This year, especially, I have heard from an increased number of parents asking whether the proposed list of IEP attendees is appropriate. Below is a guide with information regarding which IEP team members are mandatory, and which team members are permitted to attend, but are not necessarily required to participate.

The Kinesthetic Learner

This is the child that needs to move!  This child wiggles, kicks their legs, bounces a lot and just can’t sit still.  These kids learn by using their bodies and their kinesthetic learning modalities to help get information to their brain.  They learn as they do.  Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement of their large or gross motor muscles.  

Summer Dyslexia Reading Camps for Kids

PRIDE’s Summer Dyslexia Reading Camps offers a fantastic program to give kids a giant boost in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. PRIDE uses an Orton-Gillingham, multisensory reading approach that is delivered one-on-one with a reading specialist.

Learning to read with Dyslexia

Even though the reading and spelling does not come naturally for a child with dyslexia, this does not mean that they can’t learn to read and spell. Kids with Dyslexia are really bright kids, that just need a different approach to reading and spelling.

Homeschooling a Child with Dyslexia

Are you planning on homeschooling your dyslexic child? As both a professional in the field of Special Education as well as the mother of two dyslexic children, I support you 100% in this decision! A child with dyslexia needs a lot of additional support, both academic and also emotional. Homeschooling a child with dyslexia can make a crucial difference not only in how well your child does in their academics but also how comfortably they will deal with their dyslexia in their everyday life.

Tips on How to Complete Homework with an ADHD Child

The school year is in full swing and the homework load is getting heavy! So many of the parents at PRIDE complain to me daily that their kids just can’t get through the homework and every evening turns into a battleground. I put together a few tips and strategies on how to lighten the completion time and reduce the stress at home. Hope this helps!

Benefits of a Strong Home Education

Californian schools are doing a great job of providing support to those with learning differences. In the academic year 2015-16, over 700,000 students were given extra support at no extra cost. However, schools can only do so much. It is important to create a home learning environment that builds on the knowledge they gain from schools and learning centers. Here’s how you can improve your child’s education at home, when they’re away from their regular tutor.

Winter Break Reading Activities

Winter break is finally here! Although we all deserve a vacation from the homework load and daily obligations, we don’t want to completely let our reading and writing skills slip during this winter vacation. As a matter of fact, this is a great time to boost them a little. Here is a very family-friendly list of winter break reading activities you can try at home to keep those reading and writing skills sharp.

Dyslexia Tutor – finding the right one!

Are you trying to find a dyslexia tutor near you but don’t know where to go or what to do? The internet is filled with tutors out there, but how do you know which one to chose and if they are qualified enough to teach a child with dyslexia. Here is everything you will need to know about finding the right dyslexia tutor for your child.

Apraxia of Speech Reading Books

Repetitive books help kids with apraxia of speech grasp the content of the story much easier. When kids have less to think about, they can have fun and relax in the story. It also allows the child to repeat the language over and over again, getting comfortable with the words and sentences and looking forward to filling in the blanks with new words that really capture their attention. Kids LOVE reading the same books over and over again and that is a really good thing for children with Apraxia of Speech.

How Does Your Child’s Teacher Influence Academic Performance?

According to research teacher preparation and knowledge of teaching and learning, experience, subject matter knowledge and certification all establish teacher effectiveness. Teacher preparation is important to their effectiveness in a classroom. Good quality teacher preparation is important to student academic achievement. Prepared graduates have a higher likelihood of remaining teachers and providing quality service to their students and to the schools they work in which creates a positive teacher influence overall.

Phonemic Awareness Explained

To be ready to read, a child not only needs to know the letters of the alphabet but also must be aware that his or her own speech is made up of segments that differ from letters. These segments are called phonemes. I will try not to use too much teacher jargon in this blog, but this term is worth learning because it is critical to understanding reading and phonemic awareness. Without phonemic awareness, a child cannot read.

Spelling with Letter Tiles

My favorite part about teaching spelling with the PRIDE Reading Program is using the Letter Tiles. Each spelling lesson is multisensory since the kids are using both their visual and their kinesthetic modalities moving the tiles around to build words.

Finding a Dyslexia Tutor

I have watched many families throughout my career as an Orton-Gillingham tutor, lose valuable time and money when choosing the wrong person or the wrong program to tutor their dyslexic child. I know that these parents had great intentions but simply did not take the time or do the research necessary to become informed. Several essentials make up a successful plan for your child to get the most out of his or her dyslexia tutor.

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

This October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, and PRIDE Learning Centers is helping to spread the word!
Did you know that Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 20-30 percent of our population? This means that more than 2 million school-age children in the United States are dyslexic! We are here to help.

Reading Help for Kids with Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia of Speech is a speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to correctly pronounce syllables and words. When a child struggles with saying the sounds they simultaneously struggle with reading, writing and comprehending the sounds. So how can we teach a child with Apraxia of Speech to read? This post will outline the most important reading strategies necessary, discuss the best program to use and give you some activities you can practice at home.

Can’t Afford Dyslexia Tutoring? Here Is What You Do…

Can’t afford dyslexia tutoring? Do not fret, you can teach your dyslexic child yourself. The PRIDE Reading Program is heavily scripted out. Parents can follow the script step-by-step. The Teaching Guide is digital and easy to follow. The child has a workbook that they write in, and is also given manipulatives such as a sound chart, phoneme cards, letter tiles, and more. There are also training videos that parents can use each step of the way. It is super easy to use.

How to strengthen your child’s auditory processing

The ability to process and learn from oral instructions and oral information is a fundamental skill required throughout life. So how can you help your child strengthen these auditory processing skills? Here is a list of very easy do it at home activities that you can practice throughout the day to strengthen your child’s auditory processing skills.

How I use Orton-Gillingham Sky Writing with my Students

The student writes a letter in the air and names the letter at the exact same time she is writing it. She then underlines the letter in the air and says the letter’s sound. This approach allows the student to use her whole body when learning the correct letter formation and sound it makes. She will also visualize the letter or letters floating in the air.

How to Improve Reading Fluency in Children

Do you watch your child struggle to read a book that you feel is just perfect for their age and reading level? Is the reading choppy and slow? I have some ideas and activities you can try out with your children at home to get those kiddos reading fluently and with expression. But first, let’s figure out what grade level he or she is reading comfortably at.

How I use the Blending Drill in Orton-Gillingham

I love using the Blending Drill in Orton-Gillingham with my students and actually think it is one of the most important steps in the Orton-Gillingham lesson. My students have to practice the sounds in isolation and create nonsense words, so they are forced to use...

Dyslexia – Everything You Need to Know

Dyslexia is a persistent learning difference that one does not outgrow. With early detection, proper intervention, and certain accommodations, dyslexics can improve their reading and spelling skills significantly and succeed academically.

Will my struggling reader ever catch up?

Although there is a crucial window of opportunity (kindergarten to middle of first grade) parents need to know that it is never too late to help a struggling reader. Older children can be taught to read but the instruction may be harder to arrange, it will take more time, and it will require an intensive effort from the teacher, the student, and the parent.

Tips on Helping a Child With ADHD Follow Directions

Following directions is one of the most difficult tasks for a child with ADHD to master.  Children with ADHD are easily distracted and have a tendency to get sidetracked a lot.  With a lot of patience and support, you can help your ADHD child learn to follow directions using these very simple tips and strategies.

Does a child need Phonological Awareness to learn reading?

Through phonological awareness, children learn to associate sounds and create links to word recognition and decoding skills necessary for reading. Research clearly shows that phoneme awareness performance is a strong predictor of long- term reading and spelling success. In fact, according to the International Reading Association, phonemic awareness abilities in kindergarten (or in that age range) appear to be the best single predictor of successful reading acquisition.

Is Your Child’s Learning Style Important?

One of the saddest aspects of the American elementary-high school educational system is that it fails to acknowledge the reality that we all learn differently. Students’ development is not always even, temperaments are different, and each child has their own learning style. While it is perfectly normal and all right to have learning differences and “glitches” (gaps between capabilities and performance) many educators ignore these variations and when they teach basic skills, there is little acknowledgement that information is processed differently.

New Year’s Resolution for Kids: I will read more

Happy New Year! New Year’s resolutions give a perfect opportunity for you and your child to discuss areas in which there’s room for improvement. The one resolution you should always try and make as a family is to spend more time reading. Why is it that some children seem to take to reading with no effort and no nagging, while other children would rather do almost anything than read? If you are a parent interested in ways to inspire those reluctant readers in your family, then this article will offer valuable information for you.

Language and reading development at home

Research suggests that the amount of interactive language a child is exposed to in the home correlates greatly with the development of verbal expressions and reading skills. To put your child on the right track for language and reading development, make sure your home is a rich and encouraging language environment.

The Reading Process

Reading is complicated. This multifaceted process involves word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and most importantly… motivation. The following outlines the key features of the reading process at each stage:

ADHD and the Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

Many people notice that their children are struggling with a lack of attention and quickly assume that they must have ADHD. Often, parents and teachers can feel so certain that a child has ADHD that their strong beliefs can influence important medical decisions.

Building Reading Fluency in Children

Once a child is able to decode and recognize words in print, it is crucial that they also gain an ability to read smoothly and at an efficient pace.  Stumbling and hesitating over words undermines reading comprehension given that by the time the child gets to the end of a sentence he or she will have completely forgotten what was at the beginning of the sentence!

Dyslexia/ADHD Comorbidity

The diagnosis of dyslexia is often missed by child psychiatrists, who are frequently asked to validate a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), generated from a psychological evaluation because ADHD is a fairly common disorder with a prevalence of 10% in the US, and because roughly 80% of children with ADHD respond to stimulant medication, the role of a child psychiatrist is often circumscribed to diagnosing and treating ADHD with medication. However, because the dyslexia and ADHD co-morbidity, i.e., “the parallel track diagnosis” of ADHD and dyslexia has been described to be in the range of 10% (Shaywitz, 1988), child psychiatrists often confuse the 20% population of children and adolescents who epidemiologically are not expected to respond to stimulant medications with children with disorders of dyslexia/ADHD comorbidity.

Why don’t they test dyslexia in all children?

Schools are supposed to act as required by law. There is no absolute requirement to test all children for dyslexia, so schools do not currently assess all students for dyslexia unless there is a particular reason to do so. When a parent, teacher or staff member believes that an assessment may be needed in an area of suspected disability, that belief provides a particular reason to ‘test’ or ‘assess’ whether a learning disability such as dyslexia is present.

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