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Tutoring Needed or Not?

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My daughter will enter eighth grade next year and has difficulty with reading comprehension. This summer, we are sending her to a special camp where they teach "whole brain" learning and having her participate in a six-week course to improve reading comprehension. Should we also plan to have an additional program or tutor throughout the school year? I'm well aware that in high school she will have many more demands on her reading comprehension than she currently does.

A: Comprehension is the most important of the reading skills. To be a reader, it is essential to get the appropriate meanings from the printed page. Once your daughter improves her comprehension, she will definitely become a more effective and efficient reader, as well as a better student.

The reading course should teach your daughter many techniques that will improve her reading comprehension. Carefully study all the reports on your daughter's progress in improving her comprehension. If possible, discuss the progress reports with course teachers to have all your questions answered. They should know if your daughter is going to need more help with comprehension next year. These teachers should also be able to recommend tutors that will reinforce what your daughter has learned during the summer.

You're right about your daughter needing good reading comprehension skills in high school. The reading load will increase tremendously, and most students don't have the time to read and reread assignments in order to understand them. You've certainly done the right thing by enrolling your child in a summer course.

You might also help your daughter build her vocabulary during the summer. The larger her vocabulary is, the more successful she will be in school. At her age, most children expand their vocabularies through reading. Do encourage your daughter to read this summer for 30 minutes every day. Also, you should read to her to expose her to even more new words. Be sure to talk with her about what she reads and what you read to her.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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