While growing up, and as an adult, I have worked with children and adults of many ability and disability levels. My parents adopted 14 special needs children with various disabilities, and as the oldest daughter, I was there to assist them in learning life skills, scholastic skills and interpersonal skills. It was at this time I learned to implement some of the teaching methods I employ, which incorporate elements of Orton-Gillingham and the work of Dr. Glenn Doman; that is, a multi-sensory... [more]
While tutoring students in reading, I have used methods as diverse as phonics, whole language, A-Beka, visual phonics, the manual alphabet, Braille and a hodge-podge of several all together. I find that when working with young children, using concrete examples and personification can be very helpful, while with older students and adults, tying reading concepts to their own lives, school experiences and workplace concerns is helpful. I try to make the reading experience about really understanding what words are, where they come from, and which words are related to other words, so that even after our tutoring relationship come to an end, my students will be able to read a word they have never seen before and figure out its meaning based on these relationships and the knowledge they have gained under my tutelage. That sort of lifelong learning opportunity would indicate a successful use of our time to me.
In addition to being a published author in my own right, I have acted as a writing tutor and research assistant to University students (to Masters' level) and professionals. I come by my writing talent naturally, being the daughter of Science Fiction author Simon Lang. I have assisted IB students in researching, writing and editing their Extended Essays, and tutor students preparing for standardized testing, such as the ISEE and the SAT. I approach tutoring with a full arsenal of helpful tools and skills, and a love of literature that becomes contagious!
Nothing comes closer to the perfect English tutor than a writer who is the daughter of writers! That is what I am. In addition, I have been a research assistant for writers, a book editor, and I have been tutoring for many years. I have a multilingual background, and can enrich your understanding of writers meanings and usages, symbolism, foreshadowing, character arc, and much, much more! Let's work together!
I have done test preparation tutoring for individuals studying for the verbal/writing part of the SAT, for the ISEE, and for the TExES, as well as for Special Ed. Certification. I have also taught an SAT verbal/writing class for the Nepalese Society in Irving, Texas. As a published writer and researcher, I am eminently qualified to help students achieve their highest potential as writers, and as observant and critical readers.
When I was a child, I had trouble learning elementary math as it was taught in the schools. It seemed like a series of codes that didn't mean anything to me. It was only when I was taught to use movement, movement, and stories to learn what these formulas meant that I was able to become "fluent" in math! When a student is having trouble understanding elementary math, I use the ways that helped math make sense to me, and quite often I find that my student is the same kind of learner that I am, and needs to know why, to anchor the information with muscles, music, and the creative mind before they can master the material. But, once that happens, a sort of magic occurs: the student knows their math facts as well as they know their name!
As the former homeschooling mother of five children, I have experience in tutoring all elementary subjects, and in drilling and pre-testing, as well as report-writing, note taking and study skills. I also worked with my parents' large family (20 kids, both biological and adopted), which included many children with disabilities and learning differences. I was considered a "mentally gifted" student, and began tutoring other children as early as 5th grade, and had a reputation even then for helping them bring their grade point averages up significantly.
For children or adults who need help with "sounding it out," I have a set of fun and easy tools to use that make phonics into a game that is fun and compelling. With pictures, flash cards, mnemonic devices and other tools, we can play at phonics and make hours seem like minutes, you'll be having so much fun! I encourage my students to take an active hand in helping personalize their own study tools, so that there is real ownership, not only of the information, but of the learning devices. I provide on-going incentives and rewards for success, and make reading fun and enjoyable for kids and grown-ups alike!
As a writer myself, and a research assistant for professional writers and students at all levels,I have developed ways of acquiring, sorting and accessing a knowledge base quickly and easily. From pencil and paper note-taking skills, to the profitable use of electronic media, to presentations, papers and projects that knock teachers' and professors' socks off, I am the person to call. In addition, once the project is done, I can also assist your student, if he or she wishes, in publishing their paper, selling their artwork or bringing their ideas to market. Students, especially at the high school and college level, can use their assignments to earn money to fund their tuition with my help, which can, in turn, motivate them to do better work, and to look forward to their studies.
I have been performing, both in the United States and abroad, since I was six years old. I have done Mime, Musical Theatre, Drama and Comedy. I have performed on stage, in videos and on television. Whether as part of a traveling troupe, a voice-over talent, or a stand-up comedienne, I have spent years honing my craft. I have studied under Ann Ayars, former prima soprano of the New York City Opera, Bud Barth (voice over of Fred Flintstone, Chester Cheetah and others), Gordon Jump (WKRP and the Maytag Man), Jeff Teare (National Theatre of England), Leila Haller (New Orleans Civic Ballet)and Stanley Meyer (scenic designer for the Broadway production and tour of "Beauty and the Beast" and for the Steve Miller Band 2010 tour "Bingo!") I have acted as an instructor at Del Mar Media Arts in Irvine, California, the Department of Parks and Recreation in New Haven, Connecticut, and for Visual Expressions Gallery in Cedar Hill, Texas, as well as a dialect coach for private students in Grand Prairie, Texas. I have taken classes in acting, improvisation, directing, dramatic analysis, as well as many forms of dance and vocal music. So, what can I do for you? I can help you select and practice an audition piece, complete with phrasing, impact sound suggestions and blocking. I can explain what those Shakespeare words and phrases mean. I can help you memorize and personalize your part in a play (even a non-speaking part!). I can help you plan and record a voice-over demo CD, and find a reputable studio to record it. I can help you develop improvisational "bits" so that you are a seamless improvisational performer. I can help you put together a stand-up routine and find an open-mike venue to perform it, then critique it with you afterward. I can help you develop stage make-up skills and specialty stage make-up, including latex prostheses (false noses, warts, scars, etc.). I can help you develop period costumes, fantasy costumes and special effects costumes. I can help you design and build scene models and plans. I can help you put together your theatrical program and find/build illustrations and graphic layouts for the program, poster and flyers.
First, let me say that I am the third child, eldest daughter in a family of two saintly parents of 20 kids, both biological and adopted. My mother, some of the biological kids, and virtually all of the adopted kids had special needs, ranging from deafness to blindness, autism/aphasia to amputation and burns. Many of the kids had learning disabilities and emotional/psychiatric issues, as well. I never saw them as "disabled people", but as people. Everyone's got something to face in life, after all. I attended IEP meetings and Special Olympics events before I had any kids of my own, and since having my own, I have continued as a sign language interpreter, job coach and tutor, to encourage people with special needs to excel. Secondly, let me say that because of my life experiences, I don't pull any punches. I don't give my students excuses to fail because of their disabilities. I show them how to work around them. I am incredibly creative and innovative, and don't spoil people by letting them use crutches they don't need. What I mean to say is this: If Johnny has no arms and he has to learn how to write his name with his feet, I may help him alter his pencil, or change chairs, but he'd better work on that penmanship! (I have, in fact, had this situation, and the individual involved has gone on not only to work as a data entry clerk - typing with his feet - but has a deaf roommate, with whom he signs!) "Excellence According to Capabilities" is my motto. Thirdly, I want you to know that I am a fun and funny person, and prefer to work with a student by accessing them where they live. For example, if they love cars, we'll build our lessons around cars. If it's "Hello, Kitty," then we go with that. But, the outcome is improved skills, no excuses and excellence.
Since the late 1970's, I have been helping non-English speakers learn English. I began by working with Vietnamese families brought over to Camp Pendleton and have gone on to teach English to Japanese foreign exchange students to deaf individuals born overseas, who have had no spoken or signed language to use. My approach is very simple: begin with the concrete and use a multi-sensory approach to learning while encouraging early use of expressive language. I use actual objects, pantomime and as much of the native language or another shared language as I can, while encouraging proper grammar, syntax, and pronunciation. If appropriate, I use the visual phonics alphabet to assist in proper pronunciation skills. I make use of music, art and other creative means to instruct the pupil in a significant, imperative and personal way. I encourage the student to keep a notebook of new words and phrases in English, with pictures, photos or other (non-native language) reminders of what the words mean. In this way, they learn to think in concepts and express the concepts in English rather than doing simple "single-word to single-word" translations. I speak English, French, American Sign Language and some Spanish.
Since an accident at age 9 temporarily diminished my hearing, I have been signing. I have worked as a sign language interpreter at the preschool, elementary, junior high school and high school levels in California, Pennsylvania and Texas, and at present run my church's Sign Language Choir. I worked as a Pastoral Minister for the Deaf in the Diocese of Orange, California and helped organize the 2002 National Pastoral Ministry Conference of the Deaf which was held there. I continue to do private interpreting and tutoring. I have used my sign language skills with Mexican signers, in France with French signers and in several regions of the United States, and have completed a course on Visual Phonics. I am currently working on a multi-media project which uses sign language as a support tool for public speakers, by teaching what I refer to as "sign language phonics."
As a small business owner, free-lance artist and writer, I can help you bring your business to the internet and get paid more money for it. From setting up the very basic necessities, such as business e-mails to social media management, to blogging, to affiliate marketing, I can make whatever you do more profitable. I am a member of the Baby Boom generation, and as such, I am very understanding of the dilemma of those who grew up with manual typewriters and three channels of black and white television, who now want to enter - and profit from! - the information age. I will walk you through all the processes you need to learn, all the skills you need to practice, either on your own computer, or at the library or internet coffee house (my favorite kind!). I am low-key and approachable, and your experience will be custom-tailored to your needs. So, if you are a small business owner, a writer, an artist, or even just want to participate online in a social way and get paid for it, call me and I'll help you out!
I have been working with children and adults with ADD/ADHD, including members of my own family, for many years. I have studied the works of Dr. Edward Hallowell and others, as well as receiving hands-on training in the public school system. In addition, I have worked with my own children, three of whom are ADD/ADHD, and many students with this situation.
As an undergraduate studying Studio Art, I was required to take Art History I. I loved it, and took Art History II the next semester. I did very well, and had an A+ average. I was called to a meeting with the Art History professors, where they implored me to change majors to Art History. I stuck with Studio Art and Theatre but I did take more Art History courses, notably in Architecture at Richmond College in London, during which stay I was also able to view many historical buildings and visit some of the major Art museums and galleries in both England and on the Continent. I continue to collect and study works by the masters (the digital images of them, I should say), and to stay current with art trends (especially in liturgical art) that are evolving in the Art world. I have a great understanding of traditional symbols, emergent art media and historical influences that make my understanding of Art History one that is rooted in ambient culture and psychology, and can "read" paintings and other pieces, making sense of those pieces that many people look at with puzzled faces and shake their heads. Let me help you see, interpret, and remember.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
I have worked extensively, and with great success, with ASD individuals. I have been able to assist them in establishing a relationship to the world around them, and translating what they experience into comprehensible units. I have taken a course on brain differences at University of California, Riverside ("Anatomical and Physiological Factors in Behavioral Development"), and have a brother who is Autistic and Aphasic. In addition, I have homeschooled a young man on the Autism Spectrum and have helped him develop meaningful relationships, engage in job training, and learn to operate more independently. I feel that I am uniquely qualified to assist ASD individuals in bridging the gaps that often occur when they try to make sense of the world around them.
I have been working with Dyslexic individuals from an early age, both in the public school setting, and in personal relationships within my family. I have informally studied the methods of Drs. Doman and Delacato, as well as the Orton-Gillingham method. I believe my approach is very common-sense, very effective and very encouraging for the student. My students also seem to think so.
Hard of Hearing
Since temporarily losing my hearing at age 9, I have been signing. My family all learned to sign to some extent--my parents even adopted a deaf son, whom I have helped to tutor throughout his school career. I have worked as a sign language interpreter and language facilitator in the public school systems in California, Pennsylvania and Texas, from pre-school to high school levels, and have taken a course in Visual Phonics as part of the training in assisting Deaf students with their speech skills. I worked as a Pastoral Minister for the Deaf in the Diocese of Orange, California, and helped organize the 2002 Pastoral Week for for Deaf Catholic Ministry which took place there. I now lead the Sign Language Choir at St. Michael's Church in Grand Prairie, Texas, and do private interpreting.
I have tutored many students in test-taking of all types with great success. I teach question/problem decoding, question types and elimination by the Socratic method, as well as logical essay-question construction. I have made consistently high scores on tests in my own academic career, thus proving my point: I know how to help my students succeed!
I was raised on Jesuit logic, taught to me by my Jesuit-trained mother. In addition to the lively debates of my youth, I also aced my college Logic course, and have continued to keep my wits honed with syllogistic arguments and Venn diagrams.
I have always made high scores on standardized tests, and teach test preparation for them, including question/problem decoding, question types and elimination by the Socratic method, as well as logical essay-question construction. My own children have received TAKS scores that are consistently in the Commended range, some of which demonstrate complete mastery through a perfect TAKS score.
I have tutored many students in test-taking of all types with great success. I teach question/problem decoding, question types and elimination by the Socratic method, as well as logical essay-question construction. I have assisted several students with TEAS test preparation in Special Education Certification, and in Vocational Education Certification. I have made consistently high scores on standardized tests in my own academic career, thus proving my point: I know how to help my students succeed!
I have studied University level Psychology, Child Psychology, Logic and Sociology, as well as elementary and high school Social Studies, including Economics. I am an inveterate reader as well as a writer, and continue to study the relation of man to himself and others.
I am training as a Nutritional Health Coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (certification pending September, 2016), which includes lectures by top nutritional physicians. In addition, I have been studying cellular nutrition and supplementation as an Independent USANA Health Sciences Associate for the last 13 years. I have used this information and training to assist private students in improving their health, losing weight, and becoming more confident in their life choices.
I have been crocheting, doing cross-stitch and other handwork/sewing all my life. At age 10, my hand-crocheted baby shoes were being sold by a local fabric store! I have gone on to produce many afghans, garments, original patterns and other home decor items. I embroider, crochet, make crocheted jewelry and do other related and integrated crafts.
After growing up in the film studios of Los Angeles, as the daughter of a film writer, I majored in Theatre Arts and minored in Fine Art. I have taken classes in Dramatic Analysis, and have taught classes in Film Evaluation along a major theme.