Success Stories

Ingredients for Learning ™
Female student with backpack
Family in lobby with staff reviewing a document

At Marmalade Skies, we put all the learning pieces together for a successful and sweet result, as our parents – and even our youngest learners – are fond of telling us. Here are some of the stories our families have shared.

She hated having to read but now she is reading on her own and her self confidence is soaring!

When we first brought Jade to Ms. Tina she was in the 4th grade. She hated having to read!

We already knew something was missing from her academics at school. Her teachers were not equipped to deal with the specific issues Jade was having in learning to read. At that time, Jade was reading at a first grade level.

Jade had been tested and finally diagnosed with ADHD in 3rd grade. Even though her school was aware of the diagnosis, the special education department was unable to help her. I found Miss Tina during research on the internet. We immediately contacted Miss Tina! She responded to our inquiries right away. Jade had her initial assessment in January of 2020. Jade then began her sessions (twice weekly) in February 2020. Initially, Jade was seen by Miss Tina. Later in the year she was switched to Miss Cami. Both tutors are excellent! Jade built a lasting rapport with both. Jade loves her time with Miss Cami and Miss Tina!

Jade is now reading, on her own! She actually enjoys reading and is buying books with her own money! Jade has gotten very comfortable with reading and is now working on her writing skills with Miss Tina. Jade’s grades have improved dramatically! As a result of her success, her self-confidence is soaring!

Thank you so much! We sing your praises to anyone who will listen!! -B.R.

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Miss Tina helped connect the dots so we can get the specialized help our daughter needed.

We cannot say enough good things about the program, expertise and customization Miss Tina has.

We started noticing that our daughter was having difficulty keeping up with her school work in 1st grade at age 6. She was diagnosed with ADHD. We were spending hours trying to complete her nightly homework and she avoided reading. I felt there was more to her learning roadblocks than just ADHD and we as parents needed extra help to support her way of learning. I researched and found Miss Tina online. I had some apprehension of trying to do virtual tutoring, but due to COVID that was the only option. Miss Tina was great at being patient and using creative ways to help keep our daughter engaged during her tutoring sessions.

From the beginning, Miss Tina noticed something different about our daughter’s inability to blend two sounds together and recommended we see Dr. Thomas at the Arizona Vision Therapy Center for further eye evaluation. It came to light that our daughter also has convergence insufficiency and double vision, which means it is harder for her to concentrate, and she experiences lots of fatigue and has an avoidance of reading. Interestingly, these were the same symptoms we had been experiencing with helping our daughter with her homework and low testing grades.

With this new diagnosis we had never heard about we felt so much relief because we knew more was not right, besides her ADHD, but as parents with no experience with childhood development we were at a loss on where to go and who to seek for help. Miss Tina helped connect the dots so we can get the specialized help our daughter needed. During this time Miss Tina also worked with us to understand the state resources available through an IEP. We had never heard of IEP until she mentioned it. We are forever grateful for all the help and expertise Miss Tina has so willingly shared as we sought out help through this difficult journey.

Our daughter went from only being able to recognize one sound to blending two sounds together. Our daughter has had the opportunity to work with two of Miss Tina’s tutors, Miss McKenna and Miss Sonia. Two excellent tutors with adaptive and different styles of tutoring. This change has also been good for our daughter to also adapt and receive the best these amazing tutors provide.

Our daughter continues to work with Dr. Thomas to help with her convergence insufficiency and with Miss Tina twice a week with Miss Sonia. We observe progress during the virtual sessions and receive progress notes frequently from Miss Sonia. They are very helpful and we share those progress notes with our daughter’s IEP team. This is helpful so the whole team can be on the same page with her learning development.

Miss Tina is an excellent specialized tutoring service and we highly recommend her services. -R.D.

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I didn’t realize that my 7-year old son was guessing so often when trying to read or do math.

Before utilizing Miss Tina’s services, I didn’t realize that my 7-year old son, William, was guessing so often when trying to read or do math. Miss Tina not only identified the problem areas within his learning, but she also gave him priceless tools that he could understand and immediately use. When he began the school year, William was a second grader who read at a 1st grade level. Now, he has mostly caught up to standard, and is even reading out loud in class, confidently and happily. I believe that a big part of anything good William does in his life (ex. high school, college, etc.) will be because of Miss Tina’s services. -J.B.
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He truly is a different kid! Just listening to him read brings tears to my eyes.

My son has a language and cognitive impairment and has always struggled with reading. He is 11 years old but was reading at about a 1st grade level. He didn’t understand phonics, and the schools weren’t providing additional services to help him. It was really hard to read with him at times because he is very sensitive and knew that reading was not a strength for him, so he would often get upset immediately when we read at night. While doing a google search I came across Miss Tina, saw everything that they offered and was immediately intrigued. I contacted Miss Tina right away and by the end of the day we had scheduled some time to talk. When I described all of my son’s challenges she calmly reassured me that this program would work for him and that we would see great progress. I honestly had my doubts given all of his challenges, but I can easily say this is the best decision that I’ve ever made on behalf of any of my children! The work that Miss Tina has done with him is nothing short of amazing! He truly is a different kid! Just listening to him read brings tears to my eyes. He confidently attacks each word with ease, he no longer hesitates or gets upset when there is a word that he doesn’t recognize right away, and the best part: when there is a challenging word, he calmly and confidently faces the challenge and sounds it out until he figures it out!

My son is also a child that is hard to engage. Because he has struggles with speech and language, it is often difficult to engage with him, because he lacks confidence when holding a conversation with others. But I will say that he thoroughly enjoys his time with Miss Tina and Miss Laisha. They are so kind and naturally engaging, and they really care about him and his interests, which makes him feel very comfortable with them. But even though they make him feel comfortable, they really make him work! They have high expectations which I love and appreciate, and have the ability to get him to stay focused and work hard for the entire hour, which I have never seen before! And the thing that I love the most is that they don’t just focus on reading. They work with him on his handwriting, spelling, comprehension and vocabulary building.

Working with Miss Tina has also been great because they communicate so well with me. The progress notes that they send are so encouraging and detailed, and it makes me feel like I was sitting there with him during the lesson. I also appreciate their suggestions and recommendations, something that I hardly get from his regular school.

Although he hasn’t gotten the type of education that I had envisioned through his regular school this year because of the limitations with special education and remote learning, Miss Tina has easily filled that gap for us and so much more. I now understand that with the right type of teaching and engagement, although he has challenges, my sonhas the ability to be successful. I don’t know where we would be without Miss Tina, it has been worth every penny! -C.A.

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My daughter was almost 9 when she started the program. She refused to write and when she did you could not decipher the letters she was using.

I found Tina through my daughter’s occupational therapy. She was such a God send, because I was becoming overwhelmed with trying to teach my daughter how to read. I had tried various programs and nothing seemed to be working.

My daughter was almost 9 when she started the program and could not read anything over a kindergarten level. She would constantly mix up blended sounds and become easily frustrated when she couldn’t get the word right away. She refused to write and when she did you could not decipher the letters she was using.

Miss Tina now has her writing sentences left-to-right across the paper legibly. Next stop short paragraphs and reading comprehension. We loved our experience with Miss Tina and couldn’t recommend her enough.” – L.C.

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My shy, insecure, 6yo who was unable to read transformed into a much more outgoing, confident 7 year old.

Miss Tina is simply the best! She has transformed my shy, insecure, 6yo who was unable to read into a much more outgoing, confident 7 year old who is now not only reading but also enjoys it. It is amazing to hear my daughter read so well and I am amazed of how far she has come in just a few months. While discovering that my daughter had a learning disability was stressful, what was most challenging was trying to navigate this new area with very little guidance available from schools and other professionals. Miss Tina put my mind at ease from the first day I spoke with her and has continued to help me figure out how to best help my daughter succeed. She is truly a magical unicorn!” -A.W.
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Her ability to identify children’s barriers to reading and contrive an individualized intervention plan is phenomenal.

Tina is an exceptionally skilled professional to work with. Her ability to identify children’s barriers to reading and contrive an individualized intervention plan is phenomenal. She is patient, kind, and thoughtful in all interactions. Tina consults and collaborates with other providers to ensure intervention is consistent across people and settings. I am an aspiring BCBA and work directly with Tina to minimize problem behaviors, maximize learning opportunities, and ensure our mutual client gets the most out of her sessions. The amount of progress our client has made in the last month is astounding. There truly is no other comprehensive service available that matches the quality of intervention services offered by Tina. I highly recommend Tina’s services for any child struggling with language processing, oral language expression, reading, written expression, and comprehension.” -H.G.
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His attitude started to change from frustration to confidence and eventually reading enjoyment.

Before coming to Miss Tina, I had tried three different reading programs with my 8-year-old son; unfortunately, he showed very little progression. He was still struggling to remember several of the letter names and sounds, and would get extremely frustrated trying to sound out CVC words. He also struggled with letter formation and would get angry and give up very easily. I was concerned that my son had dyslexia and was not getting the specialized help that he required. After a friend recommended Miss Tina, knowing my son’s reading struggles, we decided to give her a try… and let me just say that Miss Tina did not disappoint!

From the very first day, Miss Tina has been extremely patient with my son – who has Sensory Processing Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and can, at times, be very difficult to motivate. She is nothing but respectful, kind, and loving even in the trying moments with my son. I am so impressed that she is so patient, yet firm, and can get results from him when most people cannot. Seriously, she’s better than Mary Poppins! Miss Tina also collaborated with me to develop a multisensory curriculum that is tailored to my son’s needs. This has made our homeschooling experience so much more fun and successful.

Within the first four weeks of my son’s time with Miss Tina, I could see progress in the areas of sight and sound recognition as well as letter formation. But most importantly, his attitude started to change from frustration to confidence and eventually reading enjoyment – something he had never experienced before coming to Miss Tina. I am overjoyed with the progress and confidence that my son has gained over the past six weeks. I know it will only continue.

For the first time, my son enjoys being read to and – just this week! – he read his first book fluently and with a smile on his face. I am one satisfied momma; thank you, Miss Tina!-M.M.

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After a few months of working with Miss Tina, my son was starting to smile again.

My 10 year old son’s neuropsychologist recommended Miss Tina because he was falling behind in reading, spelling, and grammar at school, even though he has additional resources and interventions there. My son was also getting teased by his classmates every time he had to read aloud or they pass around their spelling test to be graded by their peers. My son is shy to begin with and this teasing crushed his confidence and his desire to go to school.

After a few months of working with Miss Tina, my son was starting to smile again. His resource teacher said his scores were starting to go up but she wasn’t sure why. That’s when I told her that we had been going to Miss Tina. My son is now able to sound out words, break words down, and understand their meaning. He is asking the meaning of words, how to pronounce words, and asking to read more complex books. Before, he couldn’t have cared less.

Miss Tina knows how to engage my son no matter how tired, lazy, or unwilling he is that day. She knows all the tricks and has fun and interesting games to play. He doesn’t even know that he is learning! She is easy to understand, energetic, and so upbeat. She has even shown him how to brain storm and format paragraphs and to write reports.

I cannot recommend Miss Tina enough. Not only has she helped my son academically, she has helped him mentally and socially. -K.R.

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She has made something my daughter dreaded exciting and fun.

My daughter has a visual processing disorder due to optic nerve damage. We have had some results with different types of therapy and tutoring but none as noticeable as with Ms. Tina. She has made something my daughter dreaded exciting and fun. She is great with my shy child that now laughs and jokes while they are working. Her writing improved so much over the summer that her teachers have already noticed the difference in vocabulary use and writing style in the first three weeks of school. Finding someone that has helped my daughter make so much progress and is enjoyable to work with has been such a relief. I am excited to see how far they can go this school year. If your child struggles with reading or writing I would highly recommend a visit with Ms. Tina.-S.W.