Expert tutoring, coaching, and classes

with an emphasis on stress reduction and confidence building.​

Help your child move from struggling to successful.

 

With 20 years of experience working with students in all grades, Katrina is an expert tutor who can help your child succeed. Her tutoring enables children to move through fear and resistance to feel more confident and comfortable with school. She also has excellent math and science tutors on staff.

Confidence Building

Stress Reduction

Study Skills

Reading Intervention

Meet Katrina Martin, MA; Associate/AOGPE

 

Katrina has 20 years of experience as a tutor.

 

Her passion is to help students feel more confident and calm about school. She does this by combining mindfulness techniques and practical tools that students can incorporate into their lives.​ She is Orton-Gillingham trained at the Academy Associate Level and provides expert reading intervention for students with dyslexia and other reading differences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your rate? 

Generally, services cost $90 per hour. See the tutoring page for more information.

 

 

 

Where does tutoring and coaching take place? 

For those in the Burlington area, sessions might take place at your child’s school or in a library or coffee shop. Sometimes sessions take place in your home as well, depending on location. Online sessions are also available via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangouts for those who have complicated schedules or live outside the Burlington metro area. Contact Katrina to find out which option would be a good fit for your student.

Contact Katrina

 

Get a free consultation today!

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Why to Pursue Testing​

During the 20 years I've been working with students, I've spoken many times with parents who are unsure if they should pursue testing for their child. Most often, they fear the diagnosis that will label their kids with a learning disability, and the perceived trouble that will follow. I like to challenge that notion. First, I encourage those who are neurotypical to not view neurodivergence as something terrible that needs to be cured or overcome...this leads us into ableist territory. Rather, it is better to view learning disabilities as neutral, something the student will need to manage and work with, and, given the right supports and opportunities, they can manage well. This article in Educational Leadership explores this in greater detail. Having said that, I also want to point out that if a student is diagnosed with a learning disability, they do not need to be defined by it. Second, viewing a diagnosis as something awful or sad is not helpful to the student. Yes, it may happen that they experience bullying or feel different because they have ADHD, dyslexia, or a processing disorder. I understand the inclination to want to protect your child; that's a natural reaction. At the same time, it is impossible to protect students from these things, and one of the best things we can do is to find out what is happening for them and do what we can to help. With greater knowledge comes greater success. When students are tested and then receive a diagnosis, it helps them understand why they have struggled. Rather than asking them to do work that doesn't match their abilities, causing unnecessary frustration and stress, we can start from what we know and then provide them tools and supports to help them succeed. If they do not know what is causing their struggle, they will have little ability to find the right help. It makes me think about the book Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. In it, Ally, a 4th grader, constantly feels stupid because reading and writing are so hard. She sees her classmates read and write with ease and she can't understand why it is so difficult for her. She engages in all kinds of avoidance tactics so that she doesn't have to write. Finally, her teacher assesses her and suspects she has dyslexia. He provides after-school tutoring that helps her begin to feel more confident and explains to her what dyslexia is and how it affects students. Sure enough, by the end of the book, she feels much better about herself. I know that getting the school to provide testing is often an uphill battle. And private testing is not easy or inexpensive. And yet, it can mean a world of difference to a student. If you suspect your student may need testing, I encourage you to pursue it.​

Dyslexia Resources​

If you'd like to learn more about dyslexia, or tap into resources for parents of students with dyslexia, here are some excellent organizations and websites. International Dyslexia Association: Based in Maryland, this organization provides fact sheets, infographics, and other information; links to providers in your area who assess or tutor students; and webinars and conferences. Orton Gillingham Academy: links to schools and providers who offer reading instruction, links to resources, and scholarly articles about dyslexia. This is the organization through which I received my training. Understood.org: a site not only dedicated to dyslexia, but other learning differences as well. Extensive information on how to navigate school services, IEPs, assistive technology, and what rights your child has under IDEA. Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity: Excellent information, access to research, toolkits on advocacy, and robust resources. ​

What is Dyslexia?

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. About 13 to 14% of students have dyslexia, and it occurs on a spectrum ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Dyslexia is disability that affects language processing. Those with dyslexia can struggle to read, write, and spell and it can adversely affect students throughout schooling and into adulthood. It is not something one outgrows, but rather something one learns to manage.   Parents ask me often if there are tell-tale signs that a child may have dyslexia. Here are some red flags to watch for. Not all the items on this list must be present for a diagnosis of dyslexia. 1. Difficulty at an early age processing or producing language. 2. Student has an early speech and language impairment. 3. Struggles with learning letters and the sounds they make. 4. Problems learning and memorizing number facts. 5. Trouble rhyming and manipulating sounds. 6. Visually similar words are confused. 7. Student guesses the word from the initial letter. 8. A slow reading rate, and oral reading and sounding out of words is labored. 9. The student is a poor speller. 10. Student confuses vowel sounds. 11. There is a family history of dyslexia. 12. Issues with expressing oneself in writing, and with using proper conventions. 13. Poor handwriting. Although the common understanding of dyslexia is that students with dyslexia read backward, this is not actually true. Those with dyslexia have different brains, and their deficit is with phonological processing, or manipulating our language, not with seeing the words.  Dr. John Gabrieli, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences, puts it this way: dyslexia is the "consequence of a brain organization that is not optimal for reading." However, many students with dyslexia do write letters like b, d, j, g, h, p, and q backward. If your child is reversing letters, that isn't a reason to immediately worry. Check to see if other items from the list above are present as well. Often, if teachers notice a student struggling, they'll ask the school to do a screening. If students fall below benchmarks, interventions are put in place to see if the student will progress. This is known as Response to Intervention. If students do not progress after intensive instruction, the school will perform a more comprehensive assessment. If you notice your child falling behind his or her peers and struggling with items on the list, it is likely time to ask your school to have your child tested, or to pursue testing outside of the school. It is your right under the IDEA law to request such an assessment if your child is in public school. You can learn more about this . While this is the typical protocol for public schools, there is no such protocol at private schools because they are not subject to IDEA law. I have found during my 20 years of tutoring, that private schools often miss the warning signs and students do not receive the interventions they need. If you are concerned about your child's performance at school, connect with school leadership to see what they might offer. Often, parents have to connect with an independent evaluator to obtain an assessment. I have helped parents navigate this decision and I can give you advice on how to proceed and connect you with resources. You will definitely want your child to be diagnosed by a trained professional who does educational testing, and you will want to have them assessed as soon as you can. While someone may suspect a student has dyslexia based on the list above, a test by a professional is important. If your child is diagnosed with dyslexia by such a professional, they may qualify for accommodations at your school, as well as on standardized testing, which can make a big difference for your child. If you have questions about dyslexia not answered here, please feel free to reach out. This short TED Ed video is also an excellent resource, as is this page at the International Dyslexia Association. Photo John Jennings by on Unsplash ​

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