So, I've decided to cyber school the kids

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Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000
So, I've decided to cyber school the kids

We've decided that instead of putting them in the public school (for a lot of reasons) or having me work in order to pay tuition, we are going to cyber school the kids. We were planning to cyber school the three youngest anyway. There is a supplemental/enrichment program 5 days a week for k-4 though first grade. Thomas was in it last year and loved it. So we plan to do that for all three (K-4 for Cherish, K-5 for Thomas, and 1st for Isaiah). Since we're doing that anyway, we figured it would be easier to just cyber school the older two boys as well. Now I have to decide whether to use the K-12 curriculum and teach them myself or enroll them in the "virtual classroom" where they will have regularly scheduled classes online with regular teachers. Both have their pros and cons. Anyone have an opinion?

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

i have no input, but i'm fascinated to hear others experience with this.......i just learned about cyber-schooling........i don't know why i'm so shocked by it, but i am...LOL!!!!!!! shocked in a good way!!!!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

The only thing I'm worried about really is that the boys are currently in band, so I have to figure out how to get them continuing trombone & drum lessons. There's a drum store in town that does private lessons, and I have a friend who knows a well-known jazz trombonist, so we can do private lessons if nothing else. I'd prefer to have them in a band or jazz ensemble if possible, though.

MrsSchepp's picture
Joined: 12/30/06
Posts: 496

Never heard of it! I am intrigued! Smile

Joined: 10/21/03
Posts: 172

"2sonsplus1" wrote:

The only thing I'm worried about really is that the boys are currently in band, so I have to figure out how to get them continuing trombone & drum lessons. There's a drum store in town that does private lessons, and I have a friend who knows a well-known jazz trombonist, so we can do private lessons if nothing else. I'd prefer to have them in a band or jazz ensemble if possible, though.

Will the school allow the boys to enroll in band still? Just take them for band and then pick them up? I know around here, you can homeschool and still have the kids in band, and participate on the sports teams. I'd call the school and see what they say Smile

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"viiolet" wrote:

Will the school allow the boys to enroll in band still? Just take them for band and then pick them up? I know around here, you can homeschool and still have the kids in band, and participate on the sports teams. I'd call the school and see what they say Smile

I'm going to check with the local school about putting them in band.

Four4us's picture
Joined: 01/13/06
Posts: 324

It is a great idea and I wish I had the ability to do that as well. My older ds plays the euphonium. He really enjoys it and wants to join a junior symphony here. Is there something like that where you are?

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

If it's through the school district I'd definitely ask. My cousin has a husband who travels a lot for work and they had her daughter in a 'charter' school through the district and I know she had said she could sign her up for some things through the district. I'm not sure if it was limited in any way but it's definitely worth asking.
I think this would be the route I'd take if we chose to 'homeschool' our kids. I'm not quite so confident I could do it myself especially all the different ages plus all the curriculum costs. I haven't looked into it for our district yet, but if I ever felt like the kids would be better off at home I'd do it in a heartbeat.

turtnjay's picture
Joined: 02/24/09
Posts: 2095

Here in California, all homeschool has to go through the school district and there are mandatory socialization activities done through the school as part of enrichment. Hopefully this will be the case with you and kids can find band activities easily.

Broodymama's picture
Joined: 05/29/11
Posts: 198

Definitely check with your school district. Ours will let homeschooled kids take band, choir and the fine arts and speech therapy if your child needs it. Wink

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

I've called the principal of the local school to find out about getting the boys in band. If that doesn't pan out, we will buy them private lessons.

The curriculum for cyber school will cost us nothing. They are a charter school, which is considered a public school, so they provide everything, including computer, printer, curriculum, school supplies (not required by law, but they send them anyway), PE equipment (weights, balls, etc.), art supplies. And they pay for Internet access for the school year and up to $75 per child per year for PE activities (such as tuition to the karate studio).

I have to make a choice between two curricula for the boys. One is a virtual classroom, where the kids all log in for class, and the teacher instructs through video conference. The other is Lincoln Interactive, which is self-directed and allows the kids to work at their own pace. With either one, they would have an instructor and be required to complete and turn in assignments. It's just that one would require me keeping them on task, from what I understand, but it also allows them to work through the material as quickly or slowly as they need. They could move onto the next grade level in whatever subjects they worked ahead on.

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

That's neat! And seeing that your from PA I'm sure it's a wonderful option to have, the homeschool laws there are tough! We do an online school with our oldest & youngest at the moment & so far we really like it. We can choose which subjects we'd like them to take, so they can either go to school with them full time or part time. They use the K-12 curriculum but are not the k-12 program which I like - the k12 is too strict for my liking so this is a perfect balance for us. So far it's been a good experience. You'll have to keep us updated on how it's working for you guys Smile

"turtnjay" wrote:

Here in California, all homeschool has to go through the school district and there are mandatory socialization activities done through the school as part of enrichment. Hopefully this will be the case with you and kids can find band activities easily.

Both Ca and Utah (where I am from) is a 'yellow' state - the only regulation we have to abide by is by signing a waiver each year to give to the school board. Otherwise there's no regulation. Is Ca the same? We have the same options as Mandy - I'm guessing Ca is similar? I'm always curious how other states handle homeschooling laws.

Thiis a great site if your not sure what your state laws are.
http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Julia, PA Cyber is a charter school, so we are not "homeschooling." It's nice, because they provide the currriculum and computers, and they have teachers that grade all of their assignments. I think I'm going to put them in the self-paced program so that they can work at their own pace. They are both very bright, and I think I can motivate them by offering them incentives to get their work done (i.e. play time).

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

Right - that's why I was saying this cyber charter school your doing is a good option to have seeing as how strict the homeschool laws are there. It gives parents more choice in the type of education their children receive:)

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

I would probably go with the more self directed one as well. I don't know if I would do well with video classes, and having to keep them on task and do it at a certain time might be more difficult. I hope you can do band through the district, that would help a lot! Smile

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

Sounds like a very interesting school experience! You'll have to keep us updated on how it is. Hope they get into band!

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

we are going to do this with our kids! Jacob is old enought o start K this year with Agora. So i am enrolling this month. Ethan will be enrolled next yr and eli 2 yrs later. I am very excited about it. we wanted to homeschool the kids but i was intimidated by the planning and ultimate responsibility of it all. Then a friend of mine told me her kids(junior and senior highschoolers) were enrolled in Agora. I am also so excited that Jacob doesnt have to wait another year to start school. He totally ready right now. He's is very excited to begin school in the fall.

My only concern right now is keeping the boys socially active. I know they wont have as much social interaction as public school kids. Will that really matter when they have so many siblings? They are still involved at the JCC with kids soccer swim lessons, possibly summer day camps for a week here or there and of course sunday school at temple. That should be enough right? we still have our neighborhood playgroup which the kids are friends with but all those kids will be in school. So I dont know.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Amanda, I've never heard of Agora. What is it? I think social skills are really important, but it sounds like you are doing a lot of things with your kids to help them learn age-appropriate social skills. Skills like paying attention to instructors, self-discipline, etc., my kids are getting in their karate classes, and I'm sure your kids get in the classes you enroll them in. You will have to let us know about your experience.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"rachelrazzle" wrote:

I would probably go with the more self directed one as well. I don't know if I would do well with video classes, and having to keep them on task and do it at a certain time might be more difficult. I hope you can do band through the district, that would help a lot! Smile

I spoke with someone from the gifted program, and she explained that there is a program for advanced students who do not have a gifted IEP. The boys can be enrolled in that program based on test scores and grades and will be eligible for the enrichment courses, academic games, etc. She also recommended using the self-paced curriculum so that the boys can work ahead and not get bored.

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

sounds great Deb!

Amanda, sounds like the boys are getting lots of social practice with their extra curricular activities, I think that helps a ton. Just learning to interact and get along in a group they are not always familiar with is the key, I think.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I use Connections Academy, and living in Pa, they're allowed to go to any school function in the district, also CCA sponsors AT LEAST 40+ fieldtrips across the state a MONTH.

I also put my girls thru girl scouting, and they have church and Awanas/youth group, so they have the socialization.

I have been in it for a year, and I LOVE the school....

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

"CharmedMom4LittleMonkeys" wrote:

I use Connections Academy, and living in Pa, they're allowed to go to any school function in the district, also CCA sponsors AT LEAST 40+ fieldtrips across the state a MONTH.

I also put my girls thru girl scouting, and they have church and Awanas/youth group, so they have the socialization.

I have been in it for a year, and I LOVE the school....

LOL. I was just asking you about this in your thread. So, are you cyber schooling all of the kids? Was it a difficult transition for you? I'm going from one in cyber school to all 5.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"2sonsplus1" wrote:

LOL. I was just asking you about this in your thread. So, are you cyber schooling all of the kids? Was it a difficult transition for you? I'm going from one in cyber school to all 5.

Yes, all three and at first, it was difficult, but until they found out the best routine for them, it was better. Every kid is different, so what works for one, might not work for another.

I found for my oldest, letting her do a lesson, take a break, lesson, break, etc, works best for her.

The middle daughter was better going online and watching whatever teachlet was there, then writing her lessons down, shutting off her pc, doing the work, then going back online to take the assessments was easiest for her.

The youngest, her thing is just doing it all at once worked for her.

my kids don't dont do well for schedules, so I kinda let them sleep no later than 9, they get up, breakfast, login to their school site, and work, lunch in there somewhere, after schoolwork chores get done, then it's free time til dinner, then family time.

Don't get fustrated though, sometimes it takes a few months for you to get in a groove.:bigarmhug: Good Luck!

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

Bump

Now thaqt school is going to start soon, have you gotten your supplies yet?

We have been getting the computer and materials all this week. Jacob cannot wait to get started its so cute. I hate to tell him we need to wait until the first day of school.

Do you have your "classroom" setup already? I am trying to figure out where i am going to set up ours. I need a table or desk of some sort for the computer and a small bookshelf for all the school books and supplies.

Tell me about your setup if you have one.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Well, last year we only cyber schooled one child. He had a student desk in the dining room. This year, it will be all 5, but 3 are going to a supplemental classroom program, so they won't all be on the computer at the same time. We are getting rid of our bedroom set, moving the spare bedroom set into our room, and turning the spare bedroom into a cyberschool room. We are going to need 2-3 desks, and we already have 3 bookshelves. So far, I've gotten 2 out of 5 sets of curriculum (Patrick has 6 boxes) but no computers other than Thomas', which we already had. I'm excited. We'll have to keep in touch about how things are going. They start school September 6.