Originally Posted by mata
I just have to say-it's the best to see my daughters laughing, dancing, singing and HAPPY on a Sunday night. :)
This right here is a big part of why I'm jumping into this thread.
All the k12 talk here had me dive in deeper to research what I can about both k12 International and NaCA, and I think I am going to give NaCA a shot. We're on the move internationally, and state testing requirements mean we'll have to do private, not state charter programs, as we would not be able to attend the in-state test sessions in fall. Also, I'd been in touch with our "local" k12 office here abroad, and got no response, where CA has been responsive to all my inquiries. With customer service standards what they are in UAE, I'll take the hurdles of ten time zones over dealing with someone in an office down the street, should I need help. And if I were to enroll via the "local" office, I'd pay an extra $275 per kid for materials delivery. Prices seem otherwise more or less the same.
I have a fifth-grader and a second-grader now attending a private international academy in Dubai. Fifth-grader is OK but no longer thrilled at school, second-grader still cries almost every morning and comes home in the afternoon looking sad, stressed and burned out. Both are strong readers, solid at math, interested and enthusiastic learners. Before we took an international assignment, they were at a local PS, doing great, loving school and life. Here, it's different. Neither kid is below standard, nor are they stand-out academic stars, so they receive little to no individual attention. We pay $18K per child, plus uniforms, transportation, field trips, class parties, project materials. For classes of 23+ students, little to no library time, substandard foreign language instruction, and in my experience, a lot of social problems--material wealth pressure, bullying. We are not "cool enough" for school, and the social aspects are such a focus that we find ourselves making up the education after school and on weekends--which would be fine if they weren't spending 45 hours a week out of the house.
Add to this a school year that runs from the first week of September through the third week of June in a climate where temps soar above 100 from May through mid-October, and we are done. There are so many "breaks" during the year (two sets of religious/cultural holidays + conferences) that school is an extra three weeks long.
So our plan now is to do NaCA, enrolling from our US home address over summer. I know there will be adjustments we have to make for time zones and communicating with teachers within office hours, attending live classes, etc., but if we have the flexibility to sleep in, then it's OK if the kids need to attend classes in the evening (our time).
That said, we will have to carry materials from US to our residence here. We get generous baggage allowances so I don't anticipate a problem, but can you give me an idea of how much stuff this is? (Private NaCA does not provide computers.) I just want an idea of how much of our 6 bags will be school materials. We can purchase school supplies here without a problem, but workbooks and other materials need to be packed and transported with us. We plan to begin and end school years in US, and do the bulk of the year abroad.
It took me several months of investigation, evaluation of current school problems, constant showcasing of ongoing problems and failures, systematic demonstration of my ability to teach the kids, and just plain nagging to get dh to even consider moving out of the B&M paradigm, so it is going to be up to me (and the kids) to make the best of the opportunity. I really want to go into it prepared, enthusiastic and clued into what we need to do to get the most out of this programming. Dh is out of the home a lot due to work; this truly is my realm of responsibility.
I know most parents doing online school are working out of a year-round home, but if you can imagine having to pack it all up and move it around the world twice a year, what would you need to do, know, consider and take care of? Materially, how would you organize things? This will be a big first for me, and I really need the advice. Thanks in advance.