Cosas nuevas…

Many new things are happening here at the S.T.A.T. Project!  We are so excited to have recently added German and are looking to add other languages soon!  And we now have some awesome gift certificates available so you can give the gift of language for the upcoming holidays (or any day!).  Finally, we will soon be welcoming a new tutor to the ranks in the next few weeks and we can’t be more pleased and excited!  We hope all of you out there have a wonderful week….and don’t forget it you’re a seasoned politico or not, the last presidential debate is tonight!

Chau all, will share some more exciting news soon!

la influencia española

As many of you know, last week was the Republican National Convention.  I have to say I shocked myself and watched almost the entire thing.  That’s definitely something new for me.  I never was very politically active growing up.  I had a very vague and fuzzy idea about what was going on in Washington, D.C. (And I guess really, the whole concept about what goes on up there is vague and fuzzy).  And if you asked me, I would have told you, “I’m economically conservative and socially liberal.”  Yeah, I made it sound all fanc-i-fied.

When I reached voting age, I did identify myself as a Republican and have voted that way ever since.  But I felt like I had to hide the fact that I had conservative ideals because it seemed to make people upset and angry thinking things like, “Oh, she must be arrogant and narrow-minded.”  I also didn’t want to identify my ideals because honestly, politics is this giant issue that everyone fights about and I despise confrontation.  But you know what, you should feel comfortable about identifying who and what you are.  It doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s a free country, so hey, I’m a conservative young woman.  I’ve started my own business, I love working for myself.  So let’s get this economy back on track so others can share in the American Dream.

Okay, I’m off my soap box.  And all of that was to say that during the RNC we saw some great speeches.  I was very impressed and interested to see the number of Hispanic speakers who took part in the program.  Rep. Governor Susana Martinez made and very inspiring and uplifting speech.  Romney’s own son Craig made a short but beautiful speech (partly in Spanish) about how is father is the best candidate who understands Hispanic desire to come to this country and build a better life for the future generation.  If you didn’t get a chance to check them out (regardless of your affiliations) please do!

 

http://youtu.be/2y7Z9031EZU (Craig Romney)

http://youtu.be/NEewz5v04mU (Susana Martinez)

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!

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!

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!