We Needed a Better Fit
In the winter of 2009, we knew we would have to find a different school for the following school year. We searched and initially, put the K12 information to the side. It seemed to scary. It seemed too risky.
The more we read, the more questions we asked. Our PAL really helped to answer our questions and calm our fears.
We decided to take the plunge for the 2010-2012 school year and have not looked back.
The first two weeks were terrifying. It seemed there was so much to learn, and I was so afraid that I would overlook something or we would not be able to complete everything by the deadlines. It was simply new and different. It was not difficult. It was not even complicated. Within two weeks, we had a system that worked for us. The girls were in 4th and 7th grade then and we had different teachers, classes and expectations. It was fairly easy to master.
My children found the "perks" very quickly. The attendance requirements are there, but how our family chose to complete those requirements was flexible. We could have done school work in the evenings. We could have done it on the weekends. We could do it anytime and anywhere as long as the work was completed and the hours were submitted. Although we began with a traditional school schedule, the girls quickly learned that if they put in a little extra time on Mondays through Thursdays, that mom would probably say yes to a field trip on Fridays.
K12 offered sponsored field trips every month to ice skating rinks, the zoo, field day and many other events, and my children had worked out a way to get two extra field trips per month. We went to museums, art exhibits, skating, and so much more.
K12 helped my children to become more responsible and accountable for their own education. My daughters were able to rearrange their schedule to complete assignments. They were able to instantly see their test scores and know what to study if they missed any answers. They were able to plan their best use of time to complete all of their assignments and they were able to learn what worked best for them.
Last year, these skills proved themselves. Their father has been critically ill. We never could have imagined balancing our lives around all of the surgeries, doctor’s appointments and recoveries. The 2012-2013 school year would have been a disaster without K12.
When their father was in ICU, being ahead in their “plan” helped. They were not as worried about their classes and missed tests as they would have been in a brick and mortar school. When they stayed with family members, they were able to calculate how many hours they would need to make up and how they would do it without feeling so overwhelmed. Their teachers and our principal were so supportive as the girls struggled to keep up during the worst of this. Again, my children were able to see that they had control of their success.
We are beginning our third year with K12. I will admit that I was hesitant about using a mastery based program. I didn’t understand all that was involved. I really know that my children learned the material. There is no stress about averaging out a lower grade, because they simply must know the material and master the test before they can move on. This has taught them that all of the material is important. They have since realized how much easier the next unit is when you really understood the previous unit.
K12 has been education for a life time. K12 has been a much better fit for my children. If they are excelling in a subject, they are able to test through the material and have the next grade level sent to them. If they need extra help, the teachers are available with extra “class time” online. I no longer have to nag about homework. There is no homework. The girls plan their time to get the maximum benefit because I will still allow outings if all of the work is complete. I love all that K12 and the teachers of OVCA have done for our family.