What Is a "Virtual" School? - Sammy Makes Six

What Is a "Virtual" School?

A few years ago when my girls started to get into the really difficult teen years and I was getting daily calls at the office about coming to get one of them because of a fight or altercation I began to look into teaching them from home. Homeschooling was not an option for me as the district we lived in kept hounding me and telling me that I was not able to home school them, but that I could put them into a home study program instead, in one of their schools of course. To this day I still don't know if they were telling me the truth, all I know is that after that first year and dealing with them I got really turned off about where their priorities lay, in getting students into class so that they can get their funds instead of making sure that the students are learning and that they are in a safe environment.

So in trying to get away from these people as they had never been able to stop the harassment from other kids to my girls I looked into internet schooling. It's been 3 years since we started virtual schooling and in that time the girls have attended 3 schools and it had definitely been a good experience, up until this year when they got really lazy on me and began to slack off. So this coming year one of them is going back to regular school (munkey) and the other (kana) is still undecided because she has pretty much run her options out and I don't know where I can stick her now.

If you have never heard of "virtual" schools let me tell you a bit about how the last school worked.

I enrolled 3 of the girls and I did all of this online, you register and then send your information via fax. Once the enrollment is approved the students and parents talk to their homeroom teacher/counselor on the phone and introduce each other. This is the person that will keep track of them through out the year.

Each of my girls got a lap top from the program (HP Laptop) to ensure that they would be able to log in daily and complete their work. They then got their log in information and every day had to log into the school and do a certain amount of work. In the homepage of the school there is an area where the student can go and ask for help if they have run into an area where they need help on. 

Towards the end of the year when it was time for STAR testing we had to drive them to Riverside which is about 45minutes away from here. They provided different locations for the testing so that you can attend the one that is closest to you and it takes about 4 hours a day for two days to complete them. 

As long as your child logs in daily and does their work and asks for help when they need it, this program will work for them. There also has to be some parent participation of course because a lot of kids (like mine) don't want to ask for help and that is where you need to step in and help. I think this program especially works for kids that are self motivated and that don't need to be pushed on a daily basis. There is nothing worse than having to yell "get on the laptop and do your work!" all day and being ignored. 

I am really happy that we had this as an option when we really needed it and will keep it in mind for the future in case Sammy or my grandkids ever need it. I do recommend it for parents that are looking for a way to get their kids out of schools that are not safe or that are simply not equipped to handle their kids needs. Times are though right now and I think "virtual" schools are a great alternative to regular schooling.

4 comments

beloved Mama said...

I'm wondering if you went through Connections Academy? We did this for awhile... until I found out that the public school system here in San diego has several Charter school options, including homeschool charters where the kids attend class twice a week and are at home the other 3 days. We loved this option! But, I'm not good at homeschooling, so I've enrolled my middle schooler (the one who homeschooled) in a full time charter school for the upcoming year. If you are in California, homeschooling IS an option, btw. good luck to all of you!

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Merynne said...

We are looking at a virtual school for our children this year. I am a little disappointed that they don't have a pre-k option for our youngest, but I feel confident in my ability to teach her on my own. ;) Anyway, we have done an online school through our district the last 3 years, but I just don't have time to create 3 lesson plans for each day and then teach them too. ;) I applied for Magnet schools, but felt like I got the run-around and finally found out last week that we won't be accepted this year. Yeah, the lady was nice enough to give me 2 whole weeks to figure out what the heck I'm gonna do! (Just a teensy bit angry!) Anyway, we have started the enrollment process for the virtual school and I am excited about it. We've tried several example lessons and the kids loved it too. I'm happy that you posted about this. I have been wondering if it really is what it seems and your honest opinion makes me feel like it probably is. And one more great thing about it is that the first day of school isn't until Aug. 30, giving me 2 extra weeks... Right, so thanks for letting me vent and for your thoughts on the subject! ;)