Reading Category - Archive

LearningRx Announces New Reading Comprehension Program


We read for meaning. But for some kids (and even adults), reading comprehension is a struggle. 

For some, decoding the words on the page takes so much energy that fully comprehending the meaning of the words takes a back seat. For others, the meaning is grasped but not retained. In fact, research by the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that one out of four eighth grade students, when asked to read age-appropriate material, can’t understand what they just read.

After several years in development, LearningRx is releasing a groundbreaking reading comprehension program called ComprehendRx. ComprehendRx incorporates the research and personal brain training techniques that have made LearningRx the largest one-on-one brain training company in the world. ComprehendRx begins where typical reading programs (which focus on decoding) leave off, targeting seven core skills critical for reading comprehension. Students not only read faster, they have stronger tools to grasp, analyze and retain content. The result? Dramatically improved understanding, retention and application.

For readers who lack reading speed, who read well but can’t remember what they’ve read, or who have to read something more than once to grasp the meaning, ComprehendRx offers a proven, life changing solution. Click on the link to read more about how ComprehendRx improves reading comprehension.

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Once a Struggling Student, Now a Lover of Books!

“Logan, you’re a smart kid. C’mon. Make some sort of effort!”

Laura pleaded with her 13-year-old son as he sulked over the books strewn across the kitchen table.

Every night Laura and her husband, Ted, worked with Logan for hours on reading and homework. Logan was a great kid with a great heart, but he seemed to have given up. Luckily, his parents weren’t willing to do the same.

The first thing that attracted Laura and Ted to brain training was how different it was from tutoring. Laura explains, “The last thing Logan needed was to go to Sylvan® and have them do another three hours of what had just been done in school that hadn’t worked!”

The second thing they loved was the testing. They’d had Logan tested before, but the LearningRx assessment was the first to explain what was actually happening in Logan’s brain and why he was struggling—and then offer a solution!

“When the LearningRx director here in West Des Moines told us Logan had weak skills in auditory processing, everything started making sense,” his mother remembers. “And because auditory processing is foundational for reading, no wonder Logan hated books!”

But the bigger surprise was that Logan actually looked forward to LearningRx brain training. After every session, he couldn’t wait to tell his parents everything he had learned and accomplished.

His grades improved, and when the opportunity arose to transfer to a more academically challenging private school, Logan was actually excited.

Then there were the books. Discovering a new love for words, Logan read Treasure Island with enthusiasm. He talked about insights gleaned from things he’d read. He even asked for books for Christmas. The day Laura walked through the family room and found her son lounging in a chair with his nose buried in a book—for fun!—she knew a transformation had truly taken place.

That was three years ago, and Logan is still benefiting from the changes brought about through LearningRx. “When it comes to thinking and learning for the rest of his life, Logan has tools and motivation now that he didn’t have before,” his mother says. “To this day, my husband and I will watch Logan accomplish something new, look at each other and say, ‘Brain training made that possible.’” 

Sylvan® is a registered trademark of Sylvan Learning, Inc. LearningRx, Inc. is not affiliated in any way with Sylvan Learning Centers or Sylvan Learning, Inc. The use of the servicemarks owned by Sylvan Learning, Inc. is not intended and should not be taken to imply any relationship between LearningRx and Sylvan. The opinion expressed in this quote is merely the opinion of the individual quoted. 

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Reading Struggles Overcome Through Brain Training

Every weeknight, Jenn and Eric Williams helped their daughter Amanda study her spelling words. Every Friday the third grader came home with the same bad news: She flunked the spelling test.

Amanda’s teachers tried to help by modifying assignments. Amanda was also seeing a reading tutor once a week, too. But evenings at the Williams’ home remained stressful, with homework taking more than two hours, complicated by what Jenn describes as whining, delay tactics and even fits.

Jenn says, “Reading had always been hard for Amanda. She’s just like me in that regard. I was never diagnosed with dyslexia, but my brother was, and I know I struggle with it, too.”

Six months earlier, Jenn had received a postcard from a company called LearningRx with a checklist of 20 symptoms of dyslexia. When Jenn saw that every single symptom described either Amanda or Jenn herself, she kept the postcard to show her husband.

“I knew LearningRx was the answer,” Jenn says. “Maybe because I struggle in the same way, I knew Amanda’s problem wasn’t lack of effort. The problem had something to do with her brain. Things just weren’t sinking in.”

Eric wasn’t as convinced. He thought he and Jenn could still help Amanda by simply working harder. It wasn’t until the following spring—when no amount of working with Amanda could help her correctly spell more than three words out of 15—the couple decided to see if brain training could help their daughter.

Amanda began a 12-week brain training program at the LearningRx Brain Training Center in Maple Grove, MN. She worked one-on-one with a brain coach five to six hours a week, doing mental exercises designed to strengthen the weak brain skills that were making life frustrating.

Amanda was so relieved.

“I thought LearningRx was going to be boring. I thought it was going to be torture,” the animated nine-year-old says today. “But it was actually fun! We got to play games, and I was surprised that those games helped my reading.”

The “games” Amanda loves are actually a very targeted sequence of mental exercises incorporating the five key elements of effective brain training—practice, intensity, sequencing, loading and feedback. LearningRx, a pioneer and leader in the field of brain training, consistently gets dramatic gains for their clients by administering these exercises in a personal coaching environment.

Jenn says the changes for her daughter were huge.

“We went from two stressful hours of homework every night to less than half an hour—and no stress! We used to spend 30 minutes every night studying for spelling tests that Amanda failed every time. By the end of LearningRx, we were waiting until Friday morning, running through the spelling words for 10 minutes, and Amanda was coming home with 100% on every quiz.”

Perhaps even more significant is that, since brain training, Amanda loves to read. She says, “Before LearningRx, I read very skinny chapter books. Now I can read thicker books,” adding, “Reading started to get more fun when I started to understand the books. I thought, ‘Well, this book is kind of interesting, and I want to read it more so I can get onto the next book and read more interesting stuff!’”

She also has more free time now that homework is easier. “I can play with my friends, play on the computer, video chat with my Aunt Linda, watch more TV, ride my bike or roller skate instead of spending so much time on homework. And homework—this is really surprising me to say this—but it’s much more fun!”

Jenn has also seen a big change in her daughter’s confidence. The mother of three says that, before LearningRx, she could see that her daughter’s self-image was being shaped by her struggles. “She no longer has that stigma of thinking, ‘I’m a really bad reader, I’m dumb, I’m not good at anything.’ She’s more confident. And I definitely have more hope for her future. Eric and I used to have a pit in our stomachs when we thought about college and the future for Amanda. We don’t have that now. I feel now that she’ll be able to go to college and do fine.”

Jenn recommends LearningRx to other parents of kids struggling with reading or homework. She says drugs aren’t the answer. She also believes school accommodations, while easing some stress, aren’t the answer either. “I didn’t want that for my daughter. Modifications aren’t realistic for life. I didn’t want a Band-Aid. I wanted a solution.”

Amanda has her own advice for kids struggling like she did. “I would tell other kids that LearningRx is the opposite of what you think. It’s fun, and it’s going to make school easier, better and very nice. I used to say ‘I can’t do this,’ and now I say ‘I can do this! I can do anything if I try!’”

Amanda is the winner of the most recent LearningRx video testimonial contest. To see Amanda tell her story in her own words, watch her video here. 


Read Across America Day

It’s Read Across America Day – a day set aside to encourage every person in America to read or be read to for fun. This annual nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the American writer best known for creating children’s books and inspiring the love of reading in four generations of kids.

The beloved Doc died in 1991, six years before the first Read Across America Day, and while he would most likely have been tickled with the event, the state of reading in America may have him rolling over in his grave.

A 2007 report by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), shows reading literacy has dropped since Seuss was alive. To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence gathered statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading skills and habits of Americans of all ages. The report unveiled trends that Americans are reading less, reading less well, and graduating from school less prepared.

According to the official website of Dr. Seuss, a few weeks before his death, when asked if there was anything he might have left unsaid, Seuss replied, “Any message or slogan? Whenever things go a bit sour in a job I’m doing, I always tell myself, ‘You can do better than this.’ The best slogan I can think of to leave with the kids of the U.S.A. would be ‘We can…and we’ve got to…do better than this.” Read the rest of this entry »


learn to read

Young GirlHow do we learn to read? It isn’t as simple as you might think. In a recent article, Sabra Gelfond, Speech-Language Pathologist and Executive Director of the National Speech / Language Therapy Center, compared the way we learn to read to the way a house is built. There are four major steps to both, she points out, and in both home-building and brain-building, laying a strong foundation is critical.

Learn to Read: Building Readers, Step by Step

Ms. Gelfond says “You can compare the process of learning to read to building a house. A well-built structure requires a strong foundation or the underlying weakness will cause problems over time. The same is true in “building” a better reader. Without the right foundational skills, learning to read can be very difficult. Read the rest of this entry »