Lynne’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
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Lynne’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
For many years, I have used English in my professional life as a published writer, document specialist, publishing specialist, copy editor, and proofreader. I can help your child improve his or her skills in English, including reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, grammar and more. Part of the tutoring process will include making sure your child develops good habits that lead to success. This includes reading on a regular basis, as well as practicing good study habits. Be sure to read my descriptions of related subjects: grammar, proofreading, reading, vocabulary, and writing.
If you did not finish high school, you'll want a GED, or General Equivalency Degree. The job market is still tough right now, and a GED will make it much easier to either get a job or get a better job. A tutor can help you prepare for the GED test so that you get a good score.
To get a GED in Georgia, you need to pass five different sections of the test. The entire test takes about seven hours, although you don't have to take all sections in one day. The sections on social studies, science, and math each include 50 multiple choice questions. The language arts section has 40 multiple choice questions on reading, 50 multiple choice questions on writing, and an essay question. To pass, you need a score of at least 410 (out of 800) for each section and the scores must average at least 450.
As your tutor, I can help you prepare for the tests and explain anything you do not understand. Taking pretests will help assess your progress and tell us which sections we need to focus on most. In the past, if you had trouble remembering what you just studied, don't worry. You just need to brush up on your study skills, and I can help with that as well. With the right preparation, you can ace your GED tests.
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
'Why?' asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
'Well, I'm a panda,' he says, at the door.
'Look it up.'
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. 'Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'
The point of this joke (from a grammar book by Lynne Truss titled "Eats, Shoots and Leaves") is that the comma after the word "eats" changes the meaning of the sentence! That one little comma turns "shoots" and "leaves" into verbs instead of nouns. It also demonstrates that it's possible to learn about grammar and why it's important without being bored to tears.
I remember another funny example from when I was a high school student taking my SAT exam. One of the questions required me to correct the following sentence:
"Sally found her keys walking along the sidewalk next to her apartment."
I tried so hard to be quiet and not to laugh because I imagined a keyring on a sidewalk, with keys pointed down like little legs walking around! Obviously, keys are not supposed to do that! The problem here is a misplaced modifier. The word "walking" is supposed to modify Sally, not her keys. So one way to correct the sentence would be:
"While Sally was walking along the sidewalk next to her apartment, she found her keys."
However, there are other ways the sentence could be corrected. As a tutor, I would encourage your child to come up with his or her own ideas for fixing bad sentences before jumping in with my own suggestions. With a little humor, I could keep your child's attention and improve your child's grammar.
Proofreading is an important part of the writing process. How much better would your child's grade on each paper be without any points deducted for "little" mistakes? Points deducted for errors in grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation can really add up and affect your child's grade in most subjects. Viewed this way, those mistakes don't seem so little!
I have been a professional proofreader and copy editor. My job was to find mistakes other people made, but finding your own mistakes can be even more challenging. However, it can be done. There are tricks professional proofreaders use, such as reading from the bottom up. I can teach your child how to use these strategies.
Reading can refer to literacy or to reading comprehension. If you have a child who has trouble reading (a literacy problem), my approach would be to use phonics. Phonics helps children understand the sounds that letters make and how to put them together in order to decode words. The advantage to this is that new words are more easily learned and spelling tends to improve. Some critics argue that focusing on the basics can take the joy out of reading, but that can be prevented by combining phonics with books kids love to read. There is no reason why phonics can't include books that captivate a child's interest instead of the old "Dick and Jane" readers.
If your child is older, the problem is more likely to be reading comprehension. Sometimes children can read the words in a passage but not understand what the passage means. This can affect the child's grade in all subjects. Poor readers also tend to be poor writers. The good news is that methods that improve reading comprehension also can improve a student's writing. As a tutor, I would help your child learn to identify the main point, topic sentences, and supporting details of a passage of writing. Both reading and writing require practice, so one technique would be to have the student read more often while keeping a journal to write responses to each day's reading.
The reading portion of the SAT test has two parts: sentence completion and reading comprehension. Sentence completion tests the student's ability to choose the correct word. Prepartion for this part of the reading test would focus on broadening the student's vocabulary. In addition, just in case the student still discovers an unfamiliar word on the test, the use of root words and context clues can help.
The reading comprehension portion includes test questions on both short and long passages. The best way to prepare for this portion of the test is to practice finding the main idea, tone, purpose, and topic sentences in a passage. It is also important to practice finding information that is implied, rather than stated outright. Scanning the passage for headings, beginning sentences, the introductory paragraph and the concluding paragraph can give you an idea of what the passage is about before you read a long passage. With the right preparation, it is possible to improve your scores.
The SAT has changed to make the writing portion longer. Although this makes some students nervous, the ability to write well is very important for both academic and professional success. Even students going into highly technical fields need to be able to write reports and instructions that are clear to readers. The good news is that it is possible to improve one's writing skills.
What I can provide is the benefit of my experience as someone who has worked in the publishing field. I have written articles that were published in local magazines when I used to live in Florida. I also have professional experience proofreading and editing the writing of others. I have worked as a writer, a copy editor, a proofreader, a document specialist, and a publishing specialist.
The writing portion of the SAT includes multiple choice questions on writing mechanics (word choice, grammar, punctuation, etc.) and an essay. Whether the problem is organization, focus, or mechanics, I can help the student improve his or her writing. This in turn will help him or her be able to tackle the writing portion of the SAT with skill and confidence.
To be a better reader, writer, and even listener requires having a sufficiently large vocabulary. Sometimes adults make the mistake of not using "big" words in front of children, fearing that they might not understand. However, using normal adult language, and occasionally stopping to explain what certain words mean, can greatly improve a child's vocabulary.
Another activity that improves vocabulary is reading. It's important to encourage your child to read as much as possible. By middle school, your child should be reading not only books but also newspapers. Reading news helps a child learn about the world and expand his or her vocabulary.
However, sometimes a child doesn't learn enough vocabulary from the context of adult speech, books, or newspapers. If your child is doing poorly on vocabulary tests in school, a tutor can provide extra help. Some techniques include repeating the word and definition(orally and in writing), learning the etymology of the word, and practicing writing the word in a sentence.
Different children learn in different ways. I would be happy to work with your child to discover the methods that work best for him or her.
The ability to write clearly is very important for academic success in nearly all subjects. Almost every profession involves writing of some kind. Even highly technical fields require written reports and instructions that other people must be able to understand. Fortunately, the ability to write well can be learned, and writing can be fun!
What I can provide for your child is the benefit of my experience as someone who has worked in the publishing field. I have written articles that were published in local magazines when I used to live in Florida. I also have professional experience proofreading and editing the writing of others. I have worked as a writer, a copy editor, a proofreader, a document specialist, and a publishing specialist.
Whether the problem is organization, focus, or mechanics (spelling, grammar, and punctuation), I can help your child improve his or her writing for Language Arts class or for research papers in any class. Your child can learn to correct his or her errors before the paper is ever turned in. Just as importantly, your child can learn to express himself or herself and have fun doing it!