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  1. #11

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    So, now my daughter is in the midst of doing one course with International Connections Academy, and one course with Keystone. I thought I'd give an update on how it's going so far.

    My biggest issue with ICA is that they seem somewhat disorganized on the administration level. They assign you a representative that answers all your questions. My assigned rep. was nice and got back to me promptly, but she didn't seem to know exactly how the course would be set up. It's a foreign language class, and I assumed there would be a virtual classroom with a teacher, and that my daughter would need to be logged in at a certain time during certain weekdays. The rep. didn't know when those times would be. I don't think the administration told her anything. It was the Friday before Labor Day and I still didn't know the schedule. Luckily, the teacher personally called me and explained. There would be no "Live Lessons" at the middle or elementary school levels for this particular class, so my daughter could log in and do the lessons at her convenience. Once in a while there would be optional Live lessons. There are also "Time To Talk" sessions in some lessons. These can basically be done during the "workday", and a few other times. You log in, and are put in a queue to speak with a native speaker for ten or fifteen minutes.
    The teacher was very nice and my daughter is enjoying the class. One thing that seems weird is that even though I can see my daughter's percentage grade, it looks like they grade "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" because it's an elective. Which is too bad because my daughter has a 92% and I would rather see an "A" than "satisfactory."

    Keystone seems more organized in their administration. I was also assigned an admissions conselor here. She was also very nice. She was able to answer all of my questions; I had the feeling the administration communicates with their employees better at Keystone. My daughter is taking 8th grade math. There are no Live Lessons at all, but you can email the teacher for help. My daughter hasn't done that as of yet. We are kind of confused about how to divide up the work. My daughter said there are 18 lessons for the semester. She had been trying to do each lesson in it's entirety and I told her I think we're supposed to break them up. She's a very by-the-book kid and wants to know what she's "supposed" to do. We found a "scheduler" which wasn't in an obvious place but it didn't seem to help much. Tommorrow night I'm attending a virtual on-line session; we'll see if that helps me understand the system better. If not, I will probably just email the teacher and see what she suggests.

    One drawback of the Keystone math class is that I can't seem to look at everything in the lesson that my daughter can see in her account. If I could, that would probably help me to figure out how much she should be doing every day.

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  3. #12

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    So, now that we're more than halfway through the year, I thought I would post more about our experience with Keystone.
    My daughter is still taking the one class, 8th grade math. (It's a year-long class.) Maybe schoolwork has changed since I was in high school in the 80s, but a lot of the concepts she's learning, I didn't get to until I was a senior in high school. And I wasn't in remedial classes either, just average college prepatory (not AP). I've given my husband the task of reviewing the work with her, because he's better at math and took calculus in college. He has found things in the quizzes that weren't in the lessons (at least once) and agrees with my daughter that things aren't always explained well.

    I told my daughter that, given this, perhaps we should go with ICA next year and see if it's any better. She wants to stick with Keystone, though. She has been going to the Khan Academy website to get a better explanation of the lessons. So, I guess we will keep letting her do that if it works. She has a B+ average in the class so far, so she's doing pretty well, but I wonder if she would have an A with better instruction.

    If it doesn't work out, we can always switch mid-year. But I am hoping it does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momofonly View Post
    So, now that we're more than halfway through the year, I thought I would post more about our experience with Keystone.
    My daughter is still taking the one class, 8th grade math. (It's a year-long class.) Maybe schoolwork has changed since I was in high school in the 80s, but a lot of the concepts she's learning, I didn't get to until I was a senior in high school. And I wasn't in remedial classes either, just average college prepatory (not AP). I've given my husband the task of reviewing the work with her, because he's better at math and took calculus in college. He has found things in the quizzes that weren't in the lessons (at least once) and agrees with my daughter that things aren't always explained well.

    I told my daughter that, given this, perhaps we should go with ICA next year and see if it's any better. She wants to stick with Keystone, though. She has been going to the Khan Academy website to get a better explanation of the lessons. So, I guess we will keep letting her do that if it works. She has a B+ average in the class so far, so she's doing pretty well, but I wonder if she would have an A with better instruction.

    If it doesn't work out, we can always switch mid-year. But I am hoping it does.
    If you'd be willing to share that as a review for our curriculum directory I'd be ever so grateful, momofonly!


  5. #14

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    Thank you for coming back with your updates, very helpful and appreciated!
    Mom to two amazing boys N~13 and A~11.

  6. #15

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    We did Keystones a couple of years ago when my son was 13. It's a good program, but it is very 'hands off' learning. There aren't controls and structure built in - purposefully. Its very flexible and your child can work at their own pace. I loved it, but it was just not structured enough for my son to succeed with it. Depends on your child's personality.

  7. #16

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    I know this thread is a little old, but think this may help some people.

    When you ask about K12 and Connections Academy, you'll get TONS of bad reviews. Almost all of those are of the state virtual academies. The state run versions of K12 and Connections are not at all the same as the paid versions you get in things like Keystone and K12 independent. In these, you don't have all the live class connects or normal state requirements, you just have to follow your home school rules for your state. It really is much closer to home schooling fully where the free state versions are nothing more than public school at home.

    We used K12 independent through 8th grade and I loved the curriculum. It was affordable. We went another route for high school, although I did look quite a bit at Keystone. I just didn't like the large jump in price compared to what I was paying for the K-8 curriculum. I have two boys in the same grade so the cost was prohibitive for us. I really wish they had it set up the same for high school as the K-8, but for high school they only offer the accredited version (Keystone). I still have one child (7th grade) doing her 4 core classes in independent K12.

  8. #17

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    Hello, I'm a student who's attending the Keystone online school though only to do a half-course before attending public school again. I do not favor this school for various reasons: the many issues I have with saving work, and getting in contact for any help. I've saved my work countless times but it still deletes it all and I have to make countless files. I gave up and screenshotted all the work as well and tried to get in contact but it takes a long time and sometimes won't even send. To anyone attending the school, I recommend making files and screen-shotting all of it to so you can have proof of everything you've done. If you plan to do the paper work and not on the computer, print your stuff as well and save it in a folder as it is tiring because of how many writing assignments there are. I expect that from a good school but my oh my it will take you down. It amazes me because I as well am only taking an half-course. Some of the courses were cut in half but I still did a full Art & Music Appreciation course. In english I am currently attacking over 50 journal entries in this very moment. Geography I have to say was the easiest course that I have completed. As for Algebra, I have to do over 250 math questions which doesn't seem like a lot but it's a very hard subject for me. I took only two online courses which is earth science and health which I'm close to ending but not really because of the saving dilemma. Of all the courses I have, I recommend doing it all on paper like traditional except for english. Online courses are much more complicated because of saving work but this is my opinion. My heart goes out to all the kids struggling with this home school at the moment, just know you'll get through it somehow. - Patricia

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Anyone have experience with Keystone School?