Miss Lorraine 101
Private Tutoring and Small Classes

  since 1994

I hold a certificate from the Rhode Island Interpreter Preparation Program, a three-year preparatory program for American Sign Language Interpreters through Northeastern University.  Prior to home-schooling my children, I was a freelance A.S.L. interpreter and worked in several local public high schools in that capacity.

Twenty years ago, when I discovered my youngest, a sixth grader, was reading at a third grade level with little to no comprehension, I quit my job, withdrew my children from the public school, and took the leap of faith that is homeschooling. 
My eldest was an eighth grade honor student, a self-starter who finished her lessons and headed to her room to study Latin for fun.  My youngest was a reluctant learner with a negative attitude, resigned to living in her sister's academic shadow.  Oral reading for two hours a day, focused on her decoding skills, was the equivalent of dragging her through a briar patch and hoping that some of those thorns of knowledge stuck.  But by the end of that first year, she was reading at a tenth grade level with eighty percent comprehension, and I had become a committed and enthusiastic homeschool mom. 
My eldest had already set her sights on college, so I set my sights on scholarships to get her there.  What I discovered was that it all came down to Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.   English is one half the SAT score and then some, now they have an essay requirement.   Math accounts for the rest.  Many colleges use the SAT and the ACT to gauge a student's eligibility for "in-house" scholarships. Other scholarships, whatever their criteria, had one thing in common - they required an essay. 
Despite her strengths, my eldest wrote essays that lacked flair.  Conversely, my youngest had a spark of creativity being smothered by poor grammar and poorer spelling.  I have always loved writing and so my first creative writing class began.  That class proved to be the cornerstone for every English class that followed.

All these years later, I still think of myself as an enthusiastic homeschool mom.  My own children are grown and pursuing their passions, but it was in the process of educating them that I found my own passion for teaching.  Only problem was - I'd run out of kids!  So  I started helping out a friend, and then another, and that turned into offering aclass, then classes and tutoring. 

       It is thrilling to hear that a student got into the college of their choice or was awarded a scholarship.  But I still have a real heart for those "tough" teens who struggle and don't believe in their own abilities!   Tending to those sparks until they ignite - is a priveledge! 
How did the story end?   
My eldest was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Berea College, but decided to attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  She received a Tsongas scholarship there and went on to become their first female Cadet Chief Engineer.  She graduated with a Marine Engineering Degree and the following year she completed her second degree in Marine Transportation.  Due to multiple merit scholarship awards, her sixty thousand dollar education cost about six thousand dollars.  She is currently the Chief Mate on the Endeavor, URI's Research Vessel.  She's the one with the big smile if you ever take the tour!
My youngest was accepted into the Culinary Arts Program at BCC and received a Giunta Scholarship.  As a freshman, she was asked by her English professor to work as a tutor for his Shakespearean Literature class.  But after a year she dropped out, still uncertain "school" was for her. 
She is homeschooling her own daughter now, and when she finds the time, continuing to write and edit a three book epic fantasy novel. 

Some Thoughts: 

The grass is always greener where you water it.  

Confidence and self-esteem are built by conquering challenges.

Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate ideas, spot fallacious arguments, identify omissions,
faulty reasoning, and emotional   manipulation.      

An educated mind can entertain an idea without accepting it.

The best teachers are models of enthusiasm and curiosity.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Winston Churchill

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
Thoughts on Writing:

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between   
lightning and a lightning bug.
Mark Twain

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass
Anton Chekhov

Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint.
Use all the colors.
Rhys Alexander

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.
James Michener