Updated 4 March 2016

Does school give your child a tummy ache?

I can help your child to:

  • Make sense of assignments.
  • Play with different approaches.
  • Gain deeper understanding.
  • Regain confidence.
  • Communicate effectively to solve problems, get help and get feedback.
  • Take charge of his or her own learning.
  • Enjoy learning more.

Why me?

The process of learning fascinates me. I care deeply about my students and pay attention to how they think and feel. I make the lesson fit the child and share in the excitement of new understanding. I love seeing children take pride in their new abilities, accomplishments and comprehension.

I tutor both individuals and small groups. I also consult with parents who wish to teach their children at home. I have worked with students from ages three to adult, including many with special needs (including some nonverbal children who used alternative communication strategies and assistive devices).

I am human, just like my students. As a perpetual student myself, I am aware of how various conditions such as fatigue and different emotions affect my own ability to learn, and I have developed tricks for self-motivation and attention. Lately I have noticed that student struggles to learn mathematical notation are very similar to my own current struggles to learn Ruby programming code. Recently I took up knitting again, and when I learn new stitches, I find my knitted results display where my mind wandered. As a wise five-year-old told me, "Everybody makes mistakes; that's how we learn." (By the way, knitting is a great, calming activity that helps develop fine-motor and attention skills.)

My subject-area specialties:

Mathematics

  • Early math preparation for preschool and early elementary.
  • Essential concepts for elementary and middle school, including such gnarly topics as fractions, long division, and a host of concepts lumped under "pre-algebra."
  • Algebra 1 & 2.
  • Geometry.
  • Trigonometry.
  • Precalculus.

Language Arts

  • Preschool pre-reading and pre-writing.
  • Elementary reading.
  • Elementary writing.

Science

  • Elementary and middle school science.
  • High school biology.
  • High school chemistry.
  • Innovative science workshops and presentations to children ages 3 to 12, through my related business, Spark a Playful Mind, of which I am the founder and director.

General School Success

  • Strategies for lowering school anxiety (with the disclaimer that I am not a psychologist but rather an educator).
  • Academic organizational skills.
  • Study strategies.
  • Block-busting techniques to free creative thinking.

Computers

    Please note that I teach computer topics to adults as well as to children.
  • General computer use.
  • Word processing (Microsoft Word and some word processors developed specifically for children).
  • Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel).
  • Email (Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail).
  • Web design basics (especially HTML, CSS, and WordPress).
  • How to surf safely, avoid phishing scams and minimize malware risk.

Credentials

  • Montessori Elementary I Credential (AMS affiliation), Vancouver Board of Education Montessori Credential Program, Vancouver, BC, 2011.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Education, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, 1989. (Teaching certificate endorsements: K-8 all subjects, 4-12 mathematics, 4-12 biology.)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1980.

Call (707) 893-7654 to discuss your needs.

See Spark a Playful Mind's Contact Us page for other ways to reach me.