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k12/Virtual Academy Thread, Fall 2011 - Page 5

post #81 of 130
Thread Starter 

I hope the transition goes well, Octobermom! 

Welcome, ZiCoZoMommy!  The state I'm in is pretty flexible about hours of attendance etc. (we need our 4.5/5 hours/day, but they don't stress it too much, and our teachers have always been fine with the fact that some days we're only recording 2 hours of attendance, then doing a lot more on the weekends).  Typically, when we have a week like you're describing, I enter the hours of attendance for the work we did over the weekend, on the next week's attendance hours.  You may want to discuss this with your teacher once you have one assigned.  I think some states are more rigid than others about hours/attendance during the week. 

In the meantime, explore as much as you can of the website/curriculum so you have a good idea how things will work and can hit the ground running.  You will need to complete all of k12's curriculum for the year - which means initially, you will probably be assessing through lessons that your kiddos completed at their current schools (if it's something your kids already learned, have them take the lesson assessment, if they pass, then move on to another lesson). 

post #82 of 130

I am enjoying the curriculum that comes with K12 but still feel like the schedule is too rigorous, at least for us. Ds just started ADD medication this week and although the difference isn't huge, he does seem able to stay on track better.

Our teacher is pretty useless. We are behind in our progress but I don't really want to bring her into it. Not sure what to do! Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks!

 

 

post #83 of 130
For those of you going through a district, do you have to do onsite testing? We have to meet with the teacher each trimester for testing, and it just wasn't what I expected. I'm wondering if CAVA does this? We may switch next year if they're a little easier to deal with.
post #84 of 130
Thread Starter 

Meli65, if you began ADD meds for your son, then you should talk with your virtual school about establishing an IEP for your son.  If your son was at a brick and mortar school, they would be working with you on an IEP.  The IEP might help resolve progess issues (for instance if the ADD is affecting his ability to write in-depth stuff, or etc.).  Even though your teacher is not much help, send her an email and cc her supervisor or the administrator or whoever it would be that you might also be coordinating with. 

We have been behind, in the past.  One thing we have done is to chunk out the art, and do it on the weekends.  My dd really loves art, so that doesn't feel like "doing school" on the weekend, and since she does it well independently, I don't have to watch as closely either.  If your son likes a particular subject (science or whatever), maybe you could use that as your "cap" for a week of being productive, like that? 

You may find that divvying things up into units works better.  For instance, my dd loathed phonics.  We ended up doing Phonics in a unit, all five lessons for the week in one day.  We usually did that on Friday and then celebrated when it was DONE. 

And also we worked over breaks -- not full days, but say, the Friday after Thanksgiving, do a few lessons.  Or not take the entire Christmas break, either working in the subject area you're most behind in, or else working to catch up across the board, whatever works for you. 

post #85 of 130
We've started doing lessons in chunks, too. Language Arts/Phonics/Handwriting and Math every day. The other subjects are done once a week, two lessons at a time. We started late, so we're adding two extra lessons a week on Fridays to catch up. If we didn't, she'd have a short day once a week. It is less of a struggle with DD to block lessons, and it is easier as far as prep work is concerned. The other thing that helps is that our teacher doesn't expect us to do the busy work unless DD needs extra practice in that subject.

I actually need to contact our teacher. My sisters and mom are teachers, and one of my sisters commented on DD's speech. She mispronounces a few words like "little" and "animal". From what I understand, I think it is just age-related speech quirks. My mom feels the same way, but my sister feels we should get a speech assessment. DH and I agreed that we'd contact the teacher to see what she thinks, since she's met DD in person a few times. She hasn't commented on her pronunciation before, so we'll see. If there is an issue, we'll take care of it. If not, it'll shut my sister up. My sisters are supportive of homeschooling in that it allows us to work at DD's speed, but still take offense to the fact that we don't have her in public school. (Seriously - it isn't about the teachers. I could name a ton of reasons why, and teachers themselves aren't the real issue with public school.) Anyways...
post #86 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragirl View Post

For those of you going through a district, do you have to do onsite testing? We have to meet with the teacher each trimester for testing, and it just wasn't what I expected. I'm wondering if CAVA does this? We may switch next year if they're a little easier to deal with.



With CAVA we have to have some contact once a month or so with the teacher, we have to turn in one work sample from each class per quarter, and state testing is done in the spring just like at a b&m school for 2nd grade and up. The only other time any testing may be done is if you finish a class early and want to move on to the next one they will give a quick assessment to show mastery before ordering the next level.

 

If you did CAVA as well there is a Community Day program in Lodi - the kids really enjoy it but we are moving farther away so we won't be able to continue going. It takes an hour to get there for us (and about that or longer for a few others) but it will now take almost 2 hours and that's just too much. If you did CD the teacher would be one of the 3 at CD so they'd have regular contact with the kids.

post #87 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopefulmama View Post

We are still with PA Cyber. We love it so far. DC attends their "Art Reach" classes with other students once per week. That has been a big hit with her. I am impressed with the quality of

teaching and have met some really great parents as well. Does anyone have any experience with accelerated programs with PA Cyber? DD is in K-5 Little Lincoln. She is reading at a 3rd grade level so she is really bored with a lot of the stuff they are teaching like letter recognition and beginning phonics. Her math is at a 2nd grade level so she is bored with a lot of that. She does need more help with writing and spelling and she loves the science that she is learning. She seems like she needs more challenging reading and math but more time spent on writing and science. Any thoughts?


I teach struggling readers online, but that's 1-on-1, so I definitely know it can be done, and done well. But I thought the point behind  an "online school" environment was that your child would work at her own levels on various things. I don't understand why she needs to work on things she's mastered.

 

Can anyone "teach" me about what I'm misunderstanding? Sounds to me like this child should be spending her time on more challenging reading and other lessons and topics. Letter recognition seems like a total waste of her time, and if they're still at letter recognition, she's got eons of time of more to come, it seems. Same with math. Obviously I'm misinformed on a lot of issues in online schooling, but I would like to learn! Parents ask me about this, and I'd love to be able to respond. 

 

Thanks! :)

post #88 of 130

Did any of you see this story about K12 in the paper or online?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/opinion/virtually-educated.html?_r=2

 

 

I do think she is misinformed about kids being left alone all day to teach themselves (at least I hope she is) but, without offending anyone I hope, I am mortified to find out about K12's Republican owners:  "It was founded by a former Goldman Sachs banker and by William Bennett, the Republican writer and talk-show host, with an infusion of cash from the former disgraced junk-bond king Mike Milken."

 

Yikes!

 

post #89 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meli65 View Post

Did any of you see this story about K12 in the paper or online?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/opinion/virtually-educated.html?_r=2


I don't know anyone that could leave their kids alone all day for the schoolwork, especially in the younger years. With a teen you could get away with some supervision instead of constant one on one time, but the little ones need a lot more help.
post #90 of 130
Thread Starter 

Meli, thanks for that link.  I posted a separate thread about online schooling based on an article I read in The Nation about a week ago, too - you may want to read it, too.  It disturbed me for the same reasons you were disturbed by the NYT article.  Articles like these make me more seriously consider plunging into 100% on-my-own homeschooling.  Well, those, and conversations with our 'teacher' about what test-taking skills we need to develop before the state tests start next year.  Ugh. 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissBright View Post


I teach struggling readers online, but that's 1-on-1, so I definitely know it can be done, and done well. But I thought the point behind  an "online school" environment was that your child would work at her own levels on various things. I don't understand why she needs to work on things she's mastered.

 

Can anyone "teach" me about what I'm misunderstanding? Sounds to me like this child should be spending her time on more challenging reading and other lessons and topics. Letter recognition seems like a total waste of her time, and if they're still at letter recognition, she's got eons of time of more to come, it seems. Same with math. Obviously I'm misinformed on a lot of issues in online schooling, but I would like to learn! Parents ask me about this, and I'd love to be able to respond. 

 

Thanks! :)


MissBright - you're right.  My dd is ahead in math and reading - we work at our own pace and that is one of the things that the virtual schools emphasize that they facilitate.  A parent whose kiddo is ahead of the curriculum should start "assessing out."  That is, take assessments only (possibly unit assessments only) until they hit a point where they don't know/understand a concept.  Mark lessons whose assessments the student passed as completed, and move along.  This is how my dd was doing first grade math midway through her K year..... At the same time, reading and spelling are coupled.  So, while my dd is a fluent reader of large chapter books (200+ pages, no problem) - she struggles with spelling.  So we're having her read more advanced reading than k12 calls for, for her, but continuing to do the regular k12 grammar/spelling exercises, rather than moving into the 5/6th grade reading (where her fluency/understanding would probably be). 

Some k12 'teachers' don't like kiddos working quickly through a curricula, but absolutely parents are in charge and if their kid is ahead of the lessons, they should go through the assessments and move on.  Some parents struggle with this (there's a reason some of us choose a virtual school, after all, and sometimes it's because the parent isn't comfortable being the final authority on things like this, and therefore uncomfortable taking the initiative to move ahead -- often parents feel like they should do each step of a lesson plan, rather than moving to the assessment once it's clear their student has grasped the concept, for example.  We usually move past that reaction pretty quickly, though!).....

Does that answer your questions? 

 

post #91 of 130

Lovely winter break!!

 

We have a few months under our belt-very happy for the most part with the curriculum (except music, a waste of time, imo) and our teacher. My third grader absolutely loves it. My sixth grader, unfortunately, is jaded from her public school experiences and is in a period of deschooling. Hard to get her excited about anything that is for someone else's expectations.

 

One issue that keeps recurring for the sixth grade math is how there's a big difference between the daily practice and the assessments. The assessments seem to be much more difficult and take forever! Oldest is very tired of it. I keep whining about it to the teacher-I'm sure she's very fond of me by now.

 

We started later in the fall-yet our projected end dates are on target. Love that our start date next fall is 9/10!

post #92 of 130

Can anyone talk to me about kindy with K12? We did grades 1-4 with my oldest with CAVA and it was a nightmare so I'm a bit wary but I also know it was due to her learning style which we didn't know about at the time. We got her all set and doing fantastic at another charter but now I have a kindy and she wasn't doing so hot with the charter and to be honest "I" need the level of structure K12 will provide. I called and got access to the demo account for kindy and went though a days work with her and she did great and enjoyed it but I worry. What about the whatchamacallit classes they were starting to require of all students when we left last year. The butt in the seat for 1 hour 2-3x a week for class with 20 other kids that were boring as hades for reading and math. Do they push the same requirements for kindy as they do the older grades? What about phonics? Do they they still use the same phonics they used several years back? I HATED it with a passion. Huge tile kits and CD's and it seemed way to complicated.

post #93 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Can anyone talk to me about kindy with K12? We did grades 1-4 with my oldest with CAVA and it was a nightmare so I'm a bit wary but I also know it was due to her learning style which we didn't know about at the time. We got her all set and doing fantastic at another charter but now I have a kindy and she wasn't doing so hot with the charter and to be honest "I" need the level of structure K12 will provide. I called and got access to the demo account for kindy and went though a days work with her and she did great and enjoyed it but I worry. What about the whatchamacallit classes they were starting to require of all students when we left last year. The butt in the seat for 1 hour 2-3x a week for class with 20 other kids that were boring as hades for reading and math. Do they push the same requirements for kindy as they do the older grades? What about phonics? Do they they still use the same phonics they used several years back? I HATED it with a passion. Huge tile kits and CD's and it seemed way to complicated.

I'm doing Kindergarten with my daughter through Elk Grove school district. We may switch to CAVA next year since I'm not satisfied with having to travel for in person testing each trimester. I don't think the work load is bad. DD is ahead some, and it really only takes us a couple hours to knock out the work. She likes most of the curriculum, aside from phonics. I don't think any of us like the phonics program, so we supplement some. I don't know about what phonics entails for older kids, but for kindergarten it is DRY. Super, super dry. No tile kits and cd's, though. I really wish they would do phonics online with games like other subjects. We just replace lessons with books, sites like Starfell, etc. when possible. Sometimes we do that with music, as well. DD is almost done with K math, and the science, history, art, and music classes are fine. Language Arts is a little repetitive, but it is okay. Handwriting isn't bad, either. We have been encouraged to skip ahead and go to straight to the unit tests if DD has grasped the concept, so that helps with the boredom factor.
post #94 of 130

We did K last year with my daughter. Yes the phonics is the same - we just did some of the worksheets and the assessments as my dd was already reading before K. I looked through the teachers guide and just made sure she knew everything we would be covering in that unit and then would do the assessment. We were encouraged to go to the online elluminates but they weren't required for us for either kid (K and 1st). This year we haven't gone to a single one - both kids are ahead a year in LA and one is ahead a year in math, the other 2.5 years in math - so I don't know if they would require them if that weren't ahead or not.

 

Definitely don't feel you have to use the tiles for phonics - think of it as an optional tool to use if you desire but not if you don't.

 

The best thing for us has been the ability to assess out of things they already know. The most important thing to remember is you do NOT have to do every part of every lesson. If they know it move on if they don't do extra :)

 

Courtney
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Can anyone talk to me about kindy with K12? We did grades 1-4 with my oldest with CAVA and it was a nightmare so I'm a bit wary but I also know it was due to her learning style which we didn't know about at the time. We got her all set and doing fantastic at another charter but now I have a kindy and she wasn't doing so hot with the charter and to be honest "I" need the level of structure K12 will provide. I called and got access to the demo account for kindy and went though a days work with her and she did great and enjoyed it but I worry. What about the whatchamacallit classes they were starting to require of all students when we left last year. The butt in the seat for 1 hour 2-3x a week for class with 20 other kids that were boring as hades for reading and math. Do they push the same requirements for kindy as they do the older grades? What about phonics? Do they they still use the same phonics they used several years back? I HATED it with a passion. Huge tile kits and CD's and it seemed way to complicated.



 

post #95 of 130

wow, I figured we would go ahead and give kindy a try with K12 and holy cow, I turned in everything yesterday afternoon and had an approval email waiting for me this morning when I got up and the OLS was live. That was less then 24 hours! Glad we have almost 3 weeks to ease into this before spring semester starts. Wondering who we will get for our teacher, praying its not a newbie! We got one when our last CAVA teacher went on maternity leave and oy!! Very much school at home, wanted to see ALL work done. Everyone was sooo happy when the teacher came back early:)

post #96 of 130

Satori, my biggest issue with K12 kindy was that 6 formal subjects are too many for a 5-year-old! I solved the Phonics issue by simply never, ever using the stupid tiles. If I had it to go back to, I would chunk the Art and Music lessons and do them on Fridays. I would also chunk the LA even more aggressively than I did - my son could have finished 1st grade LA in his kindy year if I had skipped more of the busywork and chunked every set of lessons that dealt with the same book. 

post #97 of 130

Does anyone here have experience with K-12 as a public charter in Texas? I know here they don't start until 3rd grade, but not much else. Right now DD is in 1st but only 5yo, so if she went to public school she'd get bumped back all the way to pre-k {her birthday is just after the cutoff} - would they do the same in K-12 and bump her back 2 grades? What about state testing - how does that work? She has ASD, OCD, and SPD so I'm assuming we'd also have to get an IEP as well right?

 

I'm strongly considering it as an option for 3rd and up - DD loves working on the computer, and our finances have changed to where I no longer can afford to purchase the materials I'd like to use in most cases. 

post #98 of 130

Unless she's been in public school before then yes they would put her in kindy. What have you been using till now?

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

Does anyone here have experience with K-12 as a public charter in Texas? I know here they don't start until 3rd grade, but not much else. Right now DD is in 1st but only 5yo, so if she went to public school she'd get bumped back all the way to pre-k {her birthday is just after the cutoff} - would they do the same in K-12 and bump her back 2 grades? What about state testing - how does that work? She has ASD, OCD, and SPD so I'm assuming we'd also have to get an IEP as well right?

 

I'm strongly considering it as an option for 3rd and up - DD loves working on the computer, and our finances have changed to where I no longer can afford to purchase the materials I'd like to use in most cases. 



 

post #99 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Unless she's been in public school before then yes they would put her in kindy. What have you been using till now?

 


 



 


We've been homeschooling - she has never been enrolled in public school. Would they possibly do a grade assessment to place her where she is at?

 

post #100 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post


We've been homeschooling - she has never been enrolled in public school. Would they possibly do a grade assessment to place her where she is at?

 



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.

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