About Me and My Program

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My experience as an educator:

I have been an educator for almost 40 years in a variety of settings, including one-on- one instruction, small groups, and the classroom.

Welcome!

I'd love to share with you what I offer my students.

I am passionate about helping dyslexic students succeed, which is why I use proven research-based methods, including The Barton Reading and Spelling System and Foundation In Sounds. My approach is referred to by reading specialists as Multi-sensory Structured Literacy (MSL), also known as the Orton-Gillingham approach. It's designed specifically for dyslexic brains.

I stay up-to-date with the latest research and incorporate best practices, such as Sensory-Cognitive Instruction for comprehension, into my teaching methodology. I am an experienced specialist, and I provide world-class instruction.


My unique approach:
But I do more than just teach an excellent curriculum. 

I also happen to be a lifelong performance artist,    with a dramatic, creative personality!

As such,  I offer my students...

My qualifications as a specialist:

I am a Master-Certified Barton Reading and Spelling tutor, which is the highest certification offered by the developer.

 

I have taken numerous students through all 10 levels of this college-preparatory program.

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My fun-loving style:

I am light-hearted, entertaining, and quirky...    and I aim to keep my students laughing!  In fact, it's not unusual for them to say at the end of a lesson, "What? We're done ALREADY? That went by so fast!"

In addition to the creative spin I put on my teaching, I like to surprise my students in other ways! I enjoy dressing up in silly costumes to celebrate special occasions.

 

Giving my students something to chuckle about is one of my greatest joys!

CREATIVITY GALORE!

I have a unique, musical storytelling approach to the Barton System.

In addition to being an educator, I am a professional musician with 45 years of experience composing and performing music. (Yes, I started young!)

 

In my program, I combine my artistic and musical talents with my skills as a dyslexia specialist. It's a marriage made in heaven! The result is a highly entertaining and memorable curriculum that is unique to me.

 

As the creator and sole proprietor of this exceptional approach, I have an unusual ability to capture my students attention.     I employ fun stories and catchy tunes to teach the concepts, so that students learn more quickly and retain what they learn more easily. And they have fun doing it!

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My artistic flair:

I have created a plethora of colorful, artistic materials. My students are highly intelligent individuals with their own creative prowess, so they appreciate my witty, imaginative presentations!

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My specialties:

I have extensive experience working with students who suffer from anxiety, emotional trauma, low self-esteem, and attention deficit issues. My gentle, supportive manner lets them know they are safe with me.

I enjoy staying in touch with my students after they graduate. Many have shared with me over the years that working with me saved their lives... in some cases, literally. The work my students and I do together is transformational.

I invite you to visit my testimonials page to read their words for yourself!

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My skills and experience as an dyslexia advocate:

I am experienced at navigating the school system, both public and private. I have extensive experience guiding parents as they prepare for school meetings related to their child’s IEP.

 

When requested by parents, I can also remotely attend IEP team meetings to offer my expert advice as a dyslexia specialist.

 

My advocacy has helped many parents get the accommodations they need for their students.

My special relationships with my students:

The mother of Benjamin, one of my middle school students, shared, "Karen, my son says you understand him better than anyone else in the world. I'm so glad he has you in his life!"

Another parent shared a similar story: "Karen, the connection you have with our daughter is one-of-a-kind. No one else understands her like you do. You are a lifeline of sanity for us all!"

The deep bond of trust and respect that I build with my students helps them make their way through the ups and downs of school and life.

My online approach:

I have been teaching remote lessons online for 10 years, long before "distance learning" was the familiar concept that it is now. Over the past decade, I have honed the craft of effectively engaging my students on Zoom. Our sessions are so lively and personable that we often find ourselves feeling as if we are actually together in person!

 

That phenomenon is the result of my extensive experience delivering expert, loving instruction via modern technology. My students enjoy the benefits of personal attention and customized help, so they each receive exactly what they need from me at every lesson.
 

See my "Tutoring" page for more useful details about remote lessons.

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My empathetic personality and listening ear:

I love my students and they know it. I have deep admiration for their intelligence and hard work, and they feel my affirmation and respect. They often confide in me about their struggles because they know I truly care and I understand them.

 

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On a more personal note, here are some other tidbits about me...

My husband, Ben, is an amazing, multi-talented man who happens to be dyslexic.

Ben is a huge fan of my tutoring, and he is also rather envious of my students! He didn't realize he was dyslexic until he was an adult. So he never received tutoring when he was growing up.

 

Ben frequently reflects, “If only I had received help like yours when I was growing up, it would have opened up so many doors for me.  Your students are so lucky!"

 

I wish I could travel back in time and give him what I give my students!

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I thoroughly enjoy nature and animals.

I love spending my free time exploring the outdoors. I enjoy walking our dog, hiking to waterfalls, creek-walking, boating, river-rafting, paddle boarding, exploring new places, going on nature walks, snuggling with my pets, and writing songs about my adventures!

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I have an adventurous, water-loving soul!

 

I have spent a great deal of time in and around water. We even lived aboard a boat for 3 years in California, both on the ocean and on fresh water. Living on the water was an amazing, unforgettable experience.

 

I now live in Idaho in a small, rural town. It's beautiful here! Instead of seeing seals and water outside my window, I see horses and pastureland...an equally delightful sight.

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I am the mother of two grown children.   

 

Cassie and Justin are my own fantastic kids! (Pictured below).

 

I respect them deeply and am grateful that we enjoy close relationships with one another.

As a parent, I have experienced the ups and downs of raising children. I am very empathetic towards the parents of my students, and I am here to offer my support and guidance.

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