View Full Version : Virtual school - K12

02-16-2015, 02:27 PM
So NC finally approved K12 and Connections Academy for a 4 year trial. Until this year we did K12 Independent. That means we paid out the nose but had control, no teacher over us, not attached to a school.

Now, I've read some conflicting opinions about the K12 VA in other states. People either love it or hate it. A lot of homeschoolers don't approve and don't agree it's actually homeschooling, I'm not interested in that debate.

My interest is that it's free (I hope anyway). We struggle to make ends meet and this would relieve a huge amount of financial stress. I think we could all benefit from a little extra oversight.

The downside is that it's an overwhelming curriculum normally, I don't know how we would handle the pressure of having a teacher hanging over us.

Has anyone participated in the VA and what did you think of it? Particularly middle school level.

02-18-2015, 08:34 PM
We did second grade. I didn't like being made to finish certain lessons by a certain time. We left after we finished the year. Once you find out what your VA's requirements are, you'll have a better idea of what you can fudge and what you actually have to hand in. For example, when Quarter 1 samples were due, we were required to turn in only one Language Arts sample. So rather than do every single assignment, we clicked into the OLS daily to get the "requirement" out of the way, but we're selective about what our daughter actually completed. I think the curriculum is strong, it's just a lot to expect people to do 80 or 90 percent of it. Best of luck! You CAN make it work, it just might take a little while to adjust.

02-18-2015, 09:04 PM
We only did the VA K12 for Kindy. AFter that we purchased some subjects for independent work. The part that was the absolute worst was that you had to follow THEIR schedule. School started on 9/1 and there was a mandatory 9am online presentation you had to be logged into. You had to log in 5 hours of work, 180 days - and they had to be THEIR school days. If I did not log into K12 by 3pm on a school day, my phone was ringing. We could be on a field trip, and still get our time in that evening, but no matter to them. The flexibility to slow down and speed up is warped by the mandatory must be online with a teacher and other students appointments each week. I was very frustrated that we would have to sit and participate for an hour on something that DS had mastered 6 weeks prior. It was just a colossal waste of time.

After 4th/5th grade, we dropped K12 completely. It was just getting dull and dry and DS felt there was too much read info and just spit it back out. We were just using it as spine by that point anyway. He wanted more hands on projects, more ways to go deeper on things, and he likes when subjects sort of tie together, rather than be completely unlinked.

I agree that K12 has some good points. It taught my kid a ton about art history and how to read/write music. But I'd never go back to it. We switched to Oak Meadow as our spine. It's all laid out, if you want to follow that, and if you purchase it used, it's WAY more affordable. DS loves that he has creative options that are less busy work, and more, IDK, making him THINK, not just parrot the info back.

02-18-2015, 09:43 PM
K-12 gets mixed reviews because it varies wildly. From what I understand, it functions like an online charter school, and the teachers and school they are going through can be great or terrible. K-12 is just a curriculum approved for online PS, any crappy charter school can pick it up and offer it if they meet the requirements.

Here in Oregon, both of the schools that run k-12 apparently stink hugely. Since it is new to New York, none of us know how it's going to be. My suggestion is to keep doing what is working for you, wait until you can find out how well the school that your child would be joining is doing, and if it looks good, then go for it!

If you want to try it now, make sure you look up the school that will be running K-12 in your area, and research how well they have done in the past, and if they have any online teaching experience, or if this will be their first foray into that.
You don't get to chose. Just like with PS, you are assigned to a K-12 school based on your resident location.

Good luck!