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  • What are the teachers' qualifications?
    The teachers come from various backgrounds, so you can learn more about each individual on the "Meet Your Teachers" page. Speaking generally, each teacher has at least a bachelor's from a four-year program. Each teacher also has experience teaching, both in-person and online. The Mandarin teacher is a native speaker from Taiwan, and the others all have extensive experience in immersive settings for their respective languages. Some of us have homeschooled or are homeschooling our students, and the founder is a homeschooling mom who understands the community's unique needs.
  • Do classes only begin in August?
    We can accommodate any start time you wish, so long as the teacher has the availability and we have a group big enough to meet your needs. If you need a big group in order to reduce your costs, you should keep in mind that August is the most popular start time for homeschooling families, and January is the second most popular. If you join us at another point in time, you may need to plan on private tutoring or a very small group.
  • Can my student join a class after it has begun?
    In some cases students can join classes after they have begun. For high school classes this would require an evaluation (free) and possibly private tutoring for a few weeks before we are able to merge him into the class. We want to set up every student for success.
  • Why are your rates variable?
    We have found that offering different rates according to group size allows us to keep our prices competitive while also paying our teachers fairly. This helps us attract the best, most experienced and qualified teachers! This way, we are able to accommodate families who prefer private tutoring or small groups, as well as families who need less expensive options. The fees page explains how much a course costs for the various group sizes. The price applies to everyone in the class, so you may find that the price drops after you register. Once a price has been guaranteed, it does not increase even if students drop out of the course.
  • I don’t understand your rates. How do I know how much the class costs?
    We don’t mean to make you guess! On the home page there is a list of classes that are currently forming. In that chart you will find a note about how many students have already registered for the class. You can use this information when viewing the class price list to gauge the price point. Keep in mind, however, that there may be a few people on a waiting list that are waiting to register until the price drops. If you join that waiting list, we could have enough people to drop the price for everyone. So be sure to submit a “request information” form if you want to be kept up-to-date on the pricing.
  • Do you offer a discount if we refer a friend? Or a sibling discount?
    Because of the way the rates are structured, sometimes there is not enough of a margin to offer additional discounts. If you refer a friend to a class your child is in, it will probably result in a discount for everyone since it affects the group size. If you refer a friend to another section, or you enroll multiple children, you should ask if a discount is available in your case. Certain group sizes have a wider margin than others. You should ask about this early in the process, and I will have a final answer for you when the class fills up or ten days before the class starts, whichever comes first.
  • Why would anyone be the first to register for a class? Won't everyone just ask to stay on a waiting list until the cost is lowered?
    Some families need to get started right away, particularly if they have a 10th or 11th grader who has not started his high school foreign language requirement. Some families have been waiting to get in with me for a while, because we were unable to mesh our schedules before. Those families are more concerned about guaranteeing their child a spot in the class than the cost of it, although of course everyone appreciates a deal. Also, it often happens that several families contact me around the same time with the same needs. When they learn there is already at least one other family who can join them for the class, they are happy to register and hope that more will sign up before the session begins. And finally, some families want to avoid the possibility of the class filling up without them, which could happen if they are on the waiting list but don't respond quickly enough when the "almost full" message goes out.
  • I don't want to register for a class until I'm sure what I would be expected to pay for it. What should I do?
    Use the "request information" form to let us know you are thinking of registering your student for a particular class. We will stay in contact with you so you will know when the price drops. Before the class fills up, or ten days before the session is scheduled to begin, we will give you a final update on the price.
  • What do the students do during the live online class?
    During class time, I present material on my screen which I share with the students. With the screen sharing feature, where we can also access a virtual whiteboard, we can easily ask and answer questions back and forth. They will take notes, participate in conversations, read passages from their book aloud, and more activities that are similar to an actual classroom setting.
  • My student has been studying French using a self-paced program. I’m really not sure how much he has learned and whether he would be ready for French II in the fall. How can I know if your class will be a fit for him?
    I would love to talk to you about your student’s previous experience in French. Often I can tell a lot just from the name of the curriculum he has used and whether he completed it or not. Other times, I find it necessary to do an evaluation with the student to determine placement. If you are seriously considering one of my classes, this evaluation is free. It usually takes about 15 minutes.
  • Are these classes completely in French?
    I do use English to explain certain things, especially grammar and homework instructions. Research indicates that in students over 10 years old, using what kids know about their first language to learn their second language is most effective. This does NOT mean, however, that we rely on translating. We use a lot of pictures and context clues to learn the vocabulary in French. We use explicit instruction in English to learn the grammar. During practice activities, they use what they have been taught to form their own sentences in French, and during those times we refrain from English. It is important that the students spend a good amount of time in French without going back and forth to English. Many of the practice activities inside and out of class are designed with that goal in mind. The homework practice contains many “French only” activities, however duolingo is one piece of our class that relies on translation. We use duolingo because it is so fun and motivating for the students, but most of the other elements of the classes avoid translation and encourage staying in the target language.
  • How much homework is there for the elementary class? What materials do I buy?
    I usually send an activity or two for the students to do between class meetings. However, these are completely optional at the elementary level. There is no book to purchase, but there will be some documents for you to print. For most classes those documents are covered by your tuition, however some of the advanced elementary classes may have a small additional materials fee for the materials that I create.
  • How much homework is there for the middle school class?
    That depends. If your child is enrolled in an elementary-style class, he will only have optional homework. If your child is enrolled in a class that is designed to earn him high school credit while he is still in middle school, then he will have required homework. Middle schoolers can choose to complete French I in 1, 2, or 3 years. The longer they spend on the subject, the less of it they have to do at home on their own. If completing French I in 1 year (which is often the case for 8th graders), the student will have an average of 4 hours of homework for this class each week.
  • How much homework is there for the high school class?
    For a high school level class, it is expected that the student spends 5 hours a week on the material. One hour of that is with me during our weekly class meeting. The other four hours are assigned as homework. That homework is varied and includes online practice, youtube videos, listening exercises, worksheets, reading, and study time.
  • For the high school class, do the assignments have due dates?"
    Yes, I do expect the work to be turned in on its due date. I do not really deduct points for work being late, however if I don’t have the work at the time that I am entering grades I will record a zero. I will go back and change the grade when the work is turned in, but it must be labeled correctly to ensure I recognize it as a past due assignment. Experience has taught me that once a student falls behind by more than a week in this format, he begins to get completely lost both in terms of understanding the material I present during class and in organizing his work to turn in. Therefore I expect both the students and the parents to check the online gradebook regularly to ensure the student is keeping up with his homework.
  • Since my student is in high school, I expect him to take charge of his work and his grades. Is it OK if I just stay out of it?"
    That will be OK with me as long as your student is actually keeping up with the work. If he’s not, I must call your attention to the situation before it gets so far gone that he may never recover. Often when parents try a hands-off approach with this class it just creates more work for me. The students who consistently fail to turn in their work are typically students who have significant organizational issues. If their parents can’t or won’t read back through the lesson plans to help them label and submit their work when they’re trying to get caught up, I end up walking them through it myself, which takes hours of my time outside of class. So I do ask that before you put it all on your student that you be sure he or she has a good system in place at the start of the course. I ask that you check his grades. And if he has zeroes, please work with him instead of asking him to work with me in order to get that work submitted. Most of my students do work 100% independently, but those with significant organizational issues will continue to need support from their parents.
  • I'd like for my high school French I student to participate in your class without doing any homework between lessons. Is that OK?
    I cannot let your student go into this class expecting not to have to do homework between lessons. He would very quickly find that he is unable to participate in the conversation aspect of the class because he has not acquired the skills needed. If there is a slow-paced middle school section open, you might consider that class. However, that class will take longer than a year to get through standard French I material.
  • My student already has curriculum that he uses for grammar and writing practice. We really just need the conversation element of the course. What class should we sign up for?
    You can choose between private tutoring or any of the sections that I have open to your child's grade and level. Some classes require an evaluation before registration. Submit a "request information" form and I will contact you with options.
  • Do you have experience working with students who have learning differences?
    Our teachers have experience working with students with ADHD, ASD, dyslexia, social anxieties, and more. We know that there is not a single approach that is appropriate for every child, even within the same disability. If your student has a learning difference, please reach out before registering so that we can discuss what would be appropriate for your child.
  • My child is dyslexic. Is it possible for him or her to learn French?
    We should discuss this on an individual basis, but I will offer the following as a general rule. Motivation is a major factor in how well any student performs with a foreign language. If your child has great interest in learning French, then he should study French. We can talk about accommodations that can be made for your student. Please be sure to reach out to me individually before registering so we can determine what accommodations will best serve your child.
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