December 7, 2017
Why does Novaread exist?
It may seem obvious: we tutor kids to improve their grades. That isn’t the reason, though. We’re not against good grades. But what we’re really here for is happiness.
Children attend school from age 5 to around 18. That’s 13 years. A school year is roughly 195 days long, so there are about 2,535 school days, taking up nearly 50% of a child’s time during those years.
A typical school day begins at, say, 8:30, ending at around 3:00, some seven hours later. If getting ready for school takes an hour, and getting home from school 30 minutes, and there’s ‘only’ an hour of homework, we’re talking about nine-hour school days. That’s around 40% of the whole day, even including sleep hours.
Now imagine spending all that time feeling stupid…yet you’re smart. Imagine if, every one of those days, you wake up terrified. Imagine heading to school feeling completely unprepared, and often being in physical pain from the anxiety.
Imagine the reading you were supposed to know how to do was close to impossible to figure out. Imagine spelling tests are a strain on your memory and most often a dismal failure. Imagine math being a source of utter confusion and possible embarrassment. Word problems seem written in a foreign language. Or maybe you’re the child who can’t come close doing drills on times tables you stayed up late to practice for.
For many kids, this is reality.
In-class instruction is meaningless noise hitting their ears. Ideas, learned with great effort, remain stuck in their heads, because they don’t have the literacy skills to write them down. They’re constantly told to “pay attention,” “try harder,” and “focus,” despite being more locked on to the instruction than anyone else in the class.
Through 13 years, what kind of self-image does this form? Where’s the joy—except, possibly, on the day school’s out for good?
Here’s a real example, courtesy of a Novaread student’s mom, excerpted from a letter she sent us with permission to share it:
I am seeking any advice or thoughts you may have, concerning my daughter. I feel that I’m not doing enough for her…that I’m failing her. I’m at a loss for how to help her learn and cope in school.
Every day, since starting school last week, she has shed tears in the evening. The first day, a work sheet was passed out with questions, and she had to get a classmate to read every question to her, and then couldn’t answer them all in time. The second day, the teacher called out numbers in the 100’s for the class to write down. Everyone did so quickly and correctly, except her. Other children were saying it was too easy. The third day, the teacher gave them 12 questions, but she was only able to do three. The fourth day, she said that she could not get her work done again, and that her teacher spoke so fast, she did not know what she was supposed to do; her teacher’s voice just sounded like humming to her. Her friend said, “It’s so easy,” and she felt so bad, she cried silently while pretending to work with her head down so nobody could see.
We’re beside ourselves with the thought of her sitting there every day, feeling so ashamed and helpless. We spoke with her about how she has not had the same start as her friends. We talked about her brain, and how Novaread is helping her build that little piece that was not there when she started school…how when she is all finished, she will have the same literacy and math skills as many of the other children in her class. At this point, she asked, “So, I’m still smart, right?” We told her she will always have friends who will be quite smart, and other friends who will have challenges, and that everyone has their strengths. We talked about her strengths—how socially smart, how clever and witty she is, how observant she is, how she connects things that other people don’t even notice, and of course her athleticism.
We talked about how Mommy has a meeting with the teacher on Monday, to explain in detail what her learning needs are, which then will make a difference in the classroom. But I’m so nervous. What if they don’t take an active interest in supporting her? I think her teacher may be unaware.
I sent an email to school, outlining my daughter’s history and needs, but have not heard back. The night before last, when she came home in tears, I called the principal, who scheduled a meeting. You have so much experience with children who have these sorts of challenges, and I wonder if you have any advice?
The good news is that this little girl won’t spend 13 years struggling with these problems. And no child should. At Novaread, we help kids overcome learning difficulties, and go on to succeed in school…and life.
So, when asked why Novaread exists, or what we do, our answer is simple:
We provide relief.
We work with families motivated to invest in their children’s health and well-being. We unlock the learning potential in those students, through the diagnosis and remediation of their learning difficulties. We enable our students to realize the full extent of their natural abilities, and gain a positive self-image.
Our reason for being comes down to two words: