I saw the sign

While studying abroad in Córdoba, Argentina, we had the opportunity to travel around the country during our free time.  As we traveled, I began to notice the signage; bus stops, cross walks, graffiti, and translated signs.  In highly trafficked tourist areas there were many signs in various languages.  In these places I noticed that the signs translated from Spanish to English, were not always translated correctly, which made me wonder, how often do we also make those mistakes?  However, although some words were missing, one could understand the message!

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Recursos

  Just thought I would let my readers know about some great people and resources I’ve learned about through my business here in Atlanta.  Just in case you need it, because we never know.

Education:

The Whole Child Learning Company– provides great enrichment programs to daycares in the Alpharetta/Roswell area i.e. Spanish, Computers, Legos, and soon Chinese

So Much 2 Learn Homeschool– Girls home school in Decatur, GA

Little Voyages– Language Classes for young children in Sandy Springs, GA

In-Home Tutors– for various subjects, the tutors come to you.

And of course, don’t forget us here at the S.T.A.T. Project, we come to you and are available on-line or in person

Health:

Clear Path Wellness Center– Provide reflexology massage, ionic foot baths, colonic hydrotheraphy, suana services, etc.

So, I know it’s not a lot to share, but every little bit helps.  I hope that you find something, helpful, useful, or interesting!

Chau chau–until next time!

 

Learning more about Learning

This week I started working with the So Much 2 Learn Homeschool in Decatur, Georgia.  It has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every moment of helping out and helping the kids learn.  After seeing the children in the homeschool setting, I was wishing I was 5 or 6 again, experiencing it from their point-of-view.  Thankfully, I always did and always have loved school and learning (except for a couple tough middle school years) and was blessed with a family who supported me along the way–but I know I would have loved homeschooling if I were given that opportunity!!

In the classes last week we reviewed a lot of the basics, the continents, oceans, where our country is located on the map, evaluated reading, writing, and math levels, and began our Spanish classes.  As we catch everyone up to their various levels, I’ve noticed that there is quiet a disparity between the education I received in the public school system (15 to 20 years ago) and the education children are receiving today.  Some of those common, basic, essential concepts for a handful of children are severely lacking or completely missing all together–And that makes my heart ache.

This is a problem that should not be overlooked, but unfortunately due to lack of funding, lack of caring (and if I’m allowed to say it–government involvement) in our education system, the youth of America seem to be rapidly dumbed down.  This makes me want to stand on the rooftops and yell “Come on America!! Wake up, your children are the leaders of tomorrow!!!!”

Well, as my father says, “I’ll get off my soapbox” but I’d like to leave you with this little tidbit of information…some advice from today’s teachers.

Until next time….¡Chau chau!

El alfabeto

El alfabeto y el sonido de las letras son muy importantes para la pronunciación correcta del español.
(The alphabet and the sound of the letters are very important for the correct pronunciation of Spanish)

This may sound a little silly and of course very basic, but it’s the truth.  The alphabet (in any language) is essential to all aspects of language, reading, writing, and speaking.  Once a student understands the alphabet I’ve seen them get that awesome “ah-ha” moment where they say to themselves, “Oh, yeah, that’s how you say that! That makes so much sense now!”

Now, the Spanish alphabet does have a few more letters than the English alphabet (26).
In addition to all the English letters, Spanish also has the “ch” (che) sounds like “ch” in English, “ll” (a-yay) makes a “y” sound, “ñ” (n-yay) makes an “n+y” sound, “rr” sounds like the ‘r’ in “Vrrrooom”. 

Some other tidbits: “h” is always silent at the beginning of a word, i.e. “hola”
There are very few words in Spanish with the letters “k” and “w”

I thought I would include this cute little alphabet video.  It doesn’t include the special characters, but it’s very good and has a catchy tune!

Órale, El Alfabeto

Home Education

I know that I have mentioned this subject at least a couple of times before now.  That being the subject of whether or not to homeschool (my hypothetical (I say that because I don’t have any yet)) children.  Growing up, I always loved learning (still do) and really loved school, at least after middle school ended.  I enjoyed seeing my friends everyday, running on the cross-country team, being in the Spanish Club, and on the debate team.  And I think that desire to be involved, “always doing something” still lives on.  I despise being idle and when I have any free time I’m always looking to fill it was some productive activity.

I say all this because I believe that many parents are concerned that their children will not receive a proper ‘social education’ or stimulation if they are homeschooled.  Honestly, I used to believe that too, but after observing a few homeschool families I wholly disagree with this concern.  Many homeschooling families belong to homeschooling co-ops or organizations where their children play sports and have other classes or activities.  There are still others who are very active in their church groups or religious organizations.  Now, it’s true I don’t know the ins-and-outs of homeschooling but it appears to be just like anything else–you reap what you sow (or you put into it what you get out of it).  This possibility of homeschooling is a very exciting one–I’m always looking for interesting crafts and activities, thinking of methods to use, and so excited that when the day comes I can teach my own children Spanish!

Anyway, all this pondering (hoping and dreaming) has led me to discover the Southeast Homeschool Expo, where in the company of a friend I can hope to learn even more! This expo will be held at the Cobb Galleria Center, July 26-28.  You should come a check it out!

¡¡Bailamos!!

I had to share this video of my home-school girls! http://youtu.be/4-6x3qN0q00  They choreographed this whole routine (still working on the rest of it) and incorporated the salsa steps they learned a few weeks ago.  There is a lot of talent here, these two are very creative and I hope to see more in the future!!   Maybe as time goes on we can learn some more latin dances (i.e. the rumba, merengue, tango) and see where they lead!

Also, if you’re looking for a great home-school for girls in the Atlanta/Decatur area check out: www.somuch2learn.com, where learning is fun, creative and very interactive!!

Expect the Unexpected

When I started this tutoring journey (February 2011) I had no idea where it would take me.  I just knew that tutoring Spanish and helping others is what I wanted to do.  Since that time, I have taught very young children, adolescents, high school students, college students and adults.  I have learned just as much (if not more) as my students (i.e. learning styles, how to teach children, different methods of tutoring, etc.)  I have also learned an abundance of information about education.

As many may know, education choices (for the schooling of children) are seemingly broad and many.  There are schools for the arts, the public school system, private schools, homeschooling, and (something new I’d never heard of before) Cyber School.  Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with children of different education backgrounds, most recently a home-school group.  This group has been a pleasure to teach and they seem all around excited about learning and happy.  That itself is a beautiful thing.  I can recall my middle school days, how unpleasant they were and how cruelly I was treated by my fellow students.  I’m not saying that treatment goes on in every public middle school, but in my experience, I was miserable and by the time high school came around I was more than ready to leave the public school system.  In ninth grade, made the transition from public to private education and although it was tough (very), I was much happier there than I had ever been before.

Now, however, after my teaching my home-school class (and seeing some of my family members have success with home-schooling) I find myself being gradually pulled in that direction.  Seeing how happy my current students are it seems natural to have children learn at home, where you the parent knows your child is in a safe and happy environment and you supervise (or closely monitor) their education.  Granted, I don’t know all the ups and downs of a home-school education and I don’t have any children (yet).  And, I’m certain many of my family members and friends would be surprised to hear these musings, but I believe that an education is VERY important–so this is surely something to think about!