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My kid's have been in public school, but we will be homeschooling for the first time this fall. They will be in 7th and 4th grades. We opted not to do virtual school because we wanted more freedom in choosing curriculum that would compliment our religious beliefs as well as being able to work with our children's individual strengths and weaknesses.
I have known families who really like the virtual school. And others who have started and went back to other methods of homeschooling. I think your doing the right thing by gathering several sources of information before making a decision.
I haven't personally used a virtual school, but I worked for two of them as a parent liaison and trainer.
Virtual schools can be a *wonderful* step between public/private schooling and "pure" homeschooling. As long as you're willing to meet the requirements they offer, then it's worth a shot to try. Just like how I HS one child and have the other in PS, you can do what's right for each child. If VS'ing doesn't work out - you can always re-enroll in a B&M public school, or dis-enroll in the VS and homeschool privately.
The main reason we didn't join any virtual schools is because my son is profoundly gifted and we couldn't conform to the schools' advancement policies (only 2 grades ahead). If he was a more "typical" student, then we would have to save at least $2000/year on curriculum.
What curricula do the schools you're looking at use? I *highly* recommend choosing a school that uses K12 over anything else, such as Calvert (Connections Academy). K12 is an amazing curriculum - we've used it for 5.5 yrs. I just entered my son's Music Appreciation class into Homeschool Tracker this morning and I am completely blown away. It is ten times better, and covers 10 times more, than the class I had in college. This is for middle school, too!
One of my daughters used Connections Academy for kindergarten last year. I liked it, but I didn't *love it. This year, I'm "flying solo" with my 5 and 6 year olds.
On the other hand, my 10 year old has been in regular public school for the past 5 years. We're going to try Connections Academy for him in the fall. Because he's so routine oriented and, well, ps "indoctrinated", I think it will be a big help in transitioning.
I don't know if we'll stick with it long term, or quit after a year like we did with our daughter, or even sooner than that. I think it's a different experience for each child, perfect for some, totally wrong for others, and somewhere in the middle for most.