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Topic: Online homeschooling

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Subject: Online homeschooling
Date Posted: 11/20/2011 10:35 AM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2009
Posts: 2,568
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Does anyone do online homeschooling?  I was wondering how it differs from regular homeschooling and if it is an effective way for a child to learn.  Also, how much interaction does the child have with an actual teacher?  I am considering this for my son who is currently in the 8th grade.  I would send him to a private school; however there are none in our area.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Date Posted: 11/20/2011 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2005
Posts: 453
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I am curious if there are any other  online schoolers here.  I like to check out the site but know many traditional homeschoolers are very anti-online school so I don't post. 

I replied to you on off topic forum.

Date Posted: 11/23/2011 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 407
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Are you wanting "online" or just computer based schooling?  


Computer based option I know of:



Distance Learning, where the school is responsible for keeping records:



Online based:


Date Posted: 11/23/2011 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Are you looking at an online public charter school or on online private school?  While my HS'ed son has never used a charter school, I've worked for a couple of K12, Inc.-run ones.  My son goes part time to a B&M public charter STEM program.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/6/2012 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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We use the K12 Curriculum through a public cyber charter school. We chose to do this for two reasons, 1 my oldest is preparing for college and it will be easier to show her grades to the college this way and 2. the girls were in public school in WV and we didnt move back to PA until after the school started and it was less hassle to transfer to a charter school than to get a homeschool portfolio approved by the school district.

I have mixed feelings about the program. I love the classical curriculum of K12. The Cyber high school is great. It is set up like college. She has certain classes on certain days and college level assignments. Her classes are set on a block schedule so four classes per semester. She has webinar type classes, plus the discussion boards and assignments.

The middle school is where I am not crazy about. With the middle school, she has daily webinars for each class, except Fridays.  Both of my girls have a form of dyslexia (unfortunately inherited from me) and my youngest also has OCD and other health issues. She is a kinestetic learner and has difficulty with the webinar type classes. The teachers talk too fast and she gets confused easily (which was her major issue at B&M schools). In math she is ahead of the other students and we keep getting told to slow her down, which just frustrates her.   They have allowed her to choose which classes she wishes to attend but she still has to turn in certain assignments by certain dates. The problem is, if she doesnt "attend" the classes, she doesnt know what assignments are due when. So I deal with a very frustrated 12yr old on a daily basis.

We used K12 in the past, which is why we went back to it. However, at that time, cyber schools were new and there were no webinar type classes, we mailed in their assignments and the girls could work at their own pase. With the new way it is set up, they have to remain in line with their other classmates which is ok in some classes, but in others my youngest is behind the class and others still she is ahead of the class. We may switch to regular homeschooling next year, or find a K12 program that doesnt involve the "teachers".

Hope that answered your questions.


Date Posted: 1/7/2012 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/3/2011
Posts: 31
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My friend's highschool son quit online school because he couldn't handle being stuck on the computer all by himself for 6hrs a day; especially when his friends, who were being traditionally homeschooled, were inviting him to go places and do stuff after thay were done by noon.

It really depends on your child and thier needs. My highschool daughter likes just reading the textbook on her own then answering end of chapter qs and we do projects to reinforce the subject matter. Also particpating in volunteer opportunities and groups to join. 

Both highschoolers will easily get into community college or technical college. I'd look into creating a resume of learning experiences to present to a college.

Find out what your desired college is looking for in thier future students; it may be easier than you think. 

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/7/2012 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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This isnt an issue with my daughter since she doesnt have other friends being homeschooled (other than those she has met through the cyber school) and she is done with her schooling by the time her friends are home from school. She likes the program, cause atleast for this semester, she didnt have any morning "classes" so she can sleep in. We also have the flexibility of not attending the "classes" and just watching the recording of them later, which allows us to go on errands or field trips during the day.

Last Edited on: 1/7/12 11:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/10/2012 7:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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Online programs vary as to the method of instruction and the content. I don't think it is helpful to categorize all online learning into one type nor is it good to classify homeschoolers as anti-online learning vs. pro-online learning. I would advise anyone who is looking for online programs to look at **specific programs or courses** and see how the instruction is delivered. Then consider **your unique child** and see if it is a good match.


Some kids don't want or can't do all independent learning by reading to themselves. Some kids can't handle or dislike reading from computer screens but they can handle reading from books. Some need a variety of learning experiences. So it is not that perhaps a homeschool mom is "anti online learning" she just knows it won't work for her child.


Also some of us are on a tight budget and wind up wanting to re-use what we already own so if we have learning materials from older kids that are not online curriculums we want to use those again on the next kids, or at least try to, if they are a good fit...


Sometimes speaking in vague terms is really not helpful and is actually misleading. For example one online math class my son took, we didn't realize until he was doing the class, was self-teaching by reading a book about math and doing work by himself. Then login to the class and read text sentences explaining the stuff that already was read on one's own. Then later get math problems online and do by yourself & enter answer into website & it tells if you got it right or wrong then gives the next problem. If you have a question you have to use a bulletin board and wait a couple of days for a reply.  --- That is very different from his new online "class" that you login and watch videos where they do the math problems out on the screen, then give work to do via the website that you enter answers online then it gives the next problem to do. See the difference? My son really is helped by seeing the problem done out by a person which is the way 100% of schools teach it in a classroom!


Also you are on a paper based book community forum so it is possible that you are asking a question of an audience with a certain bias. (grin) We love good old fashioned books here so you can't expect us to be anti- traditional book learning (I mean any book not just textbooks) or to expect us to be a community of homeschoolers who use online curriculums for every subject. Also since this is a used book swapping website some or most of us are trying to be frugal and re-use books we own so we are not all people who are buying an online curriculum for each of our kids every year (you usually have to pay a fee for one child for a time period then your next kids that enter that grade you have to buy the services again, it can get expensive).




Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/13/2012 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Hi Christine,

State run cyber schools provide all curriculum, laptops, printers, etc free of charge. They even give us money towards our interenet service. While, not available in all states, more and more states are beginning to use the programs. K12 curriculum is a mix between online and traditional books, and I like that it is a classical based learning system. So in literature my girls are reading classics and in vocab they are learning greek based words etc. I agree the Math program you described sounds like it would be very confusing and frustrating.

I also agree, that it may not work for everyone. It definately has its advantages and disadvantages as I had listed above. It is convenient that all the curriculum is pre-planned and flexible (for the most part) and that the grades and attendence is tracked by someone else. However, it would be better if my daughters could work at thier own pace instead of having to keep in line with the other students.


Date Posted: 4/23/2012 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 7,143
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We are doing k12 this year, but gonna try to get into Connections Academy for this upcoming year. The state law is you have to work 6 hours a day, but you can count 2 hours of that as supplmentary. Meaning if you go shopping with your child, that can be math. Read a book is lanquage. Taking a walk in Science. And if you finish a lesson in 30-45 min you still get credit for the hour. So, it really doesn't take as long as you might think. I work with my son for a couple hours and we take a break as needed and have lunch and then finish up and he gets to go outside to play and before bed we read books. As far as the teachers you have an online class every few weeks. My son gets speech therapy online and that's twice a week. You have to send in work samples now and then and you mark attendence. I am glad we have this choice because to me it's a middle ground between homeschooling and sending them to the typical school. And it helps that everything is set up for us, we just have to do the work. And best of all it doesn't cost us a penny! They send you everything you need for the year. You just might need to buy small things like pencils and paper. If anyone has questions, feel free to pm me as I don't check the fourms as often as I used to.