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K12/Virtual Academy Fall 2009 - Page 5

post #81 of 279
We started this for Dakota this year. It's been interesting so far. Some of the stuff they teach, I wouldn't have thought to teach her (slide vs turn patterns), so I think it will be nice.
post #82 of 279
Yeah, the concepts they are putting forward in Math are often not things I would have thought to introduce. even after we are done with K12, I definitely won't be "winging it" with mathematics the way I will probably do with Language Arts and History and other subjects I actually know something about.

We've got some face-to-face stuff offered through our VA, but the primary aim of doing K12 was to AVOID other five-year-olds, as far as my son is concerned. I think we'll probably stick to very low-pressure nonacademic peer encounters this year. There are also weekly Elluminate sessions where you can go through a lesson with other K students in the VA, but I don't think he'd enjoy that either. He'd like extra information and discussion for the History lessons, but they only do the live sessions for Math and Language Arts and we are working ahead in both those subjects. Frankly, I think he'd shout out all the answers and dominate the conversation and be a general pain the butt to the other attendees. (I adore my son, I really do. But I can't discuss his schooling without alluding to the fact that he's a little high-maintenance in the social skills department.)
post #83 of 279
LOL Smithie, when I talk about my son at public school, it's kind of a nightmare. I worry a bit that people think I can't stand my kid, but he is also, high-maintenance in his own way. He really did bother his class a lot last year, which lead to us pulling him out.
post #84 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
(I adore my son, I really do. But I can't discuss his schooling without alluding to the fact that he's a little high-maintenance in the social skills department.)
I don't think that Bean is high-maintenance as much as asynchronous. His problem isn't that his behavior is atypical or even untoward for a six year old, but that most of the time he speaks and behaves as though he's much older so when he breaks down and cries and freaks out like a normal child his age, everyone looks at him oddly. He's not in school because I wasn't keen on medicating him and I was absolutely CERTAIN that I'd be getting phone calls within an hour of dropping him off about his behavior and have we had him evaluated and yadda yadda yadda. I don't think there's anything wrong with him, I think that schools just weren't set up for normal, healthy little boys who have a lot of energy and drive and enthusiasm.

We LOVE going to ADO, but again it's every other week for a three hours at a time. More often than that would probably be too much. Bean is working ahead, but it's not a problem for him to join older children for projects. We do math, science, language arts, art and PE at ADO, and kids are divided up according to which course they're enrolled in and occasionally where they are in those courses. Often (particularly with science) there are overlaps, so if we're doing weather for example kindergarten, first, and third grades might work together. For PE the kids aren't divided much, but if they're sorted into teams the teams will be as balanced as possible (so all the eighth graders won't be on one team against the first graders). Anyway, ADO is one of my favorite things about Agora. I think it adds a lot to our experience.
post #85 of 279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy View Post
Do those of you using virtual academies have field trips and such? We have trips, gatherings, and Agora Days Out which happens every other week.
We don't. Wyoming is a large state geographically, and small population -- I think we're the only ones in our county who are doing k12. So if we do any sort of organized field trips or gatherings, it will be with the local homeschooling groups [or just our own individual family], not via k12 at all.

I'm actually dreading a little, reaching out to the homeschool groups here - I've gathered that both groups are Fundamental Christians (and we're not) -- I am going to ask the children's librarian this week when we go to the library, what she knows about the two groups and whether there might be one which would be a better fit for us than the other.
post #86 of 279
hey mamas. i'm really interested in K12 for my son. i think i'll be pulling him out of kinder this week. he's having a lot of behavior and emotional issues and i'm getting very little help from the school. from what i've read K12 looks perfect for us. i'm not quite ready to HS and this seems like a good place to start. hopefully i'll be back with more info soon.
post #87 of 279
Welcome, Meg! Feel free to ask questions.
post #88 of 279
Is it standard policy that they automatically send you the next level up once you get to 80% in a course? We are almost there with math but I wasn't sure if math was tied to phonics at all which she is around 50% complete with. (I had noticed some handwriting with the math.) We're slacking in LA and History though and slowing down on phonics because of the tied in dictation someone mentioned. She's getting the spelling correct but her handwriting is atrocious. We only have these four courses. Our teacher told us to assess out, so I've been doing that but didn't bother getting back in touch with her because it was going well. I do have a phone conference scheduled for next week though.

We've stopped again in math at nickels and DD is excited about it. I do have to tear the HWT workbook away from her though. I think she'd finish it in one sitting if I let her and I think that would defeat the purpose. I might have to invest in some supplemental materials for her there.
post #89 of 279
How they handle ordering the next course varies from VA to VA. At CAVA, they order it at 90%, but only after the teacher has done a short "assessment" to see if the child is ready to move on. When DD went from Math K to 1, our teacher just did a quick q&a with her - took maybe 3 or 4 minutes. They should be able to order Math completely separately from LA, but Literature and Phonics are tied together, so if you finish one before the other, you'll have to wait to move on until you catch up on the other side.
post #90 of 279
At Agora most students will have the next course ordered once they reach 80% [before the end of April] and the parent sends a note to the teacher. Things have been a bit different for us in the past because Bean has completed his courses long before April; They require a lot more communication from us. I'm not sure how it will work this year, as work samples will be handled differently.
post #91 of 279
How does moving forward work, exactly?

I have a feeling we will stay on course for things like history and science. It all looks so fun and interesting and the activities look like something my son will enjoy. I was looking through the first lessons for math and phonics and had to chuckle...my son will be bored stiff with learning that A says "ah" and B says "buh" if you know what I mean. He isn't reading books yet but he can read 3 and 4 letter words. It looks as though the first lessons (quite a few of them) are all teaching basic phonics, which he is beyond.

For math, teaching things like "before" and "after" is something he will not want to do because he knows that as well. He does basic addition in his head as well as some subtraction. He doesn't know how to count money, tell time, or skip count so he will definitely get something out of math k, but it seems like the majority of it is things he already knows.

I'm not sure what I'm asking, LOL, I guess I just don't quite understand how it works or what our school year will look like. For instance, if our first day of school is on monday and we do phonics and math, will I just be doing assessments with him until he hits a wall and doesn't know something? The placement testing for K has to be special ordered, and I didn't want to skip K altogether without going through it first, in case there was something in there that he didn't know. But is it possible that the first month or so can be spent doing only assessments? What do you guys do if your child is ahead of what they are trying to teach?

I apologize for making it so long. My head has questions but I am typing rambly...
post #92 of 279
That's what we did - assessments only for quite awhile. Some assessments I didn't even have her do - I looked at it, knew she could do it (like the before and after type stuff) and marked her as having passed the assessment. I usually had her do at least unit assessments, and lesson assessments if I wasn't sure if she knew everything in the lesson. There were days when we did several unit assessments in the same day. We paused briefly at some of the things you mentioned - money, time, etc. Honestly, though, most of that gets repeated in 1st grade math, just going a little deeper, and I think DD would have been fine had we skipped K math altogether. So, I really wouldn't worry too much about missing anything by going too fast. Like, I think they only do telling time to the hour in K math, and comparing analog to digital clocks. It took about 5 minutes to go over the info with DD. Then in Math 1, they review telling time to the hour, and add in telling time to the half hour.

Honestly, the thing dd struggled most with in K math was the calendar stuff. She had a huge problem getting the concept of a "week later" and "week before" when going from one month to the next. She still probably can't tell you all the months in order . (I just asked her what the first month of the year is, and she said May. When I told her it was January, she said "and the next month is June, right?" guess we need to reinforce that again!)
post #93 of 279
I am so glad I found this discussion! I've not been at MDC for more than a month so I'm a bit behind lol Anyway, we're usig OHVA for our 2 oldest girls (1st grade and K) and its a blast for us so far. Melissa is coming from public last school year, and the school passed her to 1st grade even though the child can't even sound out the word "cat" without a lot of struggling and crying. Our teacher assessed her last week, and yesterday a second phonics and lang. arts K set arrived just for her. I expected that to happen, and was the one who requested the tacher assess her because we spent 3 weeks I think trying to do unit 1 and she still failed the assessment (phonics) Anyway, we really enjoy the program and how much the girls are learning, although we've skipped quite a bit so far of the activities. I have kids that aren't all that into coloring and cutting out pre-made pictures to make paper stick puppets, and they already know their colors (no colors book for us this year lol although I do make them color the "color sheets" for practice and to get them coloring a bit)

My father was hating the idea of us not leaving Melissa in public and enrolling Lydia in public along with her, even after seeing how much the school didn't do for Melissa and her needs (and knowing they no longer have a gifted program, which Lydia needs) Then he came over one day (at my request) to give me a hand with watching the kids, doing some chores, and Keeping an eye on Melissa doing her assessment session with the teacher on the computer. He hasn't been negative about it since then, and apologized for giving me a hard time for the choice.
post #94 of 279
Oh I have a couple questions lol

Lydia's almost halfway through K math already now, will they move her up to 1st grade without much issue or am I in for a fight? She knows everything in her math book already, thanks to me spending some casual time with her last school year while her big sister was at school every day, and probably half or more of what's in the 1st grade book (she's at the point where she's working on 2 digit addition and subtraction, with carrying and borrowing involved, and is starting to learn multiplication and division) I literally spent 5-10 minutes at a time with her, using cheese crackers or something like that and keeping it light and fun. SHe just devoured it (dh did most of those sessions in the evening and on weekends)

Also, when would they do testing for a learning disability? Melissa has some sort of learning challenge but our public school we were in last year said they don't test until 3rd grade. Our teacher said that if she's still showing the problems next school year that she is this year, they might test her next school year but she doesn't know because she does K and 1st grade only.
post #95 of 279
As far as the testing for a disability, if you request an evaluation, I think they're legally required to do one, even if they'd rather not, regardless of how old she is. I would ask on the Special Needs parenting board about it, because a lot of the moms who post there have navigated the IEP system already, and can give some good advice.

As for moving ahead, every school is different. I think there probably won't be a problem moving your dd to 1st grade math if she can demonstrate that she knows the concepts in the K course. The teacher might have to give her an evaluation to make sure she understands everything. We're with CAVA, and dd went through both K and 1 math by March last year (her K year) and they would have ordered Math 2 for her, had we requested it. You should probably give your teacher a ring or drop her an email to find out what OHVA's procedure is.
post #96 of 279
thanks for the welcome eilonwy.

i do have some questions.

DH isn't 100% on board yet. i loaded him up with all the pros but he wants to know if there's any cons to the programs. if any of you have an issues with the curriculum or set up, what would they be?

i set up an account with GVA and it appears K is full. i didn't finish the registration because we haven't officially withdrawn DS from public school. i didn't want to get rejected if they checked his status somehow. i'll be withdrawing him tomorrow. does that mean we'll be on a waiting list? does anyone have experience with that?

i'm sure i'll be back with more questions. i should probably just call them and talk to someone about getting DS set up.
post #97 of 279
Good Morning!

We went to the back to school meet and greet thing yesterday and they had those "Is your child happy in school?" posters there for parents to take and it appears CAVA at least is now offering access to Discovery Education Problem is, no one knows what the heck I'm talking about! Its on the poster and the teachers didn't know, said call the number on the poster, they didn't know and sent me to customer support, they didn't know and sent me to the CA admin office and they didn't know! They said they will call me back. I also found out from one of the teachers we have nutshellmath.com available to us as well but of course they didn't know how to access it and neither does anyone else!

So, does anyone here know? What other goodies do they have that they are keeping secret?
post #98 of 279
Thread Starter 
So if you're definitely withdrawing him, even though there's a waiting list for k12 - you probably should line up some things for him to work on in terms of homeschooling (and look into the homeschooling laws) in the interim, just so you're covered. I'd think some simple math and reading, and maybe stuff like calendar/weeks/days would be helpful to plug in wherever (as a unit study type thing). Do you know how long they anticipate the waiting list to last?

I don't know what the guidelines are in GA in terms of when/whether/how for enrolling kids in school per age ....

I'd actually recommend just calling GVA and talking to the PAL who answers - get their name. Make a list of questions, and then go through them with the person -- including whether the fact that your ds is still enrolled, would be held against him (I wouldn't think so, public schools accept enrollments from families who are moving into a different district don't they?). If you haven't checked out the lesson plans on their website, do that too so you're familiar with what the lessons would be like.

We need to just start busting through assessments for math etc. I feel like there's a lot of busy work, but Ina is enjoying all of it. We started out doing the whole lessons just to 'get her feet wet' but at this point, among other things, we are a little behind because of our Labor Day company - so we need to just bust past the stuff she already knows. Math especially has been ho-hum. She learned the word "attribute" yesterday, which I know will come up again in lessons - but that's it, in the math.
post #99 of 279
I have no idea about the DE, Satori. My teacher is a new substitute, so I think I know more than she does. If you find more info about DE, will you pass it on to me?
post #100 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by meg-momto2 View Post
thanks for the welcome eilonwy.

i do have some questions.

DH isn't 100% on board yet. i loaded him up with all the pros but he wants to know if there's any cons to the programs. if any of you have an issues with the curriculum or set up, what would they be?

i set up an account with GVA and it appears K is full. i didn't finish the registration because we haven't officially withdrawn DS from public school. i didn't want to get rejected if they checked his status somehow. i'll be withdrawing him tomorrow. does that mean we'll be on a waiting list? does anyone have experience with that?

i'm sure i'll be back with more questions. i should probably just call them and talk to someone about getting DS set up.
GVA will withdraw him once enrollment is complete. Does he know all his kindy stuff? If so you may be able to get him placed in 1st grade if its open, I know thats what we will be doing with my 3 yr old who is already doing the kindy stuff at her own request (phonics, shapes, colors, counting, ect)
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