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Anyone else a charter school homeschooler?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are nearing the end of our first year as charter school homeschoolers. Technically, our children are public schoolers because they're enrolled in a public charter, but I still feel like we're regular homeschoolers.

 

The only differences so far have been that we have to "check in" with their assigned teacher twice a week, via phone, email or text; the teacher has to do academic assessments for math and reading at the beginning and end of the year and we have to send in written work samples in math, reading and science.

 

Since the trade off for checking in with them are that we get an academic budget of $1000/child, Rosetta Stone access, an ipad and a laptop, it's been worth it for me. Another thing that I really like about the charter school our kids are "in" is that we are able to set our own schedule and pick out all of our own (secular) curriculum. I don't think that I would be happy with something like Connections or K-12 where the lessons are planned out for you.

 

What at-home charter school options does your state have? What have you tried? Have you joined a charter and ended up going back to homeschooling or putting your child in a brick and mortar school?

post #2 of 13

Wow... good question.  I started homeschooling in NJ, where that didn't exist.  I haven't heard of it here in IL, either. In both states, parents are not required to notify/register with the state to homeschool.  Here in IL, we get a tax credit of up to $500 for education expenses... so that's kind of nice.  Of course, it's like 20% (I think that's the percentage) of money you spend on qualifying things up to a max credit of $500.  So, not exactly the same, but it's something and we don't have to be under anyone's umbrella for it.

post #3 of 13

We are considering this route.  I was homeschooled/charter schooled for 8th grade.  I like the fact that since we're paying for public schools we can have him at home and still benefit from it...

post #4 of 13

This time around we are.  We put Dylan in a charter school starting with 6th grade.  That school had 2 options:  A/B tracks (K-6th) the students go to the campus 2 days a week (M/W for track A and T/Th for track B) and are home schooled the other 3; C track for 5 days a week home school with optional classes at the campus.  7th and 8th grade are considered middle school; also has 2 options:  M track 3 days at the campus (T/W/Th) and 2 days at home; C track is the same as elementary school.  There is also a high school campus but we changed charter schools in 8th grade.  His current charter school is home school with optional classes on campus.  There is no classroom/home option.  Like you, we get a dollar amount per year to spend on his school--textbooks, field trips, outside classes, etc.  We have a conference once a month where we hand in sample work, by subject, with grades and discuss what he had learned and what is planned for the next month.  The school keeps all the records and issues report cards based on what we have submitted.  Dylan is currently taking 9th grade biology and art at the campus and those teachers submit grades for those classes.  The school also does the state testing and the high school exit exam required by the state of CA.  Next year, he will be able to take classes at our local community college, earning both high school credits and college credits.
 

post #5 of 13
I found I needed more structure and a push....so I enrolled my son into an online charter through k12.

Suffice to say I like the curricula a lot. I do not like the public charter set up.....with mandatory Study Island and 2 hour long class connect sessions that teach toward Common Core aka standardized testing stuff.

Next year i will likely switch him to calvert with ATS or buy k12 on my own. I want my freedom back. I will likely use MCP language arts and math to catch him up more over through summer...since hrs is about a semester behind in the ps system.

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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragile7393 View Post

I found I needed more structure and a push....so I enrolled my son into an online charter through k12.



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We switched charter schools because the first one didn't give us the flexibility that Dylan needed.  The current one does.  Dylan is using a college textbook and documentaries for history and can submit projects instead of just written work.  I don't teach to the standardized tests and Dylan doesn't test well so they are not accurate anyway.  Having Dylan explain what he knows is a much better way of gauging his knowledge and understanding.  Now, if only, his written work could reflect that.  But he is an auditory learner so writing might always be a struggle for him.

post #7 of 13

We use a homeschool charter school and have been very pleased with it. We've been attending for 3 years and have no complaints. Our school is VERY flexible. We choose to use the curriculum provided by the school with some supplemental curriculum that we purchase on our own. The kids are able to participate in school clubs and sports within the school district if we want them to. The school has daily workshops that we can attend if we want to, but we don't have to. We usually go to one workshop per week, plus field trips and parties for holidays. We meet up with the teacher once a month to turn in work and get the next month's lesson plans. We can choose to take state tests or opt out. All in all, we love it.
 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefragile7393 View Post

I found I needed more structure and a push....so I enrolled my son into an online charter through k12.

Suffice to say I like the curricula a lot. I do not like the public charter set up.....with mandatory Study Island and 2 hour long class connect sessions that teach toward Common Core aka standardized testing stuff.

Next year i will likely switch him to calvert with ATS or buy k12 on my own. I want my freedom back. I will likely use MCP language arts and math to catch him up more over through summer...since hrs is about a semester behind in the ps system.

Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

 

This is the exact beef I have with the charter school.

 

I like the curriculum (K12) a lot, the teachers are fantastic, the outings are great.  However, the obsession with the standardized tests is driving me crazy. 

 

I am 95% sure we won't be enrolling next year primarily because of this.  In our state the standardized test is only required for 3rd, 5th and 8th grade but the charter school gives it every year.  I don't want to deal with the months of test prep if she doesn't need to.

post #9 of 13

we are enrolled in a virtual school that is pretty school at home.  Hate it. Won't do that next year,

I have a few other kids in a program that allows me to pick curriculum that I want. I don't take attendance etc.  The teacher comes out twice a year to see how we are doing.  On Friday's that kids have the chance to go tot he charter school for a day of extras. gym, music etc.

 

I get that honeschoolers might have a problem with these programs.  However, I think showing that kids can learn in an environment that is NOT a building and living in fear of more laws or loss of freedoms is fruitless.  Pulling homeschool rights and throwing all these kids into the school system costs money.  Last I checked our government doesn't have more money to spend on education and I don't think they want to spend more money on education. 

 

So, for now, this is what we do.  My kids are still at home with the same benefits as most other homeschoolers, only, someone else pays for our supplies.

post #10 of 13

We are in in K12 Charter School. We started the kids out in 2001 using the K12 curriculum as a direct consumer. We fell in love with the curriculum. When we moved to Wisconsin we decided to join WIVA which is an online charter school which uses the K12 curriculum. I loved having access to teachers for help especially since our eldest was starting Middle School. Then about 5 years ago we moved to California and it was pretty seamless to enroll them in CAVA using the same curriculum. Now our eldest is a senior and has been accepted to the college of her choice and getting into the Animal Science field. She has also taken 2 college courses already and currently taking a college Physics class and holds a 4.0. I truly believe it is not just that she is a smarty but the K12 curriculum over all these years has prepared her very well!
 

post #11 of 13

We use a charter and are loving it. We get $900/semester to spend on supplies and activities. They are also very flexible with how we homeschool, so I haven't had a problem with it at all. Even though we lean mostly toward unschooling, the charter still works really well for us and my son is thriving.

post #12 of 13

I am plan on homeschooling my kiddos (they will be in Kinder) and am new to this.  How do I find out if my state offers at-home homeschool charter and if they offer an academic budget? Of course it would be nice to be able to receive extra money to help pay for supplies.  :)

 

Thanks so much!

post #13 of 13
I think most states subscribe to a virtual school like either Connecrions Academy or k-12.

In CA, there are other online charter schools options like Sky Mountain or Gorman that are run by IEM http://www.ieminc.org/. IEM works with a local distinct so you get all the public school record keeping and an ES. But you also get a stipend and ability to spend the money as you see fit, (within their vendor policy). Many families like the accountability, but really it comes down to your Education Specialist (ES). Experiences are made and lost on ESs it seems.
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