Thursday, December 3, 2020

New Products for Teachers and Homeschoolers!

 I've been adding some new products to my Teachers Pay Teachers store this week, and have quite a few more planned throughout the month of December. Most all are for preschool aged students, though some are for older students or for teachers and their classrooms, as well! Check out the new ones so far: 

ABC Recognition coloring pages/worksheets. Contains letters A-Z, as well as long vowel pages! Perfect for preschool, pre-k, and kinder students!

Nativity Bingo. I am SO excited about this product. Levi (my 7 year old) keeps asking to play, so this is on my agenda for today with ALL my kids (ages 7-13). I mean, who doesn't love Bingo?!? Contains 9 pages with beautiful nativity and winter pictures. 

What's Missing? This set contains 24 pages for preschool and kindergarten aged students. Various pages with missing beginning letters, missing vowels, or missing ending letters. 

Monkeys Classroom. This resource is for preschool teachers or preschool centers. Thematic posters, letters, signs, home notes, and more for teachers using a "Monkey" theme in their classroom. 34 pages. This set will soon be duplicated for many more of the common animal classroom themes used in preschools and childcare centers! If you have particular animal themes at your center that you would like me to produce, send me a note!

I've been having so much fun creating these resources, and I hope you enjoy them too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

"No" Is An Okay Option

"No" is an okay option. I work really hard to encourage confidence in my online classes, and regularly give my students a chance to "show off" their ninja skills to everyone in class. Before I give this opportunity (which happens once or twice per 30 minute class), I ALWAYS say, "when I come to your camera, if you don't want to share, you can shake your head 'no' or even try using your words to say, 'no thank you'. Either is a completely fine option." My hope is that WHEREVER a child is at in their development, that they will be able to grow in their own way...and that might look different from child to child. 

Today, a student was hesitant. He ran off camera and I hear mom tell him, "just say 'no thank you'". As the boy comes back on screen, I see another child sit closer to the camera and say to the first boy, "no is an okay option." The first boy says, "no thank you", I say "okay", and we move on.

"No" is an okay option. All children should know this. All adults should honor this. Confidence grows at different levels and rates. Encourage, yes, but always allow children to grow at their own pace and as they are ready.

The picture above is of a review from the parent of the child who used his words today to say, "no thank you" when he wasn't quite ready to show off his ninja moves to the class. It reminded me how the little things make the biggest differences. I want ALL children to be able to participate in my classes, whether they are outgoing, shy, nervous, or excited. They should all feel welcome and encouraged.

Today, I realized the importance of this little mantra I tell my students each week. I hope that you will also see its significance as you interact with and teach children, as well!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Update: Teaching on Outschool

 So it's been five months since I first started teaching on Outschool. Since then, I've answered tons of questions from people interested or curious about teaching on Outschool, too. I figured I'd throw up a super honest review and insight into exactly how it's gone for me.

As far as flexibility, this "job" is the best. It is an independent contractor position, so you can schedule your own classes whenever you want. Need a break? Don't schedule any classes. Simple as that.  As I've gotten deeper into it, I am refining when I like to work and for how long. I'm finding what my limit is (read: at what point do I feel like dying?), and am learning to schedule myself for the perfect amount of time.

While many older students started to head back to school in August/September, I found (along with other teachers) that classes geared for older students came to an almost stand-still. My typically full coffee shop classes for older kids were hearing crickets. Fortunately, the younger groups, and in particular, my "ninja" niche, are alive and thriving. So, I back-burnered the older kid classes until later, and upped my ninja classes. These classes have continued to be in high demand, and I'm unable to keep up with the demand that I'm currently seeing. I'm already getting booked into January 2021 for classes. So, that being said, Outschool can flow up and down with age groups and needs. Be prepared to not have all your eggs in one basket, and plan to have things that do well at different times during the year. 

Ok, so the thing everyone always really wants to know...can you actually make money on Outschool? The answer is YES, you definitely can, and especially if you find the age groups and classes that are successful for you (understand, this may take some tinkering and you may not find your niche right away). I am averaging about 20 classes/week, which works out to about 10 live hours of teaching/week. I have minimal prep work as I primarily teach the same, already planned sessions over and over and over. My best month (also the month where I thought I would die of exhaustion...remember, I teach physical/movement classes), I made $5100 working 10ish hours/week. This is after Outschool's portion (they take 30% for the platform, advertising, teacher support, etc.), but before taxes (which I have to pay on my own since it's a 1099 position). This week, almost exactly five months in, I hit the $20,000 mark. My teacher stats page says I've taught 176.3 hours, making this work out to $113/hour (pre-tax). That's some dang good money. Plus, I've taught 1,315 different students from all over the world, which I absolutely LOVE. 

If you have something you are passionate about, and if you love teaching, I definitely recommend teaching on Outschool. It's fun, flexible, and is a great way to supplement your income while staying at home with your kiddos! If you have questions, ask me! I'd love to help you out and answer any questions you might have!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Working From Home: Teaching on Outschool

A year and a half ago, I shared with you all about my new favorite homeschool resource, Outschool. At the time, it was primarily for homeschoolers. As a teacher, I've always wanted to explore teaching on that platform. Buuuuut, it always came back to that magic word: time. I just didn't have any extra time to explore an entirely new platform and method of teaching. In rolled the quarantine. Which, despite all the obvious negatives, had some major blessings. More family time. Knocking out house projects. Finishing up an ebook I wrote but never published. Trying my hand at Outschool.

So a couple weeks ago, I decided to apply to Outschool. I was accepted and got right to work. It is an independent contractor job, so once you are accepted and your classes are approved, you are entirely in control of what you teach, when you teach, and how much you charge. My only regret is not jumping in sooner.

Outschool has experienced a MAJOR influx of students due to schools across the world shutting down (it's an international platform), and although they hired tons of teachers, the demand is still causing classes to fill well, especially the fun ones!

I initially scheduled a handful of little ninjas classes-playful martial arts classes for young kids, and figured I'd just see what happened. My first week, I fully booked all 5 classes. My second and third week were the same. I've now taught 17 classes, all of which were full or almost full (I offer more than just the ninjas classes). I am in love! I love teaching anyway, but this is just so fun! And, I can do it from my own home while my kids are playing downstairs.

Along with ninjas classes, I've been teaching some entrepreneurial classes, kitchen classes, and even some on budgeting. There are endless possibilities. I've had a few classes that were "flops", but overall, I'm finding good success.

If you are someone who loves teaching or has a passion for sharing what you love, I highly recommend Outschool! I'm doing something I love, making great money, AND I get to be at home with my kids nearby.

Monday, May 11, 2020

New to Homeschooling? Check out this eBook!

As a new homeschooler 8 years ago, I often struggled with feeling like I had no idea what our homeschool day could look like, apart from the standard 9-3 day. I wish someone had told me I could be flexible, that our day could look different at different seasons of life, or even given me a few examples of what our day could look like. Through trial and error, I think we all figure it out eventually.

I wrote this ebook out of a desire to help brand new homeschoolers feel a little less pressure and freedom to allow their day to look however they want it to...and I give eight ideas to try out for structuring the day.

The ebook is available anywhere you can buy ebooks-Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords (can download to any e-reader format from this site), etc. If you are a new homeschooler, I hope you find this quick read encouraging and helpful. 

Note: Amazon is $1 more than everywhere else but “lending” is enabled. Feel free to lend it to a friend. 

2nd note: if you need/feel this ebook will be helpful to you, and sincerely can’t afford it right now, please email me privately ( I will happily get you the ebook for free. No questions asked.

You can find it on Amazon for just $2.99 HERE.

I hope you find encouragement in this ebook! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Live Classes on Outschool with ME!!

Years ago, I release a "Create Your Own Cupcake Business" printable product on Teachers Pay Teachers . It was in response to my own daughter's absolute obsession with owning her own cupcake shop one day. I made it for her to explore some of the basics of her own cupcake shop, as well as for her to be able to do a homeschool project presentation on her business. She absolutely loved it, and I now sell it on my TpT store.

Recently, with the quarantine, I've had some time to finish up, jump in, or try things that have been on the back burner for a while. One of those things is teaching on Outschool. I've posted before about how much I love the Outschool platform for my homeschooled children. Being a teacher my whole life, I always thought it would be fun to teach on this platform, too. It was just such a foreign platform for teaching that I figured I'd need adequate time to learn how to use it. BUT, the quarantine quickly forced the learning curve of Zoom for the gym I teach at (, so I figured now was as good a time as any to try my hand at Outschool, as well.

And so, with that, I have combined my "Create Your own Cupcake Business" printable with a live Outschool class for interaction/feedback with me/other children! I am incredibly excited to launch these classes. I'll be adding more as I get my feet wet-I have, after all, taught a variety of topics to children over the years!

You can find my Create Your Own Cupcake Business classes HERE. (First, grab your $20 sign up bonus HERE...then you can even apply it to this class!).

Be sure to check out this In the Kitchen: Dirt Cups class, too! With over 46,000 re-pins from this blog on Pinterest, this delicious treat is a perfect one for your child to do independently in my class. Sign up, grab your supplies, and let your kiddo make dessert for the night!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Why We Homeschool Year Round

I'm in my 6th year of homeschooling my four children. What once began as a "let's see how this goes" adventure has now progressed into a definite way of life that I cannot imagine diverting away from. The ups and downs of the first year were certainly the most stressful, and while there are still ups and downs, I wouldn't trade homeschooling my children for anything.

Today I'm going to be sharing about the driving factors and our "whys" for schooling year round.  Many homeschoolers still school on a traditional schedule, but year round schooling has been the school schedule that we love the most and have held onto the longest. If you've been looking for ways to set up your school schedule, I encourage you to consider this type of set-up.

*Note: When I say "year round" I don't mean that we sit down with our books every day. In fact, my homeschooling style is not one where we spend much time at the table "schooling" anyway. Rather, it means that we don't follow a traditional school schedule in regards to big summer breaks and holidays and such. We plan on schooling all through the year with the idea that if and when we want a day off, to take a family vacation, or to just have a fun day together at the beach, we can do so without getting behind on our school. Our kids still go to fun camps in the summer, and we still have days where we just throw our hands up and watch movies together all day.

When we started homeschooling, we adhered to a traditional school schedule. Summers off. Breaks when the schools had breaks. Spring and winter breaks, holidays, etc. were all observed. I stuck pretty carefully to this schedule. After all, I grew up in public school and even taught kindergarten for a couple years...this is just how you do it, right? I knew of no other way, and so I naturally just followed suit.

Over the years, we found that our lives were much more balanced when we schooled year round, taking breaks as we need them instead of when we were supposed to take them. Several factors played into this, and I honestly feel that I find more reasons in favor of it the longer we do it.

At first, when my kids were younger, it was a behavioral decision. On school days, with routine, the kids had better attitudes. On days where we just "did whatever" and didn't do any "school", they were crazy. Children thrive on routines and on knowing what to expect. When the routines got thrown out the window, it seemed to mess with their understanding and expectations of the day. This was most noticeable when they were younger. As older children now (5, 8, 9, 11), they have enough consistent non-school routine things to keep the balance of our day (i.e. morning responsibilities- self care like teeth, dressing themselves, etc, and family chores-unloading the dishwasher, making their own breakfasts, etc.). Nevertheless, we love the routine of "school" being as simple as an every day part of our lives. I hope to raise life-long learners, and believe that schooling year round helps them understand that learning is something we should pursue always and forever.

Weather began to play a roll in this decision, as well. August is extremely hot here, whereas September is beautiful. With littles who wanted to play at the park often, we found the slides and swings were too hot to even enjoy in August. We preferred to play outside in September over August. Lake Tahoe is generally still really nice in September, and the bonus is that school-kids are back in school and we have the beach and parks to ourselves! Schooling year round allowed us to take breaks in September to go play without feeling "behind" on our schooling. We also will take our Disneyland family vacations on non-school breaks to ensure that it's not too crowded. And no, we never bring our school work along with us.

Retention quickly became a driving force to school year round. I found that, in general, many curriculums provide a couple weeks of review material with each new year of curriculum. The fact that many take a couple months off from school means that generally speaking, a review is necessary before moving on. Maintaining our year round schedule not only meant the kids remembered what they were learning, but that we could also skip those couple weeks of review material each year and just jump in with the new stuff. Imagine skipping 26 total weeks of review work over the course of a K-12 education. That's half a year spent just on reviewing stuff you already learned but forgot because of taking so much time off!

Flexibility is another. At this point, we average only 4 days of school/week. My kids usually do 5 days worth of work for all core subjects, but they complete it (on most weeks) in four days. If we have a crazy Monday, we can still complete all our stuff during the rest of the week. BUT, if we don't get to five days of work each week, it's still okay...year round schooling will keep us on track over the course of the year. The flexibility and relief of not having to stress over a missed school day is totally worth it. It keeps me sane, and helps keep the kids from stressing, too.

We love year round schooling. We are able to complete all of our necessary school work, have fun, enjoy the nice weather, and keep ourselves relatively stress free. If you are struggling to find a great schedule balance in your homeschool, I encourage you to take a look at schooling year round. It might be just what you're family needs!

Do you school year round? What is your favorite aspect of this type of school schedule? 


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