This is our first year in OHVA with my 5th grader. He started homeschooling last year after Thanksgiving, but because I got pregnant, we decided to enroll in OHVA this year in order to lighten my load a little. We knew several families who were already using it and liked it. I'm in Columbus, too, BTW (Hilliard City Schools).
On the plus side, there is some accountability. We know that someone is checking in every once in a while to make sure we're keeping up. Occasionally we have to submit papers. This keeps us from slacking off.
Also, we know that our son will be going back to brick-and-mortar school next year. We're not planning on being lifelong homeschoolers, we're just taking a couple of years off from school. With this curriculum, I feel confident that he will have covered *at least* everything that his classmates will have covered. I also know that he will be well prepared for the Ohio Achievement Assessment, which will determine which level classes he'll be put into next year.
I love the science and the history courses. In our public school, which my younger son still attends, they don't take much time for science or history. Our public school has a wonderful art teacher, but my oldest is really not into creating art, so the K12 art class, which is really more of an art history course and corresponds with the history lessons, is perfect.
I would rather be doing Singapore math than the K12 math, but at least the K12 is better than Everyday Math, which is what they were doing at our public school.
It's definitely more "school-y" than what we did last year when we were homeschooling our own way. But since DS is going back to school next year, I think it's a good thing that he is getting into the habit of buckling down and working diligently during school hours.
Now, on to the negatives....
In our case, it doesn't leave a lot of time for other experiential learning adventures. In order to keep up, you have to complete a certain number of lessons each day, and as we learned earlier this year, you can get behind pretty quickly. We're now playing catch-up because at the beginning of the year, I would call it good if he did a few core lessons, and then we'd head out to do something interesting.
Also, it's advertised as being tailored to your child's individual needs, but it's not made really clear how to pursue that. I mean, I know my son could do more advanced spelling, vocab, and math, but we still have to do and check off the lessons in the daily plan, so I don't see how substituting a different curriculum would work.
In short, if you're homeschooling because you want to have the freedom to use your gifts and creativity to design the perfect curriculum and an amazing life for your child, it's probably not the right fit. If you are considering keeping your child home because of problems at school, or because your child needs 4 hours a day to practice piano or train for gymnastics competitions, and you don't have tons of time or energy to do a lot of teaching yourself, it is probably a good choice. It sounds like you might be in a similar situation to ours: you want your child home with you, but you realize that you probably will not have the time and/or energy to do everything yourself and you need a curriculum that you can trust to cover the accepted standards. In that case, I think OHVA is a a great resource.
Edited by Super Pickle - 2/15/12 at 1:29pm