Anyone use K12? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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We're considering using this program, via the Ohio Virtual Academy. I think a virtual program will be great for us, since it'll do all the organizing and everything for us. We have a year to decide (DS is 2 months past the cutoff for enrolling this year and I don't think they have a Pre-K program), so I definitely want to look into it more.

If you've used it, what was your experience? Do you feel like your child received a quality education? What kind of time commitment was required every day? Was it really as flexible as it says? Would you choose it again?

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#2 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 12:51 PM
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I think the k12 curriculum is a solid curriculum, but you need to be sure to use it how you need it and not get too carried away with doing every activity. However, your experience will be determined primarily by the virtual academy you use. I would sign up for the K12 yahoo group for the ohio virtual academy. You can then find out from people in the system how it works for them. Some virtual schools require a few work samples a month and something like an occasional phone call from the 'teacher' to the student. Others require logging into live elluminate sessions regularly and extensive work samples which some people can find burdensome. Some will be pretty flexible on how much progress you make through the courses, others will have very strict goals and be on your case if you fall behind (or get too far ahead). You need to find out how the Ohio VA works and then decide if it feels too restrictive or not. Also since it is really a public charter school you will have your state's testing requirements to deal with. It may not be any more trouble than testing requirements for homeschoolers (if your state has any) but sometimes it can be a week long hassle. Just one more factor to weigh in...

We started with K12 and it was helpful for me to get a handle on the whole idea of homeschooling. However, I probably would not do it again if I were starting over. I don't think the early grades need that much structure. I have a much better idea of what I think my child's education should be now and I could more easily do that with fewer resources and more library time. I think K12 works well for many people so I wouldn't want to talk you out of it. If it looks like a good fit for your child and you hear positive feedback from the Ohio Virtual Academy yahoo group then try it. You can always drop it if it doesn't feel like a good fit. Also keep in mind that K12 includes tons of activities for every lesson. The point is not to do them all, but to pick the ones that fit your child's learning style and that they enjoy. Don't get caught up doing too much or you will end up doing 'school' all day and not enjoying it!
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#3 of 9 Old 07-13-2009, 01:17 PM
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I'm very interested in hearing others thoughts about this too, as I have considered it for later years depending on how things go. Is it easy to get out of, if you decide it's not your style? Can you opt out during the year? Do they provide all the materials, and is it up to us to return those materials after the school year? do they provide materials for activities and arts/crafts too?
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#4 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 07:50 AM
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Stay clear of like a business....bottom line is always the money...not the child.  Enroll your child only if you like jumping through hoop after hoop in order for the school to qualify for funding......not a viable option in my mind.

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#5 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 12:58 PM
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You can always try it and if its not a good fit just remove your child. Its not hard at all. I have a kindy kid in CAVA and its working fine for us. I was going to put my 5th grader back in CAVA but decided we needed to stay where we are and keep using K12 independently for LA, Science, History. Next year it might be a better fit but for now were still working on giving dd the tools she needs to become a better student as a visual learner.

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#6 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 01:16 PM
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This is our first year in OHVA with my 5th grader. He started homeschooling last year after Thanksgiving, but because I got pregnant, we decided to enroll in OHVA this year in order to lighten my load a little. We knew several families who were already using it and liked it. I'm in Columbus, too, BTW (Hilliard City Schools).


On the plus side, there is some accountability. We know that someone is checking in every once in a while to make sure we're keeping up.  Occasionally we have to submit papers.  This keeps us from slacking off. 


Also, we know that our son will be going back to brick-and-mortar school next year. We're not planning on being lifelong homeschoolers, we're just taking a couple of years off from school.  With this curriculum, I feel confident that he will have covered *at least* everything that his classmates will have covered. I also know that he will be well prepared for the Ohio Achievement Assessment, which will determine which level classes he'll be put into next year. 


I love the science and the history courses. In our public school, which my younger son still attends, they don't take much time for science or history.  Our public school has a wonderful art teacher, but my oldest is really not into creating art, so the K12 art class, which is really more of an art history course and corresponds with the history lessons, is perfect.


I would rather be doing Singapore math than the K12 math, but at least the K12 is better than Everyday Math, which is what they were doing at our public school.


It's definitely more "school-y" than what we did last year when we were homeschooling our own way. But since DS is going back to school next year, I think it's a good thing that he is getting into the habit of buckling down and working diligently during school hours.


Now, on to the negatives....


In our case, it doesn't leave a lot of time for other experiential learning adventures. In order to keep up, you have to complete a certain number of lessons each day, and as we learned earlier this year, you can get behind pretty quickly. We're now playing catch-up because at the beginning of the year, I would call it good if he did a few core lessons, and then we'd head out to do something interesting. 


Also, it's advertised as being tailored to your child's individual needs, but it's not made really clear how to pursue that. I mean, I know my son could do more advanced spelling, vocab, and math, but we still have to do and check off the lessons in the daily plan, so I don't see how substituting a different curriculum would work. 



In short, if you're homeschooling because you want to have the freedom to use your gifts and creativity to design the perfect curriculum and an amazing life for your child, it's probably not the right fit. If you are considering keeping your child home because of problems at school, or because your child needs 4 hours a day to practice piano or train for gymnastics competitions, and you don't have tons of time or energy to do a lot of teaching yourself, it is probably a good choice. It sounds like you might be in a similar situation to ours: you want your child home with you, but you realize that you probably will not have the time and/or energy to do everything yourself and you need a curriculum that you can trust to cover the accepted standards. In that case, I think OHVA is a a great resource.






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#7 of 9 Old 02-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post


Also, it's advertised as being tailored to your child's individual needs, but it's not made really clear how to pursue that. I mean, I know my son could do more advanced spelling, vocab, and math, but we still have to do and check off the lessons in the daily plan, so I don't see how substituting a different curriculum would work. 

Its easy to sub out stuff at the lower levels, for example my kindy kid. I'm not using their phonics program, its not something I can teach (apparently I can't hear vowel sounds right) and I'm using Headsprout which is working wonderfully for her. You just mark off the lessons as done. Its just a matter of teaching to the objectives and as long as the same material gets covered it doesn't really matter in the long run.

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#8 of 9 Old 02-18-2012, 11:31 AM
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my sister uses k12 in georgia. she really likes it. she pulled her son from public school because he was having a terrible time there.  k12 still works with his IEP, and has him on a special reading program and everything.  k12 is mastery, not spiral. the curriculum is advanced imho but excellent. you can always try it and opt out if it's a bad fit. when my daughter was in first grade, we tried connections academy for a few months. it was okay. we left because i prefer homeschooling, but i have no regrets in trying it out.

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#9 of 9 Old 02-20-2012, 03:08 PM
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I'm using it for kindy through our state's virtual school and I'm fairly neutral on it. I hate parts of it and like other parts. I like that it keeps us on track. I really hate the math program, though. I teach DD the concepts for each level, but the amount of math problems they expect a 5-year-old to do each day is beyond ridiculous for most kids this age. I only have her do about 1/3 of the problems, because I really think she would hate math if I actually made her do 20+ 2-digit addition and subtraction math problems each day. I don't remember learning that level of math myself until 2nd grade.


I'm pretty happy with the phonics, science, and history, though. I like the book selection for language arts.


We def won't be using it next year. We plan to give brick-and-mortar school a try in the fall, and if that doesn't work for us, we will go back to HS'ing with Sonlight, which is what we used last year. I already miss the flexibility, even though the reason I switched to K12 was due to feeling like I needed to stay on track better.

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