Tutors for Reading & Writing Skills
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I'd like to recommend Ilyse Gordis - an amazing reading/writing tutor. She has tutored 2 of my daughters, ages 6 and 10, with their reading. I was amazed with how much she was able to help them progress with their basic reading, reading comprehension and writing. She was great about recommending books they were interested in and they really enjoyed working with her. She also hosts book clubs for different age groups. ilyse [at] inklingbookclub.com or 510.524.4318 Tammy
Reading tutor for high school student
I am looking for a reading tutor with experience to help my daughter with certain areas of reading where she has weaknesses, including reading comprehension and some decoding and fluency. Most tutors I have spoken with tutor younger children or they are booked for the summer. Also, we are looking for someone preferably in Oakland or Alameda. We would consider someone in Berkeley but I do not want to drive more than 30 minutes since we live in Alameda. Does anyone have a suggestion?
I just posted a review for Heather Sweeney, But I have to say she would be perfect for you. She actually comes to you house, so you don't have to worry about the driving, and I know she has come to Alameda before. It IS hard to find someone appropriate for High Schoolers, and I have great respect for Heather's ability to reach these kids. Good luck!
here is my review: Heather Sweeney has been working with D for two years now, and she is fantastic. I called her when my hardworking daughter with ADHD hit a bump in AP US History in her Junior year of High School. At first she said she had no room, but after hearing our story she showed, not for the last time, her level of compassion by saying,'' I want to help her''. She comes to our house, charges very reasonable rates, and has helped D with study and note taking skills, writing, test prep and much more. She is funny, patient, smart and caring. D sees her as a friend and looks forward to their sessions. Also enjoyable are the ''tribal dinners'' when many of Heather's students have a pot luck together and have a chance to share stories. My daughter made it into her dream college and we owe much of this to Heather. Contact info: hthrsweeney [at] gmail.com Robyn
Reading tutor for first grader
My first grader is below grade level in both reading and math. Although she has yet to be tested, she might have some learning disabilities. She did learn to read while in Reading Recovery, but has not made much progress since leaving that one to one situation. We are weighing our options as to what to do outside the classroom. She gives us a lot of pushback when we try to help her at home so we are looking for some outside services. We could afford about $100 a week for either a tutor or a tutoring service like Kumon or Classroom Matters. Has anyone else gotten help for their young child? What has been the most helpful? Thanks. Concerned Mom
I would highly recommend that you contact Bonnie Mitchell, and see if one-on-one tutoring might be the answer. Bonnie is a retired (OUSD) teacher who inspired *many* little Crocker Highlands kids (1st & 2nd grade, primarily - at least, in the years we knew her) to love reading. She is patient, and LOVES kids! Give her a call, meet with her - your child may love her as much as mine did! 510.482-4716 Mom of some very happy kids who LOVE to read!!!!
I highly recommend Nancy Welt as a reading specialist tutor. My dyslexic son started tutoring with her in the summer between 1st and 2nd grade and continued with her until sixth grade. With her help and hard work in both knowledge of reading programs and patience with my son he became a proficient reader and read at grade level by fifth grade. In fact in 8th grade scored Advanced in English on the Star test. He now reads on his own for pleasure. Something I could never have imagined was possible. Nancy really knows what she is doing and reaches the child on his/her level. I can't say enough about the help she provided me as well. Navigating the public school system with a child that is severely dyslexic can be extremely challenging. She was great with advice on what to ask for in my son's IEP. My son enjoyed working with her and she was persistent in her approach with him. Her knowledge and advice has been invaluable to me and my family and I can't recommend her enough. gf
I would really like to recommend Clara Sneed as a wonderful tutor. She really helped our high school daughter with her writing, organization and Spanish. She has a great way of relating to the teens directly, and our daughter really matured under Clara's wing. She can be reached at Tutorclara [at] gmail.com. We cannot recommend her enough! Happy Family
Reading help for 1st grader
My child is just finishing first grade. He is below grade level in reading and writing, had trouble holding a pencil, is starting to get that he is below other kids and it is starting to affect him in that way as well. His teachers have said that there is a gap between his verbal, math and social skills and his reading and writing skills. I would like to get him a tutor this summer or send him to some kind of program for extra help. I am looking at a few programs but don't know how good they are. Please if anyone has any experience with this please let me know (positive or negative). Thank you!!! Don't Know If I Should Be Concerned Mother
My daughter saw a private educational therapist in our home. His name is Bill Baldyga. We were thrilled with the progress our daughter made. In less than three months she jumped several grade levels in reading. All the experts say that the earlier you intervene, the easier it is to correct any issues that your child might have. You can contact Bill through his website at: www.halcyonlearning.com MW
I would recommend calling Dr. Ann Gordon of Educational Services Associates on Grand Avenue. She has a real gift with children, and many years of experience. 873-0801 anon.
Hello, my family has worked with a tutor named Rachael Berger for a year. She is an English teacher and also provides private in-home tutoring. She has been a ton of helping our kindergartener with reading; support with phonics and lots of word sorts. She is patient and kind and my daughter loves her! Her number is 510-418-6495. I know she works with kids of all ages. Madeleine
I would like to recommend my 9 year old son's tutor. She works with him in reading and writing, phonics and comprehension sentence writing, punctuation, grammer, and penmanship. My son is reluctant to work with me but is so willing to work with her. She is patient and kind with him. She uses positive reinforcement. And is really encouraging to him when he is having a hard time. We have been working with her through the school year and are very excited about his progress. Her name is Lauren Bassard. lbassard [at] aol.com 510-921-4911
Reading program for 4 year old
I am looking for a Saturday reading program for my 4 year old. Does anyone know of one that is located in Oakland or Berkeley? Thanks.
My son attended the Cal State East Bay's fall 2010 reading program and loved it! He not only learned a great deal, but he had fun doing so and made some friends in the process. He learned how to read shortly after completing the reading program! The teacher is great at engaging the students and truly understands literacy development for 4 and 5 year olds. I highly recommend this program. I dont recall the exact name of the program, but it is also being offered during the summer. Good luck! Happy Mommy
Dec 24 2009
I would like to highly recommend Sharon Lawless for tutoring reading. Our daughter was struggling to learn the basics of reading after kindergarten and we hired Sharon to tutor her over the summer between kindergarten and first grade. Sharon was amazing with her! She was very encouraging and we credit her with teaching our daughter not only to read, but also to enjoy it and she is now thriving. Her reading words per minute have continued to climb and she is now one of the best readers in her 2nd grade class.
Sharon can be reached at slawless18 [at] gmail.com or 510-336-1201.
Here is more information on Sharon: She works mainly with students who have reading challenges. She uses The Susan Barton Reading and Spelling System which is a research-based program that teaches students phonemic awareness in a sequential manner. She can help students with the writing process and elementary math. She has 30 years of teaching experience, Robin
Can anyone recommend a gentle, patient, intuitive literacy tutor? My son is having some trouble keeping up with his grade-level reading and seems to get frustrated easily. I'm really hoping to find somebody to work with him one on one (hourly maybe?), and I don't want to use any of those big ''tutoring companies''. Also, what type of fee should I expect to pay for such services? Thanks so much for any info-- regina
You could try Ariel Lenchner. Her office is near Broadway and Piedmont in Oakland. She worked with my son one on one, did a lot of fun games with him, and helped him quite a bit. He really liked her, and now reads extremely well. She's very patient with young children. I believe we spent about $65 an hour with her, a couple of years ago. Her website is http://www.earlyliteracywizard.com/ Karen
You should call Lyra King at 510-706-3041. She helped my daughter immensely. Lyra is a talented and compassionate tutor. She charges $60/hour and it is well worth it. Best of luck! Kelly
Our family has been blessed to find Jamie Keller to work with our son. He needed a great deal of help with his literacy issues. She is patient, caring, intuitive and most importantly, my son loves working with her. check out her site at www.learnWithMe.com and you will see just how qualified she is (and creative too!) My son is doing great and we are now working with Jamie on study skills to prepare him for middle school. She has a great summer program that I highly recommend. You can email her directly at jamiekeller1 [at] gmail.com michelle
I think Ivy Sandz / Literacy Access is just who and what you are looking for. http://www.literacyaccess.com/references.html I cannot say enough wonderful things about Ivy. My daughter has been seeing her for many years, doing individual sessions, group writers' workshops, homeschool support, art journaling, altered books. Ivy develops rapport easily with students, and is very versatile in using all kinds of techniques to help with reading and writing. She works well with kids of all ages and kinds of learning styles too.
I know someone who has worked with a student at Carl B. Munck for just about a year taking most of the summer off. The student is now caught up and thriving. The sessions were about 45 minutes each, reasonable price. Great bond between student and tutor which helped make the difference. Call Arlene Pimentel at 409-3829 or email arlenepim [at] aol.com Happy Reader
Hello dear parents, Do you have any referrals for a speech therapist and a reading tutor who would work with a five year old pre-kindergarten boy in our home in El Cerrito? A student speech therapist or a developmental student teacher would be fine too. Thank you very much !
I highly recommed Bill Baldyga of Halcyon Learning as a reading specialist. My kid loves him, and now he reads! He comes to your house too. His website is halcyonlearning.com and his phone number is on the site. Been There
As a mother of a kindergarten boy who is not yet reading - just why did the state change to this model 5 years ago? I'm wondering what kind of extra help is available through the schools for boys who don't pick it up by memorizing. We are in Oakland Unified School District. Independent recommendations of outside tutors also welcome, thanks. -concerned mom
I learned w/a bit of shock this fall that kindergarteners are supposed to learn to read. So now I'm looking for a tutor with experience with kindergarteners. nc
You might consider enrolling him in a summer program. My son attended one taught by a reading specialist named Ariel Lenchner last summer and it helped him quite a bit. You can find out about her on her website at http://earlyliteracywizard.com/contact.html And I'm sure there are other such programs out there. Karen
Writing tutor for high school sophomore
Looking for a writing tutor for my high school sophomore. She is a fairly good writer, but needs help getting to a deeper level of analysis with her essays and papers. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good writing tutor, ideally in Orinda, Moraga or Lafayette? HS Mom
For college essay help, I highly recommend Jamie Keller. She is a skilled teacher who helps students find their authentic voice that is unique among all the applicants. Jamie really listens to and cares for her clients and this attention shines forth in their writing. I worked with Jamie at Berkeley and saw the students in her class really achieve. To reach her, either call her at 510 847-2505 or email her at jamiekeller1 [at] gmail.com. Julie H.
I work with a fabulous writing tutor named Kate Knox. She has been teaching high school English and tutoring for over 15 years. She can be reached by email katek [at] holdenhigh.org. Kristin
I would like to recommend Carla Castillo as a college essay writing tutor. She worked with my son last year during his application process and her services proved invaluable. He really appreciated her help in organizing his ideas and the guidance she gave to help him say what he wanted to say. Carla didn't try to take over the process or the topics and allowed him to find his own voice. I appreciated that she made herself available with little notice and she was also very flexible about where they would meet whether it was our house, over the phone/Skype, or at a local coffee shop. She can be reached at simplycarla [at] icloud.com or through her website at www.carlaswritingspace.com. -mjp
A top notch writing tutor is Carla Castillo, who also is an expert on working with teens and their college essays. Please see the book, The Berkeley High Book of College Essays, for two of her students' essays. My son is having a positive experience working with her and appreciates her thoughtful feedback. I'm feeling grateful to step back and leave it to the experts. Many teens are developmentally more comfortable with feedback on personal statements from non-parents, as they are becoming independent. Happy teen...priceless. simplycarla [at] icloud.com www.carlaswritingspace.com Happy Mom, thanks to Carla
John Chang has been my son's writing and literature tutor for more than six years. I looked for a tutor for my son when he was in sixth grade because he had trouble putting words on paper even though he had a great imagination and had plenty to say.
John has been a remarkable tutor. Not only has my son become a superb writer, able to articulate his thoughts, and done well in tough literature classes, but writing has become his hobby. He spent the past summer writing a novel. John installed a love of writing in him. It has become a truly fun thing for him to do.
My son scored very high on his SATs. I think having John as his long-term tutor helped him. The results showed in his use of the English language, his grades and his success in the standardized tests. His critical reading ability, the most difficult area to do well in, was at the top of the scale. John also helped him write his college essays. With his help they really sang. I think John is a miracle worker for college essays. In the competitive college admissions process where so many applicants have exceptional grades, extracurricular activities and test scores, I think the essays my son produced with John's help really were a significant factor in his admission to several top schools, including his first choice. And John helped in a way that left my son doing most of the work on his own; they remained his work.
I wanted to write this recommendation for John Chang because he has helped us so much and I want to share him with you. He is truly a gem. I really enjoyed seeing this caring and phenomenally talented person every week in our house. lucky parent
(May 2015 Editor Note: John Chang passed away in Dec 2014.)
I wanted to chime in regarding, ''tutor review''. Both of my children have/are working with Carla Castillo, College Essay Tutor. Carla worked with my son, now a sophomore in college. He said, ''Carla really helped me articulate exactly what I wanted express in my essays.'' Carla is now working with my daughter, a senior in high school. Each child is different and Carla is able to accommodate both their writing styles. Carla is patient, an easy listener, fun and very capable of helping your child find their own writing voice. Her website is:http://carlaswritingspace.com Diana
I would like to recommend out fantastic tutor Kevin Arnold who helped our son ( 14 years old ) last year to navigate the world of essay writing. He is kind, patient, very engaging,creative and constantly went out of his way to understand how differently our son was learning. Our son went from hating reading & writing to a much more engaged and skilled writer. Kevin is flexible and comes to the house. His email is: kevinarnold333 [at] gmail.com Thanks! juliane
Excellent writing coach
This is a recommendation for Clara Sneed, an excellent writing coach, who helped our daughter become the strong, confident writer she is today. Despite being a great student with high grades, my daughter struggled to organize and structure an essay that expressed her thinking. Clara was patient with her and found points of interest to connect with her on, so my daughter felt she could try out new ideas without fear of failure. After working with Clara for a year, she greatly improved not only her technical skills, but found her writer\xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xe2\x84\xa2s voice as well. To our great surprise, she even went on to AP English. Plus, with Clara's help, the process of writing college essays became a joy instead of a chore. For anyone looking, I can't say enough great things about Clara and her approach. You can reach her at tutorclara [at] gmail.com. whitney
Inspiring writing coach
I would like to recommend ''Artemis'' libraryvet [at] yahoo.com She is an inspiring and non-threatening writing coach. She is in her 20's and presents a good role model for those who may be shy but want to find their writer's voice. She can also help your teen write their college application essay. Additionally, she offers classes for people of any age who want to discover more about themselves through writing. lanuevavic
Writing tutor for middle-schooler?
I have an 11 year-old boy with ADD about to enter middle school in Moraga. His 5th grade teacher suggested that he gets help out of the classroom with writing. My son loves to read and is very quick to learn but his problem is that he hates writing and therefore does not have to motivation to make the effort to write a good expository text: with the introduction, the supporting details and all that. I\xc3\x82\xe2\x80\x99ve never believed in getting tutors for your kids but now I\xc3\x82\xe2\x80\x99m really concerned he is going to be behind in 6th grade. Do you know any tutors you would recommend from experience that could help my son get motivated and learn/practice how to write? As I said, we live in Moraga. Thanks. anon
I highly recommend Heather MacLeod (email: macleodphd [at] gmail.com). Heather tutored my son writing and he really likes her. She is very respectful of him and whatever she taught him, he remembers. Heather is also a very fun and caring person! David's mom
Hello, We've used Sandra Lee to tutor my middle schooler in writing for the past year, and he's made a huge improvement. We should have hired her years ago. Very nice person, reasonably priced, great presence in my child's life. She's based in Orinda and can be reached at sandra.c.lee [at] sbcglobal.net not an editor
Writing help for 10 year old boy
Hi there, I need to find an afterschool program [not a class -- a regular afterschool program] to teach my son the fundamentals of writing. We've spent a few years abroad and his writing suffered and at his current private school, they do not practice writing everyday. Instead they focus on building their vocabulary words, etc. Hence, while he's a 4th grader, his writing skills align with those of a second grader's. Can anyone suggest a few places? I would like a program familiar with the Common core standards taught in the public school. margaret
My son also needed writing support at age 10, but we couldn't find a summer or after school program that worked for us. I was at my wits end when I was referred to writing tutor/ed therapist Jamie Keller. She is an experienced, kind and motivational tutor who completely turned around my son's attitude toward writing and his writing skills.
She has devised some wonderful games that get kids writing and having fun with it. With Jamie's help we discovered what an amazingly creative and humorous writer my son is. Although my son didn't want to bring his school writing projects to her (which of course she will help with), she helped to unlock his creative writing which flowed over into his school writing. He no longer lags behind his peers and I don't have to spend hours trying to get him to write a few meager sentences.
My son is now in middle school and I am so glad we invested the time and resources with Jamie to help him succeed at this vitally important skill.
You can learn more about Jamie Keller and get her contact info thru her website: www.learnwithme.com. A Happy Parent
Kevin Arnold is a tutor who has worked very well with my son who is 15 years old and attends the IB program at Berkeley High. Like many boys he was a reluctant writer who would either procrastinate and/or write something quickly with his eyes half closed and then be unwilling to edit. With Kevin's help he learned about fun ways to brainstorm, break down the process and use key concepts (borrowed from basketball, which helped!). Now my son is eager to write and is proud of his product at the end. Kevin and he met at a cafe which was ''cool''. If you have a teenager who needs tutoring, look up: http://berkeleycommunitytutor.com Carina
Writing (composition) tutor for 9, 12 yr olds
Looking for a patient, methodical composition/writing tutor for two extremely bright kids, one 9 years old, one 12 years old, who are off the charts for reading level/ability, but need help learning how to write papers, essays. Thank you! Grandma Jane
I highly recommend Teja Watson. She is an experienced teacher/tutor, as well as a professional editor and writer. And, she is great with kids! She's at trw [at] twobirdsediting.com. Mom of Writers
Writing coach for 15 year old
My 15 year old daughter could use some help with writing. She's very creative but seems to have trouble translating that into her writing. She goes to a good school and generally gets strong grades in English, but from what I've read I don't think her writing is at college level, or at the level of producing a competitive admission essay. She could use help with learning how better to express herself in writing and also with strengthening the quality of the writing itself. Any leads on tutors or coaches? Looking for a writing coach mama
Your description of your daughter sounds like my sons 5 years ago! John Chang has been coming to our house and transformed my son's writing. My son is very bright (like your daughter) but would just stare at paper and could not transform all the ideas and imagination into words. But with John , writing has become is strongest subject and has toyed with becoming a writer as a profession. His writing ability spilled into history and even lab reports. John teaches in a way that helps students really bloosom their innate ability. He has a gift of making the child feel like he is doing it all himself! And John is a very nice person. He comes our house, and I found his fees very very reasonable. ecstatic mother
(May 2015 Editor Note: John Chang passed away in Dec 2014.)
Hi- I recommend Kim Gonzales, a high school English teacher who is on hiatus from fulltime teaching while enjoying her 8 and 3 year old sons. Kim is skilled not only in teaching students how to write well and expressively, but has also coached fellow teachers in how to help students make the most of their writing. Kim volunteers as a writing coach in the Writer Coach Connection program, and is warm, personable, and young enough to be a 'cool writing mama' to your 15 year old daughter. She also has an artistic and athletic temperament-- she studies dance, paints with acrylics, and does kick boxing! Kim can be reached at kimgonzales [at] hotmail.com.
We have used Clara Snede in the past. Had great success with my 8th grader but I know she works with teens of all ages. She is in N. Berkeley. tutorclara [at] gmail.com Good Luck. Berkeley Parent
Looking for writing tutor assistant for 8 year old
I'm looking for someone who can help my 8 year old with his writing. He is starting the 3rd grade, and has a real aversion to writing. I think part of it is the physical effort, although his penmanship is pretty good. But most of it is that he has a lot of ideas, and has a hard time organizing his thoughts into the appropriate sentences to complete the paragraph. And he gets so focused on the details, he loses what the actual goal is, or the question he has been asked to answer. Any suggestions?
I recommend Ivy Sandz in Albany -- www.literacyaccess.com; phone 528-8773. She worked with my son. He also had lots of ideas, trouble getting his ideas on paper, and hated writing-- at the same age as your son. She was great with him. em
Handwriting tutor needed in Orinda
My fourth-grade son is very bright and creative, but, oh man, he has atrocious handwriting. We are looking for someone to come to our house a couple of times a week to help him improve or ideas for local classes/online instruction. I'm open to this being a high-school student or college student with neat handwriting. We're in Orinda. Many thanks! looking for a patient tutor
You need an occupational therapist not a high schooler. My son has horrible penmanship too
I'd highly recommend using Handwriting Without Tears materials to improve your son's penmanship. You can purchase workbooks from their website. I've had a lot of success with their curriculum in my classroom. Teacher
My family and I have been very pleased with the writing coaching and tutoring for high school students by Professor Diane Wolf, a Berkeley resident who is on the sociology faculty at UC Davis, and is the author of several interesting and readable books. She ably assisted my daughter with college essays, organizing term papers, and creative writing assignments, and genuinely enjoys the young people with whim she works. She has a child who is a recent Berkeley High School graduate and is familiar with many local high schools, public and independent. My daughter is now attending her first choice of liberal arts colleges in New England, thanks in part to Professor Wolf's assistance in focusing writing and working through blocks and self-critical voices. contact info: dianelwolf [at] gmail.com (510) 847-8696 parent
My son is now a student at UC San Diego. His first quarter report card was excellent and I credit the tutoring he received from Raymond Barglow as a major contributing factor to his success. Without the tutoring her received from Dr. Barglow- including help on improving his writing- he would probably not have been admitted. Although I am a classroom teacher, my son was able to accept assistance from Dr. Barglow in a more positive way than he could from me. Dr. Barglow has a wonderful communication style. He helped my son improve not only his academic skills, but perhaps as importantly, his overall confidence. I would recommend Dr. Raymond Barglow's tutoring highly, especially his guidance in preparing for the SAT or ACT. His website is: www.berkeleytutors.net, phone number 510-486-1050. Alia
Writing workshops/programs/tutors for 15 year old
We are seeking recommendations for writing workshops in the Bay Area for our 15 yo son. We are open to group workshops as well as a private tutor that can help hone his writing skills. Any leads or insight appreciated. M & P
Abby Skrivan is a fab writing teacher! I was a Writer's Coach a few years ago and was assigned her classroom of 8th graders at Albany Middle School. She has a great way with students - treats them with great respect and humor. She teaches writing classes/workshops outside of school, or at least she used to. I don't have her contact info but you can look her up thru AMS I imagine. Lise
Bara Sapir, the founder of TestPrep SF and NY, offers a variety of tutoring in classes and 1:1. My middle school son took a reading program that was phenomenal for his preparation to take the SSAT (independent high school entrance exam). When he came home after the class, he was really excited about the method and told me how much faster and better he scored on his practice tests. Most importantly, he feels more confident going into the real SSAT. Well, I just got his test results and indeed his score increased 12%, plus he can use the skills broadly for all his reading needs. Their phone is 415-483.9256. More info on Mindflow is available at http://testprepny.com/pages/GMAT_LSAT_GRE_MindFlow.htm. Good Luck to you and yours! parent.hamburger
Recommending tutor: Itir Yakar (despite area code, she is in East Bay, Oakland Grand Lake area, and can travel to you) Tel: 1-415-400-6715 email: itiryakar [at] yahoo.com Itir (Turkish name, female)is a super patient, super organized, calm and friendly tutor available to help a variety of aged children/teens. She was very patient with my daughter who has a processing disorder and language comprehension disability. She specializes in working with teens around writing and reading comprehension. She can also help with writing college application essays, or even assist first year law student's writing challenges. She has a background in journalism and law. Victoria
Writing tutor for middle & High school
I'd like to recommend Dr. Diane Wolf as a writing coach fr high school and middle school students. Diane is a full professor (but not teaching full time schedule) at UC Davis in sociology and the author of several fascinating books. She is also a person who has a great ability to build rapport and encourage students, and she gives meaningful, useful, and reassuring while honest feedback readily. She has been working with my daughter for the past academic year on all kinds f writing, including personal essays for college admissions, papers on topics as diverse as comparative children;s literature,, art history, and epic poetry. I found her through this list, so search the archives for contact information. Judith
Writing tutor for 5th grader
We are looking for a well educated, kind writing tutor who will come to our home in North Berkeley to help our daughter to learn the art of writing. She is struggling with focus and self confidence as a writer. She needs support around grammar, spelling and punctuation. How can we make this fun and yet learn important skills for middle school? Thanks! a 5th grade mom
John Chang started tutoring my son around end of 5th grade. My son's school really never taught him grammar, but even more, he used to just stare at the piece of paper and had fear about writing. I am so grateful that I found John. He not only comes to our house, and spend a full hour at a very reasonable rate, but have transformed my son to a writer who is pretty much at the top of his class. (He now goes to a very competitive high school too!) His grammar, sentence structure, composition are all amazing. I am awed when I read his work. He also now excels in critical reading comprehension (thank you John!) at such level that the PSAT he just took was really astonishing. His ability to write now spills over to history, where his papers are really clear, well written and organized. I really highly recommend John. He is easy going but thorough, and always on time. My son has really bonded with him and looks forward to him coming to our house. I think he actually have some space right now. grateful mom
(May 2015 Editor Note: John Chang passed away in Dec 2014.)
To the parents looking for writing help for their fifth-grade student: Jamie Keller has been working with my 5th grade son for six months. During that time, she has taken a child who wouldn't get out of the car and turned him into a child who doesn't want to stop writing when he's with her and can't wait to read what he's written to me and to his father. Her website for more info is www.learnwithme.com. Constance
Writing tutor, SAT Prep, and college apps
My daughter loves to write, especially creatively, but needs help with structure in essay/analytical writing -- using an outline, organizing her thoughts and editing. Part of this is due to being dyslexic and also to look toward higher expectations of college. Can you please recommend a tutor for after school - someone who's motivational is great close to BART would be a plus. Thanks writing tutor
My stepson worked on his college essays for about ten months--from the Spring of 2010 through December of 2011--with Lesley Quinn. By the time they were done with his Common App essay and all his supplemental essays, the kid could actually write! I suspect he learned more about crafting a persuasive piece of writing 1:1 from her than from all his English classes combined. She was warm and encouraging but held him to a high standard. She also taught him about how to meet deadlines. www.lesleyquinn.com Good luck. --No Arguments in Our Household
Writing tutor, SAT Prep, and college apps
I highly recommend JEFFREY SEGALL to tutor your high school student in English reading and writing, SAT preparation, and college applications. We hired Jeff when my son was struggling with a notoriously tough English teacher during his junior year. Jeff helped him understand the writing assignments, organize his thoughts, and edit his drafts. Jeff encouraged and motivated my son to think on his own in a safe environment where there was not just one answer to a question. The benefits my son received in terms of confidence and writing skills are now serving him well in his senior year. Jeff came to our home (working around my son's busy schedule), was dependable and professional, and had very reasonable rates. Jeff can provide additional references. Contact: Jeffrey Segall at 925-254-1907 or 510-206-8847 or jasegall[at]yahoo.com. Susan
Recommendation needed for Berkeley writing tutor
can anyone recommend a strong writing tutor for a very bright high school senior who does well on quick write and standardized testing, has an outstanding vocabulary and reading comprehension, has consistently read several years above grade level since third grade, but struggles with the skill of synthesizing ideas into expository writing? she is taking freshman composition in summer session at a community college now, and the discrete skill of transposing her insights into an essay is still a stumbling block for her and causes much anxiety though she is generally a bright, happy, talented person who has had major scholastic achievements when this does not get in the way. we really need help for fall term. she is contemplating taking a year or more away from college if she can't master this skill.
Please check out Classroom Matters at www.classroommatters.com Our 17 y.o. daughter is smart but became overwhelmed with her classes this year. Classroom Matters definitely got her through the rest of the year without losing her self esteem and motivation. They matched her to a wonderful tutor who helped her with her writing assignments. She also attended the supervised study sessions and received help with other subjects. Classroom Matters has a happy buzz to it and the students look like they are glad to be there! The support of Classroom Matters was a life boat. pleased parent
I highly recommend Andrea Roemer, an English teacher at Tilden Preparatory School in Albany who also tutors. My daughter was taught English by Andrea Roemer, and she for the first time felt very successful in English due to Andrea's methods. Andrea was able to work through the English curriculum with my daughter through in depth discussion and written work. Andrea was also able to build a relationship with my daughter which greatly supported her in both her education and her life. My daughter learned not only how to structure a report, but also how to understand what to say. The classes are one on one, similar to tutoring, and my daughter was very lucky to get Andrea as a teacher since she is highly respected by the administrators of the school and by the students. She also teaches AP classes at the school. Her phone number is 510-776-0332. Susan
I would like to recommend Dr. Julie Hemker as an exceptionally professional reading and writing tutor. Julie is patient and extremely knowledgeable about teaching effective communication skills to students. Her tutoring has helped my daughter excel in SAT prep and English listerature papers. A professor at UC Berkeley, she deeply understands the issues facing contemporary students. Her contact information is: julie.hemker [at] att.net and 925 947-1629. H.
Tutor for 3rd grader reading below grade level
I have a 3rd grader who is reading below grade level and is behind in writing skills. I am looking for an experienced Ed. Therapist / tutor ASAP who is patient, creative, and has excellent credentials and who is effective! I live in Berkeley and would like to find someone local. Susan
My third grade son has been working with a tutor here in Berkeley twice a week for the last year and half. He was working on writing and reading skills with Peggy Connell and has made tremendous progress. She has been extremely flexible, used her great sense of humor to keep him motivated and always used his interests as a vehicle to teach varing content. When starting with her, he was extremely reluctant to even write a paragraph, and has since then developed the skills to organize and carry-out short assignments independently. Part of his issue is his lack of organizational skills surrounding writing which were greatly helped through her use of graphic organizers and brainstorming. She always provided a warm and nurturing environment, which helped keep distractions to a minimum. She holds a masters degree in special education and educational therapy. You can contact her at (510) 644- 1010 or peggyjconnell [at] yahoo.com mom who has been there
High school writing tutor
My son recently worked with Jamie Keller, a writing coach whom he highly recommends. Jamie's fee was reasonable and her services were more valuable than the private college counselor's. He Says:
I'm a senior at BHS, and I was accepted Early Decision at Swarthmore College. My grades weren't good enough to make the cut, but I hoped to sell the college with my writing, my passion since childhood. But I couldn't write a college essay. After about ten failed drafts, I realized I needed help. We found Jamie. We met 5 times in total, working through numerous drafts of my essay. 5 searing, painful, drafts. It was the first time I realized how difficult writing is. Jamie cut, cut, cut my essay, and then we rebuilt it, this time on a solid foundation. She knows that every persuasive essay must tell a story, so we gutted the blatant pleas in mine and replaced it with a humble, honest tale. I firmly believe this essay made the difference. Jamie made the difference to me. Aside from getting me into college, she was a pleasure to work with.
(Jamie Keller's number is 510-847-2505. Her e-mail is jamiekeller1 [at] gmail.com.) Carol
Help with critical writing
My son who is currently a freshman at Stanford benefited significantly from the tutoring services of John Chang. I was always concerned about my son's ability to write critically at an appropriate level since it could potentially affect his studies in school and college admissions. Seeing how my daughter improved in John Chang's AP Literature class, I decided to hire him as an English tutor for my son starting from his sophomore year of high school. He helped my son through his high school English courses, the SAT reading and writing portions, and eventually his personal statement. My son has told me that he has not only improved his essays and analysis of novels but also challenged the way he thinks. If you feel your child needs assistance in writing, I highly recommend you contact him at grey_matters [at] comcast.net. Anita
Writing Coach for high schooler
I'm looking for a good and inspiring writing coach for my daughter. She is a good writer and wants to get better. Inspiration and creativity work! sara
The one-on-one coaching we got for our daughter on her college essays taught her more about how to write than any of her English teachers at BHS. If we had started her with a writing coach earlier, her first year of college would have been far less stressful. In any case, I can't recommend Lesley Quinn highly enough. She's supportive, encouraging, focused, and she sets the bar high. It was hard to get in with her during application season but maybe it's easier in the spring. Berkeley Mom
I want to recommend Lesley Quinn as a superb writing coach for high school level kids. Lesley worked with my daughter on her college essays, and proved to be skilled, supportive and extraordinarily insightful. Emma loved working with her, and took away from the experience a new and expanded understanding of and appreciation for the process of writing and editing. Give Lesley a call... you will be so glad you did. Her contact info is: Lesley Quinn 415-341-1110 Lesley [at] lesleyquinn.com www.lesleyquinn.com SF Office and Mailing Address: 680 Mission Street, 8J San Francisco, CA 94105 Berkeley Office: 851 Regal Road Berkeley, CA 94708 Berkeley Mom
The amazing and wonderful writer, Lesley Quinn was a perfect writing coach for my high school aged daughter. Lesley is creative, smart and funny. My daughter really enjoyed their work together. You can reach her at www.lesleyquinn.com . happy mom
Writing help for high school senior
I have a daughter who is a senior at Campolindo High. I am looking for a good tutor to work with her on her writing skills, expository writing, especially with English 4. Any suggestions for someone in the Lamorinda area? Thanks. anon
Top-notch recommendation for a writing coach: Ashley Coburn PhD. We've been really pleased with her work with our daughter in multiple areas, and especially writing. Her number is510-384-6069. Good luck!
Our son has been with his writing tutor John Chang for almost 3 years now and he has gone from struggling to express himself to wanting to become a writer as a profession (he is 15 now). John comes to our house and read all the books that is assigned to our son on his own time. He is easy going and connected immediately to our son who eagerly awaits his arrival every week. John is also versed in history (since many of the writing assignments are related to history lessons being taught at school, this has been extremely helpful). Also as a consequence of becoming an excellent writer our son has also become a wonderful speaker.
John also helped him with his ISEE and SSAT preparation, and our son scored in the 90 percentile in vocabulary and reading comprehension. He has experience teaching AP classes (he was a teacher for many years) so I am looking forward to his continued help during our son's high school years. He has students from elementary age all the way to high school. He is very responsible (he calls when he is even 5 min late). Happy mom from Oakland
(May 2015 Editor Note: John Chang passed away in Dec 2014.)
Aug 18 2010
I would like to recommend Jeff Segall - jasegall [at] yahoo.com - who is tutoring my daughter for the SAT and for her literature and writing classes at BHS. My daughter has learning disabilities and can be difficult to work with. Jeff is patient and able to communicate well with her. Her skills and confidence have increased with his help and she is surprisingly open to his assistance. I recommend him highly and without hestitation. Amy
Writing tutor for 6th grader
I'm looking for either a class or someone who can work with my son on his writing skills this summer. He's going into the 6th grade at a very challenging school next fall and writing is the one area he really struggles with. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks BPN!!! D
My son is a 7th grader at Willard. He has had a VERY HARD time in English, and really anything that had to do with writing. It was a confidence thing, accompanied by him not being able to express himself creatively. For the past 3 month, I have had him work with a young lady named Ali, whom is a published creative writer. His writing skills have increased 10 fold, and he actually enjoys going to tutoring sessions. You can reach out to her for some ideas.'ali lawrence' ali.lawrence77 [at] gmail.com
Becky Gross is an absolutely fantastic creative writing tutor. And she's a great help with other types of writing, like book reports, too, if needed. She tutors middle school and high school students, and I'm sure she'd be great for your son. She has a loyal following and is much beloved. beckelecita [at] pacbell.net Judy
For parents who are looking for writing help for their teens, I'd like to recommend Jamie Keller. My son went to Jamie because he wanted to be a better writer, with the added goal of improving his writing score on the ACT. By giving him short, relevant writing assignments, and reviewing them together, Jamie helped my son understand how to translate what was in his mind into the written word. She also showed him how to organize his essays and how to include specific information to make his writing clearer and easier to understand.
My son looks forward to his weekly sessions with Jamie. She is lively, patient, and non-judgmental, and after working with her, my son scored a 10 out of 12 on the ACT essay. He now has more confidence in his writing and is motivated to keep improving. Jamie can be contacted at jamiekeller1 [at] gmail.com, or by phone at 510-524- 8697.
Jan 20 2010
Amy Draizen has been a writing and organizational support to our child for the past 7 years. Starting in 6th grade, it was clear that these areas were tremendously challenging for him. Due to her thoughtful, experienced and patient guidance, he is now a superlative writer and can develop his ideas, write a comprehensive outline, and complete an outstanding essay on his own. She understood his quirks and strengths and worked with him to help him achieve in ways that he never expected were possible. I can't recommend Amy highly enough. She can be reached at: adraizen [at] mindspring.com
English tutor for high school sophomore
My son is finishing up his sophomore year and has failed English. He will be taking English at Berkeley City College this summer but there is no way he will pass without tutoring. He is as stubborn as the day is long and convinced that English is 'too hard.' He is bright but lazy and easily overwhelmed, will NOT take help from his parents. We are looking for a miracle worker who can help this kid. Any takers?
Check out ROPES for tutors and we think Rosa Barbara-Meeks is great with high school writing assignments. You can reach her at: rbarbara_meeks [at] yahoo.com Kathy
The person that I totally trust and refer friends to is Phyllis Koppelman of Strategies for Learning (www.strategiesforlearning.com). You can look at her website and look at her brochure for a summer program called Mighty Minds Enrichment Program. My son was totally resistant to tutoring, is very smart but couldn't get the words out of his head and onto the page. Phyllis worked her magic on him. Not only could she get those words out, he actually LIKED her. (I know, shocking.) In fact the very first day he went ''only once'' and came out to the waiting room laughing and telling her jokes. We went out to the car and all he said was, ''Mom, I hate it when you're right.'' If your son has any learning issues, she'll help. If he has a sense of humor, they'll get along great. She will see what he does well and praise him. He'll know that it's real, not a butter up. She's also great with parents. grateful mom
Can you recommend a good essay/report writing tutor or summer program for a 9th going to 10th grader. thanks very much. Parent needing tutor/program
I highly recommend Deborah Dallinger as a writing tutor/coach. She's an excellent writer and editor, and even more important, has a great rapport with teens. She has the ability to really relate to your child and give him/her skills and confidence. Contact her via e-mail at deborahd13 [at] comcast.net or by phone 925-788-9131. - a grateful parent
My high school senior is still not feeling confident about writing essays for college, which is just over the horizon. I would appreciate any recommendations for a class, tutor or summer crash course in churning out the basic 5 to 20 page essay. Confidence Building
For parent looking for writing support for rising college freshman- Flossie Lewis and JoAnn Stewart at ATDP are the best. They are classic English teachers. Independent college counselor
This may not directly answer your search but I do have a wonderful person to recommend for help with personal essays specifically college or graduate school application essays. Lesley Quinn helped my son with his personal essay when he applied to law school and she was terrific! A skillful writer herself, Lesley brings to her work with teens and young adults a wonderful mix of smarts, kindness, supportiveness and high expectations. She worked closely with my son to define and clarify his thoughts and helped him to frame a remarkably strong, clear personal essay. I am happy to report that he was accepted to his top school choices including NYU, Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley) and UCLA. I recommend Lesley without reservations - she is truly a gem! Kathy G
We're looking for an English and/or writing tutor who can help our teen write better, read with more understanding, and generally feel like he's keeping up better with his classmates. It would be great if this person also helped kids be stronger thinkers--helped them approach questions with more curiosity and think about them more carefully and clearly. All suggestions much appreciated! --Tutor-seekers
I would like to add my highest recommendation of Nat Crawford, who did extensive tutoring with my son from 7th through 10th grades on English reading, writing, grammar, and critical thinking. He was patient, always right there at the age and level of my son's ability, very caring and warm, and a true teacher--he not only covered the material but taught my son to think in a way that has become a permanent, lasting skill. You absolutely could not do better than to hire Nat for tutoring. He can also help with other subjects, too--ask him. Here's his contact info (even though the number is in San Francisco, he tutors in the East Bay extensively): Nat Crawford 415 503 1928 ncdc3c [at] hotmail.com Toni
I am looking for a writing class for my 13 year old daughter who is entering 8th grade next year. While she is very bright and gets excellent grades, I am concerned about the lack of sophistication in her expository writing. She just does not express herself clearly in writing and needs some help on techniques for improvement, especially as she gets closer to high school. I admit that this is one area where I feel let down by the public schools as no teacher has pointed out what I have seen as an obvious issue for several years. I envision she would do better in a group environment with other kids for this particular issue. Concerned about Writing
My daughter attended the Classroom Matters summer writing class and found it valuable. I think they may have a couple of choices this summer. Karen
my son's reading tutor has an opening on mondays from 5PM to 6PM. if your child has any type of reading challenge, don't delay! statistics show that if your child is behind by third grade, he or she will only fall further behind by ninth grade unless there is some intervention. teachers don't have enough time to devote to one-on-one instruction/attention. we have been working with lisa glicksman for 2 months now. from the very first session, she had my son's rapt attention and interest. she'll come to your home. she provides all of the materials. she engages the child with fun and interesting games and activities. most importantly, they are making progress with reading fluency and comprehension. my daughter is asking for lisa to be her tutor even though her reading abilities are above benchmark! lisa can be reached at 595-8799 or lisa[at]glixart.com (email updated 9/16/06) Suzie
Dec 07 2005
I can recommend the following reading tutors who were with Reading Revolution in Oakland. My daughter personally worked with Georgia Morrow who is a dream of a tutor. Personable, professional, fun, and engaging.
Georgia Morrow Berkeley 510/644-3220 Morrows2[at]earthlink.net Credentialed teacher. Reading and writing. Pre-school through adult. Training in Reading Revolution and traditional phonics.
Nancy Van Zwalenburg Berkeley 510/548-4867 nancy[at]rb68.com Credentialed teacher. Reading and lower level math. 1st grade \xc2\x96 high school. Trained in Reading Revolution and Making Math Real techniques.
Lisa Glicksman Oakland (510) 595-8799 lisa[at]glixart.com (email updated 9/16/06) Tutors reading and art. 1st grade through adult. Trained in both Reading Revolution and traditional phonics.
Betty Ann Taylor Oakland (510) 763-8571 Btytalr49[at]yahoo.com Reading, writing, elementary math, social studies, science. Pre-school through adult. Sharon
I am part of a group of parents whose Piedmont middle school students need some writing enrichment - not remedial help. These students are all good students, exceptionally strong in math. Does anyone have a recommendation for a writing/research tutor who would be good for working with a group (4-6) of eight graders? I have checked the archives and didn't see anyone who seemed specifically appropriate. Thanks! Mom
I can highly recommend Kristan Willits (kwillits[at]earthlink.net) as an excellent writing tutor for your middle schoolers. My 8th grader is also strong in math, science and music and has average skills in writing (more right-brained than left-brained in general) and Kristan has definitely helped her improve her writing. Kristan is very perceptive in her assessment of how a person writes and how the various components of their writing are operating and then in working with the kid to improve the elements. In working with my daughter, she has been patient, positive and, from my point of view, productive. The quality of my middle-schooler's writing is more mature. Besides teaching her new skills and strategies, I think Kris is effective because she has also helped my daughter learn how to access and employ what's already in her own brain. We plan on continuing with her throughout high school as well! I think Kristan is looking to offer a summer writing clinic so email or call her about that at 510-540-9562 Dee
Jun 03 2006
My 12 year old daughter has thrived with private tutoring with Grey Matter. I was fighting with my daughter over homework and destroying our relationship. John Chang at Grey Matters gave my daughter the extra edge she needed to excel in school and I am less anxious. He has flexible hours and a previous teacher. william
(May 2015 Editor Note: John Chang passed away in Dec 2014.)
May 17 2006
Adina Lepp has been tutoring our 9th grade son this semester. I highly recommend her. She is responsible and articulate and has helped enormously in keeping him focused and enthusiastic about his writing projects. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Adina is a sophomore English major (emphasis on creative writing) at Mills College. She volunteers at BHS as a writing coach and has been trained with the Writer Coach Connection program. She writes fiction. She is available for academic and creative tutoring, manuscript editing and nanny work, and is available now. You can reach her at adina.lepp[at]gmail.com to discuss specifics. Kathy
My son had a great experience with writing tutor Kevin Arnold. We learned of him through Parents of Teens site. Kevin is young, a former Berkeley High Independent Studies teacher, is skilled and knowledgeable, and tutors with an easy-going style. He connected well with my son who gained much from Kevin's help in just a few months, his already accomplished writing improving in both organization and mechanics. Kevin tutors as a writing tutor, a homework coach, college paper research advisor, and college app essays coach. ''Kevin Arnold'' kevinarnold2004 AT yahoo.com 510.655.6612
Tutor for struggling readers
For anyone who is looking for a tutor for a child who is dyslexic or struggling with reading, I would like to recommend a friend who does Orton-Gillingham (multisensory) and also Lindamood-Bell tutoring in reading and spelling. She is an experienced tutor and is presently working toward full certification in the specialty. I am not personally familiar with the techniques she uses, but she spends a lot of time with me and my twins and I can speak for how good she is with children. I can also say she is intelligent, serious about teaching, and very, very patient. You can contact me at Kensington at california.com. Or you can contact her directly at tutorJS at yahoo.com.
Susan kensington at california.com
Our 5th grade (11 year old) son needs some extra help with his writing skills. He has excellent reading comprehension, good handwriting and ok spelling. He seems to understand the use of notetaking, webs, and checklists before embarking on an essay, but it often doesn't progress beyond that. He can orally express complete and sequencial thoughts (with some prompting) but has difficulty ''remembering what he said'' when it comes to writing it all out. We're looking for writing specialist/mentor since we believe a personal connection would facilitate the learning. Our son is into skateboarding, swimming, skiing and baseball as well as non-violent video games. Can anyone recommend where to look? Thanks. LESLIE
I can highly recommend a colleague of mine, at a local independant school. His data: Andrew von Mayrhauser (referred to as Mr. von) 32 years old 6th Grade Teacher for 10 years (3 in Oakland,7 in Maryland) Writing specialist- was exclusively a writing teacher for five years Has passion for writing and enjoying life Connects well with kids, especially 5th - 8th grade Tutoring references available PHONE: 510 261 4373 avonmayrhauser AT headroyce.org Give him a call or drop him an email, he connects well with the kids by introducing a variety of ways of being creative. Shahana
Hi, I have heard great things about Ivy Sandz, who runs reading/writing programs and tutors. http://www.literacyaccess.com/reading.html susan
I'd like to post my recommendation for Kristan Willits, whose tutoring services I sought for my child after reading positive reports at the Parents Network website. My 7th grade son has a learning disability in written expression, which means that learning to express himself in writing in the traditional way taught in the classroom doesn't always work for him. Any writing assignment had potential for bringing on a meltdown at home and worse, my son was losing confidence. Kristan was able to break down the writing process in a way that made sense to him. With her help, he now has many strategies to use and his confidence has been restored. Kristan also welcomed my input and gave me good feedback and helpful ideas for helping my son at home. I have no doubt that Kristan's patient, supportive style and ability to tailor strategies to the individual would work for students of all different needs and abilities. She can be reached at The Socratic Method, 510/540-9562. Signed, Pleased Parent
I would like to recommend Matt Eggers as a great reading/writing tutor and as a homework coach. Matt has been working with my son, who used to resist any help, and after a few months I'm very impressed with his results. You can reach Matt at 415-206-1856. Silvia
I would like to recommend Melissa Levine as a tutor. She has a B.A. from Yale and an M.A. from Washington University in St.Louis. Extensive experience teaching and tutoring reading, writing, grammar, and literature at all levels--elementary through college. (She's a published writer and journalist, too.) Can also tutor Spanish and French at the elementary and junior high levels. $50/hr. Call at 510-666-9068 or email at mlevine at mindspring.com. Christy
To the person looking for a writing tutor or a summer writing class, please contact Becky Gross. Her phone number is 510-849-4877. She is quite wonderful and really gets teens writing! PS My son also thinks she is terrific. Lynne
(updated May 2003)
Regarding the search for a writing class or tutor posted in the last newsletter: I'd like to recommend Molly Gales - who runs a tutorting service called Classroom Matters - a truly inspired tutor and mentor for teens.
My daughter is a Senior in the BHS Independent Studies program. She has an excellent English teacher, Sara McMickle, who will be offering summer tutoring in Essay Writing, Literature, Grammar, and SAT preparation. Sara is an wonderful teacher and can be reached at 644-4500, ext. 3631.