Brooklyn Reading Center"What the kids don't realize, is with this fun, comes a lot of learning." L. Parks, video, below.
Welcome to our reading intervention and enrichment center, serving the Brooklyn and surrounding area since 1984, and developing innovative methods to better help your child learn. With our Advanced Techniques, we have helped children of all ages, all problems. If your child has a reading problem, mild or severe — or wishes enrichment — our center is really the place you want to be. Call 718.768.3526, and ask for Laura.
No other center provides what we provide:
- Experienced Specialists to Work with Your Child
- Use of Advanced Technology (watch video to your left)
- Engaging Assistive Software, for Use in Your Home — for Our Homework, School Homework, and Enjoyment — as Well as at the Center, So Learning Occurs at Home as Well As During Sessions
- We Use Standardized Reading Assessments to Help Track Your Child's Progress
- With Our Versatile Methods and Experienced Specialists, We Help Your Child with Underlying Issues that may Contribute to Reading Problems
- We Provide Both Intervention and Enrichment
How Does Our Program Work? Children receive immediate help as soon as they begin attending our sessions. Virtually all children with reading difficulties also have difficulty with schoolwork. Therefore, we incorporate schoolwork, when needed, into our reading sessions, so children make reading gains while, at the same time, receiving the subject-matter help needed to succeed in school.
And, within a session or two, children learn to use our assistive software at home; software which helps them do homework, reinforcing reading skills as they go.
We use our advanced techniques to help children keep up, as they catch up, and then excel. We have worked with children ranging from those who have come for enrichment, to those who have had severe difficulty due to to issues such as dyslexia, phonological disorders, and auditory processing disorders. Children with issues such as these have not only caught up, but have gone on to excel well beyond grade level, and have come to love reading.
Reading and language arts are that part of the communication continuum that deal with the decoding, encoding, and comprehension of written communication. We work on all areas of reading, including underlying language structures, if necessary, which may be contributing to reading problems. Whether your child would like enrichment, or has more serious problems, we believe that, with our training, techniques, and success, this is where you should bring your child.
Why Some Children Have Difficulty Reading
The specific reasons are as varied as there are children. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Some children have difficulty paying attention, while others may have difficulty associating a sound with a symbol; that is, the awareness of or ability to remember what sound a letter makes.
In other cases, there may be an underlying language issue. Deficits in auditory processing, phonological processing or even a subtle receptive language disorder can also interfere with the ability to learn to read, write and spell.
And eventually, difficulties with reading, writing and spelling affect your child's ability to learn and to achieve academic success. If you'd like to set up an appointment, or feel a need for guidance, pease email us at email@example.com, or call us at 718.768.3526, and ask for Laura.
We have been helping children in the Park Slope and surrounding area since 1984, with virtually every type of language and/or literacy problem. In 2006, we began utilizing our Phonic Engine® Reading Method, and increased our focus on reading and language arts, with children achieving anticipated — but nevertheless surprisingly — steep gains in short periods of time, in a cost-effective manner. One of the beauties of our technology is that the learning experiences are repeatable at home. We serve clientele in the New York metropolitan area, providing assistance along the entire spectrum of spoken and written communication.
What Makes Us Different?
What makes us different from other learning/literacy centers? In a nutshell, our methodology and our attitude. If you listened to the video at the top of this page, you heard Laura talk about our Phonic Engine® Reading Method. The Phonic Engine® Reading Method is embodied in a software program called KidsVoyager® Online. The software itself, and its underlying techniques, are far from what one may normally envision as "reading software." It is by no means "programmed learning," which steps the user through a series of activities designed to teach specific skills. Instead, it's a broad-based, sweeping, technologically advanced, multisensory, assistive technology means for the teaching of reading and all language arts, suitable as the primary means for classroom teaching, home schooling, individual use, and tutoring, both for learners with no difficulties, and learners with impairments, even significant impairments.
It supersedes every accepted reading methodology currently in use, including phonics and whole language. It assists learners by providing tools that enable them to learn at their own pace, using materials of their own choosing, coupling spoken language with written language, and providing them with combined stimuli, including auditory, visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and proprieceptive (stimuli with respect to mouth formation and movements to produce specific sounds), thus not only creating multiple concurrent sensory reinforcement, but providing the ability to build upon strengths to enhance weaknesses.
It contains novel (and patented) techniques which allow children, even as young as 4 or 5 to phonemically encode (i.e. spell) virtually any words they can think of; use those words to understand, "investigate," and write about anything of their choosing, exploring written language from every conceivable angle within an engaging multisensory environment. And, during this process, which is fun (the way children, not adults, define fun), they increase their understanding of and/or learn: phonemic awareness; phonics; vocabulary; reading comprehension; reading fluency; spelling; writing; and every single aspect of language arts, using every single practice (including variations) that has been scientifically shown to achieve results.
The Phonic Engine® Method was also developed with, and promotes, a certain "attitude" toward the learning of language arts: it must be fun. The three major practices currently in use, independently or in combination are: a basal reader approach, a phonics approach, and a whole language approach. None of these are fun. (This does not mean children will not benefit from them; most adults were taught using approaches that were not fun, and most adults learned to read.) Reading about Dick and Jane is not fun. Phonics drills are not fun. Whole Language could be fun, but typically is not. In general, many, if not most, schools these days use a mixed approach. One common approach is to teach using themes. What themes do schools pick? Things like Colonial America. Or Native American pottery. How many of our students do you think have asked to learn about Colonial America, or Native American pottery? (We do not believe that information such as this should not be taught, but it frequently creates unnecessary obstacles to the acquisition of literacy skills.) They ask for things like the solar system, dinosaurs, medieval swords and pets. They use the Method to read stories written for kids. They explore. And they learn.
The Phonic Engine® Reading Method is the primary tool we use for all reading instruction at our center. Kids love to come, as you may have heard in the videos. Kids use it at home, as you also may have heard in the videos. The cost to help children is significantly reduced because KidsVoyager® Online can be used at home. And it is used at home. And kids improve. At a lower cost, and often in a dramatic fashion.
A Diagnostic Tool?
While not designed explicitly to be a diagnostic tool, the Phonic Engine® Method utilizes easily observable techniques, and provides teachers and parents a unique opportunity to quickly receive feedback, and identify learners who are experiencing specific problems. For example, a typical first step in using the Method, is to "think" of a word, and then "think" of its beginning and ending sounds. If, by first grade (and perhaps earlier), if a child is unable to do this (with the exception of certain short vowels and some other situations), they are experiencing a phonemic awareness problem at that point in time. A typical second step is to click letters that make these sounds. If a child has difficulty with this, they are experiencing a phonics problem at that point in time. If used in a small group, or in a classroom with monitoring, these issues can be readily observed. If a problem is identified, appropriate action can be taken. At the very least, the student can then be more formally assessed and, if needed, followed. In situations where a problem is identified, using any means, it is our strong suggestion that parents be highly assertive in ensuring that their children receive appropriate intervention.
If you'd like more information about our methodology, please have a look at our White Paper: The Phonic Engine Reading Method: Learning to Read in the 21st Century — A Transformative Advance in the Teaching of Language Arts and General Education, where you will be able to see screen shots of KidsVoyager® Online (the Phonic Engine® Method software), read a detailed explanation of how the Method was developed, have a look at our patents, see the results of standardized test scores, and learn more in general about our methods and guiding principles.
Developmental Milestones For Literacy
It is important to understand that the milestones below are broad guidelines, and should not be interpreted as something you child must be able to do at a precise time, as all children develop differently, and many variations are absolutely, completely normal. We can't emphasize this enough, as many parents tend to become concerned if their child seems months behind another child, or has not "met" a particular milestone, as listed below. However, if you see substantial variation in a few things, or moderate variation in many things, or your instinct tells you "something seems wrong," that may be cause for concern, and you should probably seek professional guidance.
- Points at pictures with one finger
- Makes the same sound for a particular picture (for example, the hard "c" sound, or a "moo" sound for a cow)
- Points when asked where is…?
- Turns a book right side up
- Gives a book to you to read
- Relates books to children's experiences
- Uses books as part of a routine
- Asks simple 'wh' questions
- Completes your sentences when reading
- Recites familiar text from memory
- Coordinates text with pictures
- Notices or protests when adult uses wrong word in a frequently read book
- Reads familiar book to self
- Listens to longer stories
- Can retell a familiar story
- Understands what text is
- Moves finger along text
- Starts to recognize some letters
- May know some alphabet sounds
- Tries to "write" ideas or notes by scribbling
- Knows that text moves from left to right and top to bottom
- Knows that print carries meaning
- Recognizes most letters of the alphabet and corresponding sounds
- Can tell a story using characters and settings
- Can produce rhyming words
- Pretends to read a book, using pictures as clues to the text
- May begin to recognize frequently seen words
- Can tell what sound is at the beginning of the word
- Starts to read signs, food packages, and other commonly seen items
- Uses variety of strategies to read unknown words
- Using context, can self-correct while reading
- Can retell a story describing characters, setting, problem, outcome — can also predict outcomes based on title and pictures
- Can read and understand simple books
- Can tap out syllables and break up a word into its sounds
- Can change, take away or add sounds to make new words
- Can read approximately 100 words by sight
- Uses encoding skills to sound out words
- Recognizes sight words
- Is more attentive and can understand some punctuation
- Monitors their own reading for meaning
- Self-corrects as needed
- Applies phonics and word analysis skills
- Reads more independently
- Focuses more on meaning
- Reading becomes a way to learn new vocabulary and concepts
- Demonstrates more skilled, efficient and fluent reading
- Uses many strategies to understand stories