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I have spent my life teaching, first in a primary Montessori classroom and then at home with my four sons, whom I homeschooled from preschool through twelfth grade, and who have all earned honors at their colleges, as I did at mine. While homeschooling I did not use packaged curricula or computer courses, but created my own course material and lesson plans, and either worked with my boys one-on-one or held small classes with them. I have my own set of Montessori materials and can tutor young students using the Montessori method, which includes phonics and early math materials. I teach early, remedial, or advanced reading skills with books on whichever subjects are most interesting to the student; I love teaching the fundamentals of math, including fractions, up through beginning algebra; I am a true grammarian and have a simple, structured, intuitive method for teaching grammar gleaned from my seventh-grade English teacher, Montessori, and experience teaching my own children; I lead children on an exploration of vocabulary from many different angles, such as root words, derivatives, catch-phrases, relevant words in books being read, and the history of language; and finally, and best of all, I love reading and discussing literature with students. However, although my sons all made excellent scores on standardized tests, including the SAT, I do not teach to any test. I teach to help people learn, to make learning easier for them, and to encourage them to love to learn. If this appeals to you, please contact me. My name is Laura.
In my undergraduate studies, I took many Education courses, such as Curriculum, Children's Literature, Music Education, and Advanced Grammar, in preparation to receive a Teaching Certificate; however, I did not like practice teaching in the public schools. When I learned about the Montessori method, I took the Montessori training and received a Montessori Primary certificate. I then taught Montessori until I had my own children. As each of my four sons grew, I began to teach them with the Montessori materials, and then decided to homeschool them. I taught each of them throughout not only the elementary grades, but also through high school. They have all been highly successful in college. I believe that is the best testimonial I can offer.
From number recognition to concrete experiences with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, through memorization of number facts and sensible, simple explanations of using fractions, I can help children lay a strong foundation on which to build an understanding of higher math.
Grammar is one of my favorite subjects to teach because it is so logical, and yet is flexible enough to allow room for individual expression and play. Many teachers of young children can't explain it clearly because they never truly understood it themselves. I have a straightforward, simple method which my 7th-grade teacher used to clear up my confusion and which I used with my own four sons at a much earlier age. I would be happy to continue the tradition of helping others gain this most basic awareness of how words are used in our language!
Not only did I learn to read by the phonics method, but I also was instructed in phonics while taking the primary Montessori training at the AMI Montessori Institute in Washington, DC, in the 1981-82 school year. While homeschooling, I taught each of my four boys to read using the phonics method. Finally, I was instructed in phonics again while training to be a volunteer tutor for the Literacy Council of St Mary's County, MD.
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