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MyKzooFamily 10-26-2012 12:17 PM

K12.com Homeschooling?
 
A lady I met recently from a local swap told me about how she was homeschooling her daughter, but going through K12.com. They ship free supplies to her (all textbooks, microscopes for biology class, etc.) and everything else is online including lesson plans and literature she can print.

This would be basically homeschooling for free, as you are technically being classified a 'student' of a local school. Apparently, you get a coach from a local school, and a 'HS diploma' from the local school (instead of saying you were home schooled).

While I like the perks of all of that, has anyone had experience with this? For parents that can't afford the high cost of homeschooling, I think it's nice. And I LOVE the public schools are encouraging home schooling, I think more kids need it, IF the parents are motivated and responsible enough to help their kids and work with them, and not throw them in front of a computer. :)

Any experience? Or have you heard anything about it?

Lovely 10-26-2012 12:25 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
I have heard of it but havent done it myself. It similar to homeschool but not exactly the say, kwim? The child has to do specific curriculum set by K-12 and actually work (via the internet) with a teacher. So they are learning at home but you don't get to chose the specifics. They send computers and everything that the child needs.

ktmelody 10-26-2012 12:33 PM

We did it for years. K12 and connections. It has its place. Our state was pretty hands off with teachers. I did 99 percent of the work. It is homeschooling with help and accreditation.

In my state it is probably the best thing to ever happen. Enrollment in virtual schools has sky rocketed and hopefully it will boost our graduation rate....which is less than 50 percent. :/

AcrossTheUniverse 10-26-2012 12:36 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
I signed my 1st grader up for it for this school year. We got all of the materials and even did a few lessons online. The materials were AMAZING. It was 3 boxes of stuff: books, manipulatives, art supplies, music supplies. etc... It weighed 80lbs altogether and was probably $2k-$3k worth of materials. I did like how the lessons were set up online, as well.

How it worked for my daughter was she had to do a certain number of hours in each subject per week. The lessons were in a powerpoint format online, but the actual work was in the book or with the manipulatives. She would have to speak with her teacher on the phone once per week, or we could call/e-mail if we had questions. It was basically like we were homeschooling her but with outside support.

The downsides were that we obviously did not get to pick the curriculum, so if you are one to want something more un-traditional you might not like the curriculum. We loved it though. And, the hours were equivalent to a public school but at home, whereas most homeschoolers finish their lessons quicker because of the one on one environment. But because this is a public school you have to align with the required hours for each subject designated for public schools by the state you live in.

We only did it with her for about a week, but it wasn't because we didn't like the program. Our situation changed a bit and I was unable to devote the time to being her coach so I ended up enrolling her in the brick and mortar public school down the street. If things had not changed we would still be using k12 and if things calm down a bit in the future I could definitely see us going back.

R055ANA 10-26-2012 12:51 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
Hi MyKzooFamily!

Free cyber schools are an option here in Philadelphia and I am thrilled I didn't find out about them until I started homeschooling on my own.

You are right the cyber school provides the computer (on loan), the books, the field trips and lots of support.

Even though the student is learning at home, cyber schools will be quick to say this is NOT homeschooling. They are considered public school students (w/ the cybers I know), and cyber school students don't have to follow state homeschooling laws.

Some families LOVE cyber schools. They love that everything is all spelled out for them, what you have to do each day. They provide lots of support to help you and there are several social opportunities. Of course a big draw is they are FREE!

The reason why some families don't like them is you have to do as they say. They tell you when you have to attend certain on-line sessions, they tell you when certain assignments have to be turned in and w/ one K12 program here in PA the parent isn't considered the teacher, he/she is the coach and the k12 staff is the teacher. A few people on here and in real life said they hated the busy work and thought they were promised one thing but reality since they started the program was another.

The reason why I say I am thrilled I didn't find out about it before we started doing our own thing is because if I would have heard FREE, I would say sign me up right now. The cyber school wouldn't have worked w/ our family and it might have gotten me to get discouraged and either put my DDs in a brick and mortar school or been a hassle to withdraw them from the cyber to do my own homeschooling.

Like you I love this option is available to parents because families need different options and what works for one doesn't work for another.

Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive and I would say some cyber school families may spend just as much or more than homeschooling families on materials and/or enrichment opportunities (science program @ the museum, art classes, etc.) Families using the cyber schools may not have to buy a curriculum but they may buy things to compliment the curriculum.

There are many options to having to buy an expensive boxed curriculum. Like buying used and using free resources.

I highly suggest for anyone interested in a cyber school to go to a few of their info sessions and also to talk to as many parents using the program as possible.

Feel free to ask more questions.

mamasab 10-26-2012 03:31 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
We are doing it and I hate it.
I have zero control over what my kid is learning, I just have to follow their program. And I don't love the curriculum. Then there are all the things they require of us...she is supposed to be online for the virtual classroom 3 mornings a week, plus a meeting on Mondays, plus "conferences" every month. Oh, and we're supposed to log 6.5 hours of school every day. That is waaaaaaay too much time for me to sit down and do their curriculum with my Kindy girl. It doesn't FEEL like homeschooling. It feels like I'm tied down to all these requirements and commitments.

And don't even get me started on what it is like with a kid that requires an IEP. That part has been nothing short of hair pulling frustration. They are currently out of I.D.E.A. compliance with my kid, and don't even realize it. They have ignored my written request for an IEP meeting (probably because their workload is obscene and we have slipped through the cracks) which is illegal. We are already making alternative plans for next year.

cowangel 10-27-2012 12:28 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
It can work well. Especially as a sort of bridge to move from PS to HS. It is very thorough. We tried it for a few weeks and the lessons are really clear as to what you should be doing and everything is well laid out. We tried it in K and it was too much busy work and sit down work for my DS. We have switched to an online program (which is not free but reasonable) and my DS loves it! So, for now we will stick with what works for us...I don't think it would hurt to try it though, you can quit at anytime and who knows it might work for you and if it doesn't you know it doesn't!

VitaW 10-28-2012 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R055ANA
Hi MyKzooFamily!

Free cyber schools are an option here in Philadelphia and I am thrilled I didn't find out about them until I started homeschooling on my own.

You are right the cyber school provides the computer (on loan), the books, the field trips and lots of support.

Even though the student is learning at home, cyber schools will be quick to say this is NOT homeschooling. They are considered public school students (w/ the cybers I know), and cyber school students don't have to follow state homeschooling laws.

Some families LOVE cyber schools. They love that everything is all spelled out for them, what you have to do each day. They provide lots of support to help you and there are several social opportunities. Of course a big draw is they are FREE!

The reason why some families don't like them is you have to do as they say. They tell you when you have to attend certain on-line sessions, they tell you when certain assignments have to be turned in and w/ one K12 program here in PA the parent isn't considered the teacher, he/she is the coach and the k12 staff is the teacher. A few people on here and in real life said they hated the busy work and thought they were promised one thing but reality since they started the program was another.

The reason why I say I am thrilled I didn't find out about it before we started doing our own thing is because if I would have heard FREE, I would say sign me up right now. The cyber school wouldn't have worked w/ our family and it might have gotten me to get discouraged and either put my DDs in a brick and mortar school or been a hassle to withdraw them from the cyber to do my own homeschooling.

Like you I love this option is available to parents because families need different options and what works for one doesn't work for another.

Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive and I would say some cyber school families may spend just as much or more than homeschooling families on materials and/or enrichment opportunities (science program @ the museum, art classes, etc.) Families using the cyber schools may not have to buy a curriculum but they may buy things to compliment the curriculum.

There are many options to having to buy an expensive boxed curriculum. Like buying used and using free resources.

I highly suggest for anyone interested in a cyber school to go to a few of their info sessions and also to talk to as many parents using the program as possible.

Feel free to ask more questions.

Actually this is not always true. We homeschool in Florida and I needed something more structured for my 7th grader. We use Florida Virtual School. They have virtual public option BUT they also have a homeschool option. You get teachers in each subject and it's very flexible. We can take from 1 to 6 classes when and how we want. There is a required pace but in most classes they are required to turn in a minimum of 2-3 assignments per week which is fine. If they finish everything they are done. No required amount of time to be in front of the computer. If you finish in a day you are done. If it takes all week then it does. My daughter takes 5 classes and tries to be done by Thursday so she gets a three day weekend every week. This program is completely free. As of right now there are no diplomas but they do keep your transcripts for you and you can dual enroll at the local college which is probably the route we will go.

This is nice for homeschoolers because you could take one class if you only wanted to add a foreign language to your own curriculum. It think it is a wonderful option. We had tried virtual school before and we hated it. This is so different and so flexible. We love it.

UmmKira 10-29-2012 09:03 AM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
Each state is very different in what they require of the virtual schools. We did it for two years, and it was obvious the state was coming down on the virtual schools and requiring more involvement of the teachers, though this felt cumbersome instead of helpful. I felt like the curriculum was great, and offered a wonderful education (we used a virtual school that used the K12.com curriculum package), but it was just too much busy work. The amount of writing seemed overboard and it turned into DD1 doing the least amount of effort possible just to get done with it.

Keeping up with the given due dates and lesson plan doesn't allow for you to explore into interesting things. Like DD1 was learning about Egypt and the museum had a traveling exhibit on Egypt, but we felt like we couldn't take a day away from our lessons to go. I also wanted to choose our books myself, and I felt like I didn't have time for our religion lessons because her day was so full with her secular studies.

Anyway, I thought it was great to get started out, and still recommend it to parents that want to homeschool but don't feel confident in themselves yet. Some people use it all the way through their homeschool years, but it wasn't for us.

lalori 10-30-2012 05:21 PM

Re: K12.com Homeschooling?
 
We have used the K12 curriculum since 2001 and love it. We were living in So. Mississippi at the time and purchased the curriculum direction from K12 Inc. and used it as we wanted. In 2006 we moved to Wisconsin and had the option to use the same curriculum in a Virtual Academy setting. Many states offer a variety of ways to use the K12 curriculum. You can always purchase it and use it as you wish. Many states have Virtual Academies or Charter schools that use the K12 curriculum. That is what we were looking for since we love the curriculum. I also needed the support of teachers since they were reaching middle school years. We are now in California Virtual Academy, again, using K12 curriculum. We love it. These Virtual Academies are public schools so the curriculum is paid for from your taxes. You have access to teachers who have been wonderful. They really have the attitude of working with the parent to help the child. Both of my children are now in high school and well on their way to graduating with honors. My daughter (Senior) has even taken a few college courses the past 2 years and has had no problem at all. This curriculum is awesome and prepares the students for higher learning. It does take involvement of parents, especially when they are little, but it is well worth it. Even though it is a "virtual" school, they are not on the computer all the time. Very engaging curriculum and use of the computer and plenty of support for parents.


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