K-12 Online Accredited School
For those of you who are like us and want to home school but also knowing ourselves we travel A LOT and we have gymnastics, horse back riding, violin lessons, drum lessons, Girl Scouts, and other family activities every single week. So while home schooling was an awesome option for us, the time spent preparing lessons, finding material, and pre-setting up studies was going to be a strain against the activities we already had established. Home school also is not accredited and if you plan to school all the way through high school it can leave some children feeling like they never really did graduate.
For these reasons and others including : The opportunity to participate in school wide field trips, spelling bees, science fairs, monthly meetings, and for the chance to have my children interact with other teachers and students we chose an online school. It is a hybrid option with for us, the best of both world. We stay at home, I do most of the teaching with my children, classes and lessons are already prepared and on ones we want to expand on we can easily do that. There are ample field trips, reading groups, spelling bees, poetry slams, science fairs, and other outings, the children have home room teachers, and we have everything we need at our finger tips. But how does educating online work?
First off not everything is done online, there are lots and lots of activities that we do offline! The lessons are already prepared (we expand on most) and there are books, workbooks, building blogs, math tools, phonics tools, white boards, reading tools, and more that came in our FREE kit. These offline lessons are reinforced with online games, songs and in-class discussions. Evie who started in Kindergarten this year (she finished Kindergarten already and is in 1st grade) has class 1's a day. As kids get older and choose electives they may have classes more than once a day.
Second off there are lots and lots of options on K-12! You can choose from Free Accredited Public Schools such as the one we chose (Utah Virtual Academy), Private and charter schools which are accredited and offer special learning opportunities but are not free, and a-la-cart classes where maybe you just don't' feel comfortable teaching one subject and want a full course program for that specific schedule.
The first step is to figure out what type of enrollment you'd want. Public School, Private/Charter School, or A Single Class. We chose a free public school which means we participate in standardized testing, and receive report cards that are recorded with the state every quarter. Our girls are able to seamlessly transfer to any school in Utah with their grades, and classes should they ever choose to. It also means all our supplies were provided for free on a rental bases (for the entire school year). The girls are also able to work at their own pace and move ahead (such as skipping grades by completing more than 1 in a year).
There are some major benefits online that you can not receive in most public schools. Our favorite benefit so far is that we can choose extra classes to enroll the girls in, EVEN IN KINDERGARTEN! Evie is taking Spanish, Art Appreciation and Music Theory in addition to regular Kindergarten classes. Not all subjects are required every day and when we log into her student portal it tell us what classes she is expected to complete that day, and which are not required for that day. This gives us a great variety throughout the week, and is very easy to complete even while traveling! Watch for upcoming reviews on just how things work within the classes, and some of the possible downsides as well as the perks of schooling at home and online!
Check out all the K-12 Optiosn on their website at www.k-12.com