What You Need to Know…

How I Teach/Syllabus

I teach my own writing curriculum, a combination of the best of what’s out there, as well as my own thinking. I adopt the curriculum I have developed over the years to meet the specific needs of your child.  There is no set syllabus.

I do not provide tutoring or help with schoolwork/homework.  We can practice different types of writing such as essays for private school, but usually we do creative writing of some sort. It is more motivating and teaches all the necessary writing techniques.

One of the teaching skills I believe important, is the ability to work with kids outside average-on the edges of the wide spectrum of our students.  Engaging kids who have strong opinions about writing, positive or negative, can be a challenge; but a challenge I enjoy.  I employ these techniques to “find a way in,” a way in to their appreciation, confidence and willingness to work at all types of writing.  

A student who struggled with producing even minimal story structure, found an appreciation of setting’s importance to a story once I read aloud from a favored author.  Another student, still learning English but highly motivated to write, has learned how to use symbolism, from a concrete to abstract level, to weave her story more tightly together.  The joy of writing can be imparted to all kids-that is my goal.

Types of Lessons

Small groups are perfect for most kids, as long as the students are reasonably compatible in writing level. The same holds true of multiple grade level classes. Small groups can run from 3 kids to 6 or 7 depending on enrollment and age of students.

Semi-private lessons can be between siblings if they get along 😊 and are no more than 3 years in age difference.  I can arrange to put students from two different families together. You can save money if you put together your own group. 

Private lessons are reserved for very reluctant writers, children with dyslexia and other learning differences.

Registration

  • You need to register on google forms as that is how I track my families. Please delineate the school (not district) or name of private school.
  • If your student has an IEP or 504 plan, please send that along by email when you register.
  • First come is not first served.  I need a certain number of kids before I start putting groups together. Therefore, I will be telling you when you can expect to hear from me regarding your schedule. (mid-March for Summer 2024)
  • I make up groups putting together children of similar level and needs. I may not offer classes at your child’s level, if there are an insufficient number of children registered.

Putting A Schedule Together

Once I announce a session, I need to wait a while to gather enough kids to put compatible groups together.  School year schedules are particularly complicated with everyone’s after school activities.

Small groups are perfect for most kids if they are at a reasonably compatible writing level.  Small groups can run from 3 kids to 6 or 7 depending on enrollment and age of students.

Materials for Class

  • I provide all writing materials for grades 2-3.
  • Students 4th grade and up need to bring  a computer-laptop or ipad with keyboard AND charger.
  • Students 4th grade and up also must have or be able to:
  • Log into their computer
  • A gmail account (NOT their school account) 
  • Log into their gmail account 
  • Log into google docs.
  • Ensure that parental control time limits do not interrupt your child in class.
  • If a child is going to be late to class, please email me prior to class.

Payments/Refunds

  • $100 deposit due when registering for class. I will not place you without a deposit.
  • Balance due first day of class payable by Zelle (preferred)or check.
  • If you are paying by Zelle, in the “Reason” section, include your student’s name and the email address associated with your registration.  That way I can easily match payments to students and issue refunds.
  • Please add the email address you use to correspond with me in Zelle settings. Your bank will allow you to add multiple email addresses.
  • If you want a refund, send me a Zelle payment request, so I know who to refund the money to.

Cancellations/Make ups

Make up lessons are available when I cancel a lesson, and will be scheduled after the session. I cannot make up a lesson if you have to cancel.

Holidays

If there is a school holiday on a Monday or Friday, I will poll people to determine if I will offer class that day. If you are away for a holiday, I will offer a make up class.

You will note one the bottom of the schedule are  school holidays for MPUSD and PAUSD.  The yellow holidays are shared by both districts, purple are MP and green are PA. I can’t even speak regarding other schools, but suffice to say the dates are all over the place.

No Zoom Classes

I am not a big believer in zoom for learning writing.  I will do zoom with middle schoolers with whom I have already worked.  For kids to learn writing, they need a comfortable atmosphere and a relationship with the teacher, both of which can’t really be done on zoom.  It is also hard to give feedback since most children 4th grade and under are not yet quick and comfortable on computers.  

Pop-up Lessons

This winter, I am offering pop-up lessons. I create a standing schedule of the students, and I teach when I am in town, not when I am skiing. Most of the coming and going is from Tahoe is mid-week and dependent on snow conditions.

Once a schedule is confirmed, you should plan for your student to come unless I email you that I will not be in town. I will try and give 3 days advance notice if I can. That missed lesson then gets tacked on at the end of the session. You buy a series of eight lessons at the beginning of the session, and I make sure you get all of them or I will refund you. For example, my winter session this year will be eight lessons, but lasts for 12 weeks (or more) until I finish the 8 lessons.

FSA Receipts

I can provide an FSA receipt through email if needed.

IEP/504 Special Needs

Please send Janet a copy of your IEP/504, if applicable.  Janet will then contact you to discuss the needs of your child prior to placement.

Private lessons are reserved for very reluctant writers, children with dyslexia and other learning differences.

Grades I Teach

I offer classes for students in grades two through eight. I find that children in first grade do not have the attention span and social skills to write in a group setting.