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Virtual Charter Schools - Can I Get Your Opinion?

Posted by on May. 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • 11 Replies

As my husband and I are thinking about homeschooling our son through his middle school years, we naturally started by looking at virtual charter schools.  But in the back of my mind the thought keeps creeping up, "I would rather do it my way".  I'm reading so much and getting so much information right now that my head is just swimming.  But I'm coming to understand that the virtual charter schools might not be nessecary.  So who out there has had experience with virtual charter schools and with self-made cirriculum?  Please, please, please share with me your experiences and opinions!

by on May. 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM
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by Platinum Member on May. 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Hi! I make my own curriculum. It's much easier in the younger years. I use a few different Content Standards (basically a list of what each grade should know) and then tailor it to my child's needs. My 7yo is average, maybe a bit slow, with reading but everything else, he is a bit advanced. My daughter is in 5th, and sometimes I think I might use a charter for the older years, though.

by on May. 5, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I use them for some things and enhance other things.
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by Jinx on May. 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM
My nephew used K12 and did it here with my kids so iwwas his facilitator. I hated it.

There was little flexability. If we took time out for a field trip, he had to work onn the weekends. I had to lie to report his hours because I refused to make him sit at a desk for 5 hrs when he completed the work in 3 hours.

It was also very easy for him to cheat. When he would correct his tests, it would give him the right answer, which he would make note of, then retake it to get an A, even though he had no clue about the material. I told his mom about this and she told me to let him do it @@, "well, aat least by him rereading it and knowing the right answer, maybe he will retain it"...ummmm..really??? Lol
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by on May. 7, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Here is a news article in the New York Times that backs up what Jinx troublex3 said. The article says that K12 and many other online charter school repeat the mistakes of the public school system, and "are  better for wallstreet than for the class room"

Mem82 also makes a good point about creating much of your own curriculum. The following article gives you information on how to do that:  How To Home School

by on May. 7, 2012 at 7:49 AM
I, too, almost went the k12 route and decided I want to do it my way. I don't like the requirements and all that, having to deal with the teachers, deadlines, etc.
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by on May. 7, 2012 at 7:58 AM

I agree with others above;  I never used one, but I've looked into them and I have known homeschooling parents who tried them and showed me... the public ones seem to have curricula that is just as flawed and inflexible and uninspiring as public school curriculum, but having to sit there doing it alone on the computer just makes them all the more tedious. I would rather just send the kids to school. 

Virtual schools are relatively new... they are the public school system's way of trying to keep from losing funds when parents pull kids out to homeschool. As long as you're still registered in a virtual public school, the district still gets federal funds for the child.

I suppose some people feel safer with them, or figure it will make it easier for them, but to me they seem just a little too constrictive.

Peace, and all that jazz...


a Browncoat4eva 

...I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar...

by on May. 7, 2012 at 9:38 AM

This school year was my first year homeschooling. My 7 and 8 year olds were in public school before that. And I couldn't continue sending them to school for several different reasons. I was scared to jump into it all on my own (even though I had researched and researched before making the decision). My cousin homeschools her kids through Connections Academy and my neice uses it also. At first everything looked good, make your own schedules, do school when it fits you, etc.
What really happens is that you get sent school books (which is a great thing for a broke girl like me lol) and they send you a box full of school supplies. Then they set everything up daily. And every day there is some kind of quiz or assessment that you child has to take in order to be able to be tracked. The teachers (because you aren't the teacher you are just a learning coach) has to call and check in with the child every couple of weeks. If you miss this call you are put on alarm status (too long on alarm status can get you kicked out, even if you are an A+ student).
From there, my husband had a hip replacement in Jan. I emailed my kids teachers telling them that we would get behind, because I had to focus on my husband, but I would get them caught up. By Feb, my son's teacher was sending me an email telling me that if my son didn't get caught up, that he would be failing 2nd grade. Keep in mind my son's lowest grade is a 92.
I also don't like their grading scale. At the beginning of the new semester my daughter took an assessment quiz. It was two questions long. And one of the questions was worded funny. She answered it wrong and carried a 50 in that subject for three weeks until the next graded assessment.
Alot of people call virtual schools; school at home, and I kind of agree with that, but at the same time, I made sure my kids were continually learning. We didn't just stop learning with school. For example, my son has difficulties with mental math (ya know 8+8=16, he has to count on his fingers to get that). So every so often, I have him write his addition and subtraction facts just to refresh his memory.
Now with all of this being said. I can't sit here and tell you that I will never go back to them, because I honestly don't know if I can figure out how to teach my kids trigonometry when they are in high school and smarter than I am. lol But for right now, I plan on teaching them to the best of my ability without outside influences.
(Sorry this is so long :-)

by on May. 7, 2012 at 10:20 AM

I looked into k12 that they offer in my state and after finding out all the hours they have to work a day I said  no way, so I make up my own curriculum and that's what works for us right now :)

by on May. 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I have tried both K12 and Connection Academy. They both were not for us. My oldest hated it. She is 8 and loved school before. There is so much pressure to get all the busy work done. Not to mention you give all your power away. Instead of you will do this because I say it becomes your teacher is going to call you better get it done. Us the parents do the work but the teacher on the phone gets all the credit.

We are back to our senses. I tailor the work just for them and I think I spend $350 on each child per year.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

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