Virtual Homeschooling: A Win-Win Situation

Shortly after my son started kindergarten in public school he said, "I hate school, and never want to go back."  Being a typical boy, he didn't want to discuss it further.  I was a little amused, and somewhat worried.  I felt it was a little early for him to have such a negative view of something as important as his education.

The next day we left for school a little early so I could ask his teacher why he would say he hated school.  My son greeted his teacher, and went to play with some of the other early arrivers.  His teacher was surprised to hear he was unhappy.  She told me that nothing had happened the previous day, but she would watch and let me know if she noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Days later my son continued to comment that he hated school.  This seemed unusual since I knew he liked his teacher, and was making friends with some of his classmates.  I chose to volunteer in his classroom for a few days hoping to see what the issue may be.  It became clear to me the first day.

  1. There was a child in his class who clearly was a special needs child, and he was quite a handful for the teacher.  She was spending more of her teaching time just trying to "control" this one child.
  2. The average age of the class was 4 going on 5 years old, my son was 5 going on 6.  His maturity level and ability to learn the lessons were way above the rest of the class.  He was bored and tired of waiting for the other children to "catch up".

I discussed my observations with his teacher, but she had no ideas for a solution to the problem.  So, my son finished the year with no enthusiasm for moving on to first grade.

I spent the summer break trying to find answers while encouraging my son to keep a good attitude about school.  Speaking with other homeschoolers in my area discouraged me from the idea.  They told me of the money they were spending on curriculum, and the hoops they were having to jump through for the state.  Taking care of my mother is a full-time job, and our financial situation would not support the idea of homeschooling.  Some people even criticized me saying my sons problems with public school may be a more valuable lesson for him to learn from than homeschooling would be.  I decided to give public school one more chance.

Things just went from bad to worse.  My once shy, reserved, not very outgoing son became the class clown, and was almost suspended the third quarter of first grade.  The discipline recommendations made by the principal for his "unruliness" were absolutely unacceptable to me.  I tried to explain why I believed he was behaving so inappropriately, but they didn't want to hear it.  Even his teacher became distant, and no longer wanted to work with me to resolve the issue.  Enough was enough.

It didn't take me long to find K¹², and I read everything I could about this program.  Going back to a "brick and mortar" school was out of the question, but with K¹² we would still be with the public school.  This meant the curriculum was free, the school provided a computer, and there was a teacher to assist when and if I needed it.  The Virtual Academy was not very strict on how the curriculum was implemented, which meant I could adjust it for our families' beliefs.  It seemed like a win-win situation.

I couldn't have been more right.  My son breezed through the second grade curriculum, and three months before the end of the year he started third grade curriculum.  He is now excited about learning again.  He has more confidence in his abilities, and our relationship is stronger than ever.

Some people don't understand my decision, others applaud it, and others still criticize the whole idea. For the most part the negative nay-sayers are either misinformed or just plain ridiculous in there opposition to homeschooling.  It is a personal choice, and as a parent I believe it is my right to have that choice. I hold nothing back, and am not ashamed to base my decision on my unconditional love for my son, God, and His guidance.

Lynda Schultz is a Christian, homeschooling, SAHM, and a full-time caretaker for her disabled mother who suffers from complications of diabetes. She offers insights to her experiences with homeschooling, diabetes, healthier eating, and her walk with Jesus. Visit her website and participate in the poll posted at the top of the left column.

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3 Responses to “Virtual Homeschooling: A Win-Win Situation”

  1. avatar Courtney says:

    I just used k12 w/ a virtual school in my state. I’ve had the opportunity to see it work and I’ve had the opportunity to see it fail. My 1st grader is still with the virtual school and is doing fine with the k12 curriculum. My 3rd grader, NOT so much! I just withdrew my 3rd grader a few days ago. Now I’m homeschooling her “off the cuff” and am supplementing with Time4Learning where I can adjust things to her needs. It’s been such a burden off my shoulders. In short, I guess, if I might just reiterate, I’ve seen K12 BOMB drastically and I’ve seen it work great. It’s all about your child and how they adjust and it should never ever be any other way. Great conversation, ladies!! Be blessed! :0)

  2. avatar AprilS says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I think many parents might be in the same boat as you. It really surprised me to read this and realize that I went through the same exact thing as your son! I have always been a shy, quiet type of person. I too got called out for talking and distracting class. Then they put me into a gifted program and the problems went away.

    It’s hard to know what to do when your child is in such a situation. Especially, when the schools are no help. I am so glad you found a solution that obviously benefitted you both!!

  3. avatar Melinda says:

    I have been looking at K12. Glad to hear someone else talking about.