Monday, 2 February 2009

Extra Tuition in Reading, Writing, Spelling etc., for Children in Cape Town

experienced teacher

Grade 1-5

Reading • Comprehension • Writing
Spelling • Story Writing
Project Planning • Maths (up to grade 4)
Rosemary: Tel: 021 762 1577
Cell: 083 510 8709

My approach is to structure each lesson to the needs of the individual pupil, using all the experience and tools at my disposal. I have devised games for phonics which are suitable for older children who have not learnt these sounds at an earlier age and also for the difficult words which are the exception to every rule.

I keep each exercise short, and in an hour's lesson, there are a variety of activities to encourage the child to read. I have purchased books which are easy reads with the content of interest to 9 - 12 year olds. For those who are not interested in writing "stories" as such, we are working on lyrics set to well known pop tunes. I suppose one could call this a form of poetry! It is stretching it a bit, but one pupil in particular, has found this very exciting!

Children come to me after school, so that means they are quite tired and therefore each lesson starts with four Brain Gym exercises + that very important glass of water. After that, the hour goes quickly and at the end, the pupils seem reluctant to leave. I find it satisfying to see them leave with a spring in their step and a smile on their faces.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Windows on a Fresh New World

As a teacher of young children, one has the tremendous privilege of opening their eyes to the many wonders of the world around us. Each and every day there is the opportunity to show them something new from the garden, from the school playground or playing fields. Weekend walks in the forest or on one of our beautiful beaches yield treasures without number. A perfect shell can be the start of a drawing or painting lesson; a lesson researching the names of shells and sea creatures. This could mean a visit to the school library where not only books but also charts can be found. A weaverbird's nest always brings the question of HOW a bird knows instinctively to build a nest to a certain pattern. Are they taught? They don't have pattern books like the knitters in the family. Hours of research and chatter will bring many fascinating answers but the best thing of all is that it has got children thinking.

Looking feeling; teaching and questioning are valuable experiences woven into the school day of the young child. In return, these little people provide their teachers with an endless range of "lessons" too.

As their vocabularies are enriched by their experiences, so their use of words is increased and the teacher is often surprised by the insight expressed in stories and poems, even by children in Grades 1 and 2. A child might write about a beloved grandmother and in a few short words, sum up the family situation. "My Granny is kind. She lives all alone." Speaks volumes, doesn't it?"

Most of all one has to love and admire the wisdom of the young child and the way it is expressed. So much can be learned, if one just takes time to listen. We as adults might say one thing, but their experience shows them another. Here's an example.

Once after a lesson about Noah and the Flood and the rainbow, which was to remind us of G-d's promise never to cause such a flood again, a small boy looked out of the open classroom door and across the passage, at a particularly heavy downpour. Head thrown back he surveyed the leaden sky and with his hands on his hips, said loudly, above the noise of the rain, "Promises, promises!"

The class was settled and the first lesson of the morning in progress, when suddenly the door was pushed open and a seven-year old boy rushed in.

"Sorry I'm late!" he said, "Today I walked to school through the clouds!" and that was almost true, for that morning there had been an exceptionally thick and swirling ground mist all the way from his home to the school and beyond. In parts it had been waist high.

"Was it wet and cold," asked a little girl?

"Just as wet and cold and soft as a cloud," came the reply. "I was just a little bit scared because the path had disappeared. But my feet knew the way!"

The class was silent, taking in all those feelings and then in a moment there was a burst of chatter and they had moved on.

The childhood years go by so quickly. Parents should take time in their busy lives just to stop and look at the world through the eyes of their children. This is your special gift from them to you. Keep your memories close to your heart so that one-day, perhaps, these precious gems can be shared with your grandchildren.


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