Any opinions on K12?
Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:14 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:53 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:57 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:09 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:25 PM
I love how the art and history are coordinated. The science, IMO, is a little advanced for the grade, but we manage. I like choosing my own LA and Math, so I don't purchase these from K12.
I purchase K12 classes on my own, as I do not want to spend time jumping through testing/state standards/PS accountability hoops when I live in a where I don't have to report to anyone. It's worth the expense for me. Plus, I can teach two kiddos for the price of one, since they are using the same courses.
Next year I am planning to use Sonlight because I want to do American History, not modern, but I will still use a little K12. I may choose to skip K12 Art 4 and select their 5th grade American Art instead. I will most likely use their Science 4. I may also use their Science 1 for my rising first-grader.
Not sure if that helps, but we love K12. But I can see where it would be difficult (for us anyway) to get it all done for each child everyday. The full first grade load taught me that (and I wasn't even teaching anyone else at that time!)
Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:25 PM
The elementary history was written by SWB, so it follows the chronological pattern. Art tracks with history, so it reinforces a lot of what the child is already learning.
My son loves the science. It gives a lot of information, and is interesting, with the activities/experiments simple enough for most of us at home.
Math is solid, I like the daily review on the computer, and the way the lessons work out. It's easy enough to accelerate, or slow down -- depending upon how my son is grasping the materials.
Literature is a god-send. Very thorough -- it's the best I've used to date.
Grammar/Spelling -- they are fine. Not something I get carried away with.
Music is fun, and light. It's easy for the whole family to get involved.
My son has been in K12 for almost a year. My dd#2 and ds#2 will begin a modified K12 program in the fall (history, science, art & music -- we won't begin the K12 language arts until grade 3, and haven't decided on math yet -- they like the Abeka workbooks right now).
Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:30 PM
If you DO mean the same K12--I will just quote this:
The founder, Mimi Rothschild, is famous in the education/homeschool blog world for threatening lawsuits against anyone who says negative things about her online academies. There was a wikipedia page created about her so that those who felt the academies didn't meet their expectations--or worse--could have a place to share their information. Ms. Rothschild (or someone working for her) went in and edited the page so that it was basically an advertisement for her academies. LOL Then it was deleted because that's not allowed on wikipedia.
[url]http://www2.homeschoolchristian.com/cgi-bin/config3.cgi?noframes;read=73543[/url] (An example of how inquiries about these academies usually go on the boards I frequent...)
Mimi Rothschild has used pseudonyms when posting all over the internet about her companies. She, her husband, or an employee will post glowing reports about the online schools...under many names, but all are from the same IP address so they are all the SAME person.
Here is an article from a few years back about one of her online academies in PA called Einstein Academy: [url]http://www.wired.com/news/school/0,1383,54737,00.html[/url] Also: [url]http://www.wired.com/news/school/1,51489-0.html[/url] (Apparently they were accused of copyright infringement for using online texts from another company but saying it was *their* curriculum.)
In the past, she has set up online schools without having more than a P.O. Box and some unpaid teachers. Yet she will accept funding from the public school districts. I believe she has been sued for not paying employees, for illegally setting up some of these online academies, and for not delivering materials/services to families.
I know that some people are probably unaware of how this person/company operates and may be completely satisfied with what they are getting in return for their money. She runs a very large and complex organization. However, knowing what I do, I could not support much less recommend using one of these academies. It's interesting enough that she has several different academies at all, IMO. (Grace, Jubilee, Morningstar, Southern Baptist and others)
Please be sure to read the link.
IF IT IS NOT THE SAME K12 (and I honestly do get confused because the K12 name seems to get tossed around alot) THEN PLEASE IGNORE THIS.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:30 PM
I've used parts of all levels of K12 from 2nd to 8th grade. The K12 lit program is the best out there. I agree that I don't think the spelling/grammar/vocab is exceptional, but it's not bad either. The composition is good, but a bit advanced. I agree with the science comments above -- good, interesting, good experiments, lots of information. We've liked the math. It's worked well for us.
Don't hesitate to ask if you have specific questions.
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:44 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:54 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:46 PM
Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:32 PM
I have been using K12 with both my kids since January. My 6 yo is taking Language Arts 2, History K, and Science 1. He was taking Art K but we dropped it. My 11 yo is taking Life Science.
For a while I really liked K12, and I still do but with reservations. All the courses are very thorough and rich. The required and optional books have obviously been selected with care as they are always excellent. The activities (for the lower grades) are usually homeschool friendly and to the point.
However, K12 seems obsessed with assessment. There is usually at least one assessment per lesson per subject. The assessments are very frequently about topics that were just introduced in that lesson. It is rare that a topic will be developed over the course of several lessons and then have an assessment on it. Anyway, the constant assessment is starting to drive me nuts.
Overall, I'm happy with the courses my 6 yo is taking, with the exception of the unrelenting assessment aspect. I am less happy with the middle school life science course my 11 yo is taking, however. It seems extremely dumbed down to me. This could be because it is written to the student, I'm not sure. I have also found some of the information to be inaccurate (my degree is in biochemistry so I may be a little critical here). The labs are good but most of the activities are busy-work (things like making collages with pictures cut out of magazines) and we have all but stopped doing them. The questions they ask in the assessments and worksheets are frequently about irrelevant details, almost as though there wasn't enough real information presented in the lesson but they felt they had to come up with a certain number of questions. Sometimes they want you to be able to infer more from the information given than is reasonable.
In the first few weeks of using K12 I had thought that next year I would have my 6 yo continue with LA, history, and science and my 11 yo would take Physical Science and World History A. After experiencing it for a few months though, and having looked through all the courses with the demo account (something I highly recommend!), I have decided to only use K12's Science 2 course. I will be assembling LA materials from several sources and using SOTW for history, having the history reading and narration my son does count for LA. For my 11 yo (7th grade next year), I have decided to go with Spielvogel's Human Odyssey for world history and Conceptual Physical Science Explorations for science. There just didn't seem to be enough relevant meat in K12's middle school science and history courses for us.
Now if I had to use a packaged curriculum, at least for the lower grades, I would definately choose K12!
Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:57 AM
First, the main "text" containing the literature selections for each grade is an anthology put together and published by K12 for its literature program. The selections in each book published for each grade level are from recognized classic literature/poetry/biography. In addition, each volume contains a unit on the Bible as literature. For example, the 7th grade anthology, which my son just happened to leave on my desk, contains the following units:
I. The Heart's Deep Core
Chura and Marwe (African folktale)
The Tiger's Whisker (Korean folktale)
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (poem - Robert Frost)
The Story of Scarface (Blackfoot Indian legend)
Sympathy (poem - Paul Laurence Dunbar)
The Happy Prince (Oscar Wilde)
A Psalm of Life (poem - Henry Wadworth Longfellow)
II. Stories from the Bible
How Queen Esther Saved Her People
The Story of Jonah
III. Stories in Verse: Narrative Poems
The Inchcape Rock
Casey at the Bat
The Cremation of Sam McGee
IV. Stories of Scientists
Michael Faraday's World
Nikola Tesla, Inventor
Healing a Wounded Heart: Daniel Hale Williams
The Gift of the Magi
The Necklace (adapted as a play)
VI. Favorites from Famous Books
A Christmas Carol (we elected to read the whole story, not just the abridged version here)
VII. Life Stories
Homesick (Jean Fritz)
Breathes There the Man (Sir Walter Scott)
Mami and Papi (Esmerelda Sanitago)
The Night the Bed Fell (James Thurber)
VIII. What's Important
President Cleveland, Where are You?
I Have Ten Legs
The White Umbrella
The Courage that My Mother Had
My Father is a Simple Man
IX. The Language of Poetry
Nothing Gold Can Stay
A Poison Tree
All the World's a Stage (from As You Like It)
Three Poems by Emily Dickinson
Hold Fast Your Dreams
X. Advice and Instruction
The Fish I Didn't Catch (John Greenleaf Whittier)
For Want of a Horseshoe Nail (James Baldwin)
If (Rudyard Kipling)
Letter to His Son (Robert E. Lee)
Mother to Son (Langston Hughes)
They Should Have Listened
Each unit has a general theme, so the stories and poems usually have something in common. Each lesson has lesson notes about the author and discusses and develops the theme of the unit in some manner. Each lesson has discussion questions which can be done aloud or in writing. Thorough answers to these questions are contained in the teacher's guide. Unit tests are provided, which are usually comprised of both multiple choice and essay questions. There is a semester and a final assessment in the course.
In addition to these readings, the student is allowed to chose 4 novels to read from a long list provided by K12. For 7th grade, the list includes: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler; A Wrinkle in Time; The Martian Chronicles; Walk Two Moons; The Outsiders; The Bronze Bow; The Book of Three; The Sign of the Beaver; Tuck Everlasting; War Comes to Willy Freeman; My Side of the Mountain; Johnny Tremain; Jacob, I Have Loved; Old Yeller; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Bud, Not Buddy; Anne of Green Gables; Ben and Me; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; The Hound of the Baskervilles; Across Five Aprils; Catherine, Called Birdy; and Swiss Family Robinson. These represent a number of genres and a number of reading levels. Each novel, once selected, becomes part of the plan for the course, and you can print out lesson plans for the complete novel, including a teacher's guide with plot summaries, notes, questions, and answers.
I especially like the way everything is laid out for the teacher. I'm not always able to read every selection with my boys, but the teacher's guides are so complete, we're still able to discuss what each boy has read, and I'm still able to evaluate whether or not my son understands and has met the lesson objectives.
I've probably told you more than you wanted to know, but I really like this program.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:52 AM
I love the History, love the Art, love the Science. Oh and I love the LA too. The only thing I dont love is the music, but I've pretty much given up on it with no guilt since ds is taking piano lessons. There is some secular info in the science that I don't agree with, but that is easy enough to correct. I show ds8 what the book is saying and tell him why I think it is wrong and we go on from there. I would have just as many issues with a Christian Science program---I prefer the secular version---I teach religion to my ds on a daily basis--as in LIFE....and I don't need a curriculum to do any of that for me.
I am not a curriculum expert, but from what I read and with William Bennet being involved...and SWB writing the History program....I am pretty convinced it is a solid program. I would prefer to do it independent though...but goiing through the Charter makes dh happier and is also free.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 11:15 AM
Last year, I tried to do just "real" books with my oldest son. I bombed at it (unless it was a little house book I knew inside & out). My son doesn't "like" to read, so getting him to read "real" books at his reading level was more work. We tried the VP guides -- which are excellent -- but again, my ds#1 doesn't "like" to read.
Previously, we had use the Abeka series -- and while they are fine, they weren't challenging enough for my son -- they didn't help us explore meanings, literary terms, etc. which become more important as the student ages. Some of this may have been addressed by spending the extra $35 per reader (well over $100) on teacher's guides, but I felt that was a bit excessive.
The reading material in the K12 books is challenging, but not looong. My son doesn't get overwhelmed by seeing a 150 page book sitting in front of him. Because there are just 4 novels, we can get through these much easier too as well.
The selections are more varied than I would ever be able to do on my own (without taking an excessive amount of time), the analysis in the teacher's guide helps me guide my son to a better understanding of literature, literary terms, and I don't feel like I have to be an expert on the story/poem first.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 11:18 AM
I hear grade 3 LA is fairly intense. My ds is doing grade 2 right now.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:51 PM
Part of me wishes they'd break out the LA grouping into spelling & vocab/grammar, writing and literature. If they did this, my ds would probably be 6th grade spelling/vocab, 3rd grade writing and 4th or even 5th grade lit.
We're planning on starting dd with 3rd grade LA in 2 years. She's "older" for her grade, so things come really easy, and I'm not as worried about her.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:54 PM
When they were deciding to let ds skip 2nd grade math, they discussed LA and this is the main reason he didn't skip LA too. The teacher told me there is a big jump from 2nd grade writing to 3rd grade writing and it could easily overwhelm even the brightest kids.
I think many curriculums have the writing mismatched to the rest of the LA.
Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:19 PM
If I had the time to dedicate to keeping everything organized and prepared (I have a FT job, plus 2 others to HS -- and our family owns a retail store), I could handle those issues by cobbling together several different programs.
I don't have that time... K12 is the best solution overall -- but it's still not perfect.