Little House Tutoring is home to a team of therapeutic tutors in Vancouver, B.C, that specialize in teaching language skills to students of all ages. Their mission is to assist any children with learning needs so that their learning challenges do not determine their life’s successes. Little House has succeeded in helping many kids live up to their full potential academically, and go on to become self-sufficient adults.
Little House Tutoring is a family run business, and began from a family’s own struggles with a child with dyslexia. Jennifer McPherson and her daughter Carrie, both have dyslexia. Carrie faced enormous challenges with learning to read in the public school system, until Jennifer enrolled her daughter in a private school that specialized in dyslexia, using the Orton Gillingham approach. Orton Gillingham is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with persons who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing often associated with dyslexia. Carrie thrived in her new learning environment with this approach. Her mother was so impressed with the school’s success that she did the Orton Gillingham course herself, and was soon asked to work with the school.
Carrie’s sister Breanne McPherson and her cousin Tennessee Briand had had their own experiences with learning in high school, with teachers who had made a positive impact and with those who did not. They became peer tutors, and this experience was pivotal in starting their own business: they knew they could help other kids facing the same challenges, their family had faced. At eighteen years of age, Breanne and her cousin Tennessee became the youngest people to ever take the Orton Gillingham course and became certified instructors. Little House Tutoring was born, and the four partners, Jennifer, Carrie, Breanne, and Tennessee set up shop in the family’s barn.
The partners developed the Little House Multisensory Program a highly successful program for addressing learning differences. Soon word got out about their success stories, and they exceeded capacity. They moved in 2010 to their new home in Kerrisdale/ Dunbar, where now 20 tutors work alongside the partners utilizing this unique program.
It is proven that people with learning differences are very innovative people, and if they overcome their challenges they contribute greatly to our society, often as entrepreneurs. One in ten Canadians have learning differences, and require alternate methods of learning, but many continue to fall through the cracks in the public school system, that caters to only one way of learning. Teachers lack resources and time to deal with kids with specialized needs, and classroom sizes are large and getting larger.
Frustrations from learning challenges breed behavioural issues, and further isolate a child that is struggling. Little House is a place where instructors have the capacity to handle these behavioural issues as well as the learning challenges. Their success lies in the unique one on one approach they utilize, where they determine how a student best learns, and provide an impactful mentor who goes on to celebrate each success with the child. Says Breanne McPherson, “The children that come to Little House start off feeling quite sad and defeated and within days I notice a change. They want to learn! They smile, laugh and at times they are even shocked with the results they are seeing. This is what makes me realize how much I love to work with kids one on one. The progress that they make every day is invaluable”.