Friday, June 10, 2016

School's Out

I've been more or less computerless for the past few weeks.  Wally tried to upload the new Windows program and things did not go well.  His computer is now toast, can't do a thing.  He spent more than 3 full days trying all sorts of "fixes" to no avail.  It's not worth the $ to have someone else do it.  And....the screen on my computer is very persnickety.  You have to have it in just the right position or all the colors turn into swirls and water marks.  But it's functional,. so Wally has been using it for house hunting in the Newberg area and I have learned to function without a computer--which has been oddly satisfying!

Beginning last fall and ending the last week of May, I was volunteering as a tutor for the Whatcom Learning Lab  It's a grass roots organization started by Linda Gorsuch, a retired special ed teacher with vast experience in  teaching reading.  We used the Susan Barton method for tutoring students, young or old, who have difficulties learning to read.  It's a wonderful program which anyone can use.  

My student, Kaina, was a 2nd grader who will be in 3rd grade next year.   We met twice a week for an hour and I was so pleased to see her make so much progress.  She's an extremely bright and curious young lady with a strong will.  It was a challenge sometimes to work around that. but she has been well parented, so it wasn't all that hard!  

This is me and Kaina, playing "Go Fish" with cards I made from words we were working on that week.  Look at that smile!

As a group of tutors we decided to have a Reader's Theater for our last get-together.  All parents, grandparents and siblings were invited to an evening of fun and food.  We spent a few weeks having the kids practice the short play about butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and the role they play in pollination.  The practices made us wonder if we could pull this off; the kids were so squirrely!  They rose to the occasion on the night of the performance, doing a flawless reading of all their parts with projected voices and standing still and in one place!  Here are some shots of the gorgeous costumes made by one of the tutors.

The hummingbirds

 The bumblebees

 The butterflies

The honeybee--there's that smile again!

I'm really going to miss being a part of this group next year.  We are hoping to be resettled to points south by fall.  But I've become close to Kaina's family, so I'll be keeping in touch.  Parting is indeed such sweet sorrow.