What parents say about Jennifer as a reading and spelling tutor
When I first told my daughter that she would be tutored after school for her reading, she was nervous and said she didn't need tutoring. She said she would be embarrassed to have tutoring at the center because her friends would know she was having trouble reading. But after one session with Jennifer she changed her mind, and now she looks forward to her tutoring sessions.
After the months of tutoring with Jennifer, I see many improvements in my daughter's school work. She is more confident and she expresses herself more. She also corrects me and my English! For the first time, she wants to read books. Something really changed after she started tutoring. It is like the before and after pictures where a make-up artist has made you more beautiful.
When I had my first meeting with my daughter's teachers in the fall, they told me that my daughter was behind and may need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). However, after she started tutoring with Jennifer, at the next meeting the teacher said she saw a big improvement in my daughter's work and she does not need extra help at school. My daughter is very proud that she is able to keep up with the other students when reading now.
My son Nicolas has had difficulty with reading/writing ever since I can remember. I didn’t understand why. In our house we are surrounded by books. I read to him everyday and we often listen to audio books in the car. We are a book loving family.
I didn’t push reading on him since my older child seemed to just pick it up naturally and I was waiting for that to happen. I continued to read with him and waited for him to want to read back to me. I waited, and waited.
Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer. At the beginning of grade three I asked for a reading assessment. He was reading (or not reading) at a preschool level. He still was not able to completely recognize his alphabet.
Nicolas qualified for 1:1 work at school 3-4 days a week for 30 min and we also paid a private tutor for 60 min once a week. He did this for 2 years and he learned to read but I started to notice that he wasn’t learning to write. He could read the words but he would ask me to spell simple words like “the” and “me, they, etc”
Since he was in grade 5 there wasn’t funding at school for extra support, that ends in grade 4. He also couldn’t pronounce words he hadn’t seen before. He had memorized his hundreds of sight words but there was a total disconnect between reading and writing.
When Nicolas would ask me to spell a word for him, I would stop and make the sounds for him, hoping he would be able to spell it out. He looked back with confusion, he would make some guesses and then he would get frustrated, sometimes cry and give up. I really didn’t understand. Homework was a nightmare.
I mentioned a few of the challenges I was seeing to Jennifer as she has experience with educating children and I started looking into whether he might have dyslexia. After some research, I felt it was very likely that Nicolas had dyslexia and Jennifer offered to do tutoring with him twice a week. Due to the distance we do this online.
I wasn’t sure how online tutoring would work but-wow-the convenience of tutoring from home is amazing. He has some tools that they use during the sessions. They are face to face (over the computer) and no one needs to leave the comfort of their house.
He is aware enough to know that he needs help and he seems to really enjoy his sessions. I think he has a feel good feeling when he is finished and I’m sure he isn’t used to that in regards to reading/writing/spelling.
Honestly, he gets upset if he has to miss a session and has even done a session with a bucket beside him while he had the full blown stomach flu because he didn’t want to miss it (another advantage of online tutoring!).
He just started Level 4 and although he does still ask me how to spell the odd word (mostly out of habit) when I turn it around and ask him how he thinks he should spell it, he sounds it out and 9 out of 10 times he gets it right.
He reads every day and usually begs to read longer “just one more page, please!” He’s now a confident reader and connecting with the writing portion of language. It’s an amazing transformation. Thanks Jennifer!
What parents say about how Jennifer works with children
Jennifer has worked with both my children and is a phenomenal teacher and communicator. I know she would be wonderful with all personalities of kids but particularly those that are shy or have low confidence in their abilities. My daughter was just such a kid. When she met Jennifer she didn’t have much faith in her abilities and over the course of a year I saw my child bloom into a confident super star.
I can’t thank Jennifer enough for providing the right support at the right time. Jennifer is extremely thoughtful, patient, and kind hearted and this is what makes it so easy for her to connect with kids.
Jennifer has worked with each of my children over the past 7 years in a number of capacities--as a leader of a Destination Imagination team, leader of a technology-focused 4-H club, art teacher, and treasurer of our Girl Scout troop. In these varied environments, I have seen my children thrive in areas where they had struggled in the past due to dyslexia and anxiety. During this time I have also seen Jennifer work with many other children, and she is consistently able to communicate and teach clearly and respectfully in the simplest to the most challenging situations.
My children themselves have commented that Jennifer is one of the most patient and understanding people that they know. She combines exceptional organizational skills with kindness and an ability to see and bring out the best in people.
Over the past few years, I have had the great pleasure to really know and observe Jennifer Damashek’s coaching, teaching and working with children and adults. Jennifer is both smart and engaging. As a 4-H leader and instructor, school volunteer and in her private life, I have witnessed Jennifer overcoming obstacle after obstacle, welcoming each experience as a chance to positively impact someone else and make a real difference. Moreover, she makes it look effortless and does everything with poise.
I can’t think of anyone better to train, teach and coach people in difficult situations than Jennifer. She is a proven, dependable and engaging leader and coach. Jennifer has my highest respect and recommendation.