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Celebrating 20 Years of Evidence-Based Education and SpellRead

Let's talk about the value of efficient literacy skills!

By Halifax Learning on Thu, Oct 20, 2022 @ 02:26 PM

Let’s talk about affordability and value! 

At Halifax Learning, we understand that our program is an investment however we know that the value of secure and efficient literacy skills is priceless!  Our goal is to ensure reading efficiently, maximizing the imaginative potential of each brain and the economic impact of every individual!

At our centre, we celebrate the importance of “human capital.” The most important resource in our world is people and our children. Literacy and poor literacy levels are at the root of many issues. We know we can help change this however it’s challenging for many families to access when we consider the cost of raising children in an inflationary environment.

We’ve created this document to help you better understand what the investment in SpellRead looks like short-term and long-term and some other ways to possibly help offset this cost. 

What do our payment plans look like? 

We offer payment plans designed to work within a family's budget.  This could mean paying over an extended period of time if necessary.  Click on the below images to view our full-year payment plan program and our half-year payment plan program. 

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Most students are with us for 12-15 months of program delivery and an hourly rate between $57 and $63 per hour.  In any circumstance, with 4 weeks' notice, a student can withdraw from the program at any time.  If a student enrolls for a half-year program it could be recommended that they continue. 

What is the value of this investment? This is a question we are often asked! 

The goal of SpellRead is to ensure that all students’ literacy skills move to a point where they are at or even above grade level, and most importantly, to ensure these skills are sustainable. 

  •  Poor literacy skills should never be a barrier to an individual reaching their potential. 

  • Your child will be working in an inclusive environment with other children of a similar age and skill set (based on our in-depth literacy assessment) with a highly qualified SpellRead instructor.  

  • All of our instructors have a post-secondary education and all come to us with excellent coaching, mentoring, and cheerleading skills! We train them in our methodology with continuous internal program support specialists who are supporting our instructors and your children - RESULTS MATTER! 

  • We are also available to meet with your child’s school and explain our program and explore any opportunities to provide more of a wraparound approach and incorporate homework support during their school day. 

Would you like to hear what other parents are saying or review our results? We publish our student results quarterly and welcome all parent and student feedback. Click here to learn more

 

What are our touchpoints as your child journeys through our program? 

  • Two-week mark - homework/calendar of events information is sent 
  • Two-month mark - you will receive a note from us with more detail on what you should be expecting to see from your child two months in, how time with us is impacting their self-confidence and school work
  • Five-month mark - your child will have their interim assessment followed by a meeting time with our support team to review the results and programming in general 
  • Eight-month mark - you will receive a note from us with more detail on what you should be expecting to see from your child eight months in, how time with us is impacting their self-confidence and school work
  • Completing the program - most students complete the program in about a year.  At this point, you will be contacted about their exit -assessment, a time to review their progress, and a time to go over the maintenance package we will be sending home 

 

Communication is very important! 

  • Parents have direct contact with our support team at any time.  
  • Consistent communication with your child's instructor.
  • Upon request - we can facilitate a meeting with a child’s school and meet with a school team to discuss our programming and ways to provide some wrap-around instruction.


Is cost a barrier? It can be and we want to be able to help with this! 

After the assessment, we’ll sit down and discuss our payment plan options with you and answer any questions. Our goal is to work with you so that your child can access the value of our program without it becoming a stressful monthly payment. 

~The payment doesn't last forever but the results do! ~

 

Here are some helpful tips to explore as you consider affordability: 

Extended Health Benefits

Do you have an EAP (employee assistance plan) through health coverage or through an employer? Be sure to ask:

  • Is a doctor’s referral needed?
  • How much coverage do I have and when is the renewal (most plans are based on a calendar year but this is not always true)?
  • Are there any restrictions?

Tax Credits & Benefits

Your child and/or family may be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit and/or Child Disability Benefit. The CRA website or your accountant/financial advisor can help you determine your eligibility.

If you would like to know more about the disability tax credit, you can watch this webinar by Dyslexia Canada.

Another possible option is to claim your SpellRead tuition as a medical expense when you do your taxes. You can learn more here. To claim a medical expense, you will need a doctor’s referral to the program.  

If you would like to discuss our program results or see if SpellRead is a good fit for your child, please reach out today! 

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Report Card Time in a Pandemic

By Melinda Cameron on Thu, Nov 26, 2020 @ 09:08 AM

This is a special time of year for many students and teachers - report card time! This year’s report card time is different from any other, because school has been much different for most kids. Whether students are now studying virtually at home or in school, there are likely gaps in most students’ education. Last school year at least a third of the scheduled in-person class time was missed for most students. For some students, this was a pivotal moment in their education to miss out on; as Dr. Heidi Beverine-Curry points out, kids at this sensitive stage (now in Grade 1) have missed key points in their journey to learning to read. 

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Keeping in mind this missed class time, should teachers and administrators should change their expectations for student progress? According to reading expert
Timothy Shanahan, students’ future employers and educators will not lower their expectations, so we shouldn’t either. 

If your child’s report card is coming home soon, how can you best use your conversation with your child’s teacher? 

  • Keep your expectations in check, because it has been an unusual year. 
  • Get a clear idea of your child’s skills.
  • Understand how to help them get to where they need to be, educationally. 

We should expect our kids to keep learning even when times are hard; one really important way we can do so is to make sure their reading skills are strong. When kids can read well independently, they can learn about anything in the world. Families who invest time now making sure their kids can read independently are giving them a skill that no one can take away, and that will continue to help them learn as they grow.

There absolutely should be a sense of urgency in making sure students are getting the education they need, and it’s more important than ever that kids learn to read the right way. Halifax Learning can help - we can assess your child’s current reading skills quickly and easily online, and our online SpellRead classes are a safe and reliable way for students to strengthen their reading skills.

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Making the Grade

By Britt P. Curran on Sat, Dec 07, 2019 @ 04:29 PM

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December has swiftly approached like a quick-on-its-toes cat, ready to pounce on ribbons, bows, and dangling ornaments. Parents, students, and educators alike share in the end-of-calendar year anticipation as much as those same feisty felines await long, winter naps.

The academic weeks leading up to the holidays boast their own brand of busy. By now, mid-term reports are distributed, PT meetings completed, and, potentially, a new dialogue has emerged regarding your child's areas of concern.

First things first: let's retire the phrase "bad report card"; words implying disappointment are unlikely to inspire change. They also often overshadow the full picture: every child has strengths, but something isn't clicking. Look beyond the letter or number of struggling grades. Which of your child's skills have been well-developed? What's been progressing as hoped or expected? What needs work or improvement?

Take an in-depth look at the data. What could a "C" or "D" really mean? What's considered when tallying percentages? Perhaps he or she has strong organization skills and positive interactions with others, but the actual workassignments, comprehension, correctness—is where they might be fumbling, not failing.

Parent-teacher interviews may be short, but try to make those minutes matter. If you're feeling post-meeting uncertainties, contact your child's teacher or administration with specific questions for additional feedback. Furthermore, HRCE's website suggests the following four prompts to help guide the conversation (during a chat or after):

  • "What do you see as my child's unique strengths/challenges?"
  • "How can I help build on/support my child's learning strengths and challenges at home"?
  • "How is my child's progress evaluated?"
  • "What outcomes has my child met and what are the outcomes my child is working towards?"

Lower or worrisome grades can prompt a dip in self-esteem. Be mindful of changes in your child's mood or behaviour and reach out to the school, a healthcare professional, or trusted resource to help boost confidence and self-worth when a learner feels heavily impacted.

photo-1479091792771-cdb6e8b16ed6The emphasis on grades can obscure other positives and accomplishments. During the upcoming two-week break, consider creating a "ME JAR": a crafty project to highlight strengths, skills, and special qualities. Re-purpose a large Mason or candy jar (or snag a cheap dollar store or second-hand container) and help your child decorate as they please—stickers, paint, washi tape, photos, rhinestones.

Cut strips of colourful paper and scribe encouraging, descriptive words that encapsulate who they are. Steer away from too many physical adjectives, like PRETTY or TALL, and focus on character traits and internal worth: KIND, PATIENT, BRAVE, GENEROUS, ORGANIZED, TIDY, POLITE, CURIOUS... the list goes on and on—literally! Be more specific, too: SUPER AT LAUNDRY,  MAKES A YUMMY SMOOTHIE, HELPS YOUNGER BROTHER, etc.

Every day or once a week, pull out a piece together and read aloud while both offering evidence to hit the point home. (Psst: lead by example and make your own jar; self-love can be inherited, learned, and nourished.)

FUNNY
PARENT/GUARDIAN:
"You are funny because you tell your grandfather jokes."
CHILD:
"I am funny because I do silly impressions."

MULTIPLICATION MASTER
PARENT/GUARDIAN: "You are a multiplication master because you know your eight times tables."
CHILD: "I am a multiplication master because I try to help others in math class."


The potential adrenaline from finishing strong isn't a myth. While the school year is into its fourth month, there's still a substantial amount of time to make meaningful changes. Use long weekends and snow cancellations to incorporate learning. Co-read a story, offer a creative writing exercise, enjoy an educational board game, or try a math worksheet—like these customizable ones from Web Math Minute.

Little rewards for hard work go far, too, and they needn't be extravagant or even monetary. Stickers, a bookmark, cozy socks, five extra minutes on YouTube, colouring a printed page, Go Fish!, or a free or low-cost community event. Perhaps even start a fridge chart where children build towards a bigger goal, like a movie date, hosting a sleepover, or a snowy outdoor scavenger hunt.

The holidays come but once a year, but the gift of feeling strong and supported—academically, emotionally, mentally? That will guide your learner better than the best red-nosed reindeer.

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