Your Child Needs Summer School for Reading: A Recipe for a Summer Reading Program that Works

Your Child Needs Summer School for Reading: A Recipe for a Summer Reading Program that Works


It’s finally here: the second half of the school year. Your child’s teacher calls you in for a parent-teacher

conference. Knowing the topic could mean anything from the very good to the very bad, you manage a

poker face as you approach the teacher. He or she informs you that your child is underperforming and

will need summer school to bolster reading skills.


Sound familiar?


It was a new experience for me and when I heard the oft-dreaded words “summer school” I quickly

refused to believe summer school was the only option.  In fact, I learned of several summer school options available for

both parents and children that can close the reading gap.


Of course, the worst action to take is no action. Studies show that a child can lose up to a full year of

material over the summer holiday. If your child has been receiving interventions at school, then that

progress could be reversed over summer.


Let’s take a look at what reading options are available so that you can decide what will work for you and

your family.

Summer School2summerschool

So what does summer school look like?  It starts with you, the parent, dropping your child off at the

school for four or five days a week for a morning class session lasting up to three hours.  A certified

teacher has a small group of students with similar skills and uses the programs the school has adopted

to instruct them.  While this has proven to prevent summer reading loss, it has not always been proven

to actually close the gap for a child that is still behind his or her peers.

Summer Library Program

Another option for is to enrolling your child in a local free summer library program.  It is pretty simple to

enroll.  At the beginning of the summer you would go to the children’s area and asks to sign your child

up.  You provide the child’s name, grade, and school.  The librarian hands you a booklet where your child

can log in his/her reading that he or she has done.  When you arrive at the library during the summer,

your child can redeem the points he or she has earned for prizes and coupons for area attractions.

During the summer, the library will put on fun programs for the kids so that they are motivated to come

to the library.  During this time kids can pick out new books to read over the next week or two.  It is a

relaxed program and is described by both parents and children as motivational. Although the summer

library programs do not offer one-on-one instruction, it can change a child’s perception of reading when

the child gets to exercise independence in choosing reading material.  Therefore, it may not close the

gap completely but can be great as an auxiliary, or additional, resource.

Help Your Child

You can also create a schedule for your child where you are the sole person helping your child.  Many

parents like to do this because they feel that their child’s reading is their responsibility.

If this is something that interests you, I have created a book called 31 Days to Become a Better Reader:

Increasing Your Child’s Reading Level.  In this book, I challenge you and your child to sit down together

and read for 31 days straight.  Both you and your child get to read a book that you want and alternate

reading for thirty minutes each day.  The book 31 Days is designed to give you some suggestions on

what you can focus on when you are reading.  It is like having a Reading Specialist right there with you

whispering pro-tips that help you help your child.

The problem with helping your own child can be that our own children are usually pretty resistant to

working with us, especially if they are behind.  Your child may already be lacking confidence, may feel

guilty about not meeting certain goals, or may feel backed into a corner. In this circumstance, a third

party can provide a service that benefits both you and your child.


Tutoring is an excellent option for children that are resistant to help for any number of reasons (shame,

guilt, embarrassment, apathy, annoyance, boredom, and more).  A tutor typically provides an

assessment that hones in on your child’s reading gaps and creates an individualized program. Tutors can

range in experience and have a variety of personalities and teaching styles, so you will want to do your

research to find a tutor that has experience and achieves the results you desire.

Online Tutoring

Thanks to the internet, your selection of tutors is nearly unlimited and you can definitely find a summer reading

program that will fit your child's needs.  In fact, you can find the best the tutors in

the world to work with your child.  I have been tutoring online since 2010 and have helped over one

hundred students close their reading gaps.  One little girl that I worked with ended first grade at the bottom

of her class in reading.  Her mom found me and I created the following Reading Recipe: one hour of

tutoring a week via Skype for three months. The result? A child that went from a first grade level to a

third grade level before she entered second grade. Both mother and daughter still reap the benefits of

these online tutoring sessions and I remain in contact with this family to this day.

Creating a Recipe for Success

Speaking of recipes, it’s time to create your child’s Reading Recipe. This is the fun part! For my daughter

Mikayla, I am going to use a combination of options.  I am opting out of summer school because I

haven’t seen the benefits that would warrant shuttling her to school every day.  She will work with a

tutor, follow a schedule she and I set up, and participate in the summer library program.  I know that

with this plan in place that she will soar and rise to success.  What will your plan look like?

If you are interested in connecting with me regarding Skype reading tutoring, just click on the contact

me page and I can help you get set up.


I would love to be able to answer any questions that you have regarding the choices that you have

before you.  Feel free to respond below and I will do my best to answer them.  If you are looking for

more information regarding these choices and the pros and cons of each of them, please check out this

clip on Google Hangout.

How Online Reading Tutoring is Magical like Walt Disney World

How Online Reading Tutoring is Magical like Walt Disney World

Last week my family and I spent the entire week at Disney World. We spend 6 days in 4 different parks and had a magical time. So naturally, my mind is still on Disney as I sit here and reflect about my business as an online reading tutor and how it is like the magic that happens at Disney. I have found that Disney and my online reading tutoring business make everything convenient, provide friendly service, add excitement with the use of techonology, and both are just plain fun. Let's take a look at each of these areas and see why I feel that way.


Everything at Disney was just plain convenient. They provide transportation for you everywhere. You take the monorail in, they have buses, trams, boats, strollers, and motorized wheel chairs. These make moving around the parks very convenient. They also have the fast pass. The fast pass at Disney is unlike other fast passes at other parks. Everybody has the ability to use them so that you don't have to wait in long lines. You just go to the ride, decide if you want to wait or get a fast pass. If you get the fast pass, then you can do whatever you want and come back at the front of the line. We did this with Soaring in Epcot and skipped a 45 minute wait.

So you may be thinking, great Disney is convenient, but how in the world is online reading tutoring convenient. Well, for one, you don't need any transportation to get to your online reading tutoring session. You turn on your computer and begin your session. You don't even have to sit and wait by your computer. You can turn on Skype do something else and the Skyping Reading Tutor calls you when it is your turn at your designated and agreed upon time.

Getting tutoring from the Skyping Reading Tutor is very similar to the Fast Pass. When you go to other facilities, of which we will not name here, it can take at least 36 hours of tutoring to move your child up a full year. This is very costly in the end. For the same price as these other options your child can make a full years growth with just 8-12 hours of instruction. Even if, he/she has dyslexia. Now that is the Fast Pass.

Friendly Service

At Disney, everyone treats you like you are one of their family members. They treat you with respect, spoil you, and smile. As the Skyping Reading Tutor I put these same principles in place. Sometimes you have had a long day, you need to make dinner, and get your kid settled at the computer. No matter what kind of day I have had I know that it feels warm and welcoming when you are treated with respect on the other side of the computer and have a tutor that is eager to help your child with reading. The happier your child is to come to his/her reading tutoring session the better. So I always try to make it fun and make your child smile during the session.


What could be more fun than Disney? I am not really sure. What I was amazed at during this trip was that the imagineers even made waiting in line fun. They had interactive games that you could play and games where you had to work as a team with the other people in line. Even though I was exhausted. I found myself jumping up and down, leaning left and right, and waving my arms to help my team win while waiting in line at Soaring in Epcot. (There were no more fast passes available the first day we were there, so we decided to wait in that line). Waiting in line had never been so much fun. Even though I didn't want to wait in line, while I was there I was engaged and having a great time.

I like to think that is what it is like to recieve online reading tutoring. No kid wants to have to have tutoring, but while they are there I want to make sure that they have as much fun as possible. The Skyping Reading Tutor gives kids choices of what they get to read while they are working together and utilizes top notch technology just as Disney does. What could be more fun than choices, cool technology, and the ability to speed through reading levels like a video game? Probably Disney, but I like to think that the Skyping Reading Tutor comes next.

There you have it. Both Disney and the Skyping Reading Tutor are convenient, provide friendly service, and are fun. If you don't believe me, then what others have to say from their own experience. You can find testimonials at the bottom of my about page.

P.S. on a personal note, our favorite place was Epcot. What is your favorite Disney park?



How the Skyping Reading Tutor is as Good as or Better than the Mail Delivery System

How the Skyping Reading Tutor is as Good as or Better than the Mail Delivery System

A song came to my head today as I thought about what I do and it is by George Strait called Overnight Male.


A little girl today who lives in Texas came to her reading session today even the power in her house and her neighborhood went out.  I often have stories like this when there are rainstorms or snowstorms which would normally render us cancelling sessions, but in my profession and with my delivery, we don’t have to cancel anything.


So I dedicate this new song to all of my students and my promise to each of them.reading Tutoring


Let me be your reading tutor and I'll always come through.
There's no denyin’, come rain or shine,
I'll deliver my lessons to you.
I do things by the letter, you can put your trust on me
'Cause there ain't nobody better than Joanne Kaminski

Like a pony express in the wild, wild west
I'll Skype with you all night long.
And I can raise your reading level, get you there ahead of the class
Long before the dawn.
You know your reading tutor will be there for you
Come snow, rain, sleet or hail
'Cause I'm a top flight, hold-you-tight,
Get-you-there-by-daylight, do-you-right skyping reading tutor.

I know your reading fluency is fragile, so I'll handle it with care.
There ain't no doubt, I know practice is the route,
So kiddo let me take you there.
I'll bring you books at your level, but I know just what you need.
Just give me 8-12 hours satisfaction guarantee.

Like a pony express in the wild, wild west
I'll Skype with you all night long.
And I can raise your reading level, get you there ahead of the class
Long before the dawn.
You know your reading tutor will be there for you
Come snow, rain, sleet or hail
'Cause I'm a top flight, hold-you-tight,
Get-you-there-by-daylight, do-you-right skyping reading tutor

Yeah I'm a top flight, hold you tight,
Get you there by daylight, do you right skyping reading tutor.

Renee Love’s Story of Dyslexia and an Effective Dyslexic Intervention Program

Renee Love’s Story of Dyslexia and an Effective Dyslexic Intervention Program


October is National Dyslexia Awareness month, so there will be several posts this month dedicated to understanding this learning disability. Today I have interviewed a client that is an adult that has suffered from Dyslexia and what her experience was a result. Her name is Renee Love and she enlisted my services about a year ago to help increase her reading level.

Skyping Reading Tutor: What was your first experience you remember with reading?

Renee: My grandmother reading Rumplestiltsken. I remember being fascinated with the idea of spinning gold.

Skyping Reading Tutor: Were you read to a lot as a child?

Renee: Yes, I Remember being read to fairly regularly by lots of different people.

Skyping Reading Tutor: When was the first time you knew something was different?

Renee: I was reading with my grandmother and it seemed like I was understanding everything. I remember her asking me to continue reading a sentence over and over again. I didn't understand why she kept having me reread it. I thought that I was reading it correctly. She kept telling me that I was reading was as saw. I kept thinking, why would I do that.

Skyping Reading Tutor: How did your experiences effect you?

Renee: When It was explained to me that I was dyslexic I was relieved that there was a reason. At the same time a lot of people assumed I had more limitations than I actually did.

Skyping Reading Tutor: How did dyslexia affect your overall school experiences?

Renee: It really made school miserable. I was constantly teased and felt singled out a lot because they would put me in special reading classes. It didn't seem that people really understood what the problem was and what my limitations actually were.

Skyping Reading Tutor: You graduated from high school and got a masters. How were you able to accomplish that?

Renee: Belief that I was intelligent enough and a lot of late nights. Some very cooperative and helpful teachers also guided me through my studies.

Skyping Reading Tutor: What was your experience online like with the Skyping reading tutor?

Renee: Amazing, enlightening, and extremely helpful. She found what I needed to improve on and helped give me the confidence to discover things that I didn't know I could do.

Skyping Reading Tutor: What would you like to say to kids who are struggling with this today?

Renee: You are not alone and don't get discouraged there is still lots you can do.

Skyping Reading Tutor: What is some advice that you have for parents that are going through this with their child?

Renee's mom: Patience and continue to have a positive attitude and praise. Still read to them.

Renee: My mom made herself available consistently to get through material. Recognize that it is not your child's fault. It needs to be dealt with in the best manner possible.

Today Renee has focused on what her talents are and shares them with the world. The picture that you see above is a water color painting she did of my children. You can check out her work at She is also going to be illustrating the cover of my new book 31 Days to a Become a Better Reader. Just because Renee has dyslexia does not mean that she is not a very accomplished woman. She has a bubbly personality and has a unique talent to capture people's essence through her painting.

Day 13 of the 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge:  Make a Statement

Day 13 of the 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Make a Statement

As readers, we have so many things that go through our head that we don’t even pay attention to.  However, once we begin to pay attention to them, we can begin to recognize whether we are understanding what we are reading or not.

One of those strategies is called making a statement.  For example, some statements include;

  1. Wow, that is really neat.
  2. I never thought of that before.
  3. That is so true.
  4. I never knew that before.


These statements don’t really lead to anything, but if you find that you are making them, then you are definitely understanding what you are reading.  You can’t comment or say something to yourself if your mind is blank and you are just reading the words.

As a parent you can do this by making a comment or statement when you are reading, tell your child that a comment just happened in your head and you just wanted to share it with him/her.  Ask if your child ever does that when he/she is reading.  If he/she says yes, then ask him/her to tell you about that.  If he/she says no, then ask them if any come to the head when you reading together today.  Your child may find that he or she is doing it, but since he/she didn’t have a name for it that he/she wasn’t aware of it.  Or, you may have the opportunity to teach it to your child.  Either way it is a great technique.  Tomorrow we will be taking a look at how prefixes can help increase comprehension.

Day 5 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Three Questions

Day 5 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Three Questions


Welcome to day 5. Has your summer been as jam packed as mine? Well, I hope along with reading that you and your children are able to also have lots of fun. Today we are going to be taking a look at the three types of errors that kids typically make when they are reading and come up with some questions that can help them fix their errors on their own. Just like in the try again strategy, you want to get your child to be responsible for correcting his/her own reading errors. If you do it for the child, then you become the strategy called ask a parent instead of encouraging the child to figure it out.

The three magic questions are
1. Does it look right?
2. Does it sound right?
3. Does it make sense.

There are also three specific times that you ask these questions. Let's take a look at an example of does it look right.

Child: "It dumped into Rani and Brother Dove."

Parent: "Does that look right?" (Parent points to the word dumped.)

Child: "Oh, I meant bumped."

In this example the child fixed her error immediately upon the question being asked. Many times kids will flip b's and d's. However, when they read it in context for a second time he/she is able to usually fix it.

The second question is does that sound right. The purpose of this question is to focus the child's attention to sentence structure. Often times children will read the way that they speak and not notice the way that it was actually written. Also, kids will make tons of errors on the little words, inserting a different little word in it's place. For example,

Child: "It took off his mask."
Parent: Does that sound right?
Child: "Not really."
Parent: "Try Again."
Child: "He took off his mask."

Parent: "Great, you fixed it yourself."

Notice how it would not be grammatically correct with his in the sentence. The point of the question is not to be nit picky, but rather get the child to correct his/her own errors.

The last qustion is does that make sense. This question promotes the reader to make sense of what he/she is reading. Here is an example.

Child: "I am always the lion wolf."
Parent: "Does that make sense?"
Child: "No"
Parent: "Try again."
Child: "I am always the lone wolf."
Parent: "Does that make sense?"
Child: "Yes."
Parent: "Excellent, keep going."

In this example, lion instead of lone does not make sense. It kind of looks like lion. It begins the same and it ends in the same sound, but it does not make sense. If reading does not make sense, then kids can develop comprehension problems and a low motivation to want to read independently.

When it comes to reading, the goal always needs to be to foster independence. Often times in our busy lives it is much easier to fix the mistake for the child, but this is not really helping him/her reach the goal of fixing the mistakes on his/her own. Odds are, that when he/she comes to a word on his/her own and get's it wrong, then he/she will just keep reading and it will effect his/her overall comprehension.


Day 4 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Read in a Fun Place

Day 4 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Read in a Fun Place


Today, go somewhere fun to read your book with your child. You can go outside, go to a park, or to your local library. Reading at the library actually motivates your child to want to find other titles to read as well without having to break the bank. You can say yes to as many books as they want and encourage them to read what they have picked out.

Today is the beginning of the summer reading program at our library and during the summer months the library does special events to encourage and motivate kids to read. All library summer programs look different, but they usually consist of kids logging the amount of time that they read and some special programs.

This year my kids were excited to join a couple of book clubs. The Friends of the Library donated books and the kids actually get to keep the books. The way it works, is that the kids read the book and then they come to the library to talk about them. It is only one 45 minute session per book, so it is fun and motivating for them.
As soon as my kids got their books yesterday, they began reading them immediately. Then they also looked for books in the library to read in order to fulfill some of their reading minutes. What I love, is that this is all through the idea of a suttle suggestion. I don’t tell my kids how long they need to read or what they have to read. All those decisions are made by them.

Our summer program is only for the months of June and July. I have found that by August, the kids are not as motivated anymore. No worries, school starts back up soon and they will get into their new routines there soon enough.


Day 1 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Find a Book

Day 1 of 31 Days to Become a Better Reader Challenge: Find a Book

20120523-112121.jpgToday’s challenge is pretty simple. All you have to do is find a book that both you and your child will enjoy together. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is get a book that only your child will enjoy. This will not motivate you to continue on with the rest of the challenges. When you have desire, your child will have desire.

I always get asked where the best place is to get a book. There are tons of places that you can go. My favorite place is the library or because these will give you wonderful free books. Who doesn’t love FREE? It is my favorite word.

Another great place to get books is at rummage sales if you have time, or from Amazon. I like that Amazon gives you the choice if you would like an e-book version or a hardcopy. I also like that if you have the Prime it will get to you in 1-2 days. It is very reliable.

Another great idea is to talk to relatives and friends. Ask them what books their kids have enjoyed reading. Maybe there is a book that they could hand down to you or loan. Everybody always loves passing on a great book. I know I do.

Anyway, have fun with this. Select a few books that you would be interested in and then have your child make the final decision. Anyway that you can include choice in this process will equal tons of success. If you force kids to read books they have no interest in, then they will bring in team resistance. And believe me, that is one strong team.

What are you waiting for? Find a great book to enjoy with your child. See you tomorrow for the next challenge.

31 Days to a Better Reader

31 Days to a Better Reader

Everyone wants to make sure that the children in their life are able to read easily and effortlessly.

No parent or teacher ever thinks, "Gosh I  hope that my child will struggle with reading.  It sure would add a lot of adversity to their life."  Therefore, we always want to be able to do everything that we absolutely can to make sure that kids have the tools that they need to do the very best that they are capable of doing.

In this information age it is pivotal that children be able to read.  There isn't anything that they will partake in that will not include reading.  We all know that, but sometimes it is hard to convince kids who don't actually enjoy reading to understand it's importance.  Who wants to do something that is either hard or boring.

Over the next 31 days you are going to get tips and tricks that will turn any child into a better reader.  Are you ready for a challenge that will motivate your child, build bonding time with your child, and help him or her with reading all at the same time?  This is the perfect time for this challenge.  The time is NOW!  Whether your child already loves to read or doesn't, they can always become better.

My name is Joanne Kaminski and I am also known as the Skyping Reading Tutor.  I have been teaching kids to read for over 10 years, have a Masters in Reading and have starting my own reading tutoring company called Bright IDEA Reading Tutoring where I provide online reading tutoring.  The tips and tricks that you will learn are based off of my own experiences of what works best with kids.  I utilize brain research and how kids learn best and actually retain the information that they are learning.

Tomorrow starts day 1 of the challenge.  Subscribe to this blog so that you don't miss one single day of this challenge and turn your loved little ones become a better reader.

Oh Canada, How I Love Canada


Can I just say that I love skyping to classes in Canada?  Well, whether I can or cannot, I will.  This week I was in Danielle Maley's grade 1 and grade 2 class.  I learned that in Canada first and second grade do not exist as far as terminology goes and that it is referred to as grade 1 and grade 2.  I just love this age.  These kids have so much enthusiasm and zest for life.  You can see how engaged they are in the pictures that Mrs. Maley took. 

The first thing that we talked about was how far away from each other we are.  We found out that we are 1,000 miles away.  Then we got to the important stuff like what is your favorite book.  One little girl happened to say that her favorite books are Franklin books.  Since I just happened to have a Franklin book I dedicated my reading of Franklin's Halloween to Georgia.  The kids did not mind at all that it was a little past Halloween.  They were just mesmerized by the entire experience because they had never skyped with someone in one of their classrooms before.  I had the wonderful opportunity to be their first.

After skyping with Canada I quickly came back to Wisconsin to work with an adult that has struggled with reading her whole life.  She happens to live in Wisconsin and is only 30 minutes away from me, but working via skype makes it so much easier.  Neither of us has to travel for an hour and we get to get more done than if we were in person. 

This new student has mentioned that Skype has completely changed her life.  The fact that she can now get help with reading and not have to leave the comfort of her home just astounds her.  She loves the convenience and the new tools that she learns with each session.  She is continuing to get better and better every day and she brightens my day with all of her insights. 

I love that I can spread positivity around the world via Skype and in my day to day life.  It is a blessing, a calling, and for me a way of life.