what do you think of k12.com? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Learning at Home and Beyond > what do you think of k12.com?
catballou24's Avatar catballou24 11:57 AM 07-30-2007
actually..the OP is my sis and i had mentioned the k12 curriculum to her. so i'm very happy to see all the responses! i'm still on the fence and continuing to explore all our options. i have a unique situation in that i'm not only homeschooling my dd, but also 2 of her friends. they are all the same age, 4 and 5, however my dd is pretty far ahead. according the k12 math placement test, she's well into first grade and almost ready for second. they are all in the same category with LA, however dd will be out of there really soon. they recommended the K curriculum for all the kids when i tested them last week. i would really like an unstructured setting however as i also have my other dd who is 22 months and the other kids little brother, who is 2, all day. so actually sitting down and working is almost impossible with the big girls without babies trying to interrupt..LOL plus, i think for my dd, a more unstructured learning style is much better for her....but i'm still on the fence and need to figure something out fast! LOL

i can't afford the k12 curriculum right now, but i'll check out CK and Oakmeadow as well.

i'm really enjoying this thread and looking forward to becoming more involved with this part of the MDC community. thanks for your suggestions and help!!

meowmix's Avatar meowmix 01:06 PM 07-30-2007
There seems to be lots of good things about CK and if it came down to it and I couldn't afford K12 for some reason, I am almost positive I would use that. There is a link on this thread with some CK lessons plans and they all look really good! But I have never used it so can't say first hand how good it is.

I will probably post again to this thread when I actually get my materials. I am not scheduled to start K12 until Aug 15th so I won't have access to any of the lesson plans, etc until then. So I know once I get all the stuff, I will be able to talk more about it.
catballou24's Avatar catballou24 01:10 PM 07-30-2007
anyone heard of Progressive Network Academy? i found it on one of my waldorf homeschool group links. i'm looking it over now, but if anyone has any opinions..
waiting4it2snow's Avatar waiting4it2snow 03:45 PM 07-30-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by catballou24 View Post
anyone heard of Progressive Network Academy? i found it on one of my waldorf homeschool group links. i'm looking it over now, but if anyone has any opinions..
It looks really awesome, definitely the philosophy we follow and the reason why we decided to homeschool... I just can't figure out what you actually get once you enroll. Perhaps it's for states that make homeschooling a little more difficult unless you are in an umbrella school? Do they actually provide you with curriculum? I couldn't find any.
LilyGrace's Avatar LilyGrace 04:36 PM 07-30-2007
I think one thing we often forget to look for in educational materials is who is behind it. I would not trust K12 for this reason. To put my child's education in the hands of a man* who has an admitted gambling problem is asking for trouble. A major concern would be sale of product over quality - a person who is hard up for cash will often do what it takes to make as much money as possible with as little work as possible. I'd be afraid of the company's committment to a quality product. Second concern would be bankrupcy and leaving us stranded in the middle of the year.

Sorry, I'm not a fan of this company at all. There's too much behind the scenes to make it risky.


William Bennett and K12
grahamsmom98's Avatar grahamsmom98 09:43 PM 07-30-2007
We bought the k12 curriculum (grade 1) and used it for part of a year.

Ds hated it (and I wasn't too thrilled with it either). We found it extremely tedious and slow. The on-line courses took forever and there were many technical glitches (we were unable to do print-outs). There on-line tech support was of NO help at all. We had three computer-saavy techno-geeks (their term for themselves!) come over and they assured us it was the k12 problem, not our computer (we actually bought a new hard drive just to make sure).

The music curriculum totally sucked. Talk about dumbing down to children. The video "teachers" were incredibly slow-speaking and lacked any spark (BORING). The accompanying CD was just as bad, the singer completely monotone. One of the top piano teachers in the NW is a neighbor and she said if ever a music program was designed to make children hate learning about music, THIS one was it!

We paid several hundred dollars for it and sold it at our local consignment store for $30.

I don't believe William Bennet is directly involved with k12 anymore (after he made some rather racist remarks awhile back).
meowmix's Avatar meowmix 10:27 PM 07-30-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post
We bought the k12 curriculum (grade 1) and used it for part of a year.

Ds hated it (and I wasn't too thrilled with it either). We found it extremely tedious and slow. The on-line courses took forever and there were many technical glitches (we were unable to do print-outs). There on-line tech support was of NO help at all. We had three computer-saavy techno-geeks (their term for themselves!) come over and they assured us it was the k12 problem, not our computer (we actually bought a new hard drive just to make sure).

The music curriculum totally sucked. Talk about dumbing down to children. The video "teachers" were incredibly slow-speaking and lacked any spark (BORING). The accompanying CD was just as bad, the singer completely monotone. One of the top piano teachers in the NW is a neighbor and she said if ever a music program was designed to make children hate learning about music, THIS one was it!

We paid several hundred dollars for it and sold it at our local consignment store for $30.

I don't believe William Bennet is directly involved with k12 anymore (after he made some rather racist remarks awhile back).
May I ask when you used it and what you use now? I am only using the Language arts, history and science. I heard negative things about the music program and the art one looked so dry. I have Miquon math already and so found no need to purchase math through K12.

Now, I have read that you can skip over lessons and there are many supplements that are optional. So it didn't seem to me that it moved slowly unless you did all the optional stuff. But, I haven't used it myself so I wouldn't know firsthand.
clane's Avatar clane 03:01 AM 07-31-2007
We rcvd our printed materials today and I am really excited about what the program offers. (Although I am totally clueless in regards to music, so I can not offer an opinion there.) The art, history and science look like they will be fun to teach and do the assignments given. I am going to review lang. arts, literature and math tomorrow.

The only item ds is not thrilled about is cursive, but it is HWT and it was already on the agenda for him--I bought it at a conference in May.
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 03:20 AM 07-31-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by grahamsmom98 View Post
We bought the k12 curriculum (grade 1) and used it for part of a year.

Ds hated it (and I wasn't too thrilled with it either). We found it extremely tedious and slow. The on-line courses took forever and there were many technical glitches (we were unable to do print-outs). There on-line tech support was of NO help at all. We had three computer-saavy techno-geeks (their term for themselves!) come over and they assured us it was the k12 problem, not our computer (we actually bought a new hard drive just to make sure).

You aren't supposed to do every step of every lesson unless your child is having a hard time getting the concept. There are many mini-lessons within each lesson so you can pick and choose which are right for your child and which will help you meet the adjective of the lesson. Once we figured that out my kids started flying through it. In the lower grades the core subjects were done by noon each day. I always made Art part of the history lesson because Art is more of an Art History curriculum and follows the same timeline as the history.....and Dani loved trying to immitate the techniques of the masters.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 02:14 PM 07-31-2007
i think k12 is like any curriculum probably, hit or miss...dependiing on the student and what you're looking for. i've never used k12, but there are lots of reviews at www.homeschoolreviews.com that should be really helpful in looking at the pros and cons. i love core knowledge though, which is the sequence k12 uses. i'm so happy with CK, and they are SO supportive....and i use all of the free stuff! sorry to hear that k12 was a bust for some of you. i felt that way about abeka....i was so excited to get it....but felt so let down when i did.
pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 08:46 AM 08-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
Once we figured that out my kids started flying through it. In the lower grades the core subjects were done by noon each day.
How long is is supposed to take? I assumed a younger child could complete core in 2 hours???

Another question. If you are in a Virtual Academy, can you skip completely the art / music curriculum if you are enrolled in art / music classes?
imahappymama's Avatar imahappymama 11:42 AM 08-26-2007
We had a hard time with K12. It felt like we were always under the gun, so to speak. It is understood that you, as a student/teacher combo, are still being held accountable by a ps, because you have a 'teacher' with whom you must regularly discuss progress, using their scale, not mine. However, having said that, I loved the subject matter! It was very well organized and of high quality. We were just much happier unschooling, because pressure and the sense of rushing were precisely why we pulled DS from ps.
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 12:33 PM 08-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
How long is is supposed to take? I assumed a younger child could complete core in 2 hours???

Another question. If you are in a Virtual Academy, can you skip completely the art / music curriculum if you are enrolled in art / music classes?
Art and Music are not required for grade advancement

A kindergartener can easily get done in 2 hours without music and art....but that's once you're used to the curriculum and have a rythm going. First grade is tougher, now my 2nd grader schools from about 8am to 12pm each day. This is with 15min breaks inbetween every subject.
sha_lyn's Avatar sha_lyn 06:45 PM 08-26-2007
according to those on the GA virtual school yahoo group... the k-12 reps are saying that the lessons should take 6 hrs a day.


[QUOTE]Another question. If you are in a Virtual Academy, can you skip completely the art / music curriculum if you are enrolled in art / music classes?[QUOTE]
from what I have read on the yahoo group... art and music are not included with the GA virtual school. That is actually a huge complaint on the yahoo group since the art/music courses are suppose to incorporate the history lessons
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 06:48 PM 08-26-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by sha_lyn View Post
according to those on the GA virtual school yahoo group... the k-12 reps are saying that the lessons should take 6 hrs a day.


should, but don't......and really....do you want them to fix it? They are saying that because some states require 6 hours a day of school work. Most kids complete it much faster, but you still give them 6 hours a day credit. Like if it says that a math lesson should take 60min and my kid does it in 30, I'm still giving him 60min credit for it. It's not his fault he's quick KWIM.
meowmix's Avatar meowmix 09:55 PM 08-26-2007
We aren't in virtual academy so I can't help you there, but it takes us the longest during the day to finish the K12 phonics/handwriting. I am homeschooling two children at K level, though, so I am sure that's what makes it take longer. Plus, my children ADORE the colouring worksheets so we end up taking lots of extra time to colour in the pictures on the Beginning sound sheets. We just started last week and I am finding it is taking us about an hour to get through phonics/handwriting (45 minutes phonics, about 15 minutes handwriting). Some of the language arts is really elementary so we skip it (even my two year old knows her colours!) and last week the lesson plans dragged out the reading of Cinderella for three days. That was waaaaaay too long! We read the Frog Prince over a week this week- but I think we will end up moving ahead. They have lots of busy work and I am finding they want me to ask lots of questions about a story that seem really artificial. So I skip those questions and we have a more relaxed conversation about the story. History takes very little time so far. Science took a little longer, but only because we need to get into a groove.

I am really liking k12 right now. I don't think we'll use it forever because I can see we'll end up outgrowing it. But I am loving the already laid out lesson plans, we look forward to sitting at the table and working and it's just fun! We don't use Art or Music. I had heard reviews that they were really dry. I can read music and play piano so I have music covered and right now art is simply glue and colouring.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 02:10 PM 08-27-2007
BeanBean is doing K12 through a virtual academy this year. At this point, he's about half-way through the kindergarten curriculum (on average). If he continues at this pace (and the only course he's likely to slow down in is math... but since he's already taking first grade math, it's not a big deal) he'll have completed the entire kindergarten curriculum by Thanksgiving, some of it well before then. He'll finish the history program next week.

I don't see it as being "slow" at all-- it was made very clear to us that there is absolutely NO reason to do all of the work or to spend more time than a child needs to learn on any given lesson. If your child already mastered concept X, give them the assessment and move on. If you're not sure, give them the assessment and move on if they've mastered it, go back and work on the necessary lessons if they haven't. They allot a certain amount of time for everything, but they emphasize strongly that it's not necessary for every child. How much time is required to learn a math lesson? Child A might need 60 minutes of instruction, Child B might need half an hour of instruction and half an hour of running in circles or standing on her head, and Child C might need no instruction at all because they already understand it. For children A and B, it's entirely reasonable to say that they spent an hour on math. It's probably not in Child C's best interest to say the same, but to allow her to move on to the next lesson or unit assessment.

Some kids will need/want more/longer breaks than others; that's to be expected, and it's perfectly reasonable. My son spends 6 hours a day on schoolwork, but it's certainly not because the school says we have to or because he "needs" it for some reason; it's entirely his choice, and quite frankly my limit that sets our lesson time for the day. The way that you decide to use K12 in your own home is your business. You know your child, you're the one who has to live with him. Does he need an hour of math instruction? Will he benefit from it in any way? Does he want to spend an hour working on a lesson (or the lesson he started yesterday)? Do you? If you find yourself constantly in a battle with your child over doing lessons, it's time, in my opinion, to reevaluate something. If your child is frustrated and feels that you're moving too quickly or too slowly, then change the pace; you're at home, you have that freedom.

It's all about providing a well rounded education to every child, no matter their pace or ability level. Yes, it's a very rigorous course of study and yes, it can be highly structured... but it can also be easily adapted to fit your lifestyle and your child's needs, even within the confines of a virtual academy in my (admittedly brief) experience.

My thoughts on kindergarten specificly: We don't have the kindergarten math program, so I don't know about that. The first grade math program contains a great deal of repetition and ideas are presented very, very slowly over the course of a week. My son has been taking unit assessments and has not hit the point yet where we have to go back and do a lesson; he does anywhere from two to six assessments at a time. I think it'll happen later this week or next week, so when we slow down a bit I'll take a look at things. Right now for BeanBean, math time is primarily a chance to practice handwriting.

The language arts program is fun; both of my older children enjoy reading and discussing the stories presented. That said, we only read the stories once and discuss them, usually that same day but I have made a point to ask them a few questions about each story later in the week/the following week, just to make sure that they're actually "getting something" (especially if they don't ask questions of their own... but usually they do ). We don't do the warm-ups, aside from reading poems (which again, the children enjoy). Why in the world would I spend any time on part of a lesson called "Yellow is yellow?" Both kids know what yellow is, BeanBean can read the word.. so there's no point in doing that part of the lesson. We've skipped all of those. The vocabulary words I only stop to define if the kids ask; more often than not, they are able to define them by context. I have noticed a change in BeanBean's speaking vocabulary since I began reading these stories to him, so I figure the objective is being met, you know?

Phonics K has been entirely review thus far; we're still doing only assessments. This afternoon, BeanBean will finish the first semester; his sister is working her way through at a more leisurely pace whenever I have the chance. It's very comprehensive; my only problem with it is that at this point, it has been exclusively phonetic instruction. I suppose that the language exposure comes from the language arts portion.. but I'm not entirely sure. I'm a fan of explicit phonics, but for some kids (i.e. whole word readers like BeanBean it seems to make some aspects of reading unecessarily complicated.

Science K is very simple, and lots of fun; We tend to do one unit at a time, though. The five senses, for example, was spread over several lessons but we did them all at once, in about 45 minutes and saved the experiments for later. He has yet to encounter a new concept in science, either, but he and his sister both enjoy hearing stories, and what kid doesn't like experiments?

The history program is probably very rigorous for the average kindergartener, but for my son it's just been silly. Geography has been a passion of his for some time now, and history as well. I did a lot of supplementing, added a great deal of depth, and he's still going to finish that program late this week/early next. I have to say, though, that the Eurocentric focus of the history, while expected, is difficult for me... That was going to be a problem with any curriculum, but this way I have the opportunity to introduce other ideas to my son. Because he works so quickly through these lessons, I can take the "extra" time and discuss my perspective with him.

Art isn't so bad; the focusing on concepts which are readily accessible to most kindergarteners (i.e. "pictures are made of lines and shapes") doesn't seem, to me, to be a bad thing. The kids are given paint, clay, and oil pastels to work with, and encouraged to do so-- I don't think that's a bad thing, either (just messy).

I don't have a major problem with the music program, either. Again, there's a great deal of repetition when it comes to musical concepts, but there's no reason that everyone has to do everything over and over. If your child understands high/low, he doesn't need to repeat every high/low lesson-- look at the objectives for mastery and if your child already meets them, mark them as correct and the lesson as complete. You're not supposed to do everything in any subject; they provide opportunities for children to learn in a variety of ways, but most children won't need to be presented with three different ways of learning the concept of rhythm before they finally get it.

Thus far, our experience has been fantastic. Everyone at the virtual school has been helpful and supportive, everyone from K12 has been likewise. My son couldn't be happier, he finally has the structure he's been craving. While I find myself occasionally exhausted by his incessant desire for schoolwork, I'm glad that I don't have to go it alone. I can't imagine a program that would be a better fit for my son from any school option that I could afford. For our family, this seems to be the ideal solution at this point.
sha_lyn's Avatar sha_lyn 02:19 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
I don't see it as being "slow" at all-- it was made very clear to us that there is absolutely NO reason to do all of the work or to spend more time than a child needs to learn on any given lesson
I believe that all depends on the public charter-school program.
From the chatter on the yahoo group, it sounds as if in the GA program they are expected to complete all assignments. The GA program seems to be a bit different than others in that it is being ran by a "brick and mortar" charter school that has been using k-12 for awhile. Once the GA law allowed for virtual charter schools, this school applied to offer k-12 as a virtual program.
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 02:59 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by sha_lyn View Post
I believe that all depends on the public charter-school program.
From the chatter on the yahoo group, it sounds as if in the GA program they are expected to complete all assignments. The GA program seems to be a bit different than others in that it is being ran by a "brick and mortar" charter school that has been using k-12 for awhile. Once the GA law allowed for virtual charter schools, this school applied to offer k-12 as a virtual program.
Unless you have to turn in every part of every assignment ther is no way for them to know
Dar's Avatar Dar 04:48 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post

Sorry, I'm not a fan of this company at all. There's too much behind the scenes to make it risky.


William Bennett and K12
I should add that the 9th grade English reader included a section titled "The Bible as Literature," which was 6 or 7 selections from the bible that the students were required to read.

We were not at all happy with 9th grade English. OTOH, it may have been a particularly bad choice for Rain because that is her strongest area...

dar
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 05:49 PM 08-27-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I should add that the 9th grade English reader included a section titled "The Bible as Literature," which was 6 or 7 selections from the bible that the students were required to read.

We were not at all happy with 9th grade English. OTOH, it may have been a particularly bad choice for Rain because that is her strongest area...

dar
That was in my 9th grade curriculum when I was a kid. The Bible IS great literature....I'm pagan, not Christian BTW.....and I don't consider the Bible to be inspired by god or anything, but is good historical literature I remember lots of great discussion about it in highschool.
elizawill's Avatar elizawill 06:08 PM 08-27-2007
when i was in high school and especially in college, i had to read TONS of things i despised. that's part of school i guess.
Dar's Avatar Dar 06:35 PM 08-27-2007
I think it was the juxtaposition of William Bennett being behind k12 and the bible being required reading that set off a red flag for me. I went to Catholic school for 9th grade, so I was reading the bible in other classes, but in English class I remember reading Dune, which is an awesome book...

I don't personally consider the bible to be great literature, fwiw. Historically important, yes, but not great literature.

dar
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 10:59 PM 08-27-2007
I have to agree; I think that anyone who wants to consider themselves educated probably ought to read the bible, but I can't say that it's great literature. There's as much time spent on names and geneologies as Robert Jordan spends talking about gowns.

That said... it hasn't come up yet for us.
Burnsy 05:57 PM 08-24-2014
I enrolled one of my daughters in K12 last year. I knew going into the program that it would require my time and attention to teach my daughter properly and make sure I give her the best education I possibly can. The K12 curriculum is rich and rigorous. Twenty percent of the work is done online and eighty percent offline. The student chooses 2 out of 3 electives, which are art, music, and/or a foreign language. About three days out of the week, the students connect online with the assigned teacher through a program called Blackboard. It is an interactive program, allowing students to write, share, and encourage their classmates.

Students are given field-trip opportunities throughout the year. These are not required, but is another way for students to interact with their 'classmates.'

Attendance is required and must be tracked. This is necessary with the public K12 choice. A daily schedule it provided, tracking progress and allowing for mastery and advancement through each subject. The subjects also have optional assignments that provide more challenges and insight. If a child is struggling with reading, they provide a reading program that is done along with the rest of the daily curriculum.

With dedication on the behalf of both the parent and student, children can excel in this great program without all the distractions of a brick & mortar classroom. This program is not for everyone, but our experience has been very positive, leading to our decision to pull our other daughter out of brick & mortar and enrolling her in K12.

My daughters are also involved in sports, flute, piano, church groups and friends.

I hope this helpful. Every program has its pros and cons. For us, K12 has more pros, evident in the academic growth of our children.
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