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k12/Virtual Academy Thread, Fall 2011 - Page 2

post #21 of 130

Hi K12-ers! We did a charter with my daughter for K and first, and then unschooled 2,3, and 4th grades, and now are enrolling in a local K12 virtual academy for 5th as a kind of experiment. DD wants to " see what its like" to have scheduled assignments. It'll be fun to see how long we last!

 

Anyway, just thought I'd try to get in on these great K12 threads, I'm sure in the upcoming weeks I'll have a lot I want to discuss ;)

post #22 of 130

Just wanted to hop on here.  DS is 5 and we're starting our homeschooling experience with K12 for kindergarten.  We start on the 15th and we'll see how it goes!  It'll be great to have extra support.

 

My biggest worries are that we've heard a lot of negative things about excessive busy work, which my son will not do well with.

post #23 of 130

You can choose whether or not to do the busywork. You only have to do what needs to be done to cover the objectives.

 

Some days my daughter wanted to do the busywork, other days she didn't. As long as she learned what needed to be learned I let her lead the way on that. My son doesn't like to color so most times he wouldn't color the history pages(1st) but would do some of the other things.

We had a great experience last year with K and 1st and both kids are looking forward to this year with 1st/2nd. It's what you make of it that counts i think.

post #24 of 130

My DD is set to start with the South Carolina Virtual Charter School for K-5 next week.  I have the boxes of stuff that I will sort through on Sunday.  She is bright and has food allergies.  I did not want to send her to school just to be bored with the academics and to have the risk of allergy problems.  I do have the option of opting out of K5 in SC, so if the system gets too overbearing we can change.

 

I am glad I found this thread!

post #25 of 130

Hi All!

Checking for the new school year.  DD did GCA /K12 for Kindergarten last year, and overall it went very well.  We did have a few "OMG, why did I do this to myself and my child" days, but after all was said and done, I do think it was the right choice for her.

1st grade is not off to a fabulous start this year.  I felt great at the beginning of the week.  Our summer work had paid off, and DD was much more on target with her phonics lessons, and even seemed to enjoy the lessons the first couple of days.  Then I got her portfolio assignments for the year from her teacher.  It all seems way over her head.  I know we'll make progress during the year, but I don't think she's going to go from sounding out cvc words now to writing a "brief persuasive essay" in March. 

They want her to "Include a minimum of two paragraphs with five sentences in each paragraph and a detailed, neat, colorful illustration." 

Um, What??

Help me out ladies?  If I'm underestimating DD and I'm just going to be blown away by how much they learn in 1st, then please let me know.  Or does this assignment sound a little over the top for a 6 year old?  I'm worried enough about this that I spent some time yesterday scoping out regular HS curriculums and state regs.

Input very much appreciated!

 

post #26 of 130

Hi,

My 4th Grader is enrolled in k12 this year through Idaho Virtual Academy.  It is our first year doing k12, and we start on the 24th, next Wednesday.  I am hoping that we catch on fast and are able to have a good year.

post #27 of 130
We FINALLY got a transfer from our district. They were being difficult and took weeks to get it done. I got a call that our teacher will be contacting us next week, and that we should be expecting our package soon. Not much of an adjustment period, but here we go! We found a nice used school desk on Craigslist that DD loves, and we're cleaning out a spot in the garage for her to have a quiet study area when she needs it. She's got her desk, a two big bookshelves full of kids books from my mom's collection, and bean bag, and some manipulatives. I'm looking forward to the big bean bag...that is, if I can get my big pregnant self out of it. wink1.gif
post #28 of 130

 

 

"They want her to "Include a minimum of two paragraphs with five sentences in each paragraph and a detailed, neat, colorful illustration." 

Um, What??"

 

Yeah, that's nuts. My son did K12 kindergarten, and wound up making it halfway through the 1st grade LA materials, and IN NO WAY was that material leading to an independently written ten-sentence essay by the end of first grade. This must some weirdo expectation unique to your school. 

 

If you like the K12 program otherwise and it's just your school that is a PITA, then I'm not sure how much I'd worry about the portfolio assignments. Your DD could narrate an essay to you, you could write it down and she could copy it out. What the teacher with the inflated expectations doesn't know won't hurt her. ;-)

post #29 of 130
I'm thinking that one paragraph of simple sentences would be more appropriate for a 1st grader. Two paragraphs of 5 colorful sentences is likely too much for a 1st grader to do on their own without assistance.
post #30 of 130
Thread Starter 

Welcome to all our new folks!! 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizmerricat View Post


They want her to "Include a minimum of two paragraphs with five sentences in each paragraph and a detailed, neat, colorful illustration." 

Um, What??

Help me out ladies?  If I'm underestimating DD and I'm just going to be blown away by how much they learn in 1st, then please let me know.  Or does this assignment sound a little over the top for a 6 year old?  I'm worried enough about this that I spent some time yesterday scoping out regular HS curriculums and state regs.

Input very much appreciated!

 

 

Ina finished first grade this spring - finished her reading March 1 or so I think (early enough that they sent us her second grade reading books/curriculum so we could start into it).

I think the question is - are they looking for 100% accurate spelling?  I suppose each state has particular emphases on skills, our teacher spent her online class sessions working quite a bit on writing sentences and stories.  The Reading curriculum spent time working on complete sentences (subject/verb/adjective/adverb terminologies too), and the teacher worked on those with the kids during the classroom sessions.  Ina doesn't LIKE to write much (she's a perfectionist and bugged by not being neat enough, and not knowing how to spell words all the time).  But she could have done this activity, I think - with some mega-coaching.  It would probably need to be in the form of a story or a 'recipe' (ie, "How a seed becomes a plant," or "Imagine having a pet dinosaur!").  We probably would have had to talk through what she would want each sentence to be, before she wrote.  But she would have misspelled words, for sure!  And there would have been some whining!  You may be surprised by how quickly things progress through the year.... And, as Smithie points out, you certainly could/would be directing/assisting on this project. 

Our school starts next Tuesday.  I fully intended to work on handwriting and some reading all summer, but didn't.  We enjoyed our time off - now to get the desk cleared off and organized for the school year! 

(Should I change the title of this thread rather than starting a new one for the fall?  And, if so, should we have introductions?) 

We've been doing k12 for three years now, started with my daughter Ina in K.  We are pretty satisfied with it - she is starting 2nd grade this year.  We initially intended to just use it as a 1-year segue to our own homeschool curriculum, BUT - it's free, we've liked the curriculum (mostly), it's flexible and fits our needs right now so we're still here.  Once the NCLB tests start up, 3rd grade for us, we will be reassessing to make sure it's something we want to keep doing. 

 

post #31 of 130

Please count me in on the new thread! I've just enrolled my older son in OHVA. He was doing okay in a full-time gifted program at our public school but once he was officially diagnosed with AD/HD and I learned more about it I worried about how much he's actually learned in school.

I am a little freaked but am mostly excited about it. His little brother is starting first grade at his old school next week. Both seem very well-adjusted at the idea of what the other is doing (I'm sure there is bound to be jealousy at times) so I'm happy for that.

I was blown away by the amount of materials that are coming my way. Was looking at pictures on their Facebook page. Yikes!

post #32 of 130

Can any of you tell me about K 12's music classes?  Art Classes and Latin classes?
Thanks

 

post #33 of 130

HI - I have been looking into K12 and I keep hearing their work load is insane and that kids have 5-6 hours of work per day. Do you mamas find that to be true?

post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by faiths13 View Post

HI - I have been looking into K12 and I keep hearing their work load is insane and that kids have 5-6 hours of work per day. Do you mamas find that to be true?



It really matters the grade of your child and your state.  For Fourth grade my son needs 25 hours a week of work.  He can have up to two hours of extra stuff such as sports count toward that number, but a lot of those types of activities have to be pre-approved by the teacher.  Also you have a set amount of time designated for each subject and you can claim that time even if it takes you less time.  So for example math is listed as a hour long, but might only take 35 minutes.  This is our first year of doing K12, and it is a bit more work then my son is use to, but he is actually so far enjoying it more then he has enjoyed any other year.

post #35 of 130
Thanx! So the only thing really holding me back is the curriculum. I really don't know much about it apart from some samples I demo'ed online. What are the books and workbooks like? What us the new math like?
post #36 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nursingnaturalmom View Post

Can any of you tell me about K 12's music classes?  Art Classes and Latin classes?
Thanks

 


Haven't taken the latin or foreign language classes.  I think they limit how many years of foreign language are available to elementary students, unfortunately, although maybe that will change. 

Art classes - we love.  There are usually 5-6 lessons that are hands-on art (sometimes projects that spread over 2-3 art classes), then a lesson which is about a particular set of art prints to review/discuss, then another 6-7 art lessons that are hands-on again.  They send most of the materials you need (tempera paints, oil pastels, paint brushes, modeling clay, etc.).  We already had crayons, colored pencils, and water color paints (they don't send those), and they ask that we buy poster board (used occasionally), construction paper, and plain white paper for drawing/painting on.  There are 2 art lessons/week, they allow 45 minutes for them each lesson.  My daughter loves the art lessons, we have her do those at the end of the day so she can happily art away as long as she wants at that point.  Her younger sister does art with her at the same time and looks forward to art a lot.  The classes are (I think) age-appropriate, there's some discussion of technique/style.  They have some lessons in K and 1 which discuss colors, spectrum, and shape names which were a bit below where Ina was, but she's been really into art for a long time so that might be the reason.  But it's fun relaxed projects I thought. 

Music classes - we loathe (Well, I should say, I loathe them - Ina was OK with them and liked some of the songs we learned).  The k12 threads for the past two years have had some professional musicians who are k12ing their kids posting in them, and IIRC, those parents really like the music classes.  I didn't like them at all.  Jangly kids music, songs I didn't know, I couldn't tell what they meant when they wanted me to teach Ina about rhythm vs. beat .... I ended up doing Christmas music on our own and substituting that for their music for a good chunk of K music.  The lessons are supposed to be something that you can teach without any music background at all, but I felt lost and like I wasn't doing it right (I appreciate music, but am not "musical" at all, my formal training would be a couple chorus classes in middle school and three months of piano lessons).  Last year, we got permission to substitute Ina's piano lessons for the music lessons so we didn't do music last year.  Some states will allow that - I don't think all will allow it, it depends (some states don't offer music, either).  So my advice on the music would be - check it out, you may like it a lot.  And if you don't, there are alternatives. 

Faiths13, State regulations require that kids do X hours/week for the virtual schools (so that it's equal to what the brick and mortar students put in).  So the public virtual schools have to be strict about that.  If you were paying for the private version of k12 they don't care how long any of the lessons take, or when you do them.  But, YOU are the one who reports time spent on each class lesson.  They have a default setting and if you report the default setting for each lesson, you will meet that attendance requirement (You can also count time at a history museum for history, time helping with something mathematical for math, etc. etc. in addition to the hours they expect, so when we go to, say, a zoo, we count that as additional Science because of all the information about the animals and their habitats).  We're starting our third year k12ing, and we just enter the default for each class, adding in the actual time spent on anything "additional."  We are always hours ahead of where they expect us to be, while working at our own pace.  And most days, although we spread school out throughout the day, school has taken us at most 3 hours (4 if we're working ahead and doing extra work).  For K, we were able to work waaay ahead in math while really puttering along in Phonics because Ina struggled with it at first; so by Christmas-ish, I think Ina was doing first grade math, but still only a couple months into Phonics and really taking it slow.  At the end of the year, we were all caught up in Phonics. 

There is "busy work," and honestly when Ina began in K, I felt like I really ought to have her do all the different sublessons within each lesson --- like if I skipped something, she'd be missing something.  But they are clear and repetitive with reminding people that once a student has grasped the concept, you can move on to the assessment, and in fact not to make them keep doing all the busy work at that point.  Most lessons have the required parts of the lesson and then "optional for additional practice or enrichment" components that you can choose to do if you want.  There are days where we drop into a wormhole and spend a couple hours just exploring more about a particular topic because she's so interested, but those are days when I have that kind of time, and they are not that common. 



We've done K-1 and now starting 2nd.  The math has a teacher's manual and the kids' workbook with pages which can be ripped out.  I preferred the old math, because while the new worksheets and online games are fun and colorful - we can't do them while we're traveling (one of the reasons we k12 is because we travel so much).  The new math has a lot more online time.  I do think though that for learning itself, the new math curriculum works well. 

Workbooks overall are fine.  Removable pages, some reading books that can be written in (Dragon series etc.) --- as well as reading, science, history books which are true books just for reading and not to workbooks at all.  I like most of the reading books we've read (exception being Ina has a vivid imagination and doesn't like scary stories, and there are quite a few fairy tales that are in fact scary to her, so we've had to sub other stories for those sometimes).  Science and history are a combo of online and workbook/"lab" type time. 

post #37 of 130

Wishing everyone a great year in their virtual schools! I still have mine in Montessori,but once they give the word I going to sign them up for Ohio Connections Academy. In the meantime I will  read up on how it is going for everyone else.

post #38 of 130



That would have been to much for my dd who used OHDELA/K/Calvert. I started her formal schoolig at age 6. I would just let the teacher  know close to the due date if that is *above* her,and you will have her submit what she can do. If they don't like it and give low marks then it is probably time to try another school.Who knows by March she just might be able to do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizmerricat View Post

  Then I got her portfolio assignments for the year from her teacher.  It all seems way over her head.  I know we'll make progress during the year, but I don't think she's going to go from sounding out cvc words now to writing a "brief persuasive essay" in March. 

They want her to "Include a minimum of two paragraphs with five sentences in each paragraph and a detailed, neat, colorful illustration." 

Um, What??

Help me out ladies?  If I'm underestimating DD and I'm just going to be blown away by how much they learn in 1st, then please let me know.  Or does this assignment sound a little over the top for a 6 year old?  I'm worried enough about this that I spent some time yesterday scoping out regular HS curriculums and state regs.

Input very much appreciated!

 



 

post #39 of 130



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

 

 Your DD could narrate an essay to you, you could write it down and she could copy it out. What the teacher with the inflated expectations doesn't know won't hurt her. ;-)



This was something my dd and I did for K with OHDELA.She told the story.I wrote it.She copied it and added a picture.

 

post #40 of 130

Hi all! Our school is supposed to start on Tues, and I haven't been contacted by a k12 teacher online yet--is that normal...? Thanks!

 

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