Is Your Child’s Learning Style Important?

Is Your Child’s Learning Style Important?

One of the saddest aspects of the American elementary-high school educational system is that it fails to acknowledge the reality that we all learn differently.  Students’ development is not always even, temperaments are different, and each child has their own learning style. While it is perfectly normal and all right to have learning differences and “glitches” (gaps between capabilities and performance) many educators ignore these variations and when they teach basic skills, there is little acknowledgement that information is processed differently.


In our current system this disrespect for a variety of learning styles can undermine the self-esteem of learners as young as those in kindergarten. Yes, even children this young compare themselves to their peers, seeing themselves as less successful then their classmates can make them feel “less then” and “stupid”.   In reality, it is not that these students are less intelligent rather they may simply need to be taught the material in another way.


Some children prefer and learn better auditorally, others visually, and others need to manipulate objects and are tactile/kinesthetic learners. Knowledge and understanding the types of learning style your child uses and prefers early on can be the most valuable information for parents and educators. This information can make homework easier and learning in general less stressful and a lot of fun.  It is also important to realize that the learning style a child uses in early elementary school might not lead to a successful approach later on. Learning to compensate and combine the different approaches and styles when your child is young can help prevent those possible struggles in the future.



The child that cannot subtract in second grade might become a PhD mathematician in the future if they understand they are not “stupid”, but that they might just need to approach the task differently and learn a different style.  Just as important to understand is that the child who is the best reader in first grade, might not be able to comprehend what they read by the third grade.



Luckily, today professionals, parents and pupils have access to tools to evaluate, diagnose and then remediate teaching techniques to work with the variety of learning styles that students have, by administering comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations. When differences and glitches are observed they can be examined, diagnosed, and new strategies can be implemented to make learning a more successful and pleasant experience for the struggling student.


Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program



Dr. Abbe Barron, DMD, PhD is a clinical psychologist licensed in California.  Dr. Barron (PSY21730) holds a number of professional degrees and has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings throughout her private and professional life. She is a parent of exceptional children, a dentist and educator, and a clinical psychologist who conducts neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments. Dr. Barron provides comprehensive psychological, educational and neuropsychological diagnostic services to children, adolescents, and young adults.   Her specializations include testing for ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, memory problems and psychological disorders.  In addition, she provides school consultation (for both private and public schools), parent education, and classroom observations in order to improve classroom functioning.  She attends IEP and school meetings providing diagnosis intervention, treatment planning and accommodations for school and standardized testing.  Dr. Barron can be reached by email:, Office: 310 476-7810, Fax:  310 476-7322.



The Story Behind PRIDE Learning Center – from the Founder

The Story Behind PRIDE Learning Center – from the Founder


Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone had an amazing winter break with a lot of relaxation and rest.  I am feeling rested and excited to get back to work at PRIDE.  I love this company so much and I love working in it and on it every single day.  In this January issue of our newsletter I want to share the story of PRIDE and how it all began…

Many of you know that both my children are in Special Education.  My son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at age 5 and my daughter, who was born 2 months premature, was equally diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at age 4.  


I was a 2nd grade teacher by profession and an avid reader myself.  I would read and read to my son in Kindergarten and First Grade and try to teach him the letters and sounds, just like I had been taught to do in all of my teaching credential coursework and school district core literature training.  He just wasn’t getting it.  I would have conferences with his classroom teacher, and she would say, “he is just immature, he will get it sooner or later.”  I wasn’t convinced. So, I had him tested and I learned that mother’s intuition is always right.  Sure enough, he has a learning disability and was eligible for special services at school starting in 2nd grade.  


The services began.  He would get pulled out of class and go to a Resource Classroom and receive reading help. The school assured me that he was getting the right help and was in the right place.   After a year of this, he still couldn’t read.  These programs obviously weren’t the answer to his problems and I was starting to get frustrated and discouraged with the school’s intervention program.  I was getting desperate for help and  I did not know how or where to find it.  It was consuming all of my time.   I began to investigate and research reading programs determined to figure out how to help my child, I just wasn’t trusting the school anymore to help him.  


During this time, I came across the Orton-Gillingham method.  I was fascinated by this program and decided to become certified in it and practice it with my son.  Being a teacher myself, I caught on quickly and I was highly motivated to master it.  I soon found out that it was the answer to my son’s reading struggles.  He started reading.  I finally figured it out.


The Orton-Gillingham is a very structured, sequential, cumulative and step by step program.  It has a very unique scope and sequence meant for children with dyslexia and reading disabilities.  It is multisensory, meaning the children need to use their eyes, ears, voice and hands to read.  I became extremely involved with the Orton-Gillingham and active in many learning disability organizations worldwide.  


When I first began PRIDE Learning Center, I started out as the only teacher in a small space with a handful of students.  As the years  evolved, PRIDE Learning Center has gone from 1 teacher (me) to now having over 125 teachers all over Southern California that we hire, train and manage!


In 2015 we decided to try our first on-site summer reading camp in Yorba Linda, California. The students came to the reading camp for 4-6 weeks from 9:00 – 12:00 Monday – Friday.  We rented a space from a Chabad Jewish Center in Yorba Linda.   It was a huge success and this summer we will be running 14 summer reading camps using the same model as we did in Yorba Linda, renting spaces from local churches, temples and schools.



Over the past 12 years I have worked hard and made relationships with psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental pediatricians, neurologists, speech and language therapists and other professionals who help kids everyday in our communities. I have worked with teachers and staff members of many public and private and special needs schools throughout Southern California.  


The success of PRIDE Learning Centers has been in large part due to our ability to attract and maintain a dedicated staff of qualified teachers and who are using what I consider, the perfect reading program.  Our teachers have credentials and Master’s Degrees in Special Education, Literacy, Linguistics, Reading, Psychology and undergo extensive training at PRIDE Learning Center in the Orton-Gillingham methodology.  They are supported with weekly mentoring sessions and ongoing training so that we can provide our students with the very best learning experiences possible.


PRIDE Learning Center continues to grow and respond to the needs of the Southern California communities.  I am so proud of the success of this company and what all the PRIDE Learning Center teachers have accomplished in the past  years.


This January, 2017 we turn 12 years old!  Thank you to all of our wonderful staff, students, parents and professionals who have made these past 12 years an amazing experience.  And most importantly,  Thank you Orton-Gillingham!  Without you, my son wouldn’t be on his way to college right now to become a teacher.  Yes, you read that correctly, a teacher.  


Thank you all for your ongoing support.  

Karina Richland, M.A.


PRIDE Learning Centers













New Year’s Resolution for Kids: I will read more

New Year’s Resolution for Kids: I will read more

Happy New Year! New Year’s resolutions give a perfect opportunity for you and your child to discuss areas in which there’s room for improvement. The one resolution you should always try and make as a family is to spend more time reading. Why is it that some children seem to take to reading with no effort and no nagging, while other children would rather do almost anything than read? If you are a parent interested in ways to inspire those reluctant readers in your family, then this article will offer valuable information for you.

Reading is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly. Without practice, young readers will not develop the vocabulary, the skills, and the fluency necessary to become strong readers. But many children, even those with strong reading skills, do not get enough practice and as a result become disinterested in reading, and can quickly become discouraged. Here are some practical tips for encouraging reluctant readers:

• Find books with cartoons or humor — which only a child would find amusing

Books that make children laugh are more engaging for young readers. Not everything needs to be a learning lesson. Letting children read books such as Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid will keep them engaged and entertained. Although adults might find the language and humor distasteful, children find it very funny and are therefore more motivated to read.

• Zero in on your child’s passions and choose books and magazines focused on areas of interest

Find books on specific topics to keep your child’s interest, such as science, baseball, American Girl dolls, etc. Children who already have the background knowledge, language and vocabulary before beginning a book will have an easier time getting through the reading. Order a magazine subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids or Nickelodeon. Children love receiving mail and reading ‘their’ magazines.

• Get your child an email account and, together, check it regularly

Using the computer to read and write is a huge advantage for most students. By letting young children write and send email, they practice reading, writing and spelling. Teach your child how to use spell check before sending off messages. Be sure to monitor your child’s ‘pen pals’ – who is your child writing to and receiving mail from? Let your child pick out a few family members, including grandparents and maybe two or three friends. You will find that by using email regularly, your child becomes very strong in keyboarding and using the computer.

• Find an author that your child likes and stick with it

If your child loves reading Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, then you have found a writing style which stimulates your child’s interest. Go through the entire series. Don’t worry if the reading is below grade level: your child is reading for pleasure and for practice. Also remember, just because you loved a certain author or series when you were a kid, this doesn’t mean your child will love the same books you did. Browse the bookstore or library and find the newest, most modern series. Usually these books contain language and themes to motivate the most reluctant reader. Kids need to relate to what they are reading, and modern language usage helps.

• Let your child talk to you about the book they are reading.

When we adults read books we enjoy, we like to talk about them. After reading a book, we don’t necessarily want to write a summary, book report or make a project of it. We just want to discuss it with someone else. Look interested in what your child is reading (yes, even if it is Captain Underpants) and ask questions and have your child tell you about it. Laugh with your child about the funny parts (even at the bathroom jokes) and help your child feel good about reading.

• Limit media.

Television, phones, computer time, and video games can quickly take up all of your child’s free time. Limit the amount of media you allow your child and your family will have more time for reading.

Enjoy the New Year and keep reading!


Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program

Karina Richland, M.A., E.T. is the Director and Founder of Pride Learning Centers. A former teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, Ms. Richland has devoted her life to the field of reading and learning disabilities, working as an educational therapist and director of PRIDE Learning Centers. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can visit her website at:

Spend the Summer in Southern California Improving Reading and Comprehension Skills

Spend the Summer in Southern California Improving Reading and Comprehension Skills

Would you like to spend your summer vacation in Southern California this year?  Well… this can be a wonderful opportunity for you to also address your child’s reading, writing and comprehension skills with some summer instruction at the same time!


At PRIDE Learning Center we offer an amazing summer reading program that gives students a giant boost in their weakest areas.  


Spending the summer at PRIDE Learning Center is a wonderful opportunity to catch up and get ahead in skills that might be affecting school performance in reading, writing and comprehension as well as getting a vacation at the same time!  


Our summer instruction is taught one-on-one with our credentialed reading specialists and utilizes our multisensory, Orton-Gillingham, structured, sequential and cumulative approach that we at PRIDE Learning Center are experts at.  Students who came last summer all improved 1 to 2 grade levels in just 4-6 weeks of instruction.  


Sample Daily Schedule:

9:00 – 10:30 Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction

10:30 – 11:00: Snack, Fun and Movement

11:00 – 12:00 Orton-Gillingham Reading Writing and Comprehension Instruction


Your child will still get a summer break, our summer instruction is only 3 hours a day Monday – Friday.  Don’t worry, there is still plenty of time in the day to play, go to the beach or just relax.

PRIDE has 14 Southern California summer locations in Calabasas, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Pasadena, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hancock ParkRedondo Beach, Yorba Linda, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, Temecula, Carlsbad and San Diego.

Tuition per weekly session is $1150. PRIDE Lessons are always One-on-one!

For our out of town families, we are happy to help with information on local hotels, short term housing and after camp activities.

Call us at 866-774-3342 or visit us at our website  We are looking forward to speaking with you regarding how we will make a huge difference for your child this summer!

To sign up, Register Here

Language and reading development at home

Language and reading development at home

Research suggests that the amount of interactive language a child is exposed to in the home correlates greatly with the development of verbal expressions and reading skills.  To put your child on the right track for language and reading development, make sure your home is a rich and encouraging language environment.


Here is a list of tips and strategies that can be used to promote healthy language and reading development in children:


Read together daily for language and reading development

Often parents stop reading to their children once the child learns to read independently.  This is a big mistake.  Parental reading skills are usually more advanced, so they can expose children to higher grammar, vocabulary, images, and ideas in speech.  Be aware when reading to your child that they often may not ask what an unfamiliar word means.  When coming across an unfamiliar word you can ask your child to define it and if necessary provide them with the definition, synonym, antonym or physical enactment of the meaning.

Don’t interrupt or fill in the blanks

Patience is essential for encouraging language development in children.  Give your child time to put their thoughts into words and opportunities to practice.  If simply waiting doesn’t do the trick for a child with word retrieval problems, then prompt them with a ridiculous alternative.  For example, if your child says, “I’m looking for the, uh… um…er…,” you can ask “rhinoceros… leprechaun?”  Usually after a few giggles the child is relaxed enough to find the right word.


Spend time each day having your child describe the details of their day or particular topics of interest or ideas

The dinner table tends to be a natural conversation venue for the family to talk and catch up on daily events.  Also, before turning out the lights in bed is another great time to let your child fill you in on the day’s events as well as create conversation and bonding time in a relaxed environment.  If your child speaks very little or has nothing to say, you can provoke them by taking a stance with which you know they’ll disagree.  For instance, if the child loves legos, say, “some people think buying legos for children is a bad idea, because they cost a lot and don’t serve any purpose.  What do you say?”


Make sure your child’s skills are constantly challenged and force to grow 

Home is a place where children feel free to take risks with language.  They feel comfortable making mistakes, asking questions and discussing complex topics they would otherwise be afraid to explore.  Continue to build and challenge your child’s vocabulary.  Introduce a new word and offer its definition or use it in context that is easily defined.  For example, “I think I will drive you in the vehicle this morning instead of making you walk to school.”


Avoid electronic devices, television, etc.  whenever possible to encourage language and reading development

Research has shown that the encounters that best promote language growth are interactive – back and forth, face-to-face exchanges conducted in a relatively quiet background.  Children that are receiving more noise stimulation than language stimulation will fail to develop the language skills they need to succeed in school or to communicate effectively with their parents, teacher, and peers.


Speak in complete sentences and use words with precise meanings

Instead of letting your child hear you say “ where is that thingy,” or where is that whatchamacallit” try to always speak with precision and accuracy. Model the richness of language for your child by adding multiple word meanings and using different words to express the same thought.


Try these simple Language and Reading Development Tips at home – and please let us know if they helped.


Learn more about the New PRIDE Reading Program


Karina Richland is the Founder of Pride Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County.  Ms. Richland is a reading and learning disability specialist and speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences.  You can reach her by email at or visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: