Overwhelmed with the whole teaching English thing?
Hoping to find an English curriculum your student actually LIKES this year?
Wish you had a writing coach for your student so you didn't have to do the work?
Virtual Language Alive has been assisting parents and educating students since 2012!
Virtual Language Alive is the English Language curriculum Joanne designed for her own kids which has yielded amazing results on Verbal and Writing sections of those pesky college application exams such as the SAT and ACT. We're talking perfect scores and nearly perfect scores! Why? Because VLA WORKS!
VLA curriculum is self-teaching and requires no input from parents aside from feeding their student plus making sure teeth get brushed. Room cleaning is optional.
Three Simple Components with No Busy Work Ever
VLA is exceptionally unique in that the vocab words are pulled from past SAT exams.
Fifteen vocab words are presented each week along with short, fun puzzles and exercises designed to give the student opportunity to manipulate the vocab in order to master it. There is a quiz at the end of each week.
Secondly, the student is asked to read five hours per week. The type of material he reads is really up to the parent, and of course the parent may choose to incorporate the reading or not to incorporate the reading, but reading is strongly encouraged. The more a student reads, the better his writing becomes.
Finally, the student gets to write a short mini-essay three times per week which enables her to simply use five vocab words per mini-essay. These mini-essays are not graded or torn apart with a red pencil by anyone. The purpose is to give the student opportunity to use what she has learned practically with no stress whatsoever. However, writing encouragement is available if desired!
Personal Tutoring Program
Students enrolled in VLA get to submit one mini-essay per week to Joanne for personal feedback, instruction, and encouragement. The beauty of tutoring is that Joanne works with students at whatever level they currently have reached, and she gently, yet steadily encourages growth from that point forward. She believes all students are writers and is able to coax even the reluctant anti-reader and/or anti-writer to grow in confidence.
There are 50 seats available in the tutoring section, year around. Enroll at any time!
Email info@URtheMOM.com for current seat availability.
There is absolutely no busy work throughout the week. Each day presents a short and sweet exercise to reinforce the learning of vocab and offers an hour of reading time per day. VLA is like taking a daily vitamin, a small dose per day supports healthy growth and development in Language Arts and Writing.
VLA is recommended for the following age groups:
Level A: Advanced 7th/8th Grade, and Grade 9
Level B: Grades 10 and 11
Level C: Grades 11 and 12
Level D: Grade 12 and above! Super tough level!
Each Level consists of Semester 1 & Semester 2. Each semester consists of 18 lessons, for a total of 36 lessons per Level.
VLA was originally designed for high school students, but since its inception in 2012, Joanne has been pleased to see that middle school students who are avid readers have worked through Level A successfully and with alacrity.
While the initial lessons in a given Level may seem easy, the difficulty level quickly ramps up. If you noticed above, Level D, also known as the Dare-You Level, comes with a warning because it contains words culled from GRE Exams! It is not for the faint of heart.
Right NOW you can enroll your student in
VIRTUAL Language Alive, and your student will receive both the curriculum and virtual tutoring.
Coming VERY soon you will be able to purchase just the curriculum by itself. Hence, it shall be called Language Alive, sans the "virtual" nomenclature.
Language Alive will be available initially in downloadable PDF format. Check back frequently or simply join the Fresh Vision Newsletter list to be notified when all the stars are aligned with the planets, and you can get your hands on your very own copy of Language Alive for Levels A, B, C, and D
I don't use any formal spelling, writing, or grammar curriculum after my kids finish sixth grade. That's it! My kids are done with formal instruction at this point, and after seven years of English grammar study, why shouldn't they be? Come on, it's been seven long years of nouns and pronouns! Now they get to dive into what we today call Language Alive, but for years it had no name. It's what I allowed my kids to do instead of a formal writing curriculum because I learned a secret that now I can share with you.
A strong foundation in reading, coupled with what I call background writing--writing something three times per week--plus a strong & vibrant vocabulary provide a student with an unparalleled advantage for the rest of his life.
Lauren, 21, graduated from college summa cum laude with a degree in English with a Writing
Emphasis. Lauren never wrote me a formal essay or paper during her entire high school career, yet she, along with her siblings, entered college extremely well prepared for college-level writing. She scored a perfect 36/36 on the ACT Reading section, and a 35/36 on the English section in high school.
Because I did not require senseless writing assignment upon writing assignment every week of her high school career, Lauren's love of writing was not snuffed out by monotonous writing that lacked purpose. She wrote for herself and still does.
If you want to successfully snuff out a love of language in your student, make him do a formal program of grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary all at once. Hand him workbook after workbook filled with assignment after assignment, a lot of which is busy work, designed to fill time. For 12 years! Wouldn't you hate having to do that, personally?
Or you can give your student freedom to work independently with a program that promises no busy work and gives weekly feedback with minimal requirements.
"Read for an hour per day for fun. Write something on your own three times a week for fun using vocab words," is what I've told my own flesh-and-blood students, giving them next to no restrictions in style. I in turn would read over their mini-essays from time to time just to see that the work was being done with excellence, and to amuse myself with their witticisms and creativity, but never did I read to correct with a red pen. The action of putting thoughts into words on paper was inspired by the language they were taking in through the reading of books. The more a student reads, the more her writing improves.
Note: My students did take an essay-writing class in high school for 15 weeks where they learned to cite sources and compose themed writing assignments. My last baby, Lilienne, was the only one of my kids to dual enroll in the local community college. During her senior year, Lilienne took a Freshman English Composition class and aced it easily. She had never written me a single formal composition, but she spent a few years working through VLA and reading for fun for an hour per day. All that reading and writing for fun has a compilation effect.
Let 'em write! Let 'em read! Don't stop progress with lengthy assignments that bog them down. Mix in a light study of vocab words, and the result is background development of viable, advanced language skills!
Each and every week your student will:
My promise is to NEVER give any busy work. All assignments have a distinct purpose in their design.
Note: If a student does not email a mini-essay by Friday at midnight, he misses out on the tutoring for that week unless there has been notice given of illness, vacation, taking the week off, et cetera.
One of the goals of VLA is to provide students with a reason to read and a reason to write that go beyond, "Because Mom and Dad say so." When students understand the why, when they can see the benefit to them, they become marvelously motivated. Giving them a way to organize the process of becoming a great writer is pivotal, and that is one of the strengths of the program.
I believe a self-learning environment best prepares students for educational success.
There are some subjects, however, where coaching is helpful to the development of excellence.
One of those subjects is language, which includes spelling, reading, vocabulary, and writing. Coaching is necessary for giving feedback and encouragement, and it most certainly may be provided by parents!
However, parents sometimes feel inadequate to teach writing and grammar.
I understand that; I would not want to have to literally teach my children carpentry because I am simply not skilled in carpentry.
If coaching your child in language development is not your area of strength, I can help, and it would be my honor to do so.
Your student may begin an 18-Week session at any time throughout the year. Mastery learning is always the goal, so learning each week's vocabulary words is the priority. Your student may sometimes want to take a second week to work on a lesson. That is absolutely fine, and re-doing work will not count against the 18-Week tutoring sessions. I am always happy to give extra time at no charge!
Tuition price of $25 per week includes the Language Alive curriculum, weekly feedback, and personal instruction. Sometimes a student may need extra work in an area such as using quotation marks. Practice worksheets may be provided, or sometimes the student will be given a link with extra information on her problem area so she can do a little more study in order to improve. Specialized Record Sheets are provided for your student to use weekly to keep track of progress.
Tuition price is $25 per week.
An 18-Week Semester is $450.
In the Shop section, you may choose to break the tuition into smaller chunks.
Once you have selected the Level in which you'd like to begin your student, rest assured that if the selected level proves to be too easy or too difficult, we can try different semesters/levels until we find the perfect beginning point.
"I had so much fun! Mrs. Calderwood helped me improve my ability to write! Before learning from her, I didn't even know how to write a decent paragraph, but with her teaching, I was able to write two miniseries that have a pretty good story line if I do say so myself."
"VLA makes you write, it's stress-free, and it's FUN!"
"This is a lot of fun. I can't wait for next week for your response to my essay!"
"VLA helps my writing skills if for no other reason than it gets me writing. My parents think this is a necessity for me. I think so, too."
"I have widened my vocabulary and learned how to write better."
"It was very fun. It made me want to be a more creative writer!"
"Mrs. Calderwood doesn't give busy work. Every section of the files has a purpose, and I feel better prepared for the SAT."
"I really like the overall simplicity of the class. NO MORE BUSY WORK! Just what I need to learn and not a bunch of junk to keep me doing something."
"I was impressed with this program because I realized it was based on what helped Mrs. Calderwood's own children to be successful on testing. As a homeschooling mom, I am always questioning if I am able to meet my child's needs and prepare him to do his best in the future. I feel confident that this program is helping him work towards that goal.
My son wants to be a writer, and loves working with Mrs. Calderwood. He enjoys his weekly assignments and looks forward to the feedback. I love that it is individualized and that this is an area I can hand off to someone much more qualified than I am for correcting his papers.
I love working with Mrs. Calderwood because she is professional, very qualified and knowledgeable, personal, and encouraging. She has the unique ability to draw the most out of students in a positive way. My son wants to work hard on his essay because he does not want to let her down, and he looks forward with pride to getting her feedback.
I would highly recommend this program and her as a teacher to others, in fact I
have done so!"
"The greatest thing about our VLA experience for me is that it takes the pressure off of me. I am not responsible for teaching writing to our children. Joanne does it for me! That my sound lazy, but I prefer to compensate in areas where I feel I am lacking.
I like how the students have to use vocabulary words for their essays. It not only makes our children think about how they are going to use these vocabulary words in the correct way to create a good essay, but it also reinforces the meanings of these words.
What I like about working with Mrs. Calderwood is that she is so encouraging. She always has something positive to say to our children about their work."
"VLA is a blessing to us because it has helped my son excel in his vocabulary and essay writing skills. I've seen a dramatic improvement and confidence in my son's writing throughout the 18-week course. I can honestly say that Seth eagerly looked forward to receive feedback and work from Joanne every week. He enjoyed the challenge of creating three essays a week to include the vocabulary words he was studying during each lesson.
I thank God that Seth has the opportunity to work with Joanne as his language arts mentor. She is helping my son unlock the joy of writing. I am especially grateful for her wit and candor as she corresponds with us. When we do have questions for her, she is very prompt in replying."
"I just wanted you to know that I have been very impressed with your program and how it is changing the way Makenzie writes (and reads). I shared with our homeschool co op families last week and again today about your program and how wonderful it is. If you see an increase in Mississippi families, know that we are spreading the word and appreciate all that you do."
"It was so amazing to watch our reluctant writer become excited about writing. He could NOT wait to sit down and write his essays every week in anticipation of Mrs. Calderwood's feedback!
Our motivated writer was able to take his writing to a higher level as he was challenged to use vocabulary words he probably would never have thought of to add to his writings. Mrs. Calderwood's feedback, midterm reports, and emails made this class incredibly worthwhile."
"My student is motivated when working with you in a way that he never was motivated before."