Originally Posted by Nursingnaturalmom
Can any of you tell me about K 12's music classes? Art Classes and Latin classes?
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.