The “do-it-yourself” Reading Solution

BY ARI FERTEL

I want to tell you about another way you can go about helping your child transform their reading.

Yesterday I blogged about hiring a tutor. It’s definitely something to consider, but, as we discussed, it’s very expensive and there are other drawbacks as well. In the end, most people wish there was an alternative.

There is.

There are a few alternatives. One of them is to do it yourself. Let’s explore that option. (Even if “do it yourself” is not for you, you can learn a lot about how to improve your child’s reading from what we’re going to discuss today.)

What a tutor would do with your child is not difficult. You don’t have to be a professional tutor to do it. You could do it.

All you have to do is read with your child for 30 minutes each day, gently correct them when they make an error, and spend half the time having them listen to your fluent reading.

That’s basically it.

There are a few other minor matters, like getting a baseline “Words Correct Per Minute” (WCPM) measurement, monitoring progress, testing for comprehension, and choosing the right content. But I can help you with these things or you can Google for answers. They’re minor and easy to tackle.

The hard part is time and the relationship.

Let me explain.

Do you have 30 minutes/day?

If you answered “no,” that’s ok, neither did I. Keep reading; I’ll explain what I did.

If you answered “yes,” then I have another question for you.

Do you have 30 minutes/day every day?

And if you answered “yes” to that question, then I have one more.

Do you have 30 minutes/day every day for 3-6 months?

Do you get my point?

It’s easy to find 30 minutes to do just about anything once. The question is: can you make that activity part of your regular schedule? Can you be reliable? That’s what your child needs.

It’s not easy. In concept, “Of course I have 30 minutes for my child.” But in practice, things end up getting in the way.

And remember, we’re not talking about 30 minutes when it’s convenient for you. It has to be 30 minutes when it’s convenient for you and for your child.

You might be able to do it after dinner. But your child might start to fade by that time of night.

Your child might be available immediately after school. But you might be at work or have carpool.

The key is to find a set time that will work well for both of you over the next 3-6 months. In some families that’s doable. In others, it’s unrealistic.

By the way, notice I said that you have to find a set time that will work for both of you.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll steal 30 minutes at some point each day. Don’t make the mistake of saying to yourself, “We’ll work it out” or “We’ll fit it in.”

If you can’t pinpoint a particular time each day and commit that that’s your reading time, then it probably won’t happen. You might pull it off for a few days or maybe a week, but eventually other things will start to get in the way.

My experience is: to make this work you have to commit to a set time every day. You take your medication in the morning, you brush your teeth before you go to bed, and you read with your child at 5pm M-F. It should be that predictable.

In some families, this kind of structure is common and no problem. In other families, well…there’s just no way.

Besides time, the other challenge with the “do-it-yourself” method is stress on the parent-child relationship.

I don’t think this is hard to imagine.

If we let our kids do what they want when they want, the parent-child relationship would be easy. But we can’t and so it’s not. We have to make sure that they get up on time, eat a healthy breakfast, go to school, do their homework, clean their room, brush their teeth, take a shower, call grandma, and the list goes on and on.

All these demands, all this prodding, all this directing puts stress on our relationship with them.

“Mom, get off my back.”

“Leave me alone.”

“I don’t want to.”

“I’ll do it later.”

“No!”

You know it’s going to happen. The degree to which it’ll happen has a lot to do with you, your child, your relationship, and their relationship with reading. But it’s going to happen.

How will you deal with it? Are you the kind of parent that can manage it? Can your relationship with your child withstand you demanding that they spend 30 minutes/day reading with you?

For some parents, this is no problem. For others, there’s just no way.

I remember working with one of my kids who I wanted to help improve his reading.

I was going to be a “do-it-yourself” mother.

I planned it out.

I decided on a set time.

I found a quiet reading space in our house, rearranged my schedule, and spent the night before researching the perfect reading material.

I was ready.

DAY 1

Three minutes into it, my 11 year old bangs on the door because my 3 year old had an accident and she refused to clean it up.

No problem, we’ll try again tomorrow.

DAY 2

My son slams the book shut because I asked him to reread a sentence.

I can try to be gentler. Let’s try again.

DAY 3

My housekeeper burned something in the kitchen and set the smoke alarm off.

Where’s the ladder?

DAY 4

I’m feeling very judgmental and impatient. I feel disappointed in my son. I’m feeling bad about myself as a mom. The whole thing just didn’t go well.

DAY 5

Reality sets in. This is not as easy as it seems. Moms need a surrogate. I closed the book, sent my son away, and started creating Reading Buddy Software.

If you think “do-it-yourself” is for you, give it a try. Let me know how I can help. For some parents and children it’s an incredibly fulfilling and bonding experience.

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Ari Fertel

President & Founder

Reading Buddy Software

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Reading Buddy Software™ is advanced speech recognition technology that listens, responds, and teaches as your child reads. It’s like having a tutor in your computer.

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Reading Buddy Software™ is advanced
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When I got Reading Buddy Software for my son, it was like I got a 24/7 reading tutor. Better though, because I didn’t have to pay by the hour.

Jenny Ander
San Diego, CA

The Precision Memory Tracking Technology (PMTT) records your child’s weaknesses, creates personalized practice readings, and drills your child until mastery is achieved.

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What’s Included?

Reading Buddy Software for up to 4 Users

Unlimited Usage. Every user can access any of the 400 readings as many times as they want.

Up to 4 Users.You can create separate accounts for each child.

Unlimited Technical Support. Phone and email.

Reading Buddy Software Costs 98% Less than Tutoring

Lessons/month needed to improve reading level: 20

Average Cost for Tutor: $60/lesson

Cost Per Month
1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 4 Children
Tutor  $1,200  $2,400  $3,600  $4,800
Reading Buddy Software  $79  $79  $79  $79
 You Save  $1,121  $2,321  $3,521  $4,721
   93%  96%  97%  98%

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