Our Language Arts Class, Part 1
What a unique and fun experience I had tutoring/mentoring a Language Arts class with my daughter and some of her homeschool friends this year.
For Naomi's Language Arts, I invited my own small group/co-op class in my home to join us. These parents were glad for an experienced teacher to mentor them. We met twice a week. I mentored them in all five of the Language Arts subjects: Reading, Spelling, Writing, Vocabulary and Grammar. The kids were in 3rd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade and 7th grade technically but they were on roughly the same academic level because the older kids were a little behind, while the younger kids were a little ahead. Plus we did Bible class too. HOW IN THE WORLD did we cover 6 subjects in just 6 hours a week? Could quality education really happen in such a short amount of time? YES!
With the majority of their schoolwork being done at home on a daily basis with their parents, it was possible for me to teach and assign work on just two mornings. Consider how much time is wasted in a classroom on discipline issues and catching slower students up to the class. With these four kids, I was able to lead them through these subjects effectively in just two mornings a week.
In Part One and Two of this series, I will tell you some of the basic parameters that helped the class be such a success. First I prayed about it... a lot. Prayer opens doors in hearts and in life. I also knew that the parent's were praying too. I had so much support from them and that was the key to helping these children. This was not the first class these children had taken from me, so I knew the children too and what they could do. Kids can do so much more than we give them credit for. Because they weren't in a classroom with 25 other children to compare themselves with, we basically were able to fly through material without them knowing it. They worked hard on their Language Arts at home so that class time could be about teaching.
I had one rule in the class: if you don't do your work, don't come. It was simple and it was real. Yes, I had to send a student or two home but usually only once. The kids loved the class so they hated to miss it. Our class was so much fun and very lively. It catered to their interest and contained many opportunities for self-expression. I firmly believe kids love to learn, if given the right path for doing so. They also like to be held accountable, though they will complain about it and test the boundaries. I don't like to waste their time or mine when they don't want to learn and they appreciated it. Having this respect for each other allowed us to have a lot of fun.
Next in the series I will share how I laid out the week.