Academic Tutoring

“Risa began working with my 5th grader in November on his writing. My son is a reluctant writer and Risa has been a great help in providing support and encouragement to help him gain confidence in his writing. She explains really well, sharing great techniques and provides good material to work on every week. She’s also been super flexible – pivoting to Zoom and adding on Math tutoring – when he’s had to school from home due to quarantining. “

Mom to a reluctant 5th grade writer

“Risa is currently tutoring my 2nd grader and 4th grader, helping them mostly with their reading and writing work that they receive at school. Having Risa has been very helpful especially during the pandemic, since it has been difficult for my husband and myself to have enough time to help our kids with their work. Risa is very thorough and professional, and my kids enjoy her teaching style. I would recommend Risa to anyone looking to find a tutor for their kids!”


“My son is in 5th grade and is a remote only for school. We thought he would benefit from in person support in reading and writing and found Risa. She set up a tent with heaters in her backyard.  She paired him with another remote student from his school. Risa has been tuned into the boys interests and has selected reading passages that are fun and interesting for them. She has provided additional support for areas he needs to work on. After class she sends us a summary of their work, progress made and additional areas to work on.”


“Risa is a very passionate diligent tutor who is very astute in assessing a child’s need. She is a responsive professional in all of her dealings and always wants to make sure parents fully grasp what the needs are of their children. She is great at organizing a game plan to help your child work towards their potential and is not shy in being honest with her views.  Risa knows how to reach kids and relate to them so they are comfortable working with her during their lessons. She knows how to make the material interesting so kids look forward to their tutoring sessions. My kids and I consider ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Risa.”


“Risa tutored our daughter in math for a year. Risa helped her gain confidence with the subject. She is a caring person that knows how to reach children. We would recommend Risa to any of our friends who have kids that need some extra help with math or any subject.”


“Risa is a very passionate diligent tutor who is very astute in assessing a child’s need. She is a responsive professional in all of her dealings and always wants to make sure parents fully grasp what the needs are of their children. She is great at organizing a game plan to help your child work towards their potential and is not shy in being honest with her views.  Risa knows how to reach kids and relate to them so they are comfortable working with her during their lessons. She knows how to make the material interesting so kids look forward to their tutoring sessions. My kids and I consider ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Risa.”


“My 8 year old daughter started going to Ms. Risa for math tutoring this past summer with the hope of starting to catch up to her grade level. My daughter really struggles with numbers and was not only falling far behind in 2nd grade but was developing a real lack of confidence and a negative self-identity regarding the subject. We are so happy to have found Ms. Risa, who, luckily for us, offers tutoring in her home just one train stop away from where we live (we’re on the Kensington/Windsor terrace border.) She is not only an excellent teacher who quickly recognized the areas our daughter required the most help, but has tons of patience when dealing with students who have difficulty with very basic concepts. Ms. Risa has a straightforward, no-nonsense approach without feeling strict or judgemental. She’s friendly without being silly. While still struggling, our daughter’s skills are improving as she starts to gain more confidence. She’s now capable of doing her homework (plus some extra from Ms Risa) without devolving into hysterics every time we open a math book.

Little steps but a far cry from where she was. I’ll take it. Thank you Ms. Risa.”


“Risa Johnson is very patient and, after just a few months, we saw improvement in both our kids! She worked closely to identify the gaps that huge class sizes won’t uncover to help get each of my kids past some hurdles they had in reading, spelling and math, and she took extra time to make sure that the parents are able to help! Risa has tons of experience and by having the sessions in her home she creates a welcoming atmosphere for kids of all ages to work. She’s very flexible with scheduling and very responsive. Of course the most important thing is results: both my son and daughter have had success because of her care and attention to the individual child — hard to get as class sizes get to be so big! I highly recommend Risa for kids who are struggling, just have gaps to fill or who crave an extra challenge!”


“My seven year old son has been seeing Risa for six months. When describing her to a friend’s parent recently, he explained, “Ms. Risa is a teacher just for me to help me get ahead in learning”. We’re seeing marked improvement in our son’s reading and writing thanks to their time together. We appreciate our son’s growing appreciation for learning and look forward to continued progress.”


“Risa tutored our daughter in math for a year. Risa helped her gain confidence with the subject. She is a caring person that knows how to reach children.

We would recommend Risa to any of our friends who have kids that need some extra help with math or any subject. “


“I looked at a number of recommendations on both park slope parents and bococa parents and i called them all, the only one who could work us into their busy schedule was Risa Johnson.

we have been going to her since June 2017 – we didn’t want our young student to fall behind b/c of the summer, so we went to her pretty regularly. we were thinking of stopping at the start of Sep, but decided to keep going b/c she had a positive experience and was doing the work.

They mainly have been working on spelling and reading comprehension together. She has also been reading texts about science and history, not just stories, so she gets a good mix. It is traditional learning. I wasn’t a fan of our young student not being able to spell basic words after learning them. for example she was spelling “of” as “uv” – i wanted to put an end to that.”


“Risa has changed what is means to tutor.  This isn’t your typical tutoring session.  Risa very quickly and effortlessly relates to your child.  Their strengths and weaknesses are immediately apparent to her and she designs a course that addresses a child’s areas for improvement.  Risa works with my sons teacher and together they work to make sure he is succeeding.  Risa’s over 30 years of teaching is immediately evident.  She is a natural educator and her ease with my son makes it so that he looks forward to his time with her.  He has improved leaps and bounds and this is because of his time with her.

I have seen huge improvements in my sons abilities and confidence.  Risa made this all possible.  Finding Risa is like winning the educational lottery.”


“I am the father of a 6-year old boy, in first grade. My son was experiencing difficulties with reading and writing. As he was falling behind most of his class mates, his teacher suggested that it would be beneficial for him to take lessons with a tutor, and she recommended Ms. Risa. We started taking lessons with Ms. Risa two times a week, and then added an extra lesson just for a few weeks. Within a month since we started, my son experienced an astonishing improvement, as I was told by my son’s teacher. Ms. Risa has been extremely helpful: she knows the best teaching techniques, how to engage children, how to have them interested in learning, and how to keep them focused. We will keep taking lessons with Ms. Risa until the end of this school year. Hopefully my son will not need extra help next year, but in case he will, we are certainly going to work with Ms. Risa again. I highly recommend her.”


“Our daughter was struggling in 1st grade, especially with reading and decoding words. She was flagged for extra help during the school year which helped greatly, however, she ended 1st grade a few tiers below grade level. As we approached the summer, her educators informed us that many children regress one or two levels throughout the summer. So over the summer, our daughter met with Risa Johnson twice a week. She enjoyed her time with Risa and grew in her reading abilities and overall desire to read. We were very pleased to learn that by the end of the summer our daughter had gained 2 reading levels! She’s now starting 2nd grade and is well equipped to continue in her learning. I highly recommend Risa Johnson.”


“We sent our 5 year old  daughter to Risa over the summer  to bring her up to grade level having just moved from the UK and finding that she was behind. Risa was fantastic throughout and  our daughter ended the summer at the right level and confident  reading and spelling to the level she should be at for her age. Risa is very methodical and pushes hard, which is what you are paying for , but also requires parents and child to complete the homework each week to ensure success of the program. Would highly recommend her. “


“We used Risa Johnson, to tutor my 7 year old daughter this summer.  My Daughter was entering second grade, and was still having trouble with de-coding, so she needed special support.   While most kids regress during summer months, Risa helped my daughter advance a few levels, from F/G to an H/I. Risa has a very direct and focused style and my daughter responded well to it and built a nice level of confidence over a 2 month, 2x a week period of time.  I would recommend Risa for summer or year round support if you child needs a focused push! “


“She worked with our son for a little over a year. When it became clear that our son needed math help beyond what I could offer, I gave Risa a call. She is patient yet firm. She developed a great rapport with him and I will always be thankful to her for getting us through a difficult period. He is now doing math at and above grade level. I would recommend her without reservation to anyone in a similar situation.”


“Hello, my son has had Risa Johnson as a Wilson tutor.  My son has dyslexia.   She was great and we will be using her again soon.  When I used her when my son was in 2nd grade and my son was way behind, she got him to move up lots of levels during that time.”


“I’d also like to recommend the Reading/Writing Tutor my daughter has- Risa Johnson.

My daughter, who is in first grade at The Children’s School, has been seeing her once weekly since October. Risa has been instrumental in helping my daughter learn to read, using Wilson’s, her handwriting has improved tremendously, and she does a great job of handling my daughters attention and focus issues. We’ve had an after-school time slot on Fridays, not my daughters best time of day/week to be attentive and focused but somehow Risa gets her to focus and do the work. She provides worksheets and games as supplements to do at home, which have been extremely helpful. We incorporate those supplements into “homework time.” That really has helped keep my daughter practicing new skills and reviewing old ones throughout the week until her next session. “


“Risa has been tutoring my son for the past several months and has been instrumental in him advancing in his reading skills. She is patient, structured and does a great job of following up with me after the session. Most importantly my son enjoys going to his session and has developed quite a bit in a short period of time.I would strongly recommend her.”


“Risa has been tutoring my 2nd grade daughter for several months in math.  My daughter struggled with confidence and sometimes felt lost in class.  She has really benefitted from the one on one attention and direction that Risa provides. Risa is a skilled tutor, very knowledgable about current teaching methods around math and extremely patient. Mia generally goes to her session with enthusiasm. “


“Risa is a terrific tutor.  She is professional, persistent and dedicated to helping my son improve on his reading and writing skills.  She is able to keep my son’s teacher up to date on his progress after every session via email, text or phone.  This is so vital in ensuring that he is on track with the school curriculum and allows for his teacher to also have input in his growth and improvement.  In a short amount of time I have seen much improvement in my son’s abilities.  I would highly recommend Risa.”


” My 6 year old son has been seeing Risa one-on-one twice a week for reading/writing for the past few months and he has made a lot of progress thanks to her. Risa works very closely with my son’s 1st grade teacher as a team, providing updates and observations that may help him in the classroom. She’s appropriately tough with him and keeps him on track even though he is very easily distracted. After a couple of months he really started to go up on his reading levels and we’re very pleased with the results. She provides massive amounts of at-home work to do between sessions, so you’ll never run out of activities, although it’s by no means required. I would absolutely recommend Risa’s Tutoring for a child who needs to catch up, most of all because my son who “hates” school work actually does not protest going to tutoring (in fact I think he secretly likes it), and that in and of itself was such huge relief from the struggles we have had academically. “


“I looked at a number of recommendations on both park slope parents and bococa parents and i called them all, the only one who could work us into their busy schedule was Risa Johnson.

we have been going to her since June 2017 – we didn’t want our young student to fall behind b/c of the summer, so we went to her pretty regularly. we were thinking of stopping at the start of Sep, but decided to keep going b/c she had a positive experience and was doing the work.
They mainly have been working on spelling and reading comprehension together. She has also been reading texts about science and history, not just stories, so she gets a good mix. It is traditional learning. I wasn’t a fan of our young student not being able to spell basic words after learning them. for example she was spelling “of” as “uv” – i wanted to put an end to that.
Risa, the tutor, lives in park slope, 16th street between 7th and 8th Ave. she can make house calls but i believe she charges a bit extra. “


“Risa started working with my daughter over the summer, she is eight and was about to start fourth grade at the time.  Risa was recommended to us by two separate sets of friends also having their children tutored in math..  My daughters last report card from third grade showed a drop in her math grade and she did struggle from time to time throughout the year and at various times in other grades.  We have had other tutors in the past that were not able to help with the common core math.  Risa has helped my daughter tremendously as she understands how the math is being taught to kids so she can effectively help them to understand it.  Risa always comes prepared and I have seen a change in my daughters performance ability and her confidence this year!!! Fourth grade has gotten off to a fabulous start.”


“My son began working with Risa this summer to get his math up to speed before fourth grade. I have been very impressed with the depth of her knowledge and her dedication- not just to my son’s progress in math, but to him as a person and student, overall. She has a background in education and definitely sees the “whole kid”— she isn’t just showing him how to sole algorithms.I expected my son to be furious when I told him he’d be doing math all summer but Risa is so fun, relaxed and engaging that he hasn’t pushed back. This is a small miracle.”


My son and his friend took weekly writing classes with Risa this school year. She is punctual, professional, and makes the classes interesting for the kids. My son benefited greatly from them. His grades improved and now he is at grade level and feels comfortable doing schoolwork and homework , whereas before he had difficulties.

I recommend Risa if your kid needs a little help with reading/writing.

Catalina Borrero

Risa is excellent with my 7-year-old second grade son.  She gets him to do things I didn’t think were possible.  She also does a great job of getting my ADHD son to focus and stay on task for that hour. He is doing reading and writing with her and gets so much done in that hour.  At the end of the session Risa gives a detailed update as to what has been done and how my son is doing.  He has improved with each session.

I highly recommend Risa Johnson to tutor your child.

Lara Wechsler

Our son, currently in 4th grade, has been working with Risa for the better part of 4 months. The commitment she has as an educator is readily apparent from the start.  Risa brings a rational, systematized, and expedient approach to confirming what our son needs to know.   Additionally,  she supplements and assists in re-affirming what concepts the exercises are conveying.  

We found Risa to be prepared with exercises and supplemental documentation to support all areas of ELA and Mathmatics.  The level of preparedness and commitment is something I have not seen in any previous professionals we have chosen, or in conversations with other parents when comparing and contrasting services.  

Along with her systematic and up to date approach to ELA and Math, she knows how to connect with our son on a personal level that he trusts and enjoys.  Our son is highly intuitive and a very good read on people, belies his age in fact, and he enjoys Risa and her company to a high degree.  Risa is an amazing asset to supplement a child’s education, and my wife, myself and our son highly recommend her.

Paul Olivieri

We are fortunate to have found Risa Johnson as our tutor this past year.  My two sons (first and third grade) started working with Risa individually in mid-September.  Over the past 5 months, they have made wonderful progress in their academics and writing skills, due much to her help.

Before Risa, my sons were attending a well-known scholastic enrichment afterschool program for reading, writing and math.  They were incredibly bored with the curriculum, and dreaded going to their weekly class.  It was an unpleasant time for us, to say the least.  With this time spent, my younger son was falling behind as he was learning to read.  Now, with Risa, my sons enjoy their weekly sessions with her, and both are able to sit with her for over an hour and work!  She keeps them thoroughly engaged, while challenging them to problem solve and think topics through, using cutting-edge scholastic tools and methods. Risa is highly trained in these methods also. 

I’m seeing now that my younger son is more motivated to read on his own for pleasure, and his reading comprehension continues to improve.  He’s opting to write longer sentences to get his thoughts onto paper, and demonstrates a little more confidence in his writing.  My older one is working on short-story writing with Risa and enjoying it.  Risa works on spelling as well, which is important.  Both boys have made significant gains is ELA and math, and have become more independent and expedient in completing their homework and school assignments.

Risa is incredibly patient, has a good sense of humor, and is a highly talented teacher with 30 years of experience.  She provides a comfortable environment for her students.  She can work with kids of many different personalities and learning styles, and is definitely worth the investment.  I highly recommend her, and we will continue to see her into the summer and benefit from her teaching.

Pamela Nocerino

My 3rd grade daughter’s confidence in Math has grown so much since starting weekly tutoring sessions with Risa. I have noticed that my daughter needs less help with her homework too. I can not recommend her enough!

Cathi Nicklas

We were concerned that my first grade son was not reading to grade level, and his teacher suggested that we contact Risa. He has made significant progress in a month of twice-weekly sessions, and has the tools to read words he couldn’t recognize a short time ago. We are pleased and encouraged, and his teacher is, too! I would recommend Risa to anyone who needs a reading tutor.

Camilla Sankaran

Risa Johnson is currently tutoring my 2nd grade son in ELA and I can’t recommend her enough. My son was struggling in reading and writing. Risa uses Wilson/Fundations which is consistent to what his ICT teachers use in his class. He’s been working with her for the past 6 months and I’ve seen tremendous improvements in his skills as a reader and writer. His grades greatly improved on his 2nd report card, and I’m confident that his grades will continue to improve for the 3rd. Risa is friendly and engaging, and makes the work fun for him. My older son worked with Risa in Math when he was in the 4th grade, and she helped him immensely. Math is now his best subject! Risa is a real gem in Park Slope. I strongly recommend her for her tutoring services.

Valerie Danon-Hagan

I was advised after the end of last school year by a professional to seek a specialized tutor for our son to help further his progression in ELA. He was a full grade level behind by the end of the previous school and would struggle to compose sentences complete with proper spelling. His previous tutor, although helpful, was not proficient in ELA and comprehension. Combined with the lack of motivation and below grade level coursework, our son grew frustrated with his assignments and the inability to focus and comprehend readings without steady guidance.

 This July, I logged onto the internet, scouring dozens of message boards in search of a tutor that specialized in ELA. I specifically searched in the Park Slope area due to the fact that our son attends school in the neighboring area of Windsor Terrace. Members of the Park Slope Parents boards spoke highly of Risa so I decided that I would try her services instead of making the commitment to Sylvan or one of the other tutoring centers.

 Upon our initial session, I immediately noticed Risa’s professionalism and ability to maintain a structured environment for the lesson. Our son has had difficulty remaining focused or engaged with the previous tutor, yet, I saw the ability in Risa to connect and keep him interested; which made the decision to hire her an easy one. Risa has also given my son a portfolio of materials to work on in her absence and has categorized the work, making it easier for my son to maintain an organized awareness of his progress.

 As we wrap our first quarter of work with Risa, I definitely would recommend her services to anyone that is in the market for an ELA instructor to help their child with reading and writing comprehension. Our son’s ability to write complete and complex sentences have improved rapidly and continues to trend towards a level comparable to his peers. Our thanks to Risa Johnson for her work and service are in abundance and we look forward to what her experience brings for our son’s future.

Marcus Pierre

I would like to recommend my son’s tutor, Risa Johnson, a retired elementary school teacher. She worked with my 9-year-old this summer to prevent the “summer slide” in both reading and math. She has a patient manner and chooses study materials that are well suited to the child’s individual interests. My son was able to focus with her for more than an hour, which was amazing considering I barely get 10 minutes from him without whining! She was easy to work with, and I even learned strategies to help my son with math next year.

Elizabeth O’Brien

Risa has been tutoring our now-7 year old son in reading and writing for only 4.5 months and his progress has been amazing!  We started with Risa to build our son’s confidence as he was learning to read.  He had been resisting sounding out words and was easily frustrated by both reading and writing.  Risa engaged with him in ways that he found fun and encouraging.  In a few weeks he was picking up books and sitting down to read on his own.  By the end of last school year he said reading was his favorite subject.

Over the summer we’ve continued sessions with Risa to keep the great momentum we had during the last few months of school.  Our original hope was that we could help our son build his comfort level with reading and writing.  Working with Risa has allowed us to accomplish that, and we highly recommend her to anyone looking for academic tutoring for their child.

Salli and Dan Schwartz

“Risa Johnson has been tutoring my 9 year old son for the last 8 months, and she has been terrific to work with. My son is doing well in school, but we wanted Risa to help provide some additional individualized attention. She has worked with him on math and writing, and we have noticed significant improvements in his performance in both areas. Risa is incredibly hard working and very responsive to our feedback/input. She really takes time to prepare for the sessions, and to find the material that will be most interesting and helpful for our son. I definitely recommend Risa to anyone looking for an academic tutor for a child in elementary school.”


“I would like to recommend my daughter’s great tutor Risa Johnson! My daughter Mia is 7 years old, she is in 2nd grade and needs some help with reading, writing and math! She really likes Risa! She studies with her according to my daughter’s interest. She loves to learn about science! She makes it fun and dynamic! And she is always very responsive!”

Gabrielle Bornstein

“My son has been working for Risa for 4 months now and we couldn’t be happier. She was recommended to us by his teacher. In the time that he has been working with her he has made progress in reading, writing & math. She has given him a boost in confidence as well. She keeps him focused, while taking her time to figure out the best way to teach him. He never complains to go and really likes learning with her. I highly recommend her to work with your child!”

Kristin Bane

Risa Johnson is absolutely terrific! Our 7-year old twins (2nd-grade) have been working with her on ELA and math. She manages to make their sessions together fun and the kids enjoy their time with her. I’ve also been impressed with how she manages the time with both of them and can accomplish so much in each session. I have a seen a steady improvement in both kids’ academic performances. Risa is also very responsive and sends frequent updates on how the kids are doing. She’s a fantastic tutor and we are very lucky to have found her!

Andrea Scotting

“As a former teacher, my expectations are very high. Risa certainly fulfilled them. She is highly-trained in the teaching of reading with expertise in the Wilson reading program. In addition, she makes learning fun. My six-year old son never balked at attending tutoring–in fact he enjoyed it! She tailored a learning program just for him and he made noticeable progress after just a few sessions and I truly felt that Risa was his advocate and #1 champion. She truly knows what she’s doing and get results.  I highly recommend her.”

Alyssa Niccolini

“Risa is currently tutoring my two children in grades 4 and 2. She works with them primarily in math and writing. She does what they are covering in class as well as what they will be covering in the future. She always comes prepared and on time, and she has an extremely wonderful amount of patience. When writing with my son, Risa picks writing topics that my son will find interesting. For my daughter, she goes over the fundamentals in math but also challenges her with new concepts. They both are doing very well in school, and Risa’s help has been essential to this. Risa is a gem!”

Update: “Risa has been working with my family for two years. Last year she worked with my son and daughter – one in 4th and one in 2nd. They do well in school, but I wanted to give them a little time for one on one work. Risa focused on math with my 2nd grader and writing with my son in 4th grade. This year I have her working with kindergartener as well, practicing letter shapes and letter sounds. Risa has great patience and a good sense of humor. She is organized, reasonable with her rates and up-to-date on what the kids are doing in school. Most importantly, she keeps the children engaged in their work and keeps their work interesting. They all really like her – as do I.”

Johanna Maron

“Risa Johnson has been working with my 3rd grader for the past several months, providing extra practice in both math and ELA. She uses many strategies, including those used in Common Core curriculum. Since beginning to work with Risa, my daughter has improved with her school work in both skill and confidence. Risa has over 30 years of classroom experience and now tutors kids in her South Slope home office; I highly recommend her for tutoring in both ELA and math.”

Kate Fitzer

“My 3rd grader has been working on math with Risa for the last 6 months and has made steady improvement. She enjoys the weekly tutorial, is much more confident and much less confused about how to approach common core math. Risa is punctual, very prepared and more than happy to be contacted between lessons, so she can make the most of the time she has with my child. I highly recommend her.”

Beth Clark

“My second grade daughter currently receives math, spelling and reading tutoring services from Risa. Risa has really improved my daughter’s performance at school, as well as increased her confidence regarding these subjects. Risa is a pleasure to work with as she knows exactly how to get my daughter to focus on the tasks at hand and gets her excited about doing her homework. Moreover, Risa keeps me informed regarding my daughter’s progress and what we can do at home to help. There is no question that my daughter’s math, reading and spelling skills have improved since working with Risa. I highly recommend that, if your child needs extra help with school, you contact Risa immediately.”

Katherine Eban

“My son is in the fifth grade, and has been receiving math tutoring from Risa Johnson for the last few months. He felt comfortable with Risa from their first session together due to her skilled teaching, patience, kindness, and gentle humor. Risa is very familiar with the curricula of Park Slope schools, and tailors her sessions so that she both reinforces previously introduced concepts as well as begins to introduce new concepts that his math class will cover. I love the fact that her tutoring sessions are highly individualized, and that she focuses on areas in which my son has trouble and needs reinforcement, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.
My son is more confident in his work since he began working with Risa, and his skills and grades both show improvement. I am thrilled to have found such a patient, competent tutor for my son, and highly, highly recommend Risa as a tutor. I just wish we had found her sooner! She can be reached at risajohnsontutoring.com.“

Rachel Crow

“My daughter started to work with Miss Risa during her kindergarten year. She started to show confidence in writing, math and the foundations of reading. Miss Risa is great at giving you feedback after each lesson. She is very organized and is always prepared with practice hand-outs and reference materials.”

Andreea Verfaillie

“My daughter is in the 4th grade. We looked for a tutor because we were concerned about her grades in class as well as her scores on the state tests that she took at the end of 3rd grade. Her test scores were very low and her grades have been just so so all along.Our daughter works with Risa twice a week for tutoring in math and reading/writing for both improvement in her school work and also for ELA and Math test prep. We have been so thrilled with Risa. First of all, our daughter ENJOYS going. I was concerned it would feel like a chore. But she likes it. Risa is very warm and friendly and also somehow motivates my daughter to try her hardest. She knows how to break down the concepts so that my daughter really gets is. Her first report card in November was better than previous ones and her teacher has told us that he sees a very big improvement in her understanding of the concepts for writing well and the math strategies. And her confidence in class has improved greatly. Also, she does her homework now with ease and no prompting from us. We are feeling much better going into the winter/spring semester and SO GLAD we started working with Risa. I was truly worried that it would be a waste of time and money but it has turned out to be the opposite. Such a good investment.”

Jan Brown

“Risa tutored my daughter last year (4th grade) in writing specifically. My daughter scored 11 out of 24 on the writing portion of the ELA test in 3rd grade. Yikes! I found Risa’s name in parkslopeparents.com and read her reviews, which were all positive. Risa came in once a week and tutored her for 90 minutes. She was always on time, and well-prepared. She recognized what my daughter needed to work on and then brought specific materials to help her (not cookie-cutter at all). Since my husband and I both worked full-time, she came to our house on the weekend, which was huge for us. She was ALWAYS patient (even when my daughter got a bit surly), ALWAYS kind, and at the same time, ALWAYS demanding (in a good way).

My daughter doubled her score for the 4th grade ELA writing portion (22 out of 24)! “

Ellen Huang

“Risa is currently tutoring my son, aged 7, in Fundations over the summer, to ensure he starts 2nd grade on grade level. After a tough year with little progress, despite our best efforts, Risa has continuously shown high expectations for our son. As an informed and experienced educator, Risa has been extremely supportive to my husband and myself in offering strategies to motivate and engage our reluctant learner. Our son greatly enjoys Risa’s sense of order and humor and is beginning to understand the importance of a willingness to read independently. As the summer comes to a close, we will be continuing with two lessons a week during term time to ensure our son remains motivated and on task throughout the school year. I, without hesitation, strongly recommend Risa and her tutoring services.”

Winnie Arntsen

“We are so pleased we found Risa!

Risa’s combination of foundational learning approaches, creativity, humor, and structure have provided a wonderful platform for our daughter to gain both skills and confidence in her work. We can’t recommend Risa highly enough. She has developed games to use between sessions, journal activities to use over summer vacation, and during their work together, concrete approaches to help our daughter gain skill and stamina in her work. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.”


“I have been using Risa Johnson for my 1st and 4th graders during the past school year. My kids really enjoyed working with Risa and I really liked our interactions as well. Risa is an extremely dedicated educator and is very knowledgeable. If she didn’t know something she would always research it and get back to me. She has never been late for any of the classes. She tutored my 1st grader in reading and math using Fundations ( the Wilson Reading Program) for reading. Risa worked on math and ELA with my 4th grader. After only several months, I have seen vast improvement in reading and math with my first grader. My 4th grader has shown great improvement in writing skills, especially essays, and vocabulary development. She also has improved confidence in math, as well as organizational skills. I would recommend Risa for all subjects.”

Inna Raiskinwhite

“My husband and I were pleased to discover that a former teacher trained in a research-based reading and spelling curriculum was available to tutor our third grader. After three months of consistent weekly sessions with Risa, the classroom teachers noted important gains in reading fluency and in a willingness to read independently. At home, Risa’s support has translated into increased confidence and motivation.

With improved literacy as her goal, Risa has delivered key interventions in support of our child’s effectiveness as a young reader. For that, we are very appreciative.”

Rod and Monique Bowen

“When I felt my daughter’s writing did not progress in third grade I decided to find a tutor. Risa tutored by daughter for most of fourth grade and did an excellent job of getting her back on track, helping her organize her thoughts to write coherently and persuasively. The best thing that has happened is that my daughter has regained her confidence and joy in writing. Rather than writing the minimum necessary to complete a homework assignment (which she was doing before), she now takes pleasure and pride in developing her written assignments and enjoys putting in the extra effort it takes. Her grades in this area have gone from 3s to 4s. At every parent-teacher conference the teachers remark at how well she is writing. After seeing the progress my daughter was making I had my son (twin), who has an IEP, begin tutoring with Risa as well. She has helped him tremendously in being able to expand his writing skills. Before it was extremely difficult for him to write even a full paragraph but he now does this routinely and is able to write extended responses. “

Monica Ravinet

“Risa is currently tutoring my 3rd grade daughter in reading and math. We reached out to her because our daughter was having reading problems, which was also impacting her math work. She spends time doing Wilson methods with her and our daughter’s reading level and interest in reading has improved considerably. She breaks down math work into understandable concepts. She also took it upon herself to get new materials that are based on the new Common Core and is able to teach the “new” math. She provides guidance and structure for approaching reading comprehension and writing questions. Our daughter works with her for a solid hour and a half and is happy and focused during the sessions. The one on one attention has been very valuable to her.”

Judy Nathan

“Risa is currently tutoring my 4th grade son in Math. She is very warm and friendly and my son feels at ease working with her in her South Slope home. Our school introduced a new math book this year and it has presented many new challenges for him. Risa took the initiative and invested in a workbook for herself to better understand the objectives and problem solving techniques of the curriculum. In addition, she has taught him other problem-solving techniques as well as provided him useful handouts that he refers to while doing his homework which has been extremely helpful to him.

His math skills have sharpened and he now has more confidence in completing his homework than he did prior to working with Risa. Overall, his homework grades and weekly test scores have improved. I strongly recommend Risa and her tutoring services.”

Valerie Danon-Hagan

“Risa has been tutoring my son for about 5 months and it has been a great success. She has really helped my 5th-grader improve his writing skills and get better at Math. Risa is very invested in what she does, and always manages to get my son to try harder and care more about his work. She is warm and engaged and has a really straightforward and clear way of communicating with kids who are struggling to organize their thoughts or understand new concepts. She has been a great tutor for my son, and I would highly recommend her to any parent who is looking for help in improving their kids’ writing or math skills.”

Sylvia Sichel

We have had a great experience with Risa and highly recommend her, especially for early reading help. Risa started working with our son when he was midway through a repeated year of kindergarten at PS 321. Our son has a language delay and is on an IEP, and was really struggling with learning to read. Risa has been working with him for a little under a year (using the Wilson Fundations system), and during that period he has gone from a “pre-A” reading level to a level “E” when working with her.

More importantly for us, our son had previously been fearful and frustrated by academics and would often say that he thought he would never learn to read (and didn’t want to). After working with Risa, especially over the summer when he had multiple sessions per week, he is now much more confident and has been making constant progress. He is now in first grade and enjoys school so much more than last year.

Risa has a calm manner and great rapport with our son. She is able to get him to sit and concentrate on his work for their hour-long sessions, which is not an easy feat!

Jamie Thomas

My daughter, now 6, has been receiving speech therapy since she was 2 and continues to struggle with phonetics. Sadly, this has greatly effected her reading as the method most schools use is purely phonetically based. Knowing that she was slipping behind grade expectations in Kindergarten, I decided to hire Risa Johnson as a reading tutor the summer before 1st grade. Risa uses the Fundations/Wilson Language and Reading Program and within a few weeks my daughter went from guessing a word she didn’t know to tapping out the sounds (part of Fundations) and reading on her own. (Ironically PS 154 started to use Fundations this year bc many children with poor phonetic awareness were struggling with the school’s former method). I am happy to report that my daughter is now in 1st grade and reading above grade expectations. Most importantly she is finally enjoying reading. My daughter is able to focus with Risa for a full hour and looks forward to her lessons. I was getting concerned that my daughter was not getting the help she needed at school and I could not find a way to teach her. The investment in Risa’s tutoring has been well worth it. Risa is easy to talk with and she has even coached me on how best to support my daughter’s reading. I recommend Risa’s services for any parent who is concerned about their child’s reading and would like to try the Fundations method.

Ruth Carter

Risa has been a wonderful tutor for my twin daughters. She is totally committed and present during their hour together and does a great job keeping them fully engaged. She challenges them through fun, educational games and the girls look forward to their weekly session with Risa. We have seen lots of progress!!

Lauren Cooperman

I am a university professor and am more than satisfied with Risa’s tutoring services for my six year old daughter. Risa makes learning creative and dynamic. She covers a lot of material in a given session. She offers thorough reports of the work she is completing with my child so I’m in the loop. She’s very punctual and professional. My daughter loves working with her and I’ve noticed in a short period and improvement in my daughter’s math and reading skills.

Jennifer Firestone

My son, Philippe (12), took classes with Risa when he was in the 5th grade. Philippe is home schooled and Language Art always been his least favorite subject. He started being a very reluctant writer. However, Risa came up with topics and articles what interested Philippe, and he was able to write an essay for every session with her. He made a great progress over a time Risa was teaching him.

Dasha Ziborova

Risa has been tutoring my son for about 3 months and she is a great tutor. She has really helped my 4th-grader improve his writing skills and begin preparing for the ELA tests. Risa has also given my son a great foundation to organize his thoughts and write essays. She also has a calm personality and a great way of engaging my son and is very experienced as a tutor. Risa uses traditional and creative supplements to really focus in on my son’s interests in order to get him excited about writing. I think she is a great tutor and I would highly recommend her to any parents who want to enrich or improve their kids’ writing, reading or other school skills. Risa is also very easy to work with and flexible in her schedule and she can customize her tutoring sessions to accommodate most kids’ needs.


I wanted to share some really good news with you. We got Craig’s test scores today and he scored a 4 in English on the ELA. He scored a 3.5 in Math which we are also happy about.

I wanted to say thanks for all of your great work with Craig. You really made a big impact on his success!

Stefanie Efrati

I noticed some positive posts in the past about tutor Risa Johnson. As everyone has just gotten their report cards- I wanted to say that we have been using her since September and can’t say enough good things about her. We are new to the area- so as well as helping our child, she is helping us navigate all the issues inherent with the system. We have an “active boy”. For those of you in those shoes…hi…it’s going to be ok. Risa is warm, direct, and has a clear understanding of school expectations and how to work with your child in a simple down to earth way- without making them want to run out the door. The improvement we have seen in our son is heartwarming. And yes, she has helped us just recently with a few panicked moments…


I just wanted to let you know that in this year of difficult NY state tests- Jackson Bernstein got a 4 in English and a 3 in math. Your work when we had just moved here was invaluable and most certainly played a part in these results.

-Paige Snell

We sent my Kindergarten daughter to Risa this spring when we were concerned that she had not progressed beyond a level B in reading in months at school. In about 2 months Risa has taken her to a level D-E, and has given as well a valuable methodology for practicing reading. She was very committed to our daughter’s progress, and pushed her steadily (but appropriately), given that we had started late in the school year. We are quite pleased with the progress she has made with Risa’s guidance, and the tools she has given us to help her continue progressing.

– Alison Yeager

We hired Risa last school year to help our daughter with learning to read. Risa used the Wilson method, which worked wonders for our daughter! In fact, her school teacher was so impressed with our daughter’s progress, that she gave Risa’s name to parents of other children in class who were struggling with reading. Risa went above and beyond, communicating weekly with the teacher to provide her with updates on our daughter’s progress. She is very flexible and her rates are reasonable. We highly recommend her! You can reach her directly at tutoring@risajohnson.com.

Lisa & Yael
(Jonathan, Talia & Arielle Green)

Thinking about ensuring your child stays on track academically during the long summer vacation? I’d recommend Risa Johnson. We have been using her tutoring services with our 6-year-old son for the past few months, and are very pleased with what she has to offer. She designs custom made lessons specified by our son’s teacher – focusing on math and ELA. Additionally, she caters lessons and activities based on my son’s interests and skill set. In math, for example, he’s learning concepts like double-digit addition, and multiplication. Neither of which have yet to be introduced to him in school.
We use her services as enrichment to his classwork, but with over 20 years teaching experience, Risa also has a great deal of expertise working on remediating deficits as well.My son enjoys his time with Risa, and we’ve very pleased with the outcome.
Risa can be reached at tutoring@risajohnson.com.

– Kay Wilson, Happy mom to a 6-year-old boy!

My son was behind his 1st grade classmates in reading/writing and his confidence was very low. I tried to work with him but it often ended in tears. When his teacher said he might not graduate to the 2nd grade I decided to seek out a tutor and I am thrilled with the progress he has made with Risa Johnson. When my son started working with Risa he was at reading level D but 6 months later he is finishing the school year at reading level J! The Wilson program she uses works. What may be even better is that his confidence has improved and he now reads on his own without prompting. He is always excited to go to tutoring and I love that Risa communicates directly with his teacher on his progress. My kindergarten age daughter started seeing Risa,less frequently, and has moved from reading level A/B to level D. I highly recommend her services without reservations!

– Lorraine Hickson

I was introduced to an amazing tutor who consistently goes above and beyond to assist my children in achieving their academic goals. She makes sure I am informed in what she provides to my children and gives me resources that assist me with any school task. She teaches ELA and Math but she is also a great artist and does portfolio’s . For parents who are looking for that a tutor I highly recommend. Risa Johnson @ 917-692-6184 or risahonest@gmail.com.

Sherry with 2 boys (elementary and JHS)and needed all the help I could get!!!

– Sherry Rodriguez

I have been using Risa Johnson, of “Risa Johnson Tutoring” for several months.
She has been using the Wilson Program (Fundations) a reading program for my first grader. It has been fantastic. She is very methodical and disciplined and she is able to keep my son focused for an entire hour. He is in first grade and has made lots of progress thanks to her. He even skipped two reading levels.

She was recommended to me by our son’s teacher and I would highly recommend her to anyone.

– Christine Bourgeois

I highly recommend Risa Johnson as a tutor for your child. I found Risa through this board and she has tutored my 6 year daughter for the past year. They have focused on reading, comprehension, spelling and they also made books, wrote stories and did interesting art projects. Risa knows the elementary school curriculum through her past experience as an educator but what set her apart to us is the care and time she took to always bring assignments or projects that were geared to my daughter’s interests. My daughter’s skills greatly improved and she loves her sessions.

I would be happy to share more information or details on our experience but you can also check out her website at www.risajohnson.com or contact her directly at tutoring@risajohnson.com

– Katy Huber

Since kindergarten, our son struggled with writing. In second grade the struggles became more pronounced and we were having homework battles that were counter productive for everyone; usually ending in a shouting match or tears, with very little written. Once Risa started working with our son once a week, the battles subsided and his confidence and self-esteem were much improved. She keeps him engaged by selecting readings to write about that interest him and is prepared with multiple exercises each time she visits. My son loves his time with Risa and with her help and guidance he has learned concrete techniques to approach writing assignments, improve his reading comprehension and address spelling issues. He is much better prepared for third grade.

– Kim Berney-Brooke

I’d like to give a shout out about a truly awesome tutor for kids in Kindergarten through 6th grade. Risa tutored my son for a few months before the 4th grade ELA…I witnessed an amazing transformation in his writing in a short period of time. His teacher and I both worked with him on developing topics he was writing about; we made baby steps until Risa started. His writing became descriptive and thoughful. Her approach also made him motivated to improve; not a drudgery. My son got a 4 on the 4th grade ELA
She tutors all subjects, general and special ed. She is truly dedicated to having her students succeed!

– Claudia Radist

Our son is in 2nd Grade at PS 321. Since starting to work with Risa several months ago our son has moved up several letters in his reading. Risa uses the Wilson Program as well as other methods and they certainly seem to be working. What I really like about Risa is her commitment to helping our son improve his reading and writing. She sends his teacher weekly updates about what she is working on with him so that the teacher can monitor his progress. Though our son is never excited to have his tutor time, he does enjoy his time with Risa and she always finds a way to keep him engaged and focused for the hour that she spend with him and it is paying off.

-Rick Herman

I highly recommend Risa Johnson. Risa tutored our son to for a few months to help improve his reading skills, and he is excelling. Risa is a retired NYC public school teacher and she lives in the south Slope but comes to this area frequently. She is very warm, patient, and encouraging. Our son loved her and had no trouble sitting with her for the hour.

I have no affiliation or interest in posting this, but I have seen other parents looking for tutors from time to time. I believe she does test prep for the 4th grade ELA as well.

– Jessica Trauner

“If you are looking for someone to help your child improve their writing skills I can highly recommend Risa Johnson. She did a great job helping my 4th grader prepare for the ELA. She was very thorough and made him feel confident and more at ease about the test. “

– Janet Dalton

“We have two girls – ages 9 and 11, and we are very happy with their tutor, Risa Johnson. Risa is intelligent and hard working and both girls have made great progress with her. The girls enjoy their time with Risa because she brings education games and thinks up fun ways for them to learn.”

– Susannah Harrington

“I highly recommend Mrs. Risa Johnson as a professional tutor for your child. For the past 3 months, Mrs. Johnson has been tutoring my 1st grade son in reading, phonics, writing and vocabulary. I have seen marked improvement in each of the subject areas. She is always well prepared for any lesson plans and is very flexible with her time schedule. Most importantly, my son looks forward to her sessions. I am positive you will experience the same results.”

– Dawn Torres

“I have been using Risa Johnson for the last 8 months or so to tutor my 7 yr. old daughter. My daughter was very slow in reading and math and since Risa started with her I have seen great improvements. She reads with lots of confidence and she’s even doing much better in math. Even her teacher is seeing the improvement. Risa, is kind, patient and always on time. She is doing a great job with my daughter. I’ve even recommended her to a few of my friends, who have also given Risa great reviews. You should give her a call!”

-Keshia Langaigne

If anyone is looking for a professional tutor, my 6-year old is working with Risa Johnson. Risa comes to your home and she is amazing! She uses the Wilson Program.

– Donna Walrond

I am a parent of a 4th grader and we are lucky to have Risa Johnson as his ELA tutor.
After taking her lessons for a couple of times, he seems to be writing much better essays. She emphasizes using a variety of vocabulary words and using the right format. Also, she makes him really think about the articles he reads.

We like her a lot.

Yukiko Hudgins



“Our daughter is a 7th grader who began taking weekly art lessons with Risa in September of 2014. She loves her weekly lessons with Risa, and under Risa’s tutelage, her artistic talent has blossomed. Our daughter loves visual arts, having done a lot of photography in her middle school and having worked with textiles for a number of years, but, before Risa, she had not had any real formal training in drawing. The art she has produced while working with Risa is impressive, and she has accumulated a portfolio of her work this year that will give her the option of applying to a visual art program for high school. Risa is a talented teacher and is very supportive of our daughter’s work. We are very glad that we found her.”

-Susan Choi-Hausman

“For all of those 7th grade parents of budding fine artists looking to get a head start on their art portfolios for next fall, I would like to highly recommend Risa Johnson. (tutoring@risajohnson.com)

We got to Risa VERY late, in September, with a pile of art work and no idea whether it was up to snuff or not. Panic!

Risa was our lifesaver. First, she very carefully considered what my daughter had already done, sorted out the good from the not-quite-there-yet from the bad, and quickly came up with a game plan. What a relief! Risa was excellent about judging how long it would take to do a piece from start to finish or to fix one that was already started, giving concrete time schedules (this will take 5 to 6 hours of work, etc.), and talking through the short time we had remaining to be sure we got all the pieces done before auditions. She came up with creative ideas for using what we had, like making a collage of small hand and feet drawings my daughter had already done.

My daughter spent 2 hours a week with Risa for about 6 weeks and did a lot of work on her own at home that she then polished with her in a group with just two other girls. Risa says she “micromanages” the kids … and to be honest, her input and feedback for the portfolio process was exactly what we needed. She was encouraging when my daughter had ideas, but gave her honest feedback and made sure the pieces weren’t just creative, but also showed the technical skills the schools want to see demonstrated. She was kind, but firm, with an eye for detail.
Risa helped us right down to the last minute, telling us what portfolio to use, making sure everything was labelled well, etc. My daughter was so very proud of the work she did with Risa. And when she saw other portfolios at the auditions… she was beaming. I am a very honest person when it comes to feedback and I can tell you I honestly don’t know if she would have been able to do it without Risa. The proof is in the pudding: my daughter had her choice of Laguardia Art and Murrow Art!

This message was approved by my daughter. :)”

-Kateri Jochum

“My daughter has been accepted to the art programs in both La Guardia and E. Murrow high schools thanks to Risa Johnson’s invaluable help. Risa guided her in creating a great portfolio in a record time: less than two months, just before her auditions. Risa was able to see my daughter’s potential and made her feel much more confident. The results couldn’t be better.”

-Belen Gonzalez

“My daughter had never taken an art course but wanted to apply to an art program for high school. Under Risa Johnson’s guidance this summer, she produced several “polished” pieces for a portfolio. Risa’s daughter is at La Guardia, so she knows what they look for, and she was very helpful in setting up compositions and helping with matting, etc. It was just Risa and my daughter, but I believe Risa also offers small group classes. My daughter got into both Murrow and La Guardia, picking the former. She’s quite happy.

Risa is in the South Slope, which is where Sarah went to draw and paint.”

-Susan Buchsbaum

“A few days ago someone was inquiring about a tutor to help put an art portfolio together for H.S admissions. I would highly recommend Risa Johnson. Risa has 30 years of experience as a public school art teacher and is very qualified to put together a diverse and professional portfolio for your child. I have seen some of the pieces she has worked on with the students and they are very impressive.”

-Sharon Enlow

“I can highly recommend Risa Johnson,She did an excellent job in guiding my son with the techniques required to create his portfolio for application to a High school art program. She was able to work on short notice, she is punctual, patient and easy to work with. “

-Afrecia Stone

“Risa Johnson is a kind-hearted, caring, resourceful and respectful teacher who
my ten year old child has worked with for almost a year in her art class. I highly recommend her.”

-Robin Smith

“Thanks to Risa, my son got into his first choice of high schools.

I was very fortunate to find Risa Johnson while I was searching online for an art tutor for my son—he will be starting high school next year and I realized that he would need help to create a portfolio, which was required for auditioning at any high school that focused on visual arts. Fortunate is an understatement- she worked with him intensively throughout the summer and into September and October. His portfolio is outstanding and if he is lucky enough to get into the school of his choice, it will be because Risa has a special talent for helping him reach his potential. I will always be grateful to her.”

-Beverly Buscemi

My son was taking art classes with another teacher for seven months and I had to take him out because we weren’t getting much results. After working with Risa Johnson for just two weeks before his audition, I was amazed by the way Risa was able to show him so many techniques he never knew before, gained from her thirty (30+) years of experience to bring him to his fullest potential. He is truly an artist now, thanks to Risa. My son also commented that another reason why he loved working with Risa was because of her warm bubbly personality and great sense of humor.

-Anasa Forde

Risa Johnson came to the rescue when we realized our son had only a couple of months to put an entire art portfolio together for November high school auditions. Week by week she helped him crank out a spectacular array of work that meets all of the top art schools’ criteria and highlights a variety of subjects in different mediums. While I wouldn’t recommend cramming like we did, I can say with complete confidence that Risa will bring out the best in your child in the most pressing of time frames. You may think little Jane or little John has some artistic skill but after seeing the work they do with Risa you will know you are raising a budding Picasso.

My son got into his first choice, High School of Art and Design.

– Andrea Ashton