A lifelong interest in American History has spurred me to do a great deal of reading on the subject. I have a particular interest in American wars, especially the Civil War and the World Wars. I believe an understanding of history is lots more than memorizing dates. Helping your student to a greater comprehension of United States History and how it affects their daily lives is my goal as a tutor. Their increased understanding will result in better grades!
The English language, with its many nuances, is a source of constant fascination for me. To use English properly is to exercise power over communication of ideas. Whether the words be spoken or written, he who excels at English usage is ahead of the game before it even begins. I enjoy helping students learn and use English more effectively. Allow me to guide you or your student in mastering our beautiful language!
The English language has been my passion for my entire life. Usage, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and in particular the beautiful nuances of our language are of utmost importance if we are to communicate effectively. As a writer and former English teacher, I have the ability to guide and direct those wishing to learn English as a second language. There will be challenges but we'll face them together. Success!
Since beginning as a teacher in 1979, I have taught and coached numerous children to better handwriting and a better understanding of why legible handwriting is vital. In teaching handwriting I use (among other methods) the "Handwriting Without Tears" curriculum, which encourages the student to transition from the mechanics of handwriting to focusing on content and meaning. Printing is taught first, beginning with capitals. After lower case printing is mastered, the transition is made to cursive -- lower case first, then capitals. It is my firm belief that children (and adults) must know how to write legibly in cursive as it has been proven to help with brain development and comprehension in reading. I provide detailed worksheets to reinforce what the students have learned, and for younger children I employ special tactile methods such as practicing in dry rice or colored sand. Most of all I encourage students to relax and enjoy the practice of developing an acceptable level of skill in handwriting.
My major in college was Secondary Education, with a minor in Literature. I am an avid collector and reader of classic literature and poetry, and I am a published writer. I believe literary knowledge can and should be incorporated into all aspects of daily life, thereby enriching our understanding of the human condition.
I began teaching children phonics as a foundation for reading in 1976, when I was in college training to be a teacher. Since then, as a writer and English teacher, I have coached countless students in the basics of sounding out words, spelling words, and the effective use of words. Every teaching and/or tutoring session I conduct involves and stresses strengths in word recognition, usage, pronunciation, and spelling. My approach toward teaching phonics is to stress the fundamentals: instruction, drill, and review in matching units of sound (phonemes) to the letter(s) that make the sound (graphemes). In teaching children and adults alike, I use the core kit with all materials from the "Spell to Write and Read" program, which teaches the rules that govern pronunciation and spelling of words in the English language. The components of the program work together to train the student in recognition and comprehension of core words plus their derivatives. I use phonogram cards and spelling rule cards to further reinforce the child's confidence in reading, spelling, and writing.
For the last thirty years my professional life has included constant proofreading. As the owner of a resume-writing business for ten years, my daily duties were to carefully craft and meticulously proofread resumes and cover letters. Later, I spent a decade working as a legal assistant. Preparing and proofreading complex legal documents constituted a large part of my job. Still later, I worked for nine years as a court reporter. It was my job to create verbatim transcripts of hours-long legal proceedings, and to render all terms correctly. This involved meticulous proofreading before a document was filed with the court. As a writer, I take great pride in proofreading my own material to ensure that misspellings and mistakes in usage are rare.
My strength in teaching reading stems from the absolute conviction that reading is essential to every walk of life. As I taught my own children and as I stress constantly to my students, strong reading skills are not optional; they are a necessity. I encourage students to learn the rules of spelling and language and to review them often. They are taught to look up and make index cards for words they do not know. Then they are taught to employ their knowledge of reading and comprehension both for study and pleasure.
I believe all progress in education, no matter how casual, is directly related to how well one reads and comprehends what has been read. As a lifelong avid reader and scholar of the English language, as well as a freelance writer and former English teacher, I am eager to help students read more, read better, and to better comprehend what they read. Great successes will follow!
As a former English teacher and active freelance writer, I am well-versed in sentence structure and overall composition. As a teacher I stressed learning the fundamentals of sound language usage, and as a tutor I do the same. I will help the student striving to do well in SAT Writing by reviewing usage rules and completing drills of practice sentences. Above all I believe I can impart confidence to the student wishing not only to pass the SAT, but to improve in all areas relative to language usage.
Language is essential to every endeavor and no matter what the age of the student, this reality must be pressed home. Without the ability to properly spell words, the ability to understand them will be compromised. I encourage students to thoroughly learn the rules of spelling and to daily review words that give them trouble. I teach them how to teach themselves. In addition, I stress that reading for enjoyment is necessary to achieving any degree of language proficiency.
In over 35 years as a professional writer and teacher of English, my approach to teaching sound study skills has been the same: no matter what the age or grade level of the student, the key is learning to (1) take notes effectively; (2) organize the material to be studied; and (3) absorb facts through frequent review.
When teaching study skills exclusively, I role-play as the classroom teacher so as to build the student's confidence in taking detailed notes with speed and economy of effort. I then provide brightly-colored notecards and the student's own "special" writing utensil with which to make the cards they will need for effective study of each subject. I teach them how to compose effective flash-type cards allowing them to organize a project or study for a test with ease.
As a result, my students -- even the most unmotivated -- learn that consistently tackling the material "inch by inch" leads to stress-free test-taking, better scores, and ultimately, much-improved overall grades.
Words -- their spelling, their definitions, their pronunciation, and how they are used in speaking and writing -- have fascinated me throughout my life. I am a "collector" of words in that I consistently work at not only learning new words, but correctly using the ones I already know. I am a stickler for spelling, usage, sentence construction, pronunciation, nuance, expression, and punctuation. There are lots of words I don't know, but every day I make it a point to discover a new one. The power of words -- and especially of using them correctly -- cannot be underestimated. I want to help others appreciate and use the powerful tool of an excellent vocabulary.
Writing has fascinated me since I learned to read at the age of four. I was first encouraged to write by my sixth-grade teacher, who praised a haiku I wrote for an assignment. For many years I wrote professionally as a crafter of effective resumes and cover letters as part of a successful home-based business. Since 2007 I have written prolifically on my personal slice-of-life blog. My poetry and articles have been published online as well as in local and national magazines. I am currently working on my first memoir, which I plan to complete by the spring of 2014. Soon after that I plan to look for a literary agent and, eventually, a publisher. With hard work, love, and risk, writing dreams do come true.