Flexi-schooling...can it really happen? Well apparently it can. This Friday I am 'flexi-schooling' a little girl that doesn't belong to me! I have been tutoring her for about 6 months now and her parents have seen big improvements...but they have also realised that an hour just isn't enough. The girl is in Year 5, and is where my daughter was BEFORE I flexi-schooled her. She is different....instead of being reticent to try anything for fear of failing, she is like a bulldozer, crashing through questions & tasks in the hope that if she talks the talk, and walks the walk, nobody will realise that she doesn't actually have a clue about what she is talking about!
But her issues with regard stuff we all take for granted are so similar to my daughter; she cannot tell the time, is struggling reading and spelling and particularly with maths concepts. The only way to really help her is to tackle each thing slowly & with creativity. BUT.... back to the main event - flexi-schooling - how did it happen?
Well, this little girl's mum approached me wanting the same for her daughter as I had done for mine, and I agreed that it would really help. She is in Year 5, there is only a year and a half till Secondary School and time is ticking.....So she put the wheels in motion after some advice from me; she got her daughter assessed for dyslexia in School, visual stress at the opticians & is awaiting an appointment for auditory processing from the hospital. Well, after the dyslexia assessment it was clarified that her daughter had definite traits of dyslexia (why had they not explored this possibility before her mother asked?!) and that her levels of attainment were not where they should be.
So...after more phone calls and letters and little response, this little girl's mother finally got a meeting with the Head Teacher. I offered to attend as an advocate, professional that knows the girl's educational needs and a friend. I was glad I went. The girl's mother was (as I was when dealing with my own daughters education & happiness) emotional; I (for once) could remain passive and professional - a place I like to be!
At first, the HT was fully supportive of the idea of one-to-one tutoring, but when she realised we weren't talking about 1hr, but a whole day per week, she balked. I explained that results were quick, and that we may need no longer than a term to get the girl back on track, and she relented. I have the girl every Friday until Christmas, and then we will review it....Flexi-schooling has started! I will keep you updated as to our progress....
Working with a few tutees this week on spellings I discovered the following about teaching spelling THROUGH/THREW
Neither is spelt phonetically so I considered the word through - well take off the th and it spells ROUGH - 'think of something rough I said', my brilliant tutee came up with 'a starfish'
We drew a starfish with 5 legs, a face, then put R,O,U,G,H in each leg.
Then I asked them to draw a cave round it, and write T one side & H the other.
So....when wanting to spell the word THROUGH - this is the image....I know it sounds crazy & long-winded...but it works! And they are 'most used words' so important that they know how to spell them.
For THREW we threw a beanbag back & forth sharing letters
I also emphasised the sound 'ew' (yeoouuu!)
Much fun had by all & another word learnt!
God I love teaching these kids!!!