k12/Virtual Academy Thread, Fall 2011 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 130 Old 09-15-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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Luckily we had a wireless card that we were able to use. It stinks that your teacher isn't very helpful. We're going through a local district, and so far, they've been helpful. They check in every couple weeks to see if we need anything, and to go over the progress. Our only issue is that DD HATES doing phonics. I've got to figure out a way to make it more fun for her, because it is like pulling teeth.

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#62 of 130 Old 09-16-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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I know what you mean -- I was just telling someone tonight that I was glad I wasn't homeschooling for the "learning to read" portion of childhood. It seems very tedious! Ds is in fourth grade and the literature and science and history are fairly interesting for me, and that's nice.

 

I was talking to dh last night about the lack of professional support at K12, but then realized as I was talking that most people who hs get NO support at all, so actually it's nice to have a little something. It's all good. I just wish our technology was easier to deal with, and my organizational skills were better.

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#63 of 130 Old 09-16-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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For those of you that have kids that are ahead, what do you do if you finish the coursework for a class well before the end of the school year? Will they give you the next level up? DD is advanced in math, and the teacher knows that we'll need to skip a lot of the kindergarten math. She said just to cover anything she needs like telling time, take the tests, and skip the rest. At this rate, we'll be done with her math well before Christmas. Everything else is pretty close to on-schedule.

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#64 of 130 Old 09-17-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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Last year my daughter did all of K and 1st for math. When we hit 90% the teacher gave her a small 'test' and then ordered the next level course. Same for LA and history which she also moved up on (but did not complete before end of year).

 

My 2nd grader only received two new courses this fall as he had moved up in everything but art (and music which we switched out for a language). I have heard the rules depend on the specific school as to what percentage but I think I've only heard of one va that doesn't let you move on to the next level.

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#65 of 130 Old 09-23-2011, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cameragirl - dd1 loathed phonics, too.  She really struggled with it, K and 1.  Her teacher suggested that we use Starfall and that helped a LOT.  It's a free online curriculum, if you haven't tried it yet you may want to.  In K we actually shelved the k12 phonics for about a month and just used starfall, and then went back to k12 and while she still didn't like it, she understood what they were trying to do better, and we got through it.  For 1st, we did it as a unit once a week so we got it out of the way (lessened the agony).  If it's any comfort, dd1 is a voracious reader now and regularly reads 250 page books. 

I think most states have a cut-off period where they don't send the next year's curriculum - here in Wyoming, it's sometime in March (15th?).  I think it varied between '10 and '11.  Anyway, you have to have completed 90%+ of the coursework, then they'll order the next year's coursework for you.  Language Arts and Phonics are linked, so if you finish Language Arts but not Phonics, then you don't get the new Language Arts but everything else is independent. 

If you complete *after* the cut-off date, I was told that they don't order the next year's curriculum.  We had finished most of our curriculum (intentionally) by early May last year and we were told to just keep logging time and not to worry about it.  We had our Language Arts curriculum for the next year already and could work in that, or I logged a lot of our gardening time as "science" (because it was!). 

Then, you can work over the summer (or not), depending on what you want to do.  My plan this summer was to work ahead, but we didn't.  We just enjoyed the summer! 

Sooo - the update I have, is that we attended a homeschool "back to school" gathering awhile back.  The homeschoolers here are quite conservative and religious.  It's appearing, as I've done a few more things with them, that they are VERY conservative and religious.  And ... exclusionary.  I had hoped dd1 would make a few new girl friends, as her close girl friend moved away this summer.  But, I don't think that's going to happen.  I'll have to keep working on the 4-H, church group, swim lesson angle.  We have had some feedback through backchannels about how welcome we are at their activities (some parents complained to a facilitator who is NOT homeschool affiliated about whether we 'fit in.').  It's not about the program we use, I don't think, because it hasn't come up, so as far as they know we could be using Sonlight.  It's about my dd1 loving fairies and dinosaurs and the fact that, while we may be church-going, we are not THEIR sort of church-going.  I know that the parents in question may not speak for the entire (large) group - but the vibe has been quite unfriendly towards myself and the girls, and I'm thinking we'll just bow out.  There is NO reason for us to keep going if we're not welcome, and it's their loss, not ours.  We do have plenty of brick-and-mortar friends here, and another k12 family we do quite a few things together with. 

I would be tempted to organize a more "secular" homeschooling group, but having talked with the librarians and a few others who interact pretty frequently with the homeschool groups, it sounds like we are the real odd-balls in this community, and the homeschool groups (there are a couple) are very insular and religious.  So I'm not sure there would be anyone who would need or want to join a more secular group.  It is no wonder, though, that the predominant reaction people have in this community, when they learn that we homeschool, is to instantly become very cautious towards us, until/unless they know us better and then they realize that we are not approaching our homeschooling from that perspective.  greensad.gif  And, I don't feel judgment towards people who choose to homeschool because of religious reasons.  That's fine.  But to use that as a discriminatory and exclusionary thing, stinks.  I guess they're homeschooling to avoid contamination by "society," and my fairy-loving, evolution-embracing little girl has the cooties.  [/vent]


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#66 of 130 Old 09-27-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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Subbing :)

 

Is anyone enrolled in iQ Ca-LA? We're waiting to get my third grader started.  I'd like to find an alternative for Study Island-not a big fan of that at all-how flexible are they with customizing curriculum?

 

Also-has anyone done standardized testing through k12?

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#67 of 130 Old 10-21-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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We are really liking K12 so far! Our teacher is extremely nice, and dd loves that "being industrious" feeling. Does anyone know if they try to keep you with the same teacher for more than one year..?

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#68 of 130 Old 10-22-2011, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my state, it's a different teacher each year.  But they don't always teach the same class level, so dd1's teacher this year was also her K teacher - which is great as we really, really liked her. 

 


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#69 of 130 Old 10-23-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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I think it depends on the VA. We are with CAVA and typically you had the same teacher each year but they did a reorganization this year and I believe most teachers now have grade clusters K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. I'm unsure what happens when you have kids in 2 different age groups though (which we will have next year). We did change teachers this year but that is because we attend a weekly program (called community day here) and so we have one of the teachers involved with that, otherwise we would have the same teacher as last year.

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#70 of 130 Old 10-23-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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We're with Elk Grove. Might look into CAVA next year, but we'll see. We have a good teacher, as well. DH and DD just met up with her to do kinder testing. DD did exceptionally well, so she said to just keep up whatever we're doing. We're set to finish Math K by Christmas, so we need to call and ask the teacher if she'll let us move up to Math 1 at that point. I prefer that DD keep pushing ahead rather than do math that isn't challenging. That's how DH and I got so bored in school. There is more in person stuff than I anticipated...not sure how that will play out when DH goes back to work and I'm dealing with disability and a newborn. Guess we'll see.

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#71 of 130 Old 10-24-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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With CAVA last year my K'er was able to move up to 1st grade math in January I think (She started K with CAVA on Nov 1) and actually completed math 1 so was able to start 1st grade with Math 2. We go to Community Day in Lodi and the kids both really enjoy that. I believe you are closer than we are so that might be something to consider if you do decide to switch to CAVA next year.

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#72 of 130 Old 10-24-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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Got the green light today to skip through the yawn inducing music lessons until we find something more challenging for my third grader. It just seems like the music is so rudimentary-the lessons my 6th grader has seem more appropriate for my third grader.

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#73 of 130 Old 10-25-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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We are really falling behind. It's our first year with OHVA and my ds is in fourth grade and was diagnosed with AD/HD this summer. Some days (like today) are great -- most are not. His reading is so slow, his grasp of math facts is so not where it should be. I'm glad I took him out of school because I wanted to find out where he was exactly, but am dismayed that the news is not better.

 

Dh suggested we ask if K12 provides tutors...? Does anyone know?

 

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#74 of 130 Old 10-25-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meli65 View Post

We are really falling behind. It's our first year with OHVA and my ds is in fourth grade and was diagnosed with AD/HD this summer. Some days (like today) are great -- most are not. His reading is so slow, his grasp of math facts is so not where it should be. I'm glad I took him out of school because I wanted to find out where he was exactly, but am dismayed that the news is not better.

Dh suggested we ask if K12 provides tutors...? Does anyone know?

You're through a local program that uses the k12 curriculum, right? The district or school should be able to provide extra help if that is the case. If you buy curriculum directly through k12, you have the option of getting teacher support. I would look into asking for an IEP so that he is getting the help that he needs. Even through a virtual academy with a district, you are still entitled to support.

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#75 of 130 Old 10-25-2011, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeahthat.gif

Yes, talk to your teacher about how to initiate an IEP.  With an IEP in place, things can  be tailored more to your student's needs, and they can take the IEP into account when looking at progress etc. 

Also, they should provide assistance if you need assistance implementing the IEP - so, tutors or whatever.  If you feel like you're getting a run-around, keep talking with supervisors etc. 'til you figure out what you need to do. 

 


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#76 of 130 Old 11-11-2011, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all!  How are things going with everyone?

We are mostly on track - or ahead - for most coursework.  For those who've done k12 for several years, do you think there's something wonky with the Progress Tracker this year?  It's weird, we are "on track" % wise per what the school says (past 23% completed as of Monday) - but even with optional lessons exempted, that still shows us at nearly 2 weeks past the last day of school for Math (but on target for History, and two weeks ahead for Science?!). 


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#77 of 130 Old 11-13-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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We're new this year, but our tracker is doing the same thing. If we follow the school's calendar, that puts us well into the middle of June or July for finishing the lessons. That's with us being above 24% in everything. According to the school, though, based on percentage we're right on track to finish for the mid-May exams.

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#78 of 130 Old 11-14-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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We seem to have no issues with our progress. We are supposed to be about 33% as of today and I do note anything less than that gives us a time ending in June (we always lag behind in art for some reason) and anything over that is sometime in May. I have one who is almost complete with everything but art (always the art!) so I can't say for sure but my daughter is at 29% art (6/13/12) and 37% science (5/24/12) so it seems pretty accurate for us.

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#79 of 130 Old 11-15-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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Hey all. I am a single parent of 3 children ages 11, 9, and 3. I just enrolled my 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter in K12 online public school. I'd been thinking about it for the past couple of years because I get so tired of getting more than 8 phone calls per day from teachers and having being overwhelmed with the extra events at the school. They are on a waiting list, so they won't be transferring over immediately. I'm doing this because 1) my son is very difficult and hyper and functions better in a low-key environment and 2) my daughter is having issues with learning because she is a slow worker...The only issue I have now is how I'm going to do this since I do have to work during the day. I appreciate that we can form our own hours. I was thinking they could study 7 days per week, M-F a few hours in the evening, Saturday 7 hours, and Sunday 5 hours.. This is something I am strongly considering because I feel that I need to take radical steps so that my children won't get lost in the crowd. I had a meeting with my son's teachers this morning and asked their opinions without telling them about K12 and both stated that as parents themselves, they would take him out of regular school because he will get lost in the crowd and that he is too smart to let him lose his way.

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#80 of 130 Old 11-17-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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I withdrew my DD this week. Were going to just homeschool the regulations they kept adding finially got to be too much.

 

Deanna


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#81 of 130 Old 11-17-2011, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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). 


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#82 of 130 Old 11-18-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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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!

 

 

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#83 of 130 Old 11-18-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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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.

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#84 of 130 Old 11-18-2011, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


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#85 of 130 Old 12-01-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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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...

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#86 of 130 Old 12-02-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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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.

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#87 of 130 Old 12-03-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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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! :)

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#88 of 130 Old 12-06-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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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!

 

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#89 of 130 Old 12-06-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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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.

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#90 of 130 Old 12-09-2011, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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. 


 

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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? 

 


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