Educator helps students with learning disabilities
By Casey Murphycmurphy@tylerpaper.com
Kristin Jones' career in education began with her seven daughters.
Ms. Jones, 57, grew up in Fort Worth and was a neonatal intensive care unit nurse for six years. While living in Wisconsin, she had seven daughters and homeschooled them all.
She said she was the only person in her town that homeschooled her children, and she soon was asked to teach other people's children. In addition to her daughters, she home-schooled 10 to 12 students while living in Wisconsin
Ms. Jones became a certified teacher and licensed cognitive therapist in 1991 and moved to Tyler in 1994. After several of her daughters, ages 20 to 32, left home for college, she founded the Learning Enhancement Center in Tyler in January 2002.
The center offers academic tutoring for all subjects and to all ages, from 4 to adult. She said she also helps senior citizens with memory skills.
"I start out by evaluating the students and finding out where their area deficiencies are," she said. She creates a program on an individual basis.
"It's all one-on-one" work with the child, she said. Ms. Jones spends time with everyone that comes through the center to make sure they are on the right program.
Her business is twofold. She even has two websites to explain the different services. Aplustutoringtyler.com focuses on academic tutoring while Learningtyler.com focuses on processing skills training.
Ms. Jones, executive director of Learning Enhancement Center, tutors students with academic struggles, as well as those who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities. She has become an expert in the areas of phonetics, grammatical analysis, phonology and phonemic awareness. She also is certified in the use of sound therapy to enhance auditory pathways and improve brain function.
Learning Enhancement Center provides academic tutoring that focuses on the source of learning struggles and constructs a course of action to overcome any learning difficulties.
Through one-on-one training, they improve attention skills, reading and comprehension, long-term memory, working memory, processing speed, auditory processing, math skills, visualization and reading comprehension.
"We have amazing results," Ms. Jones said, adding that she has seen boys, who after three months of work, have moved up seven years in logic and reasoning skills.
She started the business because she began to see a need for more than just academic tutoring.
Children who were continually being tutored still weren't "getting it," she said.
Ms. Jones and the three certified teachers who work with her help mostly children. In the past 11 years, she estimates that she has seen about 500 kids and 75 adults come through her center. She also has seen a lot of repeat customers.
Since starting it 11 years ago, Learning Enhancement Center, at 524 W. Fourth St., has quadrupled in size, she said.
"This is the biggest spring I've ever had in the history of my business," Ms. Jones said, comparing it to the business her summers usually bring. She said she has about 30 to 50 students come to her during the summer, although she has seen up to 70.
Through the years, she has sought help at the Tyler Small Business Development Center. She went there first to get pointers to develop her business and has been back twice, once recently, to help market her business. "There are always ways you can tweak things and make it more successful," she said.
If you know of a professional woman or business service in Tyler you think should be highlighted in this column, contact Business Editor Casey Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org