Chesterfield Learning Center-Reading tutoring, math tutoring, reading comprehension, SAT Prep, ACT Prep, homework help

LEARNING LITERACY

Chesterfield Learning Center’s  literacy programs are for students of all ages who are struggling with reading or writing. Our literacy programs are based on the concept that the student needs to learn the fundamentals of language and how the brain processes it through the eyes, ears and mouth. We work with each student individually to ensure that they have all the tools needed to read fluently, spell, use grammar, write and comprehend. Our writing and comprehension programs are suitable for students of all ages. We have even helped students prepare for the entrance exam to medical school!

 

LEARNING TO READ

In order to learn to read, a child must explicity connect the discrete sounds of English (called phonemes) with the letter combinations (called graphemes) that represent those sounds. There are as many as 44 discrete sounds that can be represented by more than 250 different letter combinations.

In the course of our learning to read program, students learn the patterns and concepts that categorize letters and sounds – how they look, how they “feel” when spoken, how they sound. By understanding the underlying principles of language, your child will “break the code” and learn how to read.

LEARNING TO SPELL

There are 900,000 words in the English dictionary. By the time your child graduates high school, he will be expected to know 60,000 words. Most schools teach spelling through memorizing words on a weekly basis. At Chesterfield Learning Center we teach the linguistic patterns that underlie spelling – that there are specific strings of letters that spell specific sounds depending on where that sound is in a word. Students are asked to figure out these patterns and apply them in various interactive and engaging exercises. We also teach meaning units, prefixes and suffixes, and roots from Latin, Greek, Anglo Saxon and French derivatives so students can spell complex words. At Chesterfield Learning Center students learn to think about spelling.

LEARNING WORDS

Your child is expected to know the meaning of 60,000 words by the time of high school graduation. Good luck learning those words by memorizing 10 or 20 per week. At Chesterfield Learning Center we teach vocabulary by breaking it down into understandable principles that can be applied every time a new word appears. At Chesterfield Learning Center we work with a carefully selected set of vocabulary words and teach students to understand relationships, different contexts and using words metaphorically. By learning to think about words and what they mean, your child will develop the basic skills necessary to have a rich, flexible vocabulary and embrace encounters with new words.

LEARNING GRAMMAR

Grammar is typically taught through rote memorization: “A noun is a person, place or thing.” At Chesterfield Learning Center, we teach grammar through a multi-sensory approach with student-friendly visuals, game-playing, drawing diagrams and other engaging activities to create a deep understanding of parts of speech and how they are used. Our grammar program is based on the principles that (1) parts of speech are learned one at a time and mastered in a careful sequence; (2) it is best to avoid exceptions until regular structures are mastered; and (3) memorization should be kept to a minumim. By actively engaging in the proper use of words, your child will develop mastery of grammar and syntax.

LEARNING TO COMPREHEND

The big challenge of the early grades in school is learning to read. By 4th grade and beyond, students read to learn. In order to succeed, your child needs to have a strong foundation in comprehension skills. For many students, these skills need to be explicitly taught. The brain needs to be actively engaged in order for reading to turn into learning. At Chesterfield Learning Center we teach your child how to actively engage with reading material in order to comprehend it and retain the important information. We teach (1) how to pose questions and find answers; (2) how to determine what is important by identifying topic sentences and controlling ideas and (3) how to make personal connections between the material and your child’s life experiences. By learning to comprehend, your child will be prepared to tackle classroom material in all subject areas.

LEARNING TO WRITE

Writing is one of the most difficult tasks a human can undertake. To write well takes a mastery of basic language skills such as grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. It also requires a mastery of motor skills. Executive function skills are necessary to organize and focus the mind for the task at hand. Finally, writing involves critical thinking to know what you want to say and how you want to say it. At Chesterfield Learning Center we teach writing a step at a time, ensuring that your child masters each step before moving on to the next. We teach (1) the types of sentences and how to build them correctly; (2) the elements of a paragraph and how to create them; (3) editing and revising skills and (4) how to create multi-paragraph essays. Learning these skills builds confidence and enables your child to express thoughts in writing.