Homeschooling Teen

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Sam and Mary Anna Salo

Sam and Mary Anna Salo, a twin brother and sister from Wisconsin, are homeschool and college graduates who offer tutoring in their respective areas of expertise.

Sam Salo: Teaching Through Games

Sam Salo is a graphic artist, computer programmer, and video game designer with a vision to provide high-quality, Christ-centered tutoring and group classes in an online academy of digital arts and video game development. Sam was granted a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree by Charter Oak State College via testing in 2009. His background is primarily in math, physics, quantum mechanics, and Christian theology. He has done video game algorithm and AI research, comic book illustration, film concept art for several script treatments presented to Hollywood, corporate image management and marketing. Sam also worked as a freelance photographer in wedding, sports, event, pet, and portrait photography.

Sam previously ran a video game project called Red Letter Calculus which focused on algorithm design and teaching at the same time. He has since privatized the algorithm development, and his independent video game development company is preparing to launch debut set of games.  He says, “The long and short of it goes like this: I was sick with Lyme Disease for the greater part of my growing-up years, and it forced my life into an entirely new direction. While I was ill, I tested out of college, studied every academic, graphics, and video game development topic I could, and started teaching online. After starting out pursuing comics books and film and moving to California to do part-time teaching while pursuing a career in film, I saw again that teaching and mentoring in games and academics were my true homes. Games and academics provide an almost universal bridge by which I can have opportunities to serve young folks (“students”) of many ages.”

Sam is now self-employed as an academic coach and video game development teacher. He utilizes cost-effective and accelerated methods with unified learning styles design. Einstein’s Tablecloth is Sam’s teaching website where he offers one-on-one tutoring in academics and technology to teen, high school, and college-aged students. Sam is currently accepting a limited number of students for both in-home, online, and group tutoring. He actually prefers to use the term “mentoring,” which is “tutoring with the added goal of being a personal friend, counselor, and life-goal-helper.”

Students can pick and choose whatever classes they would like to take. Traditional academic subjects include: math (most grades), logic, English, writing, and science disciplines (chemistry, physics, biology, and astronomy). Graphic Design subjects include: Photoshop, Illustrator, typography, web design, and photography. Game development subjects include: game theory, game engines, Unity 3D, modeling and animation, texturing techniques, level design, programming (Javascript, C++, etc.), mobile games, board/card game/tabletop game design, cinematography, writing and story. Sam also teaches test prep and strategies such as ACT/SAT, CLEP, DANTES, ECE, etc. Visit http://www.einsteinstablecloth.com for pricing details, class descriptions, and frequently asked questions.

As of Fall 2013, Sam is launching his own game development passion project, titled FRACTAL (which is in addition to Einstein’s Tablecloth). FRACTAL is the birth of his ultimate goal–to create games that double as a complete academic curriculum, teaching various subjects as a genuine part of playing the games — not merely tacked on as “edutainment.” The FRACTAL games are centered around warring algorithm creations and “little quantum-racing robots”; FRACTAL stands for Fractoid Racing Artists under Combat Timespace Algorithm Laws. FRACTAL comprises a set of eight intellectual racing and combat leagues, an educational role-playing alternative to Dungeons and Dragons for all ages.

Sam is currently recruiting players to “do-your-school-through-games” by simultaneously teaching and testing his FRACTAL play-to-learn program before he officially publishes and markets it. One of his larger-vision goals is to offer the best players a chance to have careers in the game, much like what is known as “gaining a seat” in sports such as NASCAR and Formula 1. FRACTAL also naturally incorporates both video game development and many types of game-genre play, making for a constantly new experience. Visit Sam’s game school at http://www.fractalracing.com for more information. He is especially looking for a dedicated group of players/students for the start of FRACTAL’s 2014 debut season. “As a former homeschooler,” says Sam, “my great desire is to tap into the homeschooling world to find bright minds who are interested in the burgeoning field of gaming and gaming’s new and cutting-edge frontiers.”

Mary Anna Salo: Teaching Through Music

Mary Anna Salo, also a former homeschooler, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in piano performance. She says, “First and foremost, I love playing the piano. I am continually working to improve my skills in both teaching and playing so that I am able to put forth the best quality work I am capable of.” Mary Anna was a semi-finalist in the Piano Arts International Competition, and she was the youngest student/teacher to complete the Well Prepared Pianist Institute teacher training program.

Ms. Salo is presently the music director and accompanist at Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Her responsibilities include playing for two services each weekend; directing the bell choir and adult choir; organizing two music programs a year; scheduling the contemporary ensembles, individual musicians and choirs during services; overseeing the maintenance of the instruments; and creating a yearly music budget.

Whether you are in need of music for a wedding, office party, fundraiser or formal dinner, Mary Anna can provide beautiful background and special music. She also has extensive accompanying experience. This experience includes student recitals at the collegiate level (cello, violin, clarinet, French horn, bassoon), solo and ensemble, church choirs and congregations. Watch her play Rachmaninov’s Etude-Tableau in D Major, Op. 39, No. 9 in this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2tP11D6oac

As a private piano teacher, Ms. Salo’s goal is give students high-quality piano instruction that will enable them to enjoy the piano for a lifetime whether they chose to pursue piano professionally or purely for pleasure. She achieves this goal through teaching that targets the four learning partners – the hands, eyes, ears and mind. Mary Anna also specializes in music history and music theory, preparing students for collegiate music theory and keyboard harmony entrance exams.

Further, Ms. Salo is starting a class focusing on developing a biblically-based view of music listening and music choices. If you are a student who wants to develop a better understanding of music theory or take an in-depth look at a piece of music or a specific composer, Mary Anna would be delighted to help you do so. You will find your learning experience with Ms. Salo to be fresh, enjoyable, and unique. When she isn’t busy teaching or playing the piano, Mary Anna enjoys baking sweet treats for her friends and family.

If you live in the Greater Milwaukee area, call Mary Anna at 262-721-8887 or e-mail abeauandabelle @gmail.com for details regarding individual tutoring, classes, and rates. Or feel free to contact her with any questions in regards to scheduling an event or recital.

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  1. Love the website! It’s encouraging to read other homeschoolers’ stories. My sister and I have started a film business and hope to succeed while staying true to the values and principles we learned throughout our homeschooling years!

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