Melody’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Melody’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
I am the wife of a pastor and have assisted him as a teacher in small group Bible study sessions. I have led numerous small groups as a teacher and discussion facilitator. I have also written adult Bible curriculum for Lifeway Christian Resources, as well as Bible study supplements for numerous children's musicals.
I have also taught Bible to various youth groups and to my own children. I prefer a sequential method of study, using time lines that incorporate other historical events for context. I find character analysis particularly helpful in understanding the major players and central truths in the Bible. But careful reading reveals the stories of lesser known figures, who are fascinating.
I have also studied the Bible for its literary merit and find it a veritable treasure trove of literary styles to challenge and instruct the reader.
We are a family of seven and I prepare 80% of the meals for our family.
I especially enjoy preparing ethnic foods, and recently have taken an interest in gluten-free cooking.
I began cooking as a child in elementary school and especially enjoyed baking under my mother's direction. My grandmother lived with us while I was in high school, and from her I learned to cook more intuitively, preparing soups and stews without a recipe, using various combinations of seasonal vegetables and seasoning them appropriately. I also learned from her how to prepare "southern style" cobblers and other desserts.
I home schooled our five children through elementary school. We used a variety of curriculum resources, and employed hands-on learning experiences including backyard science experiments and trips to local museums. We also made sure our children were meeting educational milestones by having them take the same standardized tests used in local schools.
In addition, I taught a variety of subjects at the home school cooperative in which we participated. Usually, this involved working with groups of five to fifteen elementary and middle-school aged students in a classroom setting once a week.
I was an English minor in college and did graduate work in teaching English. I have taught reading, writing, grammar and American Literature. I have also taught English as a second language. This is definitely my favorite subject area! I believe that good language arts skills are essential for college scholarships and career advancement. Employers value employees who can express themselves well on paper (or computer), and in person.
We lived in Eastern Europe for four years and worked extensively with students who were working to learn and perfect their English skills. I also worked with local teachers of English in language learning workshops.
My first child faced numerous learning challenges, resulting from developmental delays that accumulated through a long illness in her early years. We employed a comprehensive phonics-based learning system to teach her to read, and experienced great success with this method. We used the same system to teach our four other children to read. I have a great deal of experience teaching reading through phonics to my own children.
I was a nationally ranked extemporaneous speaker in high school and a state champion in original oratory. I continued competing successfully in speech and debate through college. After college, I was employed for three years as a broadcast journalist, working on camera as a reporter and ultimately as a news anchor. For ten years, I traveled extensively performing solo dramas and speaking on various topics of interest to Christian groups. Currently, I am called upon to speak publicly in volunteer leadership positions with organizations like the PTSO at our local high school.
I taught my five children to read using a phonics-based method. They are all strong readers, and enjoy reading immensely. I have tutored elementary level students in reading, and find that a one-on-one approach to reading is always best because it enables the teacher/tutor to identify specific areas of concern for the student. One-on-one tutoring in reading also allows the student ample time to work on reading fluency.
Our oldest child suffered a severe respiratory illness at birth, and consequently spent several years on a ventilator. Developmental milestones were delayed, and her early illness resulted in a variety of processing disorders that made learning a challenge. For many reasons, we chose to home school our daughter, and work through each learning challenge she faced. She has now graduated from college.
As a substitute teacher in Williamson County Schools, I have worked with other special needs students on many occasions. Since focus is key for students with learning differences, the classroom atmosphere can be quite challenging.
One-to-one tutoring is ideal for students who require extra attention. Giving simple instructions and working on one thing at a time are essential. As I tutor, I look for each student's strengths so that we can celebrate and build on those strengths. I also evaluate areas of weakness and work to turn those areas into strengths. Patience and flexibility are key in working with students with learning differences.
I was a nationally ranked extemporaneous speaker in high school and a state champion in original oratory. I continued competing successfully in speech and debate through college. After college, I was employed for three years as a broadcast journalist, working on camera as a reporter and ultimately as a news anchor. I also worked behind the scenes as a writer and producer of the on-air material. For ten years, I traveled extensively performing solo dramas, writing and speaking on various topics of interest to Christian groups. Currently, I am called upon to speak publicly in volunteer leadership positions with organizations like the PTSO at our local high school. Others frequently call on me to review and edit their speeches, or provide talking points in preparation for a meeting.
I graduated at the top of my high school class of 850, and then graduated cum laude from college with a major in Political Science. I know how to study for my own benefit, but have also had to help my five children, who have varied learning styles, learn how to study in ways most appropriate for them. My visual learners employ flash cards, color-coding and rewriting techniques, for example, while my auditory learners benefit more from reading and re-reading information aloud to themselves, and orally reviewing information with a partner. I have experience selecting from a wide variety of techniques to find those most appropriate for a given learner.
I was active in theater throughout high school and college, and participated as a performer in community theater after graduation. I also traveled extensively for several years performing "one woman shows" composed of Biblically based solo dramas. I have coached and directed small productions involving groups of home schooled students and children's choir groups.
I have helped several students study for the TOEFL exam. I can work with prepared study materials, or put together a course to emphasize the learner's individual needs. The writing sections often prove most challenging to students taking the TOEFL, and I can work with you to build analytical skill and confidence in your writing. American English is full of idioms, and I have exhaustive lists and examples to help you master these peculiar elements of language.
I am a published author of poems, short stories and curriculum materials.
I have excellent editing skills, and a great deal of experience helping elementary and middle/high school students with writing.