A native of London, England, I lived with my family in Paris, France, and Vancouver, BC and Montreal in Canada, before calling Seattle home in 2010. The family comprises my wonderful husband, Joe who works in the tech industry, our two beautiful 2e teenage children, Jackson and Angelica, and our two adorable rescue dogs, Alfie, a white terrier mix and Loba, a blind Siberian husky). My husband and son have dyslexia and dysgraphia, and my daughter has a “dyslexic brain”, without the reading challenges. We all have ADHD.
My husband was invited to speak at The Dyslexic Advantage Conference in San Francisco in 2013 by the amazing dyslexia specialists, Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide. I tagged along with the kids for an adventure and, little did I know at the time where it would take me. I met with many experts in the field and so many special people in the dyslexic community, one in particular who changed my life, and to whom I will be forever grateful: Elenn Steinburg, Co-Director of Orton-Gillingham International. We became best friends five minutes after meeting, and when I told Elenn that I love working with children and had been volunteering at my childrens’ school and had personally created a program to provide fine-motor skills intervention to first graders, she said I really should do Orton-Gilling training and become a reading tutor; she invited me to stay at her home and do the training in Denver with OG Master, Ron Yoshimoto, and the rest is history.
I have since been back to Elenn’s for more training with Ron to Advanced O.G. and have become so passionate about the Science of Reading and teaching children to read, write, and spell having seen the amazing success of this approach for all children, and how crucial it is for those with dyslexia. I have gone on to do much more training of the structured literacy kind and have attended countless conferences and professional development courses in the field.
Most of my students have come to me because they are struggling or behind in one or more area of literacy. I also have students who come to me for enrichment or exam prep. A large proportion of my students have dyslexia, dysgraphia and/or ADHD, and many are gifted or twice-exceptional (2e). I love getting to know my students, and tailoring my lessons to their likes and interests, to make lessons fun and engaging. I like to use puppets and props, one of my favorites being my giant ears, used to remind my students to listen closely to the sounds and be “all ears” in our phonemic awareness activities! I work my students hard, but with love, and lots of fun!
"Prior to working with Anna, reading with my son bordered on torture for all of us. He was beyond frustrated with making sense of words and we were beyond frustrated with failing to help him using the basic skills we were encouraged to use by teachers. This came as a great surprise to our family, given how much we all enjoyed books and stories and reading. As he fell further and further behind his peers and more and more hopeless about his abilities to read, we knew we needed sophisticated support to help my son learn to read. We also knew we didn't need just tutoring but an entirely different approach to learning than he was getting at school.
Within weeks of working with Anna, we began to see radical progress with my son's reading. Within months, my son went from struggling to decode every single word to reading with fluidity, expression, and confidence. I will never forget the day he jumped up from the table and did a dance after reading a page from a book he has looked at almost everyday of his life. "I finally read it by myself!" he exclaimed. My son is now reading at grade level and helping his teacher explain the rules of language to help his peers break the code of the written word.
It is not just the Orton-Gillingham approach that has helped my son, but rather the powerful combination of O-G and Anna Booth. Anna guides my son with a huge heart and firm hand to push him towards what he doesn't know or believe he is capable of. She uses his own curiosity and interests to guide their work together so that my son is excited and engaged. She uses a multitude of tools to keep their work dynamic and she brightly recognizes his accomplishments. When my son is with Anna, he knows he is working hard and he also feels like he is having fun.
There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for Anna. Watching my son read to his younger brother, hearing him exclaim that he is proud of himself after tackling a tricky word, getting caught when I skip sentences in a book to hurry along bedtime - none of these would have happened were it not for Anna Booth."
"Anna is quite simply a magical tutor! I have a very tutor resistant 10 year old whom she managed to connect with brilliantly. I would bring him in with a huge frown on his face, and he would always leave with a smile on his face. And what's more amazing, is that in spite of all of his resistance, he has now informed me that Anna was the best tutor he ever had and that she is the one who he learned the most from. Basically, she rocks as a reading tutor!"
"My children always look forward to their lessons with Anna, like they are visiting with a friend. She has a friendly, easygoing attitude that makes learning fun and gets them to put forth their best effort. She also produces results. After 18 months of weekly sessions, my child is reading above grade level and communicating more confidently, and has scored 18 percentage points higher on the reading comprehension of the WISC-V IQ test."
"Our son tutored with Anna throughout 2nd-5th grades. He oscillated between once and twice a week for those years as we juggled sports and tutoring. He is now in 6th grade and is a ferocious and enthusiastic reader, reading well above his grade level. Our daughter started with Anna in the middle of 1st grade and is now in 4th grade. Both of our kids have dyslexia and have benefited from her expertise and instruction. Anna welcomes students at each session with enthusiasm and warmth. Her instruction has set up both our children for a lifetime of reading and academic success."
Contact me here:
The Dyslexic Advantage by Drs. Brock & Fernette Eide
Overcoming Dyslexia by Dr. Sally Shaywitz