River Homelink

I was unable to obtain permission from the parents to send you the quality photos from the event. I do however have a video and some poor quality cellphone photos that I will attach to this email. Perhaps they will be useful to you. Here is the link to the video as it is too large to send in this email: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_lXkeM-NhPEYXNvQWd4bVMtNUE/view?usp=sharing

 

Here is my review:

 

I am the parent of two students who attend River Homelink, a homeschooling/alternative learning program for grades K-12, that is located in Battle Ground, WA. My children attend courses entitled, Exploring Arts and Culture (EAC), which engages them in research based activities and projects that explore various cultures and communities. Our particular group of students range in grades from 1-8. Each quarter, the students study a different culture or community and although only my two older children are officially enrolled, my two younger children participate in the classes and activities on a regular basis.

 

Earlier this year, we began a new unit on the history and culture of Brazil. The parents and teachers were interested in learning more about the traditional Brazilian dance, Capoeira, so I reached out to David with capoeira-pdx.com. I inquired about the availability of having a group (or just 1-2) dancers visiting our classroom to do a demonstration for us.

 

From the very beginning, David, impressed me with his promptness and professionalism. In fact, he gave me his personal number so that we would be able to communicate easily over the telephone to arrange a visit to our classroom. I only had a vague notion of what to expect which was mainly based on a handful of YouTube videos I had viewed in class with my children.

 

I kept in contact with David via email and text up until the day of the event and was always pleasantly surprised by his prompt and polite replies. Not one time did I feel that I was bothering him. David’s confidence and knowledge put me at ease and allowed me to prepare properly for his visit. I was also able to pass on this knowledge to the teacher and other parents so that we would all know what to expect.

 

When the day arrived for his visit, David arrived on time and brought his own instruments (we had trouble securing our own tambourines for the large group of students) and a speaker for the background music. It was evident that he had thought about what he was going to be demonstrating and put in extra effort and time to make this a quality learning experience for all the students.

 

After a brief introduction to both the dance and himself, he efficiently moved all of the students into a circle and began teaching. It was joy to watch him interact with each and every student. It was more than evident that David both had a passion for the dance as well as a talent and dedication to the craft. He spent time with each and every student to ensure that they understood what they were learning and why. If a student was struggling with a particular aspect, David was quick to suggest a modification that would allow the student to perform and not be embarrassed.

 

As a parent of young children, I was particularly appreciative of the fact that he included everyone in the demonstration. In fact I had even brought my 3 year old niece who was constantly wanting to be in the middle of the dance. Instead of yelling or pushing her out of the way, he made sure she was able to participate without getting hurt and even got down on her level to help her understand how to move like the bigger children around her. She couldn’t stop talking about the dance for several days after the presentation.

 

Several parents in attendance were so impressed with the demonstration that they requested more information. David happily provided the time and location of the weekly free event that they could bring their entire families to. It was no surprise, then, when my four children came home from the presentation and pressured their dad into watching them perform what they had learned and made him join in.

 

We really cannot express how much we are thankful to David for taking the time to meet with all of us. We all appreciate his time and generosity in the midst of so many students in attendance. He helped set the tone for the term and it is undoubtly a highlight of our Brazilian unit. Thank you so much!