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k12/Virtual Academy Thread, Fall 2011 - Page 6

post #101 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post



Not in my experience. What I would do is call K12 pretending to be interested in buying the program and ask for an assessment for LA and Math and see where she tests. If she comes back showing she is ready for a higher grade you might be able to push something but usually they place them at grade level and make them test out but that still means going though a lot of work rather then placing the child at the right level to start with. Do keep in mind that K12 materials are more advanced then local public schools,  I know they were more then a year ahead for the older grades what the local public school was doing.



Hmm - I wonder what they do in cases of student who started outside Texas where the age cut-offs differ then. It may be worth my time to call them to see what their age policy is. 

 

DD is doing 1st now, but it's more like a 1st/2nd hybrid in most subjects. Looking at their examples online I definitely think she could handle the work without problems. 

 

Thanks for answering my questions!

post #102 of 130

They will place her at her 'age' grade level - but once you are assigned a teacher you should be able to work with them to get to the appropriate level. My son was able to meet with the teacher and she tested him with the end of year 2nd grade test and moved him to 3rd grade math right at the start of the school year last year (1st grade). We did opt to stay in 1st for LA due to him being a more reluctant writer - starting with 3rd grade LA there is a lot more writing involved. She just suggested we use harder books than the ones in the lessons if we desired. I currently have a 2nd grader who has only 2nd grade LA - the rest is 3rd grade except math which is now 5th grade.

 

With my 1st grader we took a different approach last  year in K. We just assessed through the math until we got to something she didn't know yet. For LA I just had her read the books I was supposed to read to her (we did the same with 1st grade LA - so she read Mrs Piggle Wiggle and Winnie the Pooh instead of me reading them to her) and then had her read the more challenging books on her own since she still wanted to read the specific ones for LA they provided (of course she also read all the 2nd grade LA books which will be interesteing now that she's in 2nd grade LA and has to reread them).

 

So my 1st grader has 2nd grade LA and Math but is 1st grade in the rest (mainly because I didn't want to repeat the science right away so I held off on that and she would participate in her brother's science anyways). She will finish up 1st grade history soon but has really already done all of 2nd grade history with her brother anyways.

 

I would definitely speak with k12 but they told us they have to start them at age level (unless there was an official grade skip) and then move them up coursewise after that) We were offered the possibility of a mid year grade skip for my son but opted to wait until next year as we were just getting 3rd grade LA and wanted to give him longer than 1 semester to finish it.

 

Oh and I should add: we are with CAVA so I can't speak to how TXVA works but imagine a lot is similar.

post #103 of 130

I just have to say-it's the best to see my daughters laughing, dancing, singing and HAPPY on a Sunday night. :)

post #104 of 130

Am I crazy for thinking of enrolling my 5th grader along with my kindy kid? I don't know if I can pull this off as 5th grader does not work independently when reading is involved but its time to force the issue or she is going to get behind quickly. Her current charter can't get us the materials I want which is K12 LA and Science or else she's not going to pass the STAR test which opens a whole can of worms. Kinda feeling like I have to enroll her just to get the materials we need to keep her progressing.

post #105 of 130
Kindy isn't that bad. At least, it isn't for us. We're able to get the work done pretty quickly. If one or both struggle some, it could be more difficult.

Btw, we found out our district is failing in general, which is why they're requiring in person testing. A letter from the state came not too long ago. That's another reason for us to switch to CAVA next year. I'd switch for this term, but I'm in the home stretch of my pregnancy and don't want to deal with it right now.
post #106 of 130

Subbing...lurk.gif

post #107 of 130

Hi everyone, 

Now that the year is about midway, about how long does it take for your younger ones (say 1st/2nd grade) to get their work done? I am still undecided about joining the k12 program for my son due to having so many at home but I have been reading through to try to judge well.

TIA

post #108 of 130

I have a third grader, and she finds the work to be very simple. She is typically finished with her daily lesson plan in 2-3 hours (when they give it 5-6 hours.) She then does a lot of supplemental things-i.e. Timez Attack, Khan, independent writing, etc. Bear in mind you do not need to do every assignment, just if they reach the lesson objective and master the assessment. You can also do things orally (we discuss literature sometimes, instead of her filling out a worksheet.) It is very easy for her to work independently, as well.

 

I also have a sixth grader-the workload seems to be quite a bit heavier.

post #109 of 130

I thought I would ask here. :)

 

My 8 year old daughter (K12 third grader) is looking for a penpal-either snail mail or email-she loves knowing kids from different places, and is a sweet, caring, funny kid. She loves horseback riding, drawing, writing stories, acting, taking care of animals, and music. She is a prolific writer and would respond regularly and promptly. :) If your daughter is interested, send me a message! :)

post #110 of 130

Well, looks like my 5th grader is switching to CAVA too and its stressing me. I'm paying out of pocket for K12 LA, Science & History already since we used up our charter school funds on other stuff. They have a hard line about state testing, its almost 4 hours from us and back when we enrolled we thought we would just make a holiday of it and visit family that lived about an hour from the test site and stay with them. Looking at finances for April there is no way in hades we can swing it even just gas money (were in the red until June at this point:( ). Testing is 3 days, if we miss 1 day we will be dropped, no exceptions:( CAVA's test site is 5 minutes from here. I just don't see dd responding well to being placed back in CAVA after the 3 year nightmare she had last time though I think she would do much better this time around since we fixed all the problems she had from before.

post #111 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Well, looks like my 5th grader is switching to CAVA too and its stressing me. I'm paying out of pocket for K12 LA, Science & History already since we used up our charter school funds on other stuff. They have a hard line about state testing, its almost 4 hours from us and back when we enrolled we thought we would just make a holiday of it and visit family that lived about an hour from the test site and stay with them. Looking at finances for April there is no way in hades we can swing it even just gas money (were in the red until June at this point:( ). Testing is 3 days, if we miss 1 day we will be dropped, no exceptions:( CAVA's test site is 5 minutes from here. I just don't see dd responding well to being placed back in CAVA after the 3 year nightmare she had last time though I think she would do much better this time around since we fixed all the problems she had from before.

Yikes. This is the yearly Stars (or whatever they call it now) testing, right? I think that the "local" site here is in Lodi, which is totally out of the way. My BIL lives there, but it's an hour to two hours in traffic. I don't believe in and don't want to deal with mandated testing, but we can't afford the classes on our own right now. Guess we have some research and decision making to do.
post #112 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Well, looks like my 5th grader is switching to CAVA too and its stressing me. I'm paying out of pocket for K12 LA, Science & History already since we used up our charter school funds on other stuff. They have a hard line about state testing, its almost 4 hours from us and back when we enrolled we thought we would just make a holiday of it and visit family that lived about an hour from the test site and stay with them. Looking at finances for April there is no way in hades we can swing it even just gas money (were in the red until June at this point:( ). Testing is 3 days, if we miss 1 day we will be dropped, no exceptions:( CAVA's test site is 5 minutes from here. I just don't see dd responding well to being placed back in CAVA after the 3 year nightmare she had last time though I think she would do much better this time around since we fixed all the problems she had from before.

Yikes. This is the yearly Stars (or whatever they call it now) testing, right? I think that the "local" site here is in Lodi, which is totally out of the way. My BIL lives there, but it's an hour to two hours in traffic. I don't believe in and don't want to deal with mandated testing, but we can't afford the classes on our own right now. Guess we have some research and decision making to do.


When the final moment came I just couldn't do it, I don't know how were getting to testing but felt we needed to stay where we are. We will revisit the issue next year if we move to an area without a parent choice charter option.

 

post #113 of 130
Thread Starter 

Aishamama, my dd is usually done with school in 2-3 hours most days (she's in 2nd).  I'm not counting art in the time she spends on school because she could do art all. day. long.  winky.gif  We are also on-target to finish most of her coursework early (getting her 3rd grade math in the next few weeks in fact).  We are required to do 1 one hour eluminate session/week (two offered, one reading and one math) - and a half-hour eluminate session with the teacher weekly too.  (eluminate is an online class meeting thing for those who may not know).  They ask for 120 minutes/day for reading and it takes no time at all for us to do ....  It helps that dd loves to read.  We actually seldom do art during the week, too - we usually do those as a block unit on the weekend. 

We are cruising along with our k12 right now .... working ahead in math (dd is very excited to get into multiplication and division).  Our goal is to have most of our work done by early May again this year.  We can keep working on the math (they will send the 3rd grade math once she hits 90% completion, as long as she does so in March).  Note to those considering this with your kiddo:  If you want to complete the remaining 10% of the subject once you've hit that 90%, KEEP GOING, because once they mail the next year's curriculum materials to you, they will zot out the previous lesson plans.  This happened to us last year.  But, the goal is to be able to be pretty relaxed about things in May, so we can focus on getting the garden in, etc. 


Every time I am disenchanted with k12, I end up talking with a friend whose kids are a in a brick-and-mortar school, and realize (again) how lucky we are to work with a flexible curriculum, and that at these early grades, our kids are still doing pretty in-depth learning about history, science, art .... A friend subbed at the high school here on MLK Day and asked the students in each class what they knew about MLK.  She said most of them didn't know who he was, let alone what he did, and clearly knew very little about the civil rights movement either. 

As of right now, our plan for next year is still to see how it goes with the mandatory state tests kicking in next year.  Dd2 starts K next fall, too.  If the "teaching to the test" is too much, we'll switch to traditional homeschooling for dd1, but probably keep dd2 in k12 for a few years.  Although, then again, she's already reading fluently and has participated in many of her sister's lessons (yesterday she did the whole unit assessment for the science unit on geology/earth's core, and would have passed with 80% or so based on her answers) -- so maybe a different curriculum might be more interesting for her!  wink1.gif

post #114 of 130

If anyone has a 5th grader in K12 working on grade level can you pm me please?

post #115 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post


We are cruising along with our k12 right now .... working ahead in math (dd is very excited to get into multiplication and division).  Our goal is to have most of our work done by early May again this year.  We can keep working on the math (they will send the 3rd grade math once she hits 90% completion, as long as she does so in March).  Note to those considering this with your kiddo:  If you want to complete the remaining 10% of the subject once you've hit that 90%, KEEP GOING, because once they mail the next year's curriculum materials to you, they will zot out the previous lesson plans.  This happened to us last year.  But, the goal is to be able to be pretty relaxed about things in May, so we can focus on getting the garden in, etc. 



Consider yourself lucky, my kindy kid knows pretty much all the math and will be done with the course soon but they are refusing to order the next level even if she finishes by the March 20th deadline saying she can focus on other areas and even if she was ready to finish all the other courses they would just say focus on Study Island is what I was told yesterday. She started in Jan, been in CAVA, what? 6 weeks and already ready to finish the math? To me that sounds like she was placed wrong, I don't see us back for next year for her since I want to focus specifically on math and LA for 1st and 2nd. Besides, I've heard some awful things about how they are teaching the math in 1st and its got me worried. My other child on the other hand will probably end up in K12 for 6th, 7th for sure but I think she will be ready for a full load by then.

post #116 of 130
Thread Starter 

Satori, I would keep pushing on the math curriculum for your K kiddo - if it's the teacher who turned you down, ask the teacher's supervisor.  One of the HUGE "sells" for k12 is that it supposedly allows students to work at their own pace.  Unless your K kiddo is behind (and significantly so) in the other coursework, they should send you next year's curriculum.  I'd think that if you push higher, you'll get the answer you want. 

Among other things, it helps K12 in the statewide testing -- if there is a 3rd grader taking the tests, the fact that the 3rd grader is doing 4th or 5th grade math *raises their overall scores.*  You'd think they'd want that .... It might be difficult to coordinate if they've got a kid doing multiple-grade level work (ie, the grade level math lesson on eluminate is worthless if you're a year ahead) -- but then again, what should matter is whether kiddo is progressing well. 

And, it's really nice to keep a little school going independently during summer.  We do fun educational stuff and relax, but it's nice to be working ahead on stuff too.  Nice cushion for the next year! 

post #117 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post

Satori, I would keep pushing on the math curriculum for your K kiddo - if it's the teacher who turned you down, ask the teacher's supervisor.  One of the HUGE "sells" for k12 is that it supposedly allows students to work at their own pace.  Unless your K kiddo is behind (and significantly so) in the other coursework, they should send you next year's curriculum.  I'd think that if you push higher, you'll get the answer you want. 

Among other things, it helps K12 in the statewide testing -- if there is a 3rd grader taking the tests, the fact that the 3rd grader is doing 4th or 5th grade math *raises their overall scores.*  You'd think they'd want that .... It might be difficult to coordinate if they've got a kid doing multiple-grade level work (ie, the grade level math lesson on eluminate is worthless if you're a year ahead) -- but then again, what should matter is whether kiddo is progressing well. 

And, it's really nice to keep a little school going independently during summer.  We do fun educational stuff and relax, but it's nice to be working ahead on stuff too.  Nice cushion for the next year! 


She said that came straight from admin:( We school year round since my 11 yr is one of those kids that does horribly when you break her school routine, takes several weeks to get her back on track after just a few days off. A weekend is the longest I dare take off with her, I'll cut some stuff over summer but Math and LA we keep doing, this summer she will be doing History as well. Especially seeing as I will be paying for K12 out of pocket lol:)

 

post #118 of 130

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mata View Post

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.

 

 

post #119 of 130

1jooj, you can fit all of each kids stuff in a carry on. Its even smaller and way less weight if you don't bother with the student pages/teacher guides as you can just print it off the OLS as you need it. You may find you want to alter which subjects they take, for example 5/6th grade history is American History, you might want to skip ahead and take 7th which is World History which is a bit more relevant to the children then the history of a county they don't even live in. Make sure you have them take the placement tests as well for math and LA, the program is about 18 months ahead of B&M schools, well, compared to the ones around here anyway. We opted not to use K12 for math since Teaching Textbooks works far better for us but we do use K12 for LA, Science and History. My kindy kid is in a virtual school but I don't see us staying, the only reason I haven't pulled her yet is its nice having that extra computer to do the work I assign her outside of CAVA. Plus we use that comp to stream video to the TV lol:) I'll reconsider reenrolling her around 3rd grade after the kindy year.

post #120 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post


She said that came straight from admin:( We school year round since my 11 yr is one of those kids that does horribly when you break her school routine, takes several weeks to get her back on track after just a few days off. A weekend is the longest I dare take off with her, I'll cut some stuff over summer but Math and LA we keep doing, this summer she will be doing History as well. Especially seeing as I will be paying for K12 out of pocket lol:)

 



I would definitely go above your teacher at this point. There is no way they shouldn't order 1st grade math for her. We've never had a problem getting courses ordered with CAVA - especially math/la. the deadline is coming up though so if she is at 90% push hard to get the class ordered for her. You can call CAVA administration yourself (I believe you can find the number in My Info) and let them know this may make you not continue next year if it's not ordered.

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