Summer tutoring is administered by teachers, tutors, parents, educational consultants, etc. As a teacher and a psychometrist, it is always fun for me when I get back into tutoring from time to time. Summer is one of those seasons when I embrace the chance to tutor again. There is more time to do it because it’s one of the least busy assessment seasons for me and there are students on summer break looking for remediation. A way to make it refreshing and different from the school year is to utilize nature in the format!
The way I utilize nature in my summer tutoring sessions is outlined like this:
1. Work for a set time on a subject.
3. We check the chicken coop to see if my hens laid any eggs. I might let my student keep the egg that day. Sometimes the student holds the hen and feeds her.
4. We check the herb planter box. After teaching my student the names of all the herbs, I check for memorization skills by asking the student to name them.
5. Sometimes I have the student close his/her eyes and smell individual herbs I hold in front of her nose and identify them. A tactile skill to do is have the student rub the herbs to release their natural oils first and then smell them. I let the student keep a small bouquet of herbs to take home (with her egg! to cook for later)
6. We check the koi pond and feed the fish or fill the pond with fresh water.
7. We check the grapevine to see how the grapes are growing as the summer proceeds. We pick the grape leaves to brine later for stuffed grape leaves (dolmades).
8. We check the vegetable garden-–tomatoes, peppers, etc…and I let him/her keep any. We pick them while still green, wrap them in a sack and keep them in a drawer to check on weekly to see if they’ve ripened.
After this “nature break”, we go back inside to finish up tutoring or start another subject. This format keeps the student engaged and interacting. It has made them eager to attend tutoring sessions and has helped build rapport.