The teaching year began with the running of two Qwertyqwik Touch Typing workshops for a local factory to upgrade the typing skills of their staff. This was done in order to improve productivity and to speed up processing time.
Twelve staff attended the workshops and within an hour each group had successfully managed to put the entire alphabet and some punctuation onto their fingers. By the end of the lesson the fingers were finding the right keys for the right letters without having to use their eyes, much to their owners surprise and amazement!
After an article was written by a Timaru Herald reporter (look under media), I spent most of February teaching families from the South Canterbury region. The phone and email had been hot and the relief that this method is bringing to children and to their families is awe inspiring!. An 8-year-old special needs student came with the ability to count to 3 and left with the ability to count to 10 and backwards. His parents were 'beside themselves' with anxiety for their only child and had even put me in touch with one of his many special needs teachers who explained to me what they had been trying to achieve with this boy for a considerable amount of time. He came back one further time and this time I worked with spelling and he left with the knowledge of how to spell his family name of 8 letters. A triumph indeed in just an hour along with some more number facts.
I also worked with a young lady with a spina-bifida condition that left her also with neurological and learning problems. She learnt successfully for the very first time in her life the 2 times tables while her mother watched on in amazement. To have her daughter learn something so quickly that had been a struggle for so long, was joyful indeed for a parent! She bought a copy of my Elephants Never Forget their Times Tables book and they left their 90 minute lesson with smiles on their faces. The sad thing about teaching youngsters such as this is that I don't get to see them again and find out how they are doing, as their parents take over from me and get to see all the rewards themselves. I am happy however to know that I have made a difference in the lives of so many.
March was a busy month and I was contacted by 3 primary schools.
The first of these schools was organized by one of the parents who visited me for a lesson for her 9 year-old son. She was so excited about her son finally being able to learn his 3 times table that she immediately returned to the school after the lesson and managed to persuade the principal to have me come to the school for a day.
When I arrived, I was greeted by the principal who had me come into the staff room and sit at a low round table with some chairs around it. He asked me what I was wanting to do and as it was a small country school with very tiny classes, I asked for all of the children who needed to learn the 2 times table. He sent me these and came in himself to watch me teach. When he saw the children picking up the patterns straight away and grasping the learning and enjoying it, he said " Francee, this is amazing stuff, why aren't you a billionaire?"
I worked my way through the different levels of children and then in the evening I went to the local Town Hall and entertained 21 families, it was their fundraiser evening for the school. I taught them my whole math repertoire along with the 17 times tables which proved a real hit for the farming families who had made the effort to be there. From this successful day I was contacted by another small school and that proved also to be a lot of fun.
The first thing I did at this second school was ask the teachers for the child they felt needed the most math help and I worked with this child while demonstrating my method to the teachers, teacher aides and parent helpers who were there for the professional development session.
Within a few minutes of my teaching, the jaws of the teachers dropped as the youngster whom they had chosen recited his 2 times table, then his 12 times table. While they were still oohing and aaahing he learnt how to do long multiplication and division.
This was a child with whom they had worked on a one on one basis for a long period of time!
This was a child whom they deemed the most needy in the school.!
This was a child who needed to use his fingers in order to be able to learn mathematics!
The rest of the day was also eventful, but when you know you have made a difference in someone's life to that extent, you are on a high for quite some time.
The last school I went to was closer to home. I was again greeted heartily by the principal who had heard lots of good reports about my teaching system and as he wanted to see how the system worked and if it would benefit his children as advertised. He took me to the school library and small groups of children on similar levels were brought in to me for their particular lesson. After the children had all their fingers loaded, the staff came for their professional development training. They had witnessed all the buzzing of the children, but had yet to know how the system worked. A very successful day indeed!
Through the months from February to August, I had up to 70 families come to my home for Fingerithmatic training, some of them came for follow up lessons as well. These families were so excited to be a part of this learning and the comments from the children as they left my home were very heartening. One of the mothers rang me to tell me that her son had gone home to tell his father that he wasn't dumb after all! She was upset to think that her son had felt so badly about himself.
Never let any child feel that they can't learn their Times Tables!
Fingerithmatic is a very quick system of teaching and after demonstrating the technique to others the market is quickly flooded.
Knowing by this time that children in other countries needed Fingerithmatic too, I began a search for an International Marketer for my books and professional teacher training. I had heard there was a need for my system in the USA and was prepared to leave New Zealand to meet such a need.
I met several businessmen, but one in particular was prepared to go the extra mile and sponsor me to come to America. He set up copyright provisions, a new American based teaching company (Frances More International Teaching Systems Inc.) and arranged for a The Chambers Group to produce my books. He is currently working on getting my books online with AMAZON.COM. This will allow my books to be seen by millions more who are searching for help for their students or their children.
Already many homeschoolers are using Fingerithmatic as their preferred method of teaching the times tables and my manager is looking for homeschooling websites to link to as well.