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How to Help your Child to Read – 5 Links for Early Reading

Guest Blog by Jenelle Lesmeister, Burk & Co.

In this blog, you will learn about my own personal experience struggling with reading. Plus a first hand experience working with the Accelerated Potential Academy, Miss Mary and her team. Including links to resources on How to Help your Child to Read.

Personally, I always struggled with reading and comprehension. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading because I did and still do. It was just hard for me. It’s a wonder how I even have a blog. Guaranteed you will find grammatical issues in all my posts. In this last year, I have actually had some clarity on why this was so hard. Which I will touch on more in another post. But in this post I want to talk about How to Help Your Child to Read with some tools and resources that are available to you.

Recently, we had the opportunity to send P to a Reading and Writing Camp with Accelerated Potential Academy. Starting Kindergarten in the fall, I was concerned with how the effects of this last year would affect his confidence attending school. We made the personal choice last fall to pull our children from a structured learning centre to a day-home. Hoping to minimize the risk of exposure to Covid. (Not that it helped… if you know, you know)

Not to any fault of our wonderful day-home lady, I could tell the boys weren’t thriving. They love to learn, be challenged and use their creative minds. P has also struggled with speech delay and I could see him continuing to struggle. So it was a no brainer to have him try out the APA Summer Camp.

I don’t know the first thing about teaching my child to read. Reading so many different blogs on how to kick start, I was so overwhelmed. There is a reason I didn’t become a teacher. But I knew I didn’t want my children to struggle the way I did.

Accelerated Potential Academy

We are so very lucky to have Miss Mary as our neighbour. I also have had the pleasure of knowing her since I was in elementary school myself. So when this opportunity to came up to have P join her at Reading Camp, I was very excited to have her work her magic.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Miss Mary, you know her passion for teaching children is just in her DNA. Her energy is enough to make all the kids around love her and absorb all she teaches. She is definitely one in a billion, a world changer.

In one of our first meetings she told me about an article the University of Alberta conducted about the affects on children through covid and how their reading has been affected. 35% of students are struggling with reading, and in some school divisions this statistic is even worse. It the article it states that if children don’t have a good understanding of reading by Grade 3, it will continue to be struggle and the chances of helping them goes down.

Miss Mary was recently interviewed by our local news where she discussed her concerns. LINK HERE

How APA Helps Your Child to Read

I wouldn’t say I was sceptical about the Accelerated Potential Academy program, I really just had no idea what to expect. But to say I was wow’d by the experience was an understatement. The summer camp was created for children ages 4-14 where they could work on reading, writing and math. The children undergo a quick assessment prior to starting the camp. Miss Mary and her team can create a specialized learning program unique to their needs.

They also work on a unique schedule that maximize the children’s potential of learning. They learn for an hour, educational play in the gym for an hour, go back to learning, then lunch and repeat again. Working in a program like this helps the children to remain focused during the times they need to focus.

P had so much fun. After his first day he was looking forward to go back everyday. To say he was sad at the end was an understatement. Not only was he equipped with the tools to read and write, but we seen a change in all his day to day actions.

At home we noticed his eagerness to help skyrocketed. He was more confident and used his voice to express himself instead of shutting down. We were completing swimming lessons in the same week and his confidence was apparent, with his interactions with his teacher and his peers.

We are are one week out from having Pierce in the APA summer camp. He is so looking forward to starting school in the fall. We were given a report card at the end of the week. To help guide us on how to continue to help him with his reading and writing. We work on his reading/writing for about 5-10 mins a day, as well as, continue to read a few books to him at night.

Photos provided by the Accelerated Potential Academy

We <3 Books

In conclusion, I feel that APA has done exactly what I wanted it to do for my son. To ignite his eagerness to learn, to be more self aware and to help to see how easy it can be to teach my child to read. It can be a scary task, teaching our children to read but we don’t need to let our fears affect their learning.

With the summer season almost over and back to school looming. I have listed a few amazing resources that Miss Mary has put together. Which can help you to kick start your child’s early love for literacy.

Links That Can Help With Reading

Are you local?

Did you know Miss Mary offers school age and adult tutoring? Not to mention she has a Private Prep School that teaches Preschool to Grade 3? Registration for Fall 2021 is now available. You can email her at

Online Learning

If you are reading this and you don’t live in Medicine Hat but would enjoy learning from Miss Mary. She does offer a 7 week online learning course through Early Reader’s Academy featuring their Bright Future Reading System.

Jenelle Lesmeister - Hi everyone! I am Jenelle, the momma behind Burk & Co. I married my highschool sweetheart Travis, who I met working at Winners, of all places. We have two miracle babies (Pierce + Clive) after suffering two miscarriages. You can usually find me wandering the isles of Home Sense, and blogging about my latest clothing try on. I love sharing the best deals, my current DIY or one of my favourite recipes. I am an open book, and I created this space to share my honest outlook on motherhood and my passion for Interior Design. I hope this place can be positive and inspiring to you. Sharing is a gift and I can’t wait to tell my story. I am glad you are here.


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