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I have a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Michigan, but I left the field many years ago to homeschool my son. In the 13 years that I've been homeschooling, I've found that I love the one-on-one teaching experience. I think the success that my son has experienced is a testament to the solid foundation that he received at home.
I especially enjoy teaching reading and math. With a young student, I like to use manipulatives such as letter tiles, counting blocks, and coins. Games are great for reinforcement activities. I think these are fun subjects, and I try to pass that enjoyment on to my student. Reading opens up new worlds, while math problems are like puzzles to be solved.
I'm also interested in teaching ESL. While researching methods for learning Spanish with my son, I ran across a lot of information that would also apply to learning English as a second language. While I'm not fluent in Spanish, I studied it for several years with my son and his tutor, and I believe that my experience in that and in the six years of French that I took in school would be invaluable in understanding the needs of someone learning a second language. Of course, having a firm understanding of English grammar and spelling is also necessary, and I believe I possess that.
While I'm just getting into tutoring, besides the experience I've acquired in teaching my own child, I have given private flute lessons to several other children in the past. I've also done a lot of reading with young children on a volunteer basis, as well as volunteering with an adult literacy program. Additionally, I worked for several years training adults on accounting software and spreadsheet programs.
My math education went through Calculus II and Matrix Algebra. I have taught my son up through Calculus I (he received a 5 on the AP Calculus AB Exam!) I liked algebra when I was a student, and I enjoy teaching it. I like to approach math problems as puzzles to be solved.
I taught elementary math to my son in a very different way than how I was taught in school. I like to use manipulatives whenever possible and make math the fun subject that it is. Games also make great reinforcement activities which I like to use.
Having spent many years working with my son to learn Spanish, plus studying French for six years in school, I have a feel for the difficulties in learning a second language. I have done a lot of reading on different methods of learning language. In addition, I have a firm grasp of English grammar and spelling, especially after the years of review that I had relearning it all with my son.
While grammar may not be a naturally exciting subject, I think it can be made to be reasonably painless. One of the advantages of working on grammar one-on-one is that much of it can be done orally, so that you're working on the actual grammar as opposed to spending a lot of time writing. One activity that my son actually found enjoyable was good old-fashioned sentence diagramming, which is a great way to visualize how all the words of a sentence work together.
As a life-long book-worm, reading is something I'm passionate about. Whether it was Step into Reading, Harry Potter, the classics, or reading for information, reading has been one of our favorite school subjects. Besides working with my son on reading, I also volunteered with an adult literacy program for several years.
Very calm and collected, daughter comprehended and exceled — Karen's approach to algebra, as well as her empathy and calming nature, allowed my daughter to become confident with the subject, learn it, and dramatically increase her score. We are very thankful for Karen! ...
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