Are they too much like traditional settings? Too strict????
I have never used Connections but I've heard mixed reviews from those who have used it.
I used connections academy in Ohio for 4 years.
They are not what they say they are. My school loving daughter, the last year with them, hated every second of every school day.
They are not flexible as they brag themselves to be. The curriculum is seriously lacking. And the portfolios....well that's all you ever get done. There are several portfolios a month to be turned in and they are a headache, especially in the younger grades because they younger they are the more help you have to give them.
I switched to Ohio Virtual Academy. My daughter loves school again, we have the flexibility we need, the curriculum is top notch, and when she has finished the curriculum and gotten in 920 hours we are done. So last year we finished school a whole month ahead of the last scheduled day. Connections made us work up to the last day even if the curriculum was completed and we had our required hours for the year. So that meant I had to make up enough stuff everyday in each subject for weeks til the last day of school. We had two awful teachers with them in the time we used them and it just got worse each year.
If you want and need flexibility then don't use connections.
Some examples of why I didn't like them......
They advertise that you can do block scheduling. However, that was not the case for us. We had to do at least one lesson in each subject everyday. They say your student can work at their own pace. Again not true. When my daughter was working way ahead because she already knew the materials presented in the lessons, we were to cut back and only do 1 lesson per subject a day. I requested she have placement testing done so they could see she already knew the materials but they refused the testing saying they didn't do that kind of testing. Yet they advertise that they do that kind of testing. We were threatened to be kicked out becasue we hadn't had the required teacher contact within the month. The teacher wasn't calling us. We couldn't get ahold of her. This went on for most of the year and then they ended up abruptly firing her because she lied about her degress, wasn't qualified, etc. They threatened us for 3 months and the problem was on their end. They sholudn't be in business if they can't check the references of the people applying for their teaching positions.
It was just a really bad experience for us starting in kindergarten. I stuck it out thinking it would get better. by the middle of the third grade I couldn't take it anymore. I hated to switch in the middle of the year, but it was the best decision I made in the long run. My daughter bounced back immediately in the new school and she is going into the 5th grade this year and it will be 2 1/2 years for us this year with OHVA. She loves it so much she works in the summer!!!!!
Do some more research on the virtual schooling options in your area before you choose. I wish I would have never chosen connctions.
thak you so much for your thoughts and opinions! Florida full time Virtual academy is connected to connections academy I guess. Honestly I think id rather homeschool on my own without them
Florida also has K12 as a virtual academy depending on what school you use they are awesome. They do let children test up, they do let you work ahead, though they get mad if you do to many lessons in a day, I told them she was working for her full hour, if they didnt like it they needed to test her again. I pretty much do the curriculum my way in California and have little to no interference. Good luck with your decision.
I signed my 3 girls up at Connections. This is our first year and the girls start on the 4th. I am hoping for a positive experience. I talked to a friend of a friend who loves CCA and we decided to give it a shot. She has had 3 enrolled and one that has graduated and only had positive things to say about it.
Good luck w/ whatever you choose!
I've used Commonwealth Connections Academy (Pennsylvania) since my oldest was in Kindergarten. He's is started third grade this year with them. We have never had any problems with them. The teachers were always helpful and courteous. I do admit some of the portfolios in the younger grades seemed harder than they should have been but after talking to the teacher we didn't have any problems. We've never had a problem with working ahead which happened alot in Kindergarten and first grade. We have been lucky to have teachers that are understanding. I'm sorry to hear others have problems. I hope you have found a
schooling solution that works for you. Every child is different so if it
doesn't work for you don't be afraid to change. My younger children will most likely attend Connections in a few years if we stay in the state.
I think it all depends on the particular school. Some of them will test kids in each subject, if requested, and allow them to progress to the next grade level in the subjects they test at a higher level in, and some of them don't. I may be the State influence that causes those difficulties, or just the way that school handles things. I know of people who can schedule their classes so that they do all their math and science on Monday and Wednesday, language arts and social studies Tuesday and Thursday, and art, music and PE on Friday. I know of others who aren't able to adjust their schedule like that.
I think that Connections Academy is a good choice for some kids, and a good transition into a more traditional homeschooling situation for others.
If you feel that you need more structure, and think that having a curriculum all set out for you will be good for you and your child/ren then one of the online schools might be the right choice for you. You can go the State school route and get everything for free, but then you have to follow their rules, or some schools also sell the curriculum that you can modify however you want. Some of them have a private school option as well.
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