Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Earth, I think, kids say Cybertron
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homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
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.
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 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.
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!
|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)?|
|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.|
|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?|