Harriett Wolf, Tutor
Tappan, NY 10983

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Harriett Wolf, M.Ed.

Tutoring FAQs and Resources


"Parents should ask questions of a prospective tutor in order to get a level of comfort with his or her skills and ability to work effectively with your child. My suggestions for the questions you may ask along with my own answers..."

      - Harriett Wolf

Hundreds of thousands of children having difficulty with a subject in school are being tutored in the United States for a variety of reasons:

  • Many students didn't master basic skills that need to be re-taught to them;
  • Some have a learning disability which poses challenges to the mastery of information and slows down progress in school;
  • Others have weak organizational skills which result in difficulty with keeping on schedule with studying and completing assignments;
  • Some students have medical, social, emotional, behavioral and/or family problems.

The tutor provides the individualized need of instruction that a teacher with many students is often unable to provide. In many cases the common denominator which interferes with studentsí ability to become successful is his or her lack of time and/or organizational management skills. And students often become more self-confident after working with a tutor.

Below is a list of some of the questions concerned parents might want to ask a prospective tutor Ė along with my personal answers to these questions. At the bottom of this page are answers to some of the more technical questions - related to Orton Gillingham, phonemic awareness, dyslexia, etc. I hope the answers provided will be helpful to you in evaluating my services and your child's needs.

What credentials/training have you had in Education and/or Special Ed.?

Please visit My Credentials Page on this site for information on my Education, Training and Teaching Experience.

How long have you been tutoring?

20 Years in Private Tutoring Ė 36 years in Special Education

What experience and rapport have you had with students my child's age?

I have had experience working with challenged students and individuals who ranged from elementary school levels through high school.

Can you tailor the tutoring sessions to meet my child's learning style?

I usually spend one or two sessions using informal measures to assess your studentsí needs and learning style. My tutoring will be based on this constant diagnostic/prescriptive style.

Are you willing to schedule more than one session in a week? Are you able to commit to tutoring for a specific period of time?

The frequency of my tutoring sessions varies with the student. As far as my commitment of time, I am committed to achieving the goals that are set for each individual studentís needs.

How will your tutoring activities be coordinated with my child's curriculum? Are you willing to work closely with the classroom teacher?

Iíve had extensive experience within the school system, and in fact trained teachers in evaluating students and writing effective IEPs.  Iíve collaborated with speech/language pathologists to remediate reading problems and phonemic awareness. I will coordinate my tutoring with your childís curriculum and teaching staff.

How long is each session?

Each tutoring session typically lasts 1 hour.

Can you give me references relating to your tutoring work?

Yes, specific references will be furnished upon request.

Below are answers to some technical questions parents may have, along with links to additional information on these subjects.

What is Orton Gillingham and Spector Phonics?

Orton Gillingham is a language based (studying how the language works) multisensory approach (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) to teaching reading. Students use hearing, seeing, saying, and writing simultaneously. It is structured, sequential and cumulative. Students begin reading and writing sounds in isolation, then blend them into syllables and words. Elements are introduced in an orderly fashion, with constant review of old material until is mastered with automaticity. Vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension are taught in a similar structured, sequential and cumulative manner. It is flexible with constant diagnosis and prescriptive teaching.

Phonics is the relationship between letters and their sounds. Spector Phonics is an Orton-Gillingham based language program that encompasses reading, writing and spelling. The Spector Phonics program has been successfully used in many states around the country by directly addressing deficits in decoding/encoding and in comprehension.    More info...

What is Phenomic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds (phonemes) of our language. It is an essential skill in learning to read and spell. Phonemic awareness is an auditory awareness that spoken language can be broken into small units of sound. It includes the ability to rhyme, blend, segment, manipulate, or delete sounds. These skills should be taught prior to and/or simultaneously with beginning reading skills.

What is Dyslexia?

Simply put dyslexia is a specific language-based learning disability. It refers to a difficulty in reading, writing, spelling, and expressive/receptive language skills. It involves the phonological aspects of reading and writing. More info...

You can obtain more information and resources for teaching learning disabled students from the Division for Learning Disabilities at http://teachingld.org/.

Please contact me with any additional questions you may have about the evaluation and tutoring process and services I offer.



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