From The Tutor
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 11:00:53 -0500
Subject: teaching an active 7 year old boy
I am living with a host family in Wasquehal France, and working primarily with two boys: one aged 7 and one aged 10. I brought a cookbook and a few issues of National Geographic for Kids with me, and the 10 year old and I have been working through those, in addition to his English homework from school.
The 7 year old is very active and not very 'into' sitting still. To this end, I was thinking that teaching him some songs that involve few words but lots of movement would be a good way to teach him. This past week, he learned "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and I am thinking of starting "The Hokey Pokey" or "If you're Happy and you know it" today--probably the former, because we can review some of the body parts from "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." I was wondering if you had suggestions for other such songs, or other ideas of more active ways to teach a seven year old!
Thank you so much for your help,
From Help Me Teach
Thank you for writing. Congratulations on your new adventures in Wasquehal, France. I can appreciate your situation with two active youngsters. For how long will you be with the family?
You are doing just fine with the 10-year old, as I would suspect he is quite interested in getting ahead in English language studies in school. Working with him in English in other studies should also be of help to him.
The 7-year old is a different situation, as you have found. As an active person, anything active should be of interest to him. Attention span will be short, so frequent changes in activities will be good. Your idea of songs is excellent, as they all require activity and language acquisition. Another path can also be "I see with my little eye....." something (color, big, small, outside, inside, etc.), which can also build vocabulary and be fun. What level of English do the two boys have? I suspect the older boy is learning in school as a matter of course. The younger boy is not yet there. Is there any way of bringing both boys together in what the elder is learning?
Although familiar with France, I am unfamiliar with your town. Would it be of help to talk with the English teacher in the school? Are there coloring books and children's easy story books in the local bookstores?
Weather permitting, outdoor activities are always good for either child. Park visits as vocabulary builders are always good. Weather, time, directions, colors, objects, animals. One list a day and then go forth to find them in a sort of scavanger hunt. Rearranging the alphabet can always be fun if the person is given a series of letters and tries to form diffeent words. Many can be similar to French, which can be even more challenging.
I have attached some materials and web sites that might be of help. Let me know if they get through to you and what might be of help. Also, it would be great to learn what you are doing that has worked in your particular situation.
Hope this is of help. I would be interested to learn more of your situation and whether the information provided is of any help.
I sincerely hope that all goes well there and that spring is happening. Please do let me know what works and doesn't.
From the Tutor
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 05:36:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Tutoring in Segovia
I hope you are doing well. Maybeth at GeoVisions gave me your contact information. I just arrived in Segovia yesterday. I am tutoring the 7 year old daughter and the mother (conversational). Do you have any suggestions on ways to tutor the 7 year old? Are you located in Spain? Please let me know when you get a chance.
From Help Me Teach
Thank you for your message. Sounds as if you are having quite the adventure! Spain must be beautiful. No, I am not located there, but would like to visit one day. How long is your program? What are your circumstances?
Seven-year olds are quite active, so I can see the difficulties. Does the child have any command of English? If not, then anything you do will be elementary. I have attached a file of what I hope will be useful exercises and ideas. Action activities will be fun, especially outdoors.. Basic vocabulary (colors, objects, etc.) can be good with very simple sentence structure. Dp you know any Spanish? Children are often excited to teach a non-native speaker and this opens the door to sharing vocabulary in both languages. Drawing or finger painting of vocabulary words is also good. Look at the attachment and see if it can be of any help to you. If not, let me know and we can pursue other avenues.
Do let me know how it all goes for you and how you are enjoying your adventure and the challenges. I would enjoy sharing your adventures through your eyes and comments, and also any ideas you might have as you work with the child. I sincerely hope that all goes well for you.
Let me know if the attachment gets through OK. Very best wishes,
The topic we are asked at GeoVisions most is "Why do I have to pay to volunteer?" We have a page on the GeoVisions website dealing with paying to volunteer. You can click here
to read that page if you like.
I thought I might take some time over the next couple of weeks and get into the subject of paying to volunteer in more depth.
Gregory Hubbs, Transitions Abroad
editor, answers the question on why volunteers have to pay this way: "Primarily because most volunteers are more of a liability until they are trained to help the local community. Often the money spent volunteering is best spent on the local volunteers/people, particularly if the outside volunteer does not have medical, teaching, technical or other useful skills which would allow them to “hit the ground running.” In addition, it is usually very important for there to be continuity in a volunteer project for it to truly succeed in helping those who need it."
I think the best way to understand another person or point of view is to stand in their shoes a bit. So, as you read this Blog entry, see if any of my comments strike a chord. You can always comment, and I'll try to address your issues.
We have a few Red Fox
in the area of Guilford, Connecticut
, where I live. I've done a lot of research on the Red Fox and let's say I want to make sure our local Red Fox families can survive here in Guilford and can exist safely with humans and our pets. So I establish my Protecting The Red Fox Association (including several local volunteers) and I quickly find I need to get someone from the Long Island Sound Study to give me some advice (they did a study on the Red Fox and received a $40,000 grant). These people are now my "experts."
A few months go by and now and we have rasied a lot of local interest in the Red Fox and our new project and our new Association sounds pretty cool. I log on to my Association email account and low and behold I have people contacting me from other countries who would like to come to the U.S., live for a while in the Northeast, and who have some kind of interest in the Red Fox. And they want to volunteer with our Association.
I really do need more volunteers! But these potential volunteers need a place to stay, they need to be fed, I'm going to have to pick them up at JFK airport when they arrive in New York and get them here to Connecticut. I have to make sure they don't bring with them some kind of negative police record. I don't speak German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Thai nor Korean. And they tell me they do not speak (or write) English all that well. They all want to come at different times and they all want to go back at different times and they all want to study some English while they are here. And 95% of them have never seen a Red Fox, so they are going to need an orientation and that means bringing my friend from Long Island out here again to do a proper orientation. Many times. Now I see a lot of dollar signs in my mind. $$$$$
But I really have no funds (except a few local donations) and I can't afford all this. What am I going to do? I need more volunteers. It would bring a new dimension to our Association to have some global links...that's always a good thing.
All of these wonderful volunteers are going to have to get their own visa, their plane tickets, their background checks and then either I have to find host families for them or they have to do that when they arrive because no one in my volunteer Association has time to look for host families. What if our global volunteers are not successful in finding a family? What will they have to pay for room and board? Local transportation? Getting to the Shoreline of Connecticut from New York City? And back? And will they help pay the costs of my friend from The Long Island Study to come out for orientation? And how will they get to and from the English lessons? WHERE will they take English lessons? How will we communicate with them?
This is but the tip of the iceberg.
GeoVisions' job in all of this is to find sustainable projects around the globe who are open to foreign volunteers. Then, we need to find volunteers to help them. And to help the agency abroad we do as much of the coordination as possible to make our volunteers' arrival and stay at the project rewarding to all, safe, and as unobtrusive as possible. That means providing insurance so volunteers are not a burdon to the community. Finding host families or housing. Making sure the volunteers received safe accommodation and healthy meals. Taking care of the transportation. But we will get into more of that in Part 2.