Hey there! I thought now would be a good time to share a little bit of my story for those who don't know me!
My name is Laurie Geary, and I started Yellow Wood Tutoring in 2013. I've lived in 5 states, I'm married and have two adorable kids, and I have 3 younger siblings who are in high school and college. All the family I've mentioned have helped form and refine my vision and goals at Yellow Wood. My business story is deeply personal and directly relates to those I hold dear.
Growing up I pretty much always had a drive inside to be a teacher. In middle school I attended an amazing school in NH that sparked my interest in starting a school of my own, but I always thought that would be "someday" after teaching for a couple decades.
After I graduated from Asbury University with degrees in Latin and History, I began teaching at a private school. Around that same time, two of my siblings had been diagnosed with dyslexia and/or ADHD, and I was experiencing through them for the first time what it was like to truly struggle in school. I helped out with their schooling process, and I tutored a few other kids from my school who also were struggling. I found that helping these students was extremely rewarding, but I felt like I was flying blind. We were studying for tests, catching up on homework, and praying it would be enough for them to feel successful and get decent grades. It helped, but it definitely wasn't a solution.
Someone mentioned a cognitive therapy to me, and I was immediately curious. Rather than accommodating learning disabilities, this program helped FIX the issue through intensive cognitive training. I went to their training and was blown away. This was the answer I'd been looking for.
I began tutoring using this new program along with a few others I found, and I named my program "Success Training". The goal of Success Training is to strengthen weaknesses in cognitive skills, executive functioning and social skills so that students can find success. The next school year I had my first "class" of home school students at Yellow Wood Tutoring - 7 students ages 12-15. We met twice a week and did English, history, Latin, and "Success Training" together. My two youngest siblings were also in this class. The progress we saw in that year with the learning struggles present was profound. Students' confidence was boosted, reading became easier, students were researching and writing.
I should mention that this same school year (2013), I had my first baby, Zeke, 6 weeks before school started. It was a rough delivery, but he was a healthy happy boy. Around 4-5 months of age though, we noticed a few things were not quite right. At a neurologist appointment, we were told he likely had Cerebral Palsy. He also has strabismus, which causes eyes to cross. Our world was turned upside down. Suddenly life revolved around therapy and doctor appointments. It was our new normal. But, it was amazing to think about how God was providing for our son through the business I'd started. The cognitive therapy we provide will be very important for his development as he gets older.
Our next schoolyear (2014), I hired a couple tutors to help and we opened our doors to 15 students. This year we had ages 10-17. We grew so quickly that we ended up moving to a new building midway through the year and are still in that building today on Main st. in Wilmore.
This year (2016) we've grown to 24 students in our home school program ages 5-18 and a handful of private tutoring clients as well. We have 7 tutors. My Zeke is 3 and thriving! He has speech apraxia, CP, and strabismus, but is making steady progress in all areas. He'll start at Yellow Wood in kindergarten! My journey as a special needs parent has allowed to me to understand first hand what our clients experience. My little girl, Zoey is a year old and a spunky little thing. She already helps her brother out and bosses him around.
I can't wait to see where God will take this business next. The progress and change we see in our students every day makes all the hard work totally worth it.