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Anyone use CAVA?

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 7:55 PM
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I am STRONGLY considering switching to California Virtual Academy next year.  However, we have been unstructured thus far and I am worried CAVA will be too  structered......Does anyone out there have any comments to share about it before I take the leap?

THANKS- Libby

by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 7:55 PM
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cmy3kids
by on Apr. 13, 2009 at 11:33 PM

We are not in California... but we did use our state's virtual academy (MNVA) for the last year and a half. We started homeschooling altogether with MNVA, but this past year has been really hard with the state-funded virtual academy. A lot changed over the year and it seemed to get more complicated then when we first started. Our teacher this year that was helping us seemed more strict then the teacher we had last year. Infact, several times she referred to me as a "learning coach" and not my children's teacher... we in turn called her the "homeroom teacher" or "resource teacher"!! But it became very difficult to stay afloat of all the requirements with three kids.... which only two were enrolled into the VA. We were required to attend monthly "virtual classrooms" where we had to sit for almost two hours listening to kids talking weirdly and loudly over a computer microphone. But it was mandatory and if we skipped out it was held against the kids. Just a lot of hoops to jump... and all for free curriculum.


trishmomof5
by Testing the waters on Apr. 29, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Hi I am new to this group and I am in California. We started out homeschooling with CAVA. I personally was unhappy with the curriculum. We first got started through a friend at church. SHe had homeschooled her 2 kids with CAVA for a couple of years. Because it was free, I jumped right in. We don't have alot of money and we have 5 kids, but were planning on Homeschooling 3 of them. My childrens' ages are 15-9th grade, 12-6th grade and 9-4th grade. In public school my 12 year old was in GATE classes, my  9year old really excelled in math, and 15 yr old was struggling all around.

 I had hoped that CAVA would challenge both my boys and really put them over the top in learning. I hoped that it would help my daughter to strengthen the areas she was weakest in. But, what really happened was my daughter failed the first semester of highschool. Not only was the transition difficult but the subjects were more challenging then we wanted for her. My son who had been in GATE classes started to feel like he was stupid. 

I feel the curriculum is designed for kids who are above the normal standards in school. It was not the best fit for us. I would truly suggest really researching it before making your decision.

Being new to homeschooling in general, it almost scared me away from continuing the homeschool venture. Luckily, I hooked up with another friend through church who is an education specialist with Sky Mountain Charter Academy. The difference with them is that you can choose what curriculum to use. Not all kids learn the same and the curriculum with CAVA is the same across the board. I can use one program with one child and another program for another child with Sky Mountain.

The difference is that CAVA gives loaner computers and Sky Mountain does not. But, Sky Mountain gives you a budget that YOU choose what curriculum you want to buy, and if you need a computer, you can buy that, too. With CAVA you are a learning coach, not a teacher. With Sky Mountain you are your child's teacher and you partner with a credentialed teacher for state requirements, but you have final say in what curriculum you use.

I am sorry, that was not the question you asked. Yes I have used CAVA and we no longer use it due to unhappiness with many things. Use your best judgement. Not sure where you are in Cali, but I am in Southern Cali. Take a look at Sky Mountain Charter Academy and River SPrings Academy.

LauriePaz
by Testing the waters on May. 7, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Hello! I have two daughters enrolled in CAVA (California Virtual Academy). We LOVE this program. It is totally FREE and considered public school. They send us ALL our text books, a computer, a printer, art and music supplies, reading books and a student microscope! On top of all that we recieve a check every few months to reimburse us $12 per month for internet service. We already had broadband so this is just extra $ for us. We have a teacher who lives nearby and available to us if we need her help but the program is so well done we NEVER need her help. She also organizes a field trip once a month and we are welcome to join the field trips of any other teacher in the program. We are having so much fun, learning wonderful things and my children are not exposed to the peer pressure and poor values of other children their age. We choose wisely the friends we associate with who have similar beliefs and morals. I have one daughter who was a GATE child in public school and one who struggled in public school. BOTH children are LOVING CAVA. It has met the needs of both children. We used to get so overwhelmed by the ridiculous projects and mean teachers we had in public school but have not experienced that with CAVA. There are so many resources, games and educational support with CAVA, we could not be happier! This program has been the blessing we were looking for!  For more information you can go to http://www.caliva.com/

 

jigsaw ribbonLaurie

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