Seeking personal recommendations for reading tutor for 6 year old

Hello BPN!

I am seeking personal references and recommendations for a reading tutor for our 6-year old.

She loves stories and being read to! It seems like she wants to read herself, but claims she “can’t read.” She can be stubborn about it. I’m not sure what happened in her Kindergarten year at home or school that resulted in this feeling. But I’d love to find a way to possibly turn this around.

I’ve looked at the tutor section but personal experiences and reliable references from others are more what I’d go on and very much appreciated! Thank you.

If in person, we are in North Berkeley and willing to travel for a good fit. 

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I recognize that this is not the advice you asked for so feel free to ignore it but it seems a bit early to jump to a reading tutor. I have a 6-year-old first grader who also loves being read to. He is in the very early stages of learning to read, and can sound out single-syllable words (most but not all of the time) but would certainly tell me he can’t read if I asked him to read something himself. Both his kinder teacher last year and his brand new first grade teacher say he’s perfectly on track for his grade level. Maybe just let your 6yo move at the pace she’s at? There’s nothing worse than kids resenting/hating reading which can happen if forced too early. Good luck.

It might be worth having her get a full vision exam at the UC eye clinic. Our child wasn't reading as well as we expected from their other literacy skills, and it turned out to be a binocular vision problem. There turned out to be another visual/motor LD as well. Once the binocular vision was corrected, reading (and copying from the board) was fine, and they became a devoted reader.

We have had a great experience with Lise Narath (also found on BPN) this spring and summer, she did magic in turning my 6 y.o. reading resistance around. She is based in Albany.

As the parent of a dyslexic kid who loved to be read to as well, I'd encourage some testing before you head to a tutor. Ours had a 1st grade teacher who told us our kid was just fine, but even at 6 we suspected something was up. We wasted a year by listening to her. A qualified Educational Therapist (not a tutor) can do an assessment for you, and if it is just reluctance, can still help you. Good luck!

Before going the tutor route, you might consider asking her teachers if they're noticing anything at school.  It could be nothing; it could be a vision issue; it could also be dyslexia.  Educators are generally pretty hesitant to raise the possibility of dyslexia because of how parents sometimes react early on, but if you ask a teacher and convey your openness to the possibility, you might be surprised what you learn.  If anyone thinks there's a possibility it's dyslexia, have your child tested. It's not hard, and if they do have dyslexia, dealing with that early makes a HUGE difference in a kid's academic experience.  We were in that spot 4 years ago, and getting our 6-year old daughter early help was transformative.  She now reads above grade level and is thriving.

If you do need a skilled reading/writing specialist, I'd HIGHLY recommend Cindy Miner Kapelke. She's fantastic.