PMMost of you know that I have been tutoring this school year. Last summer a friend asked me to tutor or homeschool his two daughters. I had my doubts as to whether I really wanted to get back into the teaching business, but it has gone well. I have fallen in love with my tutorees, and they have become precious to me.
Learning how to learn is one of my main teaching goals along with learning to love knowledge. If you can teach a child how to learn and to love learning, he/she will continue to learn long after the teacher is gone. Most of my focus has been on K, the youngest of my tutorees. V, her older sister, is a senior and does her school work on her own. She rarely needs my help. It is an age and independence thang for her. I tease her about having "short-timers" disease - a short time until she graduates. Yes, I do feel like a bit of a failure with V. She has been to public school, private school and homeschool, and those teachers failed to give her a love of education. But, I have been harping on education does not stop with high school graduation - there is time for knowledge still. Don't get me wrong here; V is a smart girl and a lovely young lady. She has a maturity that most high school seniors do not have, and I am very impressed with her. That is why I have lots of hope for her future education.
In the meantime there is K - beautiful, smart, volatile, K. We talk, we fight, we learn, we laugh - I love this kid! In the beginning, you wouldn't believe how many times she told me, "I can't!" and I told her, "You can!" We go round and round.
One of the things we have gone round and round on is reading. I harp on her reading with comprehension; she says she does not understand or retain what she reads. And the fight is on. When she answers questions without looking back at the book, I praise her. She grins, but we still look back lots. Poetry is her favorite - short, easy, fun poems. That is okay with me.
So when she came in one morning having seen "The Hunger Games" the night before, she was excited. "OMG! We have to read these books!" Okay with me. We ordered real books for her and Kindle books for me. She told me that she could not read all the books now - that she had to see the movies first - that she would not understand the books if she did not see the movie first. We discussed/fought over that. I told her she was going to love these books so much that she would not need the movies and that she would love the books more than the movie. She just shook her head. Well, she finished the first book in two days and was carrying the second book on the third day. "Gee, I didn't know that movie had come out yet?" I teased her. She finished the second book in the next two days and then the third book. Yeah! I'm doin' the victory dance!
As to the books, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, if you haven't read them, they are good. They are simple enough to read with interesting characters and rather intense plots. They have some depth to them that I doubt K understands, yet. They will go down in history as young adult classics. I will love these books for the hunger it caused in K and the way it made her catch fire in reading. Now, if we could just make K love grammar...