Little House Tutoring began with a passion for helping students succeed in school. It all started some years ago, when the daughter of one of our founders entered high school and was struggling to reach her potential. While her teachers did the best they could, they simply lacked the resources and experience to truly reach a student whose learning style was different from the norm. Feeling confident in her daughter’s capabilities yet frustrated by her lack of success in school, the mother explored other alternatives. A program of targeted, specialized tutoring proved to be the answer.
Reflecting upon this experience with her daughter, the mother recognized the need for support: both for the students who need assistance with their learning and for their parents who so desperately seek that assistance. As a result, she co-founded Little House Tutoring along with her two daughters and her niece. Since opening its doors in 2000, the centre has emerged as one of Vancouver’s leading tutoring and educational resource centres, having helped hundreds of students realize their educational potential.
Little House on MacKenzie
Little House on MacKenzie is conveniently located in a store front location right on the corner of Mackenzie and 33rd. We also are located right in front of a major bus route.
There is plenty of free street parking in front of our centre and on the surrounding residential streets. We are also surrounded by coffee shops and a market for parents who would like to relax during there child's tutoring sessions or get some grocery shopping done. Balaclava park is also just a couple blocks away.
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Jennifer McPherson - Co-Founder
From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for working with children. After a dynamic career of owning her own restaurant and clothing store, and the most Important work of all, raising her family, Jennifer began to devote her ambitions and energy to education.
Diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, Jennifer was aware early on that her oldest daughter Carrie was experiencing the same learning difficulties that she too had experienced as a child. Seeking out help for Carrie, Jennifer discovered the Orton Gillingham program. Soon, Jennifer became an Orton Gillingham Tutor and was working at Fraser Academy, where Carrie attended school.
Jennifer emerged from this experience to create Little House Tutoring with her daughters and her niece. Today she is the driving force behind a dedicated group of tutors and an ever growing army of students.
Carrie Paleologos - Partner and Co-Founder
Carrie has an innate understanding of her student's troubles, as she herself has struggled with dyslexia. Carrie attended Fraser Academy, a school devoted to helping children with learning differences and dyslexia.
After graduation, she trained and was certified as an Orton Gillingham Tutor. Along with her partners, Carrie has created and developed the "Little House Multi-sensory Program.” This highly successful program was developed through more than a decade of experience working with children with learning difficulties.
In addition to Orton Gillingham, Carrie has training in several other multi-sensory programs. Carrie is Head of Little Learners, a Orton Gillingham based pre-school literacy program from 3-5 year olds.
Breanne McPherson - Partner and Co-Founder
Breanne McPherson is the co-founder of Little House Tutoring and Head of the Little House MacKenzie Street location. Born and raised in Vancouver BC, she has been tutoring kids of all ages for nearly two decades!
Breanne believes that every child deserves hope that their learning challenges will not define their achievements in life. She is proud to spearhead a business that makes a measurable difference in so many children’s lives.
As both her mother and her sister have dyslexia, Breanne has always been in touch with the different ways that people learn. Although she witnessed her sister struggle in the conventional school system, she was thrilled to watch Carrie thrive after moving to Fraser Academy, which follows the Orton Gillingham approach.
In her own experiences with learning, there were always special teachers who made a positive impact on her, and some others who did not. She saw the difference a positive mentor could make in a kid’s life and was inspired to become a peer tutor. Breanne also tutored a young girl with dyslexia every Saturday and was able to eventually teach her how to read. This was a pivotal moment for Breanne and she knew this was what she would do with her life.
At eighteen years of age, Breanne and her cousin Tess became the youngest people to ever take the Orton Gillingham course and become certified instructors. Little House Tutoring was born, and they set up shop in their parent’s barn. Along with her partners, Breanne has created and developed the "Little House Multi-sensory Program," a highly successful program for addressing learning disabilities. Before they knew it, Little House had exceeded maximum capacity in the barn, and it was time to move to another location, the current home of Little House in Dunbar.
Breanne dreams of growing Little House Tutoring to reach many more kids in need, and to help them to succeed.
Tennessee Briand - Partner and Co-Founder
A passionate educator, Tennessee has worked with children for most of her adult life. In addition to her work with Little House, she has worked with Fraser Academy, Silbury School for Gifted Learners, as well as the Learning Disabilities Association in Surrey.
Tenessee believes that learning should be fun, and that Little House should be a place of warmth and comfort for all students. She wants every student to have a positive memory of his or her educational journey and each to feel special and important at Little House. She considers her day a success when she sees a child make a complete turnaround from being terrified of the challenges that another day could bring, to being excited about tomorrow and its possibilities.
One of Tenessee’s strengths is in communicating with kids who have learning challenges and behavioural struggles--often a two way street. The behavioural struggles are a symptom of the extreme frustration the child is feeling toward learning. Tess encourages early intervention, and has a true gift for working through these troubles with her students. She works closely with the parents to help them understand what their children are going through.
For seven years Tennessee has worked alongside the Learning Disabilities Association, as well as The Unique Minds Foundation, facilitating tutoring for children who have been identified as “at risk” or low income. These children have been provided with a consistent and supportive learning environment, which targets their individual needs in a positive and nurturing atmosphere. Her work there has been acknowledged with an award for outstanding achievement.
Sarah Knowlden - Orton Gillingham Tutor
Sarah was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Ever since she can remember she’s always loved working with children.
By the age of 11 she knew she wanted to do something that involved teaching. At the age of 18 she started volunteering at Little House, and loved it! She then knew she wanted to further her education, so she could strengthen her role in the Little House team.
A year later, she completed the Orton Gillingham course at Fraser Academy. Now, 7 years later, she is one of the senior Orton Gillingham tutors at Little House. She is currently working towards her Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree.
Sarah says, “I love every minute of it!”
Camilla Pollock - Orton Gillingham Tutor & Certified Teacher
Camilla has a Bachelor of Education and a TESL Diploma from UBC. She is also a certified Orton Gillingham tutor.
Camilla has been teaching and working with children for 30 years. She spent 6 years overseas teaching ESL in Chile and Japan. One of her favorite experiences was teaching phonics in Japanese kindergartens.
In her spare time she enjoys gardening, scrap booking, reading and traveling with her family.
Camille Ashba - French Tutor
Camille recently arrived in Vancouver from France. She has a Master’s in Psychology with a specialization in developmental disabilities. She chose this path because dyslexia is a big part of her personal life. Her two younger brothers are both dyslexic, as are her mother and grandfather.
During her studies she worked as a tutor in a private school for students with learning disabilities using a multi-sensory approach. After graduating, the school offered her a full-time position as a teacher.
She believes that every child can learn given the right method and that sometimes it is enough to sort out behavioural and self-esteem problems. She develops strong relationships with her students and their parents, with whom she tries to work cooperatively as much as possible.
Camille loves the originality and challenge linked with a multi-sensory approach and looking for alternative solutions to make learning easier and more fun. Thus, when she joined her partner in Vancouver, she was very happy to meet with the Little House team.
She is excited about learning from the Orton-Gillingham and Little House Multi-sensory programs and sharing her own experience.
Megan Robinson - Tutor
Megan grew up in Victoria, BC, where she first began tutoring as part of her high school's peer helper program. She went on to acquire a BA in philosophy and creative writing from the University of Victoria.
After moving to Vancouver, she became interested in teaching professionally and chose English as a second language as her field, drawing on her own experiences with French immersion. In the years since obtaining her TESOL certificate, Megan has taught adults and children from around the world, both one-on-one and in classroom settings.
She is currently pursuing her master's degree in education through the University of Calgary's online Werklund School.
Megan believes that each learner has unique needs and strengths, and she strives to find an approach tailored to the individual. Her goal is to help each student find engagement and satisfaction with their educational journey, and to be a part of the student's support network along with their guardians and school teachers.
Preenan Peony - Math Tutor
Preenan has loved working with children since she was a teenager. She is currently completing her Masters in Educational Studies (under the faculty of Education) at UBC and has enjoyed being a part of the Little House team since 2015.
Preenan always had a natural inclination to teach, guide and academically support those younger than her. As a child, she has enjoyed helping out her cousins and friends with their homework and volunteered as a tutor in high school to help her juniors and peers with subjects they were struggling in. It is here where she started to discover how every individual had their particular needs and particular ways of learning the same subject material.
As she moved through university, she began to develop a deeper understanding of how individuals can reach their full potential if they are taught using methods that work best for them. Being a visual and tactile learner herself, she excelled in her courses by organizing information in tables and graphs and taking good notes to encode course material. Once again, she volunteered as a tutor during her 3rd and 4th year in university to help 1st and 2nd year students with their courses.
Preenan’s interest in learning conditions and strategies lead her to pursue a Master’s in Educational Studies at UBC. This has exposed her to an immense body of research along the lines of academic literacy and academic discourse socialization -that is, research that uncovers how children and young adults are socialized into academic ways of reading, writing, and speaking. She became particularly interested in the conditions under which the academic socialization process is rapid and successful and is currently conducting research on how nonnative speakers of English undergo academic socialization, what difficulties they encounter in the process, how they tackle the difficulties and the conditions under which the socialization process is most successful.
Preenan has continued to chase her passion for teaching and mentoring during her time at UBC. She has been appointed as a teaching assistant for several first and second year undergraduate courses at UBC in the first and second year of her masters program. Since 2015, she has also joined Little House as a tutor and has been working with kids between the ages of 4 and 16. She relishes in being able to teach the younger children to read and write, and the older ones to critically think about and approach problems in math, science and language arts in an optimal learning environment, tailor-made to fit her students’ academic needs.
Teresa Jones - Orton Gillingham Tutor
Teresa has been teaching children and teenagers in individualized, multi-sensory teaching programs for over ten years, and she has enjoyed being part of the Little House team since 2011.
When she was 13 years old, Teresa became interested in working with children while spending her summers volunteering at summer camps for children with developmental disabilities.
Years later, as a parent navigating the school system with her two children, Teresa began to realize the importance of identifying and meeting the individual needs of each student and of tailoring the material to the child’s learning styles and differences.
Through her own children and her students, Teresa has had first-hand experience with how children can potentially slip through the cracks of the educational system, whether public or private. She has also seen children who are disillusioned and refusing to go to school at age 6, become happy, successful members of the classroom after one-to-one teaching intervention.
Teresa is a certified Orton Gillingham Multi-Sensory tutor. She completed her practicum requirement through the Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver. She has a degree in Communication Arts and is currently working on a second degree in Creative Writing, which, besides teaching, is her passion.
From teaching students as young as 3 or 4 to read, to teaching students with learning and temperament differences, to teaching high school students Liberal Arts, Calculus, and Sciences, Teresa enjoys the variety of students she has the opportunity to work with.
Dana Metcalfe - Scheduling & Management
Dana manages scheduling and reception at Little House. She keeps Little House running smoothly and will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Patricia McLean - Tutor
Patricia McLean’s work with children over the past 30 years has encompassed everything from educator to entertainer and she is always finding new ways to encourage young minds. She has a degree in English from UBC as well as a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a thesis in children’s literature.
Her greatest joy is introducing students to the magic of reading and helping them develop all their learning skills through a love of the written word. Patricia is the published author of two children’s books, Keala Up a Tree and Keala and the Hawaiian Bird, and has spent time in schools, bookstores and libraries assisting with literacy and language programs.
A long-time resident of the Dunbar area where she raised her daughter, Patricia is excited to be a new part of the Little House team.
Anne Gale - Multi-sensory Tutor
Anne grew up in Seattle, and moved to Vancouver three years ago to attend UBC. She is now completing a BA in Psychology, and hopes to pursue graduate studies in Public Health.
She grew up with a large extended family, always around children. She started volunteering as a tutor in high school for two organizations that provide tutoring and after school care for children of lower income families. She found Little House when looking for a part-time job in addition to her studies at UBC. She grew into her role as a tutor through the excellent mentorship of the founders and senior tutors of Little House.
She loves the dedication, creativity, fun, and commitment to learning that comes with being a part of this community. She has a passion for mental health advocacy and social justice, and tries to incorporate that into her position as a tutor.