As a history tutor, I believe there are strong similarities between how one learns history and how one might learn a foreign language. With language, it is impossible to start reading and writing without before basic knowledge is attained. It is important to start with basic grammar and sentence construction, and then move on to more complex structures and ideas. In history, students must achieve knowledge and fluency on basic material: important dates, people, places, etc. Students must also become comfortable with ideas: feudalism, capitalism, rise of the nation state, and so on. With these tools, the student can develop their own narratives and ideas while remaining grounded in historical discourse. Narrative construction can be extended or truncated to fit the needs of the student/parent. Typically, I start with the year 1500 as a starting point and slowly move to contemporary history. However, I have tutored students starting at 1789, 1815, 1914, and 1945. I prefer a long-term approach that involves a mix of weekly Powerpoint presentations, assigned readings, and short essay assignments.
It is my goal as a tutor to help my students develop their skills in history as I guide them through increasingly challenging readings and essay prompts. I make it a point to help with the editing and revising process of my student's writings to assist their growth as young writers.
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