A program like RWD means so many things to so many different people, and we’re always eager to learn what people think about us! This summer, we were able to have a chat with Jeannie (or Mrs. Lam to her third grade students). Her daughter was a learner at our Milpitas/Fremont location this summer, and we wanted to learn more about her experience with RWD!
How did you hear about RWD?
I actually heard about Read Write Discover from the parents of one of my previous students. They asked me if I’d heard of this free tutoring program, and I replied that I hadn’t. After doing some research on it, I decided to enroll my third grader into the program. I even introduced it to some of my students’ families that were asking for online tutoring during the summer.
Did you have a goal for your child to learn in the program?
I wanted my daughter to build her confidence in reading at home, without making her feel like she was forced to do it. It was important for me to see what the program was going to do to help her feel supported. I wanted my daughter to see herself as a reader, since it’s a little more difficult to get her to read at home with me.
How was your daughter’s experience with Read Write Discover?
Every Monday, she could not wait for tutoring! She was very excited to talk to Prachi, her tutor. Prachi incorporated fun games into her tutoring sessions. With any distance learning approach, learning online can be difficult, but I do see an increase in my daughter’s willingness to read more.
What were some of the activities the tutor utilized to keep your daughter engaged and support her learning?
Prachi played games with my daughter throughout the session, like hangman. They were mental break games, but were still educational. This was interesting to me because even though it seemed like it was a break to my daughter, it was still related to her learning endeavors. Another technique that Prachi used was to switch off during reading sessions, so that my daughter could practice her active listening skills.
What were some things you liked about the program?
I really appreciated that my daughter’s tutor tried to find out what she was interested in before assigning any work. Since I’m in the tutoring room with them, I noticed from their conversations that Prachi wasn’t dominating the conversation and allowed my daughter to share her thoughts and opinions. I also liked the incorporation of a progress report in the middle of the summer. It used parent-friendly language and kept me in the loop to stay updated on my daughter’s work in the program. I really liked having an individual tutor because she was able to really focus on my daughter throughout the entire summer.
How was your experience with distance learning and the incorporation of Google Classroom?
I feel that it is a vital skill for students to learn in Google Classroom. It’s a great tool to transition students into writing down their thoughts in a faster way. There’s also a sense of ease in breaking down the walls of writing on paper, that allows them to just type and be creative. When I teach the writing process in my own classroom, students don’t want to rewrite the entire draft because they don’t want to continue writing. Sometimes their thoughts move much faster than their hands. However, working online allows them to write quickly and get down all their thoughts. The paper component is still important, especially in the brainstorming phase (like outlining), but drafting their work online has been helpful.
Would you recommend RWD to another parent, and why?
I would definitely recommend RWD. It’s a good way to maintain the learning environment over the summer so that students are able to come back into the school year ready to go. Individualized tutoring has been beneficial to my daughter and I feel that she is a more confident reader! Education is near and dear to my heart and literacy is the foundation of all learning.
Do you have a book recommendation to share?
For a children’s book, I would recommend The Good Egg by Pete Oswald. For parents, I would recommend The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald. Parents can use this book for children to see what the best part of them is, and why. Sometimes kids feel as though they aren’t good at something, so it focuses on a good part of them that’s physical then goes deeper into the character traits they can’t see.