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Old 02-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Tutoring Small Children at School.

Has anyone done or is presently doing this type of volunteer work?

I just started it about two weeks ago. Myself and others read storybooks to yound children attending grades 1 through 6, and we try to get the kids to read on their own with us helping them with the difficult words in the books.

I tutor at least four children. We also mentor older kids age 9 to 10 during their lunch break. They get to come down to the school library to eat lunch and get some help with mentoring.

I'm assigned to one particular little boy who is age 7 who I like very much. I sometimes wish that he was my very own child!! Yesterday, while tutoring him, he decided that he didn't want to read, so he drew insted. He was finishing a drawing that I started for him the day before.

Long story short, in the drawing, he drew some dollar bills on the paper using a green marker. We got into the discussion of which president was on what bill.

He then told me that his grandmother had met the first president! I asked which one. He said Washington. "George Washington?", I asked him. He said, "Yes".

"Are you sure about that?", I asked him. He said yes again! Lauging slightly at him, I said; "Oh, I don't think so. Actually, he couldn't quite remembr exactly who appears on the $1.00 bill. I tried to tell him who it is. I showed him a $5.00 bill to let him see that it's Lincohn on the front.

He disputed me up & down to the utmost, saying that Washington's face is NOT on the $1.00 bill. Then he made a "bet" with me, saying that if Washington isn't on the bill, I owe him $90.00! He even went so far as to grab and shake my hand on it. But I knew that he was just playing around on that part.

I went to try to find out if the coordinator had a $1.00 bill. He didn't, but there was a storybook with a pic of the bill on it. I brought it to the boy.

"Now who is that?", I asked him. I had him spell the name. He did. Then I said to him; "Now, I proved you wrong. You owe me $90.00. Pay up."

He laughed and hugged me. He knew that it was just for fun! But it was all in fun. He made me feel so welcome being in his presence! I almost felt like a kid myself!! That's the closeness I felt with him. He really made my day! He's a very funny little kid!!

Though yesterday wasn't a day that most of the kids wanted to read, this boy made a somewhat boring day seem really special!

I'd love to see these kids do better in their coming school years. It makes me feel good being able to help them!

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
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I applaud what you are doing. Kids need someone to read to them and to listen to them.

When my daughter was in middle school, they were on a year-round system. During her off time, she went to the elementary school and listened to 3rd graders read. Several weeks after she started doing this, the teacher told Nancy that one of the boys in class had never ever volunteered to answer any questions, but that after reading to Nancy he had developed the confidence to raise his hand and volunteer answers.

I tried to get the middle school to start a program where more kids would do that. Everyone said it was a good idea, but no one ever did anything about it.

You're doing a great thing.

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Thank you!

Even though I like all the kids there, THIS boy is winning my heart and he really feels comfortable being with me during his tutoring session. At one point, he wanted to go back to class. He must have felt bored.

But he soon opened up and became his normal happy self!

He jumps and plays around afterwards, but he kind of didn't want to go back to his classrom. But he knew that he had to because it was almost time for him to get ready to go home.

He told me that he doesn't like math. I told him that math is part of learning and that I didn't like it either in school.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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As a teacher, I can tell you that volunteers and outside mentors are priceless! They make my job lighter and easier as they (volunteers) can often get kids to do things we can't since they are "just people".

Great job Corey! Keep up the good work (but in the future, never use a kid's name in a public forum - lots of legal reasons ).
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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I thoght about that afterwards. I'll delete his name. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #6
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You are doing a great thing, Corey. We never know what kind of home life these children have. You might be the only "real" adult they have in their life. Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Thank you!

I DO wish that I could be in their lives more outside the school and be a more positive role model for them.

I hope that they are there for a long time, as I'd be heartbroken if they were to go to another school!

I've always said though, that the children of today are OUR future tomrrow.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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Actually, if they want to initiate a hug, we are told to accept it, that we shouldn't push them away. We just should let THEM want to do it.

This is what happened with the little boy that I spoke of. He WANTED to do it, so HE was the one who initiated it. The very first day that he met me! He's the only one to have done that so far.

To me, that shows that he trusts me being with him. He reminds me of a man I know who I took care of when HE was HIS age - even before.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:04 PM   #9
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I think that's great what you're doing. I volunteered as a teacher's assistance right after I graduated from college and while looking for a full time job. I was the TA for a sophmore science class and I really had a great time. It almost made me go into teaching. We can't put a price on great teachers. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of a few of my school teachers. Thinking back as an adult, some of them have really made a difference in my life.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:38 PM   #10
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Thanx!

I really DO feel like a kid again when I'm around the kids! This little boy lifted my spirits that day to great heights! I left the school feeling really good knowing that we were both able to entertain each other and have fun doing it!!

Children can be like a stress reliever for older people. They get a real kick out of the attention they receive.

I hope that he stays there through high school. I want him and all the other kids to remember us for what we are doing for them.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:58 PM   #11
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Cooking is a phenominal way to teach math. Our 11 y.o. HATES math, and yet...he can double a recipe in his head now...just something to consider...lots of no bake recipes out there for kids...

Great job with Student X (lol) keep up the good work!
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:13 PM   #12
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Math wasn't one of my favorites in school either, and it still isn't today. Never liked history either, but I got high grades in it.

I can understand why my little friend doesn't like math. Too much work!

But I did tell him that it's part of what he must learn at school, and that it WILL help him in his later school years. There ARE math sessions there as well.

He mostly likes to read & draw. And have a little fun playing around. Like most kids do.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:31 PM   #13
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There are a lot of books that subtly teach math in a fun way (and the kids don't even realize they are learning math), like Spaghetti for All. Math and drawing go great together too. Example: 4 guys painted 3 bulldogs on their skateboards; how many bulldogs did they paint altogether. (3 + 3 + 3 + 3 or 4 x 3). When my class was learning about angles last year, I had groups make murals of a town (one group did an amusement park). They had to use (and label) acute, obtuse, and right angles, as well as at least one 45 degree, 90 degree, and 180 degree angle. The kids had a lot of fun, they got better at using protractors, and they reinforced what they already knew about angles.

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Old 02-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #14
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That's a good idea!

I'll ask the coordinator about that when I go back on Tuesday.
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:25 PM   #15
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Ya'll are the best!!! There is nothing that provides greater rewards than investing your time in a child. Just the fact that an adult (who isn't their parent and therefore doesn't have to) chooses to spend time with a child makes that child feel special and important. After all, they must be pretty special if a grown up wants to listen to them and read to them and spend their time with them. This is a powerful, powerful gift and I applaud all of you!
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:52 PM   #16
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Well what you're doing is something I never could do. I have a very short temper and kids usually set it off pretty fast (amongst other things that I'd rather not start to mention). I've tutored my cousin in math (she's about 16 years old I think) and that wasn't always the most fun. I like math and love sciences (although I never really had a choice about it) ... but am dreadful at history, english, economics, etc...
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:31 AM   #17
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I used to teach elementary school and am doing volunteering at our local international school. I love it and it gets me out of the apartment twice a week. They offered me a full time job but I'm happier being flexible. Our school in Texas started a reading program where the children and their assigned mentor would read the same book and then discuss the book at a lunch. I loved it. Had a group of 4th graders and their assigned book was "How to Eat Fried Worms". We really had a good time discussing it. As their science teacher I had recommended that they read "Owls in the Family" ---the librarian wanted to know what the deal was---she could not keep it on the shelves anymore.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
Well what you're doing is something I never could do. I have a very short temper and kids usually set it off pretty fast (amongst other things that I'd rather not start to mention). I've tutored my cousin in math (she's about 16 years old I think) and that wasn't always the most fun. I like math and love sciences (although I never really had a choice about it) ... but am dreadful at history, english, economics, etc...
Well, I think that you deserve extra kudos for tutoring your cousin since kids get on your nerves!
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
Well what you're doing is something I never could do. I have a very short temper and kids usually set it off pretty fast (amongst other things that I'd rather not start to mention). I've tutored my cousin in math (she's about 16 years old I think) and that wasn't always the most fun. I like math and love sciences (although I never really had a choice about it) ... but am dreadful at history, english, economics, etc...


Kids in the past have also ruffled my feathers as well. They really pushed me off the cliff!

Sometimes they'll test you to see just how far they can go with you and how much they can get away with. They'll push your buttons and they can make you suffer & be miserable. They don't know any better. And if the parents let them do that at home to others, then, they are the ones to blame.

But kids are kids and their behavior with adults start at home. In addition to that, they must also learn the true values of having people in their live to help them succeed with their goals in life.

I mainly want the kids I tutor to be the best they can be and to earn the respect of all those who are their mentors and are helping them prepare for their teenage years.

Even with kids as young as the ones we tutor, they just can't buy your friendship. It is earned through respect and trust. But they haven't disrespected me, nor have they shown any bad behavior.

I see them running around, jumping and laughing and just being themselves.
Looking at them running and playing brings back memories of the time when I was a kid myself!!

Especially the boy who made the "bet" with me the other day! He provides fun and entertainment and makes me feel like a kid again! They say that there's a little kid in ALL of us.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey123 View Post

I see them running around, jumping and laughing and just being themselves.
Looking at them running and playing brings back memories of the time when I was a kid myself!!

Especially the boy who made the "bet" with me the other day! He provides fun and entertainment and makes me feel like a kid again! They say that there's a little kid in ALL of us.
Well, my childhood was ... different to say the least. I didn't really do much jumping around or whatnot. I don't think it's something that goes away and I still have it today, just it's worse (I'd rather not mention it on here). Cooking usually helps calm me, which is one other reason why I try.

I tutored my cousin not to be generous but because she asked me to and paid me. I can stand older kids since usually they're more mature than a small kid, although sometimes it's the other way around.
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