I was connected with two tutoring jobs for the summer through my very nice former roommate Rebekah. I started the first of them today.
The job is with a 7-year-old Vietnamese boy. He is starting first-grade in the fall and needs help with reading. I spent one hour with him today — one hour broken up into 10 minute blocks. Every ten minutes we got to do something fun for a break. The first break he showed me his fish: “The female is pregnant. She’ll have one hundred babies but she’ll eat some when she get’s hungry. The babies will hide in the plants with the male. The male is very scared.” The second break he showed me his remote control car: Me, “Do you ever drive it into things?” “No! It would break if I did that.” The “duh” at the end of his comment was implied by tone of voice but not spoken. Then, when I asked him to repeat a word several times so I could coach him on the pronunciation he told me “This is hard for me.” Message received — we moved on.He told me that was scared of big kids in school because sometimes they’re mean to little kids. He said he’s sad because all of his friends are going to different schools for first grade. He’s a sweet, earnest kid with a lot of tough things on his mind.
In addition to have interference from his native language, I think he might have slight reading disabilities. He’s trying hard but struggling. So, after summer school ends I’m going into research mode to see how I can help the little guy. Luckily, one the members of my summer tennis team is a Speech Language Pathologist who said she loves “problem solving” and doesn’t mind answering questions at practice. I think working with him this summer will be an interesting process. If it is, I’ll report back on how he progresses. If you’re into this sort of thing, please pray for him and for me as I try to help him.