K12 through MAVA of Greenfield, MA? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-24-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking to get some info about the "day in the life" for K12 MAVA (Greenfield, MA) students?  My understanding is that the states that offer the K12 option all do it a little different, with widely different expectations and rules. 

 

I have searched online for reviews specifically for the MAVA, but only found reviews on K12 as a curriculum.  I'm looking for more info about how Greenfield oversees and supports K12 (from parents and kids that are living it, not just from K12 staff/faculty).

 

Thanks!

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#2 of 5 Old 09-26-2012, 11:37 PM
 
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Hello! I have been using the K12 curriculum with my 2 children since 2001 and we love it. They are now both in high school and doing very well. I truly believe the K12 curriculum is a major factor in them being very prepared for college/university. We started with K12 as Direct Consumers (I purchased the curriculum and used it independently of any Virtual Academy) for their first few years. Then we moved to Wisconsin and joined WIVA and then 4 years ago moved to California where we joined CAVA. Even though each school is different in their requirements, they usually are pretty similar and of course the curriculum is the same. You did not mention what grade(s) you were looking at so I'll do the best to give an overview.

 

In the early grades the parents spend a lot of time helping the child. The curriculum is written for the parent to direct the child. Around the 4th or 5th grade (and depending on the child) they can do a lot more on their own and the curriculum starts being written for the child to read and do more on their own. However, the parent has teacher guides to check work and get an overview and objectives of the lesson. As the child moves into high school the parent moves more into the mentor/guidance/cheerleader mode. All the work is turned into the teachers and graded by the teachers.

 

In the early grades our days looked like this. I would gather all the material for the next day that evening so we would not spend as much time finding books and materials. As the child got older, I would have them gather their materials. I would read over the lesson and directions. As they learn to read they can start taking over much of this. Then they would have time to work on worksheets giving more control over to them as the years went by in getting these things accomplished. Some of the lesson assessments are done completely online and some are offline and checked by parent and the score entered. Mastery of at least 80% is expected before moving on. You have complete control to move on and revisit later or go ahead and review and retake the assessment right then. You have control to change schedules, move more quickly or take more time on a lesson or unit. You have access to all the materials. Usually the Virtual Academies will expect the child to attend some live or recorded sessions via the computer (Blackboard sessions). These can be really helpful for the child, gets them exposed to their teacher(s) and other classmates and gives the parent a break from presenting the material. Also, the teachers offer direct 1 on 1 help if needed via Blackboard or the phone or even face 2 face depending on where the parent/teacher resides.

 

As the child moves to middle school they can do more on their own with help as needed from their teacher/s and parents. Again the involvement of the parent/s is very important and depends on the maturity and ability of the child. My oldest could do almost all on her own by the time she was 4th / 5th grade with me checking her work, discussing various aspects of her lessons and entering scores as I needed to. My 2nd was not as motivated or disciplined so I had to help, drive, drag him much more :) So through the 8th grade the parent is still very involved but I would say the most important job of the middle schooler's parent is to teach them to be more independent in their work, figure things out for themselves, learn to go directly to their teachers as needed, answer questions completely and complete work in a timely manner. Basically teaching them Life Skills.

 

Then as a high school student they can usually be much more independent. I only spend a few hours each week checking their grade book which is available all the time, reading over "k-mail" of contact the teacher makes with the student and student with teacher, making sure assignments are being done in a timely manner, encouraging and helping where needed. More of a coach directing the child in making bigger decisions like what classes to take, signing them up for SAT/ACT, helping them with deciding what college to go to, etc. The high school student has more options of Blackboard sessions to attend with their teachers. Some are required. Most are always recorded so they can have a flexible day. My daughter works about 8 hours a week and works her school around her work schedule. The high school student is required to spend at least an average of 1 hour per class per day. Some days this will be more and some days less. They also have deadlines for assignments and more of a strict schedule. This is very important in learning to work in constraints that will be placed on them when going to college.

 

Hope this helps.

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#3 of 5 Old 09-27-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks lalovelady, that's really helpful.  I still don't know if we'd be able to swing it; I'm unemployed right now but ideally I should be working full time.   Still hoping to hear from MAVA folks, esp. those who are also WOHM.

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#4 of 5 Old 09-27-2012, 08:19 PM
 
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You might post your questions on this FB page for MAVA

http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsVirtualAcademy?ref=ts

 

There are also other FB pages for learning coaches. You don't have to currently use the curriculum to get on and ask for advice.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/232020453490656/?ref=ts
 

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#5 of 5 Old 04-12-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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Coming in late here--just found this.  We did MAVA the first year and found them to be completely incompetent.  The K-12 program is great, but the administration of MAVA was terrible and chaotic.  They changed teachers for my daughter's grade (7th) three times in the first semester.  She was taking Chinese without anyone checking her work, as they never got a teacher for the class.  We never even got a set of grades or any teacher communication for the final half of the year.  My daughter took the MCAS in March and May of 2011 and we never received any results.  My advice would be to stay away unless they have drastically overhauled their program.

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