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Faith Berens

Special Needs Consultant

Faith is an educational consultant, evaluator, and reading specialist with over 15 years of teaching experience.

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Why You Want Faith for Your Event

  • As a special needs consultant for HSLDA, Faith helps member families find educational solutions for their children’s learning challenges and disabilities.
  • Faith has worked as a classroom teacher (in both public and private schools), a Reading Recovery® teacher, an NILD educational therapist, and a private tutor.
  • She specializes in child literacy and has a master’s degree in reading from Shenandoah University.
  • Faith draws on her extensive experience with learning difficulties—including her own struggle with dysgraphia—to help homeschool students facing learning challenges.
TRAVELS FROMWashington, D.C.
HONORARIUMBecause Faith’s workshops are offered as a free service to the homeschooling community, Faith simply requests that all of her travel, hotel, and related expenses be covered.

Sessions by Faith Berens

In this workshop, Faith defines what dyslexia is (and what it is not), discusses the different types of dyslexia as well as levels of struggle (mild, moderate, severe), and then offers hope by sharing the types of necessary teaching methods, research-based interventions, and programs that you can implement in your homeschool. Faith offers hope and encouragement in addition to tricks and strategies to add to your teaching toolkit! BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
Do you have a child who just isn’t getting phonics—or is struggling with beginning reading instruction? Or perhaps you have a child who has sloppy speech or doesn’t seem to hear things correctly? Poor phonemic awareness could be partly to blame. This session provides parent-teachers with an understanding of phonemic awareness skills and how these skills (or lack thereof) impact a child’s ability to become a proficient reader. Participants receive a phonemic awareness assessment that they can use at home, take part in interactive activities in order to “play” with phonemic awareness, and receive a list of curriculum, materials, and games that address these important, foundational skills. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
In this session, Faith addresses the importance of spelling and presents the developmental stages of spelling. She also shares various strategies, techniques, and fun, hands-on, multi-sensory methods for spelling practice, as well as specialized spelling programs and strategies to help you transform “I am a terrible speller” into “I am a good speller!” BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
Do you have a student who is having reading difficulties? This session introduces the 5 Pillars of Reading: phonemic awareness, phonics (decoding and word recognition), fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Faith offers guidance for identifying the area and the level of your child’s reading difficulty, and she also shares practical teaching tools, strategies, and techniques for remediating your child’s reading struggles.

*NOTE: This workshop can be broken into two sessions to allow for more in-depth coverage. Session 1 will address decoding and fluency problems. Session 2 will cover reading comprehension. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
In this session, Faith discusses the ultimate goal of reading instruction: comprehension. She also explores various types of thinking and processing skills required for proficient comprehension. Faith shares tips, techniques, and strategies for developing the vocabulary of very young, as well as good habits of mind in order to lay a solid foundation for comprehension with our wee ones (up to age 5). BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
This encouraging workshop offers ideas for how to make homeschooling fit with your family’s unique situation and needs as well as your teaching style and your children’s learning styles. Faith offers suggestions for scheduling, time management, organization, and teaching children of different ages simultaneously. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
This workshop provides an overview of HSLDA’s Struggling Learner / Special Needs Department and the many resources we provide to both members and non-members. Faith shares diagnostic checklists for struggling learners, discusses common roadblocks homeschooling parents face (and how to navigate around them), and shares strategies for achieving success with your children who learn differently. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
This workshop addresses some of the challenges associated with teaching struggling or atypical learners at home in the high school years. Do you have questions such as “How do I award my child with special needs a diploma?” or “What do I do since my child with dyslexia can’t read typical high school level material?” Faith discusses alternative coursework, specialized curricula and learning materials, assistive technology, transcript options, possible graduation guidelines, high school programs for special learners, and post–high school options. She also offers tips for navigating the process of applying for testing accommodations for College Board tests. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
This workshop offers practical resources, lists of materials, and curricula to equip you as you work with a struggling learner in your homeschool. Faith explains multi-sensory teaching methods, direct instruction, modeled teaching, and “scaffolding” instruction. She also shares ideas for designing a unique home instruction program tailored to your child’s specific challenges. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)
Does your child have a learning disability or severe special needs? Have you pulled your child out of public school where he used to have an IEP (individual education plan)? Participants of this workshop learn the purposes and benefits of an SEP (student education plan), the homeschool version of an IEP. This workshop also provides guidance on drafting an SEP. Participants look at sample student education plans and receive a template of a Student Education Plan as well as a resource list of books that will assist them in drafting their own homeschool student education plan. BOOK THIS SESSION
60 minutes (or 75 minutes with Q and A)

Biography

Faith Berens lives in Fauquier County, VA, with her husband Matthew, daughter Hailey, and son Hayden. Faith joined the HSLDA team of special needs consultants in 2008 and homeschools her children. She also works as a private educational consultant and evaluator. Some of her passions include reading for pleasure, singing, traveling, nature/science, leading Bible studies, and teaching reading to struggling students. Faith holds a master’s degree in reading from Shenandoah University. She has over 15 years of teaching experience that includes serving as a classroom teacher in public and private Christian schools, Reading Recovery® teacher, reading specialist, NILD educational therapist, home educator, co-op instructor, and tutor. Her areas of expertise are early childhood literacy, reading assessment, and the identification and remediation of reading difficulties and disabilities.
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Overwhelmed? Want help choosing?

Tell us a few details and we can help you pick the best speaker for your event. — Chloe Powers, HSLDA Event Coordinator