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Old 01-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
disneymagicgirl
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Anyone do the K-12 online public schooling?

We are building a house in the same county but different middle school zone. Won't be done til March. The district will let me switch DD13 now so she can complete the whole semester in one school but I have to drive her to school and back. They won't let me drive her to the nearest bus stop for that school which is the next neighborhood over. This is a dilemma.
I have looked into the K12 program before. Thinking this semester may be a good time to go for it. She is in 8th grade. Any opinions?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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We are on our 6th year with k12 and love it! You need to research your school and find out what the requirements are though, as each school is different. The curriculum is challenging, yet engaging. My kids are expected to be independent by 4th grade (I do help them when they have questions, but I don't babysit them). She really should be able to school herself.

I would look for some local groups to find out what others think of the school you are looking at. It seems to be a love it or hate it relationship with k12, not many people are in-between. Definitely contact the school and find out the policies and expectations before signing up.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:52 PM   #3
disneymagicgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleh1 View Post
We are on our 6th year with k12 and love it! You need to research your school and find out what the requirements are though, as each school is different. The curriculum is challenging, yet engaging. My kids are expected to be independent by 4th grade (I do help them when they have questions, but I don't babysit them). She really should be able to school herself.

I would look for some local groups to find out what others think of the school you are looking at. It seems to be a love it or hate it relationship with k12, not many people are in-between. Definitely contact the school and find out the policies and expectations before signing up.
If I understand it correctly, there are teachers online for lessons combined with independent study? How many hours a day do your kids commit to schooling?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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I have worked for three different virtual education companies and it can be a great option for families! There is quite a learning curve for families as far as learning the systems and setting a routine. If you're only going to do it for one semester, just be aware that it really can take some time to establish the relationships with teachers and settle in to a productive routine.

I will say that I love the work that I do right now! There are some really good companies/organizations/schools so be sure to check what all is available in your state so you can find one that is a good fit for your family
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by disneymagicgirl
How many hours a day do your kids commit to schooling?
This requirement varies by state but you can probably expect to put in a full 6 hour day, sometimes more. The difference from a brick and mortar school is that there is no "homework" in addition to the 6-hour school day.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wannagoback View Post
I have worked for three different virtual education companies and it can be a great option for families! There is quite a learning curve for families as far as learning the systems and setting a routine. If you're only going to do it for one semester, just be aware that it really can take some time to establish the relationships with teachers and settle in to a productive routine.

I will say that I love the work that I do right now! There are some really good companies/organizations/schools so be sure to check what all is available in your state so you can find one that is a good fit for your family
Thanks! This particular program is all I have heard of, but am open to others. It (TNVA) stops after 8th grade, currently, otherwise if it went well I would let her continue.

ETA: there is another program called TOPS which is a TN online public high school. So she could continue next year.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wannagoback View Post
This requirement varies by state but you can probably expect to put in a full 6 hour day, sometimes more. The difference from a brick and mortar school is that there is no "homework" in addition to the 6-hour school day.
Thank you. It seems that now I end up reteaching her the entire math curriculum in the evenings. Her current teacher is just not doing a good job at all.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by disneymagicgirl View Post
If I understand it correctly, there are teachers online for lessons combined with independent study? How many hours a day do your kids commit to schooling?
Our school district does not require hours (many schools do require hours), only days (and we get to set our own calendar - which I LOVE). It will also depend on how many courses you are taking/required to take. Our district only allows 5, but some virtual academies will require 6. The online classes with the teachers at the 2 schools near me are both optional, but encouraged (it may be required for your school though, so it's important to find out). For the online classes with the teachers it's more of a review and question/answer time for the kids. My kids basically do independent study. They go online to look up their assignment and go from there. Some lessons are online and others will direct them to a textbook and/or workbook. Each day the time spent really varies with what is covered and how well my kids grasp the concepts. Composition seems to take us forever to complete, especially for 3rd-6th graders at my house.

Like the other poster mentioned, it's definitely an adjustment. It took us about 3 months to adjust to everything. But, I had two in school at the time, with 2 younger kids at home also. I was also very involved with them because of their grade levels. I would think that it would be less of an adjustment for an older child who is the only one schooling at home.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleh1 View Post
Our school district does not require hours (many schools do require hours), only days (and we get to set our own calendar - which I LOVE). It will also depend on how many courses you are taking/required to take. Our district only allows 5, but some virtual academies will require 6. The online classes with the teachers at the 2 schools near me are both optional, but encouraged (it may be required for your school though, so it's important to find out). For the online classes with the teachers it's more of a review and question/answer time for the kids. My kids basically do independent study. They go online to look up their assignment and go from there. Some lessons are online and others will direct them to a textbook and/or workbook. Each day the time spent really varies with what is covered and how well my kids grasp the concepts. Composition seems to take us forever to complete, especially for 3rd-6th graders at my house.

Like the other poster mentioned, it's definitely an adjustment. It took us about 3 months to adjust to everything. But, I had two in school at the time, with 2 younger kids at home also. I was also very involved with them because of their grade levels. I would think that it would be less of an adjustment for an older child who is the only one schooling at home.
Thanks for the insight. I am going to call and talk to the rep today.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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As a teacher, I think home schooling has some potential, but it also has some significant drawbacks. One of the big advantages of sending your child to school are the non-academic benefits she gets from the school.

Yes, I know in our society it is currently popular to dismiss those benefits, but they are real and important. If your child had a compelling reason like preganancy or illness to opt out, then I'd say online schooling is a viable substitute over some other options.

I have worked in schools, and I have worked with home shcooled children. The differences are not readily obvious, but they are there, and they are striking. Another very important subject children get in physical schools is physical education (both the class and recess) . It is my understanding that online education does not have a physical education requirement- at least it's not the same as PE and real recess.

Middle school in particular is a super important time in a child's life for social development. If you do decide to go this route, please make sure that your child has lots of opportunies to do social activites like after school sports, 4-H, community service, etc.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:42 PM   #11
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Connections Academy

We enrolled our two oldest in Connections Academy this year. It was a bit of a learning curve going from homeschooling to online public school. Connections sold it as being very flexible, but it is not as flexible as homeschooling. In Iowa you are required to log attendance daily and must have 30 hours per week. The hardest thing for our 7th grader is the portfolio items. The student cannot move on the next assessment until the portfolio item (paper, powerpoint, drawing, etc.) is submitted.

The other thing to be aware of is how much time is spent online. We did not realize that our freshman's classes were entirely online - no textbooks at all. We ended up buying them both laptops because it just wouldn't work with one PC.

I don't worry about the social aspect of our kids at all or most homeschool kids for that matter. It has been my experience that they can relate to all ages easily. They "can't" only talk to other 5th graders - they can easily talk to adults, play with other kids, and enjoy babies. Our kids are active in 4-H, have played on sports teams, church, etc.

As far as physical education, the kids are required to log activity.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #12
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We started K12 (Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy) this year for my 9th grade daughter, and we love it. We chose it, because the standard of curriculum was higher then the local high school, and she was able to keep the high school credits she had earn while we lived in Maryland. She puts in between 5-7 hours a day, and is required to log 30 hours a week. She does have PE as a class, and is required to log at least 30 minutes of activity a day. This is on the honor system, but the teacher makes them also do a journal of what they did with specifics. We also belong to a local home school group, so she still gets the socialization from that.

Online school is not as flexible as traditional home school, but as long as you have internet access, they can do the work anywhere. There is also a law that home school kids have to be allowed to play sports or join activities at the public schools, so home schooled kids can still learn socialization.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:43 PM   #13
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I'm having a hard time understanding this 5-7 hour per day requirement. My public school kids may be at school for 6.5 hours but they are certainly not actively learning for that length of time. They are walking in the halls between classes, at lunch, at specials, at school wide assemblies.... Nevermind that the hours actually spent in their classes is an hour where the teacher is trying to reach 22 kids and the same information could be easily covered in half that time if he were teaching one on one. What am I missing?

(and just for the record, I'm considering online school for my daughter once she hits high school in a couple of years which is why I ask)
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #14
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I'm having a hard time understanding this 5-7 hour per day requirement. My public school kids may be at school for 6.5 hours but they are certainly not actively learning for that length of time. They are walking in the halls between classes, at lunch, at specials, at school wide assemblies.... Nevermind that the hours actually spent in their classes is an hour where the teacher is trying to reach 22 kids and the same information could be easily covered in half that time if he were teaching one on one. What am I missing?

(and just for the record, I'm considering online school for my daughter once she hits high school in a couple of years which is why I ask)
I can answer for my daughter's school only... She actually has "class connections" for each class every other day. These are basically like her classrooms and each session lasts an hour. They are required to be at at least 1 session a week for each class, they sign in each session, and the system logs it. All the "class connections" are recorded and the students can watch the ones they miss or rewatch them if they need too. She has between 3-4 a day, since she has 7 classes. She also has book work that she has to complete and "quizzes" each day that covers the lesson from the book.

Now, the state (Louisiana) requires that she be in "class" 6 hours each day. I am the attendance keeper, so I log in basically an hour a day for each class. She has set it up that she is finished with the week by noon on Friday. I log her attendance each day, so I usually just mark that she spent a hour each day which adds up to at least 30 hours a day. Now, she is usually spends at least 7 hours a day doing work, so she can be done early on Friday. You, as the "learning coach" can set up how you want her schedule to be each week. She can go Mon-Friday or Sun-Thurs, ect. All lessons for that week are due by 11:59pm on Sunday.

I think it all matters on what your state's requirements are on how many hours you have to log each day. HTH
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:37 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone!
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