Will be home schooling a 7 year old athlete. 2nd grade. I have looked at many home school sites and I really like Laurel Springs although, I would rather have an on-line curriculum. Any advice?
I like the flexibility that Laurel Springs offers. Sept-June...Mon-Fri does not really work for us.
Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Do you need your child to go to an online accredited school? If not, would you be comfortable going with something like Time4Learning? I ask because T4L is much cheaper than Laurel Springs and I think it is pretty effective if you are looking for an online curriculum. Of course, there is also the option of not enrolling in anything and just doing it on your own. This is quite feasable, especially for the k-3 grades.
Honestly, I am so new to this concept of home school that I wouldn't know the difference of an accredited school vs. anything else. Currently my son attends a private school with an advanced curriculum. I would like a home school that is flexible meaning we can do it in our own time. Maybe Sun-Thursday...sometime Tues-Fri. depending on our schedule.
I want a home school that will work with me every step of the way and keep us on track and prepare my kid for college.
Where should I be looking for information. I looked at the K12 schools in our area but they require Mon- Friday, Aug-June.
As you may have discovered, there are many ways to homeschool your children. Off the top of my head:
1. You could do k12 (through the public school system). Teachers will be helping you keep track and etc.
2. You could do a charter online school. Most have teacher involvement to guide you. I am thinking of here something like Calvert School or Connections Academy. Some probably have strict schedules but others don't. So you should find out what is available through your state. If you go through your state, you won't have to pay tuition. Otherwise, you can buy the program privately for your kid. Not cheap!
3. You could use a box curriculum which means you buy an entire curriculum for the year and you do it at your family's pace. So scheduling is not going to matter. With box curricula, you are on your own. No teacher overview (in general).
4. You could use online curricula such as time4learning, Little Lincoln, elearningk12, k5 learning, and more.
5. You could just not use any curriculum and pick and choose individual approaches to each subject as you go.
6. You could unschool which is where you let learning take its own course with each child ...
I remember how overwhelmed I was with all the choices when I began thinking about homeschooling but I quickly decided not to get bogged down in the details and just try out different approaches. That relieved my anxiety pretty quickly. In the end I wound up falling somewhere in between 5 and 6 but much closer to the unschooling side of things. My kids are both thriving and happy. I am becoming more and more confident as I see the rewards of this choice on the daily basis.
To make a decision, you will need to look at both your child's and your needs. If this is for the next school year, you have plenty of time to try out things. Keep an open mind about how learning takes place and you will discover the many awesome unexpected twists and turns. It is a pretty cool journey.
I hope someone else with more experience will jump into this discussion. Good luck.
P.S. Accreditation is not important in my view, especially for the elementary years. I only mentioned it because I think Laurel Springs bills itself as accredited. I wasn't sure if it was a deciding factor.
TRUSTING LAUREL SPRINGS WITH MY SON'S EDUCATION WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. My son needed one course to graduate and was referred by Beverly Hills High School to complete the class at Laurel Springs. My son worked day and night, and the entire family monitored him closely. He was on the last lesson before the final, his completion bar was at 84%, and we were all very excited about it. About a week before the deadline and as he was preparing to take the final, his LS counselor reached out to me for the first time ever to say he was only 13% complete. In shock, we rushed to the computer to find everything had changed. Instead of 8 lessons, there were 18, and nearly all the grades he received for his work which I had seen with my own eyes, were almost wiped clean except for two lessons. My son had no choice but to start again from the beginning after I begged the school district to extend the deadline to finish the course. Unbelievably, when he was almost finished, it happened again. He was on lesson 15, two lessons to go, then the final and 10 days before the new deadline. They said he was only 21% complete and hadn't logged on in several weeks, while I saw him working on their website everyday, often 14 hours a day. The school was very dismissive and refused to give a refund, even though my son will not receive his diploma because of their flawed system. The most laughable thing, even though I could cry, is that they claim that they were monitoring him very closely. The only time his counselor ever reached out to me is just days before his target deadline to say he was on the beginning lessons, WHICH HE WAS NOT. I wish I had never heard of Laurel Springs, and now, my son's life will be impacted by it forever in ways we'll never really know..
I have used Calvert school curriculum for the last 8 years and am very happy with them. They supply you with a guide of what do do each day with your student. So you don't have to prepare each day's work. They have been around for over 100 years and are used by our military all over the world. Even President Obama studied with Calvert.
They have 2 choices of math curriculum. I prefer the Math in Focus. It is based on Singapore math. They provide both books and online games and activities for your child and they have even paired up with Brain Pop and Discovery Education Streaming online to enhance learning. Check them out:
I also was not too pleased with Laurel Spring, which I used for my daughter when she was in 5th grade. It was quite expensive, and I felt I had to rush through the curriculum in order to finish before their self-imposed deadline (if you don't finish on time, you have to pay extra just to continue using their curriculum). I also didn't like how it wound up like I was "teaching by the test" (they have students take exams pretty frequently and also answer a variety of questions after reading each lesson). Because of having to finish before the deadline, I couldn't stop to explain certain concepts better to my daughter when she was having trouble understanding them.
The only nice things about their program were that they have several online clubs that students can join in order to interact with each other, and lessons that you can watch as slideshow presentations. Otherwise I don't feel it was worth the cost.