5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Considering Online School

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11 Responses

  1. Holly says:

    These are great. I wish that I would’ve known number five when I first started my search for an online school. If I would have known that I would have been at Connections way earlier! I think another thing people should know is that Connections Academy is aligned with state requirements so we take the same tests, follow the same guidelines, and learn with the same teachers.

  2. Scott Constable says:

    Great information. I hope this helps more people decide to homeschool. I wish I would done it sooner. Very impressed. Thank you.

  3. Lesley Andrews says:

    I was concerned at first if this school would be right for our family. It didn’t take me long to see that this school is what was best for our family. When my son started with INCA he was falling through the cracks with learning but after we got through the first few weeks and learned the ropes of this school we have LOVED it. He has continued to really work hard and has been making awesome grades ever since and the teachers and staff at INCA have all been very special to our family. The teachers and staff of INCA are always very kind, caring, and very out going and wonderful to deal with. My son has some health issues and Learning issues and this school has really helped him to come out of his shell and he now LOVES learning which is something I couldn’t truthfully say before. I never thought it would be possible for my son to make grades above D’s and C’s but he has been making the A&B honor roll since about a month after starting this school and is now making straight A’s. I continue to praise this school to everyone I talk to and continue to recommend it to parents everywhere I go. I have gotten a few parents to sign there kids up with connections academy and they also LOVE this program and are extremely happy they are doing this schooling. I would not change one thing about our experience with connections academy.

  4. Mahala Smith says:

    I understand that the curriculum is free, however is there anything along the way we will need to purchase, such as books, a microphone for the computer, etc?

    • Chris says:

      Yes, we spent more on the supplies for brick-and-mortar public school than with Connections Academy. We have a Kindergartener and we’re told by other parents that the supply list gets smaller as they get into higher grades. Headphones w/microphone came w/o charge with his books, workbooks, course guides. They even sent water colors! We paid for some binders, folders, notebooks, and printer ink. Most everything else we already had around the house.

  5. Crystal says:

    I do have a couple questions… I am all for this, but I need help convincing my boyfriend.  He helps me parent, and i need to be sure of what I’m getting myself into before I go over his head.   

    I wonder if anyone has trouble getting their kids to sit down and focus?  My daughter doesn’t like going to school, she gets pretty hardcore anxiety.  She is a little shy, which is why I love public school, but she sometimes has a hard time going.  For this reason, I think she would do well.  But she’s also a bit slower to learn than the other students.  Which makes it hard for her to do the work. I know it’s guard toward the child’s learning, but I want to know if anyone else has had trouble with this and can give me ideas for helping?

    My son is going into kindergarten this year and he is high energy and his teachers always struggle with him to pay attention and focus and participate.  Is there a support system in place for this? Or has anyone else has this issue? 

     I’m not 100% sure that this is the best option, but it might be. 

    Thank you! 

    • Chris says:

      Yes! We couldn’t be happier about the accommodations. Our Kindergartener is being accommodated perfectly and is more focused, motivated, and much less impulsive. His teacher is amazing with him and spends more time just talking with him than teaching. We teach him but they supply the curriculum… For free! The frequent breaks we take are usually spent letting him burn off excess energy… and he gets physical education credit doing it. He is very strong willed so everything has to be on his terms.. At brick-and-mortar schools (3 in less than a year and a half) his assessments were never consistent with what we knew he had mastered because on a good day he was fantastic but if he just wasn’t feeling it he refused to get his work done or gave “I don’t” answers. At the beginning of K he scored second in his class for reading readiness. In November he fell Waaaay below benchmark and started refusing to go to school. He LOVES school now and every day gives it his all for short periods knowing that in no time at all he’ll be able to watch some TV, play video games, go fishing with Dad or go swimming if he loses focus and finish up later. As a bonus he actually wants to get his chores done early so he can “play” in DreamWorks, the math program his teacher has her students do 15 minutes each day… We usually have to pull him away from it after an hour complaining because he wants to earn more tokens… Today at his Taekwondo class the mother of an 8 yr old complimented me on how attentive and focused our little guy is. He’s a young 5 and on the Autism Spectrum + ADHD + ODD + APD . Her jaw dropped when he was tying his shoes afterwards and practicing his multiplication table. During their class he recited 1-10 in Korean so earned his first stripe towards his yellow belt (this was his second class). I was so overjoyed with her observations. I told her about his differences and how we were a family in crisis only a month ago, not knowing what we were going to be doing about his education and behavior! I told her about Connections Academy and she immediately pulled out her tablet and started checking things out as we continued our conversation about our kids. Only a few months ago his teacher at our neighborhood public school was suggesting a special education school or holding our son back but wouldn’t support an IEP or 504 plan for our little guy. He was called “stupid” by classmates and “slow” by the teacher’s assistant. The public school politics are ridiculous! He knows he learns differently and didn’t need daily reminders just understanding, minimal accommodations, and an engaging curriculum. Btw our school district brags about how they’re the top rated in our state year after year and talked trash about virtual learning when we withdrew him. The CA curriculum far surpasses what he was getting before and no longer is he doing homework until dinner or finishing incomplete work over the weekend. He does his work and is waiting for his friends to get home and do theirs so they can play. Instead of complaining, “I’m bored” and driving me crazy he asks to “play” by doing extra reading lessons. Connections Academy has truly been a gift to our family.

  6. Deb says:

    What is the graduation rate?

  7. Chase Ferguson says:

    7Chris,

    Your story sounds much like our scenario. I need another parent to talk through this with me so I can re-approach my wife on the subject.

    We have a 8 year old and 6 year old in public school. 6 year old has anxiety issues and has a physical abnormality that he can’t feel when he needs to go to the bathroom and I’m sure it isn’t helping with the anxiety at school. He struggles a bit with reading but is a brilliant artist and is great at math.

    Our 8 year old suffers from ADHD and ODD. He excels in language arts and reading but struggles with math (it’s fun to see them help each other). But he hates school and it is a crazy exhausting fight to get him to school every day. I leave for work before they all get going which leaves my poor wife with that fight. She suffers from fibromyalgia and what I think (undiagnosed) is chronic fatigue syndrome.

    I hate the puppy mill that is our public education system. We live in a nice area in Utah and the schools in our district are rated high. But I know how they do those ratings and the whole system to me seems to be driven by money and silly politics. I have no doubt that if we withdrew them for online school they would warn us and essentially tell us we’re horrible parents to make themselves feel better, and I don’t really care. And I must say (full disclosure) part of my motivation for looking at this likely stems from my distain for the public system. If I’m “converted” to this virtual method I can see myself handing flyers out at my kids elementary for it hahah. But on a serious note, it’s about the kids and their education. I know they can’t get the help and personal growth they need from their current school and I know the curriculum is sub par at best.

    When I’ve approached my wife on the subject before (note it was in the context of “home school” not necessarily K-12 online) she agreed with me on many points but felt she couldn’t do it because she needs the break that comes from sending them to school. I totally understand that and am sensitive to her needs. Part of me feels if it could run like a well oiled machine we won’t have the fights about going to school and the exhaustion and starting the day off on a bad foot. And thus we won’t have the struggle with tardies and absences (and the associated threats from the school) that come with them. And she’s already helping them with homework. I think for it to work she needs a support group just as much as the kids do. Can we find that here? I’ve even thought of getting her some assistance from care.com or something. I’ve really liked what I’ve read on the connection academy site compared to other options. But for kids at this young age we’ve got way too much stress going on with school in our family right now! Working full time and building a business on the side takes a lot of my focus but I make an effort to limit my work day and come home with energy to relieve my wife and support my family. After all, what I’m doing doesn’t have much purpose without them. I REALLY want to come home to a family that is enjoying success in their work/school efforts like I am. HELP!

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