About Darlene

Darlene Larson

I’m Darlene Larson. Thank you for 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, and 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 in February 2005 and my life was changed forever. I walked out of Susan’s morning session with a greater understanding of dyslexia and of most of my students. I attended her afternoon session as well, where I first learned about the Barton Reading and Spelling System. I ordered the beginning levels of the Barton System and began to use it immediately with my students at school. The next fall, while continuing to teach part time at my school, I also started to tutor a few students privately, using the Barton System in both teaching situations. My tutoring business grew over the next few years, and then in 2016, I left my teaching position and started to tutor full time. At this point, most of my students met with me in person but I also began to tutor students online. Today I do all most of my tutoring and consulting online out of a small tutoring office in my home. I am certainly blessed to be able to tutor! I love working with my students one-on-one and helping them unlock the reading and spelling code of the English language. I am thankful that I am able to help my students develop skill and fluency in their reading and learn to confidently spell multi-syllable words.

I would love to help your struggling child unlock the reading and spelling code, too. You can find out more about online tutoring when you visit my Tutoring Page.

I like to use games to reinforce the concepts that I teach during tutoring sessions with my students and have created a variety of games that are now available for purchase on the Read-Spell Games Page of this website. Tutors and parents who use the Barton Reading Spelling System® or other Orton-Gillingham or Structured Literacy Programs will find them useful in their tutoring as well.

Find out more about my testing and evaluation services when you visit my Consulting Page.

Or, if you are a teacher or tutor who is just beginning to enter the world of online teacher or tutoring, find out how I might be able to help you get started in the your own online teaching or tutoring when you visit my Coaching Page.

Darlene’s training and education

  • Certified Master Level 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
  • MS in Education, UW-Steven’s Point, 2005
  • BS in Elementary Education, UW-Eau Claire, 1979

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

Darlene lives with her husband Phil in Oelwein, Iowa. Darlene enjoys spending with her three adult children and their families, including their five grandchildren. She is active at their church and enjoys walking, camping, sewing, knitting, and reading.