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Reading Champion: Michele Chisholm

Categories: Reading Champions

Reading specialist Michele Chisholm sits down with us and shares why she recommends Learning Ally to all of her clients.

I am honored to be involved with Learning Ally. It is a wonderful program that has helped many children, including the ones that I work with. My journey began with my own child, when he was diagnosed with dyslexia nine years ago. I have an elementary education background but didn't learn about dyslexia in college. My youngest child struggled to learn how to read and so I began to teach him using the Barton Reading and Spelling System. Although he became quite a good reader, it took many years.

Throughout that time, he wanted to read books that his peers were reading. So, we began using Learning Ally. This is an incredible program that allows children access to all of the same books that their peers are enjoying. It was wonderful for him to be able to immerse himself in a book while "reading with his ears". I reminded him that although he was not reading in a traditional way, it was still reading. He was building his vocabulary and improving his comprehension and he was able to be involved in the conversations his peers were having about books that were too hard for him to read in a traditional way.

Currently, I own a tutoring business, Beautiful Mind Tutoring in Salt Lake City, UT. I have nine amazing tutors who work with me! We teach math and writing, but our main areas of focus are reading and spelling. I meet with every student before assigning them to a tutor. At that initial meeting, I always encourage parents to join Learning Ally as a way to improve their child's experience with reading. In fact, the student’s eyes always light up when I tell them that for the first couple months of tutoring, we ONLY want them reading with their ears by listening to audio books. I have found that this is a wonderful way to help the children learn to love books again!