happiness is….

For me, I’ve realized that happiness is helping others. I truly love what I do: tutoring. And it’s what makes me the most happy, no matter what is going on in my life. If someone would have told me (almost) 3 years ago now, that I would start a business where I’d be teaching everyday, I don’t think I would have believed it. But now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. And I’m so thankful to be able to use my gifts and talents in a way to help others learn and grow.

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Holes in Education

I have tutored for over six years now.  In that time I have worked with students from 12 months old to adults in their seventies. In this time and with this experience I have learned many things. Now, mind you, some of these things may be a matter of opinion, but I believe they are important.

– No two students are the same

– Textbooks are generally for the birds, and best used as references

– When it comes to grammar explanations, textbooks generally leave students dumbfounded and confused

– The average student needs an English grammar lesson to be able to identify parts of speech in a foreign language

– Immersion is extremely important, as is an excellent foundation

Why are there these ‘holes’ ? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but here’s my good guess:  the general education system. I understand there are certain subjects that every student needs to learn, i.e. math, reading, etc. But the concept of a general education is beyond ridiculous. No one person is exactly like another. And what does a general education do? Take all the pressure off the parent and put that pressure on the teacher.

Oh don’t worry about teaching Timmy the alphabet, or phonetics, or even basic manners…..Mrs. Smith will do that for you. And for the parents of her other 29+ students. And we wonder why we have a problem.

Now, this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Truly, I wanted to mention some ‘holes’ I have noticed only to say, perhaps as a parent you can ask your student, ‘how are things going?, are you struggling with something, can I help?’

New Year New Things

So, when I studied abroad in Argentina (I can’t believe that was 6 years ago now!), I decided to take a Portuguese class.  No, I wasn’t thinking clearly.  And after one semester of a class that met once a week for three hours at a time, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.  Not that I didn’t like the language, as a matter of fact, I loved it.  But taking a third language in your second language isn’t such a bright idea.  

I don’t ever remember being so tired.  After those classes my brain would be fried.  If I didn’t know a word in Spanish, then I couldn’t learn what it was in Portuguese….what I needed was a English/Spanish/Portuguese dictionary.  I remember taking the oral exam at the end of the semester.  My best friend was my partner and near the end of the exam, we didn’t know if the professor was speaking Portuguese or Spanish….but we made it through and did well.

Now, six years later I’ve decided to give Portuguese another chance.  And I’ve learned that I can really understand it pretty well, but the pronunciation is very different from Spanish and has a very nasal sound at times.  I’ve really enjoyed it so far and hope to practice it a lot this year!

What new things have you started in 2014?

 

 

el patio de mi casa

el patio de mi casa es particular

cuando llueve se moja

como los demás

H I J K L LL M A

que si tú no me quieres orto niño me querrá

H I J K L LL M A

que si tú no me qiueres otro niño me querrá

corre corre

que te pio

chocolate molido

achupe achupe

sentadito me querré