Our Philosophy about Struggling Readers

After over a decade of researching the options that are available for struggling readers, the Clubhouse has developed a trained Literacy Team to prepare individualized intervention for your struggling reader. The research is very clear on a few issues:

  1. Strong Phonemic Awareness is a major key factor in reading success
  2. Multisensory approaches are the most effective for struggling readers
  3. Speech/Language disorders are highly correlated with reading failure
  4. No single published program is the answer. Why? Because every child is unique. It’s that simple.

The Clubhouse respects the daunting challenges that our classroom teachers face, and offers strategies to the family and school that enable the child to succeed with peers at school.

There are 3 critical questions that must be answered correctly to effectively design your child’s program. The “Why”” and “How” in this formula require individualized attention when exposure to the the regular classroom curriculum is not enough.

1. What? 2. Why? 3. How?

1. What area of reading is challenging for my child?

  • Alphabetic Knowledge?
  • Understanding and manipulating the sounds, or phonemes, of Language?
  • Fluency?
  • Comprehension?
  • Decoding/Encoding?

This question is well addressed within the regular classroom setting. Your child’s teacher will know which specific area is weak.


2. Why is my child struggling in some of these areas?

  • Is phonemic awareness impaired? If so, at what level?
  • Is there a language comprehension or expressive challenge that is contributing to this?
  • Is Apraxia present – and how does this affect reading?
  • Is Auditory processing of the sounds of language impaired?

Answers to these diagnostic questions are fundamental to understanding how to help your child. The Clubhouse Literacy Team is a group of Masters level Diagnosticians and Speech/Language experts with additional literacy training.

3. How can we help my child?readingtutor

Here’s where it gets both fun and exciting!  Once we determine exactly which underlying processes are difficult for the child, we pull from many established, researched strategies – and our own strong clinical knowledge in all areas of Language – and build a tool box for your child.

  • We don’t limit your child by offering a singular, prescribed program. We know that this is not the most effective approach.  Struggling readers are far too complex and unique to be assigned to one programming option.
  • We draw from many proven programs and individualize your child’s intervention. Our treatment is as eclectic as the kids we serve. We go beyond the very important phonemic awareness knowledge and employ multisensory experiences.
  • Group or Individual? Both are offered.  While 1:1 tutoring is the “gold standard” there are also benefits to the highly motivating environment of celebrating success and leaning with another peer.  Extremely well matched kids within a small group of 2-4 in a clinical intervention setting can be highly effective.  The Clubhouse will customize your child’s experience.


  • The research is compelling. While classroom programming is sufficient for most children to learn to read at grade level, the evidence is clear that many children who struggle to read are experiencing underlying linguistic deficits – and more “practice” will not help them succeed.  Explicit specialized instruction is needed.
  • Of children who display reading problems in the first grade, 74% will be poor readers in the ninth grade and into adulthood unless they receive informed and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness. Children do not mature out of their reading difficulties.”

 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

  • “Traditional instructional technology programs, which use computer-assisted instruction software, were found to have little impact on struggling readers.”

Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Center for

 Research and Reform in Education

  • Research has shown that 20% of all emerging readers will require explicit, specialized instruction in the area of phonemic awareness.
  • Nearly 75% of poor readers in 2nd grade have an early history of spoken language deficits.
  • 65% of children at risk for reading difficulties in kindergarten will continue to read with difficulty if they do not receive early and appropriate intervention.

Let’s get Started!

The amount of research and published programs in the field is overwhelming and often conflicting.  However, it is undeniable that early, specialized, individualized strategies with a multisensory, phonemic awareness component with a strong language base is the best practice for helping struggling readers.

Contact us today to find out more about our Reading Rocks programs.

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