When I review with a student for the English portion of the ACT test, I often have them do the English portion of the test so I can identify where they need help. We begin with the student's weak areas and work from there. Since they need to understand the parts of speech in order to understand verb/subject agreement and pronoun/antecedent agreement I usually will do some review of the types of words and how they can function in a sentence. It is also important to review punctuation rules and give plenty of examples for students to work through in order to thoroughly understand correct punctuation. We also look at ways to build vocabulary.
For the ACT math, I like to use a diagnostic test to help me pinpoint the student's area(s) of greatest need. Then we focus our study on those areas, first reviewing the material and then working several problems. When a student masters one area, we move on to the next until he is fully prepared for the exam. Along the way, we will work at least one complete practice test in order to give the student more practice with the test and the types of problems he will encounter there.
When teaching Algebra 1, I may use video instruction, online exercises, or instruction from a book; whatever it takes for the student to grasp the material. Since math is not a spectator event, I always have my students work problems until they understand the material well. If a certain type of problem gives a student trouble, we will address it from several directions to increase comprehension.
As part of the ACT prep that I do quite frequently, I do a review of Algebra 1 and 2 for my students. I have tutored and taught Algebra 1 and 2 in the past.
I had the distinct privilege of teaching my own children to read, do arithmetic, write, explore the world of science, spell, and learn history. As they grew older I also had opportunity to help several other children improve their reading skills and hone their math skills. We also started a speech and debate club so even young children could have the opportunity to learn public speaking.
I have tutored composition for years. I taught speech class for three years and coached debate teams and forensics events. I have coached spelling bee competitors and led literature discussions. I often do grammar review as part of ACT test preparation, including teaching verbals and word functions in sentences.
I taught each of my six children to read using the phonics approach. The five that have graduated from high school all graduated with honors. The last one is now a straight A student at our high school. This year I used phonics with four of my students that were struggling with reading, even though they were in junior high school or high school. Each of the students improved their reading over the course of the year. The junior high students went from a 4-5th grade reading level to an 8-9th grade reading level. At this age, I am not teaching individual letter sounds as much as vowel blends and diphthongs along with the associated spelling rules.
I taught public speaking and organized a forensics club for several home school students in our area. As the students reached middle school age, it became apparent that unless we gave them the opportunity to speak in front of an audience, they would never feel comfortable doing it. We taught the process of writing a speech and gave them lots of practice. Each week they had to write a speech and give it before their peers and a panel of parent judges. Over the course of the year they became proficient speech writers and developed poise and confidence in speaking in front of an audience. When these students went on to college, they told me how our speech class had enabled them to easily rise to the top of their communications class in college.
The goal in reading is fluency, but very few people can achieve real reading fluency without some directed instruction along the way. In my tutoring I like to assess where the student is at, meet them there, and help them learn to put the letters together to form syllables, put the syllables together to form words, and put the words together to form sentences.
Some students struggle with hearing the sounds in a word, so with those I work on sound recognition. Then they need to learn to associate it with the appropriate letter. When they make this connection it helps them not only learn to read, but to spell as well.It all begins with being able to hear the sounds of our language.
I started sewing when I was 10. By the time I was 13 I was making a significant portion of my own clothing. During high school and college I made several winter coats, a down ski jacket, a down vest, and a men's suit, in addition to a few riding outfits for showing horses. As a young mother I learned to smock so I could use it on dresses for my little girls. Then I started appliqueing quilts for babies and later moved on to pieced quilts for larger beds. I have also done bridal and formal sewing a few times. I have taught groups of 4-H students to sew as well as several of my own children.
Regardless of the subject matter, an organized systematic approach to mastering the material is the most efficient use of time and the most effective way to gain proficiency. I have helped several students learn to keep orderly notes, to use their notes as a reference, and to organize their study in manageable bits of time.
I began working with vocabulary development when I was teaching my own children to read. It was important to me that they develop a curiosity about what words mean so their reading comprehension would follow their verbal fluency. We read many books with the dictionary at hand. When they showed a verbal acuity, I had them compete in spelling bees. All of them enjoyed the competition, and we learned a lot of new words along the way. With my students I try to develop that same curiosity so they can improve their reading comprehension as well.