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k12.com virtual public school, need input

Posted by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 7:43 AM
  • 27 Replies

 I decided to look into the k12 virtual school. I liked the content for first grade. But I really need some honest feedback to help me more. I want to hear pro's and cons. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • Im a 1st time homeschooler and think it could be a good transistion
  • BUT I LOVE creating my own theamatic integrated units
  • it said dont miss during school days?? but 1st grade I just check in daily with progress, why cant we school on vacation as long as there is internet access? It also said 1year progress in 1 year time, so cant that be august through june, why stick to there schedule?
  • If she wants to move faster or already completely gets something can we skip ahead?
  • do we get to pick the extra subjects after core?

I know these are more for them to answer me, but at least I have them noted some place for when I call.

Mommy to Corbin (8-epilepsy,autism, add) Kayla (6) Collin (1.5), Wife to Ben-OT, and I love teaching- M.Ed Early Childhood. SAHM & Homeschooling. Come watch us at www.youtube.com/user/1212wright

by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 7:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
AbundanceMagnet
by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 7:48 AM

 I have never used k12, but have heard its very similar to the other virtual schools.  I have done Connections Academy.  I would say the only downfall is its very public school like so if you are trying to get away from that and do your own thing, that can be difficult... but if you are transitioning its nice because all lessons are done, etc.  Your kids do have to do all standardized testing at a regular public school which can sometimes stink.   I believe you can skip ahead, atleast we could with Connections.    And there were also extra electives though honestly we spent so much time on the core stuff we never got to enjoy them.  Good Luck!  <hugs>

Boobah
by Nikki :) on Jul. 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM
We were going to do k12.com through OHVA but decided not to because of those reasons. It isn't vey flexible, even though they say they are. I talked to one of their employees and they Thought they were telling me things that would sell me on it, but it actually turned me off.

You can school on vacation, as long as you can login. You can also schedule days off. As far as I could tell, you have to do the curriculum as it comes. But you don't have to do everything. For example say a math lesson has a bunch of activities to do. Well if your kid gets it, you can just do the whatever is online, and the assessment.
I didn't like the thought of having to keep talking to the "teacher" I think every two weeks. Having to turn in papers, having to take the assessments, not being able to work at your own pace, even though they say you can. I also didn't like the idea of the testing at some school that my dd has never been to, by some teacher she has never met. I knew it wouldn't be accurate because dd would freeze up, and probably cry. Lol
That being said, the curriculum looks great. If I could have afforded to buy it alone I might have done that.
Like you, I love to plan lessons. So we are combining Charlotte mason method with the classical method (see www.simplycharlottemason.com and welltrainedmind.com) and we have everything planned out for fall already.

If k12 sounds like something you want to do, try it! You can cancel at any time and do your own thing if it doesn't work out. Just the decision to bring your child home for school is a huge step!
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hailnbray
by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

 it is public school at home. u need to follow their schedule because of state law. u do move at ur own pace but u cant just skip stuff. u just move past the stuff she knows faster then the stuff she doesnt know. there are tons of test and guidlines just like public school, there really is no freedom. u can add extra lessons if u want. like if u think of something fun for forth of july u can do that lesson but it wouldnt count for school work. as far as doing work on vacation u can do work whenever u want. ur not limited to 9-3 m-f

fygfitness_mom
by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 3:02 PM
1 mom liked this

My girls attend Arizona Virtual Academy (k12) and we love it!

It's true that they are a public school and are required to follow state and federal guidelines but that happens to be one of the things that I like about them. It also means that when my girls graduate it will be with an accredited diploma and GPA.

There is a schedule that we keep to and I know that for some that is a turn off but it works for us. We can and have done school while on vacation or simply moved around their days off. My youngest daughter is a competitive dancer which requires a great deal of travel during the school year and k12 allows that so long as we can log our attendance.

We can also log their extra curricular things as attendance as well. Things such as dance, swimming, softball, chess, discovery channel movies and library time. Anything that is relevant to their education and physical well being may be logged.

As far as their electives go, my girls take foreign language. This year I have one taking Spanish and the other taking French. Their first year with AZVA they both took Latin. They do have a music program here as well but to be honest it is not very good. We would much rather place the girls in lessons here and just count the attendance.

My girls work at their own pace in each subject. If they test out of a lesson then we move right along to the next one. If at any point they are having difficulty understanding a subject we receive support from their assigned teacher as well as other members of the AZVA staff.

We actually just received their materials in the mail yesterday. They love when they see the k12 boxes on our front porch, it's like Christmas to them. We opened all of the materials and double checked to ensure that they received all of them which gave the girls a glimpse into this school year.

I don't know about other states but in Arizona we have k12 hybrid schools as well. Which is basically like a giant co-op with extra perks. If there is a subject that I am not able to get across to them so that they can thoroughly understand it, they have someone who can. it is also a great way for them to socialize with other children that attend the same school. They still get to have school spirit, togetherness and create camaraderie but with students that I approve of. 

I know that virtual schools are not for every family and there are some that really dislike the lack of control but it's what works for us. Sorry this is so long. :-)

shjohnson
by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 10:05 PM
The just got one charter in GA this year and as live in the Atlanta metro area where the schools suck, so I am excited about trying it with my ADHD 3 rd grader who needs extra one on one attention!
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wright1212
by on Jul. 14, 2011 at 7:36 AM

 im loving your answers. after i receive my info cd i will know exactly what questions to ask. im thinking this could help me focus on my ds-8 who cant do k12 his autism/learning disability is too severe, so by having DD have all her work ready. i can create better lessons for him. i do love creating my own lessons, which i may still do just a little. i live in a small town, im sure there is no coop just for k12 within an hour drive. but we do have a regular coop and perhaps a few use k12. so that may count. im not too worried since its only 1st grade and there is not as much standard testing in 1st grade.

my problem with regular school is the worksheets-she brought home 12 a week in K plus had about 5pages of homework a week. there was no hands on learning and nothing besides math and reading (and 20m of music, pe, and library). in the sample k12 i looked at it was very hands on and i didnt see worksheets-this will be a big question i ask.. thanks again for all input!!!

Mommy to Corbin (8-epilepsy,autism, add) Kayla (6) Collin (1.5), Wife to Ben-OT, and I love teaching- M.Ed Early Childhood. SAHM & Homeschooling. Come watch us at www.youtube.com/user/1212wright

hailnbray
by on Jul. 14, 2011 at 8:07 AM

 there are tons of worksheets however u can do what u want with them. when i used k12 we would cut apart worksheets and things to make lapbooks.

Quoting wright1212:

 im loving your answers. after i receive my info cd i will know exactly what questions to ask. im thinking this could help me focus on my ds-8 who cant do k12 his autism/learning disability is too severe, so by having DD have all her work ready. i can create better lessons for him. i do love creating my own lessons, which i may still do just a little. i live in a small town, im sure there is no coop just for k12 within an hour drive. but we do have a regular coop and perhaps a few use k12. so that may count. im not too worried since its only 1st grade and there is not as much standard testing in 1st grade.

my problem with regular school is the worksheets-she brought home 12 a week in K plus had about 5pages of homework a week. there was no hands on learning and nothing besides math and reading (and 20m of music, pe, and library). in the sample k12 i looked at it was very hands on and i didnt see worksheets-this will be a big question i ask.. thanks again for all input!!!

 

today I can say I just sat back and was greatful for having the greatest kids I could ask for. I am going to worry less and love a little more. I am going to stop counting the minutes till bed time and start counting the minutes till good night kisses. I am going to stop crying and start laughing. I know together this family can move mountains one rock at a time
KDBeckham
by on Jul. 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM


Quoting wright1212:

 I decided to look into the k12 virtual school. I liked the content for first grade. But I really need some honest feedback to help me more. I want to hear pro's and cons. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • Im a 1st time homeschooler and think it could be a good transistion
  • BUT I LOVE creating my own theamatic integrated units
  • it said dont miss during school days?? but 1st grade I just check in daily with progress, why cant we school on vacation as long as there is internet access? It also said 1year progress in 1 year time, so cant that be august through june, why stick to there schedule?
  • If she wants to move faster or already completely gets something can we skip ahead?
  • do we get to pick the extra subjects after core?

I know these are more for them to answer me, but at least I have them noted some place for when I call.

I agree that it will be a good transition...I will be a 1st time homeschooler with a 1st grader myself.

I like the idea of creating my own units, but remember you can always add to what you already have, its not the end of what they can learn.

My process is going to be do the work, regardless of how long it takes them longer or short & mark the required amount of hours whether we did it or not. The work will take different amounts of time for each child.

You can skip, communicate with your teacher & if they know the work you can take the assessment and skip the lessons.

I don't know about the extra subjects, we were given art & music after our core subjects. I think once you get up into middle or high school you may be able to choose.

Simply Southern Homeschool ~ "Where Learning Begins"



MamisAngels
by on Aug. 24, 2011 at 3:15 PM
I used k12 the end of last school year, through agora cyber charter school, for my then 1st & 2nd graders. They enjoyed it, I liked the lesson plan layouts although I liked that I could tweak them to my own liking.
I feel it was a good start for us as first-timers. We will continue this school year and are looking forward to establishing even better routines, etc.
I wish you the best!
momversuswild
by on Aug. 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM

We used it a couple of years back for only a few months because WE.HATED.IT.  Too much testing - from standardized testing to benchmark testing to writing evaluations...who could learn from all the wasted time testing?  Then we were required to attend online class.  My 3rd grader was crawling under the desk and climbing the chair with boredom; as was I.  There was not enough content and wayyyyyy too much b.s.  (same with public school imo).

However, I had been homeschooling my kids since pre-k so it was culture shock for us.

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