Harvard Study Shows What Online School Families Already Know

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24 Responses

  1. Sierra says:

    I think the Harvard Study (which is not exactly as you state it) is somewhat biased. Studying (homework Study) HAS been found to increase test scores and overall grades. However doing 10 minutes of homework everynight per class (or an hour for high school students) opossed to doing the work during the school day is found to not contribute to overall ability to do well in tests. However in public schools, as with Connections academy, doing your homework contributes to your overall score. Regardless of the stats, it does contribute. With CA its only like 5% of your grade, however in my old school there was the 10-20-70 GP system which means exactly what it shows. 10% of your grade is homework. 20% of your grade is quizzes. And 70% of your grade is tests and assesments. So if you don’t do your homework, logically you wont get as good of a grade. However, I found as an honors student, that those who studied for each class at least 10 minutes a night (in regular school) and did all of our homework, had the High B’s and A’s. The students who made the decision to not study and not complete their homework ended up with D’s and C’s and low B’s. So I am very Biased about the topic as I am a student who is getting the first hand education. Parents think that they know EXACTLY what they are talking about, but they are not here in school and school has changed so much even since I have been in school. so When they say “Here let me help you with your homework”. You shouldn’t be helping your children with your homework. Students are MOST Successful (which this is also a Harvard Study) if they complete their homework on their own and study with peers or parents. Outside activities contribute not to grade’s but to one’s personality. I had better grades not being involved (as did my peers) and being in traditional schooling in honors and AP programs. Then I started Connections Academy last year so I could pursue Intensive Horse Backriding 2 hours a day 6 days a week, and be in soccer as well and my grades all went down from straight A’s to B’s and C’s. I am debating the Success of Cyber education as an 11th grade Honors Student.

  2. A Mom of 2 says:

    I find it quite odd that a representative of a virtual school would be endorsing a study with findings of this kind. It seems to run contrary to the primary attendance of most online schools, that being of currently or previously homeschooled children (although perhaps your school is an exception to this?). The reason I find it surprising is that the very nature of the homeschooling parent is more hands-on and involved, and an article which begins with a few statements devaluing that very nature doesn’t exactly seem in line with the audience most online schools would be seeking in the first place.

    What I find even more odd, and actually quite made up my mind about whether or not I would involve my children in this school, was the fact that you seem to have taken the fact that this study was done by someone who went to Harvard as a definitive mark of validity. Would it not have been more logical to say to yourself… “Well, I have what I have seen with my own eyes for years, and I have what this one person claims which runs contrary to everything I know from experience.” It should be quite clear what the choice is.

    By the by, just a little fyi — parental involvement with homework IS good for kids. No, it’s not about the actual help with work, that is too short-sighted and truly irrelevant. What it is, is a ritual of positive re-enforcement. A time in which our children know they can ask anything they want, a time in which there are certainly no stupid questions, a time in which they know they have support. It is just as valuable as sitting together at the dinner table, and has just as little to do with the actual eating as the other has to do with the actual work.

  3. Melvina says:

    A Mom of 2, you took the words right outta my mouth!

  4. Joann Brunner says:

    My son is beginning CA this fall so I can’t say yet how this type of schooling will work for us, but when he was in the public system I had to help him with his homework because most of the time he came home not knowing how to do it. The teachers would start a new lesson, talk about it for 5 mins and send him home with a paper full of problems that he had no idea how to do. I even spoke to his teachers about this, and they said that is the way they do things, and if they get it wrong it doesn’t matter. This type of terrible teaching method, and bad attitude is a huge reason I have decided to try CA.

  5. Kimberly Corbitt says:

        As a mother of 5 children that will be starting TX this month, I have to agree more with the article. I transfered my children to the virtual environment not only for the flexibility but also to hold them more accountable for their school work. I have found that in the physical classroom they were more of a number than a student and the teachers did not care if they completed their work. They would blow off assignments and the teachers would not say anything until their grades dropped. I would ask the teachers what assignments they needed to complete and the teachers would say that it was up to the student to keep me informed. With the virtual environment I will know what they have going on in all of their subjects yet they will have the accountability with turning in their assignments. I also agree with Joann Brunner, a couple of my children would come home with homework that they had no idea what to do and the teachers said the same thing. Shame on them. 

  6. Amy says:

    As a vetern homeschool mom starting or 14th year of homeschool, I couldn’t agree more with this article. There is no more motivating factor for Junior and Senior High students than to help them see past just finishing the assignment.  Helping them see the continuity of the education process and it’s ultimate goal of a fulfilling, well rounded life plan will as the article says “help your child understand how the decisions he or she makes today will impact the decisions they will have to make in the future.”  Well said!

  7. Carol T Birt says:

     I personally believe parents that show they care have better students. I have a twelve year old at CA and a twenty six year old in college to become a paralegal, I am involved with each child. They are both doing good so I am going to stick with what works for us. I appreciate the information but it’s just not for my family.

  8. Barbara L. Weston says:

    I may not have a PhD, but, I have enough Stats classes to know that someone with a PhD can make stats say whatever they want – by biasing the questions asked, the interpretation of the data collected, biasing the sample space and the analysts own personal biases.  I can say this with a high confidence level since my major is Business Statistics.  I would not put much by any single study without more information about the person who did the study (does this person have children – i.e. personal experience), the group sponsoring the study, and specific information about the study such as how was sampling done, what were the questions and specific stats from the questions not just the interpretation.  Has anyone else duplicated this study and came out with the same analysis? Has anyone independently verified the study?  Without all this information the veracity of one person making such a claim is suspect.

  9. Mommy with six says:

    I am looking forward to giving my child independent schooling and study skills.  I plan on being a facilitator of his education rather than a teacher, which I was forced into being at my child’s former private school.

    I found that my child was being sent home exorbitant amounts of homework, (over an hour each night) and discovered that the reason for it was because he wasn’t being taught the material in school.  I had to teach it and re-teach it.  That is the main reason I signed my child up for CA.  I figured that if I was going to have to teach it, I may as well train my child to do it in the classroom, during the day, as he was supposed to.  

    I am looking forward to having my child learn study and school skills that will last a lifetime that he wasn’t getting in private school for whatever reason.  
  10. Mommy with six says:

    I am looking forward to giving my child independent schooling and study skills.  I plan on being a facilitator of his education rather than a teacher, which I was forced into being at my child’s former private school.

    I found that my child was being sent home exorbitant amounts of homework, (over an hour each night) and discovered that the reason for it was because he wasn’t being taught the material in school.  I had to teach it and re-teach it.  That is the main reason I signed my child up for CA.  I figured that if I was going to have to teach it, I may as well train my child to do it in the classroom, during the day, as he was supposed to.  
    I am looking forward to having my child learn study and school skills that will last a lifetime that he wasn’t getting in private school for whatever reason.  
  11. Mommy with six says:

    I will also say this.  My daughter was one of the first enrollees of the very first cyber charter school in PA, Einstein Academy.  We took her out of public school because she was being dummied down from her advanced gifted math down to the lowest common denominator grade level math, in public brick and mortar school, due to budget cuts.

    Anyway, with cyber schooling she was allowed to do all the subjects at her own pace and she loved it.  When it came time for high school boarding school academy she was off the charts.  She was actually able to skip a grade and completed high school in 3 opposed to 4 years.  This would never happen with a public brick and mortar school

    We had a similiar result with my son, who did cyber school in 6th grade. When he went to 7th grade, the teachers thanked me for the great job I did and loved his independent diligence and love of learning.  I could not lay claim to the results and owe it all to cyber school.  6th grade, by the way is the perfect time to do this.   Prior to cyber schooling his teacher did not even finish a single book, in fact was very far from it, especially math.

    I cannot speak highly enough about cyber school, from my own experience and would urge any parent on the fence to do it. It will be the best educational choice imaginable.  

    I think a lot of you ladies are missing the whole point of the article.  If you want your child to be an independent go-getter, the chances of that happening are very good with cyber school and it will happen without all the noise and distractions of public brick and mortar school.  

  12. A Soon-to-be National Connections Academy Student says:

        I’m glad to hear that reading Shakespeare can help with your mind. I recently got an interest in Shakespeare and remembered I had a book with stories by Shakespeare in it. The stories are interesting and I have read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Macbeth”, “Hamlet”, and the less famous “Much Ado About Nothing”.     Now that I know it can improve one’s mind, I’ll keep on reading. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  13. Mother of intellegent but distracted child says:

    I see a lot of people downing the CA system. But trying being the mother of a child that no matter what form of discipline is used, no matter what techniques are used, he still act outs in school, gets suspended continuously, kicked off the bus. All in kindergarten and all because he’s over stimulated from a 33 children k class. On top this child has to deal with prejudice over being from a different state. My son is extremely smart, but was not getting the attention he needed. He was denied of extra help he could of been receiving. With CA, i am able to let him take a break and litteraly run around the house 3 times or go play for 5 mins and come back to his work. He’s not around 32 other kindergartners. I love the system and its helped a lot of other people with similar situations. Only in the younger grades are parents super involved, as the child progresses through the grades it becomes much more stand alone and up to the student alone to do their work and keep up with everything.

  14. Mom of 2 says:

    This is an interesting article but I am looking forward to my daughter starting at CA. Her public school experience was a disappointment with schools closing and and over full classrooms. In the beginning of the school year my daughter was starting off well but as the school year continued she just was not challenged enough and she got distracted easily with so many students. I am hoping that this will be a great learning experience for her and that I can help her to be more focused.

  15. Tanya says:

    I with you guys Joann Brunner, Kimberly Corbitt, Mommy with six! My daughter was in B&M school from 1st through 3rd grades. Everyday when she got home we would sit down together for upwards of 2 hours of work. She rarely understood what she was expected to do or how to do it. I would teach her the lessons over and hear ‘ooh, I get it‘. Last year I enrolled her in CA, she finished the year with A’s and B’s up from C’s and D’s. I feel it’s been great for us, and would recommend it to anyone.

  16. ck says:

    This is the first year I have had any of my children in an online school.  They asked and I figured that it is their education and if they feel they will do better this way why not try it.  I can say so far that as a parent I feel more like I know what is going on and what is being taught.  I also feel like they are getting an education not an education in what views and ideas a teacher has.  My boys so far (8th and 10th) are very much enjoying it and feel much more accountable for their homework and guess what there is no more I forgot it at school!  I have 3 still in public brick and mortar school and am wishing they weren’t when my involvement is signing papers that say they showed me this or that but not really knowing what is being taught.  I love that fact I can pull up a class and see just what they will be going over.  They get help right away,from their on-line teacher when they need it , my son today got a phone call from one of his teachers to a question he had, they are not just a number as was mentioned above by one of the comments.  It also looks like the classes are more extensive then I see at the regular school and they have the chance to move forward at their own pace and if they are showing above average work more challenging work will come their way.  They also have the option to take electives at a younger age.  I have some that get bored and then don’t try at all.  As I was reading the comments I was thinking that if someone is getting lower grades in online schools the question could be what really were the levels of the classes in the brick and mortar school. We have heard that colleges have had to dumb down their entrance exams for those just out of high school.  Yes, parents should be involved to a certain point in their childs homework but if the child doesn’t have a chance to work through the problems on their own or look for sources in which to learn how do they learn to do this later in life or do they always fall back to mom and dad for help.  Independence is starting to be an extinct quality in the up and coming generation.  As they say if you fail try and try again this is the best way to learn with someone alongside that believes you can succeed on your own. 

  17. Lindsey says:

    This is a great article. I used to get grades that I cetainly wasn’t happy with, I found myself getting frusturated and wondering why I needed to learn these things anyway. Until I actually used the skills and started thinking about the future. The future is definetly  motivating enough to get you to do the extra work, to finish the extra credit, to go for an A+. Another thing that helped me was using what I learned. In math, as ridiculous as it sounds, I really didn’t use half of what I learned. I tried using the skills and learned them much better. Education is free, but that doesn’t mean is not valuable.

  18. A grateful mother! says:

    My son was makeing all D’s and F’s the first time he was in 3rd grade in a brick and morter school (public school). He was haveing trouble learning the work and the school wasent helping him at all. They continued to send letters home and have confrences saying that he always seemed distracted. They would work on a subject for a short period of time and move on to something new, not careing to make sure the students grasped the material. My son was feed up with asking for help and not getting it. He had given up!
    We started him in CA last year and he repeated the 3rd grade. His scores came up drasticly! He now enjoys school and has no problems with asking for help, because he knows he will get it. CA has been a blessing in our life. 

    Thank you so much CA for makeing it possible for my child to enjoy school again. 

  19. Larry says:

    We are g-parents of a 12 yr young lady. We have had her since 1yr old. She is ADHD and immature (about 2-3 yrs behind). We have had a lot of support from the school systems (private & public). My concern is her moving to middle school next year. I am very unsure of her being able to handle the big change in her environment and being responsible enough to keep up with the new demands. How does the CA system help with such circustances? Any similar experiences.

  20. Rebecca Waller says:

    I was interested in the thought process of this subject, and my instinct to research the subject kicked in.  I read the original article by HGSE Professor Nancy Hill written by – Deborah Blagg Published: October 2009.  I found the article insightful, and I encourage every parent to read it. 

    I first want to point out that no scientific study was done by Professor Nancy Hill her findings are based on gathering previous data on or meta-analysis.  The information was formalized around calculated strength of the relationships between one variable and another that resulted in Hill’s study that was published in 2008 “Developmental Psychology”.  With this being said you must also take into account that the findings were directed towards what Hill calls “scaffolding independence” of a child’s education.  That parent’s of school students should have a “hands-on” approach to their child’s curriculum that eventually fades into a “hands-off with an emphasis in a support role” approach as the child reaches middle school and high school levels of education.  I think this is a good approach for any parent regardless of the type of school a child attends, brick –n- mortar, virtual, private, or homeschooling.  Eventually the child has to learn responsibility for their own education and life goals.  I know for a fact that Connections Academy strengthens the parent’s role in allowing the student to take hands on approach to education and this was one of the reasons my husband and I chose this school and its curriculum.

    Hill also mentions that most of this pre-middle school communication between parents and teachers is problematic, and I would have to agree.  Parents are unable to receive or understand the information about their child’s strength’s and curriculum content.  So this causes parents to become ill equipped to offer effective guidance or reinforce classroom learning to the real world situations.  This also makes it hard for parents to prepare their child for further education and life.  I would have to agree with Hill’s findings completely, since it mimics my own frustrations with the public school systems we have been a part of for the past 20 years.  I find that knowing my child’s curriculum, and studies as an effective learning coach with Connections Academy allows me to find my daughters weaknesses in learning, it helps her to acknowledge them, adapt and connect to a more effective set of learning strategies.  We are working on fundamental building blocks for her future and teaching her that what she is learning is applicable to real life goals.   It is my hope that with Connections Academy our daughter will develop the tools needed by middle school and continue to develop them further with less parental lesson guidance and more human development rounding skills.

    Fantastic article Steven Guttentag thank you for pointing it out to all of us Connections Academy parents by blog.

  21. Rebecca Waller says:

    I was interested in the thought process of this subject, and my instinct to research the subject kicked in. I read the original article by HGSE Professor Nancy Hill written by – Deborah Blagg Published: October 2009. I found the article insightful, and I encourage every parent to read it.
    I first want to point out that no scientific study was done by Professor Nancy Hill her findings are based on gathering previous data on or meta-analysis. The information was formalized around calculated strength of the relationships between one variable and another that resulted in Hill’s study that was published in 2008 Developmental Psychology. With this being said you must also take into account that the findings were directed towards what Hill calls scaffolding independence of a child’s education. That parent’s of school students should have a hands-on approach to their child curriculum that eventually fades into a hands-off with an emphasis in a support role approach as the child reaches middle school and high school levels of education. I think this is a good approach for any parent regardless of the type of school a child attends, bricks’n mortar, virtual, private, or homeschooling. Eventually the child has to learn responsibility for their own education and life goals. I know for a fact that Connections Academy strengthens the parent’s role in allowing the student to take hands on approach to education and this was one of the reasons my husband and I chose this school and its curriculum.
    Hill also mentions that most of this pre-middle school communication between parents and teachers is problematic, and I would have to agree. Parents are unable to receive or understand the information about their child’s strengths and curriculum content. So this causes parents to become ill equipped to offer effective guidance or reinforce classroom learning to the real world situations. This also makes it hard for parents to prepare their child for further education and life. I would have to agree with Hill’s findings completely, since it mimics my own frustrations with the public school systems we have been a part of for the past 20 years. I find that knowing my child’s curriculum, and studies as an effective learning coach with Connections Academy allows me to find my daughters weaknesses in learning, it helps her to acknowledge them, adapt and connect to a more effective set of learning strategies. We are working on fundamental building blocks for her future and teaching her that what she is learning is applicable to real life goals. It is my hope that with Connections Academy our daughter will develop the tools needed by middle school and continue to develop them further with less parental lesson guidance and more human development rounding skills.
    Fantastic article Steven Guttentag thank you for pointing it out to all of us Connections Academy parents by blog.

  22. vanessa says:

    All the post were quite interesting, I am trained educator and have decided to educated my teen daughter in the virtual world. I have had the opportunity to learn in a traditional classroom and online class. The article did not present any empirical data just the opinion of a PhD which mean some sort of validity. There are seven level of intelligent and everyone learns differently. It reasons that families and students need to identify their learning style and proper curriculum.

  23. Melody says:

    It would be a real asset if CA could provide real life applications in each course to make it more meaningful to the real world. Don’t we all need to know what applies?
    I agree with the above comments and am also a trained educator.  I am pulling my soon to be High Schooler out this year to try the online system.  As adjunct faculty at a local University, there has been a movement to online methods of learning across multiple venues.  Having the opportunity to seek schooling through this method is a great privilege.  There is more freedom.  With more freedom comes more responsibility.  I think most students will rise to this.  Parental involvement is needed at times to facilitate growth and transition.  Our ultimate goal both as parents and teachers is to help the student be able to  find the answers independently, in the immediate and long-term future.  Until they reach this goal, both parents and teachers should collaborate in the process of learning.  For some this will be easier than others.  In any case real life associations would undoubtably increase the motivation for independent discovery.

  24. smith says:

    according to me harvard study is correct to some point as if parents dont help there kids with there homework they will do there homework by there on and will increase there capacity as they will know what will the results if they dont do there homework on time. but on the other side kid can get depressed as well if he is not able to do this homework he have problems doing it. there are many online websites which help with the homework and provide step to step solutions.

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