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About SeHwa Humphreys

Who is SeHwa Humphreys?

I am a mother of two children. Becoming a mother was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and I am always glad that I had my kids.I was born and raised in South Korea. South Korea is famous for being passionate about education, along with China and Japan. More than 80% of people enter college at the end of their 12-year education. I have never met someone who can’t read and write in Korean.

Back in Korea, I was an ESL teacher for very young children, ranging from 24-montholds to 6th graders. For 15 years, I truly enjoyed teaching young children, and was also amazed by how limitless their abilities are.

In 2008, I flew to Boston to earn my master’s degree in Education at Northeastern University. In 2009, I earned my M.Ed. with an excellent

GPA. Soon after, I entered the PhD program for Education at St. John’s University in 2009. Although I have never finished a PhD program, I have learned a lot from my time in PhD programs.

In 2012, I wanted to study what I truly love: psychology. I started at Columbia University and earned my second BA in Psychology.

Between 2013 and 2017, I postponed my education, because I got married and had two beautiful children.Although becoming a mother was the best decision I ever made, I couldn't stop thinking about going back to school. In 2018, I returned to Columbia University, and I finally earned my second bachelor’s degree in Psychology there, graduating in 2020. I truly enjoyed learning with those smart youngsters, while challenging them and progressing my life. I am proud of myself because I graduated Cum Laude, while I still raised two young children.

Both of my children were able to read when they were 24 months old. From vocabulary to books, my 6-year-old daughter can read 3rd grade level books without any help. She is now challenging herself to read 5th grade level books. At her level, it is not just about reading, it is more about understanding and expanding her knowledge.

My 4-year-old son can read 1st grade level books with my help. He will soon challenge himself to read 2nd grade level books. From my own teaching experiences to students and my own children, I know how to teach young children how to read.

Why is early reading important?

Imagine learning a second language.

You watch TV in a second language, and you hear some words, but you don’t know how to spell them nor understand their meaning. That’s where reading comes in. When you start to read, you’re able to understand the meaning of words exactly. You can expand your knowledge of words through letters or books. Can you imagine the same thing happening to your little ones? While they hear a thousand words everyday, reading widens their world, views, and perspectives.

Their understanding becomes phenomenal. Can you imagine your child starting to read the signs in the street? I still can remember my son asking me questions about what “priority seating” is after he read the signs inside of a bus.

Reading early on in life expands the children’s views, ideas, perspectives, and then their whole world. They become smarter and see and understand the new world that other children who can’t read don’t see.

However, I would like to point out the most important thing about reading early. Reading early is important, but there is one more thing more important than reading, because everyone will read eventually. They may start reading 1-2 years later than your child, but eventually they will learn to read books as well.

Can you imagine your child becoming confident in the classroom when they find out they can read, and that they have a higher academic level than others who can’t read? I am not just teaching how to read.

I am teaching CONFIDENCE. The confidence I see in those who can read when others can’t is priceless.

Cultural differences

I can’t stop thinking about the very first class I took in the United States. It was a culture shock. It was a completely different way of teaching than I had learned my whole life. In Korea, the teaching is teacher-centric. Teachers teach students, input the knowledge in them, and lead the students to learn. The classroom is rather quiet. There are not a lot of different voices or discussions.Whereas in America, the learning is student-centric. Students are not afraid to speak their own opinions, and they lead the class. It is not about the right or wrong answers in the classroom. It is more about how one is about to persuade their own opinions to others. I was fascinated by this students-centric version of learning.

While living in America for over 15 years, I can still see a lot of the cultural differences between East Asia and Western countries. East Asian cultures emphasize society values (collectivism), while Westerners value individuals more (individualism). I can see pros and cons in both cultures.

This is where my teaching style comes from. I teach the best parts of Korean AND American education. It is very unique. No one can teach the same way I do because they are not SeHwa Humphreys.

My name is very interesting in its own right. "SeHwa". "Se" means the world and "Hwa" means harmony. Thus, "SeHwa" means the world will be harmonized by me. Then, my last name is Humphreys, which was changed after my husband’s surname. This shows my identity as who I am, between Korean and American cultures.

"Any comments or suggestions?" please contact us humphreysonlineclass@gmail.com