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Old 01-04-2013, 10:08 PM   #16
horseshowmom
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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!.

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
I'm considering retirement and have been checking into employment opportunities with some of the organizations. I'm glad to hear that you've enjoyed it!


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Originally Posted by mickeyluv'r View Post
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.
I have more than 25 years of experience in education. I've taught upper elementary, junior high, and high school and have several endorsements on my license. My husband is a school principal. I homeschooled our daughter.

I'm not sure what you mean by subtle differences, but I can guess. Personally, my experience has been that there are differences in individual students that are in public school classrooms as well.

Regarding P.E., my daughter was required to have physical education each day. Her curriculum provided several different options. She chose the mixture of calisthenics and running. Reps and time requirements were very specific.

I agree about finding opportunities for involvement. My daughter was very active in 4-H and breed shows (in both team and individual activities and in holding officer positions) as well as in church and community activities (among many other things). In fact, I found it much easier for her to do these things because homeschooling gave her a flexible schedule.


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Originally Posted by FarmDisney View Post
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.
I can't even begin to count how often I heard people comment on how well my daughter got along with anybody and everybody as she grew up - from small children to adults. I was always amazed at how she could walk into a crowd of strangers and make friends so quickly. She was always very comfortable in her own skin (and still is).
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #17
bumbershoot
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Originally Posted by mickeyluv'r View Post
Middle school in particular is a super important time in a child's life for social development.
Hmm. Even when I was in middle school I thought the place should be closed and we should all go home and lock ourselves in our closets until puberty was DONE. I haven't changed my mind on that yet!

The only social interactions I remember was being teased by friends, embarrassing myself in some way nearly daily (like managing to break open a skittles bag being carried by a boy I adored, making a bit Skittley mess), and blushing every single time I had to talk. I probably could have lived without all of that....


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Originally Posted by FarmDisney View Post
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.


It's what I always noticed when meeting homeschooled teens, long before I married and had my son. And it's something most people notice about my son, that he can talk to *anyone*. (see above, with my public-schooled self blushing everywhere when talking to anyone)



OP, it really does depend on the state and the rep. The K12/WAVA (washington virtual academy) rep in my local area is, or perhaps was (if she was replaced) the WORST spokesperson they could have. She actually talked me out of it. Without even meaning to. She hosted an ice cream social, we showed up, got one thing of ice cream, and she acted like we were JUST there for the ice cream, and had to be coaxed into giving us the pamphlets she was holding to her chest. Then she told me that I would be "basically the TA". And right there, I wasn't going to do it.

We went with full-on homeschooling instead, using a completely different sort of curriculum.

She talked another family out of it, by telling them they absolutely could not do their annual September trip home to South America, because they had to be in the country to start school on time. Like doing it from Brazil wasn't even an option. Talked them right out of it!

And what's funny is that the people I've met at the Y who use other WA virtual academies with other curriculum choices have said that it's super-easy in WA (it sure is with full homeschooling!), and that you can do it from anywhere, and it's nowhere near as strict as the K12/WAVA lady indicated.

It really depends on the state and rep. Best of luck to you!
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