Tutoring update

It occurred to me that I haven’t written anything recently about my tutoring student, J.

J. is now almost at the end of the Wilson Reading System Step 12, and still has a terrific, upbeat, motivated attitude.  She’s a pleasure to teach, and we’ve been having a great time starting to analyze the etymology of words (something we’ll start on in earnest in a week or two).  She’s become incredibly fluent in looking words up in the dictionary, a skill that I feel is undertaught in schools these days.  She also has developed an even keener curiosity about word origins that she used to have, which is saying something. 

There’s something very special about being able to take a student all the way through the Wilson Reading System.  My students at the elementary school only got to work with me through Wilson Step 9, which teaches the final syllable type, the vowel-team (or vowel digraph and vowel diphthong) syllable.  Standard school practice has decided that Steps 10, 11, and 12 are superfluous, since they cover very advanced concepts that are infrequently used by a typical elementary school student.

J. is only the third student that I’ve been able to teach through Step 12 (ironically, her older brother was the first, and my boss at the elementary school allowed me to keep working with him past Step 9), and I find myself discovering amazing things about our language along with her.  Words and phonology are incredibly cool things, and I love that I get to teach and learn and explore them.  I can’t wait for our detailed study of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes, coming in the next few weeks.