Our son has received tutoring from Darlene Larson for almost 2 years.  Her knowledge and expertise have helped him become more confident at school and a better student.  He has learned many skills to help him cope with dyslexia.  Our family would highly recommend “The Reading Spelling Connection” to anybody struggling with a reading disability.  Mrs. Larson is dedicated to teaching her students and helping them succeed in the classroom and beyond.  Thank you Darlene!


Hi, I’m Darlene Larson

I’m so glad you are visiting my website today.

I am the founder and owner of The Reading Spelling Connection and have been providing quality one-on-one tutoring and dyslexia consulting services to students of all ages since 2005.

After being a stay-at home mom with my three children for 14 years, I returned to teaching when my youngest son was in 3rd grade. I took a part-time position at my children’s school as the Reading Teacher and quickly discovered that I didn’t know how to help these young first and second grade students who were struggling to learn to read. I began to take classes, attended workshops, did a lot of reading, and tried out the new ideas I had found. Along the way, I began to learn about dyslexia and the Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading.

Then, I was fortunate to hear Susan Barton speak at a state Reading Teacher’s convention and my life was changed forever. I walked out of the morning session about dyslexia with a greater understanding of most of my students and was excited to find out more in the afternoon session where Susan showed how to help these struggling learners. I left that day, convinced that I wanted to become a tutor someday didn’t think that it would work in my life at the moment because I was a busy mom with three busy kids. How could I tutor in the after-school hours when my own children needed me to be there? But, I purchased the Barton Reading and Spelling system and began using it with my students at the school.

Here’s where my story gets interesting. Shortly after I heard Susan Barton speak and became so excited about being a tutor, I found out that my teaching job was being eliminated due to financial concerns at my school. My first response was, “Great, then I will become a tutor!” That is not the usual response from someone who has just lost their job but in my case it opened a door to beginning a tutoring business that has been thriving since that time. And I love what I do! I love working with students one-on-one and helping them unlock the reading and spelling code of the English language. It is so gratifying and satisfying to be able to help my students develop skill and fluency in their reading and learn to confidently spell multi-syllable words.

As it turned out, I returned to teaching part time at my kid’s school, while also beginning my tutoring business. At this point, I am tutoring and consulting full time.  I would love to help your struggling child unlock the reading and spelling code, too. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation to begin to find out how I can help.

Our son was struggling with reading in school while in 3rd grade. He was in low reading class and his reading scores were a couple grades behind. Along with his teachers, we were not able to determine whether it was an attention problem or truly a reading problem. A friend suggested we try out the Reading Spelling Connection with Darlene. Our son has been going there now for 2 years. When I asked our son about his experiences with Mrs. Larson he said “It is easier for me to learn because it is one on one and there are no distractions”. Darlene is very helpful and patient but is able to encourage the kids to work hard. Our son is now in 5th grade and has raised his spelling scores 3-4 levels and is reading at his regular grade level. I am so glad we spent the time and money to get him up to speed before he moves on to middle school. Reading is something you will need in every facet of your life. Don’t under-estimate the need to read!


Darlene’s trainings and education

  • Masters Level Certified Barton Reading and Spelling Tutor, Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
  • Additional Orton Gillingham training – Beginning and Advanced courses
  • Trained as a Handwriting Specialist, Handwriting without Tears
  • Trained in Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing (LiPS)
  • Trained in Teaching Writing: Structure & Style, Institute for Excellence in Writing
  • Certified Irlen Syndrome Screener, Irlen Clinic
  • MS in Education, UW-Steven’s Point, 2005
  • BS in Elementary Education, UW-Eau Claire, 1979

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member of International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • Member of Wisconsin Branch of IDA (WIBIDA) Board of Directors member 2011-2016
  • Learning Ally

Darlene lives with her husband Phil in Wausau Wisconsin. She is active at their church and enjoys walking, camping, sewing, knitting, reading, and traveling to spend time in Minnesota, Iowa, and California with their three children and one granddaughter.