Is there room for flexibility with CAVA? Flexible online virtual schools? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-26-2008, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After 3 years of HS'ing I put dd (8) in PS this year and she loves it, unfortunately due to health reasons I may have to pull her out. We HATED hs'ing, dd will take a 15 min lesson and make it take 4 hours. We tried CAVA (K12) and while I loved the materials I felt they expected to much in work volume and I HATED there language arts, music and arts program. Loved math, science & history. Having the extra computer was also very nice. "I" need a guided program like what CAVA offered. It was very easy as far as "this what what were covering today and links to print out materials and supplies needed" it did seem to take a good deal of prep time though. Anyway, we spent an average of 8-12 HOURS a day trying to get school work done with CAVA there is so much busy work and I still had to find a lot of outside materials/videos to help her understand the materials which made it take even longer. I am a classical homeschooler at heart and dd is an unschooler at heart. What in the world are we to do if we have to go back to HS'ing? I will try pushing home hospital with the school so they have a teacher come to the house but they wanted to talk independent study though the school which I'm not willing to do. I'm not going to home school using district materials I don't care for. For me dd going to school means she's finally learning to read and write becasue heavens knows I've failed after several years of trying and with her going to school there's far less tension in the house and I'm getting A's and B's (vs D's and F's I get when she's home)in school now since I have study time so I'd like public school to work for us but I'd like to have a plan in place in case it doesn't.

ps: we are very low income so just paying for the courses we like though k12 is not an option. It needs to be VERY CHEAP or FREE.

Seriously?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:48 PM
 
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does CAVA stand for california virtual academy? if yes, then i know california has a ton of virtual schools & there are many that are insanely flexible. they give you money to purchase whatever curriculum you want & even the record keeping and accountability are very easy (so i read). i live in SC, so i don't know names or anything...but i've seen talk of it here many times about california virtual schools. we have k12 and connections academy here only...so i'm not much help in the info dept. good luck to you. i hope you find what you're looking for!!

ps - what county or city are you in or near. a ton of info came up when i googled it, but it's different across the state.

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Old 10-26-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Where in CA are you? I'm in the San Diego area and while we're doing CAVA, there are other homeschool charter choices - ones that allow you to pick your own curriculum and pay for extra curriculars - and some that will purchase some of the k12 choices for you (I'm with you - I love their history and science, but LA and art are only so-so, and music is awful - although CAVA now lets you do foreign language to replace music). Anyhow, I even know some unschoolers who sign up with them and let the kids help choose the curriculum and let them use it as they please - some of the charters are more open to being unschooly than others, which might manage to satisfy both you and your daughter.

As for busy work with CAVA, I skip all that unless my kids want to do it. If they learn the lesson objectives, I call it good. If they already know the lesson material and don't feel like doing the lesson, we skip it.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
does CAVA stand for california virtual academy? if yes, then i know california has a ton of virtual schools & there are many that are insanely flexible. they give you money to purchase whatever curriculum you want & even the record keeping and accountability are very easy (so i read). i live in SC, so i don't know names or anything...but i've seen talk of it here many times about california virtual schools. we have k12 and connections academy here only...so i'm not much help in the info dept. good luck to you. i hope you find what you're looking for!!

ps - what county or city are you in or near. a ton of info came up when i googled it, but it's different across the state.
Yep, California virtual academy. The only ones I'm aware of are CAVA and connections. I'm near Bakersfield.


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Where in CA are you? I'm in the San Diego area and while we're doing CAVA, there are other homeschool charter choices - ones that allow you to pick your own curriculum and pay for extra curriculars - and some that will purchase some of the k12 choices for you (I'm with you - I love their history and science, but LA and art are only so-so, and music is awful - although CAVA now lets you do foreign language to replace music). Anyhow, I even know some unschoolers who sign up with them and let the kids help choose the curriculum and let them use it as they please - some of the charters are more open to being unschooly than others, which might manage to satisfy both you and your daughter.

As for busy work with CAVA, I skip all that unless my kids want to do it. If they learn the lesson objectives, I call it good. If they already know the lesson material and don't feel like doing the lesson, we skip it.
I tried going that route but the teacher they assigned us literally wanted busy work from every single day showing busy work from every subject. They wanted proof we were doing school work 4-6 hours a day, we had the same problem with the local charter. Busy work is not how we learn and I just refuse to deal with it anymore unless she wants to do it becasue its not worth the headache. There's many other ways to make sure they know the material but so far they haven't accepted that. How have the unschoolers been able to get away with not showing all the busy work?

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Old 10-26-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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I think they just have to show one thing from each subject for each meeting (I think they meet once a month or every 6 weeks) - so it's usually pretty easy to meet that from just things the kids are doing on their own.

Ugh, if I had a Cava teacher who wanted to see that much, I'd ask for a new teacher. They're only required to store one work sample per subject per meeting in a portfolio, and it isn't necessarily supposed to be their best work - just something to satisfy their charter. I did a search for charters in your area, and only came up with Valley Oaks Charter, which might have been the one you tried - they seem very structured, though, and not at all like the ones I'm talking about.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think they just have to show one thing from each subject for each meeting (I think they meet once a month or every 6 weeks) - so it's usually pretty easy to meet that from just things the kids are doing on their own.

Ugh, if I had a Cava teacher who wanted to see that much, I'd ask for a new teacher. They're only required to store one work sample per subject per meeting in a portfolio, and it isn't necessarily supposed to be their best work - just something to satisfy their charter. I did a search for charters in your area, and only came up with Valley Oaks Charter, which might have been the one you tried - they seem very structured, though, and not at all like the ones I'm talking about.

I was told the same thing, 1 sample per subject per month which was more then acceptable which is why I signed up but the teacher demanded to see ALL WORK done and then got ticked when I didn't produce the amount she wanted. She also insisted we LIE on things like attendance and time spent on subjects. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

Yes, Valley Oaks was the charter we tried and they are very structured and also demanded a ton of busy work.

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Old 10-29-2008, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your help. Today I discovered dd has missed quite a bit of school, 49 days in and she's missed 14 days and 12 tardies (she missed 1/2 day when tardy) and Mr Truancy officer is likely to come knocking on my door soon. I spent a lot of time on the phone with both CAVA and K12 today and learned a lot and they even had me talk to the 504 lady and she was awesome! So it looks like were going to give CAVA another try!

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Old 10-29-2008, 03:39 AM
 
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Good luck! I hope it works out for you guys. I think if you get another teacher like the last one, you should go over her head and ftake care of business
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck! I hope it works out for you guys. I think if you get another teacher like the last one, you should go over her head and ftake care of business
lol, they all agreed the teacher we had was a bit over the line in her requests and said I can request a different teacher should that happen again but to talk to the placement teacher and see if we can be matched with someone were more likely to get along with.

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Old 11-14-2008, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We started on Monday and so far so good! See posts 1 & 3 I finally got to talk to her new teacher today and I think we can live with her Were also going to request an IEP meeting and testing for learning disabilities as well. Here's to hoping things work out with CAVA

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Old 11-15-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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if you signed up with CAVA I might be a bit late in answering your question about other charters. If you are in Kern county, or L.A. county, then I would say your very lucky to be in a county that is serviced by Golden Valley charter school. I wish I was. (I'm one county north of you in Tulare County so we can't go there) I don't quite remember the website but if you google Golden Valley charter school it should come up. They give you a budget of over $1000 per child per year or per semester for you to pick the curriculum you choose! And up to half can be used on extra curricular activities. I would love to be in that school. I just took 2 of my school aged kids out of CAVA because I couldn't take their ever getting stricter rules. Because I fought them so much about all the rules they are now emposing, I was to the point where I had to sign a contract with them stating that I would keep every piece of school work to turn in to a teacher that will have WEEKLY meetings to pick up work, see how the kids are doing etc. That is the point they will get to if you don't go with their flow. I'm pretty sure it depends on how nosy a teacher you get. I'm hoping I will be moving back to L.A. soon so I can get the kids in Golden Valley. Hopefully they don't have a waiting list like they usually have. They do require monthy meetings instead of 4 times a year like with CAVA but in my opinion it's worth it if I can pick a curriculum I like instead of being forced to use something I dont' like. I too, like you, hated their L.A. past the phonics lessons! And music, and art too!
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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if you signed up with CAVA I might be a bit late in answering your question about other charters. If you are in Kern county, or L.A. county, then I would say your very lucky to be in a county that is serviced by Golden Valley charter school. I wish I was. (I'm one county north of you in Tulare County so we can't go there) I don't quite remember the website but if you google Golden Valley charter school it should come up. They give you a budget of over $1000 per child per year or per semester for you to pick the curriculum you choose! And up to half can be used on extra curricular activities. I would love to be in that school. I just took 2 of my school aged kids out of CAVA because I couldn't take their ever getting stricter rules. Because I fought them so much about all the rules they are now emposing, I was to the point where I had to sign a contract with them stating that I would keep every piece of school work to turn in to a teacher that will have WEEKLY meetings to pick up work, see how the kids are doing etc. That is the point they will get to if you don't go with their flow. I'm pretty sure it depends on how nosy a teacher you get. I'm hoping I will be moving back to L.A. soon so I can get the kids in Golden Valley. Hopefully they don't have a waiting list like they usually have. They do require monthy meetings instead of 4 times a year like with CAVA but in my opinion it's worth it if I can pick a curriculum I like instead of being forced to use something I dont' like. I too, like you, hated their L.A. past the phonics lessons! And music, and art too!
Were you having trouble turning in work or keeping up with the material? I actually addressed this specific point with the new teacher in detail becasue it was a major concern for me becasue of the trouble we had last time. She assured me it was 1 work sample in each area as long as it contained:


· Student First and Last Name

· Date Sample Completed

· Unit # and Lesson #

· Graded by teaching adult

If there asking for more then that then she is over stepping her bounds. You are not required to do all the busy work no matter what they might tell you. Yes you will have to do 1 sheet in each subject to submit to the state (you choose the sheets not the teacher and are only required to bring the sample and not everything you did) but the rest is up to you. We do the worksheets orally then I have her complete about 1 a day, usually a drawing or something. You can totally ask for a new teacher if its a bad fit but I didn't know that last time we tried and got the teacher from hell.

I just looked it up, you poor thing! Your teachers first name doesn't start with a J does it? We were with CAVA@Kings (we lived in Fresno) when we got the teacher from hell. She totally overstepped her bounds. Feel free to PM me her name, I wonder if its the same woman.

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Old 02-05-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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Satori, I hope you don't mind a few questions. I've been researching charter schools and joined this site because you seem to be in my area and in a similar situation.

Did you end up with CAVA or Valley Oaks Charter? Have you heard anything about the one you didn't go with?

How is the work load (my son is in 3rd grade, I'm guessing your child might be as well)?

Is your child still enjoying it?

Is there anything you think I should know about when dealing with the teacher(s)?

If there's anything else you think I should know I'd love to hear about it.

I appreciate any response, no matter how brief. Thank you for your time.

My situation: We tried CAVA when my son was in kindergarten and there was so much work (5+ hours), I only had time to teach him after work (his father watched him during the day but didn't want to be a "task master") and it was overwhelming for both of me and my son.

I'm not against homeschooling but I worry it'll all on my shoulders again.

He's always had a lot of absences, partly from anxiousness (coming back after a long holiday is the worst) but mostly due to both of us getting sick a lot during the winter and it's really hard to make him go when he's feeling bad. Today his teacher told us his case is going up for review with the school board/district. He gets straight A's despite his absences and there was only one time he didn't complete his make up work due to him being at his dad's most of the week because I was working on a huge deadline and he forgot he had to do it. That one time made the teacher think something is wrong at home. I was shocked to hear that, don't his grades count for anything?

I have been thinking about the positives of charter schooling, too. I have odd days off and I'd be able to take him on fun field trips during the week a few times a month. He could hopefully focus on and excel in the subject(s) that interest him the most. Hopefully I'll come up with more.

(Sorry for being long winded but I've been holding this in all day.)

Again, thank you for your time.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Did you end up with CAVA or Valley Oaks Charter? Have you heard anything about the one you didn't go with?
We tried Valley Oaks about a year ago, hated it. They wanted 5 hours min of busy work a day and I had to show all the work as proof. Wasn't worth the hassle and we left.

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How is the work load (my son is in 3rd grade, I'm guessing your child might be as well)?
She's 2nd grade and doing some 3rd grade work. Truth be told were done in about an hour with the assigned CAVA stuff. You really have to pick and choose, there's room for a lot of flexibility if you make it. If your trying to do everything assigned as assigned then your always going to be feeling like your never done. I can cover the same material in a way my daughter learns in minutes that they take an hour to teach. I basically follow the program with heavy outside supplementing. Like for math dd is learning multiplication (3rd grade) and rather then trudge through there work that's confusing she's been playing Timez Attack and learning at a much faster rate.

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Is your child still enjoying it?
She enjoys it for the most part, its just a matter of getting her butt in the chair to do the work.


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Is there anything you think I should know about when dealing with the teacher(s)?
If you get a bad fit for a teacher you can ask for another one, don't be afraid to ask for one. We had a really bad experience the first time around becasue of a bad teacher but this time its been pretty easy.

Quote:
My situation: We tried CAVA when my son was in kindergarten and there was so much work (5+ hours), I only had time to teach him after work (his father watched him during the day but didn't want to be a "task master") and it was overwhelming for both of me and my son.
There is no way I would enroll a child in CAVA before 2nd grade (assuming there reading at grade level or higher) there is just to much stuff its insane. Its HARDER imo at 1st grade then 2nd-3rd grade. Kindy looked a bit crazy too work wise.


Quote:
He's always had a lot of absences, partly from anxiousness (coming back after a long holiday is the worst) but mostly due to both of us getting sick a lot during the winter and it's really hard to make him go when he's feeling bad. Today his teacher told us his case is going up for review with the school board/district. He gets straight A's despite his absences and there was only one time he didn't complete his make up work due to him being at his dad's most of the week because I was working on a huge deadline and he forgot he had to do it. That one time made the teacher think something is wrong at home. I was shocked to hear that, don't his grades count for anything?
I'd pull him, NOW. If there pulling him for review you can bet there considering truancy charges. Which school dist are you in? Some are worse then others. My dd missed a lot of school due to illness and Dr appts and they tried that crap with me and I happily informed them she would be leaving in 2 weeks anyway so they dropped it. Hasn't been a problem with CAVA because even if she's sick she's rarely so sick she can't do some kind of learning that counts. Even just reading a book for pleasure can count towards language arts. oh yes, no his grades don't count for anything becasue they don't get paid for him the days he missed and THAT'S what they get ticked about.

Seriously?
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