Outside the Box
by Melinda | February 5, 2013
We are blessed with 4 precious kiddos - Caleb (2nd grader), Micah (1st grader), Hannah (Kindergarten), and Grace (age 3). Caleb was diagnosed with ADHD prior to starting Kindergarten, Micah was diagnosed with Autism at 25 months of age, Hannah needs extra opportunities for learning to keep her interest, and Grace was diagnosed as speech/language delayed at age 2 1/2. In other words, we are an 'Out of the Box' kind of family. Caleb was enrolled in a public brick and mortar school for the first 2 weeks of kindergarten. He was in a very large class and was just starting new medication for his ADHD. After 2 weeks of much angst, we decided that the 'typical' brick and mortar public school setting was not a good educational match for him. We wanted to homeschool, but the thought of having to find curriculum, creating my own lesson plans, and then making sure that all instruction is aligned with state standards was beyond overwhelming! Thankfully, after a brief internet search, I found K12/Lawrence Virtual School. It offered everything I needed (curriculum aligned with state standards, lesson plans already made, and all the necessary manipulatives needed for instruction). PLUS it was an accredited public school AND we receive personal consultation with a licensed, highly qualified teacher to help me with the actual educational journey with my child! So, we were able to successfully enroll our oldest, highly ADHD, in the LVS/K12 kindergarten at that time. This has been the perfect educational match for all of us! But, at the same time, at the back of my mind, I had a fear about my Micah who has Autism. "Would LVS/K12 accept our special little guy?" I feared being rejected simply because Micah had additional special needs and required special education. My fears were all for naught. Instead of being rejected, my Micah was welcomed by LVS/K12 with open arms and tremendous educational support and programming. There is NO WAY we could have found such educational success in a traditional brick and mortar public school, given the tremendous demands on public school teachers and the ever-increasing limitations to special education services in brick and mortar public schools. All throughout the educational experience for my two boys, there sat Hannah (not yet in Kindergarten), watching and wanting to jump right in and "do school" just like they did. Despite the fact that she was 3-4 years old, she was regularly encouraged by both of the teachers who work with our sons, and was invited to participate, both in academic activities and also field trip activities that LVS was hosting! They were willing to meet her academic desire even before she "officially" enrolled in their program. Now, having enrolled in kindergarten with 2 prior years of some exposure and experience with the K12/LVS program, she is allowed to function educationally at the level she is at, rather than a set, prescribed, uniform grade level (as would happen in most brick and mortar public schools.) In addition, Grace (age 3, speech/language delayed), is regularly educationally encouraged by the kids' teachers and invited to participate in many of the activities the kids participate in. What an amazing foundation they are laying in preparation for her joining the K12/LVS ranks in a couple of years! There just aren't enough words to express how much we appreciate the K12/LVS program. My husband and I both work in public brick and mortar schools, so we know many of the barriers that face students and demands placed on teachers in those settings. We understand both sides of the educational fence, and we are so thankful that we have found the K12/LVS program to be such a perfect 'fit' for our 'Out of the Box' kind of family!