Friday, March 22, 2013

English / Grammar tutor near Sioux Falls South Dakota through Equine Assisted Learning Program

 Through our new Equine Assisted Learning program, we are offering English / Grammar tutoring or sessions to brush up on basic grammar "rules." We know it is important to have at least average "good grammar" in our writing. Our goal is for above average but, for some, average will be a huge improvement!  Our program is called "Giddy-up Your Grammar."

This is our facility. The barn keeps us out of the wind, snow, rain, sun, bugs, mud, etc.
We are talking about a writing style appropriate for your purpose and audience. For example, this is a blog. kind of informal. Kind of informal writing is ok here. A research paper or job application requires a more formal style. What we are talking about here is at least average "good grammar" in writing. Much focus on word choice, meaning of sentence, consistency.

The facilitator for this is me. Darci Hortness. Many of you know me as the founder of DoubleHP horse rescue/adoption/education, and as the manager of our horse shelter New Hope Horse Shelter. (We are 501c3 nonprofit and also South Dakota's first & only GFAS approved shelter.) But, I do have some previous chapters to my life that you probably don't know about.

I taught high school and college English classes -- grammar, literature, creative writing, and journalism. I also taught psychology and sociology, and I coached athletic teams. In addition, I taught personal/professional development classes to nontraditional college students (adult learners) and  resume/interview classes to men incarcerated at the prison camp in Yankton, SD. I also became certified as a Professional Employment Counselor and, for ten years, operated my own small business called Resumes by Darci Kaye. I developed resumes and cover letters for more than 1,000 clients!

So then, along came the horses. The rescues. The training. I  simply didn't have time for my paying jobs anymore. And so, for the last 11 years I guess, I have been a full-time volunteer caring for our rescued horses. I do not accept a penny for this work, and I work harder than I ever have before. Physically, mentally and for sure, emotionally. Participants in our equine education programs help to sponsor the care of our rescued horses. This sponsorship money is used to buy hay or pay for vet & farrier needs. No person takes a penny of this money. It all goes to the rescued horses who live here.

With the addition of our sanctuary status and equine assisted learning programs in 2012, I continue to be a full-time volunteer as a facilitator for our equine education programs.

With the English / Grammar teaching, what makes this really unique, different from other English tutoring available in our area, is, of course, our herd of 19 horses! Often a student just needs to try a different learning environment. And so, why not a barn or pasture, surrounded by horses. This is NOT a high-tech program. There are no computers. There are papers and pens and, for small groups, chalkboards or writing boards.
The horses become teaching assistants and teaching tools and help us to develop our creative and correct sentences. They help us think of examples of verbs, adjectives, prepositional phrases, subjects, etc. They help us choose the correct word: its or it's , lie or lay, I or me, etc.
The horses make English / Grammar learning fun, interesting, creative. Unique for sure!

When I was in high school I didn't like many subjects. I liked Physical Education a lot! And I liked English. It was because of the teachers that I liked English. One teacher in particular  knew how to make Grammar seem like a puzzle -- a game, kind of.  We diagrammed a lot of sentences. It was fun, because the teacher made it fun.

And that is what we will do through our English / Grammar teaching program here. It will be fun.

This is not a reading class or language learning class. It is for adults, junior high, middle school, high school and college students who need a brush up on English / Grammar. Or for those students who need a lot more than a brush up. Some really need to start over. In a new learning environment. Perhaps one-on-one, being an only student, for whatever reason. I do remember those high school students who had their minds made up about this grammar thing. They did not like it, they did not understand it, they felt they would never need it, and they did not pay any attention to it. Some of them got an F and had to take the class over the next year. Some of them asked for special help toward the end of the semester and learned enough to barely squeak by with a D but were still ineligible for sports.

I meet up with former students every once in a while. They now understand. We DO need to have some basic grammar skills, if we are to move along and ahead in the upcoming chapters of our lives. Using at least average "good grammar" in your writing does a lot more for you than show that you have "good grammar." It shows that you can pay attention to detail, that you can learn and use what you learn, and that you do care about your professional image enough to have at least average "good grammar" in your writing.

Think about the industry you are in. Do you think you seem better qualified and more experienced if you know how to write correctly about the products you are making or the services you are marketing?

Do you think college or job applications might be a little easier for you if you have at least average "good grammar" in your writing? If you need to write a research paper for a class in coaching, counseling, farming, designing, or anything else, do you think you will get a better grade if you use at least average "good grammar" in your writing? If a job application asks you to tell a little about yourself, wouldn't you like to be confident in your use of words/grammar?

If this program, "Giddy-up Your Grammar," interests you -- for yourself, your child, your student, your employee, your team -- give us a call. 359-0961. We can schedule an appointment for you to come out and meet the teaching assistants: our horses. Most of them were rescued from extreme, severe starvation or slaughter. They are very friendly and appreciative of our friendship and our care.
Some of them are young, some of them are dominant, some of them are introverts, some of them are big, some of them are smaller, some of them are brown, some of them have spots. Most of them have scars, either physically visible or emotional & hidden. They all have unique personalities and backgrounds. No matter how old they are, they all have future chapters to their lives. They all keep moving, interacting, participating, learning, and yes, teaching. Every single day the horses here help me figure something out or remind me about something important in life. Some things are very deep and personal.

But "Giddy-up Your Grammar" is fun! And if you think you might benefit from it, give us a call. Thanks! 359-0961. That's Darci's phone.