Spelling, Reading, and the Brain: A Workshop for Parents

Term: Summer 2021
Target Grade Levels: Adults
Schedule: 1x / week, 120 minutes
Price: $150

Course Sections
Section 1
, June 14–July 16 (5 sessions): Th 7:30 p.m. ET with Angelique Chaverri

Spelling and reading are intimately linked. For some students, one or both of these skills seem to come naturally. For many students, though, struggle with these foundational skills may lead to feelings of frustration and self-doubt that can have life-long impacts. Parents often question the complexities of the English language and may even try multiple curricula trying to find the right fit.

Once upon a time, children grew up very differently than those of our modern world. Every day activities, children’s games and nursery rhymes prepared students’ brains and bodies for learning. Once they were ready to learn, students were taught the building blocks of our language and the rules that help govern them, instead of lists of hundreds of sight words to memorize. In this class, we will discuss the neurological underpinnings of learning and what you can do to improve those skills at home. 

This class will prepare parents of learners of any age and skill level to guide their student through learning to read and spell. We will begin each class with a chapter by chapter discussion of Why Johnny Can’t Read (by Rudolf Flesch). Discussion will be supplemented by selections from various books and scholarly articles. Then, we will examine the effects of foundational skills on learning, such as phonological awareness, auditory skills, visual skills, balance and coordination, posture, fine and gross motor skills, and reflexes. Age appropriate activities and games to develop each of these skills will be provided. Parents will learn to scale activities to the learner’s age and ability level.

In this class, we will discuss more than 70 phonograms, their roots and the associated spelling rules along with rule-breakers. Suggestions for multi-sensory methods of teaching, practicing and using these skills will be included.

Upon completion of this class, the parent will have a broad understanding of the skills involved in spelling and reading. The parent will be able to identify areas of need and design a home program to strengthen those skills while they support the learning of their student in a phonics-based program.


Required Resources

  • Why Johnny Can’t Read by Rudolf Flesch

Angelique Chaverri holds an MSEd in special education from Missouri State University and a BA in psychology from Southwest Baptist University. Angelique has spent her adult life working to understand the underpinnings of learning. After initial interests in physical therapy and neuropsychology, she found her way into special education. Four years after entering the public school system, Angelique went into private practice. She worked for a year in a learning clinic under a neuropsychologist before starting her own business in 2005. Angelique then began cross-training in various therapy modalities usually used by medically based therapists in hospitals and rehab clinics.

For the past 15 years, Angelique has specialized in using standardized assessments to identify the underlying causes of learning difficulties and has designed individualized programs to improve learning while guiding parents and teachers in how to modify the learning environment and instruction to the student’s individual needs. Angelique has provided training for schools, parents, and hospitals. She firmly believes in teaching students to use their strengths to enjoy, not fear, the learning process.

Angelique has more than 15 years of experience working with students with all types of learning disabilities, including those who have issues with reading, math, spelling, writing, dyslexia, auditory processing deficits, attention problems, sensory processing deficits, visual processing deficits, and more. Because difficulty in these areas often leads to increased anxiety in the student and can impact family life, tackling these issues in a way that is manageable and hopeful is one of Angelique’s highest priorities.

This year, Angelique will celebrate 15 years of marriage to her wonderful husband. She is a homeschooling mom to two fantastic boys. When avoiding housework, Angelique prefers to be outside hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, tending her medicinal herb and veggie gardens, hobby farming, and learning about regenerative agriculture and classical physical education. achaverri.scholeacademy@gmail.com

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:


  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.


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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.


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