Laura's Tutoring History
It all started in a small, one-room school house in rural central Wisconsin. My inspiration was my 6th grade teacher. In an English assignment, we were asked to write a clear set of instructions about how to do a specific task. I don't remember what I chose to explain but I will always remember the words the teacher wrote on my paper: "You will make a good teacher!" From that day on, I knew I wanted to teach even though I struggled with dyslexia.
My first teaching experiences were at several vacation Bible schools throughout my teenage years. I always enjoyed the challenge but they only lasted 1-2 weeks. I wanted more. At the age of 18, I was asked to teach in a one-room school in Michigan. The room was divided, with the elementary students on one side, and junior high and high school students on the other. My responsibility was to teach grades 1-5. I was there for 3 years from 1982-1985, and taught everything from reading to science, Bible, and history. Every year I loved it more, but the time came to move on. By this time my "Prince Charming" had been in my life for 3 years, and he had asked me to marry him. I moved back to Wisconsin in June of 1985 and did just that. It was a wise decision, and I have never regretted it.
In 1986, our church started a school and asked me to teach the Learning to Read Program. I was thrilled and had a great year. By the spring of 1987 I was expecting our first child. Staying home with our children was very important to me, so I did not return to a "typical" classroom after that. When our oldest daughter reached school age, we knew we wanted to home-school. I couldn't imagine letting anyone else teach my children, because it was something I loved to do.
For the last 20 years I have been homeschooling my 7 children. Four of the 7 have symptoms of dyslexia, and one also has ADD symptoms. They were never tested for dyslexia because I didn't know it was available. I did not use research-based curriculum specifically for learning disabilities because I didn't know it existed. I was determined that I could teach them to read and I did.
My youngest struggled more than the others had, which led me to research learning disabilities and dyslexia. I was excited to find so much information and good curricula available. Sadly, most schools are not using Orton-Gillingham or Phono-Graphix curricula, even though it is excellent for all types of learners, those with and without learning disabilities. Most universities do not train teachers to use these methods, either.
In 2008 I was thinking ahead of something I could do when my kids no longer needed so much help on their school work. This led to spending 2 years selling Mary Kay products. In 2010 I made the jump from Mary Kay to selling non-toxic products with Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. While I loved the people I met, I realized I would rather be teaching than selling. This process took 4+ years, because sometimes I'm slow to realize what's happening. Yet, I believe God has used these experiences to help me grow my business skills and to prepare me for the doors he is opening now in tutoring.
As of November 2017, my youngest is 19 and runs a successful model horse business while studying at a local technical college. With the extra time I have, God has put it on my heart to tutor other kids. That, my friends, is why I am here.
My family in 2004, on a hike overlooking Lake Mohave in Arizona. My family in 2005. The kids in 2009. The whole family + grandparents in summer of 2014. The last time we were all together in 2016. Three grandbabies have been born since then! My husband was elected to the State Assembly in 2013. I love reading to my grandkids, but several of them live far away, and we have to keep in touch with Skype. Brock, Lauren, Briana and Cassidy live in Athens, Wisconsin. Lorien and Thais live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Jael and Hosea live in Quebec. Emmett lives in Taichung, Taiwan.