Four Reasons I Switched from Homeschooling to Virtual School

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28 Responses

  1. Tabitha says:

    For me it was a mix of many of things and was not a matter of switching from homeschool but rather the decision to go with a virtual school over homeschooling.  Connections came at just the right time.  I knew that I wanted to bring my daughter into a more flexible home learning environment around age 12, because I had seen what a few years outside brick and mortar schools could do through my own junior high/high school experience.  I was home-schooled for three years at this age and periodically before then.  There were some inhibiting factors that the virtual school resolved.

    1. Cost–being on a very limited income, I wondered where I would get the money for a standardized curriculum.  They exist.  I’d used them.  But even the low cost of some was prohibitive.  Connections removed that barricade this year in Oklahoma.

    2. Accountability — would I grade firmly enough on essays and projects or would I grade too hard.  Did I really know how to teach my daughter in all subjects or have the resources to get her to tutors in a timely fashion?  I wasn’t confident in this.  Connections provided teachers who could offer a different perspective and grade appropriate grading and feedback (a true blessing).

    3. Concerns of others –I also knew that the high schools she wished to apply to and many colleges are nervous about homeschoolers.  They were worried about standard grading and whether she had covered the necessary pre-requisites.  They expressed concern over students ability to work with deadlines and complete lessons in the prescribed time and ability to discuss their ideas in a group environment.  When I found Connections and shared this possibility, their concerns dissipated.

    Thanks to Connections my daughter is being challenged in all subjects at her level (some at grade level, some above, and on some tasks filling the gap of previous courses).  She is confident talking to new schools and learning to express herself on an even broader platform.  She is developing a sureity about her abilities and is able to fully participate in every experiment or project instead of being shoved to the back where she can’t see what is being demonstrated.  Thank you Connections for making this year possible.

  2. Dawn Leslie Saiani says:

    Well written Kim! The same reason I chose Connections over straight homeschooling. With Connections I have the best of both worlds.

  3. Patti Jo says:

    I feel CA is the best of both worlds.  In fact, to explain the schooling we have chosen I often describe it as hybrid home schooling.  I get to be involved in my children’s learning, which I love, but I have lots of help.  Although I am a college graduate, I don’t have an education background. I
    don’t know what kids should be learning, and when, and how to teach it. I need help and
    guidance. CA is also very beneficial to our family financially because they provide equipment and curriculum that otherwise we couldn’t afford. Best of all, I love that my son has been able to move full speed ahead in his learning at an accelerated pace, allowing him to be challenged and to grow, instead of bored in a classroom.

  4. Amie Storm says:

    This is our first year enrolled in Connections from homeschooling. We LOVE it!!!! I didn’t fully realize the heavy burden I was carrying while homeschooling.  I was feeling burned out and I knew my kids were feeling it. I came across an ad for Connections on Facebook and before I knew it we were enrolling our kids! We have not regretted a single moment of cyber schooling and we plan on staying with CCA. Our children are doing so well with the curriculum, and enjoy the many activities offered by CCA. This really is the best of both worlds, it’s free and the teachers are great!  

  5. Anita says:

    We made the switch from home schooling to CA with our oldest son 6 years ago and have never once regretted it. My reason for making the switch was this: I did not have the time or ability to really “teach” my son the curriculum I had chosen. He is a visual learner and by 7th grade was beyond my ability to explain the material in a way he could understand it. It was time to look for outside help.

    Connections Academy was the perfect solution! I was not looking for, but have greatly appreciated all the added benefits. The greatest of these is not having to grade the student’s work, followed closely by not having to prepare the curriculum. After that comes not having to purchase materials, individualized learning geared to the student’s interests, and preparation for college including school records.

    Our son will be graduating from Connections this spring and we now have 3 other students enrolled in the school. I still enjoy home schooling our 4 younger children with the prospect of enrolling them in the online school when they reach the 7th grade.

  6. Carol says:

    What about Special ED students, will this work for them?

  7. Nicole says:

    I am definately going to look into this for my twelve year old.  Thanks!

  8. Jill Campbell says:

    I love the fact that I am no longer totally responsible for putting her lessons together. Home-schooling in our state for elementary students, is pretty much what ever you make it. I knew she needed more.

    Regular school did not allow for me to be involved in her studies, and she was not allowed to bring text book or study guides or workbooks, home, though her homework was based on them.

    Cost wise, this is such a blessing to us. All the workbooks, text books, study guides, and  lesson tools not to mention art supplies, computer etc that have been provided to us is just amazing.

    It is definitely the best of both worlds, if you truly want to be a big part of your child’s learning.

  9. Heidi says:

    We’re going through the opposite experience right now.  We’ve been doing online school for more than two years and have made the decision to become home schoolers. It’s the happiest we’ve been in a long time. With online school, the concern was to get it done and prepare for the standardized tests, so we can make the school look good. It eventually felt like an intrusion into our home and dictated how I interact with my children. We felt pressured to please their teachers and fill out the right amount of hours. My kindergartener can read on a 2nd grade level and she’s on a first grade math level, so she’s been having to spend her time testing out of units instead of learning new things and being challenged. Of course it’s better than the local school where she wouldn’t be able to test out of things she already knew.

    I’m grateful for the time we had with online school, and it has given me the confidence to home school. But we feel the peace and freedom and love of learning returning and it’s great. My children are so excited to learn now, and I have no fears that they won’t. I dread having to do another day of online school.

    I think these online schools try to recruit home school familie$.

  10. Dan Reiner says:

    Thank you Heidi for sharing your thoughts!
    Virtual school is not for everyone, but it’s great to have choices for our children’s education. We wish you and your children all the best.

  11. Alysa Rich says:

    My son has anxiety and we have fought with him over the years about having to go and not missing any school. So now we are going to try doing the public-school-at-home and see how this goes. I hope that we are making the right decision, this is all so new to us. 

  12. dannielle says:

    With online schooling, is it “work at your own pace” with deadlines? And, also will my daughter have to be on muted for 8 hours a day?

    Basically my questions are based upon the fact that I want to be extremely involved.  Problem being I have to work full-time. My daughter is 4 now, and will be 5 in August. I need to make a decision on whether to home-school or try online school. Public schooling is not an option for us. I work 1st shift, so I will not be able to help her along, if I’m at work and she is at daycare or a babysitter’s. And I don’t want anybody else helping and being involved, but us. Sounds a bit ridiculous, but I do need help!

    Anybody that could help me in any way would be greatly appreciated!


    York, Pa

  13. Sharon says:

    Being a single mom of 4 and working full-time was a tough decision. Connections came along just as I needed it most. My son has Aspergers and he has special needs that were not being fully met in brick-and-mortar schools. I am fortunate enough that my son is allowed to come with me to my workplace so he can complete lessons as I work. Another option is to elect someone you know and trust as your secondary Learning Coach. I hope this helps!

  14. Gina McKeen says:

    Hello Dannielle!
    I homeschooled our girls when they were very young! One was in Kindergarten and first grade, our older of the two was in second and third grade at the time. I was diagnosed with cancer and felt we had no choice but to enroll them in our local brick-and-mortar schools. I feared that my illness may have eventually prevented me from providing them with needed instruction. They were tested for proper placement, as I was told that ‘homeschooled’ children were usually placed a year behind. It came as no surprise that they were actually ahead in many areas to their peers and placed in their respective grades. Two years passed and we became concerned for both of our girls. Their academic progress was failing, for different reasons. When Connections became available in Michigan it was an answer to my prayers! Our daughters were enrolled immediately and have remained with MICA for four years. I am not sure how you plan to ‘homeschool’ such a little one and work full time. However, I will tell you that if you add Connections to your ‘plan’ it will be much easier on you and a lot more beneficial for your child! Having teachers working with you to provide your child the best education possible is unlike homeschooling, and much better than any brick-and-mortar school.

  15. Krystle says:

    Hi Dannielle,
      Yes you do have a set amount of 5 hours a day, but they do not have to be 5 straight hours, you can work with you child for 1 hour take a break do another hour break and so on. There are no certain set hours of the day the school work has to be done that is the beauty of this school. You can go to work and come home and still be able to work with your daughter in the late afternoon into the evening hours. The flexibility with Connections Academy is wonderful. The teachers work with you so much and are wonderful with the students. They also have daily LiveLesson sessions in Language Arts and Math that last about 30 Min a piece. The perfect time to start dinner while she’s watching those have dinner and then continue with the rest of the lesson. The teachers are great about covering their LiveLesson based on what lesson the students are on. If you keep your daughter on the same lesson the teacher is on, usually about half of the lesson the student is on that day will be covered by the teacher. Then you go over with your daughter whatever is left. I have 3 children with Connections two in Kindergarten and one 3rd grader and we love it. Having two in Kindergarten some days can be overwhelming when it comes to kid writing, but I have a wonderful teacher who I call for support and she helps me through it. The teachers are truly there for you 100%. I truly hoped this helps you out good luck.

  16. Kristina says:

    I am looking into either a fee based christian school or CA. I am not sure which is better. Can anyone tell me how the support from the teachers are? Are they available odd hours? Do they help with children who are borderline Dyslexic (one point off from being considered full Dyslexic, she is a slow reader). I’m pulling her out of traditional school because I don’t feel she has received the proper education and fear she is behind for her level. Thanks!

  17. Hi Kristina, 
    We are preparing to enter our 5th year with Connections Academy. My child has learning disabilities, which is only one of the reasons we have chosen Connections  Academy (CA). When I had concerns about his learning disabilities, the school never once hesitated to step-up to the plate and offer assistance. They have additional, fun, computerized programs that will help children build up their skills. Because my child has difficulty writing down his thoughts, they also provided Dragon Speak technology to help make him more independent as well.When deemed appropriate, they also provide services, such as Speech Therapy, to help students succeed.  If your student is struggling, discuss this with the enrollment team and placement staff so that they can ensure your child has the proper supports in place. As for the staff, the teachers my son has had have all been willing to work with him one on one via the live lesson rooms to ensure he understands the lesson material. They have been diligent at returning phone calls and webmails within the same day. CA also offers an online professionally staffed tutoring network that is available after school hours. They have been great about helping him feel like he is succeeding, which is a major improvement for a child who hated school 6 years ago. I hope this helps provide some insight for you. Best wishes! 

  18. Heather H. says:

    My children were apart of PAVCS and we were not happy with the direction that K-12 was heading.  So we placed them in a Christian based school.  By Christmas, both children were begging to come back home.  We did tons of research on all our options and after an info session, my children made the choice of Connections Academy (and we also believed that CA was the best choice).

    My suggestion:  Visit open houses or information sessions for the Christian School AND attend information sessions in your area or stop by our mobile classroom or information table of an event.  And take your children!!! 

    The teachers at CCA are fantastic!!  The teachers that my children have had are always quick to respond to questions or concerns!  They make the live lessons fun and exciting!  They love meeting with their students at field trips & events.  They take an interest into the student’s extra curricular activities (sports, music, theater, art, etc.) and learn a lot about their students through bi weekly phone calls, the children’s portfolios & projects and the children’s participation in live lessons.

    Teachers hold office hours and will let you know their availability.  However, if your child is struggling with their work “after office hours”, there is always a teacher available, usually until 8:00pm, in an after hours live lesson room.  For elementary students, it would be an elementary teacher.  For middle school & high school, there are after hour live lesson rooms/teacher available for different subjects.

    I also have a slow reader.  For my daughter, her teachers have supplemented an extra “FUN” reading/comprehension websites that she does daily.  There is also an additional live lesson that she attends, where the teacher will give more attention to detail and help the “slower readers” go through the story…stopping more frequently and working with the students to reach personal goals.  I’ve said it before, the teachers are fabulous!

    Both my children will tell anyone that they have had a better educational experience since being with Connections Academy then any other schooling that they have been a part of. 

    Keep asking questions!!  Good Luck!

  19. Peggy H. says:

    I have been trying to decide on whether to go with home-school or Virtual school for my granddaughter. She will be Kindergarten age next school year.  I was a preschool teacher for 17 years and know how to teach up to Pre-K but, after that I have no idea.  My daughter and I know we don’t want the grand-kids in Public school but, I was stressing.  My husband also had concerns on homeschooling due to how they receive a diploma that colleges and possibly military will accept.  After reading all the comments here I believe FL Virtual School is the way we will go.   Question: Does the Virtual School program have field trips or anything that will let the kids socialize with other kids in the program near by?   My grand daughter is a social butterfly.
    Thank you all for your help,

  20. holly says:

    There’re a lot advantages in homeschooling, but my disadvantage is my job. I know that I must decide what is more important the future of my child or my job. But I also need a support, sometimes I use for my working needs. 

  21. Paula says:

    Thanks for all of the information. We are currently with K12 and was wondering if anyone else here has switched from K12. If so, why and how do you feel since the switch? We are so overwhelmed with all of the lessons and class connects. Thanks! 

  22. Elizabeth remley says:

    This school everything free I don’t have money to pay.

  23. Mark says:

     I agree …your reason is valid, When I was develop, I know that one of the main reason why my parents chose home school for me because they perceive that homeschooling would the interaction and connection that any public or in-person school could allow me.  However, full speed to the present and online learning is enhancing more and more attractive by the minute.   

  24. miriam steve says:

    I really can’t believe that i found this blog. I have to say that this blog really touched on something i have been struggling with. Thank you for helping me make a major decision, great appreciation. competitive admission essay writers

  25. joanne medinilla says:

    hi i am a students and i would love to be able to be home schooled basically online but with connections academy the reason i want to is because at school i get bothered and i think that i would enjoy this. i have a friend that is going to be in connections academy how can i convince my parents….
    can u guys assure me that connections academy will help me pass on to high school and that i will be getting good grades..

  26. Albert Smith says:

    congratulations you have a very nice site that attracts someone to read what you have written. The four reason you have presented for switching from homeschooling to virtual school are reasonable. I would say in my own opinion virtual school are the best.
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