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Richard K.'s Resources

Blogs

I found a great site that I use very often for coming up with words for spelling lists and for phonics and other things. It's called MoreWords.com. You can put in any letter or letter combination in any position in a word, and it will generate an extensive list of words for it. One thing I recently used it for was making spelling lists of words ending in -able and words ending in -ible... read more

Blogs

A couple weeks ago I tried an experiment in my tutoring session with the 6-year-old I’ve been tutoring in math over the summer, something I’d never thought of trying before, that worked even better than I had expected. Teaching can also be a good way of learning. I had a friend who became a high school Latin teacher, who used to say that there were some things that she didn’t completely understand... read more

Blogs

No, this is not about getting young children to say they're sorry. I want to talk about the opposite: saying you're sorry to a little child. This is something that happened not too long ago when I was tutoring a first-grader, that I think is worth keeping in mind. He said something that I was sure was a lie. I told him it didn't sound like he was telling the truth. He was getting frustrated... read more

Blogs

Going back to tutoring after not having done it for a few years required quite a bit of preparation before I started tutoring again. I thought it might be helpful especially to people just starting out as tutors to describe the 3 steps I took to prepare myself for my latest tutoring job. All the steps were equally important, so I'll just list them in the order in which I did them. The first... read more

Blogs

As I explained in my blog entry "Teaching Science Without Any Scientific Equipment" how science can be taught without any costly equipment, spending a lot of money on equipment is completely unnecessary for high-quality learning. (A good teacher is more important than any learning equipment could ever be.) That applies to other subjects too, not just science. The cheapest odds and... read more

Blogs

One of the strangest tutoring jobs I ever had was for a family of radical unschoolers. Unschooling is like homeschooling, but without a traditional curriculum. To some extent, I agree with unschoolers, in their desire to concentrate on the interests and abilities of the students, and in removing any artificial application of elements of classroom learning, like busywork or homework. But... read more

Blogs

I once had a chemistry teacher who sometimes used to run around to teach scientific concepts, such as acting out the part of electrons to demonstrate different kinds of chemical bonding. I think I actually learned more from his little skits than from doing experiments with actual chemicals! When you do experiments with chemicals, you can see the results of the chemical processes, but not the... read more

Blogs

Most of the professors I had at West Chester University were not as bad as the one I mentioned in the last Blog post. One of the best ones I had was for Educational Psychology. He was a Thomistic philosopher. One of the main themes of his course is something that I always incorporate into my teaching. It's simply that the amount of learning that goes on is in direct proportion to the amount... read more

Blogs

I did get one terrible piece of advice, but it turned out to be very useful, when I tried doing the complete opposite. It was a professor I had at West Chester University while I was getting my education degree who gave me that outstandingly bad advice. (I had many professors at WCU who were truly excellent. This one was not.) I was working in a summer reading program with little kids... read more

Blogs

Another piece of advice that I got for dealing with bad children I think helps more with older children. I had a friend who was a high school English teacher, who was teaching in a juvenile detention center. She was dealing with children who were criminals, so those youngsters were pretty bad. The way she said she dealt with it was to be friendly toward the worst kids. When a teenager has... read more

Blogs

Almost all the children I have worked with have been great: hard-working, obedient, polite. But there have been a few times when I’ve had to deal with children who were, shall we say, a bit more of a challenge. I've gotten some good advice for dealing with bad kids, which I thought I'd share here. A couple of pieces of advice were very good. One was terrible advice, but turned out to be just... read more

Blogs

Sometimes adults can grow impatient with children, when they seem unwilling to concentrate on a task as long as adults seem to be able to. But in fact, there may be no problem at all with the child, because they actually are spending just as much time on tasks as adults are able to - it's just that time is moving at a different rate for them! There is a way to understand the difference... read more

Blogs

In the mid-1970's, I went off for my first year of college. I didn't have much money, but I had the opportunity to get at least one year of college at a great college. My major would be Liberal Arts. Back then, I had no interest at all in teaching; I had never given a moment's thought to ever being a teacher. At the same time, my parents first heard about homeschooling and parent-run schools... read more