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Topic: cyberschool- CA

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Subject: cyberschool- CA
Date Posted: 2/14/2011 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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I have my kids in cyberschool- Connections Academy, specifically- and I was wondering if the homeschooler's corner was the place to post a question. The only other place I can think of is the main thread of general discussion, but I wanted to reach experienced people rather than just hear from the 'man on the street'. My 8th grader is struggling with the workload, it's our first time doing any of this, I have a younger student at home too, and I sometimes wonder if CA has a heavy workload. Is it only certain grades? Can something be done about this? I plan on contacting the teacher soon, just trying to find the way to express myself clearly. In the meantime, I was hoping to connect with a parent or someone else who has experience with this.

Thanks.

Date Posted: 2/15/2011 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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We used K12, who is CA's main competitor, for K-8.  BUT we didn't use it through a virtual public school.  We simply used the curriculum on our own so we had complete control over the schedule and content.  I would look at not re-enrolling next year as high school will be much harder than 8th grade.

I did work for two K12 virtual schools and I know the schedules can be really crazy.  It's because as a virtual school, which is a public school, the school and it's students have to meet state standards - including how much "seat time" they have.  Well, when students are at home, they don't really need the 6-7 hours of seat time.  But the schools push it anyway, so you're constantly feeling behind and stressed.  That's not the way home education should be.  It's not "school at home". ;-)

By "first time" do you mean your first year of home education, your first year of cyber/virtual school?  Or both?  If it's your first year teaching at home, let me say it's a HUGE change for the students and parent-teacher(s).  Jumping feet first into a virtual PS is a big leap.  I think you should consider HS'ing without the help of the school.  It can be done and you'll be much more relaxed.  :-)

Let me know if you have any questions or other concerns.  A PM is fine, too.

Date Posted: 2/15/2011 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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This is our third year of using cyberschool- we're coming from the regular B&M school system before that.

But-- this is my first child, and I have little experience to draw upon. That's the witchaway I meant when I said this was our first time. I like having a larger frame of reference. Maybe I'm looking for foresight, rather than relying on hindishgt all the time! Ah well, that's what the second kid is for, lol.

I appreciate your answer. When you did k12 on your own, does that mean you bought the curriculum and went from there? You homeschooled, without administrative oversight, but with the public curriculum? What did you do about tests?

Thanks for the info on working for K12. I do sometimes wonder what is actually behind some requirements- it doesn't feel like education, it feels like someone filling a contractual agreement.

Date Posted: 2/16/2011 11:05 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Yes, I purchased K12's curriculum and used it as an independent homeschooler - just like someone purchasing Abeka, Bob Jones, Alpha-Omega, etc.

I used K12 in a state with no formal testing requirements.  I tested anyway - first with the Iowa (ITBS) and then with the EXPLORE (pre-ACT test).  I know CA has lots of rules for HS'ing, esp. for high schoolers wanting to enter the university system.  But I personally know, and work (or have worked) with many CA parents who use K12 independently.  I was a parent rep, called a "K12 Star", so I got a small discount on the curriculum.  But it ended up being about the same as the sale prices they have several times a year.

K12 is not a "public" curriculum.  It's a home education curriculum used by virtual charter schools as their curriculum of choice.  It meets, or exceeds, all state's standards, which is why it's widely used.  K12 also manages some of the virtual schools.  Many other schools just "use" the curriculum and not the management.

HTH!