I am currently on holiday here in New Zealand. I have been living in the states now with my wonderful new husband for over 2 years and this is my second visit home to see my family and friends. I was contacted in October by a lovely homeschooling mother who was desperate for help for her 10 year-old son. His teacher more or less told her that he couldn't learn any more at school and that she should consider teaching him herself. She found my web site and asked for my assistance. I told her that I was returning home in Jan / Feb 07 and if she organized a few other parents and teachers for me to teach while I was in her area, I would come and teach her son.
January: I spent time answering letters from teachers and parents who were interested in the training seminars that were being organized by my special mum (mom) in New Zealand. I put up a special page on my site just for this purpose and any interest generated I would send forward to her. I also began getting my things in order to pack my bags.
February: I arrived in New Zealand on the 4th of February and soon put an advertisement in the local newspaper telling of my return home. I was featured on page 3 and the phone ran hot. Over the next few weeks I taught many lovely families, mostly children who had not managed to learn their times tables using traditional methods. Then I flew to the North Island and as soon as I got off the plane I was teaching 2 families who shared homeschooling facilities. All the boys learned their 7 times table and loved their further learning. One of the mums was a teacher and she was so happy with my teaching that she splashed out and bought my Elephants Never Forget their Times Tables books as well.
The next day was spent with the family I had been in touch with since October and the young 10 year old quickly grasped my method and ran with it. I also taught his brother the 12 times tables while I was at it. This only takes a few minutes using my system. This young man is a great artist. Here is his gift to me. SpongeBob----------------
The following day was spent teaching 11 homeschooling families all manner of things from the 17 times table to analog time to Qwertyqwik teaching. We all had a wonderful time and I sold many books to the parents that wanted to take home just that little bit more.
Then it was time for me to have a break with my brothers and I went out for a lovely meal with my oldest brother; I still can taste the wonderful dessert, poached nectarines with lemon zest in a heavy syrup with icecream!!
Back to work the next day with 3 wonderful families, spending an hour and a half with each. These also all purchased copies of my Elephant book and thoroughly enjoyed their new learning.
The last day was spent back at the home of the lovely family and I then taught the 10 year-old how to tell the time using his fingers. He managed it and proudly showed his father how he could now tell the time.
I flew back down to the South Island where I met a rather special young man who was giving his Dad a hard time because he would know the answer to a problem one minute, but it would be totally missing the next minute. I sent him to the Seagrove McKenzie Centre to be evaluated for learning difficulties. I also gave him lots of pointers and tips as to how to keep him focused. He was my most difficult student in a very long time, but he did manage to learn his 2 times tables. I wish them both well.
March: On my arrival home I have been busy teaching different students different things from touch typing to addition / subtraction. Two of the parents of children I had previously taught wanted further lessons while I am still in the country, so I am really enjoying these new friendships as well.
Pleasant Point Playcentre wanted me to come and meet with several parents to help their young ones learn their times tables and addition and subtraction before they went to school. Everyone had a wonderful evening and all went away with the 17 times tables on their fingers and smiles on their faces. I sold a few books as well which is always a sign you did a good job. Thank you ladies, keep up the good work with your youngsters!
Media: Hearing about my arrival home from America generated some media interest. I am going to be featured in a documentary showing my work with children in both countries.
April: I am home in America again and catching up on everyone and everything here. Two months is a long time to be away. I am currently taking calls and answering emails from Puerto Rico and Florida, so the planning of a trip south may be inevitable and enjoyable.
May: A 5 year old has learned her 2 and 3 times tables and is now self teaching the patterns on her fingers for the 4's. She doesn't know how to add and subtract yet, but that will soon come too. She goes to our local congregation and had a few short lessons with me before the public talk. Children are sponges!
June: The first of the month saw me teaching a 26 year old woman her 3 times table. She wanted to get her GED, but needed help with the basics. She was then able to multiply any number by 3 and divide large numbers by 3 using my special division system. When I showed her fractions using the patterns that she had just learned, the smile on her face became so wide! This was her first math success in her life, she was very excited!
A mother of a 6 year old with special needs is in contact with me regarding helping her son, she should be able to help him quickly when her books arrive.
July: School is out and the weather is extremely humid here in Pennsylvania. I am busy trying to complete my books every spare minute I get.
August: The Quick States book is completed and I am trying to complete the Spell Quick book. There are so many thousands of words to learn to spell, so I am trying to cover the different patterns as much as I can. This should be good when it is completed.
September: A very busy month of book sales. The printer ran out of every different book and has had to print another run of each selection including the American Telling the Time on Your Hands book and the NEW Quick States book.
October: The year is almost over and every day is a full one. My plate is certainly spilling over at this time and it will be even more so in the upcoming months. I am getting homesick for New Zealand and my family again as the days cool down here. We have had a wonderful warm fall, so there really isn't too much to complain about.
November: Well, exciting news!! TV3 cameras from New Zealand's 60 Minutes have been here to interview my husband and I and show our lives together. They are going to tell our unusual, yet wonderful love story to the nation. It should be screened in February 2008.
December: As the snow and colder weather here in Pennsylvania takes a grip, I have been mostly busy with learning new systems on which to write about. The sten keyboard is a fascinating one and should be able to be mastered very quickly when I finally get the book written.