Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does your program work?

Students who have a difficult time with academics in school often have gaps in their learning foundation as the root cause. Students with learning issues often have visual and/or auditory systems working differently than their peers as well as problems with gross motor activities and memory issues. These students are also usually tactile learners, which means they learn by doing. We prepare them to succeed academically by strengthening the sensory components that are weak and filling in any gaps that have occurred. In addition, we teach academics to the students, starting in a multi-sensory fashion, which helps these right-brain dominant, tactile learners succeed when all other methods have failed. This comprehensive program is what makes the difference between constantly needing tutoring and/or various therapies compared to teaching the student to actually overcome the learning difference.

In the last few years, scientists have learned a great deal about how the brain can continue to learn and be strengthened throughout our entire lives.  This concept is called “plasticity” and is one of the main principles of our program. Once is uncover the areas of learning difficulties, can then treat the issue and help students achieve academic success.

Can I enroll my child in the Harp Learning Academy (private school) if my child is already enrolled in a school?

No, you cannot enroll your child in our private school if you are enrolled in another school.  We offer two distinct services.  First, we offer our regular after school program.  Second, we offer a private school, the Harp Learning Academy.  Students in the Harp Learning Academy also receive the program we offer along with a host of in-depth academic skills as well.  The focus is on reading, writing, math, and spelling.  You must dis-enroll your child from a previous school in order to be enrolled in the Harp Learning Academy. 

What ages of children do you work with?

We have programs for Kindergarten readiness through 12th grade.  We also have an adult program, which has proven to be highly successful.

What makes your program different than others?
The Harp Learning System addresses the sensory root cause of reading, math, and writing difficulties while filling in any academic gaps that may have occurred. Our program consists of gross motor, visual, auditory, memory building, and academic components.

How is your program different from a traditional tutoring/learning center?

Traditional learning and tutoring centers focus on specific academic tutoring skills and offer self-learning techniques and test preparation. Many of these programs focus on more of the same academic drills, tips, and techniques and require even more homework from students.  Their philosophy is that more of the same is better and though this repetition often bores an already exhausted learner.

At Harp, we believe the old adage of what defines “insanity,” which is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results. This is a good analogy for why the traditional approach of tutoring doesn't work for students with learning differences.

The teacher wants my child to stay after school for more tutoring.  Is that the answer?

Students suffering with poor academic skills and below-grade-level performance are typically treated with a dose of more academics.  The thought is that more of the same that didn't work all day is going to correct the problem. This only fatigues and frustrates a tired learner because the child is often a non-traditional learner.  These children don’t respond to traditional verbal instruction and lectures, but need more visual and tactile teaching methods. 

What is your success rate?

Over 90% of students who finish the program remain at or above grade level.

How long are the sessions?

Our learning sessions are a full 60 minutes and the students are kept actively engaged the entire hour.  A session will include a full range of sensory and skill-building exercises as well as an academic component tailored to the student's specific needs.  The result is a learning process that is fast-paced and fun!

What is the time commitment required for the Harp program?

We would recommend at least two sessions a week for the best results for the program. And, unlike many other learning programs, we don’t require written homework.  However, we are happy to provide home activities that can help students with specific learning differences, such as auditory processing disorders.

What is your student to teacher ratio?

We offer small group (up to three students per instructor) or individual sessions.

How will I know my child is making progress?

We provide monthly snapshots as well as bi-annual reports of the student's progress.  Also, our Instructors and Directors of Learning are readily available to answer any questions.  We encourage parent feedback and rely on their insight as to what they and the teachers are experiencing as the student works through the Harp program.  
Often the first sign of improvement occurs in the area of self-confidence, increased willingness to tackle homework and a calmer and less stressful approach to learning.  

Do you have a program for dyslexia?

Many of our students are challenged with some level of dyslexia. In fact, recent studies show that 1 in 5 people struggle with Dyslexia.  Also, dyslexia is not just a reading problem but shows up in math, writing, handwriting, and/or spelling.  The terms for these other types of dyslexia is Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia.

Our 5-step program was uniquely developed to strengthen the brain's ability to manage the mental challenges facing a dyslexic student.  For instance, a dyslexic student needs to form new neural pathways between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.   This is crucial for helping the student still the movement and the stress in the brain that is causing dyslexia. Once these new pathways are formed the dyslexic child's brain can actually be calmed and learning becomes much easier.

Over the last 15 years, we have seen Harp students rise above their dyslexia and earn straight A’s, make the honor roll and learn to love school!

I've read about “right-brain” dominant learners and I think my child might be one.  What should I be aware of?

The right side of the brain is responsible for movement, emotions, colors, expressions, daydreaming, and problem-solving. Was your child just described?  Music, color, emotions, and pictures are the key to learning for these students.

Unfortunately, most schools are “left brain” oriented where linear thinking, lists, phonics, reasoning and conscious control are the main component in the curriculum. 

At Harp, we help these right brain dominant learners gain the confidence they require to succeed in a traditional learning environment.  At the same time, they are uncovering their special talents such as building, drawing, creating and dancing, that are equally impressive as their peers’ academic talents.  We focus on the student as a "whole being", not just bits and pieces.

I have been told that my child is most likely a “tactile” or “kinesthetic" learner.  What does that mean?

Tactile learners learn by doing.  Tell them something and they forget it.  Give them a picture of something and it’s gone.  Let them do something and they will know it forever.  Few classrooms are able to provide this type of 

Kinesthetic learners usually need to be in motion to learn.  Unfortunately, many of these students are often labeled as ADD/ADHD and their need to be in motion in order to learn is often just the symptom of their learning issues, not the cause of it.

These students can be classified as non-traditional learners.  Over 20% of all children are non-traditional learners and the traditional school curriculum of verbal instruction and worksheets is not effective for these students.  With today’s average class size of 30 students, rest assured that there are other students in your child’s class who are struggling just like your child.  You are not alone in this.

My child has a hard time sitting in class and the teacher refers to he/she as a “busybody.”  Does that mean he/she has ADD/ADHD?

ADD/ADHD is a very controversial subject, and everyone seems to have a different opinion on it.  However, tests for ADD/ADHD are subjective.  There is no blood test or definitive measure to diagnose a student with this disorder.  A student’s fate is often left to a series of checklists and observations from a psychologist who spends a limited time with the student, the teacher, and the parents.  Depending on the student's mood, nutrition, attitude, age, and emotional state, the scores could vary on any given day.

Our experience has shown that students who are"busybodies" are usually right-brain dominant. The right-brain dominant learner is creative and active.  This student sees the whole picture first and then breaks it down into bits and pieces. For them, step-by-step instruction, which is typical in most school curriculum, is like listening to a foreign language. They get easily bored, are antsy and anxious to engage their classmates in discussion.

Whether you call it ADD, ADHD or something else, these kids are suffering and unfortunately, the schools aren’t often equipped to help.

By helping these kids calm the internal chaos in their minds, the Harp program can begin to “still” their minds and allow them to adapt and confidently participate in a traditional classroom setting without the need for medication.

How much does the program cost?

The cost varies depending on the package or the specific class that you choose.  We have small group classes that start at $99.00 per month.

How do you measure success in students?

Students are tested on every skill and advance at their own pace.  They are not moved up until they achieve mastery. Students do not waste time on a skill that they have already mastered and the skills are individual to the student’s specific needs. For instance, if a student isn’t struggling with visual memory, then he/she will quickly pass that test and time will be spent on particular skills that he/she is struggling with. 

My child hasn’t been diagnosed with a learning problem, but everyone seems to think he has one.  Can you help?

Our free learning assessment can show you where your student's strengths and weaknesses lie, any gaps in his/her learning foundation, as well as how your student learns best. We use our proven question/answer technique  as well as our written and auditory procedures that will present indications of dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, reading disorders.

We can also determine how the student learns and stores memory. The evaluation takes 20-30 minutes and results are offered directly after the assessment.  This evaluation is offered free of charge.  

We also offer an in-depth assessment that tests academic, visual, auditory, memory, and reversals tendencies. The evaluation takes 45-60 minutes and the results are offered directly after the assessment.  This assessment is available at an additional cost.

How does your program work?

Once an assessment is done, we address the identified learning gaps of a student in a step-by-step and sequential fashion. We don't treat the symptoms of learning difficulties, but we go to the cause and treat it.  We find that the symptoms disappear once the cause is treated correctly.

We will work on visual, auditory, gross motor, and memory building skills.  We add academics that are taught in a multi-sensory fashion. Each skill builds on a previously taught skill.  By the end of the program, students have strong working memory and executive functioning skills. 

Can you help with reading?  My child is struggling and nothing seems to be helping.

Students need to master numerous skills in order to read efficiently.  They must have strong phonemic awareness, which is the ability to recognize that a spoken word is composed of a sequence of individual sounds (phonemes), visual memory, visual discrimination, tracking across a page, auditory memory, auditory closure, auditory synthesis, and several other skills.  From there, they need to combine all these skills and make meaning from pictures, letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs.  Here's the catch; these skills are used by the reader at the same time.  Can you see how difficult it is to perform the seemingly simple task of reading?   

To help students build these skills, we have developed the TouchTile  Reading System.  The TouchTile Reading System uses a touch-and-slide method to teach students to read. It is rich in phonemic awareness and is fun and easy to use.  We have had great success with this reading program and have come to expect 2-3 levels of increase in your child’s reading level in just a few months.

How do I get started with the Harp Program?

Call the Lodi Harp Center at  209.365.0950  or the Oakdale Harp Center at


Or, you can fill out the following form to schedule a free learning evaluation and meet the staff at Harp!