Most Amazing Weekend Ever!!!

Most Amazing Weekend Ever!!!

As an online reading tutor I often don't get to meet the students that I work with.  However, this past weekend I had the opportunity to meet with an astounding student I have been helping since June of 2014.  She lives about 2 hours away from San Jose, California.  This past weekend I happened to be traveling to San Jose for a business function and they were visiting San Jose for a Christmas party.  We decided to meet up at the hotel I was staying at since I didn't have a car and my conference started at 9:00.  We met for breakfast at 8:00 and honestly we could have gone on talking for hours.

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Joanne Kaminski and Piper in San Jose, California

People used to ask me if tutoring online was not personal enough for kids.  I used to laugh inside my head at that question because it is absolutely personal.  Just because I can't touch you physically doesn't mean that I can't touch your heart.  As you can see from this lovely picture of the two of us, it looks like we have known each other forever.  I love this girl and the progress she has made and it gave me the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with the entire family.

The entire day I was at my conference I was ecstatic because I was able to connect with this amazing child.  All of my students have something special to offer the world and Piper has a shining personality and a never give up attitude that is going to take her very far in life.  She has improved so much in her reading that she no longer needs to go to a reading specialist at her school for additional interventions.  We are continuing to close her non-fiction reading gap, but that will easily come with a little bit more time.

I love that I am able to travel the world, tutor online, and make a difference in kids lives.  After talking with this wonderful family over breakfast, we really got to know each other on a deeper level.  They expressed their gratitude for the work that I have been doing and they shared a special story with me about how Piper does her tutoring.

Piper has her tutoring session at 6:30 am in the morning before school because she is so active after school.  This is perfect for me because of the 2 hour time difference.  I am able to drop off my kids at school a little early and make it home in time to tutor Piper.  Piper sets her alarm on her side to wake up at 6:00 so that she can tutor with me.  Piper's mom doesn't have to ever remind her and she is always at her sessions on time.  Her mom let me know that this is because she is so excited to work with me.  These kind of stories are so touching to me.  They let me know that I am making a difference in another's life and that what I do is valued.  I love that Piper's mom allows Piper to be self-sufficient and gives her the responsibility to do what she needs to do.  This is a mom that really cares about giving her child what she needs and allowing her to be responsible for her own education.

Who knew?  Tutoring online can be fun, personable, and rewarding.  Well, I guess I knew all along since I started this business.  Just not all people believed it could be possible when I first started out.  I am so grateful that I didn't listen to the nay sayers and I followed my dream of teaching struggling readers to become better readers via online tutoring.

What are your thoughts about online tutoring?

 

 

How Online Reading Tutoring is Magical like Walt Disney World

How Online Reading Tutoring is Magical like Walt Disney World

Last week my family and I spent the entire week at Disney World. We spend 6 days in 4 different parks and had a magical time. So naturally, my mind is still on Disney as I sit here and reflect about my business as an online reading tutor and how it is like the magic that happens at Disney. I have found that Disney and my online reading tutoring business make everything convenient, provide friendly service, add excitement with the use of techonology, and both are just plain fun. Let's take a look at each of these areas and see why I feel that way.

Convenient

Everything at Disney was just plain convenient. They provide transportation for you everywhere. You take the monorail in, they have buses, trams, boats, strollers, and motorized wheel chairs. These make moving around the parks very convenient. They also have the fast pass. The fast pass at Disney is unlike other fast passes at other parks. Everybody has the ability to use them so that you don't have to wait in long lines. You just go to the ride, decide if you want to wait or get a fast pass. If you get the fast pass, then you can do whatever you want and come back at the front of the line. We did this with Soaring in Epcot and skipped a 45 minute wait.

So you may be thinking, great Disney is convenient, but how in the world is online reading tutoring convenient. Well, for one, you don't need any transportation to get to your online reading tutoring session. You turn on your computer and begin your session. You don't even have to sit and wait by your computer. You can turn on Skype do something else and the Skyping Reading Tutor calls you when it is your turn at your designated and agreed upon time.

Getting tutoring from the Skyping Reading Tutor is very similar to the Fast Pass. When you go to other facilities, of which we will not name here, it can take at least 36 hours of tutoring to move your child up a full year. This is very costly in the end. For the same price as these other options your child can make a full years growth with just 8-12 hours of instruction. Even if, he/she has dyslexia. Now that is the Fast Pass.

Friendly Service

At Disney, everyone treats you like you are one of their family members. They treat you with respect, spoil you, and smile. As the Skyping Reading Tutor I put these same principles in place. Sometimes you have had a long day, you need to make dinner, and get your kid settled at the computer. No matter what kind of day I have had I know that it feels warm and welcoming when you are treated with respect on the other side of the computer and have a tutor that is eager to help your child with reading. The happier your child is to come to his/her reading tutoring session the better. So I always try to make it fun and make your child smile during the session.

Fun

What could be more fun than Disney? I am not really sure. What I was amazed at during this trip was that the imagineers even made waiting in line fun. They had interactive games that you could play and games where you had to work as a team with the other people in line. Even though I was exhausted. I found myself jumping up and down, leaning left and right, and waving my arms to help my team win while waiting in line at Soaring in Epcot. (There were no more fast passes available the first day we were there, so we decided to wait in that line). Waiting in line had never been so much fun. Even though I didn't want to wait in line, while I was there I was engaged and having a great time.

I like to think that is what it is like to recieve online reading tutoring. No kid wants to have to have tutoring, but while they are there I want to make sure that they have as much fun as possible. The Skyping Reading Tutor gives kids choices of what they get to read while they are working together and utilizes top notch technology just as Disney does. What could be more fun than choices, cool technology, and the ability to speed through reading levels like a video game? Probably Disney, but I like to think that the Skyping Reading Tutor comes next.

There you have it. Both Disney and the Skyping Reading Tutor are convenient, provide friendly service, and are fun. If you don't believe me, then what others have to say from their own experience. You can find testimonials at the bottom of my about page.

P.S. on a personal note, our favorite place was Epcot. What is your favorite Disney park?

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31 Days to a Better Reader

31 Days to a Better Reader

Everyone wants to make sure that the children in their life are able to read easily and effortlessly.

No parent or teacher ever thinks, "Gosh I  hope that my child will struggle with reading.  It sure would add a lot of adversity to their life."  Therefore, we always want to be able to do everything that we absolutely can to make sure that kids have the tools that they need to do the very best that they are capable of doing.

In this information age it is pivotal that children be able to read.  There isn't anything that they will partake in that will not include reading.  We all know that, but sometimes it is hard to convince kids who don't actually enjoy reading to understand it's importance.  Who wants to do something that is either hard or boring.

Over the next 31 days you are going to get tips and tricks that will turn any child into a better reader.  Are you ready for a challenge that will motivate your child, build bonding time with your child, and help him or her with reading all at the same time?  This is the perfect time for this challenge.  The time is NOW!  Whether your child already loves to read or doesn't, they can always become better.

My name is Joanne Kaminski and I am also known as the Skyping Reading Tutor.  I have been teaching kids to read for over 10 years, have a Masters in Reading and have starting my own reading tutoring company called Bright IDEA Reading Tutoring where I provide online reading tutoring.  The tips and tricks that you will learn are based off of my own experiences of what works best with kids.  I utilize brain research and how kids learn best and actually retain the information that they are learning.

Tomorrow starts day 1 of the challenge.  Subscribe to this blog so that you don't miss one single day of this challenge and turn your loved little ones become a better reader.

Miracles of Technology

Miracles of Technology

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Mrs. Jody Kelley's class from Blairsburg, Iowa.  This was my first time skyping with a class in Iowa andthis was Mrs. Jody Kelley's students first time skyping.

This is such a remarkable class with a remarkable teacher.  Mrs. Jody Kelley met another teacher from Dublin, Ireland and the students have been using Twitter to learn about each other.  The class in Dublin sent a package containing items from Ireland.  Inside of the box was chocolate, tea, crisps (also known as chips), and a school jumper (also known as a sweatshirt).  Through this amazing interaction the students have been able to grow their knowledge in Geography and time zones.

Mrs. Jody Kelley's class is planning on sending peanut butter and maple syrup because the student's in Dublin have never heard of it before.  First however, the students need to find out if peanut butter and maple syrup can be sent over.  So, there is a little bit of research that needs to be done before they can make that happen.  Also, Mrs. Jody Kelley's class got a donation of a build a bear and they are going to send that over with a school sweatshirt on it.  Before they send it, they are going to take a  picture of their own bear with the sweatshirt/jumper from Dublin.

The students in Mrs. Jody Kelley's class love to read.  If you want to find out a good title of book, then this is the class to go to.  They are not only knowledgeable, but they have tried out a wide range of authors.  They suggested title like Deep, Dark and Dangerous, Amulet, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and A-Z mysteries.

Today I introduced the class to a new series called Conspiracy 365.  This is a set of 12 books that is a high action packed thriller.  The father is on his way to discovering a major family secret that will be worth millions of dollars.  Unfortunately, the father dies and his son has 365 days to figure it out.  Check out the trailer to this series.  You will be hooked just like I am.  Each book gets you closer to figuring out the secret.  I am currently on May.

Here is my version of a book trailer below.  Enjoy!

Just Tutored on an iPad

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I get the wonderful opportunity to work with some amazing families that are extremely resilient.  My wonderful student Julia's dad was out of town and took the laptop with him that Julia uses for tutoring.  Her amazing mom, thought about how she could solve this conundrum.  She came up with setting up her iPad. She connected her system to Skype, gave me a call, and we had a regular session together.

I was so amazed.  I had never envisioned myself tutoring a child in reading over an iPad.  The concept just blows my mind away.  Just 2 years ago, this concept would not have even been possible.  I personally wouldn't suggest tutoring over anything smaller than an iPad because it would be difficult to see the words.  An iPad however, was just right.

For me, there wasn't anything that I had to do differently to tutor Julia.  After her mom had everything set up for Julia, there wasn't anything different that Julia had to do either.  She got to take her iPad to a quiet spot, lay down with a comfy blanket, and continue to get better at reading.

I love what I do and experiences like this have me loving it even more.  I am so grateful to be able to tutor children in reading from the comfort of my own home and keep as much of a balanced life as possible with three kids and a dog.

First Grade Smarticles in New York

First Grade Smarticles in New York

Image by Sebastian Niedlich (Grabthar) via Flickr

Have you ever heard a term or a phrase and fallen in love with it instantly?  Well that happened to me today.  I read a story about The Greedy Python to a group of students.  Afterward I asked the students if they thought the story was fiction or non-fiction and they instantly replied fiction.  I was so amazed that such a young group of students knew the answer so quickly.  The teacher responded that her class is working on their smarticles.

The word reminded me of barnicles from Spongebob.  I love the word so much and the way that she used it, that I am going to use it.  I have a group of students that I tutor in reading everyday that are working on their smarticles and they certainly are smart.

Today I had the wonderful pleasure to read to Mrs. Magyar's 1st grade computer class in New york.  I was so jealous to hear that many of the students have had the wonderful opportunity to see the Thanksgiving Parade live instead of just on t.v.  What an awesome opportunity for them.

These students have been learning about Eric Carle and have read some of his amazing books like Pancake, Pancake, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Clumsy Cricket, and Papa, Please Get me the Moon. I explained to the children that Eric Carle is both an author and an illustrator.  In the book that I shared with them, The Greedy Python, Carle is the illustrator.  The Greedy Python is sooo greedy that he eats many animals including an elephant.  Click on the video below to see what he ends up eating.  The surprise ending is hilarious.

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