LD may stand for "Learning Differences", not "Learning Disabilities"

Dyslexic or simply "right-brained"?

I have been asked with increasing frequency how to help a dyslexic child learn to read. Before I can help, I must first learn what the challenges are: Here are some symptoms that give me a clearer direction:

1. The student has problems with the small words -- either skipping these words, replacing one for another, or just not understanding what they mean.
2. The student has trouble remembering patterns of words -- they may have learned a word in the previous paragraph, and the next time they see the word, it is like the first time they have seen it.
3. They often, but not always, have a visual processing issue -- skipping words and lines when reading, reversing letters or having difficulty copying off the board.
4. They often have trouble paying attention to that which is boring or frustrating -- they may have ADHD and they may not have ADHD, but they often have an attention issue.
5. It often takes them longer to do their work -- even though they appear quick at times.
6. When it comes to reading, writing, math word problems and doing homework -- they often take much longer than their peers.
7. These bright students are often very frustrated and may even see themselves as "stupid".
8. Their working memory can be a challenge -- they can remember places they visited and movies they have seen, but they cannot remember 3 simple verbal directions.

I am considering offering a special program as either a supplement or an alternative to the current Pinecone Reading program (price to be determined) for dyslexic students. Your interest will determine whether I pursue this. Please contact me if you are interested. Thank you.

Academic Tutoring Services

childTutoring services benefit students at all levels. However those that stand to gain the most are students who are finding it difficult in school and require additional assistance to achieve and maintain good grades. Tutoring also benefits bright students who are able to consistently achieve good grades, but in their cases, tutoring will help them surpass themselves and achieve grades that would never have been possible without the help of special tutoring. Tutoring services provide students with individual attention to improve in any subjects, more especially the foundation subjects of Reading, Math and Comprehension required for a firm base. A good tutoring service working with a motivated student will help any scholar achieve his or her academic goals.

A well-established tutoring service located in San Jose, CA is the Pinecone Active Learning Center which offers mastery of the foundation skills of Math, Reading and Comprehension, the scaffolding of all education. This tutoring service follows the Active Learning method of teaching, one of today's most progressive and effective teaching methods. Active Learning envisages total student involvement by lively participation in educational content rather than by listening only. It requires each child take responsibility for reading directions & examples, figuring out what to do and how to find and correct errors. Through the system a student is encouraged to self-explore and discover toward building command and self-confidence. Active learning teaches students of different learning levels to gain the confident to vigorously engage in a classroom. This unique teaching method is known to help a student better the ability to grasp a subject and to more effectively retain relevant information pertaining to the topic. The ultimate goal is to figure out and solve problems, not just learn about them.

The tutoring center keeps a close watch on a student's progress with periodic skills assessments to know where each student needs additional help. A customized learning plan is devised for each student tailored toward specific goals and needs. Parents are apprised periodically of their child's progress. Tuition fees are very nominal at $280 for Math and Reading with a special sibling discount. In addition, the Pinecone center offers an additional discount, details of which are available on its website Also on offer is a free placement, testing and orientation. To schedule a test, please call 408.270.4548. The test enables the tutor to make a clear assessment of the child's ability and to establish a clearly-defined starting point.


"Hi Vivian,

Chance just received his STAR Student Report and testing results. He is advanced in Math 412 (401-600 is the advanced, highest level) according to the state of California. He scored top of Proficient with 391 in English-Language Arts (350-392 range for Proficient), only shy two points from Advanced. He is a very balanced kid, as the testing accurately shows. We... I shudder to think what would have happened to his scores if he had remained in that unmotivated group. This of course WON'T happen this Summer! He has been going to your class faithfully. This gives me much peace of mind as another new year is about to start.

Thank you Vivian for your devotion to our children. Fifteen years is quite a legacy. We will miss you! Chance has benefited greatly from your program. We are sold on it and share it with anyone who will listen!"

Thanks for all your help!
Shelley Molenda
Pinecone's Strategy

Pinecone's methodology is to run the two foundation programs of Math and Reading at a pace which allows the child to assimilate the subject matter and apply the new acquired skills to practical problem solving. The coaching is structured so that the child is able to reason for him/herself to achieve the highest level of comprehension. Regular practice and support instills self confidence and stimulates an eagerness to progress to the next level. Each student is groomed to anticipate and surmount hurdles consistent with present day education. The end result is a happy and confident child who is justifiably proud of his or her academic achievements.

For more details of this Bay Area teaching center and its unique, result-oriented teaching methodology please visit its website at Currently it offers some special discounts, details of which can be gotten by calling 408.270.4548.

About Vivian Hobbs

Ms. Hobbs is a qualified educator with an M.S. degree in Industrial Psychology and 30 years of experience in math and research design. Children's education and research into the best learning methods have always been at the forefront of her career.

Where can I learn more?

Pinecone Active Learning is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter. For further information on enrollment and fee structure, please call 408.270.4548 or visit the center's website at

For more on its unique tutoring methodology, please click on

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