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Everything posted by Saille

  1. I'd say this is true, but also that I never thought of myself as particularly peppy before I did this job. The thing is, you exist in a small square on your student's screen. So you learn how to make good use of that space, light it well, exaggerate your facial expressions a bit, because you can't convey that energy in person in a less obvious way. Also, your reactions and overall energy affirm an activity that feels scary...trying to communicate in a second language to a native speaker. Being enthusiastic and affirming relaxes the student and encourages risk-taking. But there are all kinds of teachers. There are folks who wear silly hats and sunglasses, and I'm totally not one of those. I get the "serious teacher" tag in feedback a lot, which to my students' parents means that I'm detail-oriented when it comes to things like proper pronunciation and grammar knowledge.
  2. A TON of my extended family are IU alums! My kid groans every time his grandparents are mentioned, because he is not into the sportsball and they are die-hard fans. He will never hear the end of it. And while they did not overtly urge him to choose IU, ALL his Christmas presents were IU swag. 😄 I visited when I was in high school, and I totally thought it was too big! I went all deer-in-headlights, and looking at it now I'm struggling to understand why/understand which route we came in on that led me to feel so overwhelmed. I ended up at Ohio University, which is about half the size. Both my older teens love their parents' alma mater, but OU doesn't have a competitive program for either of them, so thank goodness for IU. Cross your fingers on the LLCs, please! He's a direct admit to O'Neill SPEA, which should give him preference on his top choice, but I worry.
  3. It hit me this morning that my work life has changed a lot over the past few years, and b/c I'm not on here much, it hadn't occurred to me that my experience might be useful to anyone else who needs to earn income but has a homeschooler's schedule. Some of the old-timers know that I tutored for a national brick-and-mortar franchise for years. When I moved to Indiana, I discovered that there was a discretionary pay scale for individual centers, and that my previous boss had been at the high end of it. My new boss...was not. The nature of tutoring center hours meant that I was leaving as soon as my kids finished school for the day, and that wasn't working out well for anybody. I tried writing for a marketing firm for a while, but I hit a point where I either needed to go full time, or watch someone else take that spot and sacrifice any consistency as far as income. So that wasn't great, either. I tried Tinkergarten and loved it, but it's not enough income to offset how much it interferes with our homeschooling schedule. Then I ran across an ad to teach ESL online. And THAT worked out very well. There are a lot of companies out there, and they have different hiring qualifications, teacher/student ratios, pay rates, lesson formats, etc.. There are facebook groups about most of them, so it's easy to do research. (One group that might be helpful is Online ESL Reviews...it's geared toward teachers rather than students.) You're self-employed, so you'd need to file quarterly taxes, but that's not tough to do. I ended up teaching for VIPKID, which requires a Bachelor's and some teaching experience, but they've typically defined that loosely. It's a well-known company that operates out of China, and they offer TESOL training. You videoconference with your student, and the lesson is set up in a Powerpoint format with screen drawing. Lessons are 25 minutes long. You work on BJT hours, so it's either early in the morning or on Friday/Saturday nights. There are lots of teachers who've made a full time job out of working overnight. I personally get up early and teach from 6-9 or 6-10. They pay much better than the tutoring center I was at. I've had one raise, and I'm making triple the federal minimum wage. I've been with them for almost two years, and I like my job a lot. It's important to have a really stable internet connection (I hardwire just to be safe) and a backup plan in case of outages. And I will say that their cancellation policy is strict. But there's a die-hard group of teachers who travel the world and teach from wherever they are. I've taught from my in-laws' house and other places we've traveled, so it's a pretty flexible gig. And one particular pro about VIPKID is that you set your own hours week to week, which isn't true for all companies. At any rate, a lot of us sacrifice income to homeschool, and it can be a big point of stress. And while there's plenty of talk about working from home, I remember spending hours chasing down work, only to discover that a lot of "job opportunities" either paid peanuts or were shady. So hopefully this helps someone out. If you do apply to my company specifically, I'm happy to answer questions throughout the hiring process, and if you have a question about another company and can't find an answer, I can see if I can find the answer on one of the VIPKID groups. I'd only ask that if I invest my time in helping a specific person get hired by VIPKID, you use that link above to apply rather than going in through Google.
  4. Looking back, I find that part of our college search fascinating! A well-meaning friend came to me at one point and said, "Are you sure he'll be able to navigate big schools? As a homeschooler, maybe he should be looking at smaller colleges." And I knew this was based on stereotyping, but at the same time she was someone I loved and respected, and she got in my head. So I asked my oldest whether IU, in particular, felt big to him. He kind of laughed. "It's not bigger than Indianapolis!" he said. I just about smacked myself in the forehead. Of course he's not relating to it based on school size! Why would he? After that I didn't worry about that aspect of it as much. Though I will say that his program is small and dynamic, and gives off a strong feeling of community when you visit. He also applied to live in a Living Learning Center, which will promote that small-community feeling if he gets in.
  5. We have a decision! Where: Indiana University (O'Neill School of Policy and Environmental Affairs) Why: They have the #1 Public Policy program in the country. Though they didn't offer the most financial aid, they were still in-state/near the top of the affordability list, and he was awarded a merit scholarship. He loves the campus, and already has some community there through the local UU church, which is walking distance from campus. He's hoping to help plan/increase young adult programming in our area, continuing the work he did throughout jr. high/high school. Major: Undecided, but he's interested in public or nonprofit management, and may go on to law school.
  6. Purdue University is a yes! (So is University of Cincinnati, which is weirdly an in-state school for residents of Indianapolis.)
  7. SUNY Albany's our latest, and Ohio University just came back with both a merit-based package and another that offers him in-state tuition rates based on our alumni status.
  8. Welp, DS just got an email from George Mason University in Virginia! Threads like this made me feel so much safer when I contemplated homeschooling all the way through. I have moments of disbelief that we're on this side of the fence now.
  9. Second acceptance for DS, to our alma mater (hubs and I met there), Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. It's a much more traditional Political Science program when compared with IU's School of Policy and Environmental Affairs (and he is a direct admit to IU's program: we got that letter last week!) but also hey, two yeses!
  10. We found out yesterday that my oldest DS has been accepted to Indiana University in Bloomington! We have to wait for his official letter to see if he's a direct admit to the program he wants, which is their School of Public and Environmental Affairs. I think that's his only rolling admission school, so now we wait, but he loves IU for a lot of reasons, so we're very excited! I have to give love to WTM, b/c while I haven't been on the boards much over the last few years, WTM has continued to be the foundation on which our homeschool rests.
  11. Has anyone else had a horrible time with AP syllabus approval this year? I've had three prior syllabi approved in varying subject areas, and I've never seen anything like this. To be fair, the AP European History criteria were recently changed, so maybe they're being very thorough, but my syllabus is at 27 pages and they still want more. I'm citing sources to meet specific activity criteria, then having to cite other sources to prove I've got a variety of sources, then being told that citing anthologies in the bibliography is insufficient even though I'm citing multiple specific primary sources in each unit plan...I cannot get this off my plate. I'm >this close< to having my kids take the test and putting it down as Honors European History on their transcripts...but I've got so many hours of work into this now, that seems silly. Please send help and chocolate.
  12. OK, this year is officially wearing me to a nub. Does anyone have an AP Euro syllabus they'd be willing to share? I would appreciate it tremendously.
  13. I wanted to mention a new novel that's out October 2nd. I read an advanced review copy, and I love it. My 11 y.o. will definitely be reading it for Modern next year. I wish I'd had it for the older two! It's called AHIMSA, and it's published by Tu Books/Lee & Low. I find it a very nuanced portrayal, one that acknowledges that even Indian people who participated in the movement didn't agree with Gandhi about all things, and that you can do something for others that you believe to be helpful and then find out it isn't what they need. It's also got a lot of great detail about life in India that will set your kids researching!
  14. I'm over here battling the CK12 site, which has changed since I last used it. the Intermediate Chemistry text has a workbook, but apparently, they've divested of the ability to print it and/or download it? The offline reader doesn't help, and printing straight from the browser is twitchy and generally doesn't work. At the moment I'm pasting it into Word just to get the darn thing into my kids' hands. Any ideas?
  15. He took the SAT for talent search and I remember there being a different form for under 13s doing talent search stuff. I'll see if I can find it. He was visibly younger than any of the other kids, which I think helped. But I'll def. be getting my current 13 y.o. a state ID beforehand, b/c I am never going through that again.
  16. Yep. That's the one no notary in Indiana will notarize without a photo ID. :laugh:
  17. Some schools are completely relaxed about it and it's no problem, so I don't want to freak anyone out. Our experience in our last town was simple and non-stressful, and honestly, the school hosting us this year has been lovely, as well. That other thread with the horror story about showing up "too late" to take the exam is exactly what we all worry about, isn't it? The school's attitude was totally unnecessary. At DS's APES exam on Monday, I know two students were admitted late...as much as halfway through the exam. They're an urban school with plenty of disadvantaged students, and I'm sure they used their discretion and knowledge of the situation to make a decision. So schools don't have to be unyielding...but they can be. I try to over-prepare.
  18. I know there have been conversations about ID before, but I encountered a wrinkle this year I hadn't seen before, and thought I'd mention it. AP has a student ID form that you're supposed to fill out if you don't have a license or other photo ID. They link to it in the AP parent bulletin that's distributed to schools. (The actual pdf is in the teacher files you can access when you get a syllabi approved.) The form requires you to attach your student's photograph. They're supposed to sign it in front of a notary, who then notarizes and signs the form, as well. The wording on the form is clearly meant as an affidavit on the part of the student. "I am the student pictured." It's meant to hold the student accountable if they're caught sending a stand-in to take the test. It does not require the notary to conclusively verify the identity of the student. However, in the state of Indiana, where we live, no notary can notarize a form without a photo ID from any other signatory. Thus, you can't get the photo ID stand-in form signed...without a photo ID. We did not realize this, because the last time we had this form done, the notary we used signed off on it with no problem. But three different notaries told us the exact same thing in this case. The Friday before our first exam. We ended up getting DS 15 a state-issued photo ID, but in Indiana, that means taking his birth certificate, SS card, and two pieces of mail proving the parent's address, b/c the parent has to sign an affidavit of residency for the underage applicant. And the permanent card takes 3-10 business days to arrive in the mail. So we took the temp ID form back to the notaries and had the College Board form notarized anyway, just to cover our bases. We took both to the exams. I apologize for not posting sooner. We had multiple exams this week and a big bunch of drama with DS 11's theater class. But I figured posting now still might save others some hassle. I don't know if Indiana's alone in this, or if it's an issue in other states. And yes, I know some schools just wave the kids in and don't ask for ID, but holy moly, when they're picky, they're uber-picky.
  19. Just popping in to say that I do have the following, should anyone fancy a look: Approved 2015-2016: AP Biology Approved 2016-2017: AP Environmental Science AP Government and Politics I've also been accepted to AP's WE Service pilot program for next year, which means, apparently, that I will be developing an AP Euro syllabus for 2017-2018. Because I'm a glutton for punishment.
  20. So many familiar names and faces on this thread. I've been a member for seven years, and used to search the old boards quite a bit. I hadn't heard about Kalanamak or nmoira, so I've been searching through old threads learning what happened. I remember them both fondly and am so sad I wasn't here at the time. Kareni, I just tweeted that Ovid quote a couple of days ago. I'm a mentor in a writing contest that involves heavy edits, and it seemed quite relevant!
  21. Yep, there are two of the usual suspects. Huzzah!
  22. Hi there! It has been forever since I was a regular poster, and it's actually sort of y'all's fault! :laugh: Remember back in '09, when we had a big surge of people doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? I ended up having so many WTM buddies on the NaNoWriMo boards, and a bunch of us finished...that year, and the next year, and the next. It got me really focused on how much I enjoy writing children's fiction, and the upshot is that I ended up pursuing publication. I'm agented and have a manuscript going out on submission to publishers this fall. But I also have a 9th grader, and the WTM forums continue to be my go-to for all things homeschooling. So, forgive my absence, and hello! I'm having a lot of fun looking through the college acceptance threads, and finding out how the homeschoolers I remember best are doing.
  23. This is a fabulous idea. I have been making myself a little nuts trying to decide whether to do an AP Biology syllabus or not. We purchased materials as if we were doing AP Bio, so it seems silly not to, and yet...so if anyone has done one, I'd love to see it. Syllabi I'm likely to develop/need include: AP English Literature AP United States Government and Politics AP Environmental Science I'm on the fence about the histories.
  24. That was certainly my thought. I was curious, b/c there are at least two school districts in my state participating, whether I might be able to obtain permission to bring my kid to do his oral defense, in the same way that we'd sit the AP exam in a brick and mortar school, but you're right, the training requirement is an issue.
  25. I just realized this program exists...it's still very new. I'm curious about it. Basically, you take two new AP classes in 11th and 12th grade...AP Seminar and AP Research. Both are set up to be the kind of deep study that many classical homeschoolers want their kids doing in high school anyway. That plus four other AP classes (I know, I know), earns a "Capstone Diploma".
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