Derek is a home-schooled child in the state of Kansas. He went to public school for Pre-K in Atlanta, and loved it. He went to Kindergarten in Kansas and loved it. However, this year for first grade something was different. He just didn’t have the same enthusiasm with my classmates or the teacher. Derek was not happy and wanted to be home almost everyday. Every morning, on the way to school, he would cry on the way out the door, and be very upset getting out of the car. After two weeks of being back in school, he asked if he could do home-school. The first day he mentioned, I got upset and figured he was trying to take the easy way out. Even though he was, I was open to the idea.
The last day of public school, changed everything. I dropped him off as usual at 7:55am, and went home. Around 8:15am, I got a call from the principal telling me Derek was crying hysterically in the office. I could hear him in the background. She asked me what should she do. I replied, “Don’t do anything, I’m on the way.” I talked to him in the office along with the principal, he had not real reason to be so upset, except that he did not want to be there. I decided, you don’t have to. I checked him out, and we went home to discuss the school and home-school possibilities.
We decided to give home-school a try. We went back up to the school and returned his library books, gathered his belongings from the classroom and withdrew him from the school. That was on a Friday, that same day, I went online to K12.com. The decision to enroll with K12 was with help from my mom. I applied for the school that same day we withdrew him and he was approved by Monday morning. The process was fast and easy. The enrollment team was supportive and informative, and made sure I had everything ready. K12 provides the platform and links you to a virtual school based in your area. Derek’s school is Kansas Virtual Academy.
Three weeks later, we love the online learning environment. Derek is still learning and enjoying the comfort of his home. He interacts with the teachers really well via OLS video classrooms, and even going on field trips to meet other students. His will to learn is higher because he is relaxed.
K12 offers students will a well organized online learning setting and curriculum. The teachers are friendly, fun and welcoming, the lesson are still educational and interactive. The website is user-friendly for parents and students. So far, we are thrilled to be a part of wonderful online learning community that provides my son with the freedom to learn at his pace at his comfort level.
They also offer technology assistance to families that need computers and other supplies. They provide the supplies for the curriculum, well most of them. Some of the items, of course, can be found in your home, things you most likely already have. All text books, reading materials, and activity supplies are mailed to you and you receive days after being approved. Derek’s excitement for learning at home only heightened with seeing all of the boxes coming out of the UPS truck. With so many learning supplies and tools, that was anxious to dive into the lessons.
One of our favorite activities is a game that we made up. The school sent a set of letters with magnets on the back. Not the like regular ones in stores. We punched them all out, and I put them in Ziploc bags. They provided a dry-erase board to use for testing and learning phonics with words, but we added a different activity to make things even more fun for him. What we do is, lay the magnets on the floor, there are about 100 of them. We flip them all over, and race to spell words. We alternate thinking of a word for us to spell. Most of them are sight words that he needs to practice. We say the word aloud, I ask him to spell the word before we race to flip the magnets over and see who spells the word the fastest. The first to ten wins. The curriculum also provides fun reinforcement games.
He looks forward to doing school now, in his home, still being able to talk and joke with friends in the virtual classroom, work on solo and group activities, taking breaks and playing with family. I can hope that he continues to enjoy learning, and the K12 continues to create a wonderful experience for students and families.