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You Ask. We Answer.

Looking for more information about the work that we do? This is a collection of all the questions we are asked most often, listed here for your convenience. If there is anything we didn’t cover, please let us know.

Kids reading books
  • What is Family Literacy and what do we do?
    Family Literacy Network is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. We: i. Work with children and adults with reading difficulty – K to 50+ years of age ii. Test students to find the obstacles that are making reading difficult iii. Discuss what the research says about fixing or working around the obstacles iv. Provide materials and training for parents to work with children at home v. Provide reading therapy to improve reading, spelling, & comprehension
  • What is Dyslexia?
    Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called a reading disability, dyslexia is a result of individual differences in areas of the brain that process language.
  • What is Phonemic Awareness?
    Phonemic awareness is the ability to blend sounds together, separate words into sounds, and knowing the sounds of your language.
  • Do you test for dyslexia?
    We do not formally diagnose for dyslexia. If you need a formal diagnosis, the school district can perform the test, or we can recommend you to a child psychologist. Our assessment here at Family Literacy Network focuses on the components that pertain specifically to reading. We take a closer look to determine the actual causes of the reading problem, whereas a general dyslexia diagnosis will only tell you that someone has, "Slow, inaccurate reading."
  • My child was previously tested for dyslexia. Do we still need to get tested?
    We are more than happy to take a look at reports from previous testing to see if there are usable scores. A general diagnosis of dyslexia is usually not enough for us to determine where your child's reading difficulties lie. We will likely have to perform our own evaluation to identify the problem.
  • What kind of evaluation does Family Literacy perform?
    Our assessment here at Family Literacy Network focuses on the components that pertain specifically to reading. We take a closer look to determine the actual causes of the reading problem, whereas a general dyslexia diagnosis will only tell you that someone has, "Slow, inaccurate reading." Our test selection is primarily based on the student's age and, at this time, comes from a pool of about 27 different tests such as: the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests III (WRMT-III), the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4), the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP2), and the Gray Oral Reading Tests (GORT-5).
  • How long is the test?
    Assessments are 2-3 hours long with a break in the middle.
  • When can we schedule for a test?
    Testing is done Mondays through Fridays. The assessment will begin at 10AM and can last up to 3 hours. It is important that we get students tested in the morning so that they are fresh and not worn out at the end of the day. Please get in touch to schedule an appointment.
  • Do we need to bring anything for the test?
    There will be a short break in the middle of the test, so you can bring a snack for the student. Please treat test day like you would any other day, so that we can see how the student operates on a daily basis. This includes anything that is part of the normal routine: regularly scheduled medications, taking a shower, eating breakfast, etc.
  • How is your program different from phonics programs such as Neuhaus?
    We use an explicit instruction program that does not assume the student will discover or was taught any information. Instead, we directly teach the student any skills or information needed to become an effective reader. Most reading trouble in English is based on a phonological processing disorder, where the individual lacks phonemic awareness skills. Phonemic awareness is the ability to blend sounds together, separate words into sounds, and knowing the sounds of your language. Once these skills are learned, most students will develop as expected of those without reading difficulties. Phonics-based programs such as Neuhaus (and descendant programs like Reading by Design) are a step or two "above" the underlying cause of reading troubles or phonemic awareness. For example, phonics programs focus on spelling patterns such as [oa] saying /oe/ as in the word "boat". But it does not help the student put the 3 sounds /b/, /oe/, and /t/ together to make the word "boat".
  • When will I get the assessment report?
    We are always testing new students. Depending on our current work load, assessment reports will be available 1-3 weeks after the evaluation date. We will have a good idea of where to place the student in our program right after the evaluation, so if you have decided to move forward with tutoring before the final report is available, we can begin scheduling as long as there are openings.
  • What is covered in the reading program?
    The reading program covers topics such as: i. Phonemic awareness skills (phoneme/sound recognition, blending, & segmenting) ii. Decoding strategies (single & multi syllable) iii. Sound-symbol association / Symbol-sound association iv. Spelling v. Vocabulary vi. Grammar vii. Affixes viii. Common English and Latin derivational endings ix. Comprehension
  • How long is the program?
    It is difficult to determine how long the program will be. We do not provide completion dates because every child is different. Some progress more quickly than others, especially depending on how consistently they practice at home. Our program extends all the way through college-level material. Typically, parents will voluntarily withdraw from the program when their children are reading at grade level and are no longer struggling to read new words. Students will sometimes return if the school material starts to become difficult.
  • How long is each tutoring session?
    Tutoring is typically 2 hours with a break in between. If your child is tested at a very low level and still focusing on fundamental phonemic awareness skills, then we start off with 1-hour sessions. 2-hour sessions are necessary for students above the phonemic awareness level. This gives us enough time to evaluate progress, introduce new material, and get enough repetition before the student goes home.
  • How frequent are tutoring sessions?
    As a general recommendation and guideline, we typically start students at 2-3 sessions per week for the first 2-3 weeks. This helps to get students and parents familiar with the material and exercises, so that more work can be done at home. Sessions can be scaled back after this period. However, the frequency of visits and duration of the program depends on a lot of different factors such as: openings in our schedule; student/parent availability; student's current level; receptiveness to material; student behavior and attention span; and most importantly, consistency/frequency of at-home practice. If circumstances do not allow for you to make the recommended number of sessions, we are still happy to get the student started. It is better to get some intervention than none at all. Just be aware that progress will be slower with less frequent practice.
  • Is parent participation required?
    Parent (or designated individual) participation and consistent at-home practice is the key to ensuring your student gets the most out of the program. We will have personalized sessions with the student and adult pair, and provide the take-home tools for the most efficient results. Support from the family will ultimately result in measurable improvements in the student's reading ability.
  • Do you have a writing program?
    Yes. The writing program was paused for COVID but was reintroduced in 2023.
  • How can a student enroll in the writing program?
    Students can qualify for the writing program, with the Director's approval, once they have started expository text and covered derivational endings in the reading program.
  • Can a student enroll in -just- the writing program?
    Students will still be working through the reading program by the time they qualify for writing. At this time, the reading and writing programs must be paired together. Students will do 1 hour of writing and 1 hour of reading in the normal 2-hour session.
  • What is covered in the writing program?
    The writing program includes, but is not limited to: - Grammar & syntax - Sentence & paragraph structure - Finding main ideas - Note taking & use of sources - Planning & organizing - Narrative & non-fiction writing

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