Monday, October 23, 2017

Part-Time with VIPKID


I know I have posted about VIPKID a few times now, but I'm just so excited to share my news!

Today marks my 49th day and 70th class! 

Not bad considering I only work about 2 hours a day M-F, and during the weeks of Hurricane Irma and the Chinese National Holiday I had no students.

I had a bit of a slow start, but now I'm teaching about 20-25 classes a week, which was my goal. And I have a good mix of regulars and new students. This week and next week my schedule is booked.




Things I love about VIPKID:

I can teach as little or as much as I want! Right now I teach just 2 hours a day, M-F, from 7:30-9:30 am. That's just 4 classes a day, 20 classes a week. Then I am free the rest of the day!

I get paid to have fun!! I love these kids and they love to learn! Pay is different for everyone, but the range is from $7-$11 a class. So that's $14-$22 an hour. Not bad for staying at home. 

VIPKID is a great company that listens and supports their teachers! They just celebrated their 4-year anniversary and are growing at a tremendous rate. Teachers give suggestions and VIPKID tests them and makes improvements. They also offer numerous incentives to teachers each month. 

I'm learning about Chinese culture. I didn't even think about this when I applied but the students share their lives and their culture with me and I've learned a lot in the short time I have been working. For instance, did you know that when Chinese students count to 10 using their hands, they only use one hand. Now when I count with them I use their hand symbols instead of ours. 

I LOVE my students!! I didn't realize how attached I would get to these kids! I feel sad when they have trouble booking with me and I miss them when they have to skip a week due to my limited schedule or because of family plans. I try to carve a minute or two out of each lesson to get to know each child and make them feel more comfortable. 


Interested in applying?

It's easy! 

1. Sign up on their website. You just need a Bachelor's degree and some sort of teaching experience. Homeschooling, co-ops, church, camps, etc. count. 

2. Join them for a 30-min interview where you showcase your teaching skills. 

3. Watch videos to learn about the VIPKID technology, standards and curriculum.

4. Practice teaching 1-2 full-length mock classes with one of their VIPKID teachers.

5. Send them your information so they can create a profile for the students and parents to get to know you.

6. Put your timeslots on your portal so that students can start booking you. 


Use my referral code (04BZMA) and VIPKID link and I'll help you through the entire process. It took me 10 days from start to finish and was easier than I expected it to be. 




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©2010-2017 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I ♥ VIPKID


What I really want to say is that I love all the precious kids that I'm teaching at VIPKID!!! I've started an Instagram account just for VIPKID and will be posting fun stories, tips, and reward ideas there daily instead of here. It's at VIPKID.Teacher.Christine or https://www.instagram.com/vipkid.teacher.christine/  Below are a few of the things I have shared so far.

Below is a screen shot of the fourth class I taught. At the end of class she wrote I ♥ Y on the slide. How sweet is that?!!


Here is a drawing from another little girl who prepared it for the class on family. She showed me photographs of her mom, dad, two sisters, and brother and this drawing of her grandma and grandpa.


This little guy was cracking me up! He was very active toward the end half of class and his mom was sitting off screen right next to him. I would see her arm from time to time trying to settle him down. He took off his sock to show me so I added it in the lesson and had him tell me what it was. He is my first student to re-book with me, so that is super exciting!!


This little girl was showing me her stuffed Dino. I had put the hat on the Dino behind me as a reward and she was putting a pretend hat on her Dino.


If you want to learn more about VIPKID, you can see my two others posts about how homeschoolers can teach at VIPKID and what is VIPKID.

If you are interested in starting the application process, you can you my link here. See you in the classroom!



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©2010-2017 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 25, 2017

Homeschoolers Can Teach at VIPKID!

https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7277842&partnerId=6843213
Did you know that a growing community of VIPKID teachers are also homeschoolers! If you love teaching, have a little time either in the evening or early in the morning, and would like to make a little extra income, why not take a closer look?

You can teach just one, 25-minute class a day or teach five. It's up to you!

VIPKID provides an international virtual classroom to children in China, so they can learn how to speak English from the comfort of their homes. Sounds a lot like homeschooling, doesn't it!

You can find more about VIPKID in my original post here.

So what does it take to be a VIPKID teacher?

* You must be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada.
* You need to have a Bachelor’s degree.
* You should have one year of teaching experience and homeschooling counts.
* High-energy and love working with children!
* A stable internet connection, desktop or laptop, camera, and headset.


Three reasons to work for VIPKID?

1. You have total control over your schedule. You open the time slots you are available to work each day. You can teach just one class a day or 5-10 classes. It's totally up to you!

2.  The pay is pretty good! You can make up to $22/hour! Teachers receive a minimum of $14-$18/hour and then there are incentives for each class, so you could make $14-$22/hour.

3.  The kids are so stinkin' cute! I've taught about 15 classes and each child has been so sweet and willing to learn. I'll be posting more about those sweet kiddos soon!


So if you love teaching and have some free time, why not give it a try?!

If you would like to get more information about the hiring process or you have any questions about the company or my experience so far, let me know!

If you do decide to start the process yourself, please use my VIPKID referral link or referral code: 04BZMA. I'd love to hear from you!



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©2010-2017 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 22, 2017

Have You Heard About VIPKID?

https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7277842&partnerId=6843213

If you missed it, earlier this week I shared that after 11+ years of homeschooling, our daughter had made the decision to enroll in high school. It has so far been a great decision for her, but left me with some free time on my hands.

I few homeschool moms that I know had recently joined VIPKID, so I set out to learn more. I watched several videos about the company and the interview process {there are a ton out there} and decided to start the process myself.

It ended up being super easy and more fun than I expected, and within a week I was part of the VIPKID community!

So what is VIPKID?

VIPKID provides an international learning experience to Chinese children – all from the comfort of their homes. They provide one-on-one online full immersion language and content classes.
https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=7277842&partnerId=6843213
VIPKID provides all the training and resources. I set my schedule and wait for families to book with me. Each morning I get the pleasure of sitting for 25 minutes at a time, one-on-one with students from China. They are the sweetest kids!

All you need is to have at least a Bachelor's Degree, a desktop or laptop, a good internet connection, a camera, and a headset. The application process takes about 1-2 weeks.


Here's the entire process:

1. Sign up on their website so they can screen for basic requirements and teaching experience.

2. Join them for a 30-min interview where you showcase your teaching skills. They explain how to prepare for the interview.

3. Watch videos to learn about the VIPKID technology, standards and curriculum.

4. Practice teaching 1-2 full-length mock classes with one of their VIPKID teachers.

5. Send them your information so they can create a profile for the students and parents to get to know you.

6. Put your timeslots on your portal so that students can start booking you.

Super Simple!

It's a great way to supplement your income and you can add as many or as few classes as you would like. Right now I open just 3 classes each morning but have time to open 5 classes if I'd like. I'm obviously very part-time, but there are plenty of people who teach full time. It's very flexible!

Yep, that's me after teaching this morning.

If you would like to get more information about the hiring process or you have any questions about the company or my experience so far, let me know!

If you do decide to start the process yourself, please use my VIPKID referral link or referral code: 04BZMA. I'd love to hear from you!


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Homeschool Update


It's been a while since my last post so I wanted to update everyone on our homeschooling journey. We have homeschooled since the very beginning. It really wasn't something that I planned on doing until our daughter was around 2-3 years old. I started researching curriculums and looking for homeschool groups, and what began with teaching letters and numbers, turned into homeschooling for the next 11+ years!

PreK -- K -- Elementary -- Jr High

It was so fun and so rewarding! We loved it! Some years we were involved with co-ops and some years we did our own thing. We made so many great friends along the way too!

As our daughter started her second year in Jr High though, she was starting to feel like most of her days were spent in her room...doing school work.

Alone.

She really didn't need my help any more...and didn't want it. She enjoyed her work and met with a co-op once a week, but it was boring being at home by herself most days.

She wanted a change.

So we spent months looking into and talking with guidance at the local high school. After months of discussions and many, many...many questions...and prayers, we decided to officially enroll her in school. Ekkk!

Fast forward through many anxious nights {for me, not her}, she had her first day.

She LOVED it!!

And she has loved it every day since! She's doing very well. Challenge A and B and all the hard work she had done the past two years paid off. She is enrolled in Honors and AP core classes and is taking Sign Language, Chorus, and Musical Theater. She's doing a good job balancing school, homework, and dance, and so far her grades are excellent!

My job isn't done quite yet though!

I may not be the one giving out the homework but I am very involved with overseeing it all. Checking work, studying for tests, talking about classes and teachers each day. It's just as exhausting and time consuming. Just more so in the late afternoons and evenings instead of the mornings.

So there I was, mornings now completely free and not sure what to do.

More on what I've been up to while she is at school in my next post. :)



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Friday, May 26, 2017

Roman Roads Media: Fitting Words

Have you heard of Roman Roads MediaThey are classical Christian publishers, "with the goal of making high quality curriculum accessible, affordable, and flexible for the Christian homeschooler."

Roman Roads Media was founded in 2011 from the love of classical education and the desire to publish material for the homeschooler. 

If you are interested in either Latin, Logic, Poetry, History, Literature, or Rhetoric, take some time to browse their site. We've tried a few of their products in the past, but for now, I'm going to tell you a little about the Rhetoric product they offer, Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student

The complete Fitting Words curriculum includes five parts:

* A non-consumable, hardbound Student Textbook 
* A consumable Student Workbook 
* An Answer Key and Teacher's Guide 
* An Exam Pack 
* A video course which can be pre-ordered and is releasing soon but was not available at the time I placed my order.



In my opinion, Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student is an excellent choice for a high school Rhetoric curriculum. And according to the author, the text was written with one goal in mind: to help Christian high school students learn to speak with elegance and persuasion, through theory, imitation, and practice. 

So first of all, I love that the Textbook is hardcover. It includes 30 lessons that follow the classical five canons of rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Lessons include key concepts, famous orators of the past {with beautiful illustrations of each}, Thinking Deeper questions, quotes for Developing Memory, and suggestions for Reading Further. 

Speeches are assigned in later lessons so students can practice applying the concepts. I personally love this idea!

The Student Workbook goes along with each of the 30 lessons and includes 1-2 exercises for each lesson. The workbook is consumable and the pages are perforated so that each exercise and corresponding judging sheet can be removed. 

The Answer Key includes answers for all of the exercises and tests. It also includes one and two-year schedule examples, which I like.

The Exam Packet includes 9 exams covering all the major concepts from the course. Also included are test review sheets and speech judging sheets.

Again, I did not receive the Video Course, but, according to the information online, the author introduces and teaches through each lesson. It's available in multiple formats.


So what do I like about this curriculum?  

COMPREHENSIVE

I like that it's comprehensive and introduces and reviews the classical five canons of rhetoric. 

CHRISTIAN

I also like that it is Christian and scripture is used throughout the book. There are several speeches listed in the Appendix but what I think is most impressive is that every single speech in the Bible is listed by verse, speaker, intended audience, and title or quote. There are more than 500 listed!

CLASSICAL

I like that it introduces famous orators of the past. From Cicero, Aristotle, and Socrates to John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr.

RELEVANT

What we need more than anything is for students to learn to speak with elegance and persuasion, confidently delivering well-prepared speeches and points of view in situations they encounter. 
***

Find Out More: You can find out more online at Roman Roads Media. The Fitting Words: Classical Rhetoric for the Christian Student Textbook Bundle is $115. The Video Course is $79 for streaming and $89 for Blu-Ray and streaming. It is recommended for high school students and above. 




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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

IEW U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons Review

Today I'm going to take a few minutes to tell you about the Institute for Excellence in Writing and one of their theme-based writing products, U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons.

The mission of the IEW is "to equip teachers and teaching parents with methods and materials which will aid them in training their students to become confident and competent communicators and thinkers."

IEW offers curriculum for children K-12, college students, special needs, English Language Learners, and Professional Development.

Over the years we have used several IEW products and have enjoyed each one. Today I'll be sharing with you some of my thoughts about their U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons.

We received the spiral bound Teacher/Student Combo which includes both the Teacher's Manual and Student Book.


I love that with this curriculum, the student is developing their writing, while learning about important people and events in U.S. history from Christopher Columbus to the twentieth century. 

The Teacher's Manual starts with a short Introduction, suggested weekly schedule, and scope and sequence. There are a total of 30 lessons and each can be completed in just four days. This is great for a day off or a day to catch up. Each lesson in the Teacher's Manual mirrors the Student Book, as well as gives suggestions, teaching tips and examples to help guide the students. It also includes lesson planning tips, vocabulary quizzes, and answer keys.


The Student Book also includes a short Introduction, suggested weekly schedule, and scope and sequence. In addition, it contains assignments, instructions, source texts, blank outlines, checklists, sample compositions, and vocabulary cards.

The Student Resource Packet is necessary for this curriculum. If you have purchased the curriculum, there are instructions to download it in both the Teacher's Manual and Student Book. The packet includes things like charts, reminders, style samples, tips, exercises, and word lists. It is a great resource!

Lessons follow IEWs Structure and Style course layout, starting with key word outlines, and moving on to dress ups, sentence openers, decorations, mechanics, and structure of the introduction, body and conclusion. Each step builds upon the last and the student goes from note taking to retelling to summarizing to finally a formal essay.

I highly recommend IEWs U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons, especially if you would like to integrate U.S. history into your writing. Other writing curriculum includes Ancient History (grades 3-8), Medieval History (grades 6-8), and Advanced U.S. History (grades 9-12).

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at IEW. The U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons Teacher/Student Combo, which includes both the Teacher's Manual and Student Book is just $49. It is recommended for grades 6-8 and designed to be used by an instructor who has been through the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style seminar, either live or on DVD, though I think you can teach it without it. If you have purchased the books, the Student Resource Packet is downloadable for free, but if you did not place your order through the website, you can order the Student Resource Packet for just $19. 




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Friday, May 12, 2017

Homeschool Technology


We are constantly using technology throughout our homeschool day.  When you think about it, it's really hard to get through the day without it.  Below are just a few of the resources we use day to day.

Computer


I don't know what I would do without my computer!  It's a lifeline to my friends and with that comes encouragement and help.  And I can't count how many worksheets, forms, documents, planning pages, and crafts I've created with it over the years.  Our daughter uses it to write stories and reports, as well as take online classes.

Printer

As much as I hate wasting paper and ink, I absolutely need my printer! I've had several over the years. I currently have the HP Officejet Pro 6830 and it works really well! Just wish the ink was cheaper. 

High Speed Internet


This is a must!  I just do too much online to not have it.

Netflix


We LOVE Netflix!!  It has so many educational movies and documentaries that I'm sure you can probably find something to go along with any topic you are learning.

Amazon Prime


We actually still don't have Amazon Prime but I always think about getting it for the instant streaming of movies and TV episodes.  Plus, there's FREE 2-day shipping and over 350,000 Kindle titles to borrow for free. Still something we are thinking about.

iPad


We use the iPad all the time for downloading books and educational apps.  It's also a great way to sit down and read lessons anywhere in the house.  Our daughter now uses a program to draw and another program to write and organize chapters in stories. It's just so convenient.

DVD Player


Got to have this! Over the years some of our curriculum has come with DVDs to watch as the lesson.  As our daughter gets older and the subjects get harder, I expect we'll be using more {especially with math}.

Facebook

Yep, it can be a time waster, but also a lifesaver!  I probably spend way too much time on it myself, but I've also made friendships I would have never made otherwise.  And we have joined several local homeschooling groups because of it.

Pinterest


Another probable time waster, but Pinterest has so many ideas!!  We have used it for plenty of craft ideas, but it's also been helpful for homeschool ideas too.  I really only try to use it when I want to search for a specific topic, otherwise I could be on there all afternoon.  Oh, and it's great for menu planning too!

Laminator


I almost hate to admit it, but we have never had a laminator.  I don't think I would use it as much now that our daughter is older, but I know I could have put it to good use when she was little.  I'm certain this is a must for many homeschool families, so I wanted to add it to our list.  And if you are looking for a good one, I've heard great things about the Scotch Thermal Laminator

Modern Appliances

We don't cook together as much as I would like to, but we could never do the baking we do without modern appliances.  I know it seems silly, but a modern kitchen with good working large and small appliances is a necessity! 

Sewing Machine

I'm not a sewer but hubby got me one when our daughter was younger.  It's sat more than not, but I've used it way more than I thought I would.  When she was younger I made her a simple dress, a purse, and things like doll pillows, which she can now make herself. I never know what it will be used for next, so it's nice to have on hand.

Keurig

No explanation necessary!  Use this daily!!


*** 

What technology do you use in your homeschool?  




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©2010-2017 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Memoria Press: Classical Composition I: Fable Set


We have used many Memoria Press products in the past, but I have yet to try their writing and grammar program, Classical Composition. So as you can imagine, I was interested in taking a look at it.

As I've mentioned before, Memoria Press is a family-run publishing company that produces simple and easy to use classical Christian education materials for home and private schools. Memoria Press’ educational philosophy can be best described as classical Christian education.

Something interesting about Classical Composition is that it is based on the original classical method of teaching writing called the “progymnasmata.” This is something completely new to me. Progymnasmata is Greek for "preliminary exercises." These exercises were taught in ancient Greece and Rome to boys so they could learn the art of speech writing. It involved learning fourteen skills, organized from very simple to more complex.

Classical Composition 1: Fable Stage, is the first of the fourteen skills. In the Fable Stage, students begin learning how to use and imitate words, using Aesop's Fables. I received the Classical Composition: Fable Stage Set. 



It's really an interesting process of learning. The Teacher's Guide is very helpful in planning each day. It takes the instructor step-by-step, so there is no questions as to what to do next. 

The process is outlined below - 

1. The Fable - First the fable, which is included, is read aloud to the student. It's helpful to read it a few times, letting the child read it aloud if they can. Then review and discuss new vocabulary, and discuss and write down three plot components, recognition, reversal, and suffering. Lastly the student can narrate back the fable if they are able to. 



2. Variations Part 1 - The Variations help students to paraphrase words and sentences. Two sentences are given and they have to come up with synonyms for different words and then come up with three new sentences. You can see some samples above.

3. Outline - Outlining the fable may seem a little daunting to a child, but the guide provides help and prompts. 

4. Narration - The student retells the story with the help of their outline. They should not be referring back to the original story. 

5. Paraphrase 1 - Here they will use their outline and sentences from Variations Part I to write the story in their own words. Prompts are included to come up with creative sentences. 

6. Paraphrase 2 - During this second paraphrase, the student rewrites the story but with inverting the sequence of events.

7. Variations Part 2 - Two more sentences are given and they must again change the selected words.

8. Final Draft - Using paraphrase 1 or 2, students correct and rewrite the story in their own words.

Did you get all that?  Seems like a lot, and at first was a little confusing, but after reading through it all, I now understand it's purpose. And the best part is that if you get the set, the DVD is included. I highly recommend getting the DVD because it leads the student through the entire process.

You can split this up however you would like. Each step can be done in a day, or two steps can be combined in one.

Levels cover each of the fourteen skills:

Fable (4th) 
Narrative (5th) 
Chreia & Maxim (6th) 
Refutation & Confirmation (7th) 
Common Topic (8th) 
Encomium, Invective & Comparison (9th) 
Characterization (10th) 
Description (11th) 
Thesis & Law (12th)

It's recommended students begin in 4th or 5th grade, but those who start at 6th grade or higher can catch up by completing two courses in one year. 

Find our More: You can find out more about Classical Composition online at Memoria Press. The Classical Composition: Fable Set is $85 and includes the Student Text, Teacher's Guide, and Instructional DVDs. 





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Monday, May 8, 2017

Homeschooling Methods


There are so many methods for homeschooling, it can become quite overwhelming to choose the one that is right for your family.  I've listed a few of the more popular approaches. You may find that you end up using a mixture in your home.

Charlotte Mason

This method is based on the writings of the 19th century British educator, Charlotte Mason, who felt children should learn from real books with living ideas.  It involves nature, discipline of good habits, narration, and living books.

Classical

This method is based on the Trivium, which is made up of three stages.  The Grammar stage includes memorizing lots of of facts and language, mainly Greek or Latin.  The Dialectic stage involves the study of logic; understanding what has been memorized and asking questions.  Lastly, in the Rhetoric stage the student learns how to present arguments in a persuasive way.

Unit Study Approach

This approach allows a child to learn a subject as a whole instead of just reading chapters in a textbook.  It takes all of the subjects, such as Science, History, and Language Arts, and focuses the lessons around one central theme, say Astronomy. 

Literature Based

This method uses great books as the centerpiece for learning, instead of textbooks. 

Unschooling

Unschooling allows children to learn through their natural life experiences, including child directed play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience, and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum.

Eclectic

An Eclectic Homeschooler is one who looks at the different approaches and methods of homeschooling, and takes little from each one.

***

So what do we use?  I feel like we have used all these methods at one time or another. When our daughter was younger we definitely used the literature based and unit study approach quite a bit. In recent years though, we have used the classical method much more.

I just know that we go with what works.  If it is not working, we switch gears or move to a new curriculum.  That's one reason I have loved homeschooling, it gives us the flexibility to do what we want!



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©2010-2017 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/