Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We have been recruited to assist our friend and fellow sponsor, Susan, who is a retired Canadian teacher living here a good part of the year and who also teaches our pastor's children. Susan has been tutoring the original 5 sponsored children 2 or 3 afternoons a week whenever they have needed help with homework.  This year, the number of sponsored children has increased to 11, a bit more than she can handle for tutoring sessions, so she invited us and another sponsoring couple to lend a hand. Yesterday, the first day of school, was my first tutoring session.

Susan and I were very anxious to talk to the children after school and learn about their experiences. We wondered if any of them would show up for tutoring on the first day. Susan called me shortly after 12:30 to report that Leidy and Julisa were there. They had run right over to Susan's house, not even going home first! They did have homework.  I met them at church, in the classroom that Susan uses. A little while later, Oscar and his sister, Jessie, arrived, not needing help - just wanting to talk about their day. So cute!

Here are some photos from the afternoon:
                Susan helping Julisa. Have you ever seen anyone so happy about homework?

             A very serious Leidy, looking up definitions for her Spanish vocabulary words. She was very pleased with the blue book dotted with stickers that her teacher gave each of the students.

We discovered that both of the Spanish/English dictionaries we had did not give a Spanish definition for her vocab words. Thank goodness for Juan, a high school student sponsored by Larry and Susan, who showed up with his phone and was able to pull up a dictionary with the Spanish definitions.

Juan's dictionary failed to provide all the words that Leidy needed, so Susan ran back to her house to grab her laptop. While she was gone, I moved over to help Julisa with her reading. She had checked out a book of fairy tales from the new school library for her English reading assignment. We were working on Sleeping Beauty. She, and the other Spanish-speakers, have difficulty making the "th" sound which doesn't exist in their language. She also had trouble saying "y", which came out as "j". She's very determined though and worked hard on getting it right.

Once Susan's laptop arrived, they pulled up an online Spanish dictionary and very quickly completed Leidy's assignment. Julisa moved over to work on her definitions. Juan kept wanting to switch over to You-Tube and watch some funny videos, as he's doing in this photo, to Oscar's delight. Susan was not delighted and kept scolding Juan.

While Julisa was finishing her homework, Leidy and Jessie drew on the chalkboard, and Leidy told me how hungry she was. No wonder! She had not been home since 6:15 a.m. and had not had any lunch! I suggested that she go home. Both girls were looking very tired. Oscar and Jessie had gone home right after the bus dropped them off and had had something to eat, so they were still full of energy.

Leidy's trying to pack up her books and Jessie wants to look at everything. Jessie is one of those children who is very curious, wants to investigate and touch everything. She might make a good scientist! She's very smart, too.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun working with these kids. Who knows, I might even learn something!

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